Letter: Benefits of univ. health care
I would like to attempt to enlighten Norm Baker (Public Forum, Feb. 19) about some benefits of government-sponsored health care or universal health care. Speaking from experience and having done a little research on the Internet (not YouTube), I ...
I would like to attempt to enlighten Norm Baker (Public Forum, Feb. 19) about some benefits of government-sponsored health care or universal health care. Speaking from experience and having done a little research on the Internet (not YouTube), I can inform you that the cost in tax dollars per capita is actually less in most countries that have universal health care than in the U.S.
One reason for the difference is where the money goes. In the U.S. huge amounts of money go to administrators and insurance companies who provide no real health care. Not only do we spend more tax dollars on health care as taxpayers, we also have to pay for our own health care as individuals, if we want any. (Unless you are a senator or a congressperson.) It is a fact that the U.S. outspends other countries per capita on health care and also has one of the highest growth rates in spending since 1980. And even though per capita spending is more than in other countries, the U.S. does not achieve better outcomes on many important health issues.
The benefits of universal health care, besides being less expensive, also include better overall population health. Preventive care is a large part of better health instead of having to wait for care until it is too late because of the cost.
People in countries that provide universal health care do not pay out of pocket for health care services. If you, Mr. Baker, were unfortunate enough to require hospitalization while in Denmark, for example, you would not be presented a bill when you left. Health care in most countries is considered a right, not a privilege. If this "right" sounds like socialism to you, then consider our system of public schools, parks, waterways and roads also as socialized.
So, I am not quite sure how you can conclude that all universal health care has been a miserable failure everywhere from a story that you personally saw on YouTube. (The man in the story eventually was reimbursed. Would that happen here?) Try and do a little more in-depth research and you may be able to enlighten yourself.