People who believe in "universal health care" show remarkably little interest — usually none — in finding out what that phrase turns out to mean in practice, in those countries where it already exists, such as Britain, Sweden or Canada.This has been my concern as well. There are lot of people claiming we need universal health care but no one is explaining exactly what that means. We are hearing a lot about the numbers of uninsured but we are not hearing exactly what are the ill effects directly related to this lack of insurance that will be remedied by universal health care. Give me data. Is our infant mortality rate linked to a lack of insurance? Do we have children failing to get immunizations due to lack of insurance? Americans survive cancer and chronic illnesses like diabetes better than citizens of other developed countries.
For one thing, "universal health care" in these countries means months of waiting for surgery that American get in a matter of weeks or even days.
In these and other countries, it means having only a fraction as many MRIs and other high-tech medical devices available per person as in the United States.
In Sweden, it means not only having bureaucrats deciding what medicines the government will and will not pay for, but even preventing you from buying the more expensive medicine for yourself with your own money. That would violate the "equality" that is the magic mantra.
Those who think in terms of talking points, instead of trying to understand realities, make much of the fact that some countries with government-controlled medical care have longer life expectancies than that in the United States.
That is where the difference between health care and medical care comes in. Medical care is what doctors can do for you. Health care includes what you do for yourself — such as diet, exercise and lifestyle.
I agree that there are real issues with our health care system. But we need to specify exactly what is broken and exactly how our actions will fix the problem. Health care reform will mean change. Not all change is good.