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Healthcare Debate

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  • December 2012
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American Government
National Healthcare Debate

“If you think health care is expensive now, wait until you see what it costs when it's free.” J P. O’Rourke

The debate over whether or not healthcare should be nationalized has been going on for quite some time with relatively no progress being made. The ultimate question in the debate being if it works for other developed countries, will it work for the United States? The assumption made by many people when asking this question is that healthcare in these countries is wonderful and citizens are benefitting greatly from having it. This however is not exactly true. For example, did you know that among US women age 40 to 64, 87% of those with insurance had a mammogram within 5 years, compared to 65% of those without insurance? The rate for Canadian women is 65% – the same as for uninsured women in the US. Canadian women also have the same rate of screening for cervical cancer as uninsured US women (80%), over five years. Among insured US women, the rate is 92%.Among uninsured US men, 31% were screened for prostate cancer, compared with 16% in Canada. For insured US men, the rate is 52%. These numbers are because it is extremely more difficult for a Canadian citizen to see a doctor than it is for an American citizen. There are people like Ezra Klein that believe these assumptions and those like John C. Goodman that believe coverage in other countries withstand objective analysis. An example of government sponsored insurance in the United States is the Denti-cal system in California. In California, low income families and individuals qualify for free government sponsored dental care because they are unable to afford insurance. The Government reimburses the dentist or specialist at about 33% of the normal going rate per procedure. Due to this very low payment level most dentists in California do not accept Denti-cal. Those that do know that to make enough money to keep their practice afloat they must see about 4...

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