The United States has a world class healthcare system. Yet, during the pandemic, America’s largely private healthcare system has seriously struggled. Despite being on the frontline of the fight against COVID-19, many US hospitals are now losing millions of dollars a day as they cancel profitable surgeries to make room for the less-lucrative work of treating coronavirus patients. It seems absurd for healthcare professionals to lose their jobs during the worst public health crisis in a generation, but that is precisely what is happening.

In Europe, healthcare is largely provided free of charge. Of course, we can quibble about what “free” means (the taxpayer ultimately has to foot the bill). Yet there is clearly a difference between the approach taken by most European countries and the healthcare system in the US. Could the ongoing pandemic encourage the US to take a “more European” approach when it comes to healthcare (especially in an election year when healthcare is likely to be an important electoral issue)?

What do our readers think? We had an impassioned comment sent in to us by Muriel, who believes healthcare is as much a basic need as housing, food and water and should be guaranteed unconditionally. Is she right? Should healthcare should be free for everybody, particularly in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic?

To get a response, we put Muriel’s comment to Francesca Colombo, Head of the Health Division at the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development. How would she respond?

Well, Muriel, you’re absolutely right in the sense that every human being on our planet has really the right to enjoy the highest level of attainment of health without really any distinction of gender, of race, of religion, of political belief and so forth. And I think in the context of the COVID-19 crisis this has really shown the importance of ensuring adequate funding of health services.

I would also like to highlight that, in September 2019, there was a universal health coverage declaration by the UN General Assembly that has really positioned universal health coverage as a landmark feature of our societies and economies.

Now, universal health coverage really means that everybody should be able to access healthcare and high quality healthcare without facing financial hardships. It means that individuals should have access to health services without being pushed into poverty or having impoverishing costs because of that.

And this is the fundamental element; there can be some countries where a share of the health spending is funded directly by individuals or through other means, but what is fundamental is that we don’t have impoverishing direct spending by households. And you will also understand that protecting the most vulnerable people, the most vulnerable groups, is particularly important, and I think the COVID-19 crisis has more than ever highlighted the fundamental importance of adequately-funded health systems.

Next up, we had a comment sent in from Hugo, who would disagree; he believes that the quality of healthcare is much higher in the US than most of Europe, and adds that taking care of healthcare is an individual responsibility and “only the lazy ones don’t have healthcare”.

To get a response, we put Hugo’s comment to Lee Ohanian, Professor of economics and director of the Ettinger Family Program in Macroeconomic Research at the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA). What would he say?

In free societies – such as in the United States and in Europe, Australia, and many other countries – we all highly value that freedom comes with responsibility. We make our own choices, we have the opportunity and responsibility to make our own choices, and we do that wisely, because if we don’t then someone else will do it for us. So, that’s an important point that is in the background of any reasonable discussion about any good or service that we buy.

In terms of Europe, customers are not really incentivised to search for the best healthcare deals. In economics there are, broadly speaking, two ways to ration demand: through price or through waiting. And in Europe there’s a lot of waiting for some types of procedures. Some types of healthcare may not be offered. My understanding is that within the National Health Service [in the UK], operations such as cataracts surgery in some locations are not even offered because it’s termed of limited clinical value.

Now, 96-97% of cataracts surgery are very successful and can mean the difference between good eyesight and blindness. So, this is the longest-running publicly-provided single-payer healthcare service in the world and they are struggling with costs because the NHS, and a lot of Europe, just simply doesn’t obey the principles of economics.

So, yes, Europe can learn some things from the US, the US can learn some things from better principles of economics, and I think both locations can do a lot better in terms of satisfying consumers of healthcare and not wasting so many resources.

Should healthcare be free for everyone? Is healthcare as much a basic need as housing, food and water? Or should healthcare be treated as a marketplace, promoting efficiency and cost saving through competition between providers? Let us know your thoughts and comments in the form below and we’ll take them to policymakers and experts for their reactions!

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138 comments Post a commentcomment

What do YOU think?

  1. avatar

    It should be affordable for anyone. Which means not going bankrupt when you go to the hospital like in third world countries like the USA. So the short answer is yes. I believe it’s possible. With a lot of money and a lot of wisdom. Health is not something for trade. It’s a human right.

    • avatar

      i agree!!

    • avatar

      I agree

  2. avatar

    I assume, think about it for sec, if government took care of them, then no need for private insurance companies who their money based on gambling on people health, in good times, and who threat to rise the cost in bad times, if people have to pay directly to government and then government pay Healthcare employees it would be more sufficient and in good times government could invest the surplus in successful projects that might eventually establish sustainable project that pay directly the healthcare worker, and people with time will have to pay nothing or less eventually

  3. avatar

    no need to such question, American themselves admit they have the worst healthcare system that only get worst under trump administration, not saying the European is the best, but it’s far more better than anywhere else
    That however only means it still need development, as it’s getting rusty and costly with time

    • avatar

      I just hope we don’t have have to pet insurance cos could cost a healthy bill

  4. avatar

    ‘Free’ nothing is free. It’s tax financed and leave the EU citizens cash strapped.

    • avatar
      Debating Europe

      Hi Sara, would you prefer the American model also for Europe?

    • avatar


    • avatar

      I really don’t see why you think this so binary. Look at CH, low taxes, excellent health care.
      But however you look at it, what you are talking about is tax financed and not free.

    • avatar

      American model? Big NO

  5. avatar

    Its not free. The question is should it be payed by taxes and managed by government or payed ad hoc and managed privately.

    • avatar
      Debating Europe

      What is your opinion – should it be managed by government or privately?

    • avatar

      i think there shpuld be a balance. Do not give all of it to government because most of the times it is inefficient

    • avatar

      also stop using misleading lingo like FREE. it is not free

    • avatar

      Public health without structure without support to doctors and nurses in Spain.

  6. avatar

    Healthcare should be public and accessible to all.

  7. avatar

    Fundamental human right

    • avatar

      not a human right at all. Just a regular service you buy on the market.

    • avatar

      You are right.Humans must die if they can’t buy.Vultures law

    • avatar

      Then you should make all products on the market human rights.

    • avatar

      Human health is not product mister.Mercy

  8. avatar

    Yes! The health care should be universal and public.

    • avatar

      Yes! Just like in Venezuela.

    • avatar

      Just like Cuba that provides support all over the world.

  9. avatar

    Portugal Mario Centeno since 2015 is blocking money to health because he wanted to show a low deficit in the UE. This weakned the NHS. He is a Socialist by the way. The private sector was essential in this pandemy because the NHS, was working for Covid-19. If not a crash would be like in Italy.

    • avatar

      The private sector was essential?! That’s a joke!

    • avatar

      Yes, many of the consultations were held there. A lot of people have insurance because in NHS, everything took a long time with lack of human and material resources. If it’s not the private, the NHS cracks. It’s not joke unfortunately. And you should think instead of parroting.

    • avatar

      read what I wrote to D. Pink IRENE And I advise you to think before hitting the head. The misinformation in this Parents is shocking

    • avatar

      The private sector cancelled certain deals and left a lot of people unassisted. Did you hear what the Minister of Health said? I didn’t hear any denial. Had private sector assistance those who had money to pay for appointments and surgeries or to pay for some insurance policies. Those who don’t have money, don’t have access to the private sector.

    • avatar

      when everyone depends on the public, the cracks system. I’m talking if patients don’t covid who continued to be followed in private. NHS’s practically lockdown strategy allowed the NHS response to Covid-19. Open your eyes

    • avatar

      Of course yes! If they had money or insurance.

    • avatar

      there are a lot of people with company seuros. And it’s a shame that there are so many poor people in this country who receive so much from the EU.

    • avatar

      I think for my head, reason I defend NHS. Anyone who prefers other models is free, so free that many end up in NHS.

    • avatar

      exactly I defend NHS. That’s why I don’t forget the Captivation. If there hadn’t been a practically complete shutdown on NHS treating only Covid-19 and a social lockdown, the same thing would have happened in Italy. But now there’s a big economic problem and the country is paupérrim.

  10. avatar

    Healthcare is not free. We pay for it through taxation. Healthcare should be freely available to anyone who needs it, regardless of means, but we must rid ourselves of the childish notion that things financed by the government are “free”, otherwise you end up with a political environment in which no one is worried about how to pay for things, which leads to these institutions becoming unsustainable.

  11. avatar

    Here’s a good rule of thumb: is healthcare free in Venezuela & Cuba? Yes, it is. Then it should not be free everywhere else.

    • avatar

      Is water liquid in Cuba and Venezuela? Yes, it is. Then it should not be liquid anywhere else.
      You are not wrong about healthcare, but your logic is stupid.

    • avatar

      “Insanity Is Doing the Same Thing Over and Over Again and Expecting Different Results”.

    • avatar

      I hardly think they are great examples for quality of life

  12. avatar

    What is healthcare ?
    Clearly everyone would include any life saving actions…or ones that mitigated significant pain…..but cosmetic surgery..unlimited IVF…kidney transplants for alcoholics..extending the life of a 90 yr old for a few months at a cost of 500000 .
    Medical technology makes many things possible…but not all are desirable or affordable

    • avatar

      I agree a blank cheque to the nhs is dangerous and WILL be abosed and wasted

  13. avatar

    there is no my health insurance, neither their health insurance.
    THERE IS OUR HEALTH INSURANCE. in case someone have no health insurance, there is no health insurance no one at all.
    not too confusing, isn’t it?

  14. avatar

    I am very happy with the health system of my country turkey and the minister of health.. They took very good measures with the moments of health work, in our hospital
    Clean and medicine was equipment in tool care. Stay home in short, wear mask, pay attention to the distance.

  15. avatar

    It is not free because tax will support but yes, available to everyone with symbolic charge.

  16. avatar
    EU-Reform- Proactive

    Hardly anyone in the EU, their politicians, think tanks, seconded bureaucrats or experts dare to express the uncomfortable truth what reality unapologetically offers or affords vs. what idealism and their supporters demand.

    Anyone thinking living in an ideal world- can justifiably demand such ideals- why not?

    Miraculously, it is free of restriction to endless funding, nor does it ask the origin of the (m)honey flow. Such Father Xmas believes are normally age-restricted. The infamous Nanny!

    The century-old argument between fundamental idealism & realism will never end until the uncomfortable truth awakens the ever slumbering.

    Resets will happen, the semantics between idealism & realism will resurface but will keep us busy for ages!

    If one guarantees such an ideal system- that particular ONE has to prescribe how everyone has to: behave, eat, live, learn, work, sleep, relax, exercise, indulge and abstain from vices, etc. ..endless!

    So far, our social democratic political system- using the fruits of a capitalist free-market approach- is the current proven & workable one since WWII. It’s however becoming overstretched due to many factors.

    If one asked- what is an acceptable, fair & affordable compromise- since Actuarians being aliens- may be actuarial scientists could tell us?

  17. avatar

    Are you really asking that question in 2020? This shouldn’t even be a topic of debate.

    • avatar
      Debating Europe

      Hi Lavinia, how do you mean that?

    • avatar

      Why ask if only rich people should have access to healthcare and if the poor should be left to suffer or die? The idea in itself is absurd. Of course healthcare should be free for everyone. What is the purpose of living in society if we don’t take care of each other? This may be a question for the US, not for Europe.

    • avatar

      Mind is paths you should be having different ideas in different ways. Success is always when you remember and consider all question whether its past future or present so we must be good in all ways

  18. avatar

    Extremely efficient and excellent response from our Public Health system in Portugal to the Covid crisis. The system worked fully, and adapted very quickly to the demands of the escalating crisis back in March, created extra intensive care units in hospitals all over the country, and started testing as much people as possible at also a fast rate. So, yes, universal health care is the mark of a civilized and fully democratic society. It is paid for by everyone taxes and the poorest people who do not pay taxes are also fully covered of course.

    • avatar
      Debating Europe

      Hi Claudia, do you think more European countries should adopt a model like this?

    • avatar

      @Debating Europe I think so, I do

    • avatar

      agree :)
      Public health care for everyone..a lot of things sholud be private,but education,health care and protection (police, army) sholud be public :)

    • avatar


  19. avatar

    Health and education are basic human rights and we must have equal access to it. There’s the principle, and the question now is how do we do it?

    • avatar
      Debating Europe

      Hi Constantina, what steps do you want European governments to take to achieve that?

    • avatar

      In the Netherlands where I live, we have mandatory private health insurance with the basics covered and by your own choice you can set a risk limit paying less or more each month according to your choice. The biggest risk you can take is about 1000 euros per year. Meaning that no matter what, even if I pay the cheapest insurance I can only pay 1000 euros in health services maximum. The population is 100% covered because in the case of low/no income, the government pays for you. I think it works well. There are definitely some flows in it but it could be a good example. It is socially fair, you pay only if you have the income, and the whole population is covered for the basics and for expenses more than 1000 euros.

    • avatar

      is this not evident? Why do you ask this question if these are basic human rights and the current COVID-19 pandemic is doing away with these basic human rights and not only temporary?

  20. avatar
    Catherine Benning

    Should healthcare be free for everyone?

    As long as everyone gets it in their country of origin. Paid for by their own taxation system that can be used by those whose health systems they can all use when travelling around. And that it is the equivalent to all others at the top of the spectrum of good health systems. And covers us all for every eventuality. After all, human rights are for everyone no matter which part of the planet they are in or originate from. No matter their race, gender, intellect, etc.. No matter their ability to supply it. Yes/No?

  21. avatar

    Understand that this is a complicated issue. Unfortunately, much of the discourse is tainted with emotion and therefore logically insolvent. Healthcare, particularly preventive and catastrophic care, should be AVAILABLE (graduated payment schedule) to everyone but the belief that it is or should be free is childish. Equally silly is the talk of rights. The word is all to often juxtaposed with FAIR, which is where a pig get a blue ribbon but a legitimate legal or moral construct. Much like with the NHS the German system if fraught with delays, rationing and inequities. Insurance isn’t for every day things, that is why we don’t have grocery insurance and why car insurance doesn’t cover fuel costs. The moral imperative with anything “free” is over consumption and health care is no different.

    • avatar
      Catherine Benning


      Where we have health care free at time of use, it is never considered unpaid for. It is paid through taxation. Which is much lower than the private robbers who are looking for a generous profit from their investment each year. And not through fanciful notions of pretending ‘private’ health care is going to look after you when you need it.. They fail to pay up. And they fail to offer ongoing cover once the profits from you will no longer be expected. That is not health care. That is eternal waste.

      One more time.

      How it began with a huge struggle.

      And from an American point of view.

      And remember, you can buy a private health system if you want to pay for it. It does not give you a better service. In fact, private health care is not for emergency situations. That is dealt with through NHS A&E.

      The reason a great deal of pressure is presently on the NHS is because of immigration and illegals being allowed to use the system without paying for it. And that is in the millions who come here for just that. They are not required to buy their own private health care before seeking treatment. Which is a lunacy the government of the UK has consistently refused to address. Mostly, because they are consistently lobbied by pharmacies all over the world to enable them to rob the individuals the way they do in the USA. America hates the British exposure of the reality of social medicine. They wish they could destroy our system the way they did in Cuba.

  22. avatar


    Thank you for the well thought out response.

    To be clear the current state of US Healthcare traces it’s roots to the same point in time as the NHS. Skilled labor during WWII was hard to come by so Companies offered Third Party coverage as an incentive to attract workers. Thus began the unintended and astronomical escalation of healthcare costs in the US. As I referenced earlier, consumers who are insulated from the true cost of their actions will invariably spend and consume more.

    The second causal factor actually resides in the AMAs push for government take over of healthcare in the US believing that it would ultimately profit it’s membership. Many people either ignore or are unaware of the fact that the US system is already partially socialized. Medicare and Medicaid are both wholly government administered programs and to date the results have been equally as unimpressive as those of the NHS.

    After an extensive study of the British system of socialized medicine, formulated what he called “the theory of bureaucratic displacement.” He observed that in “a bureaucratic system . . . increase in expenditure will be matched by fall in production. . . . Such systems will act rather like ‘black holes,’ in the economic universe, simultaneously sucking in resources, and shrinking in terms of ‘emitted production.’”

    His findings for the NHS were exactly the same as the impacts on care delivered/available under Medicare and Medicaid. The data indicates a drastic decline in output over a half century. From 1946 to 1996, the number of beds per 1,000 population fell by more than 60 percent; the fraction of beds occupied, by more than 20 percent. In sharp contrast, input skyrocketed. Hospital personnel per occupied bed multiplied ninefold, and cost per patient day, adjusted for inflation, an astounding fortyfold, from $30 in 1946 to $1,200 in 1996. A mild rise in input was turned into a meteoric rise; a mild fall in output, into a rapid decline.

    I would submit that contrary to your assertion, “America hates the British exposure of the reality of social medicine.” that the US is ignorantly stumbling towards it. This forum is unfortunately not for the failings educational systems.

    I would refer you to the Mayo Model as the optimal way to deliver care on a micro economic scale.

  23. avatar

    Oops, sorry. The he I was referring to was Dr. Max Gammon and his “Theory of bureaucratic displacement.”

  24. avatar

    No need to even ask. Yes. Health care should be accessible to all. People who have private insurance, good for them; the state can simply reward them with minor tax exemptions (1-2%). But if you do not have an insurance, yes. The state should pay for your health care and support you. Receiving medical care is a human right, not a luxury.

  25. avatar

    Fundamentally “yes”. But perhaps the pervading Eiuropean system of mutual funding with state back-up for the worst off citizen-patients is the best

  26. avatar
    Richard Lewis

    Health care in the US “world class” – yes if you have pots of money or mortgage your house or you are fortunate enough that your employer provides top insurance!

    Prof Ohanian should do his/her homework. Cataract operations ARE available on the NHS. Options for lenses may be limited. And by the way, why is it that Americans always compare their system with he NHS? There are different models in Europe.

    • avatar

      It could be

  27. avatar
    Catherine Benning

    Should healthcare be free for everyone?

    Here is an example of why the western hemisphere need for healthcare, free at the point of use, is necessary. This man flew from Switzerland to the UK to get healthcare, as here in Britain it is free at the point of use.

    He got on the plane sick. Away from the very best healthcare you can find in Europe, Switzerland. Now why did he do that? Our healthcare is not as good as the Swiss, so we are told. But, it is free to the world here. Where did this guy come from? Was he Swiss? I doubt it, as a Swiss would be unlikely to leave their country for healthcare here. Unless they were seriously sick in the head.

    If there was universal healthcare throughout the Western world, free at the point of use, he would not have felt the need to take a flight whilst he was ill and therefore be a threat to us all by spreading his disease. It would have been contained in the first place he noted his malady. Akin to New Zealand, we should shut our borders to save the lives of ‘our’ people. Our lives matter. They did it for years in the UK with dogs and Rabies. Now we have a vaccine for dogs who travel. We are Rabies free. Just as New Zealand is Covid 19 free.

    Why have we become so under developed in our common sense?

  28. avatar

    There is no free health care as such. There are costs which need to be covered anyway. In my view the state budget should cover together with investors investments in the equipment needed and infrastructure. Private or semi-private insurance companies should cover costs of service provided with little share paid by individuals.

  29. avatar

    Healthcare is a Human Right. Therefore, it’s the right of every human being to have it. Since there are human beings with very few money, healthcare should be for free.

    • avatar

      on the other hand..if you dissregard the safety of others you should be desqualified

    • avatar

      Its correct but one can argue with that, Government can’t consider by printing there own money. Instead to make the country with the best currency value you need to collect taxes and pay for the services provided so that the country will be great in different ways, but if its free it would be hard for the government to keep it up sometimes so they are advantages as well as disadvantages in healthcare.

  30. avatar

    Can unemployed and ignored by the job centers due to their selection criterias have a right to free healthcare? Sad, sad world Or… unemploed must take a loan to cover costs of “free” healthcare

  31. avatar

    I think being free (at the cost of taxes, free for care acts) doesnt mean to have no competition or dont have high quality standards. Should never be for profit, the center should be the care for the patients. However health professionals should be paid properly for their services and have conditions to do their work properly. Health should be more centered in primary care reducing unnecessary costs and having a more cost-effective healthcare for all.

  32. avatar

    Ιt is fundamental citizens right

  33. avatar

    What does this mean « free »?Taxes are paid by the same persons who need support and assistance from the state they live in. Is that for free? Those who support the social system they are inevitably part of, due to their birth or other status, cannot require any support in return?

  34. avatar

    It should indeed as well as education.

  35. avatar

    Of course. Otherwise poorer people don’t have access and private services suck you dry. Besides, private health services are worse than public sector in my country. Yes they are more comfortable, but if your health problem is severe, you end up in the public, because they can’t help you. It’s not being free that leads to lower quality services, it’s defunding. No private health service can respond properly to a problem like COVID-19, and we will have more like that in the future, so we better wise up.

  36. avatar

    i think healthcare should be free

  37. avatar

    health care should be fee because that means dying is free

  38. avatar

    If I were living in the US I would not be able to afford the drugs that keep me alive.I am a type 1 diabetic and price of insulin for loads of American people even with an insurance is too expensive. I believe European countries have to better manage their expenditures generally speaking and make healthcare a priority but NEVER ever should we get a US like healthcare system. Too many people even employees as it is the case in hd US would not be a able to get basic rights to be treated and live.

  39. avatar

    There is definitely a huge difference in spirit between state-funded and for-profit businesses, but a healthcare system is a basic security and should be not made into the travesty that is the system in the US.
    In the EU, if you need medical attention, you get some treatment basically for free. In the US, you get fast treatment, but that can toss you to lifelong debt. People there don’t want ambulance rides, because that in itself costs thousands of dollars.
    The current European way, that there is public healthcare, and there are also for-profit private clinics, seems the most optimal possible.
    Sure, studying others is good, but there is no need to copy others on a grand public policy level.

  40. avatar

    … what do you mean: free?

    • avatar

      dont have to payyyyy

  41. avatar

    Not free, but if you pay your insurance, you shouldn’t pay any additional fees. If everyone pays their due, it shouldn’t be a problem. Having free access health care services (provided you’ve been paying your insurance fees) should mean you never have to pay for even the costliest of procedures. If your state’s healthcare system cannot provide you a certain type of service, surgery or other, then it should pay for that procedure to be performed abroad.

  42. avatar

    Who pays then? Nothing is free

  43. avatar

    We pay taxes aren’t we? Where all our money go, if not to provide us with free education and healthcare? If it is not free, then lower our taxes.

  44. avatar

    This question sounds like it was asked by a 10 year old. It’s impossible for healthcare to be “free for everyone”. If it was, every country would have already made it so. The correct question is “What payment model should we have for healthcare.”

  45. avatar

    In an ideal world yes, must be free for everyone and no questions asked, no cues to enter, remaining there all the time people needed, have good food, individual tv, wireless internet, access to all the details to your medication, free to choose the best medication for you.

    • avatar

      In an ideal world sickness wouldn’t even exist, so healthcare wouldn’t even be needed. But we don’t live in an ideal world and never will.

  46. avatar

    There is no such thing as free lunch. What is free to you id payed through taxes.

  47. avatar

    Sorry but there is nothing “free”, everybody pays for that thru taxes or other mechanisms. The question, “shall healthcare be available to everyone” ? – the answer is absolutely yes and minimum levels shall be unified across the EU.

    • avatar

      Jovan Ivosevic everything shall be in balance of course. But at the end, it is “hard” to collect taxes from ill or dead citizens, and you can’t keep printing money or lend more and more.

    • avatar

      I agree that we, as Europeans, must be more flexible. I am not sure if our economy would survive a debt of 250% of GDP as in Japan. But I totally agree that our governments shall be more social. I hope this pandemic will shift a bit of attention from covering bad decisions of the greedy banks towards the medical and educational sectors. I don’t even want to start the topics of pensions here – this is simply a disaster in most European countries.

  48. avatar

    Healthcare is an even more basic need than education. The answer is beyond obvious. Let’s not turn into the US, where cancer patients and their families depend on private insurance companies for approval of their treatment 😡😓 However, with an ever-aging population, the EU is going to face more and more challenges as time goes by.

  49. avatar

    I think military and police and other budgets of stuff we might not need as rn could be reduced to make room for affairs citizens could actually use.
    If there’s anything this year has taught us, it’s that subsidies and budgets of medical sectors in countries shouldn’t be undercut.

  50. avatar

    Communism is coming again!!!!!!!!!!!! Healthcare should be provided only to those who help build the country. All free-riders should be excluded(eg. illegals, criminals) .. Who does really think that something is “FREE”????

  51. avatar

    This is not a binary question.
    A plain market only approach is actually terribly inefficient. The USA is a clear example of a complete absurd policy. Politics instead of tonight and wisdom.
    And a completely free healthcare also promotes abuse and waste.
    There are many hybrid systems around the world that are way more efficient and cheaper.

  52. avatar
    Liberal Thinkers

    Yes, healthcare should be free for everyone. A government exists to take care and look after its citizens. Therefore, government has a duty to provide healthcare just as much as education or a contained police force. A price shouldn’t be put on a person’s life. Taxes should be used to pay for a universal basic healthcare system, similar to the NHS. The reason why the NHS is not working as well as it used to is because parts of it have been mismanaged by the Tory Government and they reduced spending for the NHS. Conservatives sometimes, when in power, take away funds from public bodies to continue a false rhetoric that private organisations work more efficiently. Public healthcare can be better than private healthcare if given the resources it needs. It won’t work if governments take away or limit those resources. Healthcare should a top priority for all governments within and outside of the EU.

    • avatar

      Yes you are right, the healthcare must be like the education, with evaluation for all the students, if people do not take good care of their own health must have a grade of “failed”.

  53. avatar

    A hybrid system in which the private sector predominates. Without overregulation. I want to be able to buy real healthcare, not alleged “healthcare”. Public healthcare is more a free entertainment for the elderly, payed by the active population. Eventually, the service quality will sink deep down, for everybody.

  54. avatar

    there is nothing like a free meal.
    Free healthcare means paid through MY taxes.
    Is better than a private system?
    Maybe, maybe not.
    Let’s argue about that.
    Who should get it? Certainly someone who :
    1) pays taxes;
    2) is legally in the place.
    For other issues there are bilateral accords between states…
    healthcare is a service that cost money.
    We may agree health is a right and we should make access to healthcare easier but Money do not grow on trees.
    Any service provided need to be paid by somebody.

    • avatar

      when you get healthcare from your taxes you should get the money from your employer that used to go to your insurance

  55. avatar

    in italy we say
    “l’erba voglio non cresce neanche nel giardino del re”
    (the grass called “i want!” do not grows even in the king’s garden)

  56. avatar

    I hope this is not a serious question. Only stubborn Americans willing to let people die on the street would defend a neoliberal approach to health care at a high cost, just for the sake of capitalists to be able to make a buck out of their own citizen health troubles. The private is not more efficient, it’s only more efficient at making money for itself. This idea is so shocking from so many aspects I don’t even know where to start. Bottom line: I’d be never live in such a country, it would be way too stressful and uncivilised.

    • avatar

      You’re right

  57. avatar

    I think taxpayers should have the right to enjoy free medical care while illegal immigrants are another story.

    • avatar

      I agree, it’s not a product, it is human rights

    • avatar

      I agree, it’s not a product, it is human rights. If people can’t afford to pay for it, they won’t be able to survive without work but with a serious disease.They have the rights to receive free medical care didn’t they?

  58. avatar

    I agree, it’s not a product, it’s human rights, if people can’t afford to pay for this, they can’t survive without a work but a with a serious disease .They have the rights to receive free medical care didn’t they?

  59. avatar

    health care should be free so every one can see there sick family members after tretment isted of not seeing them at all again

    • avatar

      and can love them once again

  60. avatar

    Here is the thing people are not thinking of. If you pay money in taxes for health care if you got healthcare from your employer they should pay what they would have spent on you to you.

  61. avatar

    I’m astonished about the use of the expression “world class” referring to the US health care-system.

  62. avatar

    The correct word is ,,accessible”. Yes, it should be accessible to everyone without direct payment.

  63. avatar

    The US has a crippling health system serving only wealthy.All civilized countries have healthcare free for everyone.

  64. avatar

    We’ll, it’s not actually free as everybody pays for it through taxation, but yes, it must be granted to everyone at no cost

  65. avatar

    Basic health care, not cosmetic or nice to haves

  66. avatar

    No healthcsre system is free…the question is how they’re funded.
    Pretty much all are a combination of general taxation and private insurance.
    Finding the balance between them, ensuring “fair” access and affordability is one of the most significant challenges facing all governments.

  67. avatar

    Free or with no costs? It cannot be free, since in some way there has to be funding. Therefore the public makes contributions. We have this in Austria and it is working very well. The advantage is that whatever the problem, there is no worry about the costs involved. Not even loss of income, how cool is that. The other advantage is the high degree of standardization and availabilty of schooled personell. E.g. all surgeons are highly skilled. The quality of treatment is very high. Another result is the comparability, evaluation and research. Therefore, it is not only the costs for the individual that matter. It is the benefit people and research arrive from this.

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