In America, the popular opinion is that socializing health care ruins it. The waiting lists! The control out of our own hands! The horror!
Well, as anyone with a chronic condition such as diabetes knows, the idea that we have control of our own health care in the U.S. is ludicrous. Try to get an expensive procedure or treatment or piece of equipment and you'll see what I mean.
Anyway, my rants aside, check out this article about an American citizen who moved to the U.K., and what he has to say about Britain's socialized health care.
For the most part he actually rated it as more efficient than American health care. The stats indicate this too. British emergency rooms have a higher standard of seeing patients than American ERs, despite the notion that socialized health care leads to longer waits. And in the U.K., you can go to the doctor in the morning, without an appointment, and be seen that day -- not something we can do here in the U.S.
In the U.K., you aren't bogged down by tons of paperwork for every little medical decision, the way we are here in the U.S. Those who don't have anything wrong with them may not be as familiar with what I mean, but anyone with diabetes or any other kind of chronic condition knows exactly how much paperwork and other administrative hoops we have to jump through in order to get just the minimum of care for our conditions.
There are other stats, too. For example, they spend considerably less per person on health care in the U.K., yet we aren't actually any healthier for or greater spending -- in fact, rather less so.
Which is better for health care, free market or socialized? Well, both sides can argue their points, but I think the American system has been failing us for a long time. And most Brits I know are happy with their health care, especially if they've had the bad fortune to experience ours. I hope someday we'll take care of our citizens' health as a matter of course, just as we take care of their education.