Oh dear

While British voters can look forward only to the squirming of a lame-duck Prime Minister and a discredited House of Commons, America is starting one of the most important policy debates in its modern history. Barack Obama describes his promise to create a system of healthcare that would guarantee to all Americans the basic medical treatment taken for granted in other advanced democracies around the world as the defining issue of his presidency.

Can we just get this straight?

Americans are not denied health care. There are indeed 47 million of them who at some point in the year do not have health insurance, this is true. But health care and health insurance are not the same thing.

Every county in the US has a contractual agreement with one or another set of hospitals etc to provide free health care to the indigent. This is over and above whatever MediCare and MedicAid might provide.

It is also true that turning up at an emergency room will get your treated, whatever your insurance status.

No, I don\’t think the US system is currently perfect, I\’m not even sure that it\’s very good. But it isn\’t true to say that 47 million people do not have health care. Everyone has health care in one form or another….it might not be very good, it might not concentrate on preventive medicine, it might do all that much for chronic problems, but it is health insurance which is lacking, not health care in general.

7 thoughts on “Oh dear”

  1. Translated from the article:

    “Barack Obama describes his promise to create a system of universally mediocre healthcare that would guarantee to all American taxpayers an exponentially increasing burden, while talented medical professionals leave for more friendly shores – taken for granted in ‘social’ democracies around the world – as the defining issue of his presidency.”

  2. And of those 40-some million who don’t carry insurance, NO ONE knows how many of them are illegals.

    Actually, no one knows how many illegals are here, either.

  3. What we do know is that the Americans are rich and you Brits are poor. The Americans spend lotsa dough on health care, including frivolous junk like botox, cosmetic surgery and so on because they have lotsa dough.

    Unlike you poor socialist dweebs.

    A poor American schmo walking into a hospital emergency room gets better treatment than anyone in the UK.

  4. Even that 47 million number is phony. The actual number of people who want insurance but can’t get it is closer to 3 million, about 1% of the population. (The references are available from NHS Blog Doctor).

  5. Troll-o-meter? That really blasted my implicit, and clever argument, even though insulting to dweebish socialist Brits, which is to say most of you, that the British NHS is a sad sack of crap and that the poorest American does better. My God what a devastating way to address my statement.

    Troll-o-meter. Let me roll it across my tongue with the ‘R’ rrrrollled.


  6. “socialist Brits, which is to say most of you, ” We are about to throw out Labour, and you have just voted in Obama.

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