collegestudent22 wrote:No, a much better solution is to require personal responsibility. Saving for future problems - and choosing the necessary level of insurance you need - is a far better solution.
It's not always that simple... overall economic efficiency is important, but it is not the only attribute to look at.
I think 100% private health care can work, and I think public health care can work. I think both sides have positives and negatives. Personally, I would rather pay more to ensure all citizens of my country can go to the hospital whenever they need, regardless of their station in life. That includes homeless who likely wouldn't have insurance, and families who are in such tight financial straits that they are forced to choose between a number of very vital and important life necessities.
I am biased because of personal experience. Rather, the experience my parents were in when I was very young.
When I was a small child (Between 1 and 3 years old), I had a number of instances where my windpipe closed up, and I could not get any air. This occurred a handful of times (I think between 4 and 7 times I don't know exactly). Each time this happened, I had to be brought to the hospital and spend a number of days in an oxygen tent.
At this time, my family had almost no money. My dad was literally just starting his own business while this was happening. I don't know how things would have turned out if we were using private health insurance. Given we had so little money, how much coverage would we have been able to afford? Would it have been enough to cover my very expensive and multiple stays at the hospital? It might have been, or my father may have been faced with the choice of abandoning his business, and finding a job with good health coverage.
As it turns out, the healthcare system worked for us. My dad was able to create a business which became more successful every year. My parents retired early.
Again, I know there are benefits to having private health care, and for you those benefits may be the most important thing to look at... But I also know first hand (As in - my life right this moment) what it is like to be raising a family with very little money. I am going to school right now to get a good paying job, but currently finances are very tough. There are many families like this all over the world, and it is not always due to poor or irresponsible financial planning.
The bottom line is people will often have to make very hard choices due to tight finances, and I personally don't think basic medical coverage should be one of those choices. I will take a system with its flaws to ensure this.
"Go get the Happy!"