As requested (and not in the talk club because someone had a close call )
There has been a lot of dueling from both sides of the pond as to who has the best system of healthcare, social payed by tax or private paid by the individual.
We all know that both systems have benefits and both have down sides. Social has the advantage of free healthcare for all at point of service (it's not free because it's payed by tax, before the point is raised) However it has problems of being overstretched and could be run more efficiently. There is a lot of beurocratic red tape that clogs it down and as time passes there will more people retired than working and taxes will have to be raised to meet the extra costs.
My parents live in the Uk and my father has heart problems...he has to wait anything upto 3 months to see the specialists then more waiting for appointments for tests...then more waiting for the results then more waiting to see the specialist to decide the next course of action ( he had an operation...it was cancelled 3 times because of lack of beds)
The private system in the USA has the advantage of no waiting for treatment and most hospitals and clinics are as modern as they can be.....The downside is that it cost big time. Insurance premiums are rising fast and the drug companies charge more here than anywhere in the world. healthcare is not cheap because of competition, rather as expensive as the market can handle. The medical profession is also a powerful lobby in government, the drug companies spend millions each year lobbying our congress to protect their own interests and they are very good at doing so.
I am fortunate enough that i am able to afford full healthcare plans for my family, but millions in the USA can't. Companies are cutting down on benefits to save money and health insurance policies are often very basic.
2 years ago a friend of mines son was badly injured in a car crash (it was his sons fault). With all the treatment he has needed in the recovery the co payment the insurance requires has passed the $100,000 mark and there is still a long way to go. Now there are certain safety nets but they are limited.
On the other side of the fence some areas have a shortage of doctors because of malpractice lawsuits. People that have to pay big time for a service are more likely to sue for the slightest thing and in reaction Malpractice insurance for the doctors has become unrealistically expensive.
What i would like to see is government dealing on the cost of drugs to make them more affordable as they do in Europe and also have contracted medical treatment..the hospitals bid for contracts to treat. This would still keep the American ethic (we do it already with military contracts) but could provide the same high standard of healthcare to all citizens regardless of financial standing.
Of course this would never happen in the USA because there is too much money being made. I am not against profit but i am against profiteering. Another reason is that it would require taxation to achieve it and tax is the dirtiest word in the American vocabulary ( even if they actually saved money because they didn't need health insurance) It also doesn't help that each state is seperate and we seem to like it that way.
As i say it's about pros and cons. Both systems have ups and downs....is there anywhere in the middle that could just use the ups?