16 Responses

  1. In no other nation on earth would the question whether the government should make provision for universal healthcare access even be questioned in the courts. A peculiar brand of American insanity, derangement, and resistance to civilization is responsible for the scene at the Supreme Court now.

      • Joe, all the other countries shown in gray on the map (except Turkey, which Ctanyol below says should be in orange) are poor. So for those people it’s not a matter of *should* the government do something, the resources simply don’t exist now. Only in America is it widespread social dogma that providing medical care as a universal human right is inherently evil and impossible.

        They don’t obsess over “death panels” anywhere else.

        • Joe, all the other countries shown in gray on the map (except Turkey, which Ctanyol below says should be in orange) are poor.

          Israel? China?

          You can also find quite a few poor countries that are orange on the map, such as Sri Lanka and Costa Rica.

        • Since when is Costa Rica “poor?” link to en.wikipedia.org Americans are choosing, or being compelled by their health UNsurance companies, to travel as “medical tourists” to Costa Rica and other places where there’s “socialized medicine” for elective surgery and not so elective too. A hip or knee arthroplasty is seldom “elective.” link to en.wikipedia.org

          Costa Rica has been smart enough to put national money into education and NOT into the military-industrial idiocy. (Their reward was to be invaded by 7,000 Marines on “some kind” of mission related to “the Drug War,” along with some 40 “Littoral Combat Vessels.”

          Interesting how many doctors in America have their training and education stamped “Made In Socialized Medicine Atrabaland,” people who somehow still manage to get licensed to practice here, and from my own experience as patient and nurse are both (not uniformly, of course) caring and competent, often more so than profit-driven good old Americans.

    • It’s spreading. Cameron in Britain and Harper in Canada are laying the groundwork to destroy national health care via the classic Shock Doctrine/Scott Walker model: give out giant tax cuts to the rich, then declare a fiscal crisis that can only be fixed by privatizing health care. Cameron is already a beneficiary of American private health care corporations, and I expect Harper is too.

      • Joe, China is still a poor country. Those peasants in the sticks have very low incomes. Israel is the 51st State, run by a Friedmanite extremist from Brooklyn. Stop being cute so we can get to the issue of why only the most extreme right-wingers oppose health care as a right regardless of national wealth.

  2. Thanks for the map. It is interesting to note that we are racing to the bottom even in an area where we should be ahead of China, India, etc. Even the folks with $$$ private insurance in the USA do not get the kind of comprehensive care you get in a place like France, England, or our neighbor to the north. What is wrong with us?

  3. Just a quick note here from my country.

    Turkey has passed a universal health care law 3 years ago. I live in the US but I was pleasantly surprised by how it works when I went for a visit.

    It seems any smart developing country government knows that taking care of the population pays dividends in the long run. What a sad society the US is to be brainwashed to act against its own interest all of the time.

    For reference:
    link to cfr.org

  4. Health care is definitely one of America’s peculiar institutions. To study those institutions is to get closer to the darkness at the heart of the American concept of liberty.

    There are countries which ensure universal health care via private doctors and nonprofit private insurance companies. There are countries which ensure universal health care via private doctors and single payer. There are so many models for universal health care that one could hardly characterize them all as socialism by any textbook definition, unless you also apply it to public education, police protection, firemen and highways.

    If America doesn’t provide it, then America is stating its position on the class system and what a poor person is worth. We’ve had civil wars and civil strife over the need of “Good” Americans to have a higher quality of citizenship than “inferior” Americans, or a higher quality of food safety, or a higher quality of political representation.

    In each of those cases, and I challenge the inevitable critics to Juan’s position on this thread to prove otherwise, none of those were about an objective improvement that results from our pro-wealth, inegalitarian practice; we did better after the Left finally won on those issues.

    In each case, it was presented as a life & death matter of national character – if you give “those” people equality with the real, valuable, entrepreneurial Americans, you destroy the latter’s incentive to exercise their infallible superiority to keep America great.

    In the current example, capitalist apologists scream about every anecdote about a “good” Canadian or Briton having to wait six months for an appendectomy due to socialism while ignoring the many examples (in the movie “Sicko”, etc.) of affluent Americans who found that their private insurance cheated them out of coverage they thought they had. The apologists don’t care that private insurance firms are obligated by stockholders to screw patients, what matters is that on paper those with money (or pink-collar corporate lackey jobs that they thus can’t afford to leave) have a privilege and (false) sense of security that the inferiors don’t.

    In other words, we must treat the poor as dirt to make ourselves feel more special.

    But that core argument must be cloaked, or the poor might finally light their torches and take to the streets demanding an answer to the question, “What will you do to us next to make yourselves feel more special?”

  5. I cannot understand how, what is supposed to be, one of the wealthiest countries in the world cannot provide a decent healthcare system for all its citizens.

    Health isn´t just something that is available to the rich only. If Canada can do it I don´t see why the USA can´t too.

    Even some of the poor countries in eastern Europe can achieve what the States is not able to do.

    Shame on everyone concerned I say.

  6. The thing that is a little misleading about the map is that of the grey nations on the map only the US has Emergency Medical Treatment and Active Labor Act (EMTALA)which requires emergency rooms to treat and stabilize anyone who comes through the door. This enables a huge number of US citizens to foist the risk of their uninsured health onto the insured population. In this way the US does have a type of nationalized health care in the form of a government mandate that derives it’s funding from the privately insured.
    Rather than pool and pay for the insured risk of heath care, opponents of a nationalized plan prefer to be able to steal their security with a non-system of universal-treatment-when-in-need with no payment guarantee for the providers. I guess that is sort of a grey area…

  7. It appears that President Obama would have to take the case to Israel’s Supreme Court to get a fair decision; as only they are brave enough to deny Netanyahu’s team the right to trespass on The West Bank.

  8. As the ACA is phasing in, the United States should be yellow on this map.

    Unless it is overturned, and which point grey would be accurate.

  9. Although universal health care may be on the paper in some of these countries, it is absent in reality due to extreme underfunding. Mexico and India are two examples that come to mind through personal experience. There are “state” hospitals in India (right now health care is mandated on a state by state basis) but you wouldn’t want to leave your dog there. There’s no reason to think this will change if health care is handed over to the national government.

    • I’m a nurse, who also qualifies for Medicare and VA care. I’ve experience as a patient and nurse in several settings, office and hospital and “nursing home.” And with VA and MEdicare. Yeah, there are weaknesses in furrin’ universal medical care. But there are other, sometimes huge, weaknesses and institutionalized cruelties in the US “system.” A huge amount of “health care” in the US is of course “handed over to the national government.” There are many models to pick from, among the more enlightened “advanced nations,” as pointed out above, that would not stick us with a quarter of the population without health care (especially preventive, regular type) and the ridiculous complexity and plethorization of UNsurers and Coverage Deniers and Prior De-Authorizers who award themselves huge bonuses for dysmanagement of one of our nation’s most important assets — healthy people.

      I’ve experienced enough of VA and Medicare to see the virtues of “government medicine,” compared to the greed-driven patchwork of Puritan-ethic rot that’s the Sickness Unsurance Industry.

      Do you carry one of those signs that says “Keep your stinking Government hands off my Medicare!”? Maybe a bumper sticker?

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