Where, oh where, is our universal healthcare?

All “developed nations” provide universal health care to each and every citizen, except one.  The United States is the lone exception.   We hardly discuss universal health care anymore.   We’re too busy chattering on about insurers, hospitals, drug companies, doctors, anything but universal healthcare.  Universal healthcare does not necessarily mean government-only health care.   Many developed countries implementing a universal health care systems offer both public and private insurance and medical providers.

Universal healthcare systems fall into three basic categories:  Single Payer, Two-Tier and Insurance Mandate.

With a single-payer system, 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.  UK, Sweden, Japan and Canada are countries with single-payer healthcare systems.

With a two-tier system, 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.  Australia, New Zealand, and Denmark also have two-tier systems.

With the 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 more diverse private market for insurance is simply regulated and standardized by the government.  In this kind of system insurers are barred from rejecting sick individuals with a “pre-existing” condition, and individuals are required to purchase insurance.  Switzerland, Austria and Germany employ an insurance mandate system.

Then there is the U.S., with its insurance mandate, but no universal healthcare for all its residents (or citizens).  I suppose one could argue that the U.S. no longer has a population of citizens, but has modern-day slave/addicts that function occasionally at a semi-conscious neurological level slightly above zombie.   Is it any wonder we have a zombie president, zombie Congress and zombie Supreme Court?  But is this any reason to discriminate against certain classes of zombies?

It certainly appears that the government may have already developed an anti- zombie plan. https://www.forbes.com/sites/davidsturt/2014/05/29/a-u-s-government-zombie-plan/#2382dc0f4dce

And here I thought we hated Big Government.   Any county with an anti-zombie plan should reasonably expect to see a universal healthcare plan right around the next corner.  Oh, that’s right, they’re working on it.  Priorities, people.

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31 Responses to Where, oh where, is our universal healthcare?

  1. JC says:

    Speaking of Forbes’ articles, this one on how our system of white socialism keeps us away from universal health care is a doozy:

    Unspeakable Realities Block Universal Health Coverage In America
    https://www.forbes.com/sites/chrisladd/2017/03/13/unspeakable-realities-block-universal-health-coverage-in-the-us/#1eaa0073186a

    Like

  2. steve kelly says:

    Even the robots that increasingly replace “rust belt” manufacturing jobs get health care through their employer, provided by the “maintenance and repair” business expense deduction. So screwed up!

    Like

  3. There are also government owned and run systems as in Great Britain.

    What I notice is that the every county has problems, complaints, deficiencies, but in none of them do I hear “Let’s adopt the American system!” Never.

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  4. Big Swede says:

    Couldn’t you say that health care for qualified veterans is universal care?

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    • JC says:

      Ok, I’ll take the bait: VA healthcare is pathetic, for the most part, particularly in rural areas like Montana. You say: “See, government run healthcare is bad.” I say, what’s bad is the government having wars and killing people and getting 10’s of thousands of military personnel injured without budgeting for their care. You say: “but if we handed it off to private insurers, they’d get care like anyone else.” And I’d say, if we just used the money that we’d pay insurers to covered disabled vets to fund the VA, there wouldn’t be that much of a problem. Furhermore, who would take over the specialized care that vets need, and the government researches for, like head trauma, loss of limbs. PTSD, military sexual trauma (daily rapes by the whole troop for years on end), chemical agent abuse, depleted uranium handling and proximity effect, etc. blah, blah blah…. You say: “well what we have isn’t working so lets try something else.” And I say, sure, let’s have universal health care (not insurance) for all and a small specialized VA system to handle acute and chronic issues that aren’t the province of regular health care.

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      • Big Swede says:

        Couldn’t you say the Indian Health Services is universal care?

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        • JC says:

          No. It is a horribly underfunded program for people of certain blood quantum who because of white socialism can’t get regular health care. Basically, it is a guilt program by the U.S. government to keep the natives oppressed just enough to keep them from causing trouble.

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        • How many Indians could afford private insurance? The system you recommend, Swede, is like saying to a drowning person “Here’s a pamphlet on life preservers. Please take time to read it.”

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          • Big Swede says:

            Excuses, excuses. You know damn well if either one of these government programs were moderately successful you’d be using them to support a single payer system.

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          • JC says:

            Why don’t you bring up Medicare? Or are you afraid of dissin’ on the socialized programs you either are, or your parents are using? I know people who are both on VA and IHS who can hardly wait to upgrade to Medicare.

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          • Swede, I would take you and your links a bit more seriously if I didn’t know that you never read anything unless you know in advance you will agree with it. I could argue the Medicare matter with you, as it is no more broke than the Pentagon, but it would require that you develop the ability to entertain ideas that you won’t agree with, beyond your capabilities.

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          • fm says:

            IMHO any governmental/public healthcare system can only be a money-making scheme for cronies, given the infestation of the medical domain by BigPharma, and the ubiquity of longterm-lethal official nutrition recommendations.

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  5. JC says:

    Ph, and I ran across this today looking in to the lead up to Nixon signing the HMO Act in 1973. The health care and insurance racket we have today was a planned affair, and is working exactly like it was intended to:

    Ehrlichman: “This … this is a …”

    President Nixon: “I don’t [unclear] …”

    Ehrlichman: “… private enterprise one.”

    President Nixon: “Well, that appeals to me.”

    Ehrlichman: “Edgar Kaiser is running his Permanente deal for profit. And the reason that he can … the reason he can do it … I had Edgar Kaiser come in … talk to me about this and I went into it in some depth. All the incentives are toward less medical care, because …”

    President Nixon: [Unclear.]

    Ehrlichman: “… the less care they give them, the more money they make.”

    President Nixon: “Fine.” [Unclear.]

    Ehrlichman: [Unclear] “… and the incentives run the right way.”

    President Nixon: “Not bad.”

    Like

  6. Barbara Müller says:

    I think you’re getting the entire thing wrong. Healthcare takes care of your health, it takes it away and will let you pay for it. Doctors don’t make money if you’re stay health, so their interests are in keeping you sick for as long as possible. If you don’t want to be sick, don’t go to a doctor. No chemical substance can help you getting better. In will only make you suffer longer. Even such “harmless” substances as aspirin will suppress your pain but hurt your liver. And pain is necessary to initiate repairing processes. The entire western medicine based on chemicals is nothing but a scam and fighting sickness is counterproductive. Chinese medicine does not fight, it helps the person to get getter. It has a different perspective and it’s thousands of years older than our western medicine. So healthcare is only a part of the scam and a bad thing. It will force you to pay even if you’re not going to doctors. When you get older, it will take you mortgage free house and your savings until you’ll have nothing more left and then it will force others to pay your bills. And the bills always contain artificial sums made out of thin air because there is no market economy where there is healthcare. That is the real purpose of healthcare and not your health.

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    • Barbara, your comment went to moderation bin and I was not aware of it. It is a first-time thing only, to avoid the snarks and trolls who come around. That won’t happen again unless you put more than two links in a comment, which causes WordPress to Spam it. I cannot stop that.

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      • Barbara Müller says:

        ok, thx, got it. …and sorry for my language errors. I never learned English properly, but I’ll do my best. Feel free to correct grammatical errorsand such on my side.

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        • fm says:

          Hi Barbara,
          I’ve seen much worse from native English speakers, no need to worry.
          And second (guessing we have the same native language) I am using http://www.dict.cc sometimes when unsure about spelling.

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  7. Big Swede says:

    Hell, they’re just a bunch of baby killers after all.

    WFB: More than 100 veterans died while waiting for care at a Veterans Affairs hospital in Los Angeles, Calif., over a nine-month span ending in August 2015, according to a new government report.

    The VA Office of Inspector General found in a recent healthcare inspection that 225 veterans at the VA Greater Los Angeles Healthcare System facility died with open or pending consults between Oct. 1, 2015 and Aug. 9, 2015. Nearly half—117—of those patients died while experiencing delays in receiving care.

    The inspector general reported that 43 percent of the 371 consults scheduled for patients who ended up dying were not timely because of a failure by VA employees to follow proper procedure. The report was unable to substantiate claims that patients died as a result of the delayed consults.

    Like

    • The VA is a microcosm of the general health care system, but its patients are probably better off than the bulk of Americans as at least they do not have to deal with the health insurance bureaucracy. I studied various health insurance plans when Obamacare passed, running a batch of test data through them to see how much out-of-pocket people would be – I found that the worst case was the “platinum” policies, of course, as they are wildly overpriced, but that in all circumstances the policies were designed to encourage people to avoid getting health care. After they pay their premiums (now mandatory) they are saddled with co-pays and deductibles up to perhaps $7,000 max out of pocket (in addition to the premiums). It is very easy to see, knowing that most people have very little disposable income, that the policies are designed to encourage people to avoid the health care system.

      This is precisely what JC pointed out in the Nixon/Ehrlichman exchange: “…the less care they give them, the more money they make.” The object of private health insurance is to milk people while at the same time discouraging them from accessing health care. It’s a criminal enterprise.

      Like

      • JC says:

        Quick anecdote. A friend of mine who is on VA has had chronic sinus infections. He takes a day off work to travel to Helena to the VA doc there to have it looked at. Doc says you need an MRI, but the closest place we can get you in is in Salt Lake City. So he gets scheduled to have his MRI in Salt Lake City, almost 2 months down the road — the closest he can get. Two more days off work to travel plus a night at a motel (not to mention another 2 months suffering from chronic sinus infections), and the MRI confirms the sinus infections. Takes another day off work to travel back to Helena, doc writes him a prescription. The whole think could have been taken care of in an afternoon in Missoula if the VA had a semi-funtioning “Choice” program that allows vets to seek healthcare outside of the VA network if needed. But it doesn’t because Congress refuses to fund it properly, and what funds the VA gets it raids for other purposes.

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        • That is absurd, JC, but understand, as I am sure you do, that they don’t want the VA to function properly. It would set a bad example.

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        • Barbara Müller says:

          it’s an example of how this system works. They move a willing patient from one “specialist” to another because they know, he’s so scared he’ll do anything the good uncle doctor says. It’s fear which puts you in the hands of “doctors” and it is the same fear which makes you sick at the beginning. Then the pills take over. Just tell your friend to ignore everything they say and not to eat any chemical substances sold to him as medicine. Even “chronic” infections go away if you stop caring. In every sickness there is a strong psychosomatic component. Doctors even agree, that 50% of the positive effects of their medications come from the positive expectation of the consumer. As long as your friend will listen to the doctors, they will not let him get better.

          Like

  8. steve kelly says:

    Behemoth. In addition to the more well known agencies like Medicare, Medicaid, Indian Health and the VA, there are many others on the complete list of Federal Health Agencies:
    Administration on Aging
    Administration for Children and Families
    Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality
    Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry
    Center for Biologics Evaluation & Research
    Center for Devices and Radiological Health
    Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
    Center for Drug Evaluation and Research
    Center for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition
    Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services
    Environmental Protection Agency
    Food and Drug Administration
    Health Resources and Services Administration
    Indian Health Service
    National Cancer Institute
    National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine
    National Center for Minority Health and Health Disparities
    National Eye Institute
    National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute
    National Health Service Corps
    National Human Genome Research Institute
    National Institute on Aging
    National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism
    National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases
    National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases
    National Institute for Biomedical Imaging and Bioengineering
    National Institute of Child Health and Human Development
    National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders
    National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research
    National Institute of Diabetes & Digestive & Kidney Diseases
    National Institute on Disability and Rehabilitation Research
    National Institute on Drug Abuse
    National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences
    National Institute of General Medical Sciences
    National Institutes of Health
    National Institute of Mental Health
    National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke
    National Institute of Nursing Research
    National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health
    National Vaccine Program Office
    National Women’s Health Information Center
    President’s Council on Physical Fitness and Sports
    Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration

    Like

    • Big Swede says:

      Sometimes a picture tells a better story Steve.

      Like

      • fm says:

        Governmental institutions are a wealth draining mechanism. They introduce a parasitic middle-man (institution) by law, man it with cronies, and force you to pay for the non-service.
        This goes on until the parasite (state) kills the host (society). And after the following war, the next of those cycles begins with reincarnations of both …

        Like

        • That is false since it is too broad. Human institutions are generally corrupt, but in private health care the profit motive is the largest single corrupting factor. Government-run or sponsored health care systems don’t have to worry about that, and as a result every country that has such systems is more efficient and cheaper than the US system, even covering 100% of its citizens. As I wrote up above, no matter the complaints, problems faced with other systems, and there are many, no one has ever said “Gee, we wish we could have the American system.”

          The last system to convert to government run was Taiwan, and it used as its working model Medicare, the Canadian system (also called Medicare). THe last country to convert to the American system was Iraq, but only at the point of a gun.

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          • fm says:

            The idea behind some institutions might be good or might appear good.
            But I know of no implementation that is not tainted or perverted. And as long as man does not realize his own responsibility for his live and his health, this will not change.
            My opinion.

            Like

          • I agree we are responsible in taking care of ourselves, eating right and staying active, avoiding bad habits. Right now one of our largest health care problems is diabetes, caused by too much sugar and carbs in general in our diets. But manufacturers and even the FDA advocates these type of diets. That is corrupt.

            Say I am a janitor and you are a professor at Harvard. You make a lot of money, I don’t, as I am not very smart and can only do menial labor. We are walking across campus one day when a runaway truck hits us both, causing severe injuries. That situation calls for a health care system to equalize the difference in earnings, as the janitor cannot begin to be able to afford the care he needs. Some call that “socialism” but the real principle at work is “insurance.” Both pay what they can into a large pool and withdraw from that pool in need. The janitor will benefit more than the professor. I don’t care. Do you?

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  9. fm says:

    Say I am a janitor and you are a professor at Harvard. You make a lot of money, I don’t, as I am not very smart …
    The janitor will benefit more than the professor. I don’t care. Do you?

    Agree with you.
    There is one implicit point in your example I want to highlight, and this is the ASSUMED value of the professor’s work versus the ASSUMED value of the janitor’s work. This difference is not naturally, but solely by agreement of society. And, there are some problems with the image of the “intelligent professor” versus the common workman. I think you heard anecdotes of absentminded professors all along. But the aren’t funny. Many of these people are nonviable outside the academic world, and without a caretaker / mom. I came to learn some of those people myself.
    To come to the point – the definition of intelligence and IQ is a totally arbitrary one. The capabilities cheered in this particular society could be seem as mental sickness in another.
    BTW, do you know many high-level academics that realize in what a Matrix world we live in ? The excellent abstract-thinking and equation-solving capabilities seem not very helpful in seeing the world as it is, versus the MSM-projected illusion.
    Again, just my opinion. And to put it into perspective, I passed academic training as well, with a degree in electrical engineering.

    Like

  10. Barbara M. says:

    what was the beginning of “healthcare” is not much different from what was at the beginning of every religion. The fear from unknown (weather, sickness), then the explanation assumes a power only some chosen ones can stand against (priests, doctors) and the help offered always requires some kind of sacrifice (money, donations). It’s always profit oriented and based on fear. Nowadays we have many such systems all connected together. There is no independent “private” medical help. Everyone who tries that is being prosecuted. Only doctors with medical degrees are allowed to help and they are protected from any responsibility. Of course there are also vets, alternative practitioners and such, but they all have to make the same exam where they bind themselves to the same system of western medicine. If you stand out, you lose the permit. See Dr. Hamer and his New German Medicine, or others. If a cancer patient dies by a regular doctor nothing happens, if the same patient dies by an alternative practitioner without the permit, who uses methods the system does not approve of, he’s being prosecuted with all the power of the system. The purpose of a general healthcare system is to take your live savings so your children will not get anything of value. The same purpose is behind any insurance system. The idea to pay regularly some small amount into a pot together with others for the case if something expensive happens to you others will help you stem the costs may look good on the surface but it is a scam all the same. Why are prices for health service so high? What makes their machines more expensive than say garbage delivery trucks? What makes the working hour of a doctor more expensive than that of an electrician? Why costs a day spend in a hospital more than a day spend in a luxury hotel? We tend to believe, the work of a surgeon has to be so expensive because there are very few of them, but that is not the truth. There are many unemployed surgeons, or more general, doctors of any kind, who do McDonalds work. The same applies to lawyers or other overcrowded professions. Or why is some medicine so expensive? We have mass production technology for everything. There is no reason, why some drug cannot be produced in huge amounts and therefore very cheap and available for everybody who needs it. It’s a scam to suck as much money of the “working” people as possible and to keep us working all the time. The powers that be want us to spend everything we earn during our lives so our children have to start with empty hands. The majority of people already does that. After the education time they start working, they buy cars, TV sets, make expensive holidays, they retire and they die leaving nothing of value to their heirs. That maybe not such a bad thing, if applied to all of us in the same way. But I doubt it is. Don’t get me wrong here. I believe all those billionaires or aristocrats (or most of them) are just playing their roles. Their live is not better or even much different from our lives. Expensive Champagne or wine does not really taste any better than a good one we can afford and buy in stores. I think we don’t really know what Trump does when he takes his time off. What they show us looks very strenuous to me. I think we have to focus on the abuse of the system and not on the system itself. It does not make much sense (IMHO) to fight the system but it makes sense to look for possibilities how to make our own lives better using the system properly. To get back on track: using healthcare will not improve your live, but keeping costs for it low will. Those costs are mandatory in Europa already and soon also will be in the USA. Also avoiding doctors and drugs of any kind will not makes you more sick.

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