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originally posted by: TrueBrit
a reply to: theNLBS
Smashing episode Joe!
The Affordable Care Act issue is thorny of course, mostly because of the emotional responses it incites in folk. The fact is though, healthcare is NOT a privilege, and you would have to be a little bit of a cold hearted, soul dead bastard to believe otherwise. The main problem with the act, was that rather than doing away with the private sector, and actually installing a fully nationalised health service, someone thought it would be a better idea to do a half assed job, where insurance was still required.
I think that has to be the worst of two worlds, realistically speaking. You have all the downsides of private medicine, and all the downsides of insurance, and all the downsides of government departments, without actually making access to healthcare universal at all.
You see, the main problem was, that rather than making the healthcare the focus, Gruber hatched a plan involving the medical insurance industry. In my country, where we have a real universal healthcare system, you get the healthcare as long as you pay your taxes. If you want private medical insurance to cover a fancy new treatment from abroad, then as long as you can pay for it, that's fine, but treatment in general is covered by ones national insurance contributions, accrued as a garnishment at the same time as ones taxes are deducted from ones earnings. As long as you receive a pay check or some kind of government assistance even, you get those national insurance stamps.
If I need surgery here in the UK, which is available on the NHS, I do not need to hand over my life savings. I just need to be in need of the surgery.
If the Obama administration had any intention of improving matters in the States, regarding access to healthcare, they would have installed such a system, or at least tried to, and made private medical insurance a luxury, rather than a necessity. Getting the insurance salesmen out of the business of running hospitals, banishing businesses of all kinds from hospitals, should be the goal of any person whose main and proper focus is patient care, actually giving a god damn about people enough, that one is prepared to treat them for no other reason than the fact that they need the treatment!