Re: capitalist religion (was: NANO: _Forbes_ cover story)

From: James Rogers (
Date: Tue Jul 17 2001 - 01:19:05 MDT

On 7/16/01 10:09 PM, "Miriam English" <> wrote:
> What I said was that the US health
> market is probably the most privatised in the world. It is also the most
> expensive. To get a broken leg fixed in US is way more expensive than in
> Australia. (Forget drugs -- just basic health care: x-ray, cast,
> physiotherapy.)

There are two problems with your general comments. First, how do you define
"more expensive"? Someone is paying for your healthcare, even if it doesn't
come directly out of your pocket every time you make a visit. The illusion
of "cheap" or "free" government services is the most tantalizing part of
socialism but it is still an illusion. Just because the Department of Motor
Vehicles charges me $150 to drive my car on public roads doesn't mean that
that is how much I pay for roads ever year; the roads are largely paid for
by hidden taxes on various goods and services that cost me much, much more
than $150 even though I never see the bill. Same thing applies to your
"cheap" public healthcare.

Second, price isn't everything. The range and availability of advanced
medicine for people matters too. I'm sure the docs in Mozambique will fix a
broken leg for bargain price and do a good job of it, but good luck if you
have an unusual condition or need medical care RIGHT NOW. Canada supposedly
has one of the finest socialized medical systems around, yet Canadians flock
to the USA for medical treatment if they need anything other than relatively
routine care. If I had an unusual or life threatening condition, I can't
think of another country I would rather get my health care in than private
medical practices in the US.

I think the biggest difference between the socialized health care system and
the US health care system is that people in the US see a bill that is closer
to the real cost, rather than a bill that merely looks small due to
obfuscatory government accounting.

-James Rogers

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