What are your thoughts on European-Style Universal Healthcare?

ElrondtheGreyElrondtheGrey Fort Collins, ColoradoPosts: 31
edited December 2014 in Politics & Current Events
There are some attempts going on to introduce a healthcare system akin to European NHS's in the United States, which has been pretty divisive politically. Disregarding Obamacare itself, what are your thoughts on a European-style system in which healthcare is paid through tax dollars instead of private doctor's bills? Leave your reasoning in the comments.

(sorry, I tried to post a poll like this earlier but I accidentally posted it before I had laid out all the options and I couldn't change or delete it)

What are your thoughts on European-Style Universal Healthcare? 31 votes

Strongly for tax-paid healthcare
77%
clausitKiarLudoalta95mattierenLavache_BeadsmanDippofixRolloScrappyDooTelMolagMoraslawtererElrondtheGreythecommunistpandaPinksolKGB_the_Russian_SpyVoyagerSTNinjayingaArtsyKRtaram31peteTheCondescendingSeal 24 votes
Mostly for tax-paid healthcare
16%
McEstebanLibertyNerd25PresidentJokosnowflake1814Rensky 5 votes
Neutral
3%
Kritikal 1 vote
Mostly against tax-paid healthcare
0%
Strongly against tax-paid healthcare
3%
Luke_Earl_Molle 1 vote

Comments

  • LibertyNerd25LibertyNerd25 Western United States Posts: 357 ✭✭✭
    Mostly for tax-paid healthcare
    Health care should be a service accessible by all members of society. We need a universal system in place. Now, the question is how to implement one.

    Perhaps we could have basic insurance reform, coupled with universal subsidies and expanded Medicaid. Basically, the Affordable Care Act with a few adjustments to make it truly universal and easy-to-understand.

    I like the European Model, though I don't believe that would be politically possible in the United States at present.
    We should strive for a society where all men, women, and children have access to what they need to live with dignity. Jobs, living wages, access to a good education, and so on. Only then can we call ourselves humane and just.


  • Ludoalta95Ludoalta95 Posts: 77 ✭✭
    Strongly for tax-paid healthcare
    What do you mean by "European Model"?
    I'm assuming you're talking about things like the British NHS: universal public healthcare paid by income tax. Many countries use this model, with variations - in Italy, it's regional taxes that pay the whole thing, for example.
    But some countries, like France, don't really have such a system. In practice, it works the same - as a EU citizen, I get free emergency care in France, for example - but in actual fact, it's handled through a state-owned insurance company called "sécurité sociale" (sounds familiar?). Naturally, membership is compulsory, unless for some reason you prefer a more expensive private insurance policy. And the US might slowly drift towards the French model without any major overhauls; as opposed to the huge changes that a transition to the British model would require.
    And yet it moves.
  • ElrondtheGreyElrondtheGrey Fort Collins, ColoradoPosts: 31
    Strongly for tax-paid healthcare
    What do you mean by "European Model"?
    I'm assuming you're talking about things like the British NHS: universal public healthcare paid by income tax. Many countries use this model, with variations - in Italy, it's regional taxes that pay the whole thing, for example.
    But some countries, like France, don't really have such a system. In practice, it works the same - as a EU citizen, I get free emergency care in France, for example - but in actual fact, it's handled through a state-owned insurance company called "sécurité sociale" (sounds familiar?). Naturally, membership is compulsory, unless for some reason you prefer a more expensive private insurance policy. And the US might slowly drift towards the French model without any major overhauls; as opposed to the huge changes that a transition to the British model would require.
    Yes, I mean more specifically the British NHS, although as you said, the healthcare models throughout Europe are in practice very similar.
  • RolloRollo Operative 6081, MiniTrue Airstrip Three, OceaniaPosts: 1,887 ✭✭✭
    Strongly for tax-paid healthcare
    Health care should be a service accessible by all members of society. We need a universal system in place. Now, the question is how to implement one.
    Perhaps we could have basic insurance reform, coupled with universal subsidies and expanded Medicaid. Basically, the Affordable Care Act with a few adjustments to make it truly universal and easy-to-understand.

    Australia's Medicare is funded through a 1.5% flat tax on income. GPs and medical practices then bulk bill Medicare who pays them as a single-payer system. The GP receives A$36.30 from Medicare. If every consultation took half an hour, a GP could make A$2904 a week or $151,524 a year; which is significantly more than double the average wage in Australia. The system is entirely self-funding. I suspect though that in America, HMOs would rather not have patients visit GPs because primary and preventative health care whilst it is more economically efficient to the economy, reduces profits because people are healthier, thus reducing costs.
    "I speak an infinite deal of nothing and I am not bound to please thee with my answers."

    I've written four books - you might like to buy them: Linky - Doobly Doo
  • PresidentJokoPresidentJoko Seattle, WashingtonPosts: 23
    Mostly for tax-paid healthcare
    There is no single "European-style system." There are significantly different models existing in various EU member states. For example, Switzerland operates a private insurance system, while the United Kingdom has a famous single-payer health plan.

    However, from reading the thread I see you mainly refer to the UK system. It's a noble and efficient end goal in itself, to have every citizen covered under one plan (generally speaking, of course). If there was a specific policy blueprint highlighting how we would pay for it, what benefits it would cover, if we would allow insurance companies as other universal systems do, and it was politically possible, I would happily get behind it.

    But until that happens, my support lies with the Affordable Care Act. In a short amount of time, the uninsured rate dropped from 18.6 percent to 11.9 percent. While there are many problems with it (including rising costs, underinsurance, and undesired mandates), it's a pragmatic step in the right direction. In fact, perhaps the GOP ideas of deregulation and patient choice would address these issues. Politics is a complex field.
  • VoyagerSTVoyagerST Posts: 111 ✭✭
    Strongly for tax-paid healthcare
    Healthcare is a right, not a privilege.
    That's here. That's home. That's us. On it everyone you love, everyone you know, everyone you ever heard of, every human being who ever was, lived out their lives. The aggregate of our joy and suffering [...] every mother and father, hopeful child, inventor and explorer, every teacher of morals, every corrupt politician, every "superstar," every "supreme leader," every saint and sinner in the history of our speicies lived there - on a mote or dust suspended in a sunbeam. -Carl Sagan
  • Luke_Earl_MolleLuke_Earl_Molle Earl of Peace Jefferson, IaPosts: 3,007 ✭✭✭✭
    Strongly against tax-paid healthcare
    I desire to say that my answer was ruined by the lines in my screen and my lack of thought. I was going for the other end of the spectrum.
    I am the Duke of Earl, and I also am Earl For To and Of Peace
  • RolloRollo Operative 6081, MiniTrue Airstrip Three, OceaniaPosts: 1,887 ✭✭✭
    Strongly for tax-paid healthcare
    @Luke_Earl_Molle

    On what basis are you strongly against tax-paid healthcare?
    "I speak an infinite deal of nothing and I am not bound to please thee with my answers."

    I've written four books - you might like to buy them: Linky - Doobly Doo
  • Luke_Earl_MolleLuke_Earl_Molle Earl of Peace Jefferson, IaPosts: 3,007 ✭✭✭✭
    Strongly against tax-paid healthcare
    Rollo said:

    @Luke_Earl_Molle

    On what basis are you strongly against tax-paid healthcare?

    The basis that there is a big white stipe down my laptop screen and that combined with a complete lack of thought caused me to click the wrong end of the spectrum. I think tax-paid healthcare is brilliant.
    I am the Duke of Earl, and I also am Earl For To and Of Peace
  • MeroviusMerovius Zürich, SwitzerlandPosts: 23
    edited February 27
    Strongly for tax-paid healthcare
    As others, I believe the question is vastly oversimplified. For example, I lived in Germany, the UK and Switzerland and the systems are each pretty different. I can heartily recommend Healthcare triage on the topic :)

    So, as a European, I'm obviously biased here, but I can tell you, that having the state heavily involved in healthcare is awesome :) I would be seriously interested though, to hear from someone who *doesn't* think that way, how they react to John's Video about this topic, because he mentions a couple of (in my opinion) *really strong* and clear arguments.

    [edit] I actually wanted to refer to this
    by Merovius
  • RialVestroRialVestro Posts: 6,223 ✭✭✭
    I personally think that the problem isn't how health care gets paid for. In any system where doctors make money off sick people we're going to get screwed.

    The problem is that doctors don't really care about helping patients they care about getting paid. They will off ten recommend treatments that are not really nessicary when safer options are avalible because they cost more and can charge more in the future from the side effects you get later on.

    Think about it, if they actually cured anything they'd be eliminating the need for their jobs, no more repeat buisness, no more customers, no more doctors. Their job is to make sure people need them so they can keep getting paid. And they have the highest paying jobs in the country.

    When our doctors are motivated by greed rather than helping people no matter how we pay for health care we get screwed. What we really need is a nonprofit system where all the money they make goes into cures so we can eventually eliminate the need to even have doctors. They shouldn't be able to profit from other people suffering.
    Ni, peng, nee-wom! Ecky, ecky, ecky, pakang, zoom-ping! Baa weep grahna weep ninny bong!
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