My point is that most people in the UK love the NHS. This friend of mine is of means and what comes to his mind is hallucinating and passing out for 5 years to wait for something that was deemed not a priority. If he wasn't of means, then maybe he'd just consider it necessary or a mistake in judgement.If you're "of means" then a low tax/low social support model is ideal; you keep most of your (high) income, and can easily afford the best healthcare, education etc. Not so great for the overwhelming majority of course.
Convincing the majority of the voting public that low tax is good is one of the greatest skills of politicians from the economic right.
I have great health insurance and given an income neutral choice, I"ll take our system. But if I were running a business, I'd take yours. If I had poor insurance, I'd take yours.
Our health insurance system, in my opinion, makes it hard to do commodity type work or some things that are easier to do in canada. Specifically, if you're going to do skilled manufacturing that supports a 50k salary, then all of the sudden adding 20k for a family group policy as benefits vs. 10k makes a huge difference. It prices us out of certain things.
A Canadian president of the firm I used to work for put it flatly - if you have the money, the american system is better, the care is better. If you don't have the money, you're better off in canada. substitute the UK. We're also proof in the UK that you can have the most responsive and most expensive health care around if you want and people will still overeat and do things that completely negate it. Or some who have coverage and just refuse to go to the doctor, anyway. I had a relative like that - she grew to hate going to any doctors because she'd had cancer and then a heart attack later in life. Her memories I guess were how much she hated treatment and struggling through both, so she stopped going to the dr. She later died of cancer - but didn't provide many details. I (as anyone would) wondered if she died of cancer that someone who had cancer previously would've been screened for. In the end, she didn't care. How do you provide care for someone like that at any level?
The idea that health care is a human right at no cost or close to no cost isn't really a universal thing here. The idea that it's provided for the truly poor here (in the same system that provides the very high cost) isn't objected to. I guess there's a lot of inertia...
oh. one other thing. It's very difficult to retire pre-Medicare age here unless you're of means, even though the pre-65 coverage for older people is subsidized by a limitation (it's not allowed to be more expensive than average coverage by more than a formula amount - but an individual may still be looking at an annual cost of $15-20k each year for a few years, and then magically at 65, medicare kicks in and an extremely rich policy (supplemental on top of the basic governmental benefits) will be $300 a month. a "good" policy with access to the same system (but more cost sharing) will be about a third or half of that.