Why are so many Americans opposed to universal health care? I read this in a recent article.?

Americans do not like the idea of paying higher taxes especially supporting those who are lower income and are unemployed. Also, they don't like the idea of government run institutions because they feel the goverment always screw things up. Also, if we switched to a universal health care system, the quality of medical care will dwindle. And another con, long wait times.

I don't find most of the above true. My fiance is a UK citizend and I have lived in the UK and experienced the NHS firsthand. Yes, I had to wait longest was 2 hours in an emergency room. Anytime my fiance had to see a specialist, his GP would refer him but if GP felt that it was urgent he would send my fiance to the top of the list and he'd get an appointment within a week. All inclusive taxes in the UK (includes national health insurance) is just 23% of your salary. I never questioned the quality of care here in the UK. The service I recevied was excellent and the MD's were just as competent as American doctors. Hospital facilities were the same as in America. It is the 60th anniversary of the NHS and still going strong. The goverment is pumping more money into the NHS to improve facilities and programs. In the UK, you also have the option to pay for private health insurance and still have NHS as a back up incase things go awry.

At least with universal health care everyone is covered whether they are unemployed, or have a pre-existing condition such as myself. If I lose my job in America, I will not be able to obtain health insurance, because health insurance companies reject individuals with pre-existing conditions. I wouldn't make the low income bracket to qualify for goverment subsidized health insurance. And I'm too young for Medicare. So where does this leave me? Either bankrupt or dead. All in all screwed.

Universal Health care makes sense to me, I guess I am biased because of my circumstances. When it doesn't affect you, I guess this is the reason why people are apathetic. But hey, you can lose your job and get cancer all of sudden. I wonder how those people who think universal health care is a waste would change their mind then? When it happens to them.

What are your views on universal health care for the US? Do you think the US will ever have some form of universal health care in this lifetime?

Update:

*Typo above. "I find most of the above true" should be changed to "I find most of the above untrue"

Update 2:

I would also like to add that Americans pay for twice as much for the same medications in Europe and Asia.

Update 3:

To Woteva, you're a uk citizen and hate paying higher taxes, but if you had to shell out to pay private insurance it's even more money. At least you have the NHS to fall back on in case you lose your job ( it happens you know). You can also focus on building your job skill and utilizing your talent to your fullest potential. You are not locked in a dead in job because you need health insurance, which is the case for a lot of Americans.

Update 4:

To Paul, inferior health care? Did you not read my post at all. In the UK, their service is on par with the US. Canada also has universal health care and has a lower rate of infant mortality death rates, lower rate of diabets, hypertension, etc. In America, the emergency rooms are flooded already, because people who don't have health insurance are currently using the ER to get treated for non life threatening conditions. The wait time is even longer, I've had to wait 7 hours in the ER in America once for a broken leg. And guess what your tax money is paying for the deficit that hospitals have in millions of unpaid bills because people can't afford health insurance.

I don't understand why Americans have this blind patriotism? To be patriotic means to be blind to large loopholes in our system? Even Harry Truman wanted universal health care back then and he served 4 terms in office. Does this mean Truman was a communist?

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    It basically boils down to this. The only ones against it are the ones who have insurance or are rich and don't have to worry about how to come up with $100 to see a MD. If they were to lose their job or insurance, they would be the ones yelling " we need universal health care" . IT's bull. They don't their taxes paying for it... well, ok so people get sick, they have to quit work and go on welfare.. then who pays for it.. they do.. people go to work sick, production suffers.. who pays for it..taxpayers. People have to sell their house to cover health care cost and are homeless and who pays for that.. they do in the form of shelters, or low income housing.. They are paying whether they like it or not. As far as health care suffering..facts in my life: 1. I need surgery. I have no insurance. I was told "tough luck..you pay or you don't have it" (with UHS I would at least know I could have it, even if it took 6 months to wait) 2. I have had 3 MD's here in US that honest to God, I don't know how they got their license because they do not need to be practicing..they are that incompetant. How can having less than adequate healthcare be any worse than having a MD who doesn't even know about the conditions she treats than to have to look it up on a computer. My family MD..if I need an appt with him, I have to schedule it 3 months ahead of time or he's booked..I have to go to a walk in clinic and sat for 7-8 hours or go to ER.

    People say "I don't want to healthcare expenses for people who let themselves get fat and unhealthy". well, I have a friend whose 2 year old daughter LET herself get cancer and they have no insurance..see they don't look at all sides of it.. they just don't want to have to "pay a few extra taxes".. but I guarantee you if they needed the help, and somebody said to them "I shouldn't have to pay for your health care", they would get really mad and think it's unfair. Always looks different on the other side of the street.

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  • 1 decade ago

    Firstly, free healthcare - we should get that in the UK, would solve a multitude of problems! However we have a system where healthcare is indirectly charged to tax payers.

    I live in the Uk. I am fed up paying higher rate tax to support people that have put nothing into the system. The NHS was instituted to keep workers healthy and working - not as a free for all for every lazy bum that hasn't got a job. I understand that there are some people who do not fit in either category - but in every system some people lose out - here in the UK it's the mugs that go to work!

    Charles Darwin - Uk government have never heard of him!

    Source(s): My payslip
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  • 1 decade ago

    It is in human nature to fear change. Most people don't really understand how universal health care will work for them or if it would be any better.

    Moreover, most americans haven't had the opportunity to experience firsthand how universal health care works in other countries.

    And I also agree to an extent with what the first responder posted... the owner of hospitals, health care facilities, private practices, pharmaceuticals, and so on would lose a lot if the US took over universal health care... let's not be fools... the US is a country for the corporations, run by corporations... for the people? by the people? I think not.

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  • 1 decade ago

    It is inevitable for universal health care to be adopted worldwide. It is unethical to deny medical treatment solely because of a lack of money. It is fairly evident of humanity that some causes do not receive attention unless they are mandated ones. There are many issues to be worked out though.

    "Universal" access does not mean universal quality, which means, like it or not, I suspect wealthy individuals living in societies with universal health care receive better health care then low income individuals. Examples should be obvious.

    Anything that has major affects on after tax revenue is going to have major economic effects as well, i.e. whatever extra amount will be required to pay for universal health care (I suspect it's not cheap) will remove money from the capitalist system.

    Customers who are not happy with the medical services can, theoretically, take their money elsewhere. This benefit is removed once it's the government who tells you where to go.

    I'm not the expert in this field but the present health care system seems like it needs some work; I personally don't see how forcing more money into the system through taxes is going to solve the problem.

    If you're going to ask people to pay higher taxes so that others can have more medical access, it also seems fair for those taxpayers to ask that the receivers of treatment live healthier lifestyles.

    Bureaucracy will rule medicine. Examples should be obvious.

    Under one system, bureaucracy could be greatly reduced through consolidation; however, one must also be vary of creating monopolies.

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  • Lou
    Lv 4
    1 decade ago

    This boggles my mind too (but then I am British). I posted a similar question and one of the responses was that healthcare is a PRIVILEGE and not a right!!! As if cancer chooses who it's gonna hit by whether they can afford to pay! I think Americans are terrified of anything remotely socialist. God knows why. Universal healthcare is the best thing ever!

    Plus, the US government spends twice as much PER PERSON on healthcare then the UK - if the system was run properly, they wouldn't have to pay any more taxes at all!!

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  • 1 decade ago

    Because I do not want the Govt deciding my health care choices.Anything the govt runs with the exception of the Military,eventually is abused,misused and corrupt.The amount of red tape would be unbelievable.While our system is not perfect and some people really need help,it is the best in the world.Just a bad idea

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  • 1 decade ago

    I'm all for universal health care in America. The problem is, our system will have to be totally re-worked in order for it to be effective. As it stands now, too many people in Washington will lose a lot of special-interest money if we choose to go this route. It seems that a majority of our politicians are owned by "Big Business". These politicians will do whatever it takes to remain in their favor, while the plight of the "common man" isn't a factor.

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  • 1 decade ago

    Two main reasons.

    One, Americans prefer quality health care.

    Two, we don't like being slaves to other people.

    We don't have a problem with the word socialism because we mistake it for communism.

    We have a problem with socialism, period, because those of us with any reasoning ability know what it is.

    We already have voluntary socialism in America. It's called insurance, which has done nothing but lower the quality of health care.

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  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    Americans, not being socialist or communist (except for loony libs who know what they're advocating and ignorant libs who do not know what they advocate) does not want the government, a government or any government, proved through history to be good for only FUBAR projects, to administer a daily vitamin, much less an entire health care system.

    Another way has to be found.

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  • 1 decade ago

    You really want to know why we don't want universal healthcare? OK, here it is, no bollocks; I work, and I don't want my dollar paying for someone who refuses to. Case closed. Yes, I know some don't work because they can't, physically or mentally, but as long as there's even one who simply WON'T(and there are many more than one) I refuse to have my dollar pay for ANYTHING for them. Also, another reason is that universal healthcare tends to be the bottom of the barrel. Look at the dental in your own country...

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