Why do Americans not want Health care reform?

I have been trying to understand for a while why Americans are so hostile to a universal health care scheme like the NHS in Britain (I am British) and especially to Obama's Health care reform proposals.

The reasons I have already been given are that it is too expensive, the NHS "rations" care so people die early, you will not be able to chose your own doctor, and fears that it will turn into some soviet style hospital with few resources etc.

However, I have done some research and the NHS administers the same care but it costs half the amount. This is due to the fact that the American health system often runs pointless tests because they are worried about insurance or trying to rake in more money.

Also, the NHS does not "ration" care - everyone gets the same care and if the NHS does not have the means to treat people in the UK they will fund patients to go overseas to get care there, like they did for this child living in my area. They will also never turn off life machines etc without next of kin permission.

Furthermore, you can chose your own doctor in Britain! And according to our Health Secretary, Andy Burnham, the NHS is one of the top health services in the world! Definately nothing like soviet russia.

Finally, the USA is the only country in the developed world without universal health care. The ONLY one. Are you saying that every other country is wrong? :-s

Taking all this into account I still dont know why people oppose it so please please can someone explain it to me. I just want to understand where you are coming from.


Can I just clarify a few things?

- When I said half the amount of money I meant half the amount per head not overall. Proportionally you spend more per person for the same treatment than we do in the UK.

- I am not repeating something i heard from a school teacher, I am politics student reiterating facts from the State Department of Health, the BBC and from ex congressman Robert Carr (D-Michigan) and Constance Morella (R-Maryland)

Furthermore, the guy who reckons he lived in london and saw people dying in corridors I honesty do not believe you. I have an ongoing medical problem and visit the hospital frequently. I never wait more than an hour and the hospitals are extremely clean and well equipped.

I wasnt trying to create an argument or piss anyone off i just wanted to understand.

Finally, I KNOW you hate government intervention i just have never understood why it is such a bad thing. It stops insurance companies trampling over you and ripping you off. Please explain

22 Answers

  • 1 decade ago
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    As an American, I really have mixed feeling on this issue.

    There is a problem with the healthcare system. Until my wife began working in the medical field, I really had no idea how bad it was.

    In my opinion, the problem lies within how the insurance companies are regulated. Under current laws, a health insurance company can only do business within a single state. These large institutions have to create "sub-companies" to do business in other states. Instead of a single large market where many people cam play, this creates 50 small markets that can't sustain a large number of competitors. By law, this creates an oligopoly. This gives large companies an inordinate amount of control on health care providers, giving large insurance companies who do business across multiple states (via small companies) the power to tell health care providers what reasonable charges are and what reasonable health care is. In the end, the patient gets screwed.

    I think simply lifting this barrier and allowing companies to do business nationwide will open up competition and allow people to find the best healthcare plan that suits them for the best price.

    At this point, I think government controlled healthcare is an option, but I think it is too extreme given that the current system is broken, not destroyed. I think tuning the system first would be much less painful and provide more positive results.

    If the government option is strictly just a "choice", I think that would be unfair to the private market as the government essentially would be a company operating with unlimited funds.

    The thing that scares me most is that the US government could screw up making a bowl of cereal. There was a scandal at the Walter Reed Medical Center not that long ago. This is a US Government facility that is meant to treat soldiers, many wounded soldiers from the wars in the Middle East. Essentially, neglect and bureaucracy led to poor healthcare for the soldiers. The government fails at taking care of its soldiers, a small segment of the population. What makes me thing that the government could take care of a much larger population, over a hugely diverse geographical area with many problems not commonly faced by normally healthy soldiers?

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  • 6 years ago

    I'm not going to have a go at any one group or nation here but here is my opinion after a few years observing:

    America is a 100% Capitalist country, every thing/person makes money for some one some where.

    Think about this if you will...

    The health care system demands you pay for treatment if you are injured or take ill...

    America and it's people are a never ending circle of profit for the rich of the country...

    The people that lobby for the right

    -for everyone to own a gun (with very little restrictions)

    -to sell food with ingredients that are banned in every other country

    -for unregulated pharmaceutical/medical pricing

    -to have you working three jobs to PAY the bill when you get sick because you work three jobs !!

    -pay doctors to come up with new mental diseases when they create new drugs for younger and younger people to be put on.

    The truth is that right now the American people are being poisoned, shot at and diagnosed on the behest of of a few rich share holders that will loose the billions when universal health care comes along.

    Sometimes one cannot see the bigger picture unless you are outside looking at it.

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  • 1 decade ago

    They have seen what happens when state control runs wild.

    The 1000+ unnecessary deaths over the years at the UK Stafford Hospital Trust, already forgotten since last week's news, case abandoned without any enquiry.

    The USA medical system don't want their health care infiltrated by professional administrators, they need to keep it under the control of the medics.

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  • 1 decade ago

    Just because the US is the only country to not have Government health care is no reason to get it.

    It boils down to the FACT that this is a move by our communistic liberal to spread the wealth and taking over the nation. Health care is 1/6th of our economy. The Federal Government of these United States has NEVER it its history taken over anything or developed by mandate any social plan that has been a success .Everything has ended costing thousands time what it was project.

    Why have Universal health care or socialized medicine if there is no money to fund it.

    Obamacare is a disaster trying to find a place to land!!

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  • 1 decade ago

    It's not that I don't want health care reform, I don't want socialized medicine! I don't want the government involved in running the health care I receive in any way shape or form because the government can't manage it's affairs NOW, much less if we add healthcare to the bureaucracy.

    Besides, ...let's keep our eye on the ball here. With nearly 25,000,000 Americans out of work, millions losing their homes to foreclosure, banks failing right and left, the American car industry hanging on by it's proverbial fingernails and the general state of our economy right now, ...don't you suppose we have a few bigger things to worry about than reforming the healthcare industry? Governing is setting priorities, not worrying about what your legacy will be when you leave the oval office. Obama had better wake up and smell the coffee.

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  • 1 decade ago

    some of these answers. someone said that nobody should pay for anybody else to visit a doctor. how selfish can you get? that small percentage off your pay can save many lives. yes you will have to pay for more people then us (canada) but you will be splitting the bill with that many more people. for the people that think that our hospitals and health care are of lower quality are mis informed. everything you can get there we can get here and yes its pretty much free. how much do you pay for an apeendix opp? i paid $0. friend's keymo $0. x rays, cat scans $0. and bte we dont have long waits. i do not really blame the people that belive these things as you have been lied to your whole lives. i have never heard of a canadian going to the US for treatment but i have heard of many americans going the other way. any btw it really is a small percentage that you wouldnt notice and the less you make the less you pay

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  • 1 decade ago

    First of all, it involves spending money we dont have, and will never have. Second, it involves handing over more control of our lives to the government. Third, it involves trusting a political party that has proven itself to be completely not trustworthy. Lastly, I think you will feel differently after the first time you get sick and especially when you get older, and get a job, maybe, and start paying taxes. It really sounds like you are just repeating something you heard from a school teacher. You see, these plans to socialize everything are very popular among people who dont work very hard and who dont make much money.

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  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    The problem with Health Care reform is that none of the proposed bills and the "ideas" of Republicans actually address the issue of high health care costs.

    The only true way to bring down health insurance costs is to bring down health care costs. $100 for an aspirin, $200 for a bandaid, $100,000 for a pregnancy.

    Universal Health Care does not keep costs from rising and with any tax (let's call it for what it is) it would have to go up in order to keep up with the costs.

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  • 1 decade ago

    The American PEOPLE have long supported universal health care (that is, the majority of them have; just a few wing-nuts oppose it). Heck, it's one of the main reasons we elected Obama.

    The reasons you list are just the Talking Points that the liars who speak for the wing-nuts say. Everyone who has any brain realizes those folks constantly lie, it's only the brain-dead wing-nuts who believe every lie they are told.

    Unfortunately, watching Congress trying to pass reform for all this time, with wing-nuts screaming their lies day after day, and paralyzing Congress so it can't get it done and move on to other problems has soured a lot of people on the current reform effort.

    As a group, we're not a patient people.

    Our system is screwy in a lot of ways. In this case, representatives of a minority of us were able to thwart the will of the majority for a long time. I am, however, expecting they will ultimately fail.

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  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    Everyone wants something changed.

    Personally I'd like to see these 4 items.

    1. Open up interstate competition of insurance companies.

    2. Tort Reform

    3. Make it so they can't reject you for an existing condition

    4. Propose a 50 year gradual withdraw from Medicare/Medicaid

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