US Politics. Obamacare. What’s the problem?

What is behind the resistance to a compulsory universal health insurance program in the US? I do not always understand US politics, but I am really lost on the health care issue. The US spends amost twice as much per capita on health as most OECD countries. It has more people without any health insurance at all, and certainly no better health outcomes than these other countries.

While I would not recommend that the US adopt Canada’s ideologically hamstrung “same poor service for all” health system, there are plenty of examples in Europe of countries with public health schemes with more flexibilty than Canada’s, and more private initiative and more choice, and which cost less than both Canada’s and the US system as per this table. They also have shorter waiting periods than in Canada.

Why is a compulsory universal health insurance program a bad thing for most people?

After all, we fund schools publicly. Yes we should allow more private delivery of educational services, allow more choice and dismantle the public quasi monopoly in education. But why not fund it publicly? Society does need some cohesion and some programs where people benefit from helping each other. I fail to see the downside.

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One Response to US Politics. Obamacare. What’s the problem?

  1. Steve Kaufmann says:

    Robert,1. Yes health care should be a state responsibility, as it is in Canada.2. It is not obvious to me that the US system is worth the extra. Waiting periods in Canada are a condemnation of the Canadian system, not of universal coverage. France and Sweden, for example, do not have these waiting periods.3.Private delivery, private additional health coverage , yes absolutely and that is where the Canadian system falls down.4. Canada is not so different from the US, in that people come from all over. I still believe in the importance of solidarity amongst citizens and that is why I am totally opposed to the ideology of multiculturalism, of "celebrating the differences"

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