Universal Healthcare Not So Great

Modern, timely healthcare is expensive. Despite what you may read about the virtues of universal healthcare, there are caveats such as long waiting times and poor quality treatment. Cancer survival rates are lower in countries with universal healthcare than in America. Many times, people in countries with universal healthcare will opt for private treatment if they can afford it, which is the treatment all Americans both rich and poor already get.

Don’t believe me? Here is a story of a young woman ‘Kate’ from New Zealand, who was diagnosed with colon cancer and opted for private treatment:

At my age, I could have been waiting for a considerable time for this through the public system but luckily I had private health insurance and was able to make an appointment early the next week.

But isn’t universal healthcare supposed to be the best thing ever, says the left? How could any sane person refuse it?

Americans diagnosed with cancer have better survival odds than those receiving treatment under a universal plan.

Cancer Survival Rates Far Worse in Great Britain than U.S.

Cancer Survival Rates
USA vs. England
90.5% Breast Cancer 78.5%
69.9% Bowel Cancer 51.6%
66.3% Prostate Cancer 44.8%
62.9% All Cancers (Female) 52.7%
66.3% All Cancers (Male) 44.8%
71.18% OVERALL AVERAGE 54.48%

And from http://www.ncpa.org

Fact No. 1: Americans have better survival rates than Europeans for common cancers.[1] Breast cancer mortality is 52 percent higher in Germany than in the United States, and 88 percent higher in the United Kingdom. Prostate cancer mortality is 604 percent higher in the U.K. and 457 percent higher in Norway. The mortality rate for colorectal cancer among British men and women is about 40 percent higher.

Another problem with healthcare is we’re spending too much money prolonging life for people with terminal conditions. Everyone, regardless of ability to pay, gets access to these super-expensive drugs that may only have a 30% chance of adding two months of life for someone with terminal cancer versus placebo. That’s great for biotech companies and hospital stocks, but it does strain public resources that could be better spent elsewhere. Ironically, Steve Jobs, despite being a billionaire, set a good example by refusing treatment for his cancer. If more people do the same, healthcare costs would be reduced dramatically. Make the ‘last-ditch’ drugs only available to those who an afford them and or have insurance that will pay for them; otherwise you die two months sooner. I’m not taking about chemotherapy and other standard protocols, but these speculative drugs that seldom prolong life more than a few months. This is the problem with liberal democracy – the idea that all lives are precious and worth prolonging. No they aren’t. Sometimes it’s your time to go, and the graceful thing to bow out without having to leave a big bill for taxpayers.

End of life care is cited as one of the 10 causes of rising healthcare costs.

When adjusted for subsidies and other programs, Americans pay little out of pocket for education and healthcare. Prices are rising, but the burden falls on the government and the insured to pay for the millions who have no health insurance and insurmountable student loan debt. That’s why, despite being a Republican, I’m sympathetic to the idea of Obamacare and getting people insured, but the implementation was faulty.