List of Countries with Universal Healthcare

Update 1/21/2013: With the Supreme Court’s decision to uphold the ACA (aka Obamacare), and President Obama’s inauguration to a second term today, the US will have universal health care in 2014 using an insurance mandate system.

Thirty-two of the thirty-three developed nations have universal health care, with the United States being the lone exception [1]. The following list, compiled from WHO sources where possible, shows the start date and type of  system used to implement universal health care in each developed country [2]. Note that universal health care does not imply government-only health care, as many countries implementing a universal health care plan continue to have both public and private insurance and medical providers.

Country Start Date of Universal Health Care System Type
Click links for more source material on each country’s health care system.
Norway 1912 Single Payer
New Zealand 1938 Two Tier
Japan 1938 Single Payer
Germany 1941 Insurance Mandate
Belgium 1945 Insurance Mandate
United Kingdom 1948 Single Payer
Kuwait 1950 Single Payer
Sweden 1955 Single Payer
Bahrain 1957 Single Payer
Brunei 1958 Single Payer
Canada 1966 Single Payer
Netherlands 1966 Two-Tier
Austria 1967 Insurance Mandate
United Arab Emirates 1971 Single Payer
Finland 1972 Single Payer
Slovenia 1972 Single Payer
Denmark 1973 Two-Tier
Luxembourg 1973 Insurance Mandate
France 1974 Two-Tier
Australia 1975 Two Tier
Ireland 1977 Two-Tier
Italy 1978 Single Payer
Portugal 1979 Single Payer
Cyprus 1980 Single Payer
Greece 1983 Insurance Mandate
Spain 1986 Single Payer
South Korea 1988 Insurance Mandate
Iceland 1990 Single Payer
Hong Kong 1993 Two-Tier
Singapore 1993 Two-Tier
Switzerland 1994 Insurance Mandate
Israel 1995 Two-Tier
United States 2014? Insurance Mandate

Will the United States join this list in 2014?

[1] Roughly 15% of Americans lack health insurance coverage, so the US clearly has not yet achieved universal health care. There is no universal definition of developed or industrialized nations. For this list, those countries with UN Human Development Index scores above 0.9 on a 0 to 1 scale are considered developed.

[2] The dates given are estimates, since universal health care arrived gradually in many countries. In Germany for instance, government insurance programs began in 1883, but did not reach universality until 1941. Typically the date provided is the date of passage or enactment for a national health care Act mandating insurance or establishing universal health insurance.

System Types:

Single Payer: The government provides insurance for all residents (or citizens) and pays all health care expenses except for co-pays and coinsurance. Providers may be public, private, or a combination of both.

Two-Tier: The government provides or mandates catastrophic or minimum insurance coverage for all residents (or citizens), while allowing the purchase of additional voluntary insurance or fee-for service care when desired. In Singapore all residents receive a catastrophic policy from the government coupled with a health savings account that they use to pay for routine care. In other countries like Ireland and Israel, the government provides a core policy which the majority of the population supplement with private insurance.

Insurance Mandate: The government mandates that all citizens purchase insurance, whether from private, public, or non-profit insurers. In some cases the insurer list is quite restrictive, while in others a healthy private market for insurance is simply regulated and standardized by the government. In this kind of system insurers are barred from rejecting sick individuals, and individuals are required to purchase insurance, in order to prevent typical health care market failures from arising.

408 thoughts on “List of Countries with Universal Healthcare

  1. I looked up “Countries that provide universal healthcare” to discover that our great country is last on the list. I thought… we do not have to reinvent the wheel – conduct a study and implement what works. Then I read all the comments, and I now understand why politicians are having such a hard time. They are representative of their constituents. God help us!

  2. Sometimes I wonder what country we live in…..too much emphasis on money and things here in the USA and our vision must be for the health of our children and grandchildren….no drilling anything that poisons our humanity……it is a human right to have the basic right of well being for all of our people as if we really matter; health care is a human right for supporting all life. We live in a great country yet we must remember empathy and compassion….listen to the hearts of the children and remember we all live as relatives together on this grandmother Earth.

    1. I agree totally; when we live in one of the wealthiest countries on earth and spend huge amounts on war and space, we need to remember that we are stewards of that wealth to benefit all. Healthcare should be available to all and people should be able to carry it from job to job.

  3. We really do need single-payer health-care in America. I am sick and tired of the government (NOT ONLY REPUBLICAN BUT BOTH PARTIES) are bribed not attempt as such. Both parties are responsible for accepting briberies to continue with this insurance farce. It only forces us to pay high premiums and killing us in the process. Quit catering to the fear mongering about paying for the poor and such. That is bunch of crap. Healthcare should be universal regardless. If we went single-payer health care, i hope medicare will be used cos its super cheap.

  4. As with most politically based disputes in America. The best test to first put to any argument is to look back 15 years and then from there, FOLLOW THE MONEY. Health care from the government in the US is the ONLY developed country where the medical end of it is a for profit enterprise. If you think that the resistance to universal health care is coming from the people, think again. We are bombarded by propaganda paid for by Doctors associations and moreso big pharmaceutical companies. For Profit, right? They are just as liable to LOBBY as war material companies, oil companies etc. The object? TO MAKE MONEY. The Republican congress as of now, March of 2017, Is primarily concentrating on taking as much money OUT of government as they can to make it possible to lower taxes on the uber rich and corporations who are the Republican congress’ sponsors. The Republican congress is loyal to their financial backers much more than to their constituents. The constituents get them there, the lobbyists make them rich. The congress is treating their jobs, as time progresses, more like a job in business. Traditionally, being a member of congress was a ‘public service’ job. It has become in a way ‘Big Business’. Until the political/public service rift problem is fixed in this country, WE THE PEOPLE are relegated to a type of ‘serfdom’ as far as many, now the majority, in Washington are concerned. They only have to deceive us enough to get elected. The MONEY carries them on from there. I have over simplified that a bit, but It’s more easily readable this way. REMEMBER, this is only my opinion, and yours can differ mightily.

  5. George-working hard and being responsible are great attributes. Please tell me what you plan to do if diagnosed with a major medical problem that takes you out of work before you’re eligible for Medicare-cancer, MS, major car wreck with permanent injuries,etc. I’m a doctor and you are quite naive to believe it could never happen to you-I see it happen all the time. These people are not “loser, lazy” people. Hope it works out for you for your life to go exactly as you plan for.

  6. I’m a little curious about how you’re defining ‘single-payer’ here. I’ve lived in Japan, and I’ve never heard the system here described as ‘single-payer’ before. We do have ‘National Health Insurance,’ which is government run health care, paid for by the users on a sliding scale based on income, but most people are not on that system. Most Japanese are on ‘Social Insurance,’ which is employer-based. I’ve lived in Taiwan too, which is generally described as ‘single-payer,’ but that was very different from the Japanese system. Anyway, not trying to criticize here and I love both systems, but what makes the Japanese system single-payer?

  7. Like, maybe we should all cut it with the ideology and look at the facts? Reading the above, seemed to me there’s more emotion and ideology than verifiable facts. Of course getting the real facts is harder and harder out there on the web.
    I happen to be a US citizen, living and working in France. Pay’s not great, the wine and the food’s good. Sales taxes are high (20%), but surprise: income taxes are proportionally much lower than in the US, and you pay a year after making the cash, not at the source.
    Anyway, my son had an appendicitis while in the states, the bill came out to about $15000 – I had 100% coverage, zero deductible French travel insurance that paid it all, so they probably took me for all they could : 5 doctors billed on top of the hospital’s bill (2 I never saw), a CAT scan(unnecessary), etc. But see, I’d paid $130 per person for full travel insurance for 2 weeks, so didn’t sweat it too much, although the bill seemed really steep compared to the reference price in France of 886 euros ($1100) for appendicitis + Xray. Granted, they gave my son a private room for his 20 hour stay, unnecessary as well, but the room was empty, so…
    Just sayin’, it’s hard to explain the tremendous difference in price. Of course the surgeon who operated my son explained to me that over half of his bill went to covering insurance, legal fees, and recovery expenses. Also, and we’ve all heard of hospitals being bailed out repeatedly in the US, like the guy who’s a RN wrote about above.
    The French system was a single payer state system, has become a two-tiers system with primary state coverage + complementary insurance with small deductibles for frequent care, 100% state coverage of referenced costs for major hospital care.No “stop loss” annual deductibles. Some complementaries are like HMO’s in the states, but for the most part you can go where you what, see who you want as long as it’s traced through your primary phisician. Seein your primary phisician costs 23 euros ($30), if you don’t have complementary you pay at most $10. Private doctors and clinics can bill over the referenced prices but the complementary insurances cover rates up to 200% of reference prices. Funny thing is, if something goes wrong, the private clinics tend to ship you off in a helicopter to the public hospitals. In childbirth, private clinics in France do 2 to 3 times more cesareans than public hospitals here. Hearsay would have it that cesareans pay better…
    There are experts that have published what appear to be serious studies. A lot of the time, recent research isn’t directly accessible online, but sometimes it is. For example this study compares health care costs and patient satisfaction in Canada, the US and Germany:
    The point I really want to make is what is important? For me, selfishly, it’s getting good care for me and mine at a price I can afford, and I don’t mean the price of the care, but the cost of good coverage for the going care rates, knowing I’m covered and that good care is available close by. Beyond our own personal needs, seems to me we should look and what is most cost effective for our economy, our society. Reportedly health care costs is the primary cause of personal bankruptcy in the US ; in France, its unheard of. I don’t see a difference in the level of health technology or health care between the two systems.
    I’m not saying the US should follow the examples of the European or other heavily state controlled health care systems, simply that looking at the costs, including the indirect costs to society where hospitals can balance the budget and many people can’t afford insurance, it seems to me anyone in their right mind and not all worked up about free market vs communism, or paying for the lazy, should come to recognize that something has been going array in US healthcare and health insurance for years. Seems to me the money’s goin somwhere, someone’s making bucks.

  8. Really pathetic that the richest countries like the USA, Germany, Switzerland, South Korea only have mandate insurance. i.e DONT have universal healthcare, not even two tier. And we all know this is NOT why they are rich. And they all have very high inequality revolutions needed me thinks!

  9. Lots of intelegent comments, sone not so much. I have done a little comparison of health care and life expectancy. Has anyone else noticed a coreletion between public healthcare and life span. I have seen maps that show life span and maps that show health care. The seem to match up nicely.

    Someone pointed out to me that the contries with single payer also have stricter laws about products. For example lead paint on child toys. The government pays for sickness so they legislate a healthier environment.

    This is America, as long as companies make money, it’s ok if we die sooner then others.

    1. Anything the US government runs becomes corrupt and ends up costing more. We also spend the most on end of life services of any country. These costs are not sustainable. The US also has the highest rate of obesity, which adds tremendously to the cost of healthcare. Other countries like the Japanese are much healthier because of their diet. I think a 2 tiered system would be good, and the 2nd tier would have some added cost for consumers based on their lifestyle. For example, if someone smokes they should pay more.

  10. You are ignorant. These countries don’t have a military or enemies wanting to destroy them all. These countries want Americans to remain depended on Private insurance for everything. These countries want free protection. Europe wants their free trade agreement so their citizens can sit around and be lazy and Americans build their products. You single payer supporters are dumber then Bernie Sanders

  11. I only really started looking into this issue when I learned that Aetna was pulling out of the Obamacare exchanges in eleven out of fifteen states. Also, be aware that my political leanings are libertarian. Having pled guilty to all of that, and having did a little of the reading above, I would have to say, on the basis of what little I know, I favor the two-tier system.

  12. Health care is the first priority of human rights … If the government really cares about the health care of its citizens, then do it … We call universal health care countries – civilized nations where its people dignity prevail …

  13. “Thirty-two of the thirty-three developed nations have universal health care” Looks like 25/33 have single payer or two-tier, and seven other countries have the insurance mandate. Please clarify. (No, I did not read all the comments but hope others saw the problem)

    Let’s put the Mandate in the tax code and demand a progressive tax system. And for the second tier: Render it analogous to obscenely wealthy people buying insurance to cover their boutique care desires, but limit them buying quality clinicians away from heath care to boutique industry.

  14. We cannot be the only nation with so little intelligence that we don’t realize the value of a universal health care system..oh wait
    .yes we are

  15. I am embarrassed to be an American sometimes,we are always last,healthcare is not a right in America….Thanx ignorant uneducated Republicans….Vote Democrats!

  16. The Supremes, the Supreme Court upheld the Healthcare subsidies on a vote of 6-3 with Chief Justice Roberts who wrote the opinion for the majority on June 26th. So it looks like universal healthcare in the Grand United States of America is here to stay. A Republican in 2016 can talk about repealing the ACA but if they were sucessful at repealing the ACA the would pull the rug from under over millions of Americans that were able to get health insurance through the ACA

  17. The Healthcare system in the US baffles me. I’m from the UK, the NHS is far from perfect. Is it not better that everyone has the right to treatment, than having the best treatment in the world, and having people who can’t afford it. After all, the US spends a higher percentage of GDP on health than any other country in the world. Yet can’t offer treatment to all. One word comes to mind, priorities. Health over profit.

  18. 300,000,000 people in America. Roughly $500 a month insurance payment. Puts about $150 billion into the pocket of the insurance companies monthly. Annually that’s a 1.8 trillion guaranteed revenue stream.

    Each working person pays somewhere around $3.25 an hour per person on their insurance tax.
    Compare this to just twenty five years ago, in 1989, the minimum wage in the USA was $3.35.

  19. This list also omits Taiwan, which has national health care. I believe they are single payer and have had it for at least a decade. Since you include Hong Kong, you should include Taiwan.

  20. I came here to research and article on MSN on Top 5 economies in the world. All are on this list, 5th being USA. We are way behind in how we implement and getting things done right.

  21. All the above comments about how bad the U.S. is, why don’t you all move the hell out. If you know so much about health care stop complaining & try doing something to better it.

  22. What I meant to say in the 3rd and 2nd to last lines was that b/c of the fact that Obama, and “of course” all his constituents that set him up to be president (I remember that phony ass crap to when they found him as a a community activist of all things b/c he couldn’t get a REAL associate lawyer’s job or no real experience at anything. Anyway, the fact that our country allowed this man to become president based on this #1 serious case of FRAUD if I have ever seen one, has and will continue to have an effect on what I meant to say was the “American PEOPLE,” not government. Do you really think that people here are gonna honor this country and do the right thing and not commit welfare fraud, and any other fraud against the government when our government did this…TO US?????????? Are u F’n kidding me!!!! I’ll DEFRAUD them, and I am NOT ALONE, at every goddamned chance I have!!! Cuz, I can’t wait to go to court and say, “but your honor, I know u voted for Obama b/c this is a liberal state, so I know u approved of his FRAUD, why can’t you approve of mine? How is that constitutionally fair???? Waaaah Waaahhh Waaa Waaaa!!!! LMAO!!!
    Of course, I’d be looked at like, “are you kidding?” and, “how dare you,” by my states judicial department b/c this state I am in is the MOST LIBERAL in the nation!!! Next to NY, and CA. Those judges that sit on those benches to which I have known of personally are some pretty corrupt people that definitely do NOT belong on those benches. Kissed a lot of A S S to get there, no doubt!!! I’d rather have some crazy manic frenzied person on the bench that is honest! Who cares if they gotta little passion behind them! It’s a hell of a lot better than having some apparently cool and emotionally collected “acting” (buncha BS) put together “acting” white collar sociopaths and psychopaths behind the bench. Did you know that most liberal politicians today, that are men, were BETA males in high school? These are the guys with lots of baggage and resentment towards the world as a whole. What we need is a businessman that’s got a mental illness like bipolar disorder for president! Don’t condemn!!!! At least what you see is what you get and they are very smart and creative people!!!! Unlike your sneaky conniving white collar beta-male sociopaths & liberal “I need to make a name for myself b/c being a mother isn’t just important enough” woman psychopaths! Oh by the way, did you know that’s it is in vogue now to be Queer!!? Christ when I grew up it was in the DSM-III as a Identity Crisis Disorder!! Ha ha ha ha, I can’t believe I remember that? Now, its in vogue, and the entertainment industry will pay you big bucks and give you a lot of power to be one. Let me tell you, if I was ever RAISED by two GAYS, I would F’n kill myself!!! It is got to be the worse thing you can do to a kid!!! That is just totally unbalanced to bring a kid in this world DELIBERATELY that way. By gosh, at least adopt children out there who don’t have a chance at anything. Christ, if I had a chance to adopt, I would adopt or at least foster teen-aged kids, easily, even the ones that are “so called” troubled.

    1. Your rant is yet another reason to add to my “Why I won’t cross the boarder even for the cheaper gas” argument.
      By the way, and keeping on topic, our Health Care system in Canada is doing just fine thank you.

      But we do enjoy, and get a laugh at, the critics out there that have no experience or knowledge of Health Care in Canada.
      Now if you would excuse me I have a Doctors appointment, yes even on a Sunday, that I made yesterday to get a prescription, that will be filled within an hour.
      No need to bring the debit card or cash.
      The only inconvenience will be missing a good football game.
      Life is so hard here in Canada.

  23. Sorry, folks, HealthCare is not, was not, and never intended to be “a right,” for American people. I can’t believe our Supreme Court, our president and his puppet masters (cuz I don’t for a second believe this man is smart enough to come up with all the ideas everybody is given him credit for coming up with. Come on, this idiot was an affirmative rights throwback, which consequently is a lot of bullshit too!!! If blacks were so unhappy with this nation, then why not go back to Africa? Why not? Cuz, there are GD lucky, and they know they are to be here in this country no matter how their ANCESTORS got here, not them!!! In fact, what most people don’t know is that blacks that were treated badly during America’s short duration of slavery was definitely NOT the norm! In fact, many blacks idealistically wanted to be “free,” but many of them (over 85%) opted out of leaving a stayed on as indentured servants. This country has made any many of black people rich, i.e., entertainment industry, sports industry, and even those on welfare are able to supplement their income big time with the selling of drugs that they will NOT let “whitey” in on. So, whose got it the worst? White american’s that can’t find jobs, or can’t keep a job b/c of getting fired over and over again for their disability (which was my case, so I finally had to give in and collect SSI and live in dumps of Baltimore where everyone that is supplementing their welfare incomes (or their baby mama’s welfare incomes with mega-bucks from drug dealing money, which white people are ostracized by the blacks from being able to do. Every corner down here in Baltimore is NOT filled w/white dealers; in fact, I’ve never seen one!!! So, truly, the poorest is Whitey on welfare, not the blacks; they got it made for not having to work! And don’t tell me that I don’t know what I am talking about b/c they all tell me this is true and LTFAO b/c of it!!!!
    As for affirmative action, throw it out!! Anybody, I don’t care what their color is that comes from a third world nation who got it the way they got it otay, doesn’t need affirmative action. This country doesn’t owe anybody anything. Those people are all dead!!! You want owe somebody something, then how about affirmative action GLOBALLY for the Jews!!! I’m half Jewish and I know that my people and ancestors have been treated more poorly, been ENSLAVED THE LONGEST,, been without a country in a mass diaspora for 2000 years before having a country to call home, have been persecuted for all THE WORLDS ILLS, and have had the BIGGEST MASS GENOCIDE per capita 6 million Jews, and this was IN MODERN HISTORY for Christ Sake!!! Where’s our Global affirmative action for that? Actually, the American’s IGNORED what was going on over in Germany for serveral F’n years before they got involved when they KNEW what was going on!! My grandfather who was a lawyer (of course) said that they all (Jews) stood here in the country HELPLESSLY ASHAMED b/c 6 million Jews didn’t have to die!!! The Americans didn’t care about the Jews! That’s not why they FINALLY joined the war after 4 years of genociding 6 millions Jews!!!
    As for the American constitution my friend(s), nothing there says ANYTHING about Healthcare being a right!!! You have the RIGHT to marriage, to procreate (thus IVF should be FREE!!!), to religious freedom, free speech; I covered most of them. Education isn’t even a RIGHT that OUR FOREFATHERS CRAFTED for this nation. I can’t F’n believe that Obama’s puppet masters, along with our Supreme Court Justices, are RE-WRITING THE F’n UNITED STATES CONSTITUTION instead of taking their people up and moving to Russia to start a new socialist party out there. Ironically, they have become more democratic then we are!!!!!!!!!!!! OMG!!!! LMAO when I grew up in the Ronald Reagan Era!!! LMAO, when Russia was Communists, and we hated everything they stood for!!! I can’t f’n believe, and neither would I believe a fiction novel based on such absurdities as this less than 20 year ole switcheroo act!!!! Whoooda F would have believed such a “false premise?” No one, I tell you!!! Such a book would never had sold based on lunacy alone!!! But, here it is AND I can’t stop LMAO that we got a president who couldn’t even HONOR the #1 Rule for becoming President, “Thou shall NOT create no other birth certificates then the one before me, even if I wasn’t born in the USA therefore, I don’t qualify.” What S H I …is this???? I mean for real??? All the ludicrous S H I…… that’s going on wouldn’t even be believable in a fiction novel!! No way, would a novel based on the real facts of what this nation has turned into in just the last 8 years, and another 8 years plant’n the seeds w/Clinton. Look, I’m on welfare b/c of I have no choice b/c I am disabled. If any of you will glady hire me in my profession and not fire me based on my disability, I will QUIT TOMORROW receiving SSI benefits: Here is my email address: I graduated in the 1/4 of my class, and got the ONLY “A” in my entire class for my final “thesis/brief” for my doctorate degree!!!! Even if I don’t work again, and even if I didn’t have medical insurance, I still do NOT agree its a RIGHT by any means, and I am still a a very conservative independent who thinks liberals are a bunch of lying crooks and are LTFAO at you, you, you and you for being so F’n dumb to think that they are helping you when they are LTFAO at you for being so gullible to believe that what they are doing is in your interest!!! Whenever you go against and change a countries CONSTITUTION instead of packing your S H I…and leaving here, you are up to no good and are doing something insidious so that you and a few elite few will get rich, and have different rules than those that the liberals are imposing on us, all of us. Those in the government, and I don’t mean Federal Gov. Workers either. I mean politicians and the likes, are the ONLY ones that don’t have to abide by this F’n mandate for health care. Oh BTW, this health care crap didn’t pass the first time around, senators & house of reps from key states were coerced and/or bribed into CHANGING THEIR MIND!!!! This is NOT an American system that I know at work. Boy , do I miss the Ronald Reagan years 1980-1988!!! I was 11 years old when this man was elected president, and 19 when he left office! We were a NATION of PRIDE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Back then!!!! That’s right!!! Real Good American Pride!!!!!!!!!!! The Forefathers of this nation would be jumping up and down shouting for glee back then, just as everybody during that LANDSLIDE was, baby!!!! Truthfully, I don’t agree with a total Republican Agenda, not at all, but much less, I am totally EMBARRASSED that what the liberals have done, and done to brainwash the American mind, except you can’t brainwash this mind!!!! Nope, I am known as the 3% of having a personality that constitutionally incapably of being brainwashed and can smell out and see plainly right through the truth just by looking at the expression on your face!! Obama, couldn’t NOT believe it and was in gross shock at the site of winning presidency. It was NOT a good kinda shock on his face either. He couldn’t believe with his lying antics of what would put ANY OF US IN JAIL for FRAUD for years, for lying at the #1 requirement for being president!!!!! Don’t you think people this in of itself has an effect on the American government? YOu betcha???? I’d screw over the government at any chance I’d get b/c I’m NOT a proud American anymore like I was with who I consider to be the real father of this country: Ronald Reagan!!!

  24. Here’s in Toronto there is not much wait in the emergency room. Moreover, they take patience in priority of sickness as they should. You walk in having a heart attack and you are rushed directly in. I have lived in both the USA and Canada and believe me the healcare in Canada is not just free but excellent. The USA actually pays more per capita in healthcare than Canada. The republicans are paid by the HMO lobbyists to keep things back in the stone ages bcz the HMOs will lose BILLIONS if the USA catches up with the rest of the modernized would and gives its citizens universal Healthcare.

  25. Only those with good breeding or those who have achieved great wealth through shrewd exploitation should get good health care. Let’s face it, there are far too many common people on this planet now using up precious oxygen and exhaling carbon dioxide, flatulating and causing global warming, disease, famine, etc. and ruining the planet.

    1. Good question – I must have missed it because the UN Human Development Index was used to establish a list of developed nations as the starting point for analysis. The ongoing dispute between Taiwan and China over sovereignty must have caused it to be omitted from the UN’s list, despite the fact that it’s clearly a developed nation. I’ll have to analyze it and get it on the board here.

  26. So I have been involved in the American health care debate for a long time. I have stressed to people that I have a broader perspective having lived in three countries – two with universal (Ireland and Canada) and one without (USA). Now I can add another nail into the proverbial coffin of the ‘delayed treatment’ side of this debate against universal health care (this is just the newest of many many experiences I have had over the years).
    I’m currently in Arizona. My daughter is ill. I’m thinking it may be bronchitis – again :/ On Monday I decided she was sick enough and needed to see a doctor. I called 5 times before I got a receptionist, was put on hold for almost 20 minutes once I got a hold of said receptionist only to be told that the soonest she can see a doctor will be Thursday late afternoon. I asked if she became worse or what not if there was any way to get her in sooner, and she suggested going to Emerg… Really!?! Emerg for possible bronchitis? Where it will be 100 times more expensive to get a script for antibiotics if thats what she needs…. That’s the answer? And the wait could have meant bronchitis turning into pneumonia. By the by, after taking her to the doctor yesterday she does have bronchitis and needed additional treatments – expenses which come out of my pocket right before the holidays.
    If I was still in Canada she would have been to the doctor by Monday afternoon latest, and had x-rays (if required), been treated, given medication or anything else she would have needed without any out of pocket expenses. And I wouldn’t have to worry about co-pays and the like a few days before x-mas.
    So to all those who have used the argument that Canada’s treatment is slower and of lesser quality – IT IS NOT VALID. I know this from ample experience!
    As for the comments such as ‘You get what you pay for’. You are right – We do get what we pay for as long as the system is set up fairly. In Canada, I pay for my universal medical care every time I make a purchase, with my income taxes etc. The hospitals and doctors keep health care costs down. Here I pay a huge amount monthly, plus co-pays for each and every visit – there is no incentive to keep health care costs under control on the bureaucratic end of things thus my personal expenses keep on going up. Quality of care is sacrificed for those with better insurance than I. Heaven help anyone with less insurance than I have. Overall I pay much more here for a ~lot~ less! And it was the same in Ireland while I lived there. If I could be healthy in either of those climates, I would go back in a heartbeat. Unfortunately, I don’t have that option. I just thank goodness Obama made it illegal for them to deny me health insurance due to the per-existing condition I do have.

  27. Wow, so the gist I’m getting on here is everyone is perfectly fine with crappy healthcare as long as it’s “free”? “You get what you pay for” that saying has never wrung more true! As far as I’ve seen, every single other nation has a failing heath care system except for us……I wonder why that is…..Go ahead and Google free healthcare for all the countless countries who have it and you will see just how “stellar” it is and how much their citizens like their “free” health care or lack thereof more like.

    1. No, Ashley. We want other countries to have the same kind of health care system the USA has. That way they can have 16% of their population that has no health care coverage at all, die earlier than they do now, have higher infant and maternal mortality than they do now, and be more likely to die in the hospital from medical errors. They could be just like Americans.

      1. Thanks, Steve! Americans are the only ones who can decide what kind of health care system they want. The rest of the entire developed world has decided that health care is a human right. We all applaud Americans like you who recognizedthat your system benefits the rich, the well employed, and those who never develop a serious or life threatening illness. Respecting wellness for all, desiring equal health care for all is the first step iin acheiving health care as a right for all. keep up the good fight.

    2. Actually Ashley- American health care is nothing to really be proud of. Coming back to the US after living so many years in Canada has been a real eye opener. My daughter has a chest cold, right now, and it’s starting to sound a lot like bronchitis. In Canada I would have had her to the doctor this morning when the cough worsened, however, here in the US I have to wait until Thursday (4 days) in order to see a doctor for it, or else take her to ER due to the nature of my insurance provider. By this time, she would have been seen and treated. If she needed a chest x-ray not a worry – would have been done immediately after the doctors appointment. If there was anything odd about the x-ray I would have a phone call by tomorrow asking me to come back in. I have never had a problem in Canada that wasn’t cared for promptly and properly… Here I have had nothing but problems in dealing with insurance providers, doctors and ER’s in order to get adequate treatment. Before you listen to the propaganda about other countries Health Care, how about you talk to people who have experienced both. I also lived and worked for a year in Ireland. The health care I and my fellow Canadian and American’s were treated with first class care there. We went to the doctor when we needed to, we were seen right away and treated with utmost respect and competence. So having been treated in 3 countries, the worst by far has been the US system in regards to quality of care, cost of care and speed of care.

  28. I am a 24 year old conservative- moderate male, and I must admit that both sides of this argument have been at least somewhat helpful aside from some self rigtheousness from both sides. I am a teacher and coach and plan on joining the military in the next year. I love my country and my neighbors. Aside from working at a very poor school, I invest most of my time in poor neighborhoods in my area. I do desire for everyone to have healthcare, and more than that I desire for their overall wellness. This includes a job or at least a desire for a job. However, I wonder why we couldn’t have a two tiered approach to a governemental healthcare system in America (something like Israel or Ireland)? I would love for each individual to have a base coverage plan, but I will be a middle class American all of my life, and though I have no problem chipping in so that others who find themselves in tight spots can be cared for, I do not think we fix any problems by allowing continuing dependance from people who refuse to be productive citizens. We are not helping by enabling, and individuals who have no desire for a job should not be rewarded with the same priveledges as those who work or at least want to work. That is my only fear when it comes to what I hear from Obamacare. That combined with the mass of people we have on wellfare makes me worried. I wonder what your opinion is on a two tiered system? Why can’t it work in the US? Would it not be enough for Liberals and would it be too much for Conservatives?

    1. Thank-you for your thoughful, moderate approach. I suppose it depends on what you consider two tiered health care to mean. The biggest problem with most two tiered health care systems is that the best resources and brightest and most qualified healthcare workers end up in the top tier. The bottom tier ends up receiving inferior care and waiting longer for care. This happens because the top tier can afford to pay more for goods and services because of higher insurance fees. Most of the middle class will end up in the bottom tier because insurance fees for the top tier will be ridiculously high.As a teaqcher or a military swerviceman you won’t be able to afford the top tier.
      Your belief that you will always be middle class mystifies me. I used to be a college professor but I have now been disabled for ten years. My income has not fallen from a lack of planning or a lack of willingness to work.
      The vast majority of poor people, as I’m sure you know by working in a poor school, are working poor. Poverty is often achieved by a couple having four underpaid or part time jobs between them, paying high rent in a big city for inadequate housing, having no access to education, and having no experience with budgeting their money. I am not sure why these citizens and their children should have a second class health care system when they are already working so hard for what little they have. No child should be denied the best health care because of the life situation of his or her parents.
      You agree that everyone ought to have healthcare. I would hope that you would agree that everyone ought to have access to equally good health care. In a two-tiered system the poor, the working class, and the bottom 2/3 of the middle class are treated by doctors that had to take their medical exams twice, or who went to second, third or fourth class medical schools while the rich are treated by the doctors who went to Harvard.
      No health care system is perfect. But the most important word in Health Care System is care. We care for our citizens whether they earned it or not, whether they deserve it or not, whether they can afford it or not, and whether we love them or not. Univeral health care isn’t about who those others are, it is about who we are, both as individuals and as a nation.
      Nations are judged based on how they treat their most vulnerable citizens. A two tiered healthcare system indicates that the nation treats the vulnerable as lesser, second class citizens.
      Is this who you want to be, as an individual or as a nation?

  29. Equating universal health care with insurance is deceptive. It is possible to have no insurance, with people paying for their health care needs just as they do most other things that they buy. So long as they get necessary basic health care and emergency treatment, they still have universal health care. The US does have universal health care. Some of it is paid for by direct payment, some by charities, some written off by practicioners, some by government assistance, and most by some form of insurance. And practicioners know where to go to get paid when necessary. To say we don’t have universal health care because we don’t have mandatory insurance distorts our logical thinking processes and leads us into many errors in judgment.
    Paying directly creates the greatest economies. It gives the customer the most freedom of choice. It causes providers to have to compete. It avoids the moral hazards of third party payments. This should be supplemented with voluntary catastrophic insurance by those who can afford it. By systematic and organized private charities to fill the gap for those who cannot afford it. If all that fails, the involuntary sector of our society could force us to contribute through taxes to a public “charity”(welfare) fund to make the payments. Using bad terminology like health care = health insurance gets us bullied into very bad policy, like Obama-care.

    1. The problem with your comment Plainsense is that in the US we pay one of the HIGHEST rates for medical care, and are very low on the list of what we receive for every dollar we pay in comparison to other countries. Do some research and you’ll see that the medical profession and insurance companies are holding our health hostage in this country. Paying directly here in the US leads to bankruptcy if you have more than a minor issue at any given time, and leaves you completely screwed if you have a catastrophic illness. I recall in 1993 when I was working in Orlando I had an itemized bill – included on that bill was $20 for a tongue depressor, $15 for the piece of paper from the roll on the bed, $50 for the swab for my throat etc. And that is almost 20 years ago. At least when I lived in Canada I was actually taken care of, treated like a human being and treated promptly no matter what.

  30. I am a little late to this blog by a couple of years, but I find it very interesting on all sides. The one thing that surprised me the most was there was no mention of “The Marshall Plan”. We have to remember our history, or we are doomed to repeat it. Or as Sir Winston Churchill said “Those who fail to learn from history, are doomed to repeat it.” The United States created the base models for universal health care for Europe and the world after WWII, yet we don’t have it here. Why? The all mighty dollar is why? And then we have some people wanting to blame everyone else for not working for it or run with rumors of universal healthcare being worse in other countries to scare the uniformed to hate universal healthcare or the poor who can’t afford it.

    Everyone has a health related story it’s a part of living, but to have people die from it because they can’t receive basic preventative healthcare or lose their American dream because of the cost of care and then say oh well, because they didn’t earn the right to live is atrocious and primitive. These are the same religious people that want the government to take basic healthcare rights away from women. How can you complain about government run healthcare systems and then cry to that same government to take a women’s right to health care away. It’s illogical and hypocritical. You can’t have one without the other. I would gladly pay more taxes and no insurance cost, for a government run health care system then a for profit private one. Because as a government run system you, the public get to choose what goes on and by the freedoms we hold so dear and like to espouse like there are no other free countries in the world, vote on them or reform them. Yes it may take time to reform or to get right, but unlike privately held for profit companies, we, the public don’t get to vote out the executives that run big business insurance companies or pharmaceutical companies or get a say in how the policies are written, they just are and we have to pay for it. I personally don’t like to prey on the weak or sick.

    I, like most American’s and every other humans on earth, have paid my dues, did everything right, made all the right decisions, well educated, but that doesn’t make me superior or inferior over anyone else regardless of situations or birth. Because I am an educated and well informed person, I am a humanitarian, look it up. I don’t get scared by words like socialism. In a functional society you have to have balance of different kinds of systems, be it socialism or capitalism. Only ill informed ignorant people fear these ideas.

    Capitalistic societies are based on one main way of thinking, making a profit from a service or product sold. If you have no one in the society to consume these services then it collapses. If people can’t pay for your service or product you go bankrupt. That is what is happening to the USA. When you outsource too much and import too little, who has the means to pay for it? Why do companies outsource production of products or services to countries and then turn around and sell it to American’s who once produce the product or service, but are now out of jobs because they were outsourced, for double or triple the cost to make it, because it is cheaper to do so and the executives of these business make profits tenfold. Rah Rah for unregulated products from china that are sold at Wal-Mart for super cheap that cause illness in children due to high levels of lead.

    We deregulate everything, because people don’t want government in their lives, because they, either out of hope or ignorance, believe that big corporations care anything about the masses of people they prey upon enough to regulate themselves. When you have big corporations outsourcing or polluting the earth because it is cheaper to do so and because people believe they don’t need to be regulated and then these outsourced products or pollutants cause health related issues, guess what another big corporation that cares so deeply for you will benefit from you paying absorbent amounts of money to get care, if you can afford it or you die off and therefore can’t consume their horrible products or service, so they increase the cost to the living consumers to compensate and then those same people have the audacity to cry about it when it happens to them or continue to fund the world and then complain about no jobs. Are you really that clueless?

    I say let private companies take over fire departments, police, public schools, roads systems, city workers etc. and then when you can’t pay your bills, the 911 calls will go unanswered. Your house was destroyed by fire sorry you can’t afford the bill to save it. Not enough people becoming engineers, doctors, lawyers, scientists, because they can’t afford to go to school, sorry longer waits for service or deplorable city structures. Can’t drive on the road, because it costs too much, sorry don’t drive. Doesn’t work, won’t be sustainable.

    Society needs government programs and healthcare should be one of them, because like all the above named, crazy socialistic idea of a government system, it is a right and a freedom to be able to go to school, get help from the police, have your house saved by a fire, drive on a road that is safe, for being a living person in society. I am not by all means rah rah government it has its downfalls, but I am educated enough to know a functional society needs government, with a watchful eye from the people, not corporations.

    On some level everyone in society pays their share of everything, that’s what a society means, whether people want to believe it or not, but to let corporations have free rein on how we live only means one thing, they are the government and they run the people, only difference is you can’t vote them out of office.

    Everyone wants to complain about entitlement and who has them, as a human being on this earth and breathing the air, everyone has entitlement to live a happy healthy life, no matter what color, creed, religion or social status. But in the real world only the white man has ever been born with entitlement, everyone else has had to fight and die for theirs and in some places still don’t have those rights. So most people, excuse my ignorance on this, or my experiences have been that mainly white right winged conservative religious men complain about helping others and taking rights away from others and that they earned theirs and they don’t give free handouts. There are a few women and, so labeled by society, minorities that espouse this same stance as well, but for the most part it is, white men fearing they will lose their power as the prominent race or human on earth. So they tell lies or spread rumors of fear to the mass of people that are ill informed and hope it catches like wild fire and Fox News is a prime example of how it works and works successfully. Control the masses with fear; it has worked since the beginning of time.

    I don’t begin to think I am an expert on solving everyone’s problems, or the worlds, but when it comes to rights of life, healthcare is one of them. Ask almost any healthcare personal why they entered into the field of medicine and I am sure the top answer for most won’t be, to become the richest doctor/nurse/administrator in the world.

    America was created, because people didn’t want to live under the rule of a King or Queen. They wanted to be free, to create a society that was for the people, by the people. (Just don’t tell the Native American’s) Not for the corporations, by the corporations. You can’t have government only when you want it or when it benefits the individual. Doesn’t make sense and is not sustainable. We have to remember as the citizens of the US and the world, that we only get better if we work together. I understand that people don’t like government or there is too much of it, but if you didn’t have it we would be tribal communities attacking each other for survival. We have moved past that in the evolutionary chart.

    We are still free to voice these opinions, so thank all the people that fought and still fight for those freedoms while you complain about them and remember to vote. When you can no longer vote you are no longer free. Take emotion out of your cause and become informed and educated. Don’t let them tell you the boogie man lives in the dark corners of society. Challenge everything it’s your right. Take everyone’s opinions and facts and then form your own opinion, don’t let them control you with fear and misinformation. Go back to basic political science, social science and economic classes and remember how it all works. Corporations shouldn’t run government the people should run it.

    1. I caught my misspellings, so please don’t comment on how a person who says they are well educated can’t spell. Read the message, not the words.

  31. I am interested in for many years, and examines the various countries of the world Universal Health Care systems. Immediately I can tell you the conclusion that the World is NOT between two identical Universal Health Care systems. In each country it is different, as there are different countries level of development, culture and yet a lot of other factors.
    Many countries developed their own Universal Health Care systems for many decades until they become so they are now. It can be concluded, that both the USA when setting up your Universal Health Care will go a long way to go before it can boast its own built top – level system
    The creation of a Universal Health Care system should be aligned with many very difficult compatible things – if health services will be for all residents, and then the inevitable increase in the taxes for which no one wants to pay more and will be even more similar problems.

  32. Costa Rica is not a “developed” country by this standard, but even they have better healthcare than we do. Any working citizen born there pays 7% flat income tax on & that’s what the country uses to cover the state of the art universal health care for anyone in Costa Rica, not just citizens & not just E.R. care! Their medical & dental care is so great it’s sparked “Medical Tourism” where people who live in areas that don’t have universal healthcare, mostly the U.S. & very poor countries, come to vacation in C.R. & get the care they need.

  33. I worked for a county and was fortunate enough to have very good medical care all my life and now am on medicare. But some of my friends do not have insurance. They are not necessarily poor and do not qualify for Medacaid. So, basically, they cant afford care, dont take necessary medicine and will die. Others I know insist that socialized medicine is a terrible idea and why should I have to pay for the poor.

    Whatever happened to love thy neighbor. Don’t think Republiclans love thy neighbor. It makes me ashamed.

  34. I am a Canadian and a registered nurse and am always frustrated with the terrible misconceptions and just plain lies that many critics of universal healthcare throw out there. The worst part is that most of these people are Americans and have NO experience with our healthcare system. It is damaging scaremongering and just seems to prey on people who are uniformed. So I just wanted to clear a few things up.

    I had no idea what there American system was like until a friend did of my mum from the states stayed with us when. I was about 18. I knew that their healthcare was not payed for like ours, but had no idea how scary it was. I was STUNNED when our US friend told us that she paid almost $900 per month for her and her 3 kids to have health insurance!! And on top of that she said that she would still have to pay a “co-pay” on treatments. I remember thinking that I was so thankful to live here!

    The idea that in single payer systems (like Canada ) you cannot choose your own doctor or have to wait ages for care is not the experiences my family and I have had. I have always been able to choose whatever doctor I wanted and have gotten exceptional care my whole life but have never seen a medical bill. The entire idea is very foreign to me. A few of my experiences with our system include:

    During my mother in law’s annual mammogram (free of course) a small mass was discovered. She received a biopsy with in a few days and cancer was discovered. She received a lumpectomy and began radiation therapy with in a week. Thanks to preventative screening it was caught early and she has been in remission for a year and a half. We thank God that she will now be here to meet her grandchildren one day. This would have bankrupt her in the states and would have destroyed our family. And had she been one of the 40 million with out insurance probably would not have been discovered in time through annual exams, thus may have been much less lucky.

    I had urgent but non life threatening illness which needed treatment last year. I received a specialist appointment in five days and saw a physcian, nurse and social worker my first appointment, had lab and radiology work done and was set up for surgery two days later. I received GREAT care and paid only a $2 fee for my medication. At the time i was still a student and would have never been able to pay even the deductible in the US.

    Along with all the little things, ER visits as a child, common illnesses and treatments (I have asthma) etc I have never experienced these crazy 2 year waits claimed or 3rd world treatments…In fact I have been in hospital twice and always had a private room! I love our health care system and am proud to be a Canadian. I feel so bad for Americans, it makes me want to cry that people are losing everything for being ill. But please don’t spread these falsehoods about my country! Everyone I have met here have said that although we can improve (every system can) no one here would trade our system for the American one!

    Thanks for reading!

    1. As a canadian I agree completely.
      My mom is in a nursing home which is completely covered by our universal health care. We pay extra to have her in a private room in stead of a semi-private room. When her social worker determined her need for a nusring home was urgent she could choose from 5 homes and it took 4 days to find her a spot. The nursing home is like a three star hotel and has 24 hour nursing care, doctors ,psws, recreation facilities, pysical therapy, occupational therapy, road trips, and great meals and snacks, all for free. Family meeting rooms and dining rooms with meals, and shopping trips are available for a little extra and I can join her for a meal anytime I want to, without notice, for $5.

      I have terrible complex autoimmune disorders and I see 11 different specialists. I have in home nursing and personal support workers who cook and clean for me for which I pay nothing. All my medications are paid for. I recieve a $900 per month disability pension from the federal government, a $188 child benefit supplement, and all of my medications are completely covered. This month alone I have had 3 ultra sounds, 2 CT scans, 9 blood tests 2 outpatient hospital treatments, and 5 specialist visits, all with doctors who are also university professors. I never waited more than 48hrs for any of these appointments. I see most of my specialsts every three months. I am alive after 10 years from one illness that is considered treatable in Canada and fatal in the US simply because your health care system wont pay to keep the people who have it alive. Ask my son and husband if its worth it.

      Because I am disabled my family recieives tax breaks. I don’t pay tax on my income, and my self employed husband, who makes just under 50K a year paid 1,700 doalls in taxes last year. That’s combined federal and provincial taxes. He will get $400 of that back as a tax credit.

      Follow the money. If someone is telling you that universal health care is awful it is probably the insurance companies who are going to lose a fortune when you gain freedom from their control of your healthcare.

      I cannot even visit your country because I can’t afford travel health care insurance to visit just for a weekend.

      I am so happy to be alive and well in Canada.

    2. I am happy to read your post,
      This is my experience, USA immigration took me from Africa in refugee camp as refugee and orphan girl to Colorado state, USA. I never know about medical insurance in USA, no body told me. In Africa we were the same as you said about free treatments, hospitals, and clinics. After I arrived in USA a couple months I get flu, and I went to ER ( Emergency Room), I did not know is different not the same as in Africa, and after 3 weeks I get pneumonia, I was very sick and I returned back to the ER, when I get to ER I was alone, they never asked me how I am sick, they wrapped me, they did operation my genitals, they done massacred in my genital, they injured all my female parties, today I have no longer have any my female parties, they operated my back, they took out my bonds from my spine. I was age 15. since then, I am total disabled from medical service in USA. they said because I did not have insurance, no question ask, no problem.
      sadly, I was refugee, orphan, no parents or any relative. and no any other country can accept me to their country because now I am totally disabled. please be thankful to God to live in the country has universe healthcare
      healthcare universe is human right?
      country has no healthcare universe system means human parties market industry. business for selling and buying human.

  35. fantastic publish, very informative. I ponder why the opposite specialists of this sector
    do not notice this. You must proceed your writing.
    I am confident, you have a great readers’ base already!

  36. As a 63 yr. old woman with no affordable health insurance, no chance for Medicare since I was a SAHM/W all of my adult life and suffering from auto-immune diseases which can’t be treated because of no $$$, I applaud our country finally getting health care for all. People with insurance take it for granted but we who have no $$ nor insurance live in constant fear of a terrible illness or accident in our future.

    I work hard to keep as healthy as I can but when you are on a limited income and trying to come up with bill money vs. food money…you can never win in the food dept. Growing my own veges helps but it doesn’t help me buy meat for protein. I’m deathly tired of getting my protein from legumes and grains but it’s that or die from protein starvation.

    I really don’t understand the person who said that ALL hospitals ER’s have to treat you…they sure don’t in AL and will kick you to the curb if you can’t pay with either insurance, cash, or a credit card…

  37. i just wanted to put something out there as food for thought. recently my husband, child and i were dropped from insurance, since we were unable to pay. we actually had a relatively low premium, considering that i’m aware that most people tend to pay an entire mortgage for their insurance. ours was only 200 dollars a month through tricare. but since we are both unemployed, as you can imagine, this proved to be too much money for our unemployment compensation. so now we are all running around uninsured, at least until we find employment.

    Well, now that we have to pay out of pocket for doctors visits, we are quickly becoming aware of how much insurance overcharges people. our visits to the doctor, while expensive, are still nowhere near the cost of our insurance. we couldn’t see it while we were paying for insurance, because like millions of americans we too thought “we’re lucky to be insured! tra la la la la!” but now that we have to pay for our own medical, when we do visit the doctor, it becomes clear that we were actually being ripped off!

    to go to the doctor, depending on where you are, it does not cost much. the bills only start to rack up when you have to KEEP going to the doctor. but for your average healthy american, one visit is *only* about 100 dollars. we were paying twice that in a month with insurance, and THEN some because they didn’t even cover the whole cost. now me, i may go to the doctor perhaps once a year. consider what we were paying in insurance in a year, though- about 2400 dollars. my OB bills from when i was having my son didn’t come anywhere close to the money i doled out to insurance, and that’s not counting the fact that A) there STILL was a copay, 15 percent and B) we first had to meet the 500 dollar deductible before they even paid anything and C) when the heavy labor bill came- a whopping 7000 dollars, insurance kept claiming each time we sent in the paperwork to get our son insured that we had not added him- when in fact we had! so we got left with a whopping bill because they conveniently acted like we didn’t add him on properly- and from what i’ve been reading here, it sounds like this is common practice.

    So suffice to say that when i kissed tricare goodbye, i certainly wasn’t upset. we would have saved so much more money just saving our money and paying out of pocket. and i’d wager that we’re not the only ones, that if more americans just added it up dollar for dollar, comparing what their medics charge to what insurance charges them, i’m sure more of us would come to the conclusion that for basic, general health, we’re all much better financially off without insurance. It’s a scam, at best. and at worse, a death sentence, if you’re depending on it for your livelihood.

  38. Will the United States join this list in 2014? We will now the the Supreme Court upheld Universal Healthcare. Unless that flip flooper from Massachusetts gets in and repeals universal healthcare. The Obamacare plan is that flipp floppers baby when he was governor of Massachusetts now that that flipp floppers wants to reapeal the healthcare plan he authored as governor is like a dad abanoning his baby or cutting off child support to his kid. That flip flopper from Mass wants to leave his baby on the road for dead his baby is the Massachusetts healthcare plan he signed as governor. I am glad now that the Grand United States of America is not the unilataral industralzed country without universal healthcare. It is abomination and should even should be a capital crime for people to profit off of sick and dying people which our for profit healthcare system is here in the Grand United States of America. If a polictican in Europe or Candad thereatned to repeal their universal healthcare system like the Republicans are doing here they would be driven out of the country and never be allowed to run for office again.

  39. Has anyone added in the tax rate for these nations’ citezens? I’ve heard some are at or above the 75% rate.

    1. Vince, you have been listening to propaganda. In Canada our tax rates are prorated: The poor pay nothting, The average person pays 17% to 35% depending on how much they earn, and what their expenses are.. There are lots of deductions and rebates as well. People making hundreds of thousands of dollars a year have high rates( 40% 50%), but just like in your country they have loopholes. Our business taxes are far lower than yours.


    2. I lived most of my life in Canada, and no the tax rate is not 75%. Nor is it that high in Finland, France or Ireland (the first two where I have good friends, the latter where I lived for a year).

  40. I think it is shortsided to simply se this as a conversation on just health insurance, health coverage, or even access to care. The real conversation is government control over our lives, personal freedom and choice.
    I think that if people want to roll the dice and go without, let them do it. However, they should realize and buck up when the have an accident and end up having to pay thousands of dollars out of pocket. Likewise, if a company decides they want to up the ante and provide benefits to their employees as a benefit for their work done, then kuddos to them.
    Part of what makes and has made America great is this personal choice to run our own lives and business as we see fit. With Obama care, that choice is being taken away (I know it didn’t start there, but here it is becomming very evident of how many freedoms “we the people” have lost).
    Our personal freedoms that are supposed to be large and our government that is supposed to be small and limited has been flipped on its head and reversed. Our freedoms are very small and our government is very large and wide in scope. I think this is a tragedy.
    By the way, I am a small business owner, military vet, and a family man with small children. I think that I can provide for them better than some faceless politician over a thousand miles away.

    1. Yes, the freedom to go to an Emergency Room and be turned away because you couldn’t pay was lost under Pres. Reagan. The freedom of insurance companies to raise your premiums when you get sick until you can’t afford it anymore and have to give up your health insurance altogether is also being lost. The freedom to be stuck in a deadend, no future job because you were sick and had a pre-existing condition was lost under Pres. Clinton. Soon, even people with pre-existing conditions will suffer the indignity of having the option of starting their own business while knowing they won’t be stuck without health insurance.

      Oh, the humanity!

      1. Steve is absolutely right – the EMTALA legislation under Reagan required hospitals to take all comers, regardless of their ability to pay. So we already have a bizarre and inefficient form of universal health care in the US, even prior to the ACA and 2014. In my mind, one of the great benefits of the new law is the freedom for many to choose their insurance for the first time, rather than have their employer’s insurance choice as the only option. It will be a great development in the US if over time the employer health insurance withers away, and Americans all choose their own insurance on the newly created market.

    1. William, there are other countries with universal health care, but I only included highly-developed nations on this list. I used the UN Human Development Index to establish the list, by only including those countries with a score above 0.9 – basically high income countries. Why? I wanted to include health care systems that would be recognizable to US readers, who might not consider the universal care in some middle-income countries as a reasonable comparison.

      This also helps reinforce the point that all other high-income countries except the US have universal coverage – until 2014 that is.

  41. You don’t have health care because corporations are people. Insurance companies are people. Insurance companies are people who give money to the Republican Party by the bucketful. If you switched to real universal health care you could demand a single payer who could demand simple billing, group pricing and greater equality. Your HMOs and insurance companies would go bankrupt. Drug prices and treatments in Canada are often half the cost comapred to US prices. Administrative costs are less than half the cost than they are in the US. Drug patents are shorter, Doctors make far less and nurses make far more.Hospitals are owned by taxpayers. Follow the money. The money will tell you why the United States is the only developed nation where people have to choose between food and healthcare, between a home and their life. Capitalism has some good features. Unchecked capitalism puts making money ahead of human lives. You are supoosed to have the right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. I don’t think it says you have the right to life unless you can’t afford insurance

  42. wkeas,
    I worked in the health care business for forty years as a field service engineer of diagnostic imaging equipment. One time I was sent to The Netherlands, where I used to live, for Factory training in Eindhoven.
    What I saw on television every night was news about the deplorable condition of their health care. There simply was no room in the Hospitals
    and patients were sent home.

    On occasion I watch the British parliament in session on tv here in CA.
    One time The Prime Minister was being questioned why his administration has not met the mandated the maximum waiting time of NINETY DAYS before being admitted into a Hospital.

    I am a firm believer that when competition is gone, performance incentives are gone, quality of health care is gone, and if you are a senior, wave your hand, you’re gone too.

    1. It’s interesting you mention the Netherlands. A recent report compared health systems among different countries and the Netherlands was one of the best. There was a big reform of the Dutch system in 2006 and it looks very good now.

      “Medical errors. Nearly one-third (32%) of U.S. patients with health problems who responded to an international survey in 2008 said that, in the last two years, a medical mistake or a medication or laboratory test error was made during their care… To attain the 16 percent error-reporting rate in the Netherlands, the benchmark country, the U.S. rate would need to be cut in half.
      “Rapid access to primary care. In an eight-country survey of adults with health problems, U.S. patients were much less likely than those in six other countries to report being able to get a doctor’s appointment the same day or the next day when they were sick… The U.S. rate would need to almost double to reach the benchmark of 80 percent achieved in the Netherlands.
      “As of 2010, one-third of U.S. adults reported going without needed care, including prescription medicines, because of costs. In contrast, only 5 percent of adults in the United Kingdom and 6 percent of adults in the Netherlands reported such financial barriers to care in 2010…
      “In a 2008 survey conducted in eight nations, 23 percent of U.S. adults with health problems reported that their medical records or test results were not available at the time of their doctor appointment. In the Netherlands, the country with the best rate, the rate was only 9 percent…”
      Why Not the Best? Results from the National Scorecard on U.S. Health System Performance, 2011
      October 18, 2011
      Authors: The Commonwealth Fund Commission on a High Performance Health System

  43. Studies have been done regarding wait lists and people supposedly flocking to the US for healthcare. Here’s one report debunking it, and there are many others.

    In fact, in all the years I lived in Canada (approximately 30) I have had only one friend who went to the US for critical treatment, and that was because it was experimental treatment that was not even widely approved in the US outside the Mayo Clinic for a condition that is rare. I have had friends over the years who have used the health care system for all sorts of things from emergencies (ie. broken limbs, appendix issues, accidents etc), most go to their doctor for anything non-emergency related – illness, disease, pain issues. And ALL of us go to our doctors for routine physicals and to ensure continued good health.
    I also lived in Ireland for a year for work. Another American there ended up with a major illness and she was treated immediately and well. She recovered completely and commented that if she had been in the US she’d have been screwed due to a pre-existing condition that made it nearly impossible to get health care.
    I have many friends here in the US as well – One young lady, who is incredibly talented and a damn hard worker, she has several conditions and in fact they are not entirely sure what is wrong with her overall. She shared with me her medical bill after they decided to hospitalize this 25 year old for 5 days due to seizures and heart issues – It was over 10,000 in just room costs then there were costs for the actual medical stuff. The bill was outrageous! Luckily at the time she was covered, but now her husbands employee insurance company is threatening to drop her coverage. Without medical coverage her choices will be to either lose everything or die. She has a young child.

    This sort of thing should not EVER happen in a developed country. People should be cared for and allowed to thrive. You should care about your neighbors, if not out of a sense of altruism then for your own self preservation. These things can happen to anyone – you could be in a car accident tomorrow through no fault of your own and end up paralyzed, unable to work and now with no coverage. You could face the choice of losing everything you own or making sure your child has the cancer treatments they require to survive. Health care is a right. And it is my privilege to pay into a system that ensures not only my own health but all those around me.

    American’s opposing universal health care have absolutely NO IDEA what the realities are. We cannot afford not to ensure the good health of each member of our country. We can make sure each person is cared for – We can stop children from suffering, families from devastation. We can help our neighbors. Stop the selfishness and bring on the compassion and intelligence!

  44. Why can’t the US have healthcare? Because if we give healthcare to everyone, taxes on the wealthiest will have to got up. If we continue to provide medicare to those over 65, taxes will have to go up as the boomers hit the system. If we continue paying out social security, the payroll tax cap will have to be removed, just as soon as the boomers hit the system in substantial numbers. Wealthy people in the US don’t want to pay more money into the system. They are doing their level best to convince all the dummies out there that those very good things are actually bad.

    1. Wealthy people in the US don’t want to pay more money into the system. They are doing their level best to convince all the dummies out there that those very good things are actually bad.

      Not all the wealthy people. Believe it or not, there are lots who would pay more very willingly if it meant EVERYONE had health care. It is the them vs. us that derails the whole idea.

  45. “Thirty-two of the thirty-three developed nations have universal health care, with the United States being the lone exception.” (above article) Now the Supreme Court is posed to strike down our greatest opportunity to come up to the standard of the rest of the world in the health care field, replacing it with a decrepit system that favors the insurance industry and disenfranchises millions of common citizen. This is appalling. Were this Somalia, with no functioning government, I could believe it. We have the largest GNP in the world, yet, we can’t care for our own people?? Something is fundamentally wrong with out county.

  46. It appears that some people in the United States do not want to do what is best for the whole country. That is way we have the U.S. Supreme Count involved and that could stop us from doing the right thing. My question is, why can all of these other leading industrial countries have national heath care and the U.S. does not?

    1. Why can other countries do it and the US can’t? I saw Uwe Reinhardt speak about this once and here’s what he said:

      “After the fifth year, I think of Taiwan [national] health insurance, we had a little celebration over there; I tag along with [my wife] and we went to see the president who was the president who introduced this bill and he talked and he said, and now go to the farms and old people come up to me and clasp my hand and said, thank you Mr. President; now I can go to the doctor when I ache and I don’t go broke. And that president stood there with tears in his eyes. And I said it takes a moral commitment.

      To him, this wasn’t just a political thing. He was really morally committed to that and recently, Mei and I interviewed Ulla Schmidt, Minister of Health of Germany. And Mei asked her, you had only 200,000 uninsured in Germany and yet you take such pride in having them covered now. Now it’s universal. And she says it was intolerable to me that German’s should go when they’re sick and be healthcare beggars.

      She said it’s just not dignified. You lose your dignity if you’re a beggar and we said this the third time in this interview. We used the word dignify and that matters to these people and I think we need to rediscover that above all, the health system of a nation is an expression of the moral values of that society.

      Most countries and you will have heard this. When you interview them as we did Ulla Schmidt, they talk about the principle of solidarity. They say, you can have competition, you can have everything but when you’re sick, we’re one nation. We look after each other and you don’t hear that so much in our debate.

      In other countries, in Canada, Germany, Asia, they’ll put the ethics openly on the table and then discuss it. Is that what we want? And then they design the system off it.”

      The USA doesn’t have a moral committment to its citizens. There is a sizable number of Americans who don’t care what happens to their fellow Americans and there is also a number who find actual satisfaction in the notion that they have access to health care whenever they want it and there are others who don’t.

  47. Generic’s have really never been an issue….most physicians offer patients the “NEWEST AND GREATEST” drugs….American’s most remember to be consumers…And BTW…generic’s are priced the same in most cases or pennies less…Especially in Mexico…and another issue to understand certain meds are over the counter vs. prescribed in other countries….No I totally understand R&D…Just feel that like taxes we all pay our fair share…if they increased the drug prices world wide ours would go down and become more affordable!….Never would I prefer the Gov’t do any such thing….By their own admission they spend in excess of $65 Billion dollars on medicare fraud….If you combined the big 4 carriers, Blues, Aetna, UHC and Cigna they wouldn’t be able to withstand this type of dollar loss! I honestly believe we allow them to control claims payment for a $1 billion dollars annually and let Medicare save the $64 Billion…The only way to go is Capitalistic!

    1. In Canada, drug companies apply to provincial formularies for the right to sell their drug for an agreed upon price. This price is negotiated during the launch phase and reflects a compromise between societal benefit and company profits. (There’s that scary concept — socialism!) Big pharma can’t just charge whatever they want. And BTW generics are much less expensive than drugs that are still on patent. Don’t feel bad about big pharma in Canada though. They still make plenty of money — just not the extraordinary sums they do in the US. In fact, the American market is among the most lucrative in the world. I can only think of Japan as comparable.

      As for R&D, most research is done in Europe and the US. In the US, at least, the bill is footed substantially by the US taxpayer through work done at the Institutes of Health, etc. I find it ironic that the US taxpayer supports a big chunk of research into new drugs and then pays among the world’s highest drug prices at the pharmacy counter. That’s because of folks like you Pat, who think feudalism, I mean extreme capitalism, is the way to go.

  48. yes brand name drugs, but compare generic prices in Canada to the US !!surprise, surprise, Generic drugs in other countries exceed by the same factor ( 50%) if not more..A lot of grocery stores and others give generic antibiotic for nothing, and price Costco, and Walmart , and Target , and many more for the best price,(not CVS or Walgreens) won’t you be surprised. But shop, because they are very competetive………….”Caverat Emptor” Where would we be without research medications, they have extended our live well into the 80’s 90,s and even 100’s with a lot better length of life to people with most types of Cancers. Are you suggesting giving up research drugs and having the govt. pick up that prob. also? From penicillin to today ,arn’t we lucky with drug research and the meds. Big Pharma brought forth.

  49. Reading many of these responses amazes me….The thought of Healthcare being a right blows me away…Saying the US doesn’t offer healthcare to everyone is also incorrect….Medicaid is healthcare for those who can’t afford to pay.

    For those who believe that the OBAMACARE plan is the answer…Your dead wrong….Healthcare rates are rising faster now than prior to the bill! Kids can’t be written stand alone any longer…Their is nothing in this world that’s free and to think taxing is the answer is stupid…Trade dollars and see what your paying for healthcare…

    Remember one fact….4% use 98% of all major medical expenses…The federal Government blows $60 Billion dollars a yer on insurance fraud! Any health carrier losing money like this would have to charge 500% more premium per person…You want healthcare costs to drop…Cap Big Pharma and all the hospitals fee’s…Costs go down, premiums will go down…Only shot…It makes me upset to think that I can purchase meds from Canada and save 50% on brand names as compared to the US. And they are manufactured in the same plant! USA pays all the R&D for the World….We are the real suckers!

    1. Medicaid is not healthcare for those who can’t afford to pay. There are all sorts of eligibility requirements, being poor by itself isn’t sufficient to get Medicaid. In many states Medcaid is only for children and pregnant women.

    2. So children with catastrophic illnesses (cancers for example) should be allowed to die? People should have to choose between being able to feed their families and get treatment for illness? People should lose their homes if they have the ill luck to become ill?
      What about illnesses that are contagious? Should they not be treated if some of the people have the bad luck not to be insured? Perhaps when you contract the newest contagion going around, you will also find yourself in the situation of choosing your health and/or life and your home or the ability to be able to feed your family. And I’m sure you’ll decide to blame the poor, or the government on the fact that there’s a contagious disease ripping through your communities – but oh wait… The government wanted to make sure your neighbours were healthy but you didn’t care and your neighbours wanted to be covered but couldn’t get coverage (pre-existing conditions suck, or having a job that doesn’t offer health benefits and not making enough for other options). So you reap what you sow! Should you get sick, I would want you covered no matter what, I would want you to be able to keep your home, I would want you to be able to feed you family and ensure for their further well being. But that’s the difference between me and you – I care about my community, my neighbours, my country, and my world.

  50. Just glancing over your list I find a lot of errors. Japan’s system is not single-payer by any stretch of the term. Here’s the decription from Wikipedia: “Health insurance is in general mandatory for residents of Japan, though there is no penalty on individuals who choose not to comply, and around 10% of the population does not enroll.[17][18] There are a total of eight health insurance systems in Japan.”

    How you get from eight health insurance systems to single-payer, I don’t know.

    1. Steve, if you’re curious as to how I made the classifications, I encourage you to read the WHO source material, which is linked for each country.

      The source reports are likely more accurate than Wikipedia, as these are in-depth health care systems studies performed by the WHO.

      With regard to Japan, I classified the system as single payer because it is paid for mainly by taxes on wages, deducted directly from all Japanese employees’ paychecks. The distribution of health care is more varied, but since the government collects the funds and disburses them, that is closer to single payer than to an insurance mandate in my opinion.

      1. I hate to disagree but a single-payer system is a particular kind of insurance coverage for health care. It means there is only one insurer, a single-payer. In Japan there are multiple payers.

        In fact, the document you linked to describes the system as having hundreds of payers: “Japan has three categories of health insurance: employer-based insurance, national health insurance, and health insurance for the elderly. The former two categories cover the total population, and there are hundreds of separate sickness funds (or insurers, as can be seen in Appendix 1) linked to a person’s employer, occupation, or geographic location.”

        But the premium for the insurance is not paid for by the government, it’s paid for by the individual and/or the employer, and government subsidies: “Public health insurance in Japan is currently financed through individual contributions, employer contributions, and government subsidies.”

        I also can’t agree that the UK is a single-payer system since the NHS is a provider not an insurer. The UK has socialized medicine. I realize this is kind of splitting hairs, but I’m a policy wonk and I do want people to understand the difference between universal coverage, single-payer and socialized medicine.

      2. Steve,

        I agree that there’s a difference between payment systems and systems for provision of health care as well. If you’re interested, you’re welcome to come up with a more detailed classification for this list, which I worked up several years ago and haven’t updated in a while. But I’m loathe to confuse the casual reader with a complex classification system – or else the point is lost. With regard to Japan (and many of the countries on this list), there are oftentimes mixes of different systems operating in one country. That’s true even in the US – in fact even the US has universal health care of a sort, courtesy of EMTALA and ER access for all. The challenge is to give readers a concise idea of how each country’s system works.

  51. Pingback: AMURRICA | getPHYT
  52. I have not read all the responses here, so if this was alrealy answered I appologize. Does the US count aborted babies in the infant mortality rates?

  53. Regarding the Andorra comment – here’s more info – they have a government run system –
    Healthcare in Andorra is provided to all employed persons and their families by the government-run social security system, CASS (Caixa Andorrana de Seguretat Social), which is funded by employer and employee contributions in respect of salaries.[25] The cost of healthcare is covered by CASS at rates of 75% for out-patient expenses such as medicines and hospital visits, 90% for hospitalisation, and 100% for work-related accidents. The remainder of the costs may be covered by private health insurance. Other residents and tourists require full private health insurance.[25]


  54. This list is very out of date

    Many listed single payer countries are using private insurance, like Italy, Germany and UK

    Several more are curtailing due to economic conditions, and cover 60 – 70% of the costs, and using supplimental coverage

    1. You can pay private premiums to cover (somewhat quicker but not necessarily better) private treatment in all three countries, but this is voluntary. The single payer system still covers everything in full.

  55. So much wisdom written here about the right to healthcare for all and yet still so much ignorance and misunderstanding from people who, frankly, I don’t know what planet they come from!

    Also, I would strongly guess that there is a tiny bit of prejudice and ignorance when one of the most irrational posters here (George) refers to our president as President Hussein Obama…

    1. Don’t worry, I’m sure George is either an internet troll or some down south red neck hick so finally figured out how to work that interwebz box his children are always on.

      Best to just ignore him and let him stew in his own ignorance.
      If we said King Hussein Obama was plotting to make frozen llamas fall from the sky to kill democracy he’d probably buy it.

    1. Not so true – if you look up the countries, you will find several on the list that leave you on the hook for 40 – 50% of the costs

      So you still owe

      The 11 largest countries, by population, are trying to get to Universal coverage, and are failing

    2. I understand that bankruptcy is not a big deal in america – from what I have read is that it is merely an inconvenience. Combined with a non-recourse mortgage any setbacks caused by large medical bills will be forgotten in a couple of years, and like will be back to normal.

  56. Thank God we have the U.S. Constitution that makes this “law” illegal. Now we need some politicians that believe in and follow the law.

  57. I know that private business doesn’t gie a flip about us here. There are other models like Switzerland that I particularly like as a college graduate. I’m more than happy that the health care reform happened as well for other fellow americans. I’ll expect less maybe not a house, but is a house needed in this mobile economic flexblee globalizing world? Nope, peopl and enhancing their abilitiy with some loevel of stability via health care is though. Bottomline is that the GINI Index speaks for itself of unregulated capitalism and there tons of other measures you can cut veto like military spending, foreign aid perhaps, teacher pay and retirement with health, politicians pay and perks, and closing some tax havens an etc in this nation before cutting on health car.

    Finally, please dont’ use the sorry lame excuse of just jGreece or Ireland on all serious manners of economics. Germany’s economics is actually sky rocket unlike Japan’s bureaucratic entantlements not like socialist democracies at all. Australia has a decent system over there down under and Canada’s system is worth noting. Actually as an american I’m gladd they step in ourbehalf perhaps one day Canada d the U.S can just be one “Village” ha. I doubt the conservatives understand the meaning of that one. Oh, Canada

  58. usa is divided about gov. health care…i live in canada n i never wory about getting sick..never worry about hospital bills..
    don’t worry usa..ur private health compny loves you n ur monthly dues..unfornately when ur really sick n going to cost ur health coverage money….they can cancel your plan..due to high risk
    nice to know u r loved by them while ur healthy

    1. Now try to get that mental health issue treated in Canada – or is a mental disorder and care for one not part of health care?

      Bi-Polar, Anxiety, Depression – not treated in Canada

      looks like that argument just flew the coop

      1. is that a self diagnosis? I notice that some people are diagnosing themselves using the internet, and then complaining when their doctors don’t agree with their prognosis.

      2. I’m not sure where you got your information on bi-polar, depression or anxiety not being treated in Canada, but you are sadly mistaken. I am from Alberta and suffer from both depression and anxiety and both are treated by my medical…Sorry but I think your argument just flew the coop

      3. Again, people showing ignorance. All mental illness are treated in Canada. I know many people who have been treated or are currently in treatment.
        No one in Canada has to worry about medical issues – physical or mental.

  59. i wanted to just ask if there were previous arguments, aside from the one about the health care system of the united states, on countries that don’t have a universal health care system but want it? And if a country is economically unsuitable for a universal health care system with a corru…erm lets just, say not so well off government, how ould this country be able to attain universal health care?

  60. Anyone else notice that the list of “insurance mandate” countries are former AXIS ones, Switzerland known for hiding Nazi loot, Greece and the US two currently bankrupt ones. Now isn’t that a “blueprint” for success and greatness. Please people wake up to all the “coincidences” around you, or simply drown in them I guess. Good luck.

  61. I’m personally a college student at a major four year university in the southearn United States of America. Particulrly I go to Auburn University which is largely conservative politically and socially in many regards of that matter. The question whether or not human rights and universal health care is an an easy one to answer. Yes, yes, yes it is a human right as genetics with environmental triggers arent yet solved very much like psychology’s nature vs nurture argument cause nobody knows tat answer in science nor we will ever do so probably within our lifetimes. All western industrialized nations of any grain of salt have a universal health care model even some that aren’t heavely industrializd have i such as Cuba, Cotia Rica, etc.
    Finally, christian organizations throughout thcountry believe that health care is a human right even my very own catholic church believe in it. Let me ask you a question real fast? Okay if you have a hypothetical situation between your promotion of getting health care benefits from working a decade or so at a sales firm and you got cancer right? I’m wondering if the health care pre-existing condition would apply to them? Yes, it wouldhave done that before like the young graduate physics student working on a theory to create more diversified energy supply in a labatory as well. Personal responsability is rather pathetic ploy to shove blame on things that have no weight on health care much. For example, several people die of lung cancer without picking up a cancer stick ad the same with scorosis, etc. We also benefit off of poor uneducated poor people from over endulging in fast food restaurants and they weren’t much transparent before like the tobacco industry prior to 65 as well on the affects of smoking. Moreover, what if you have an accident, genetical disposition, etc? Bla, cut on leisure retirement ssi, military in half, teacher reirements, freeze federal pay, etc. These masures ultimately will turn out system into a prevention not a disease health care model to emmumulate internationally as those nations you mention are small er in size and in gdp as well or for that matter gnp. Raise tarrifs to Japan, Germany, China, South Korea nad also level off the currency exchange rates a little to pay for it as well. We could also cut on the cuban embargo with deinstalling military installations as well overseas as well. Time to decide for american or against americans is what I say. By the way, my family has owned three companies, won the lottery, served in the military and currently I’m first generation disabled college student with asprations of owning my future business in IT and etc.

  62. Universal Healthcare sounds great and looks even better on paper (too most people, certainly not to George though). George is entitled to his opinion; it’s entirely emotionally supported and doesn’t provide enough facts to be taken real serious. Sorry George, I’m not much of a supporter of Universal Healthcare either, however I do not share the same reasons you do, Your reasons are consistent with the typical 1950s “American Dream” that people of older generations refer to as “the good old days,” and never take into consider what “the good old days” were. In the good old days when everyone “worked” for what they had our acceptance of “victim blaming” became the norm which we still live by today. Here’s the thing, first of all, the good old days weren’t all that good if you were black, Hispanic, Asian, Native American, gay, lesbian, disabled or a woman! Therefore George, and I’m assuming you are a white, middle aged, heterosexual male who thinks he “made it on his own with no help from nobody.” Ok, well I have no doubt you worked your way through your hard times; however you are not acknowledging anyone else who is currently trying but may require some help. You say you made it and needed no charity or handouts, but you mention a helping hand as something to be given on the rarest of occasions, only after they pass all their drug tests and prove their working themselves to the bone first. George, as a white man (assuming you are by the way you write) you must know you are considered for employment more frequently and seriously than anyone else; you are consistently eligible and considered for advancement over anyone else in your workplace which means more pay so you can afford things like health insurance, and any woman you may work with makes at least 15% less than you do, regardless of experience and credibility. So it’s easy to call people bums when you have these “God given” rights in place for you. I don’t have health insurance, and I’m a vet, served in Iraq, came home penniless….am I a bum George? I make such a low income that I can still be seen at the VA (until I finish college). But what about the rest of the nation who make what I do? I have plenty of classmates who are in trouble if they end up at the ER or need a doctor for something, they can’t go to the VA when something’s not right. My point is George, you had a helping hand whether you know it or not and be careful who you’re calling a bum. When you talk about bums who need welfare or handouts and illegal aliens and everyone else you despise, you’re probably talking about a lot of the guys I served with (especially illegal aliens).

    Why I don’t think much of Universal healthcare? Because I don’t like the direction we decided to take with it. I think putting too much control over your healthcare into the government’s hands is kind of idiotic. If we are going to do this as a nation we need to be real specific on where the government has say and where they don’t. My main concerns are: The taxpayers are paying the bill, so do they then have access to my personal information? Is it public record now? How long of a wait at a clinic, hospital, or dentist will I have to expect? Current elective surgeries at the VA are 6 month minimum, and people already complain about that. What will be the response when an elective surgery, or even a palliative (relief of pain even though dying) surgeries are 8 months out or longer? (8 months is Canada’s minimum-keep this in mind) Are people going to be going to the ER because they stubbed their toe? (Idea behind this is: “If I’m not paying the bill, why not, it may be broken”). What surgeries are going to be considered “elective” or “optional” now but used to be considered urgent or even emergency (this may happen due to lack of space, staff, supplies. Urgent and emergency surgeries are those that preserve life or limb; are we going to have to say goodbye to a limb now when we previously did not?). Grandparents are going to probably start dying a lot younger now. We just aren’t going to be able to afford them anymore and because of the future prioritizing (by our government) of who gets a surgery and when, they’ll probably be glad to go rather than endure 8 months of misery awaiting effective surgery to relieve it. Hey, at least my great grandchildren may get Social Security again….maybe…. COMPETITION: Is quality of care going to decline? Will we ever find a cure for cancer, AIDS, strokes, heart attacks, paralysis, MS, Parkinson’s, Lou Gehrig’s or any other upcoming pandemics or epidemics in our future? With the regulation of healthcare being determined by insurance companies or some government organization, the patient will not consider the price of care, which will eliminate competition because doctors or hospitals won’t have to compete with lowering prices because the “government” is paying and they’ll pay it regardless of how outrageously inefficient it is, causing prices to rise and rise as people go to the doctor for countless things they could take care of at home (the theory again, I’m not paying for it, I might as well get the best). When competition is eliminated, and the focus is on the cares we have in place already because a facility overload, you can count on research and development funds being all but extinct. We won’t be able to afford it, it’s that simple.

    1. Correction on Canada’s 8 month wait. 8 months is Canad’s “maximum” wait as a national average. Each province is different and I think British Columbia has the shrotest right now (about 7 weeks to be seen initially, then about 7 weeks after that before you have the procedure).

  63. Tyler, I envy you. Since I moved to the US, I’ve been waiting for some progress into single payer, but I’m coming to realization that it won’t happen in my lifetime. I understand that current reform by Obama wanted to make things better, but, in my mind, the passed reform is a pure form of ‘fascism’. In single payer system I would pay to govt and receive serivices. It is my deal with govt, right? I’ve elected representatives and I’m having deals with them. In passed reform, however, I’m being mandated by govt to pay money into private pockets who provide services “FOR PROFIT”. How can this be legal? No wonder many states are about to sue.Govt that works with coporations together against common citizens is one of the fascism characteristics indeed.
    Anyway, since I live in so-called progressive states CA, single payer bill has been proposed twice already and every time its been vetoed by our belvoed governor. This year it was the 3rd time, and the bill died in the last assembly vote because of, well, we all know because of what: upcoming elections, and insurance companies.
    But let us assume for a second if this bill passed and was signed by governor. Budget? = higher taxes. In order to raise taxes according to CA law – 2/3 of population has to vote for. Well, will this happen? Ever? Knowing the scare of a boo word socialism? And what about healthcare insurance companies? Won’t they fight for life to stay in here? Imagine those adds scaring everyone? lol So much for progressive state.
    What I’m trying to say in here is that it is absolutely impossible to implement single payer in the US in my lifetime. So, our family came into conclusion that we must leave this country. I do not want to wait for any of these tragedies to happen to me before I move on.
    BTW. We lived in Sweden right before moving here. Yes, there are wait times, however, not longer than I ever waited here. Besides, even if you do not want to wait, you can always opt out to go to private doctor and be paid back up to 80-90% of your bill later. Needless to say that the prices are not even close to those here. Oh yes, you are also paid back or straight forward for any expenses overseas. We have been in the US and got into accident, Sweden paid back ridiculous $1700 for getting into emergency by ambulance (neither one was treated for anything as we were fine), and whatever we owed to Spain after visits to emergency rooms for our 3month old. We never even got to know the actual cost because Spain sent the bill to Sweden.
    So to those that say it does not work: You are either ignorant, teribly misinformed or taking desired for reality.

  64. A distinctive feature of the US is that they are very opposite from other developed countries. This is not my opinion, it’s a fact that is studied again and again in academic settings. The reality is that, for an industrialized country, it is not very progressive. At all. Americans have been raised to believe that social support equals a lack of freedoms. Therefore, any suggestion of government assistance ignites the usual terror and anti-socialist rhetoric. It is viewed as a tactic designed to diminish one’s hard work and only benefit the “bums” of society because this is the concept that so many were surrounded by growing up. So, of course they are having trouble realizing that universal health care does not automatically mean you are no longer an independent individual… or a socialist country. Even the suggestion is ridiculous. It seems that this is where America’s ‘freedom’ ideologies actually become preventative. The public is so focused on maintaining the freedom that America’s identity is built on, that they fail to allow themselves systems of support that are actually very beneficial to society and are, in fact, freeing. To even say that health care is not a basic right just emphasizes how backwards America has become when compared to any other industrialized country. They are so afraid to be labelled as something they have been taught to reject that they deny themselves and their fellow citizens a fundamental system that defines successful and progressive countries. All I got to say is, I am so thankful I do not live in America. I do not mean that in an offensive way so please don’t take it like that. I am simply thankful that I never have to deal with this push and pull binary that is ongoing in many aspect of the US.

  65. A conservative American patriot like Thomas Jefferson was the first to propose a universal healthcare system because even then it was the obvious choice for the good of the peoples health and the assurance of a strong future for the new country. In addition, throughout history a single payor system has been proposed numerous times, mostly by conservatives including Ronald Reagan.

    It sems to me that Americans against universal healthcare have never experienced healthcare in a foreign country that has adopted the single payor system. I work for St. Josephs Health Care System in California as an ER tech an have experienced universal healthcare in Denmark, Germany, Jamaica and Sweden. I recieved excellent treatment in all countries; and even the care included transportation and medication as well. The overpriced medical services in America’s existing system are due immense profits enjoyed by ONLY the executives of health insurance and maintinence organizations. Where else on the planet can one person earn more than 750 million US dollars per year in the most devastating economic crisis in modern world history.

    Wake up folks or you will die early in the U.S. with the current greed fueled health system. Stop fighting for the top one percent income earners…it is not in your best interest. Don’t just dismiss universal healthcare because of heresay or conjecture; but go try it for youself. Have a vacation to a country that enjoys universal healthcare and try it out. It wont take long and they will be professional and couteous. Best of all; it wont cost a thing because there is NO billing office. When you get out of the universal health care clinic after your free treatment, you might notice that everyone has most of their teeth and even have gold crowns whereas in the US, a crown cost at least $4000.00 so folks get dentures. You also might notice less crime because the alcoholics and drug addicts may go get free medical rehabilitation instead of avoiding de-tox crisis by stealing or assaulting innocent citizens.

    The bottom line is, if all the huge profits that the insurance executives enjoy were actually used for the betterment of the sytem and the improvement of the overall health of the community, we would all be a healthier happier bunch with more time on this planet to enjoy our families, friends and the treasure of life itself.

    Be well and happy, but do not be fooled………….Chuckie

  66. I am Cuban and proud of it..currently live in the US..US Health system sucks, Cuban Health system ranked above many other industrialized countries..
    Viva Cuba!

  67. Throwing daggers doesn’t get any issue anywhere. We spend millions of taxpayer dollars paying outrageous amounts to hospitals and care centers for giving an ER patient 2 ibuprofens, paying for a whole box of gauze when only a few inches of it was used on the patient, a whole bottle of insulin on a diabetic patient who comes in to the ER for sugar too low, the list goes on, and on. The insurance companies have gotten wise and have people who look over the charges and negotiate on prices with the providers. The government will pay, and complain they don’t have enough manpower to review invoices losing billions of dollars, when hiring some of the jobless and training them to review the incoming invoices would save millions. Computers are only as good as what has been input into them, they don’t reason, and don’t usually catch inconsistancies. Employers “don’t have the money, due to the economy affecting their revenue” , so they outsource so as not to have to provide benefits for employee’s ( more US money going outside the US ) more jobs lost, economy suffers more, more people on food stamps, medicaid, needing other government supplements, even less jobs out there to be had. SO easy for us who are making it to call those without jobs, and yell at them to “GET A JOB” – so they “GET A JOB” flipping burgers at $2 over min wage, their gross wages add up to $10 over the allotted amount to qualify for food stamps, so now half their money goes for food, they no longer qualify for medicaid, so the other half of that piddly amount has to go to rent, electric & gas, & water, transportation to get to and from work (if they weren’t lucky enough to get a job across the street) insurance for the transportation, gov mandated, if kids are involved, daycare (which gov pays some of, not all), this doesn’t include, personal care products, medicines, the list goes on and on.
    So many complain, whine about others, looking the other way. ” I work hard for my money, I pay my taxes, I DESERVE not to be bothered about charity, helping the less fortunate. I prefer not to acknowlege their existance, and if the government can accomplish putting the elderly, impoverished, disabled, sick out of my sight and mind thru Universal Medical Plans, instead of fixing what they already have in place, let them place fines on those who are already in need, let them tell the doctors there is no use in further treatment to help the elderly patient who will probably die in less then 5 years anyway. Make them attend classes for helping them to prepare for their end. The disabled don’t really help support Society that much, so we can cut their funding.
    Whining, Complaining, Hating due to a Party name, race, religion, sex, whatever….. what difference between us and Hitler, Hussain, Ben Ladin… isn’t that what we are fighting against over their? We are destroying a truly wonderful country from within. We need to fix our current programs, not compound the problem with more programs needing fixing. It starts with us here in Society pulling together and insisting our reps in government start thinking about the country’s good as a whole… not the Democrats good or the Republicans good. Bring us back to our American forefathers standards, morals, and dreams for this country. The new Universal Healthcare is just another program that is going to result in more issues, more reasons to be split, it won’t fix the problems.

  68. The U.S.A. is the wild, wild West where you die early in order to assure staggering incomes for private insurance executives. I am a U.S. citizen and I am happy to suffer from cancer and die early for some unknown extremely wealthy insurance board members and their families. We less fortunate common folk should understand our place in society and give up a chance to a full and healthy life for the privilaged citizens. That is why the U.S. will never get single payor health care.

    I will put roses on your grave.

    1. Jack,

      Australia is a two-tier system, since almost half of Australians have some form of private health insurance to supplement their Medicare coverage.

      That’s my definition of a two-tier system – one in which the government provides a baseline of care, and in which a significant percentage of individuals purchase additional health insurance or premium direct health care.

      1. Jack,

        Thanks for the additional links – they make more the clear the fact that Australia is in fact a two-tier system.

        The links mention specifically what is covered/not covered, and how private insurance or cash can be used to obtain additional or premium services.

  69. Too bad this bill will not help those like Tim Tom. The mandates for adults with pre-existing conditions does not kick in until 2014. At that time coverage cannot be denied, but the price tag will be hefty. If your household income goes above $88K per year (not hard if a nurse such as Tim Tom marries another nurse), you will not be eligible for the gov’t subsidy, and will still pay high premiums. Unlike wars, which do end eventually, this bill is the gift that keeps on giving. It will cost more than projected, and billions more when “the reform needs reforming”. Find the bill online and read it…….not many have……not even those who voted for it. Most only know about the one part they like, or the part that sends money back to their state in turn for their vote.

    1. Anyone can buy coverage today

      Health plans for people with pre-existing illnesses have been in every state since 7/2010

  70. P.S. I did not mean that those who DO have DECIDE to have children are irresponsible. I just meant in my former statement, that I made a responsible decision in my life, to be very careful and responsible, and to not have children, until I am better able to afford to take care of them and have time for them. (and that time for me has not come as of yet, but may in the future).

    -sorry for any misunderstandings. 🙂

  71. I find myself in a situation on both sides of the argument for and against this reform. I am a small business owner (manufacturing industry), less than 25 employees. We offer health coverage to our employees and have for over 20 years. During this time, I have witnessed the cost of health care bound out of control. Every year, upon renewal, I scramble to get quotes, plan options & cost analysis, in the hopes of combating the soaring numbers. I see the look on my employees faces every year when I tell them that I will have to raise their weekly insurance contribution (28% of the premium cost, we pick up the rest), but I cannot afford to give them a raise, because I can barely afford the insurance to begin with. Every year I lament with the discision to offer any type of insurance at all. If I had the extra 10k/month, I could grow my business, pay off debt, or pay it forward to the employees. As an employer, the current course is unsustainable, and I think I speak for many small business. I would rather someone try something.

    As an individual, if my company does not have insurance, I do not have insurance. I think about what the consequences would mean to me, my husband and my two young children. Something very easily could happen tomorrow that, without insurance, would put us at severe financial hardship. And lest you be naive, no one is exempt from this possibility, with or without insurance as the case may be. There has to be some security.

    As a red-blooded America, I enjoy my freedom! I do not want more government control. It is very scary to have decisions made on my behalf as to what I should be spending my money on. What my company should be buying – why is it our (sm. business) responsibility? Non-compliance to be dealt a fine?! I do fear that all of my hard work is going towards someone who could care less, and does less. I have employed these people and have seen how they leech the system to get something for nothing, it is truly maddening.

    What I think is important here is that there continue to be an open community for people to understand everyone’s unique situation and why this reform might be important to them and/or the people they love. It’s called compassion and humanity for our fellow man – a healthy society is a strong society. I fear that the Nay-Sayers for change don’t really have the misfortune of being burdened with health woes, or they might change their tune. No, it is not enough just to have a job, and even with decent pay the costs can be quite overwhelming in general care alone. It is quite a dilemma, the state of health care and it’s reform. I don’t pretend to know all the pros and cons of the current bill… I mean law. I am definitely on the fence with this one. But I do know that something HAS to be done. It simply cannot continue on it’s existing course, due to so many injustices as stated in previous posts; cost, coverage/non-coverage/restriction/co-pays, and the list goes on. All mandated by huge for-profit insurance companies, that don’t exactly put “peoples” lives first, but their bottom line. After all they are a BUSINESS. Placing value on lives should not be a business.

    You are not going to make everyone happy and there is no ONE solution to solve all of our problems. There are really great things in this law and there are really bad things too. But at the end of the day, what is important is that the good out-weigh the bad and a tough decision be made. At least it’s a step forward, instead of wallowing around for another 10years, fighting and achieving nothing while the rest of America is suffering.

  72. It’s interesting than in every argument against universal health care that I hear “get a job” … yet I rarely hear “I have a job and guess what … my employer doesn’t provide health insurance because they are a small business and cannot afford it any longer.”

    A job is ZERO guarantee of health insurance. Think about it … before you rant on about other people’s lives and things you do not bother to inform yourself about or really even care about.

    1. Under the terms of the health care law, your 49 workers or less employer no longer needs to offer coverage

      If they do, it costs them more to do so, because the mandated coverage raised the prices

      Is that what you had in mind?

  73. Looks like the US will have close-to universal health care, in 2014. Better late than never!

    The current bill is highly flawed, but it still represents a step forward on net. We already have government control of care, we already have high costs, and yet we have no universality. Now at least we get that. The system is still headed for bankruptcy either way, but that is a problem for another day it seems.

  74. Reform is needed but the US government is not the answer.

    Government run programs:
    Social Secruity

    All these programs use more money than they take in. USPS I know this year alone will lose $7 billion.

    In Massachusetts we had the Big Dig, which originally cost $4 billion(in today’s dollar), 20 years later will cost us $22 billion after interest. It also killed a citizen back in 2006 and who fits the bill for the legal problems of the unions? Us.

    Everything the government touches turns to crap.

    Government is not the answer but neither is “no” regulatory.


      And BTW – The Affordable Care Act (your ‘Obamacare’ as you confused twits like to call it) IS NOT GOVERNMENT RUN SOCIALIZED CARE. Who are you listening to? pAY ATTENTION: it IS A MANDATE THAT EVERY INDIVIDUAL/FAMILY that cannot get health insurance via employment (whether due to part time or just not offered or denied because of illness if self-employed) can (regardless of pre-existing conditions) get FROM A PRIVATE INSURER LIKE BLUE CROSS BLUE SHIELD or GEHA or AETNA etc (or NAME WHATEVER YOUR DAMN PRIVATE INSURER IN THE USA) a policy to cover yourself. THE MANDATE IS TO BUY YOUR OWN *AFFORDABLE* PACKAGE FROM A PRIVATE INSURER THAT WON’T DISCRIMINATE OR DENY YOU FOR ALREADY BEING SICK.

      Unless you are so working poor – in that gap space, where you are not poor enough to qualify for Medicaid/welfare and not wealthy enough (either due to low wages or illness that cost so much to treat – permanent illness NOT catastrophic or self-induced – I mean Type 1 Diabetes, cancers not caused by lifestyle, genetic illnesses like Muscular Dystrophy – of which most don’t kill or shorten lifespan – etc) to pay outrageous insurance and copays, ONLY THEN would the Fed govt help you pay for the plan (the plan still being obtained from and paid out to A PRIVATE INSURANCE COMPANY THAT ALREADY EXISTS IN THE USA.

      Don’t you know what the rest of us called the Affordable Care Act? While you dummkopfs were calling it Obamacare, those of us aware of it’s true structure have been calling it the OBAMA’S GIFT TO THE INSURANCE INDUSTRY. This plan extensively GROWS the private, FOR-PROFIT, capitalist industry known as insurance/healthcare companies of the USA!

      And waiting lists and denials of service? Oh by George – you’ve never had any more that a cold, have you????

      I had excellent insurance via a job I still have. I have had arthritis (a genetic autoimmune illness) since I was a teenager. So by the time I was a young adult it wore away one of my major joints which could be repaired by surgery plus a year and half of physical therapy during which I could continue working – without which I would have lost my ability to eat and speak normally thereby eventually losing my job and requiring an intestinal feeding tube. I saw the surgeon, his office and the hospital obtained the needed permissions and clearing from my work insurer. The surgery was scheduled. I had the surgery and did splendidly and returned to work while continuing physical therapy. 14 months after having paid the surgeon, the hospital, the physical therapist and while I still had 4 more months of therapy to go – MY INSURER WROTE TO ME, THE DOCTOR, THE HOSPITAL AND THE PHYSICAL THERAPIST ASKING BACK FOR EVERY PENNY THEY HAD PAID OUT. They concluded after all this time that they had erroneously allowed my treatment and that now they had decided it was not a covered charge after all. When the I contacted each caregiver and instructed them that I had immediately petitioned an appeal of this ridiculous decision and that they should and could hold off on returning any funds as I fully intended to go the distance with the appeal and win – they told me they had no choice but to return the money. The hospital told me the insurer threatened to not pay out any other outstanding claims they had on any patient if they did not refund as it was in their contract to do so and cut them off as a provider as well. So the hospital immediately had already returned every penny!
      My surgeon, who did care if he accepted their plans or not, told them to f-off and that he’d await the appeal decision (seriously his office manager told me they had no current outstanding bills with the insurer so that’s why he didn’t care). The therapist had an ongoing fight with them where they stopped all future claims (from me) and kept asking back for the old payment. I “won” the appeal, in the way that they claimed they would let monies already out there to stay, but refused to repay the hospital and the next 4 months of my therapy. I had to got to the CEO’s office sobbing with paperwork what turned out to be the size
      of 4 phonebooks including all my financials to beg them to waive the money I now owed them. The CEO OK’d it and told me that he was forced to do this several times a month (they were not a public hospital, but a private Christian non-profit) because of insurers who would do the same thing to other patients!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
      So you see, George, I did nothing wrong, I WORK, PAY INTO MY EXTENSIVE PRIVATE INSURANCE PLAN (FOR WHICH I PAY MORE AND GET LESS BECAUSE OF MY PRE-EXISTING CONDITIONS), WHICH LEAVES ME WITH LESS LUXURIES IF ANY IN LIFE, I GOT THE REQUIRED PERMISSION TO HAVE MY TREATMENT, IT WAS APPROVED AND DONE. AND LIKE A DISAPPOINTED, CHEATING HUSBAND, MY INSURER THEN DECIDED A DIVORCE AND FINANCIAL BACK-COMPENSATION WAS IN ORDER – WHICH WOULD HAVE LEFT ME IN BANKRUPTCY. THE surgery and hospital costs where in the 10’s of thousands. BUT IT FIXED ME AND ALLOWED ME TO REMAIN A PRODUCTIVE TAXPAYING YOUNG PERSON WHO IS NOW in my 50s. WHICH WOULD HAVE COST YOU (VIA THE GOVT) A LIFETIME OF WELFARE IF I HAD BEEN UNABLE TO CONTINUE WORKING. AND BELIEVE I PAY A LOT OF TAXES GEORGE BECAUSE UNLIKE YOUR SUB-EDUCATED SELF I AM AN ENGINEER WITH A PhD MAKING 6 figures BECAUSE OF MY BRAIN POWER AND I CAN WORK ANYWHERE IN THIS COUNTRY DESPITE THE ECONOMY OR ANYWHERE IN THE WORLD. MY current company outsourced to China and sent me there for awhile – no problem because I’m not a factory worker or an accountant. I would have been bankrupted and never gone on to post-grad school if I had to repay the hospital and the therapist etc. The therapist worked out a plan which took me forever to pay down so I could receive those last 4 months of therapy. It put off the rest my education for 5 years.

      F-U George, I used to care about everyone who wasn’t a criminal, but now I no longer care about stupid, ignorant, hateful people like you!!!

      I can’t wait for the day you become a diabetic or get pancreatic cancer or quickly debilitating adult rheumatoid arthritis!!!! And beg for the lasted best care in existence just to find out you can’t afford it and that you’ve lost your health insurance because you lost your job because you were too sick to work or your employer just couldn’t deal with you new sick schedule or how crippled you look now in that cane or wheelchair. And i hope you die, slowly and alone and sobbing.

      You think Jesus will be proud of you and your attitude when you show up in Heaven? He’ll be showing you the door, the door to hell.

    2. …..US government can’t do anything right and spends too much money doing it wrong, then more money trying to make it right with no success…..on and on it goes

    3. Trevor my man you can take the USPS off the list! The United States Post Office Department with the Post Master General a Cabinet appointed post became the United States Postal Service back in the early 70’s due to a Postal Strike that shut down the mail service! President Nixon pardoned the strikers, created the USPS, eliminated the PMG cabinet post and appointed a board of governors to run the Postal Service. Taking that responsibility away from the Congress, mostly the Post Office and Civil Service Committee. It was also mandated that unions were allowed to bargan for wages, work rules, etc. and the Postal Service was to become entirely self supporting within 5 years. The new government Postal Service met these goals and has been self supporting since. Efforts to then dismantle the Postal Service by those who wanted to privatize it from the start became more pressing. Opening up UPS to take more of the delivery of parcels, then came Fed X into the delivery of parcels and then added special deliveries. The Constitution still mandated the Federal Govt. would maintain a nation wide communication through personal delivery which is what has held it all together. The sanctity of the mail box protected by the Constitution made this possible. As the years passed by failed attempts at privatizing came and went. Then not to many year ago a mandate was issued that the USPS was to pre-fund it’s retirement system based on expected future retirees and do it within 5 years. This requiring billions of dollars to be paid and this was added to the annual deficit of the USPS until it was paid. Guess what today that is behind us and the USPS is back in the black! Not only that but the fear of electronic transfer of mail and the competition of other delivery services have produced the opposite of what was expected. Today the USPS is fighting back in many ways and ironically the
      UPS and Fed X has become the USPS best customers. They have found in a sufficient number of cases it is better for them to mail their deliveries rather than deliver them. Check your UPS or Fed X order next time you may be surprised to see it was the USPS that delivered it! Hope this has given some food for thought!

  75. I thought the U.S. was all about equality and fair treatment? Does it look like that for the uninsured? nope, zilch, nada.

  76. GOVERNMENT…………………………….HOW CAN YOU SLEEP AT NITE KNOWING THAT “THE PEOPLE” ARE DYING BECAUSE THEY DNT HAVE HEALTH CARE WOW BT I KNO WHAT IT IS $$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$.OO

  77. HOW THE FUK ARE WE THE RICHEST COUNTRY ON THE PLANT N WE STILL DO HAVE FREE HEALTH CARE WHEN 3RD WORLD COUNTRY HAVE IT ……WOW BT I KNO WHAT IT IS $$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$.00

  78. With the argument that i just read from George and similar ones I hear

    “Sorry, but health care should not be a right! You somehow believe socialized health care will suddenly save more lives?! Tell that to the thousands that have died sitting on a waiting list for a procedure in the UK or Canada.”

    I am reminded of something

    “One death is a tragedy; one million is a statistic.”

    You know who said that? Stalin. I hate to break it you, but people die on a waiting list for a procedure here to. You are talking as if it doesn’t happen here (United States) when you say such things, or it sounds as if you don’t want more people to be covered because it has the possibility of clogging the system. To be much more evil about it (that is what I am good at) it almost sounds as though you are inferring we should keep those without insurance away from doctors and let them die, so when you or your family get sick they can get care quicker and save time in their busy lives. An inconvenience for you may mean life for someone else.

    We live in the “greatest country on Earth” but when it comes to keeping our citizens healthy we say “you don’t have health insurance, oh well, go in the corner and die.” Lets start acting like this is the “greatest country on Earth” and help our fellow citizens in their time of need; if that means providing them with health care when they are sick, then so be it. Even if it is a treatment like chemotherapy or a disease like muscular dystrophy. If not, then we say we will help each other, but we don’t really mean it.

    BTW: The “high risk” insurance offered by some states should be called “pay with your limbs” insurance.

  79. George
    Have you ever had too see a specialist? There are times when it takes up to two months before you can get an appointment. I call that a waiting list. I have also heard the argument that Canadians come here for their care because their “wait is so long”. Those people that come here can “afford” to pay for their care and come here.
    My son who got his private insurance before his Cobra was exhausted, has just been notified that because of hie did not exhaust his Cobra, his previous condition would not be covered. He now owes over 4000 in medical bills that he thought his insurance would be covering. Now this young man wants to work, has been putting in a minimum of 3 applications a week, he applies where ever they have a sign and positiions online. I say a minimum of three because he has to send in his contacts to unemployment and the requirement in Michigan is 3 and he cannot find a job, much less one in his engineering field.
    Meanwhile, I have noticed countless fliers for spaghetti dinners, bowling fund raisers, raffles, candy sales etc. that are for specific children whose families need help to pay for medical procedures and expenses. I would much rather pay a tax so the US could have a health system comparable to Canada, United Kingdom, Sweden or even France and Australia than to have to see people try to raise the extra money that they need to pay for these expenses.
    A couple of things that struck me as illogical…. The FDA was trying to keep people from buying their medicine from Canada, yet have nothing to say about Walmart importing drugs from an India Facility who has run afoul of the FDA previously The other is my son received a prescription for Zantac 150 mg. He went to fill it at the pharmacy counter and the cost without his insurance was around $38.00 he didn’t have the cash to pay for it, his insurance company had not processed his payment yet and again we had to call the insurance company and get the mistake fixed. Mean time I went to a different pharmacy and figured I would get him some over the counter Zantac to help relieve his acid reflux, and I find Zantac 150 mg as over the counter medicine same amount of pills for 19.95. I looked to see if there was any difference and compared the labels, No difference. Hmmmmm…. I think the Health care system does need a Lot of reform.

    1. George,
      My granddaughter has CP, a long wait is 6 mos – 12 mos. to see a specialist….and I live in the US. I have had the opportunity to work with our Canadian neighbors and they laughed at me when I said exactly what you “had heard.” They (the Canadian’s) don’t pay any higher taxes than we do,,,,,but wait they haven’t spent billions of dollars trying to find weapons of mass destruction, or bailing out the banks. Get your facts straight…..George (hold it is this GWB?)

      1. This is so true! Right now the Canadian government wants to buy just 15 new fighter jets and the Canadian people just aren’t going for it. We think that the jets are too expensive and not what we need. Also 15 jets seems like a rather large number. We don’t get too involved in other people’s wars unless there are human rights issues at stake. (although our current Prime Minister is a bit of an idiot and wants to appear like a big ass World Leader tough guy type; we’ve never had one of those before.) Our banking system didn’t collapse at all because we have tighter regulations and all mortages with less than 25% down payment are insured. We value very different things in Canada that Americans don’t particulaly value. We don’t value war, power and money for money’s sake. Perhaps it’s becuse we have a lot of land and hardly any people; we really need to depend on one another. We don’t use ‘liberal’ as a bad word. We even have a ‘Liberal’ party.
        We also aren’t as caught up in the Protestant work ethic. It is unlikely that a Canadian will believe that having money is a sign that you are one of God`s saved people, or that being poor is a sign that God has excluded you from salvation. Because of our large French and English population we have huge Catholic and Anglican communities and a broader mix of Catholic and Anglican (Episcopal) Christianities. Because of our small population our protestant churces united into one church called the United Chruch which lost its Calvinist intensity. Salvation through forgiveness is a more common paradigm here as opposed to salvation by grace.
        We also encourage imigrants to hold on to their homeland cultures, languages and relgions; we don’t insist that people blend in and become ‘Canadians’. Because of this we have a very global-multicultural value system.
        We are proud, very proud of our social programs.We sometimes argue about whether we spend too much or too little on them but we never talk about getting rid of them. We seem to understand that no one can pull themself up by their bootstraps if they don`t have boots. We wouldn`t tolerate anyone dying from lack of health care. You have a right to `life, liberty and the pursit of happiness` In Canada we have only had a constitution for 30 years and before that we had the right to `peace, order and good government’. We hold our governments to very high standards. Your values are all individual values, ours are all community values. Perhaps if you thought more about the life, liberty and happiness of everyone the healthcare issue would seem obvious.

  80. To George-

    I grew up in a very large family. We were poor when I was young but didn’t leech off the government as you might suspect. My parents worked hard and both started successful buisnesses. So like you said no whinning and complaining, just good old fashioned hardwork. We had great coverage or so we thought until my brother was paralyzed from the neck down in a freak accident. In one year with good coverage my parents lost both their retirement funds and one of their company’s to medical bills. Myself and 2 other sisters currently work more menial jobs so that we can help care for him. Before this I had a great job with benefits, now because I choose to care for my brother I can’t afford benefits. Half our bankruptcies in the united states are attributed to medical expenses, sickness and illnesses can destroy families lives. Even with insurance today we don’t have quality care, it doesn’t treat preventive, prescription and administrative costs are outrageous if you think its just the wacko President and the Liberal left that want a healthcare change tell that to the 70% of Americans who are unhappy with the healthcare system…..

  81. This is to george, there is already universal health care in the US. Every murderer, rapist, rober, and any other criminal that you can think of has it. Every suspected 9-11 terrorist has it in Cuba. Every afghany and iraqi get is provided by the US. But yet the people that have worked hard, have never tried to take a short cut around the system, and under the cirmistances of our current situations are under hard times now have to fend for our selves. I am a veteran of iraqi freedom, i was discharged under medical conditions for severe ptsd. My GI bill was not honored for not fullfilling my full inlistment. The best job i could get when i got out was on a oil rig. Well its not hard to figure out that im not in the oil field right now. After everything ive done for YOUR freedom, i still have to fend for myself. It is people like you that makes me sick. But in the words of your first comment, im probably just some lazy bum that wont stand up and try to earn what i want. Spend one night in my nightmares and then think about everything you have said. I love that i served my country until i realize how selfish so many americans are.(YOU) I have nothing, im not complaining, i havent griped to our government about my situation, I havent begged for sympathy. Even though i lack nearly everything you probably have, cars, house, savings account, hell even a checking account, i have something you will never have. I volunteer myself for the needy every week. I dont know them, i dont know if they are there by choice or unfortanate circumstances, but i do know they need help. I challenge you to figure out what that means. Imagine if the couple of hundred of dollars a month that you spend on your private healthcare system that only a small percentage is used for medical and the rest goes to paying off the politicians that you love so dearly and the insurance execs. living your AMERICAN DREAM(meaning getting rich off you)is instead put in a system that already exist or a new one so that you get that same coverage, your neighbor gets that coverage, and honest people like me that have never done anything wrong, made the right choices, but just havent had the luck that most have gets that coverage. But oh wait, “thats rediculus, I worked for my insurance, F the rest of you right?” (Not your exact words but pretty close.)

  82. I appreciate the debate going on here. Here are a few comments:

    1. Emergency health care is already a right in the US – emergency care is guaranteed by law:

    2. Since emergency health care is already a right, it makes sense that everyone should have to pay for that right.

    3. A logical way to make sure that everyone is paying for their ER rights is to require insurance, and to tax those who don’t have insurance in order to reimburse hospitals when those uninsured do go to the ER. The government currently spends billions to compensate hospitals for the care of the uninsured, and taxing the uninsured is a reasonable way to pay for this:

    I think the idea of an insurance mandate in that sense is perfectly reasonable. There are other ways to ensure health care for all, but that’s what looks most likely in the US. The issue of health care costs will still have to be dealt with, however – and this will prove more difficult.

  83. i understand ppl not wanting to be paying for other ppls healthcare. i really wouldnt want to either. but arent you already?? with social security and medicare/medicaid… yes u already are. and dont u already pay for your own healthcare?? more than likely you do. so wouldnt it make alot of sense to instead of already paying for others and also privately paying for yourself to just pay less than you currently combined pay and then EVERYONE be covered. i work two jobs and am a full time student. i make plenty of money to be able to pay for school and still purchase great private health insurance. BUT…. because im diabetic (which i was diagnosed at ten) im unable to qualify for said insurance. how fair is this? something that i had no choice of getting i now am forced to pay for. i use four bottles of insulin a month. they cost 100 dollars a piece plus testing supplies. 100 a month doctors visits 500 a year provided im perfectly healthy. another 500 a year for blood work again if im perfectly healthy. then if i do get sick i have to find a hospital that will accept me and will treat me which usually ends in a NO because of lack of insurance. so essentially the healthcare system just said F.U u developed diabetes at a young age therefore u shall die. (unless your a millionaire)

    1. Diabetic Student – can you not get insurance through your school? Many schools offer some form of coverage to students that you can pay a more reasonable rate to purchase.

      I empathize with your situation – this is precisely why the US needs to end its distinction as the only developed nation without some form of universal health care!

      The sad thing about the system today is that as a diabetic, you will get Medicare immediately as soon as you have renal failure, but not before. It would be much cheaper and more beneficial for society to help you prevent renal failure, but that’s the vagary of current law. I am hopeful that this can be fixed.

      Though most reform plans under discussion don’t start til around 2013, President Obama indicated an interest in providing stopgap insurance for high-risk individuals starting in 2010 – so hopefully you will have some choices soon.

  84. Also, do you really think the government can run this properly if does go thru?! It will very likely be many times larger a cost to the nation than whatever fake number they dream up and will end up bankrupting everything. Name any similar program that has worked flawlessly or even stayed at the costs they projected? Let’s see – USPS, no – Social Security, no – Medicare/Medicaid, no

    1. George, the U.S. military doesn’t work flawlessly or stay at the projected cost… should we give up on that and let the private sector take it over and do a better job? I mean Blackwater was such a model private sector army…

    2. Who and what are you George? Do even have anything that resembles a HUMAN HEART?
      Out of 33 industrialized nations, only one country does not provide affordable healthcare of some form to all their citizens. That country is the UNITED STATES OF AMERICA! Those other countries…they seem to be doing fine while taking care of their citizens. I guess we’re the only nation who got it right though, huh George? Tell it to the 44,000 people who die each year because they can’t afford to get preventive care before it became too late for them to be cured. I’m talkin’, yearly check-ups, MRIs, Petscans, Mammagrams..all those nifty little tests that catch a disease in it’s early stages and treat it successfully!
      I am a 66 year old woman who lost her job two years ago and can’t find another one (that age thing ya know). Thank God I get Social Security and Medicare (that evil, socialistic program which I have paid into for 50 years) as a month ago I was diagnosed with Breast Cancer and have since had a modified radical mastectomy. I had to have all those tests I mentioned above & if I hadn’t had Medicare would have been denied them. No insurance, don’t you know. Can’t afford the $750.00 a month the insurance companies wanted for coverage, since I lost almost all of my savings & stocks in the last big debaucle of the Bush Administration! I still have to go thru Chemotherapy, radiation & all those cancer treatments not to mention I will also end up with a HUGE amount I will have to pay since Medicare does not provide full coverage and I can’t afford supplemental insurance..gotta eat, pay utilities, housing, etc. ya know!
      God Bless President Obama for finally after 60 years of fighting big business interests, Right-Wing Repulicans and ne-er do wells, we finally have (or will have in 4 years, too late for a lot of people, but for those who survive until the healtcare kicks in) affordable healthcare for the PEOPLE. Not just for those who we elect to run our country, and by the way, pay their salaries through our taxes, or for those lucky enough to be rich or have a decent paying job with health insurance coverage!
      Sorry to get personal here George, but it doesn’t seem to matter to you how many tragic stories you hear about people who have inadequate healthcare or none at all. What does seem to matter to you appears to be that extra dollar or two that might come out of your paycheck to help them!
      Oh, and George, that America you were pining has become a nation of Greed! All that matters is that an individual succeeds in becoming wealthy! Well, sorry bout that, but a lot of us don’t become wealthy enough to keep up with the rising costs of EVERYTHING! Especially when we haven’t gotten a raise in 7 years, so the big corporations can put more money in their and their stockholders pockets. Used to be, owners of companies on average made 30-40% more than their employees. Not anymore. The goal in this country is now to become filthy rich and the poor can go to hell! Sometimes the poor lash back. When Marie Antoinette was advised her people had no bread to eat, she replied, “Well then, let them eat cake! We all know what happened to Marie Antoinette. Off with her head!
      You’re not thinking of your nation and it’s people George. You’re thinking of it’s wealth only! Sometimes we have to sacrifice to help others more unfortunate than us, it’s what makes us good people. It’s what made us a great nation..the longer I live, the more I believe we have lost our way. We need more people to stand up for “WE THE PEOPLE”, not “WE THE CORPORATIONS AND BIG BUSINESS”!

      1. Actually, decent post but most or all university level scolars agree she did not say let them eat cake, it was a made up piece of propaganda, the royals actually tried to help the people but due to ineptitude failed to do so and made the situation worse. and by the way people Canada has a great health system and at dinner parties we mock the amarican peasents for being so foolish to believe what fox news and people paid by your hmo/s say about it. keep being peasents specially you georgie boy, but remember your place 33rd of 34 in a list of developed contries. Oh thats almost dead last, wow you must be proud to be an american. Must be wonderful to be an ignorant expendable peasent.

        for all those amaricans who want universal health care, just so you know we dont mock you at dinner parties, and you should really let the peasents know that.

        And just so all of you who dont want universal healthcare know, youve been trolled by your governement, troll lalolalalo so gain some intelegence stop being a stupid peasent, have loyalty to your felow countrymen, and stop worrying so much about reds, worry more about being such a useless yellow dbag.

    3. Several years ago I read an article of a governor from the east that had broken his leg and while recovering at home he was going over the medical bills and had noticed many descrepancies. Most of the bill was abbreaviated or in codes that could not be read. He contacted a lady in Chicago that ran a buisness that would overlook medical billings for people and for a % of the savings she would go over and correct their bill. She had been in buisness 4 years and corrected thousands of billings and had only found a few billings that were correct with millions of dollars in overcharges with the average overcharges beeing 30% – 40%.
      After this incident the governor came to the conclusion that medical bills should include billing the public can read or a list of the meanings of abbreaviations or codes. He also recomended offering state employees and uninsured people that the state pays their medical bills the same 10% savings payed directly to them. This would intise most to check their bills that would save the state millions. He claimed that this savings would cover most of the cost of the uninsured.
      I don’t remember the state or governor but was really impressed with his proposal. If the United States would follow his idea we would save billions. It should be made that all billings should be understandable to all americans with insurance Co. beeing fined a % of their billing overcharges. This should make most insurance co. more honest and greatly help in reducing health cost.

      1. Kevin, months later I reply… we now have a few changes, bravo. The “new” system would cut these false charges so 80% of the money goes to actual cost of the care. I am friends and work in health centers (yes, the plant lady, and by night musician) and I know for a fact what you say is true. Even nurses are disgusted at the unnecessary procedures being done, charging seniors’ medicare thousands over what is needed.

    4. You’re right, George. We in Canada and those in the U.K. are all bankrupt!!! (NOT).
      Even the crash of 2008 didn’t bankrupt us like it did the Americans.
      And yet, we pay more taxes than you do… hmmm…. how does that work, exactly?? Am I poor because of it? No effin way, pal!

  85. Sorry, but health care should not be a right! You somehow believe socialized health care will suddenly save more lives?! Tell that to the thousands that have died sitting on a waiting list for a procedure in the UK or Canada. Millions of people die everyday around the world, whether they have health care or not, due to the circumstances of their injuries. The percentage of those that die strictly due to them not having appropriate health care is very small. Of those situations where the hospital staff did not provide an appropriate level of care due strictly to what insurance card they had should be dealt with that organization – you don’t just take a broad stroke and say “we will mandate care for everyone!” The cost of this socialized medicine will come out of my pocket, your pocket and everyone else that is working! It will not come from the “evil corporations”, who by the happen to be paying your check, it will come from you. Corps do not really pay taxes – when taxes increase the cost of the products they produce will go up, what they pay employees may even go down but at the very least employees may not see any raises, etc…. So this bs that liberals like to ooze that “oh we will make the evil corps and rich people pay for it” is ignorant – the cost of the higher taxes will get passed right on down to the end consumer or employee. I can certainly see why you are for it “Mom of young adult” since you are in the UAW – with Barry catering to the Unions so he can essentially buy the votes and give the handouts in that direction…

      1. lol, I love how positive Americans turn their horrific medical finance situation into something good. While the rest of the developed world enjoys Universal Healthcare, USA sreams ”well its not a right, so thats why we dont have it.”

        wake up! eat your pride and you know it doesnt hurt to actually look at another country for help? but your to proud for that, you rather have poor Americans suffer instead.

    1. The people on “waiting lists” in Canada are waiting for non-emergency proceedures, because the system funnels the emergency ones ahead of them. People are not dying “waiting for their turn”. Just because you can’t run in to your Dr. and request a proceedure that your friend told you about, doesn’t mean that the system is inferior. It means that it has put a different level of priority on “consumer driven” healthcare than the US system has in place now.

      Universal Health Care is NOT free, it is paid for through taxes, which in reality is societal insurance. It ensures that people are cared for at a time when they are most vulnerable, without the mental anguish of “what will the cost of this proceedure do to our family financially? Will we be able to survive this?”. The idea that today you are able, but tomorrow you might not be, should be prevelent in every persons mind when thinking of denying those who are not able THIS day. There are no guarantees in life that your circumstances might not be desparate next week, next month or next year. Even if you think you have planned for everything.

      Having been a resident of both countries, and having a child with a major medical condition, I have no appreciation for the US health care system (But immense respect for the health care providers). He will always have this disease (unless a cure is found) and will be labeled with a pre-existing condition if he tries to get health insurance as an adult in the States. We receive equal care for our child in both Canada and the US, so there is no validity in the argument that you receive inferior care in Canada. What we did receive is astronomical bills in the US, even with “excellent” health insurance. We are fortunate in that we can afford these bills, but for the grace of circumstances, and still it is stressful. If we did not earn the income that we did, I can not imagine the anguish of choosing between taking your child to the Dr. and paying for heat or your mortgage.

      The US health system is a sickness in itself. One that promotes survival of the fittest, profit from pain, and an each man for himself mentality. It is my belief that when you sacrifice supporting the greater good of your society, you erode the basic threads of humanity.

      I wish for your sake George, that you live a healthy life, always have a job, never have a child with a major illness, or never lose your insurance. Too bad you can’t look past the fortune of your life, to see that there are good people out there who make all the right decisions and still come up short. Just out of curiosity, when you donate to an organization, do you think of yourself as a socialist or a good citizen?

    2. Pardon me? I lived in Canada most of my life. When I became terribly ill, I not only got the MRI’s I required but got them within four hours of getting into the ER. I had a neurologist consulting with me about what my results meant within an hour after that. I then was able to get MRI’s every 9 months to a year in order to monitor my conditions, as per what I needed and saw my neuro every 6 months unless something showed on one of the MRI’s where I would end up in his office the morning after he received the report. AND THIS IS THE NORM!
      If you have a life threatening condition, and there is a treatment for it, you will have that treatment asap and take priority over others for whom it is not life threatening. People rarely die on waiting lists – WHERE THE HELL DO YOU GET YOUR INFORMATION!!!!??? When my father had an issue with his veins he required surgery, and yes he waited a month for treatment for a non-life threatening condition. However, when a friend of mine had a issue with his brain that required surgery to fix, it was life threatening and he was treated within 18 hours. Shall I give you more examples? My daughter had to go to emergency when she injured her knee, and not only was she seen quickly, but then received excellent physical therapy through CHEO in order to ensure that she would recover and not need surgery at 8yrs old.
      Of course, part of the whole idea of Canadian (and other countries universal systems) health care is preventative. You see your doctor every year for a check up, if you are sick you see a doctor or head to a non-urgent care clinic. You ensure that your health is the best it can be by routine checks. Many American’s appear to be incredibly short sighted. A healthy community is a prosperous community. If you have healthy workers who are not stressed that a medical issue would lose them EVERYTHING, they tend to be more productive, miss less days of work and are able to maintain a healthy standard of living. Think people! Instead of seeing it as ‘handouts’ how about looking at it as protecting all American’s best interests.

    3. George,

      I am sick of hearing uninformed Americans running down the UK healthcare service (the NHS). You do NOT have to wait years for appointments, surgery or anything else. If you require non-urgent surgery, it should all normally be sorted well before 6 months. If it is life threatening you do not die while you wait. Cancer treatment will commence in no longer than two weeks and any condition which is immediately life threatening will be treated immediately.

      Last year I broke my arm and one week after my first FREE visit to A&E (ER) I went for a follow-up. The X-ray showed that the bones were not joining up and I was immediately admitted to hospital where surgery was carried out the next day. Whilst I was in there, they found out that my alcohol intake was dangerously high, so I had a further week’s detox. After that I was put on an anti-dependancy program. All this was free because my country values me sufficiently that it tries to keep me in good health.

      PS I am not a down and out alky. I could fund my dependancy dozens of times over!

      I am sure your allegations about Canada will be ill-received by Canadians, but I can’t speak for them.

      Stop your mindset that because your American, at least your care is better than other countries. It’s not .

    4. George, you are so popular…I will tell you my sister got very sick in England and the ambulance picked all 5 siblings and took us to the hospital. She was treated and released in 3 days, They were cheerful, and non-judgemental. We left, no bills and I have ever since wanted the US to have the same type of healthcare. By the way, my brother was injured in Germany, the same trip and he was also taken care of, no questions, what a trip. That’s my contribution, oh I do not have health coverage, as many do not so of course want a change for all. (how socialist of me, huh?)

      1. I thought Americans believed constitutinally that each and everyone of you has the right to life. Healthcare protects that right. If you don’t have the right to healthcare how is your right to life assured?

    5. There are far more obese people in the US compared to Canada. Also, the average life expectancy is greater in Canada than in the US.
      The statistics speak for themselves. It seems to be clear which health care system is working better for its citizens.

      1. Ele: I thought that in America you have the right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. If you have the right to life, doesn’t that mean that you have the right to protect that life through health care?
        I live in Canada and it is just American propoganda that people die on waiting lists here. It would make national headlines here if someone died on a waiting list.
        If you don’t believe that human life is a right stop spouting that ‘life, liberty and happiness’ rhetoric. The original point of this article was that the US stands alone in the developed world when it comes to caring for its citizens. You stand 31st out of 33 overall according to the World Health Organization on measures of quality of life. If you were 34th you would be classsified as a developing nation rather than a developed nation.
        Helping to care for others in society isn’t called socialism; its callled Christianity.When Cain says to God “Am I my brother’s keeper?” the answer was, and still is “Yes.”

      2. Sorry Ele, I thought that a different comment was yours, one about healthcare not being a right. It came up under your name on my email.

  86. How many more humans have to die before people realize that Health Care should be a right not a privilege? When my son was 14 he took a nasty spill on his bike. Stitches, fractured jaw, and a lacerated liver. Because I had an excellent health insurance plan (thank you UAW), my son had the necessary tests done to find the injury and monitor his liver. Another young girl at the ER with a similar accident did not get the same treatment due insurance that did not cover what ours did. Is this right for your child? My excellent health plan continues and my son turns 23, attends community college (thank you UAW) and works a part-time job in retail. He is offered a temporary job at my workplace making much more than at his retail job in March and he planned to work both jobs during the summer. May arrives and he is taken to urgent care. Urgent care tells him his insurance was cancelled. My employer cancelled his insurance when he started work there without notifying me or of the Cobra plan available to me. I paid out of pocket $65.00 for urgent care $125.00 for an Ultra Sound, another $65.00 for an Urologist. Many calls to Urologists and Imaging clinics were made and I was turned away because of no insurance. When I asked what happens to people who can’t pay, I was told, “I guess they die”. Luckily, I was able to get my employer to add him back on a Cobra plan ($400.00/per month) I couldn’t afford this and the generous workers of the UAW plant he and I worked at did a gate pass that covered his Insurance for 6 Months. (thank you UAW). I could not get any other insurance unless his Ultra Sound came back clean. It did not. The Oncologist ordered a PET scan and the Insurance company denied the request. He could not work during his chemotherapy treatments. When he went back to work the retail store would no longer allow him to work there on his part time basis if he was working full time at his temporary full time job. When the temporary job ended, he paid for his school (part time) and I got him private insurance that he paid $152.00 a month. (thanks to Unemployment Benefits) We live in Michigan and he has not been able to find a job since. He hasn’t finished his schooling due to no money to pay for it (thanks for opening the CBA, Congress) and now his insurance increased to 175.00 a month. His Unemployment Benefits are exhausted. He sees the oncologist every other month and needs CAT scans and chest x-rays every three months. He is now almost 25 and a Testicular Cancer Survivor. He is healthy (thank you GOD) and able to work, yet can’t find a job. How do young adults pay for all this??? Heath care should not be just for those who can afford it. People should not die just because they can’t afford the cost to fight a disease. Something needs to be done with the Health Insurance Industry. It once was a benefit of almost all full time workers. Now employers can’t afford to offer that benefit because of the cost or they can only offer to share that cost. The full time jobs are becoming scarce because it is more profitable to employ part time workers and not have to pay them benefits. They want the American Worker to take cuts to “Compete Globally”. Many of the Countries with Universal Health Care also have a much higher rate of Unionized Workers. Their minimum wage is nearly equal to or higher than ours. Check out the list of minimum wages by country at and keep in mind that the US poverty level for one person is $10,830. Just who are we “Competing Globally” with?. And the American worker hasn’t woken up yet to fight back!!!

    1. By law – everyone has a right to health care in the U S – they have had that right for a long time

      Free health insurance does not exist – never will

      High taxes for health insurance, like Germany, at 17% just for health care, is probable, but as the global economy falls apart, the strain of the give away programs will break many state and country’s budgets

  87. George,

    Most of your arguments against universal health care are non-sequitors. First of all, the vast majority of adults in this country who are able to are employed. The vast majority of those who are not employed are not happy about that and are looking for employment. Universal health care is not a handout. All it means is that all people (including the vast majority who work) are guaranteed a basic minimum level of health insurance coverage. It exits in every other industrialized nation on earth and is done so for far less than we spend here in the United States on health care per capita and as a percentage of GDP. In most countries with universal coverage, there is either a two-tiered system of insurance (the government provides a basic level of insurance to all usually funded by a direct tax on income, much like our FICA tax) or a a government mandate (the government simply requires that all people be insured, bans insurance companies from excluding anyone, and provides some subsidies to people with low incomes. Single payer government run systems (socialized medicine) are fairly rare and that option is not being proposed by the president. In any event, what all these systems do, as I said, is ensure that everybody has coverage, and they do this for less than we do here, even though there are close to 50 million people with no coverage.

    You seem to think that enacting universal health care somehow demonizes or down plays hard work, responsibility, and success. Two points on this. 1) Success is not achieved in a vacuum. Our ability to succeed is dependent on society running fairly smoothly and evenly, not to mention the work of others who came before us to lay the foundation for our successes. So, the notion that success of the individual is completely due to the work and gumption of that individual is incomplete 2) Hard work does not guarantee success and financial security. Many people work hard in low or medium wage jobs that do not provide health insurance. Other people are accomplished, work hard, and then due to circumstances beyond their control, lose their jobs, and along with that, their health insurance. There are yet other people who are not necessarily mentally retarded or physically disabled are willing to work but are not able to maintain a job (or a decent paying job that provides insurance) due to mental illness or family emergencies/obligations.

    I suppose that there are certainly people who can work and are unwilling to do so, but such people are very far and few between. I don’t believe that I know anybody like this, and can’t remember remember meeting anybody who fits this description in my life. I am curious to learn if you have met anybody like this–that is somebody who is just flat out unwilling to work.

    1. Amir,
      Unfortunately, with the recent unemployment issues, there are now many people across the country who are not interested in working since the government is issuing them checks. I know at least three individuals like this.

      There will be absolutely no perfect “cure” for the current state of affairs this nation is in. There is also nothing that can be done to appease both sides of the aisle, pertaining the the crisis of health care. The government would be crucified for setting up regulations on health insurance prices, the same as they would be if regulations were put in place for what any health care provider, public or private, could charge for their services.

      The bottom line is the country is no longer in balance. Everyone is looking to the government to “fix” the problem, but no one can agree on a proper solution. We want the economy “fixed”, health care “fixed”, but what are we, as a people, doing to work towards these changes? Everyone seems to have an opinion, but no one wants to listen.

      What if there was less government and more personal responsibility involved for everyone, regardless of circumstances? What if, without government mandates, each person was responsible for his or her own health care? Yes, there are sad stories of people unable to pay their medical bills, but there always will be. I’m not saying these people should be left by the wayside, but it seems ridiculous, to me, to expect the government to take responsibility. Subsidized help based on income is one thing, but government control seems extreme.

      1. “there are now many people across the country who are not interested in working since the government is issuing them checks”

        First, Unemployment Insurance is something that is paid into for every hour you work. It is designed to be there in catastrophic situations just like any insurance. And only people who had jobs can draw unemployment. It is not a handout.

        Second, Unemployment doesn’t pay 100% of your lost wages. In many states it pays 50% or less. So those ‘3 people you know’ are getting by on half what they used to make and are happy about it? They still can pay all their bills and have no interest in returning to making their full wage?
        Maybe you should go ask them if they really exist.

    2. I applaud you for this opinion along with those others who choose to be better than than members of the lesser thinking (as best we can tell) animal populations, that leave their wounded and sick behind, most often to fend for themselves. I have learned, after 30+ years working in US healthcare that, very very often, the loudest selfish complainers about “giving something away to others” quickly become the loudest demanders of “help” when they are sick/down and out, etc. It follows that their distorted sense of self-importance won’t let them tolerate a less than frenetic level of care for themselves. But people can grow up and realize that having a system that enables, rather than helps disable people to or from participating in a society productively, without fear or threat of sudden incapacity is perhaps the best method for long term increased productivity and reduced resentment towards social systems. It engenders stable mental health to see the caring of one’s own people and government.

      1. I live in Canada and many of my doctors are American. American doctors are coming here because they are tired of asking their patients if they can afford treatment, or if the test that they need is covered by their insurance provider. We are all equally human.

      2. @IzzyZ…
        Way to go!!! Reverse Brain Drain!
        This is great news because that means that the ones who REALLY CARE are moving to Canada!!! Thumbs up to those American doctors who value the Hippocratic Oath above greed!!! Keep ’em coming!

  88. I could get on board with the government providing health care for a specific group of people in the US – such as those who are truly handicapped – missing limbs, mentally retarded or disabled veterans. Even some hard line liberals might agree that many people receiving benefits now are simply to lazy to do what is need to garner those benefits thru getting a job and doing what is right to provide their own family, etc… I just don’t want it to be a situation where the government is telling me “this is the health care program you will be on, and despite the fact we are taking your money to pay for it you have no say so in what benefits are offered to you or who else we decide to give the same benefits to even though they are not paying for it” . Illegal aliens should not receive it or people who are of average health and age and fully capable of holding a job. As of right now they should be doing drug tests for people to receive Welfare or Food Stamps, etc…
    America used to be the place where you were free to succeed, follow your dream, anything is possible… In this highly liberal media, demonizing of success it has turned into a situation where if you have truly played by the book, worked hard, sacrificed, worked your way up, made some good decisions, have contributed to society as opposed to most of the current Obama supporters who are more of a burden on society and simply want handouts(not to be confused with a hand up because they do not even want that because then they may have to actually do something for the handout!). But after all of that, if you did everything the right way and succeed, somehow you are viewed as evil? That you did not deserve it or earn it? Where does that evil attitude come from? “I made bad decisions in my life and chose to be a victim and give up therefore you do not deserve anything good either!”
    I don’t understand that.

    1. I am just so happy you don’t live in my country! I see the words solidarity don’t mean anything to you! And of course, I’m sure you consider yourself a good American Christian (only when it’s in your interest of course).

      And then, why shouldn’t Illegals get treatment? You are happy to see them mowing your lawn but you don’t want to see them in your hospitals? WIll you be happy living in a country where your kids see people die in the middle of the street just because they can’t pay to go to hospital?

      I’m trying to imagine what a decent country is for you and I’m sooo happy I don’t live in it.

      1. Jorge, please name me a country that treats illegals any better than the U.S. I can honestly say that I do not have any illegals mowing my lawn or working for me in anyway. Your argument implies negligence. Illegals do not pay taxes and therefore they do not pay for healthcare, they should not be denied treatment, but there should be penalty. As for people dying in the middle of the street, that is completely ridiculous. Please tell me you are not serious, your argument is based that people will not receive any kind of health care and will start dying in the street. The US already has laws that help anyone in a life threatening situation can not be refused treatment. I am currently attending college and live in college slum housing, across the street are middle aged men who do not work or drive cars, and I believe do some sort of drug, weekly they call an ambulance and waste taxpayer money. During an interview with them for a class they informed me they never have to pay a dime for their healthcare.

      2. Where do you get the idea that illegals don’t pay taxes? They do. They deserve health care. They work hard. You wouldn’t be eating vegetables or meat without them we should be saying thanks to them!

      3. Why do you presume that most Americans have anyone but themselves mow their yards. I am 63 years old and purchased my first home when I was 21. From then on it has been 5 others and all yard work has been up to my husband and myself. My neighbors do the same.People do NOT lay down and die in the streets unless they make a choice not to go to the E.R..I would never presume to go to another country and demand any service.Why do people who are not paying my bills tell me I need to come up with even more for a lifestyle they are assuming very wrongly is being lived by the average person here in America? I too am very happy you do not live here demanding things you have never worked for.

    2. I am a struggling gollege student trying to make it on my own and I have a job, I pay taxes but with my other bills I don’t make enough to pay for health insurance or even a visit at the local clinic. Instead I go to school and work sick, I deal with my pre-existing conditions without the option of help unless I go to the ER and want to see a $10,000 bill. So I suppose that I should find a better job in this economy? That I should do something more with my life? That is what I go to school for but unfortunately I can’t put myself in a better situation for the rest of my life without finishing my education. I have also been a homeless child by no fault of my own and unable to recieve care then, a sick child sleeping on the streets and eating out of dumpsters, I did not ask for that situation but that is the hand I was dealt in life and maybe having the opportunity to go to the doctor as needed could have given me some hope for a better tomorrow. When you see a struggling person before you judge them you should know what their life has been like. Some people do not have the motivation and drive to make a better future as I do, some people watched their parents sell drugs and now thats all they know how to do, some people ate out of dumpsters their whole lives and they don’t know how to be different, some people simply lost their jobs and now have nothing, absolutely nothing and it is not always their fault. Have you ever considered that some of those people in line for welfare and social security benefits have paid taxes and they deserve to get what they have paid into the system for?

    3. You got to love the far right conservatives,everything that is a problem in this country can be attributed to minorities stealing there hard earned tax dollars and universal healthcare will just give more to them….you are so wrong, right now those Americans who are lazy and live off the government have universal healthcare through Medicare & Medicaid and have had it for a long time (the world didn’t end BTW) and that those two govt. services account for approximately 55-60% of all health costs in the country we are pretty close to a single payer system now….so what we are really talking about is the 35-40% of healthcare costs paid by private insurance companies for people like George and other hardworking Americans….we pay insurance companies over 400 billion a year in premiums and there is a profit margin on this which through my life experiences is well over 30%…so if you do the math that’s a 120 billion dollars a year in savings (minimum) if we just put everyone on Medicare….and fix the Bush inspired law that Medicare can’t negotiate drug prices…. we could save so much more….Doctors are happy getting paid same price for services, people are happy because they have healthcare just the poor insurance companies are unhappy because all they did was pay the bills but also destroyed many lives because of their greed…I say good riddance

  89. Canada has an excellent health care system. Most of the complaining you hear about and most of everything that makes Canada’s health care system less than what it is, is all from the province of Quebec. Quebec’s health care sucks, the rest of Canada is awesome!

    1. True, Universal Health Care does not necessarily mean Government run – but in the case with USA it does! President Hussein Obama fully intends on taking over healthcare because he is a Socialist and all very liberal democrats tend to lean to the Socialist side and they crave power and control. The current USA administration wants the dumb masses to continue blindly following King Obama and his corrupt Czars! They are ruining a great nation. Healthcare is not a right! Money that I earn by doing what is right and maintaining a job, etc… should not be stolen in the form of taxes to give to some lazy bum he won’t stand up and earn for himself. It is all about this entitlement feeling they have that they should have to work or EARN anything, it should just be given. I don’t want to hear any crap that they are less fortunate either! I have been in a very bad spot in my life as well where I did not have money for food or able to heat my home! But did I blame everyone else or give up? NO! I kept going and corrected what bad decisions had brought me to a bad place! I now live in a very nice, have a very nice income, etc… And I have EARNED it all! I am not more fortunate, lucky, etc… I worked, sacrificed and EARNED it! I did not ask for handouts. Charities and other funds should be left up to individuals to fund and donate money to – not forcibly ripped out of the income other people have honestly earned and sacrificed for!

      1. George, see this post:

        America already has universal health care in the form of EMTALA, a Federal law which requires that ERs treat all comers, period. So we’ve already crossed the bridge into universal health care, unless you’re willing to repeal Medicare, Medicaid, the NIH, and guaranteed ER access.

        In a perfect world, I think the US should start its health care system over with something cleaner and simpler, where the government provides at most limited catastrophic insurance and HSAs (the Singapore system), or where the government provides free clinics for the poor (like the VA), and then lets everyone else fend for themselves.

        But that’s unlikely, so it looks like compromise is the order of the day. And I’ve seen nothing in Obama’s actions to suggest that he’s not fairly moderate. He is fighting the liberal wing of his own party to keep things moderate. In the end, if we get a system that both left and right hate, we probably got it right.

      2. George – Can’t you make your point without all the inflammatory remarks? Your point is lost in all your hate speech.

      3. Dear George, Not all people who would get health coverage under the healthcare reform bill passed by the UNITED STATES congress recently. Take me, for example. I am a 39 year-old male, unmarried, no kids (I was responsible), I am a nurse with 20 years of experience working in AMERICAN hospitals, helping to save the lives of all AMERICANS. I have given my life to the pursuit of helping to heal others. I was recently laid off because the hospital I work at lost too much money from uninsured people coming into our ER for general healthcare, which cost our small hospital millions and millions! I am now out of work, and have no health Ins. I was denied COBRA b/c religious based hospitals are exempt from providing COBRA healthcare extension benefits. I was denied for Medical because I am a male with no children. So, I am not a bum, or irresponsible. I am an educated, responsible adult, paid my own way through college, and have hurt my back through working as a nurse, but now have no health insurance. Because I have a prior history of back problems-stemming from lifting so many of my patients over the years, the few insurance companies that will offer me coverage have quoted me a monthly fee of $850 on average, for just BASIC healthcare coverage. I cannot afford this. I do NOT want welfare, I do NOTwant handouts, but I do need, deserve, expect, and want AFFORDABLE health insurance. Since the current system is a total failure for myself and 40 million other Americans-many of whom like me, are NOT bums, are NOT irresponsible, are NOT undeserving, are NOT leeches of taxpayers, but are hard-working, educated, good-hearted, America-loving people that deserve the HUMAN RIGHT of healthcare. Funny, but practically EVERY WESTERN, INDUSTRIALIZED, MODERN COUNTRY has FREE, UNIVERSAL HEALTHCARE COVERAGE—EXCEPT, of course, THE UNITED STATES, which does NOT!!!!! -What does that tell you? Do you still think I do not deserve healthcare coverage, which the a majority of the US Congress, which was democratically elected by the people of the United States, voted for? The US spent close to $900 BILLION on the IRAQ WAR ALONE, since 2001. The US spends more per GDP on our military than the entire rest of the world COMBINED! Why do you and other neo-con republicans think we cannot afford the $900 Billion price tag of healthcare, yet the same republicans feel we CAN afford the $900 billion price tag of the Iraq War, which has ALREADY been spent? (which, btw, WAS supported by many democrats, whereas healthcare reform bill was not supported by even ONE single republican?) Why do you and other republicans feel the US can afford to buy 200 Raptor jet fighters, which cost $200 MILLION EACH, and has ordered 200, yet we cannot afford to give our neighbors basic healthcare coverage, (that God, btw, says to love and treat as we would want to be treated)? America IS a dream, and anything is possible, that is, UNLESS you are a 12 year-old with Multiple Sclerosis, and your family is broke from paying out of pocket for your $2,000 PER MONTH health care costs, since the Ins. carrier that family PAID for, dropped the child from coverage due to pre-existing condition.–What about HER AMERICAN DREAM? –It is shattered, and is, like healthcare in the US for 40 million people–an AMERICAN NIGHTMARE, not a dream. Why is it that the US REPUBLICANS seem to think we can surely afford, and it is a noble cause, to pay for 100% of TRICARE, which is 100% FREE healthcare coverage for America’s Military and their families–whether they have pre-existing conditions or not–they are covered–why do the same republicans and you feel we can afford that, for THOSE Americans, but not for others, who also work, who also contribute to noble causes, who also pay taxes?

        The next time I have a republican like you in the ICU, that is my patient, when I find a new job, I hope I do not somehow “forget” to use the right dose of heart medication when I am saving YOUR life!


      4. Dear Tim Tom,
        Thank you for so elequently explaining to poor, uninformed Geroge why Universal Healthcare is important and a human right for all Americans. God forbid that something should happen to Dear George; like losing his job, and not be able to afford his hard-earned health insurance, getting a catastrophic disease, not being able to pay his dr. and hospital bills, not able to afford prescriptions to treat his illness, then getting sued, having to lose his home, cars because of the bills he owes to healthcare and then having to file bankruptcy which has happend to thousands of Americans!
        Good luck to you George and may the rest of us be damned because by God you did it and the rest of us should be able to also! For (right now) you have yours!

      5. Please, Work in the Healthcare Field before you make such statements!— Listen to people choosing between food and medicine, the nurses who can’t afford health care for their families, the elderly who risk loosing their homes to pay for treatment. Watch people who pay out the nose for insurance not go to the Dr. because of the $5,000.00 deductable.
        Please Wake Up America! We are a rich country! We can afford to be healthy! Why people fight against health care is a mystery. It appears selfish and ignorant. It costs less to prevent than to cure. Let’s save some money, and give our people a good nights rest. We could be so proud of our country. Instead I just apologize to my patients.

      6. I am an American who now lives in Australia. I had excellent medical care in the US because I paid for insurance through the American insurance system for about 37 years (while a working adult). During the last year before I moved to Australia, I paid about $14,000 out-of-pocket (my small business employer paid the other HALF of the actual insurance premium) for family coverage. I moved to Australia where most everyone pays about 2% of their income to cover the national healthcare system here. I was diagnosed with stage 4 cancer 16 months ago. I was staged and in treatment within two weeks and I have responded well to my treatment (thank heavens). I pay virtually the same for prescriptions here in Australia as I did in the US. The population of Australia is about 21 million. I don’t know the exact number of taxpayers “paying into” the national healthcare system here, but lets assume about 40% of the population pay taxes so therefore contribute the the healthcare system. This number could be off, but for the sake of discussion, if Australia and it’s small population and national healthcare system can provide prescription medication at the same rates as the American insurance companies do now, how much lower would prescriptions be if 40% of taxpaying Americans combined their purchasing power through a national healthcare system to negotiate rates? Answer: FAR LESS than what any single insurance company subscriber pays now. I love America, but Americans need to get the facts about universal healthcare – it works in modern societies and EVERYONE gets covered!

      7. George, is this you-“Aristotle”- Im doing some research and what a fluke if it ism seeing that you wrote this in 09′ – not so many positive comments for feedback!

      8. George,

        Your erroneous–although patently false and contrived might be more accurate–efforts at insisting that President Obama (whom you initially refer to as President “Hussein Obama” yet shortly thereafter (once again wrongly) as “King Obama,” served, in my mind at least, summarized the success by Fox, News (sic) of the World, and other forces of the same ill repute to create a climate of hysteria through utter lies, conspiracies and myriad methods to demonize our country’s administration (reserving all the really damaging hogwash for the President himself) by continuing to pass off as “news” notions found only in either children’s lands of Make Believe or, more disturbingly, in the warped minds of those elected to ensure that the will of those electors responsible for initially sending their politicians to Washington are heard; instead those officials would rather accept the very generous (and reasonably-priced) health benefits afforded them which is, all things considered, nothing more than healthcare provided by the government. Essentially the same politicos who scream ominously about the rationing of care, and the so-called “death panels” which will inevitably emerge from the “government” interfering in the doctor-patient relationship.

        All of which begs the question, “If the care received FROM the government is sufficient for its employees, why are those people responsible who elected these representatives not equally as deserving? Instead Americans continue to be among the few around the world where not only is healthcare not a birth right, they are also citizens of the ONLY country where the health of its citizens is a money-making venture. The average amount spent on healthcare costs is not only the absolute highest anywhere in the world, the life expectancy for Americans is somewhere in the vicinity of 38th.

        So instead of resorting to harmful rumor mongering, perhaps the next step would be to focus greater attention on reclaiming our nation’s historical role as peace maker instead of imposing some “American model” upon nations where that model isn’t appropriate. And George, before painting uncomfortable situations with such a broad brush, perhaps your argument (along with its innumerable missteps) would at least sound less implausible once you understand that in the US at least, one cannot be both a President and king.

      9. George Said
        I know I am late to the game, but how can you say that those of us that can afford health care are bums. I work hard for the little i make, I am a fully time student and work full time. With the rising tuition cost in this country, not having kids, and being single I have to work 60+ hours to put gas in my car and books in my bag. I eat at work, because I can’t afford to shop. We pay our taxes for others to have homes, I struggle to pay my rent. Our taxes go for healthcare for the needy now, I wait till i am on one leg to go to the ER because I can’t afford to see a doctor. I pay my taxes just like you, but I “make to much” to qualify for anything. When I was out of work, because of a knee injury I sought help. All I asked for was food. FOOD and I was told to sell my car “a dodge neon” because the state of North Carolina did not consider it a necessity. How can this be I qualify to pay 21% of my income to this great country, but when I need help I “make to much” I am for the new Health Care Reform. Of you read the law, you will know that you can keep your health care provider, You would see a reduction in cost, copays and others. Why? Because Uncle Sam will keep the companies honest and cap what they can charge.
        Read the Law and how it will change your world. It is changing mine already.

      10. @George

        Health Care IS a right!!! In the U.S., it’s just about making money… business, like car assembly plants… believe it or not, there ARE people less fortunate than you. Perhaps they have mental illness, or even fall physically ill, or are born that way… can they achieve what you have? Likely not… and how about depression and disabilities as a result of accidents, etc., not to mention discrimination of all sorts. In your country, a lot of people who have health insurance can’t get a lot of their treatments paid for… this is a crying shame. A real shame. I have lived practically my entire life (in Canada) and have watched what goes on south of the border. I work hard as well. And I know for a fact that not everyone has the same opportunities. I don’t mind paying taxes so that everyone can have the same level of health care. It’s a question of values. You’re just selfish, that’s all. What if your mother or someone you love needed a medical procedure that their insurance company wouldn’t pay for? What if they were denied because of a pre-existing condition? Would you sell your house of mortgage it for their care? No, of course you wouldn’t

        And I have always said that I would never live in the U.S. for 2 reasons:
        1) health care system
        2) gun violence

        You have no idea how bad you look to the rest of the world!!

      11. right on! You have hit the nail on the head! I, as you, am sick to death of this country handing the money that I have earned and sacrificed for to others who are nothing but leaches on society. What happened to the churches taking care of the poor? Maybe if they would stop spending millions building mammoth “castles” to God (which I am sure he disapproves of!) they would be able to help the unfortnates of our society! I personally know people who are “using” the system and they feel entitled to it – where is the pride in people?

      12. Way to go George, you are a true American. Personal responsibility and individualism is how we Americans all should live. Unfortunately, we have too many liberals who believe that the government should step in. These people believe there are too many people who can’t make it on their own in such an “unfair country.” They believe that the government is the great equalizer who will make all things good. Thank God that these people weren’t alive when our nation declared its independence and became the miracle and hope for all mankind. The rest of the world believes in socialism and the power of the few to control the many. This is a never ending battle. It is always refreshing to read a biography like yours, George. May God continually bless you and show you that when things go bad it is good people, God’s people, not government that will help you and save you.

      13. I have some simple questions for those who thinks Healthcare is a right. Is having a job a right? Is having a house a right? Is having food on the table every night a right? Just wondering…

      14. Well Said George I totally agree… If you don’t work why should those of us that do provide for you?? Get a job, buy health insurance, don’t steal mine!

      15. George, unfortunately charity isn’t enough. The benefits of universal health care speak for themself when you look at the number of developed states that have successfully adopted and maintained one. The US, sadly, stands out as having the worst health system amongst the developed world. I’m sure it could no doubt afford the best. It’s not much good living in a prosperous society if it doesn’t provide fundamental services for the benefit of all. It’s questionable whether a society could be considered truly prosperous if it neglects the fundamentals for its citizens.

      16. Are there no work houses are there no prisons. You better not get sick or you will loose everything you have worked so hard for or worse your life..

      17. Congratulations on your seemingly blind inability to resist the urge to boast about your high and lofty position in life (humility is a virtue, by the way.) But have you ever considered that there are people in our country who are too mentally ill to make a living for themselves? By the way, let’s see what other services in our country are paid for by the public sector. Education, The Fire Department, police, highways, Department of Agriculture, the Library of Congress, and the FBI and CIA. Do you want to privatize highways and libraries, too? According to your way of thinking, only people who make enough money can have the “privilege” of health care, which is absurd, because you can’t turn someone’s life into a dollar sign. Maybe if we reallocate the insanely, enormous funds that we use to start wars, incarcerate citizens, (our country has the highest incarceration rate of any country on earth), and if we could stop giving the rich tax breaks and have THEM pay into the same system that they’ve sucked so much out of with their piggy greed, perhaps we could have a system that leads to a better quality of life for every one in this country–not just the one’s who were born with a silver spoon in their mouths. Do you honestly think you’re the only one that’s irritated about what’s being done to his taxes? Guess, what? I wish my taxes went into education and healthcare, but does that mean it will happen? Under this deranged, autocratic Trump administration, we’ll be lucky if this country doesn’t turn into a a giant, gaseous flaming ball of feces by the time 2020 arrives. Anyone with a self-righteous attitude and a piggy bank can sit back and smugly assert, “Those lazy, good-for-nothing ‘socialists’ want me to pay for their health bills!!!” However, for those of us who actually live in reality, and don’t watch Fox News 24/7, civilization is a collective, under which we should cooperate, exchange ideas, help, and–ideally–treat each other like human beings; not commodities that are bought and sold like packaged meat in the market place.

      18. I agree all people should work to the best of their ability. I work. I have since I was 16 years old and at times working up to 4 jobs. My health will not permit that anymore so I work full time at 1 job. I can not afford health ins. When I am sick I can not afford to see a doctor. I have medical bills I can not pay . .Yes, I am poor. Yes, I work. So, because I do not make the money that you do, I should not be able to receive health care. No I disagree with that. Many of the bums you see on the street have mental disorders. They didn’t ask for that and because unless they hurt someone or themselves we can not do anything to help them. That does not mean they do not deserve medical attention. Our VETERANS, ELDERLY, DISABLED both mentally and physically deserve medical treatment. ALL people are ENTITLED to medical care. NO one should have to be in DEBT due to CANCER or some other horrific illness. I BELIEVE in a UNIVERSAL HEALTH CARE SYSTEM where each of us pays into it a percentage of our earnings. 5% for me will look different that what your 5% will be.(I have no idea what the percentage would actually be) As it is now, if something catastrophic happens I will make sure my will is in order. YOU KNOW I have nothing and yet see how vital it is to pay what I can into a system that helps EVERYONE!!! because YES EVERYONE is ENTITLED. IT IS THE RIGHT OF ALL PEOPLE TO BE HEALTHY.

      1. Yes. I called a local doctor’s office asking if the doctor was taking new patients. They said yes, I went in for my appointment and the doctor spent an hour going over my health history and giving me an examination.
        That’s how easy it was. And no having to stop at the payment desk going in or out.

    2. Go to Port Hardy, British Columbia and ask any citizen on the street
      what they call their local hospital……….forget it…….I’ll tell you…………
      Hospital of the DEAD>

    1. I think a universal healthcare is deserved in america we do serve people who come in to the emergancy but the final they will go in debt paying thousands of dollars the goverment should at least provide a basic healthcare for everyone

      1. We do have universal Massachusetts and because of it Massachusetts covers 97% of the people. We also have the highest premiums in the country and I have read some stories that people with pre-existing conditions are not allowed to get the new health-care. In Mass, if you don’t have insurance in this state you get fined big time.

      2. We (the U.S.) have immedate health care, the government mandates a certain amount of money be set aside be all public hospitals to provide emergeny care for anyone who cannot pay, and the rest of us pay for that out of our taxes or insurance costs, there are health care free clinics for the non emergency care for those who do not have insurance or cannot pay. No hospital I know of turns anyone away, and in high use emergency rooms wait times can be up to two hours. All the stories we hear are just that stories. I’ve worked in ER’s for over 20 years and never seen waits longer than three hours anywhere.

  90. According to the WHO (world health organization), Andorra ranks 10th, not 1st, in healthy life expectancy — with a difference of less than 2 years among the top 10, with #1 noted as Japan. Japan DOES have Universal Healthcare. Important to note that Andorra has a population of less than 90,000. Thus, when assuming an amassing of that number into family units, and conservatively assuming perhaps 50,000 to 60,000 families — healthcare costs could easily be provided on a private basis with physicians basing fees on local economic factors. Andorra’s primary industry is tourism — where prior to WWII, it was a small, impoverished nation. It has no real exports. It would certainly not be a model for a typical nation, let alone the U.S., where its entire population is smaller than that of what would be considered a small U.S. city.

    1. I can only speak for both the U.S. and Japan, since I’m an American who has been living in Japan for about 9 years. The Japanese health care system is MUCH better than the U.S. Japanese citizens are on the “Shakai Hoken” government health insurance. The co payment is about 30% of the health care cost. (usually about U.S. $30 with medicine) It also applies to dental and optical care. Since the birthrate is low, most of the city’s governments help with the low birth costs, plus provide additional government covered care (which is very good) with an allowance for kids born in Japan until their 20th birthday. Does the U.S. do that? No. The U.S. healthcare is mostly privately owned. As a result, the real main objective is to make money.

  91. I looked only at healthcare systems in countries with a UN Human Development Index score above 0.9 – this is a cutoff so that only the most developed nations are included. Some less developed nations like Cuba have universal health care, but the comparison with Western Europe or the US is hard to take seriously. That’s why the list is limited.

    Also – universal health care DOES NOT imply government run healthcare. In Switzerland, for instance, the government simply mandates that everyone have insurance, regulates the insurance industry, and subsidizes insurance for the poor.

    1. “Some less developed nations like Cuba have universal health care”

      According to the World health Organization, the US ranks 37th in health care quality. Cuba, a less developed nation ranks 39th.

      More to consider:
      “It is hard to ignore that in 2006, the United States was number 1 in terms of health care spending per capita but ranked 39th for infant mortality, 43rd for adult female mortality, 42nd for adult male mortality, and 36th for life expectancy. Why do we spend so much to get so little?”

      1. It is imperative to understand how EACH COUNTRY counts their infant mortalities……

        the US counts ALL infant mortalities between birth and 18 months

        some countries do not count pre-term births prior to 6 months that die, the US does

        some countries do not count births under a certain weight, the US counts ALL born and died irrespective of weight or gestation

        some countries do not count infants that die within the first 24 and oithers within the first 48 hour, the US counts all

        some do not count those that died due to child abuse or neglect as this is not health related to them, the US counts these infant deaths as well

        some do not count those that died as a result of an accident, the US does…..

        therefore, please understand how each country reports their infant mortalities before you conclude that the US has the highest infant mortality rate, or one of them because when ALL countries factor as the US does………we actually rank A HECK OF A LOT BETTER than a vast majority ranked ahead of us right now.

      2. Health insurance is not a direct correlation with being healthy. We have a sick care system, not health care system.
        We eat like crap, sleep like crap and ingest all sort of toxins and chemicals.
        Health insurance simply manages the symptoms, not the causes.

      3. We spend so much because for the most part we dont do check ups. we go see the doctor when something is wrong, there fore many times we are already too late.

      4. specfriggingtacular’s comments have been abstracted directly from an earlier posting by a Doctor in Denial on another website. Think about it. Every country wants to measure its infant mortality rates accurately so it can plan and improve its services. Do thirty-something countries conspire to cook the books by leaving out clear information that the USA includes in? OBVIOUSLY NOT.

        The statistics are out there if you really look for them. The USA is easily in the top ten if you are white. If you are Hispanic the infant mortality rate is reminiscent of Eastern Europe. If you are an African American you might as well go to Nigeria to have your baby – it’ll stand more chance of living. That’s why the USA rates so low. Interesting point: is this institutional genocide?

      5. actually the US doesn’t count pre-term birth as a infant death if it is before 20 weeks. Trust me on this one. Before 20 weeks, it is considered a miscarriage. Women without prenatal care or proper care in the 2 years BEFORE SHE EVEN GETS PREGNANT are at least 2 times as likely to have a miscarriage as a woman with proper care. I lost a micro-preemie, and had a second preemie, so I know the statistics (there is very little to do during enforced hospital bed rest for two weeks except research)

      1. Rogue,

        Look at the comments above. I only included countries that passed a minimum cutoff in terms of development.

        In terms of trends, well, that’s the point – the US is the outlier here. Among countries (or regions) on this list, many are more capitalist than the US, and yet have universal health care. For instance, Hong Kong has a freer market than the US, and Aussies don’t exactly think of themselves as socialists either…

      1. spigety,


        Congratulation, you just proved Paige Wilson correct.
        I agree with you Paige, but most people don’t even pay attention in school to learn how. Ignorance, plays a key factor as well.

      1. Chandan,

        If you look at the footnotes of the original post – I only included developed nations on this list. Countries like Cuba may have universal care, but this list includes only developed nations.

        Maybe I should add a second section including developing nations that have successfully provided universal care.

  92. Longest life expectation in any country is Andorra which, I am told, has no public goverment controlled health care system whatever. I presume it has doctors and hospitals.How do they manage their health care? Is it worth looking into?

    1. I don’t know where you got your information, but Andorra requires all employers to provide insurance for employees through something similar to our Medicare. Visitors must have insurance and disabled are covered by a public insurance.

      1. I seem to recall that perhaps a majority of the population of Andorra are Spanish citizens, and so may be covered in some way by the kind of coverage everyone is supposed to have in Spain.

      2. THANK YOU. These selfish republican’s are evil and they don’t care about anyone but themselves and the rich white man.

      3. USA is very ignorant there are Republicans who support a form of universal healthcare. To call them evil and selfish will not help bring them to your side but away from it.

      4. The Republicans leadership and members in Congress have opposed universal health care every time during Obamas term, Every One of them, every time, and that is fact. When asked by the President bring their own plan, and both side could work on a plan that would suit everyone the GOP refused. Then they tried to resend the Affordable Healthcare Act 50 times, just so far. Republicans refuse to come to the table with Democrats to pass healthcare reform, but they will spend a lot of their time, try to stop what the Democrats put together. Yes, Republican for United Health Care, I would say that was evil and selfish. Apparently you don’t even know what has gone on in your own party the last 5 years, you should be better informed or smarter before you comment.

    2. Healthcare in Andorra is provided to all employed persons and their families by the government-run social security system, CASS (Caixa Andorrana de Seguretat Social), which is funded by employer and employee contributions in respect of salaries.[19] The cost of healthcare is covered by CASS at rates of 75% for out-patient expenses such as medicines and hospital visits, 90% for hospitalisation, and 100% for work-related accidents. The remainder of the costs may be covered by private health insurance. Other residents and tourists require full private health insurance.[19]

      1. Just curious. What about unemployed people? Do they have healthcare and if they do how is it funded?

    3. Andorra is a very small country, as far as I know they have one main hospital, “Meritxel”, but they lack the necessary territory to build more, so they have an agreement with the Spanish Government to cover for their citizens health.

      1. Here in Quebec (Montreal) at the *emergency room* there is an average of 17 hours of waiting and for surgeries usually you wait 6 to 36 months. Trust me, I went to a hospital in USA and it’s so incredible how you are treated well compared to us. Don’t ask Canada for health care!!

      2. Etagrats, I’ve spent 12 hours waiting in a ER here in the US before I left. Went to another hospital an hour away. Waited another 4 hours to get into a room, then another 3 just to have a doctor come in for 10 mins, tell me I was fine and kicked me out. I got billed hundred of dollars for it. All the while I had over a dozen kidney stones which a simple CATScan could of told me. Took another ER visit 3 days later with another long wait to figure that out. Thosands of dollar this time. Atleast in Canada when you get crap care you don’t have to pay for it.

      3. Christina, I had a similar experience. Three visits to the ER (each which cost $200 even WITH awesome insurance) to determine kidney stones, which had caused an infection, at which point i’d had to be admitted because I’d been so sick all week I was dehydrated. (and kept over the weekend as the kidney doctor wasn’t in to discharge me until Monday, and if I left without being discharged my insurance would refuse to cover ANY of the hospital stay) When scheduled for surgery to remove them (a month later), went in, only to have the doctor decide that we hadn’t met enough to go on with it (even though I’d called his office repeatedly and been told a meet wasn’t needed ahead of time). Got charged AGAIN for that one because I’d already been checked into the hospital. All told, was already in several thousand for kidney stones that STILL hadn’t been removed. And that was WITH insurance! Yeah, it really irked to have to pay for numerous visits with total crap care.

    4. The country with the longest life expectancy is actually Okinawa, they have the most oldest people per capita. The reason behind this is because of their diet which consist of mainly fish, grains, and vegetables, and the fact that they have an every day purpose like fishing for their food, tending to their gardens and walking every where they go. They have extremely low stress there. There is no need for a large health care system only unless people live within a high populated area in which becoming sick is more susceptible. Stress is the key factor which slows our immune systems down and we become depressed which leads to a shorter life. Americans live terrible lives, the things we ingest and the air and water quality is pure filth.

      1. Yep my life is terrible, i mean driving to work instead of walking is just horrible, and dont get me started on getting food..i mean having to go 2 minutes to the store instead of spending hours fishing is just dreadful! Sure wish i had their lives…

      2. Okinawa is part of Japan. They’re covered under Japan’s single-payer socialized healthcare system. Are you this ignorant?

      1. Japan has 60% the population of the US, They have had a single payer system since the 1930’s, they pay lower income taxes then the US. And yes they are healthier due to diet, AND the fact they see the doctor 3 times more then US Citizens, which means doctors catch issues early on, which in turn is more cost effective. I know this because I lived in Japan for 4 years. My son was hospitalized with pneumonia, he spent 7 days in the hospital, while he was there they performed an MRI, and a CT scan just to make sure everything else was ok. Didn’t cost us a dime, because children are covered 100%.

        The size of the country does not matter this is called scaling.

    5. Andorra’s universal healthcare system
      There are several entities which govern the Andorran healthcare sector: the SAAS (the National Health Service), the Ministry of Health and Welfare and the CASS (the Social Security Office).
      In order to be covered by CASS, the public entity which manages the social security system (healthcare and pension scheme), one must be employed by either an Andorran or private company. That means that CASS covers expatriates with Active Residency permits and their families. The amount individuals contribute to this system depends on their salary. Employees pay 5.5% of their salary and employers are required to contribute another 14.5%. It is important to note that new employees working for an Andorran company need to register with CASS.
      CASS’s universal healthcare system covers 75% of all outpatient medical costs (including medical prescriptions and doctors visits), 90% of hospital fees and 100% of work-related injuries. Expatriates with Passive Residency permits and tourists are not covered by this healthcare system and must have private medical insurance. Andorra has a large network of insurance companies to choose from, offering a wide range of personalized private insurance.

    6. Andorra’s population is approximately 85,000, not really enough people to get an accurate cross section of ages, sexes and ailments, relating to health and healthcare. It’s a country that’s much smaller than most small cities in the US. According to Wikipedia, Andorra has one hospital and 12 primary health care centres. Also according to Wikipedia, two-thirds of residents lack Andorran nationality and do not have the right to vote in communal elections. So maybe their stress levels are much lower, due to Andorran’s not being overly concerned about politics, and stressing out.

    1. When I live in a country that that pumps thousands of chemicals into my home, food, and clothes thus contaminating me to the point of illness, ie. MS, Autism, Depression, especially cancer, then yes, I do expect Universal Healthcare. I make $15 an hour as a dental assistant and I make too much for free healthcare and can’t afford to insure myself and my husband. Most employers don’t offer medical unless you’re full-time but some employers keep your hours just under 32 so they won’t have to provide benefits. I’ve seen a lot of people in between eligibility for financial reasons and they end up on the Spend Down-person must pay a specific monthly amount in healthcare expenses before the government insurance will kick in. Spend Down portions usually range from $500-$1500 per month, usually for the working poor, disabled on soc. sec. sometimes with a pension or something to that extent. Many of these people take care of their grandchildren as well.

      Being healthy is a right, not a privelige. Especially when your own government making you sick!

      1. Bernie had a successful expenditure for Universal Healthcare (agreed by leading economists). Almost half of our budget goes to the profiteering war machine.

      2. Wow! Norway, New Zealand, Japan and Germany were the first countries to get national healthcare. Even back then they seem to have gotten it figured out. We need start a socialist movement that focuses on the national needs. Those damn republicans should be stripped of their rights and put on the first trains out of this country. They are obviously hoarding all the money and stealing from the common man. We should destroy their businesses and lives. Let them feel like the people they’ve deprived of rights for so long! The cheaters finally get their justice, our social justice! We need to actually make America great by making those those gun loving right wing scum second class citizens! We need create a nation wide populist movement that is anti-big business, anti-Bourgeoisie, and anti-capitalism. This national socialist movement needs to fight for the rights of the workers and take back what is ours!

      3. No. You are not entitled to the services of another. If so, then Doctors would be a slave. Also, if government didn’t get in the way of healthcare then it would be more affordable.

      4. That ain’t the government making you sick, mate. As a dental assistant you should be fully aware that people are generally the source of their own misfortune. If you get a cavity, for the vast majority of the population you got it by not taking proper care of your teeth and/or by what you are eating. The same thing applies to sickness in most situations.

        Also, what conspiracy theory is that? The government pumping chemicals into your food, home and CLOTHES? Dude the only people who perform any kind of illegal dumping are private corporations that get away with it either by hiding it or by paying off politicians to ignore it. The same thing is applied to all these mental health problems, pharmaceutical companies and psychology companies have been pushing for over 20 years to label more and more things as mental illnesses so that they can get more business. That’s not a conspiracy theory, that’s called playing the market. We don’t need universal health care in the U.S.A. at all, and most places don’t need it either and most places also cannot implement it without destroying their economy. If you really want to help people, you need to vote for politicians who are in support of regulating the private businesses to prevent such practices. It’s wasteful and it puts a drain on the economy, the burden of which is not felt by those causing it. The people feel the weight of this burden, because the people are the one’s who the psychiatrists and pharmaceutical companies try to get to believe every label.

        But then again, you are a dental assistant. You work in a part of the pharmaceutical market. YOU in particular benefit from this crap. It’s perfectly reasonable that you would support universal health care that would pay you money and just blame your government, but you don’t seem to realize that it will kill the market. It’s not as simple as just allocating X amount of money to health care. Especially when the people who generally support such a thing are either the spoiled good for nothings that don’t want to get a job and instead want to sit at home smoking pot all day, or the private businesses that are simply looking to make a lot of money in a short period of time and don’t care about the effects it will have on the economy.

      5. Abigail, healthcare is not a right. If it were, you would have the right to enslave doctors. You do not have that right.

      6. Loren , what does that mean , that the government shouldn’t help . The government subsidies oil companies , big pharma , all kinds of grants for research and development in all manner of science . The military gets it’s money and it’s employees from the public . Fire , police and educators are all government funded . Victims of disasters are helped by tax payers . We are all in this together . Please don’t drink the cool aid , instead try smoking some cannabis , it will open your eyes to the truth .

      7. While I do agree with you on the need for a single payer insurance, I have to correct you. There is no known causes of MS and autism. There are correlations to MS, for example, fair-skinned women in their early to late 20’s, in the North Eastern area of the United States, but correlation does not show causation. And there is no known cause of autism.

      8. Sounds like a lot of excuses, healthcare isn’t free, someone else will be paying for your poor choices.

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