June 15, 2011

Conservatives on Private Health Care Insurance

American conservatives really are different than those outside our borders, especially on health care.

Here's Paul Ryan's take:

Sam Husseini: If you're a fiscal conservative and you want to provide a safety net, why wouldn't you be for something like a single-payer health care system?

Paul Ryan: I think a single-payer health care system would be a disaster for people who need health-care the most. I think it would cause rationing, waiting lines. I think it would be a fiscal house of cards, I think it would help accelerate a national debt crisis and hurt the economy.

Husseini: Wouldn't it save a lot of money and cover everybody?

Ryan: Absolutely not. I totally and fundamentally disagree with it. I believe that you can have affordable access to healthcare for all Americans, including people with pre-existing conditions, without a government takeover of the healthcare sector. If we actually have government-run healthcare, what I think you'll have is government managing, government-rationing healthcare. I think that will be a fiscal disaster, I think that it would accelerate a debt crisis that would slow our economy and take jobs and economic growth from those people that need it the most, which are people who are out of work.

And here's the conservative Prime Minister in the UK on the same subject:

Ask a Briton to describe "American-style" healthcare, and you'll hear a catalog of horrors that include grossly expensive and unnecessary medical procedures and a privatized system that favors the rich. For a people accustomed to free healthcare for all, regardless of income, the fact that millions of their cousins across the Atlantic have no insurance and can't afford decent treatment is a farce as well as a tragedy.

But critics here warn that a similarly bleak future may await Britain if a government plan to put more power in the hands of doctors and introduce more competition into the NHS succeeds - privatization by stealth, they say.

So frightening is the Yankee example that any British politician who values his job has to explicitly disavow it as a possible outcome. Twice.

"We will not be selling off the NHS, we will not be moving towards an insurance scheme, we will not introduce an American-style private system," Prime Minister David Cameron emphatically told a group of healthcare workers in a nationally televised address last week.

In case they didn't hear it the first time, Cameron repeated the dreaded "A"-word in a list of five guarantees he offered the British people at the end of his speech.

Ryan's faith in the private health insurance market is just touching.

(h/t Krugman)

Posted by Mary at June 15, 2011 02:19 PM | Health/Medicine/Health Care | Technorati links |


What you have written is absolutely accurate. Europeans are horrified that USA would privatize healthcare - and consider it a corporate scam. I have observed the difference in sentiment as I am a Brit who moved to the USA 10 years ago: In England, it is generally considered utterly barbaric - criminal even - that a 'civilized' nation would not have health care available to all at no extra cost.
The reality is, it's not 'free' - the burden is the taxpayer's. People still moan about taxes, of course, but I never, ever in 30 years heard anyone in England suggest that we ought to pay less tax and have a system of privatized health care that basically destroys the lives of people who cannot afford it.
It's a difference in attitude. The prevailing attitude in the USA is that if you are not rich, it is entirely your fault and you must be a loser. As always, there is good and bad in both arguments. It is good to encourage strength, but does that mean we should stamp on the weak? Of course not. Besides, what is a strong person but someone who was once weak and overcame it?

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