Tuesday, July 28, 2009


A few days ago I got onto facebook and noticed that two friends had just posted their opinion on the facebook poll: Are you in favor of a Government run healthcare system. I decided to immediately follow suit, so on my facebook page there are three identical polls in a row.
All three of us were in favor of goverment-run health care.
All three of us have lived in Europe, where government-run health care is a reality.
I have two friends that have posted quite a bit about health care on facebook recently. One of them has lived in Europe (and actually, he's European, but living in the US and married to an American). The other one has not lived in Europe. Any guesses as to which friend supports government-run health care and which one doesn't?
I wonder if that trend holds steady for larger number of people--if living in Europe (or at least Western Europe) means you're much more likely to support government-run health care.
Anyone out there who's lived in Europe sometime in the past twenty years (and I'm not talking about a few months of study abroad) and doesn't support government-run health care? Let me know.


Mommy Bee said...

Dave, after two years in Norway is heartily for it. Following some discussions about it I am too.
My understanding of it is that the countries where it is infamously problematic (eg Canada) are countries where it is also underfunded. If the money is put into it, it works beautifully. We just have such a selfish capitalistic society that the idea of cutting doctors massive paychecks or sharing the help with everyone seems to bother people.

Now, I don't know for sure how I feel about the specific bill currently up in the legislature. I have not read it. I did see a list of things that are in it (sent to me by someone who was against it) and I found that I was quite comfortable with the contents as per that email...I need to go read the whole thing though.

Chelsey said...

**I'm Aaron's wife**

I've lived for several years in both England and in Australia, and I have to say that I am quite opposed to socialized health care. Case in point: I ruptured my ACL in Australia while skiing. I was told that it would be at least six weeks before I could even see an orthopedic surgeon and three MONTHS minimum before it could be operated on. I flew back to the states, saw a doctor in two DAYS and had completed my surgery in less than a week.

The difference in my care was a result of rationing. In ANY health care system (or any economic system where you are dealing with limited resources) there will be rationing. No advocate of any system, "single payer" or the current insurance-based, will admit that there will be rationing, but this is a fact of life. How the rationing occurs is the real question. In the current health care model, it is through cost. In a socialized system, it is through queues or fiat.

I also think it is a mistake to compare the United States to countries like Norway or Sweden. There you are dealing with a homogeneous, relatively wealthy, and geographically small population that in no way resembles the U.S. These small countries also have their health care subsidized by countries such as the U.S. where pharmaceutical companies are able to charge higher costs for prescription drugs in order to recoup R&D costs.

Having said all this, I definitely think that there needs to be health care reform. I have a few ideas of what I think should be reformed, but it is such a complex problem that I certainly would not claim to know the whole answer. My gut instinct, education, and experience all tell me that socialism is not the solution.

Tim said...

Cool! Thanks for input for someone who's lived in Europe and still dislikes the system.
I know there's a long wait list for things in the US too--my grandpa waited months for a knee replacement, and I worked at a place where the wait list was 2 or 3 months.
And I agree--reform is definitely needed, and I also have some ideas of how that should happen, but I'm not sure that the current proposals in Congress are the solution.