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View Diary: An outsider's view of US health care (84 comments)

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  •  That's exactly right (4.00)
    I really don't get is the single payer idea. In Spain you have socialized medicine and then if you want you can buy your private health policy. Actually they are quite cheap because they have to compete with the socialized system.

    It's the same in Australia, anyone can buy private health insurance. The national system acts as a brake on the costs of the private health insurance since if private plan prices become too high people drop it.

    One very important step they made was to forbid "gap insurance". You can not insure the difference between what the national system pays and what a health provider may charge. Very smart. If you buy private it covers the whole shebang and it's still very inexpensive compared to U.S. prices.

    •  I choose to go public health in Australia (4.00)
      I've never regretted that decision. We are all taxed an extra amount to cover public health and that seems the only civilised way to go as far as I'm concerned.

      I've had two children and once had 11 days hospitalised with asthma -- not a cent needed to be paid out of my own pocket to cover these costs on any of these occasions.

      I could pay extra and get private health insurance, everyone in Australia has that option, but I'm not a fan of private health insurance companies and I'm a great believer in public health.

      Of course, the system has its problems but I'd take it any day over the US system which leaves some people without treatment at all and means families who get hit with serious illness often go bankrupt. I can't think of anything more cruel.

      As for the snide comment upthread about Norway being rich from North Sea oil? wtf? The US is one of the richest countries in the world. The Norwegians just have their priorities straight. And, I think they're probably taxed a lot more than Americans.

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