Friday, September 11, 2020

US Health Care

 Well this should be interesting listening from the BBC. Maybe I will have some kind of understanding, but I doubt it.

The USA is the only rich democracy not to provide universal healthcare. After WW2 US President Harry Truman was horrified that only a fifth of all Americans could afford proper healthcare. Most middle class Americans had no private health insurance and many found medical fees unaffordable. He calculated that more than 300,000 people died every year because they couldn't pay for proper treatment. In 1945 he tried to persuade Congress to push through legislation for an insurance programme meaning all workers would pay for their healthcare through a monthly fee or tax. But the American Medical Association - representing doctors - employed a public relations firm to lobby against the move. Claire Bowes has been listening to archive material of Harry Truman and speaking to Jonathan Oberlander a Professor at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill. Photo: President Harry Truman in 1947 (courtesy of US National Archives) Archive material: courtesy of the Harry S Truman Library

You can listen to it here.

21 comments:

  1. And rather a lot of years later 'socialism' is still the most strident reason for not offering all Americans health care.
    I really don't understand it and am glad that we do have universal health care. It isn't perfect but it is a heap better than nothing.

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    1. Yes EC, not perfect, but not so bad.

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  2. One of several disastrous instances when lobbyists altered the course of the country for the worse! (Gun laws being another prominent example.)

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    1. Steve, don't mention the gun word. It gets me into so much trouble with my American blog mates.

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  3. What a disgrace :( I suspect that many of the unnecessary deaths in the US, from coronavirus and other epidemics, were caused by lack of decent health care available to working families and to the unemployed.

    I have lived in Australia, Israel and Britain for all my adult life, and would never live in a country without universal health care. Shame, USA, shame.

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    1. Hels, there is no doubt the health care in the richest country in world is very poor. Why is it so? When I listen to the podcast, maybe I will know.

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  4. Sad as it seems I suppose you could say.....to each their own.

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    1. Just had a look for White’s autobiography....Flaws in the Glass. So you were nearly right. Will look it out next year. Think autobios will be on the agenda

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    2. Cathy, it was a good read ever so many years ago.

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  5. Sadly it looks like Americans will continue without healthcare if Trump gets voted in again.

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    1. Sami, let it never be said he would do anything to improve health care.

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  6. I find it appalling, such a flagrant disregard for the poorest of their citizens. I am so fortunate to live in a country with universal health care. I'd be long dead if not for it with all my medical issues.

    The cult of individualism and not community/social equality has never been more evident in the US than during Covid.

    XO
    WWW

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    1. WWW, if not dead, perhaps in abject poverty.

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  7. I do believe that universal medical care will happen in the USA eventually.

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    1. Gigi, except I don't think you or I will see it happen.

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  8. I can't understand the people ! Healthcare is so important ! But they are probably the same who find Trump the best president ever !!

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  9. Former President Obama tried to get that going and he'll have my eternal respect for that. Pity it didn't catch on fast enough. It will NEVER happen while Trump is in charge, he only thinks of himself and his own money and how to get more of it.

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    1. River, Obama did what he could and some improvements are owed to his tenacity. While it is recognised by so many as a very poor health system, it is also one of if not the most expensive in the world.

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  10. There health system seems to always be in a mess from what I have read, never lived there I really don't know.

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    1. Margaret, certainly a good reason to have good travel insurance when you travel. The costs for uninsured travellers in the US for medical care would be horrendous.

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Democracy is all very well, but why give it to the people? - Audrey Forbes-Hamilton.