Saturday, 2 February 2008

Socialised Health Care

I know Rudy Giuliani was against it but as he is licking his wounds after snatching defeat from the jaws of victory, we can take it for granted his judgement is not all it could be. Socialised Health Care is what i am alluding to and why it is such a political hot potato in the US election because for the life of me, i can't see why anyone outside of the private medical insurance business would be against it.
The United States is the only wealthy, industrialized nation that does not provide universal health care for its citizens, treating health care as a market commodity distributed according to the ability to pay instead of according to medical need which leads to one in six Americans having no medical insurance and up a certain creek without a paddle if they fall ill.
The World Health Organisation places America just inside of the top 40 when it comes to its 2007 survey of World Health systems with the socialised systems of France, Italy and San Marino taking top spots and America in 37th place just ahead of Slovenia and Cuba.
In Britain there is the NHS and a private system also. Those who can afford it don't have to use the NHS, they can go private anytime they want but for those who would otherwise have no access to healthcare (ie the poorest) - the NHS is a lifesaver.
So why are American politicians so keen to dismiss a Socialised Health Service that would benefit millions of Americans?
The answer could be in the figures. Health Care in the US represents 14% of the U.S. economy – almost twice the European average so the stakes for the potential losers in a shift of system are much greater. Check out the profits of Medical Insurance sellers and see why they will fight to not see their golden goose culled. This Providence Journal article tells how William McGuire of UnitedHealth Group, the nation's leading medical insurer, was the third-highest-paid CEO on the 2005 Forbes list with his pay of $124.8 million.
The bottom line is medical care should be seen as a basic human right and not a luxury just for those who can afford it and to hear politicians argue otherwise leaves me dumbfounded.

1 comment:

Stephen said...

I agree completely. It bothers me to no end how Americans can be so easily convinced to take positions (such as on health care) that are so clearly against their own interests