Over the years over here (Sweden), private healthcare has grown bigger, which has now peaked my curiosity.
1. Has the US always had the current system, or was is more "social" before?
2. What is your biggest problem with socialized healthcare, any of the reasons John Oliver lists, or other reasons?
That was a great piece by Oliver. Thanks for linking it. I stopped watching him a few years ago because he was getting too preachy (and was rarely funny anymore) but in that piece he does a decent job offering a balanced view of the issue.
To answer your second question while I've been a proponent of Health Care reform on here for years I have my concerns about a single payer system in the US. Keep in mind how large the US is in both landmass (3rd largest) and population (3rd largest again). We have a lot of people both in dense urban environments and also out in the middle of nowhere. There's some advantage to other countries in single payer like Canada (where most of their population is along a thin strip of land bordering the US) and the UK (which has less landmass than my state of AZ) where smaller population within a smaller area helps to a degree. As others have mentioned I'm also wary of the bureaucratic mess that would ensue from trying to implement a single payer system in the States.
One fair criticism to highlight this was the recent VA debacle a few years ago. Veterans are a group that can pretty much get what they want, who no one has any issue with, yet their system was horribly understaffed and poorly run. I was visiting the very VA hospital where the issue blew up and can personally attest to the problems. I was in school at the time and developed a really nasty upper respiratory bug. I tried to get in to see my doc and was told it'd be 30 days to see her. Ended up just riding out the illness and missing a lot of school in the process. This in a system where there's bipartisan support at the Fed level...
Look at Medicare. It's basic function is to help just a subset of the population - those 65 and older. Just a couple years ago abuse, fraud, and waste was accounting for 10% of its budget(link). I hate to think what that % would be if the entire country's health care system was under singular control.
The real tragedy is the debate seems to have turned into M4A from the Ds vs leave-it-as-is from the Rs (or worse yet, some Rs actually claiming what we have is good). Both options suck. They shouldn't be the only choices and no serious R who's not a tool should be arguing for what we have as a good system (Oliver was right when he said ask any American and you'll hear at least one horror story dealing with insurance companies).
Our system is in desperate need of reform. Oliver's video touched on a few reasons why.
- A large % of the population still has no coverage or ineffective coverage. Medical costs can still very easily bankrupt a person/family and do regularly.
- Oliver was right in highlighting Americans currently have no choice in their health care. For most you're limited to what your job offers you and then you're limited to the network of that insurance provider. You only have choice in this country if you're the 1% with a lot of money to throw around.
- So much of our health care spending is wasted on all the levels of admin within these insurance companies and within the medical community having to deal with insurance companies. There was a bit near the end of Oliver's piece where he said a concern would be the 1.8 million jobs lost under a single payer system. That's not a concern... that's bloat and waste in our current system. Any serious reform is going to see most of those jobs disappear and that's a good thing.
What worries me is the lack of any serious effort by the Rs to address this (most likely because the special interests benefiting from the status quo have the Rs' balls in a vice) means support for single payer will grow. As such we may one day end up with single payer not because it's what people really wanted but because it was the only option outside of the status quo offered.
Edited by Skywalkre, 21 February 2020 - 1645 PM.