Politics: Don't Americans realize they could have universal healthcare with the taxes they already pay?

The US spends more than double on healthcare than Australia.


I've seen a lot of Americans are going to say they have the best healthcare system, but every international ranking Ive seen rates the US healthcare system poorly.

And my families experience with Australias public healthcare system was wonderful, my mother had an ovarian tumor and she had two operations last year and the hospital was very clean and modern.

It was this hospital:


She had private health insurance but she was able to keep it.

But the healthcare system in the US doesn't sound amazing, I think it must be extremely inneficiant or something. I just don't understand why it's like that, where does the money go to?

What does the US healthcare service have that we don't?


@Lib Nemesis

What about the thousands of people that travel to India every year from western countries for healthcare tourism? I'm sure if you found statistics you would find a lot more Asian countries getting more healthcare tourists than the USA.

Update 2:

@Lib Nemisis

If you look at healthcare tourism per country the amount that goes the US isn't that much,

the US gets 60,000 healthcare tourists per year,

And how many Americans travel abroad for their healthcare? 750,000.


23 Answers

  • 1 decade ago
    Favorite Answer

    So, let me get this straight.

    You went to ONE hospital that was "clean and modern" in Australia and then formed the opinion, "oh since i've had a good experience, America must have crappy healthcare"


    you do realize America has state-of-the-art medical technology other countries dream of having?

    please stay in australia.

  • 1 decade ago

    You do realize that your country makes up a severely small fraction of the US? The state I live in alone is half of your country's total population. Our government does not spend money well either because there is so much of it. The military has the least waste while the social programs have the worst. Also, the reason people come to the US for health care is because privately owned hospitals are at the cutting edge of medical care. So the American people prefer paying for their own medical care rather than relay on a corrupt, wasteful and incompetent bureaucracy that the US government produces when creating a welfare program. Doctors are becoming more and more reluctant to take on Medicare patients because they don't pay and neither does the government. What do you think will happen to med school enrollment numbers when the government takes over the whole thing and doctors won't be able to make anywhere near a decent living? Not that we have a surplus right now.

  • 1 decade ago

    Oh yes we could. Now where is that money going? Well there are a lot of people making a lot of money off the current system. Now if more of the money went to care for more people, they wouldn't make as much. So they charge insane prices to only care for some of the people; then they say we can't afford it, we're told that by the people who gave us the most expensive system in the world. But it makes a few people boat loads of money and they aren't going to let go of that gravy train easy.

  • Our system is not great. It's bad for everybody. Citizens who are middle-class or lower can't afford treatment when the need it, so they have to pay corporations even when they're healthy to foot the bill when they're not. And those corporations make money by deeming every other few legitimate insurance claims unnecessary and trying to escape their moral obligation to provide the service they are there to provide.

    When Jonas Salk came up with the vaccine for polio, he wasn't worried about patenting it. He worked tirelessly to create it for one reason only: to save lives. Unfortunately, there are few Dr. Salks left in the world. Instead we have cynics who think no progress will ever be made unless it's by someone who's looking to get rich for their work. And for that mentality, we at the customer level "foot the bill" for outrageous researchers salaries, unthinkable markup on research equipment, etc. And we do so by being leveraged into eternal debt (insurance) so we can continue on the same course instead of finding ways to make health care affordable without coverage.

    Gone are the days that doctors became doctors to save lives. Now most do it for fancy sports cars and second homes.

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  • 1 decade ago

    Thanks to the lies and half truths that they are told about health reform and the need for it by the right, no many are not aware about this.

    I am always amazed how many Americans seem not to be aware about the real healthcare issues relying instead on FOX and other sources to spread lies about the healthcare system of the USA and those abroad. I mean, if healthcare in nations with universal coverage is so bad, why do they keep it?

    Obama wants to make insurance more available to all and change the system so that it gives the American people value for money [1]. He also wants change so that the insurance companies find it harder to get out of paying for treatment. The system he is proposing looks similar to that which works in Taiwan where private companies are involved in providing healthcare [2].

    Obama campaigned on reforming the healthcare system. He said he wanted to make insurance more available and he was elected to do this [3].

    FACT - the US has higher death rates for kids both for kids aged under one and those under five than western European countries with universal health coverage [4].

    FACT – American insurance companies push up prices and work to stop paying out claims on those they cover [5].

    FACT - the USA spends more on healthcare PER PERSON than any other nation on the planet [6].

    That means that a dead American four year old would have had a better chance of life if they were born in any western nation with universal health coverage.

    If you do not like the policies that Obama was elected to bring in, he can always be voted out of office in 2012. But if you disagree with the facts, please let me know. I am always willing to learn, but please provide proof. None of those who disagree with me have been able to do that so far.

  • 1 decade ago

    Comparing stats between the US and any other nation is really misleading.

    The US is the only place in the world with true diversity, including people of all socio-economic classes.

    To put it how a layman can understand: Other countries don't have nearly the issues to face as the US does.

    This puts other nations in a very "Convenient" spot to have better statistics on many issues. (And to be critical of US policy)

    If you put the USA's general population in that same country you're comparing it to, that country would collapse in short order.

  • 1 decade ago

    India's population is 4 times that of America's population but they have universal free health care. American people are being brainwashed by the insurance companies that universal health care is a bad thing.

    The other day I saw a this American documentary about how Canadians wait in lines for hours and hours to get service but this is not true because most Canadians I talk to say they waited 40 min max to get service.

    I really hope that americans break free of the corporate manipulation.

  • 1 decade ago

    It's very simple:

    We could have a lot of things with the taxes we already pay. That is, if the government knew how to properly spend and appropriate money. But there are too many politicians out in our government that would rather do the bidding of those who line their pockets, rather than the right thing. Not that all of them are bad guys, some are great. But, as they say, it only takes on bad apple to ruin then entire bunch.

  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    most americans can't set up a simple budget. our broken "system" is extremely inefficient. obama-care will make it more so. thus, it will cost more than it already does. if i could get a business loan, i would set up a medical tourism business in the US for people going to other countries where they can afford medical procedures. this will be the new business boom for the next decade.

  • 1 decade ago

    Other countries cut costs by lack of care, especially in the area of cancer and medical tourism. Japan doesn't even treat cancer and if you have breast cancer in Germany the chance of getting the proper medication is less than if you are in the U.S. Also Western Europe is right next to Eastern Europe where they offer cheaper care but no legal rights if something goes wrong. I wouldn't trust going to Mexico just because it's cheaper, but after wasting an average of nine one half weeks on average, the Canadians might get desperate. The average time to see a doctor in England for arthritis is nine months.

    Also many countries with universal health care have smaller militaries yet more debt compared to their GNP and higher taxes. Many nations have at least 90% debt load compared to their GNP while the U.S. won't see that level till 2020. Japan's debt load is 190% of it's GNP and it has the second largest economy in the world and it's military is just 1% of its GNP. France had a debt load of 77.5% in 2009 while Canada had a debt load of 75.4%. Even though the U.S. has trillions of debt it's still was 52.9% with the largest military in the world and lower taxes. So why is the U.S. ranked below the national average in 2009 it's because it had no universal health care which is indirectly costing countries more than they claim. Medical claims taken from the general funds are not being counted toward average patient care.

    Sure countries may brag that they offer lower medical costs, but they also offer lower medical R&D. The U.S. has by far the largest medical R&D program in the world and has dominated Nobel Prizes in medical research for years. Meanwhile everyone else is taking counterfeit generic drugs.


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