Originally Posted by Anon La Ply
If Australia is even in the same galaxy as socialism then I'm a monkey's aunt. Don't believe the reactionary rhetoric ... we have had nationalised health for 40 years and we are a deeply conservative free market society with some of the lowest taxes in the western world and high levels of private ownership.
Bottom line of national health care is "a stitch in time saves nine".
Maybe one day that will change, given politicians' increasing tendency to stick their snouts in the public trough (ironically, especially conservatives) but for now they seem to have some vaguely useful purpose aside from their main function of acting as errand boys for moguls and multinational companies.
Don't get me wrong, I'm not necessarily disagreeing with you. Honestly, I can't comment on this situation as it pertains to the rest of the world, only here in the U.S.
My biggest fear is simply government involvement. No matter who you are or where you live, when the government decides to get involved it's going to cost somebody somewhere more money than it should.
In the U.S., some of the biggest scams involve the government - usually because of its own bureaucratic obesity. The right hand doesn't know what the left hand is doing, and because of this, it's the tax payer that ends up taking it in the shorts. For example, the U.S. government spends $25 billion a year maintaining federal buildings that are either unused or totally vacant.
Let me give you another personal example, although not related to health care:
I'm a teacher who is a few years away from retirement. I was hired under a set of rules regarding retirement that the state and I agreed to; I would contribute a given amount (or percentage) to my retirement and the state would cover the remaining portion Over the course of the last few years, due to government incompetence, the "powers that be" mismanaged the money they had and several hundred millions of dollars basically when up in smoke. Gone, due to bad investments and other things by unethical people who worked for or on behalf of the government. Because of this, I now have had to contribute more of my paycheck into the retirement system to make up the difference these government jackasses pissed away. By the way, nobody has ever been held accountable for the loss of all this money.
Somebody in all this mess made a lot of money while the little guy, me in this case, gets screwed by the government that is supposed to be designed to protect and serve its citizens.
Now back to healthcare. Will it be cheaper to have government healthcare? Yes. Will it be as reliable? I say no.