Rick Newman equates "better" healthcare with lower healthcare costs [4 Countries With Better Healthcare Than Ours, usnews.com]. That's a dubious assertion, to say the least. He completely ignores other considerations and most importantly, the extent to which these "superior" systems allow patients to choose how and where they are treated. Most laughable is Mr. Newman's assertion that that the countries he feels are "better" have lower costs ... has it occurred to him that in all of those countries, people pay thousands of extra dollars each year in taxes? As for those 46 million that are uninsured in our country, roughly one third of those are illegal aliens. There's no question that the U.S. healthcare system has problems—but socialized medicine is a fast track to failure. There isn't a single bureaucracy in this country that I have confidence in. Even the tiny "cash for clunkers" program that Obama launched a few months ago ran out of money twice. The federal government's fiscal track is atrocious, and it's completely absurd to thinks costs would go down in a socialized system. I worked in government for 10 years—and it's not the answer to our healthcare problems.
Comment by J. Hall of IN
I am French. I am not surprised at the high satisfaction numbers. We choose our doctors. We do not wait long for treatment. The government negotiates prices of drugs and that is why they are cheaper (by at least 50 percent from what I gather). Doctors make less than their American counterparts, but they can go to medical school for free and could not look at themselves in the mirror if they had to turn down patients based on their income. (By the way, their less fortunate relatives do benefit from universal healthcare so they know the value of such a system). There is plenty of information available on the web about other healthcare systems. From reading a few forums, I have come to understand that no matter what anyone says, some Americans just cannot stare the truth in the face, and that is that healthcare in the U.S. is grossly overpriced and ineffectual, not to say morally bankrupt. Last, the illusion in the article that the French would not work is bizarre. We have one of the most productive workforces, and how would such lazy people produce such effective healthcare.
Comment by Jeanne of France
I believe the system in Taiwan is one of the better ones as well. I lived under the British system for several years and had excellent care. I lived in Canada for a few years and had very good care. My wife is Canadian and goes back there because we can't afford the care in the states. There are people out there who do put their citizens ahead of profit, but not here in the United States.
Comment by Donn Simon of FL
As far as I can tell, the Swiss have compulsory insurance obtainable from various private and public companies. A basic coverage is mandated so that the companies must offer it at cost. They can make a profit on policies covering beyond the basic coverage. Most employers do not pay for coverage, it is up to the individual to get and pay for their insurance. There is a co-pay and a cap on total out of pocket expenditures. The government subsidizes low income people. Sounds okay to me.
Comment by Rob of VA
If you are rich (and from any country) you can come to America to get care, which is the best, no doubt about it. However, the current situation of high cost and a low safety net is not sustainable! If you are really patriotic, look at the evidence and not at the political rhetoric. The middle class will go broke and the social fabric will continue to degrade. It is odd to me that moral values are so dear to many and then when it comes to actually creating a strong healthcare and education systems nothing is done. The argument is that they "donate to their local church" as if the problems of any nation can be solved by faith alone.
Comment by Matt of MD