Sometimes I look at the healthcare “debate” happening in the US and I just…Man, where do you start?
In New Zealand, we have a taxpayer funded free public health care system for most treatments. We have a no-fault accident coverage system that’s paid for by employer levies and the government, and covers prevention, treatment and rehabilitation. And we still have private insurance and healthcare available for people who want it, but it’s rightly seen as optional.
When I injured my spine, I walked (hobbled) into a physiotherapist’s office I chose after investigating my options, arrange to pay one small up-front fee to cover their admin, filled in a simple ACC form, and got 6 weeks of free, high quality care. If I had wanted, I could have pursued other care, including pain care and surgery, or gone to another physio, all without worrying that I wouldn’t be able to afford it. If I hadn’t been treated, I probably wouldn’t be able to walk unassisted, let alone work.
I never lost my ability to choose what care I received (which seems to be the main argument in the US against what you guys call “single payer”) and I got necessary, high quality treatment quickly. If we can do it, why can’t you?
Actually, don’t answer that. I’m not sure I’d like the answer.