Universal Health Care - Myths and Misconceptions

  1. There has been a lot of discussion recently about "universal" health care and there have been some myths touted as facts and some misconceptions about the abilities of such a system to truly meet patient needs. I do not know if there is one single ideal system anywhere in the world.

    What I want to do is open a discussion so that those who do not live with a universal or national health care system can ask questions about how such a system works. I am hopeful that this will start an international dialogue where you can see what does work and what does not work. I hope that out of such a dialogue, open honest and sharing we can all come away with ideas that might help fix the problems we have within our own systems.

    Some of the statements about Universal health care I have seen include:-

    1) Nursing wages are less within a Universal Health Care System
    2) Taxation to pay for such a system will bankrupt the average employee
    3) Research is unfunded and less
    4) Waiting lists/wait times cause unneccessary deaths
    5) The system will be abused with people demanding more because it is free
    6) resources will be wasted on the undeserving
    7) public health funding will suffer

    Please make take this opportunity to explore health care across the world. Ask yourself - if I had the ability to wish into existance the ideal system what would work and what would be a waste of money??
  2. Visit gwenith profile page

    About gwenith

    Joined: Jul '02; Posts: 10,260; Likes: 233
    icu nurse


  3. by   rollingstone
    "Universal Health Care" is socialized medicine pure and simple. Everywhere socialism is tried it's a failure, yet most politicians want to give you socialism while they enjoy capitalism.
  4. by   Alnamvet
    Universal health care is a simple reality....just 10% taken off the defense budget, or 10% reduction/removal of 16th generation welfare cheats would adequately fund such a plan, with no change in reimbursements to overpaid md's.
  5. by   PennyLane
    I'm still a bit undecided on the issue, but one thing I do know is that despite long waiting times for procedures such as CT scans or MRIs in Canada, they have a longer average life span than the US does. In fact, most developed countries have longer life spans than the US (something I was very surprised to learn).

    I have also heard that nursing wages are far less in Canada. I haven't heard about Australia though. Is that the case?

    In terms of taxes, I wouldn't mind paying higher taxes if the system were able to deliver high-quality care. I'm not the type of person to shy away from taxes if it means an improved quality of life for all Americans. I think here in the US we over-use the system to the point of abuse and that has driven the costs to the inurance companies way up. Clearly something needs to be done.
  6. by   fergus51
    Socialized implies government run and controlled. Universal is another thing. Many countries with universal systems have both private and public hospitals.

    Nursing wages in Canada are higher in some parts and lower in others. You''ll probably notice that's why most Canadian nurses who go to the US go to places like California not Alabama or Kentucky.
  7. by   gwenith
    It is hard to show parity as far as wages go because the numbers mean nothing but I will put it to you this way I earn a comfortable living (not luxurious) working just 4 days a week - eight hour shifts. Any time I wanted to I could increase my income by going for a "level 2" position which would have me doing more or less what I do now with added responsibilties but I decided long ago that I am happy where I am. Besides a level 2 position bumps me up a tax bracket lol!

    We have a mixed system with both public and private hospitals.

    This is what I was hoping when I posted this thread - I was hoping those who would like to know more would take the opportunity to ask questions - any questions about what our health care systems are like.
  8. by   epg_pei
    Quote from rollingstone
    "Universal Health Care" is socialized medicine pure and simple. Everywhere socialism is tried it's a failure, yet most politicians want to give you socialism while they enjoy capitalism.
    Horsepoo. Universal health care works reasonably well. No system is perfect, and ours has it's share of troubles. But I would not trade ours wholesale for an American-style pay-as-you-go system anyday. Overall, and this is key, overall our system provides better care to a broader population. What I want to see is a so-called two-tiered system, one which combines aspects of both to improve access to coverage for all.

    But then I am a card-carrying socialist, so...


  9. by   fergus51
    NDP? I dunno about them

    Personally I would be fine with having a two tiered, private-public system like in the UK or Australia, but because of NAFTA we would wind up with an American system if we ever open up privatization here. And once we privatize, there is no going back.
  10. by   leosrain

    But then I am a card-carrying socialist, so...



    You and me both!!! I'm glad I'm not alone!