Saturday, May 12, 2012

Germans don't understand America's aversion to universal health insurance

As the United States Supreme Court considers whether requiring people to have health insurance is unconstitutional, Germans are bewildered as to why so many Americans appear to be against universal coverage.

They also question the continued portrayal of US President Barack Obama and his health reform backers as socialists and communists, noting that healthcare was introduced in Germany in the 19th century by Otto von Bismarck, who was definitely not a leftist, and is supported by conservative and pro-business politicians today.

"It's a solidarity principle," says Ann Marini, a spokesperson for the National Health Insurers Association. "Not every 'S' automatically means socialism."

Marini and others say that mandated coverage is something that is simply not questioned in Germany. Furthermore, even the most pro-market politicians wouldn't dare to dismantle the country's health insurance system.
Read the rest here.


Anastasia Theodoridis said...

Yeah, but in Germany they control costs. They don't have the price-gouging we have by doctors, hospitals, insurance companies, and pharmaceutical companies. In other words, their health care system really is worth something.

Eurasleep said...

As it is in France and most other industrialized nations. I consider myself conservative, but when it comes to basic universal healthcare I have to side with all the other developed nations. The way a government treats its citizens, especially the weakest and sickest among them...says an awful lot about that countries priorities. Perhaps if we focused more on taking care of our citizens and less on policing the world, we'd have a happier and healthier country. That to me is a Christian principle: taking care of the least among you. I read an interview with some French doctors who said that French healthcare would never work in the US, because US doctors expect to get paid too much. Perhaps being a doctor should be considered a calling and not a way to "get rich".

Stephen said...

Post diagnosis, the US has the best outcomes. That's why people from Europe come here for treatment. How many Americans do you know travel over there for treatment? Once again, Europeans' safety valve is the US. And, they do ration on a top-down model. If you don't meet certain criteria (say, you are not young enough), no hip replacement for you. Oh, tell me again just how Christian it is for granny to stay in a pain so that hipster grandson can get "free" healthcare?

They don't allow RnD for drugs and devices, yet are happy to glomm off of the US to get those life-savers. Buncha freeloaders.

Their system is imploding, only like the frog in water brought to a boil, they don't notice. All this infatuation about a European style universal coverage is a chimera.

Visibilium said...

They don't allow RnD for drugs and devices, yet are happy to glomm off of the US to get those life-savers. Buncha freeloaders.

This is an interesting point. Remember all of the ads urging Americans to buy drugs from Canada? That only worked as long as Canada remained a small market. Once the idea caught on and Canada's market share started growing, the Canadian government's vaunted bargaining power with Big Pharma evaporated. Subsequently, governments on both sides of the border tried their best to stamp out the practice.

The Anti-Gnostic said...

Yes, all the industrialized nations have universal health coverage. Yes, society is obligated to care for its weaker members. And all societies that are attempting this through the democratic process are financially and demographically doomed.

The welfare state is a time-limited experiment.

Stephen said...

The lie is that we are somehow fulfilling our Christian duty if we take the easy road of having governments confiscate the private property of other people (and maybe a little bit of our own), keep the majority for itself and give a little to the needy as the government defines them. This is immoral on many fronts; the abandonment of our personal duty to the poor, the creation of a dependent class mired forever in handouts, and the ever-increasing power of the state.

Notice that, in the industrialized West, coincident with Christians embrace of this lie, of sleeping with the State as it were, is the demographic death of the West. Unrelated? "By the fruit shall you know the tree."