My experience with universal care

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Regarding the letter "Health care needs to be like Europe's" (Jan. 17), the universalization of health care as "our allies in Europe" have is not the panacea for the health care problems in our country, as writer Mike Brackett suggests.

In 2006 and 2007 I lived and worked in England. While there, I observed the mess that British universal health care is in. Hospitals and local clinics were closing because the government was not properly funding the program. Doctors were abandoning the system because they couldn't pay their staffs on the NIH's compensation. Doctors who did remain in the program were not taking any new patients. And people were suffering, and literally dying, because they could not get in to see a doctor.

Some cancer patients reported having to wait six to 10 months before they were started on treatments. There were BBC reports of people flying to the former Yugoslavia to see an oral surgeon because they couldn't get the work done in their own country.

When I called a dentist for a checkup and cleaning, the first thing I was told was that they were not accepting NIH patients. When I told them I had private insurance, they asked if I wanted to come in that afternoon!

One of my fellow Americans had his children with him in England. They registered for the NIH, and had no problem at their first well-child checkups. However, they went through a nightmare trying to see a doctor when one of the children developed a very high fever.

I agree that we need to do something to reduce and control cost and increase the availability of health care coverage for all Americans. However, let's not rush into a worse situation just because some vocal pundits naively believe socialized medicine is the way to go.

Chris Johnson

North Augusta, S.C.

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Nammy
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Nammy 01/29/09 - 02:32 am
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Just another thing the

Just another thing the government needs to "bud" out of. "the government was not properly funding the program"
Does this sound familiar to anyone? Back to square one.

justus4
113
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justus4 01/29/09 - 07:37 am
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The article points to one
Unpublished

The article points to one individual's experience in England and his understanding of the health care system there. That's it. One guy's opinion. My experience in France & Germany was different. The Veterans Affairs system in this country is a great example of the direction America needs to go. But giving anecdotal evidence to any big problem is foolish and with changing our health care system, thats where we are going wrong.

patriciathomas
42
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patriciathomas 01/29/09 - 07:43 am
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The cost of health care

The cost of health care sky-rocketed when the government got into the health care business. Competition, the foundation for the free market, was done away with and doctors and hospitals and pharmaceutical companies were allowed to charge what ever they wanted because the government mandated insurances would pay...no questions asked. Those who couldn't cover the exorbitant insurance costs have had trouble affording health care ever since. More government isn't the answer, it's the problem. LET THE FREE MARKET FORCES WORK!! Get government out of health care.

erinm82
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erinm82 01/29/09 - 08:25 am
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Justus, are you talking about

Justus, are you talking about the same veterans affairs system that has been continuously reported on for their inefficiencies and substandard care for our returning soldiers? Are you talking about the same veterans affairs system that has had reports of inhumane conditions and health code violations at some facilities? Are you talking about the same system that has had reportedly subpar mental health care of those men and women effected by the stress of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan? Yeah, I heard such great things about them from all the media sources you regularly refer to in these posts. But, I guess when you want something for nothing your willing to overlook the problems with trusting the government to care about you. Personally, I think our military men and women deserve more and so should the American people. The difference between you and me is I think the military and the public would get more if the government was not involved in the decision making process.

soldout
1283
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soldout 01/29/09 - 08:29 am
0
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For those who check it out;

For those who check it out; health care has been solved by NAET and EFT. It is years ahead, cheap, non-invasive, fun and eliminates 80% of all needs for doctors or hospitals. God wants you well and provides easy ways to do it and it isn't another pill.

johnsmith
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johnsmith 01/29/09 - 08:31 am
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"But giving anecdotal

"But giving anecdotal evidence to any big problem is foolish and with changing our health care system, thats where we are going wrong." And yet, proponents of universal health care don't even offer anecdotal evidence. They don't offer any evidence at all. What we get are theoretical constructs that "prove" that universal care will lower prices and make everything better, even though the masses of data available indicate that that is the case. Universal health care eliminates the individual's incentive to economize, thus driving up demand. Universal health care therefore drives the COST up (people who don't understand the difference between cost and price, should not comment on economic topics), while at the same time eliminating any market mechanism to pay the PRICE. Thus gov't has to pay the price, and the only way to get cost down is to impose restrictions on care. This is what the data show in e v e r y s i n g l e c o u n t r y that has imposed UHC on its citizens, so the liberals don't argue on the basis of data. They argue on the basis of theory and "feeling." Little Egbert's mommy can't buy him health insurance, so we need to buy it for him, it's a human right.

johnsmith
9
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johnsmith 01/29/09 - 08:31 am
0
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This is what leads opponents

This is what leads opponents to argue the point based on individual experience. That's not generalizable, true, but it is relevant. After all, anyone who is going to support universal health care must believe that "universal" means that it will be better for all the individuals in this society. Kind of No Patient Left Behind, right? But if every socialized medicine system in the world has similar problems--people with easily-remedied conditions suffering for years while waiting for treatment, people with life-threatening conditions for which timely treatment is literally a life and death matter, waiting months for their chemo treatments--then that is a rebuttal to proponents' sad stories about people w/out coverage in this country. Just take, for instance, what happened when car insurance was made mandatory. We were told that it would decrease the PRICE y spreading the COSTS around to all drivers. So now we have mandated car insurance. Well, when everyone MUST buy, the sellers can raise their prices all they want.

johnsmith
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johnsmith 01/29/09 - 08:31 am
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When the sellers then

When the sellers then convince lawmakers that people must buy coverages and levels that they don't want, price goes up even more. Meanwhile, where insurers used to honor the terms of their contracts, nowadays you're incredibly fortunate if you get hit by somebody and their insurance company covers your repair bills. Same thing has been happening with health insurance; part of the reason my plan is so expensive is because my insurer is prohibited by law from offering me a plan without maternity, mental health and addiction treatement coverage. Well, that's just stupid. But wait 'til Congress gets their hands on direct payment of healthcare expenses. Hell, politics already has a huge impact on health care funding. Prostate cancer will affect (kill) ten times as many people as breast cancer this year. Sorry...where is the "relay for prostate"? It's ok...as long as you get a "popular" disease, you'll be fine...

johnsmith
9
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johnsmith 01/29/09 - 08:34 am
0
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Hell, if a State govt has the

Hell, if a State govt has the chutzpah to cancel your state tax refund because there's not enough cash, you don't think that the govt will withhold payment for your knee replacement if they're a little short? Oh, wait...tax refunds are for people who pay taxes and therefore are "for the rich," never mind...

hossiv
0
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hossiv 01/29/09 - 09:13 am
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Yet another example of how

Yet another example of how out of touch dems are with reality. The federal government is what is wrong with our country. Please keep me safe and protect the constitution. Americans are supposed to take it from there. If by no fault of their own a person cannot take care of themselves, then please help them. The increasing number of americans living off of the gov't is pretty scary. The new administration will only continue this trend.

bentman
466
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bentman 01/29/09 - 09:16 am
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The politicians' desire to

The politicians' desire to bring on universal health care has nothing to do with "making health care affordable for everyone." It has everything to do with making as many people dependent on the government as possible. The desire is to control as many lives as possible. Once universal health care is in place businesses will drop the coverage because, after all, you can get it for free now. GM has already indicated they are ready to unload that expense on to the taxpayers.

willistontownsc
55
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willistontownsc 01/29/09 - 10:20 am
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We have given the free market

We have given the free market decades to work. It has not done so. But, I am opposed to universal health care for another reason that is NOT related to the reasons why the cons oppose it.

southernguy08
532
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southernguy08 01/29/09 - 11:21 am
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Government run healthcare
Unpublished

Government run healthcare will mean 3 things: higher taxes, inefficient service, and rationed care. Government will be deciding who lives, and who dies. Want an up close and personal testimony to government run healthcare? Ask the thousands of doctors from overseas who practice here now. You'll get an earful. Remember, a government big enough to give you everything you want, is big enough to take everything you have!

disssman
6
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disssman 01/29/09 - 01:23 pm
0
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And now we see why we have

And now we see why we have sooo many European doctors practicing in the area. Oh dear, I can't remember seeing any, I wonder why. Don't you people get it, you now have government health care, just look at your taxes and especially the budget for the county.

disssman
6
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disssman 01/29/09 - 01:48 pm
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BTW you should GOOGLE

BTW you should GOOGLE "englands health care" and see what the people in England think about their care. I searched for about 20 minutes and found one complainer. The rest of the people were very happy with their care and several stated they wouldn't change with america if they could. Also GOOGLE "Canada health care", it also is eye opening and makes you wonder what people like the LTE author get for passing bogus info in this area? BTW I have family in Europe and they love their health care...

jack
10
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jack 01/29/09 - 02:49 pm
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Justus4 while in Germany and

Justus4 while in Germany and France, were you receibing American health care in military hospitals? I live in Germany and knew many locals including a medical student. He was lucky as the government decides who and how many can attend medical school, how many can pratice in a given region, and the hospitals looked like they were out of the 1950s and this was in 1997. I personally know two German doctors who have moved to the states because they could not make enough money and practice medicine as it should be under German government guidelines. Too many horror stories coming out of Canada as well, and this isn't the first letter of this kind concerning England's NIH system.

jack
10
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jack 01/29/09 - 02:54 pm
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0
Gubmunt health care is so

Gubmunt health care is so good, doctors are starting to refuse to take Medicare and Medicaid patients because of the extremely low rates the gubmunt will pay them. And wqe want more? As for the VA-I hope I NEVER have to go to another VA facility.

limey2707
0
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limey2707 01/29/09 - 03:07 pm
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justus4 states: "The article

justus4 states: "The article points to one individual's experience in England and his understanding of the health care system there. That's it. One guy's opinion." That may be "one guy's opinion" but he is not alone, I was born and raise din England and lived there in 1985-1992. I could give numerous examples of the same thing from various individuals there as well as my own experience. One needs to look beyond the "fine print" that sounds so wonderful and get down to the reality. That can only be done by seeing how the system actually works whether in England, France Germany, Canada or wherever it is practiced. Rationed care is the bottom line and as a result many who desperately need care don't get it. As for "dissman" he needs to check with real people, like I have and not just what makes it to some list. Brits are loath to complain, but the disenchantment with the system continues to grow. I have not addressed the costs that have to be paid through various taxes that have to be paid to enable one to get this "free" care.

KSL
143689
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KSL 01/29/09 - 08:48 pm
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Willis, your brain has been

Willis, your brain has been washed. I remember before dental insurance that I could go to the dentist for a check up for $8.00 That included xrays. Then durn it all, lots of companies started offering dental insurance. Well, the prices went up because someone else was telling the dentists that they needed to charge a customary rate. GET THIS AND GET IT GOOD. And I don't ever shout. I had a doctor tell me when I explained that I had a huge deductible which I had not met, that he could indeed charge me less for a procedure, but it could not be filed on my insurance because it would mess up the "usual and customary" charge for the area. Insurance interference, but ultimately it was government interference in the free market as a result of MEDICARE. Free competition brings prices down. Medical care has not had a free market in years and look what we have now. Escalated prices beyond reason. Willis, please get some additional education.

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