Why do Americans think NHS style healthcare is bad?

Please explain??

The NHS is amazing.

You would prefer to pay millions of dollars for healthcare? That makes no sense

Seriously, I am not looking for an argument, I just do not understand your logic.

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In which country do you live where the nationalized health care is so amazing?


I am not completely sure how the American system works, but as somebody in the UK, I have mixed feelings on it.

On the one hand it is good, because you pay a contribution (National Insurance tax) and then basically have access to the GP or hospital if you get ill and don’t have to pay each time you go. You can also get subscriptions for much less than you would have to pay if there was no NHS, or if you earn very little or are jobless etc. you can get them free. You will also be able to have operations that you might have otherwise had to fork out a lot of money for, and you don’t have to be concerned about how much you will have to pay for each night you stay over at the hospital. I have heard cases of places in America where the first thing they ask when you go into a hospital, is for you card details. I have also heard stories of how people have lost their cars or even houses, in order to pay for an operation.

I have never really had a problem with paying the NI contribution, because I felt that as a society, we should chip in to help those less fortunate than us out, and if you don’t need to use the NHS often or even at all, then great for you, but others who do will at least be able to benefit from this system, and we should be grateful to God we don’t need it and be glad we can help others out with our monthly contribution. I always saw the American way of looking at it to be selfish. ‘Well I don’t want a national health service because I don’t want to have to pay for other people if I don’t need the doctor. I’ll just pay for myself when I need it’.

Having said that, the NHS doesn’t give great service, at least in my view. It isn’t as bad as people make out in the US, but if you have the money to go to a private hospital, you definitely see the difference. So essentially you are forced to give part of your earnings to the NHS. Even if you decide you don’t want to use it and prefer to go private, you still have to pay the money. In America I don’ t know, I thought it used to be that you choose a health insurance you want and that’s all you pay throughout the year, but perhaps Americans can enlighten me on the system over there.

I think the NHS is a very humanitarian form of medicare for those who cannot afford it and because the amount of NI they take isn’t that great, I think it’s fine, but it also has its downsides.


I remember, in a college for my French class, I had to write about the French Healthcare System. I found an article from The Wall Street Journal, and used that as a primary source, about how it’s not so great, if you live in a rural area, and that not everyone is actually covered by it. I’m not against healthcare for everyone per se, but you have to remember that these things cost money, and governments do a terrible job of managing money. Also, being a pro-life Catholic that opposes contraceptives and abortion, the people that want to have National Healthcare in the United States, tend to want to support those things with taxpayer money, and I can’t morally support that.


I’m in the UK. The NHS has its problems, and it goes through rough patches, but it is amazing. I could never move to another country where they didn’t have a similar healthcare system.


The NHS contribution you make in the UK is based on your earnings, so like ordinary tax, you are paying more if you make more.

Currently you don’t pay anything on the first £166 you make per week, so if you are a very low earner and get less than this, then you don’t have to pay, but can still use the service.

If however, you earn a high amount, like say, £1000 per week, then you can find yourself forking out quite a bit for the NHS, that understandably can be annoying if you never really use it.

I suppose it’s a safety net that makes people feel comfortable. Yes they have to pay a bit to help keep it up and running if they’re doing okay, but should they ever lose their job and have a considerable drop in their income, they won’t have to pay or they’ll pay a very minimal amount and still be able to use the services if they require them.

I have a medical condition and take hundreds of millions of tablets each day. I also have regular consultations and hospital visits.

Without the NHS I’d be on the streets.

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There are lot of people in the US who do not take care of themselves. Like a lot a lot. There are also tons of neurotic parents who take their kid to the doctor every other week and demand antibiotics for everything. There are countless addicts who refuse treatment but require ER and hospital visits for overdoses. There are old people who demand $200k worth of care so they can limp on for another 3 months. There are illegal immigrants who use the ER for their healthcare. Abortion is still legal. I don’t want to pay for people who don’t care for themselves, or who game the system, or who make unreasonable demands.


Oooh now I understand. I’ve been wondering for so long.

I couldn’t work out why anyone would possibly think that “free” healthcare was a bad thing.

I don’t agree, obviously, but I understand.

That’s the thing though, that it isn’t really free. It doesn’t even get funded by your standard taxes. There is an additional tax you have to pay to keep it going, and for some people, who have decent earnings, that can add up to a good few thousand pounds per year.


You pay for your health care. You just dont pay at the hospital. From you check people in the UK pay 12.5% and their employer pays 13%. Plus you pay in VAT’s (another authoritarian tax) You also have the worst survival rate in four of the 5 top killer compared to the usa. My family pays a total of $14,000 a year in health care. after that I pay nothing. I have had surgeries that have cost $500,000 and I still only paid $14,000 a year. Plus I know if I get cancer I have a higher chance of surviving than you do.


It is not free


I know that, that’s why I put the word free in quotation marks. What I meant was that you don’t pay at the hospital so it seems free. I thought that the way I wrote free (“free”) (in quotation marks) would convey that. Obviously I thought wrong.

remember the government is making the decisions on healthcare and not the doctors. there have been a few public cases where people were left to die. what isn’t well known is the push at the end-of-life to withhold care and let people die. this isn’t restricted to public care only but exist in private care. watch and read everything you sign.

I know someone who went to the VA (government veterans insurance) he was being tested and with the doctor were 2 medical students. he took a few tests and turned to the students and said: “On the outside, you would do more test but we don’t do that here”. the old adage is true, you get what you pay for.

smart doctors will be in private practice. when the US started ObamaCare, a lot of my doctors stopped offering healthcare coverage and went concierge. they are on call for a limited number of people with varying plans according to price.

why does anyone think the government can do anything better than the private sector?


Because many Americans, probably most Americans, favor low taxation, low public spending, and small government. Americans typically believe in people taking personal responsibility for themselves and their families and don’t really believe in society providing much in the way of a safety net for those who fail to provide for their own needs. Americans also typically believe that private enterprise and market forces produce better results than management by the government. I’m not saying that these are my personal views, but they are views that are held by many Americans.

Although I am American, I have lived in the UK. I certainly like the principle of the NHS, and the NHS has some excellent people working in it. However, the system is extremely inefficient and inconvenient to use. It’s difficult to get an appointment to see a GP, let alone a specific GP. Then you can wait up to 18 weeks to see a specialist at the hospital, who more often than not is not a consultant. If you need MRIs etc. that can be a wait of several more weeks and then yet more weeks before you can get the results and begin treatment. The waiting time for some specialisms, such as children’s clinical psychology, can be incredible - as long as 18 months. You generally don’t get to choose which doctor you see or when your appointment will be. Many of the hospitals are in pretty poor condition. The bureaucracy is like something out of a Kafka novel.

I can see that if you have a long-term condition that needs periodic review and if you are dependent upon medication, the NHS probably works quite well. It also works pretty well if you have a genuine emergency. Waiting times are not bad if they think you have cancer.

Overall, I think Americans and the British both make the mistake of thinking that there are only two systems, the American one and the NHS. We should all be looking at what happens in other developed countries and learning lessons from them. The problem is that the British regard the NHS as a national religion and Americans have made healthcare an ideological battleground.


Thanks for explaining.

I have never had any significant problems with the NHS but that might be because I have a health condition as you say that could make a difference to the way a see ir. I am on first name, or even nick name terms with most Doctors and other medical / pharmacy etc. staff I see. Its is pretty much unheard of here to choose your doctor, but that doesn’t bother me. A doctor is a doctor is a doctor.

The waiting times mentioned above are about accurate. They could be better.

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I’m English, and I can say that the NHS is not “amazing” and that we do pay BILLIONS (millions) of pounds on our healthcare.

Have you any concept of the length of NHS waiting times? People pass away before they get vital treatment. We waste so much money on overpriced medicine.

I’m blessed to be a healthy individual. I hardly ever need a doctor or nurse. Yet I have to pay over £100 a week in National Insurance and income tax (and I am below average income btw) so that fat people can eat themselves into diabetes, drunks can vomit their guts up in hospitals, thugs can glass each other over the weekend, kids can be pumped full of hormones and have their genitals mutilated, and now they want to give gays the very expensive PREP drug so they can have unprotected sex without worrying about HIV. Let’s not even get into the organ harvesting, or kidnapping children and letting them die to prove a point!

Basically, I have to pay 1/4 of my income for a service I never use, to subsidise the bad life choices of millions, and if I do have to use it, the service I get is substandard.

Each year millions of people come into the country who haven’t paid into the system and they are entitled to use the NHS. Each year we have to increase funding of the NHS to pay for all these immigrants and their large families. It’s not sustainable and is going to collapse within 5-10 years.

If I didn’t have to pay for other people’s poor life choices, I could afford private healthcare which would deliver substantially better quality service for less cost, and still have money left over. Instead I have to pay for people to make bad choices and for millions of immigrants to have babies and replace us.

Yeah, not a fan of the NHS.


Have a friend in Australia. she needed lower back surgery and i needed the same only on my neck. i was almost fully recovered by the time she had her first appointment with her surgeon.


I’m sorry, I was asking a genuine question I didn’t realize that this thread would break down like this.

@Lamentations how about you pay that money so that we can have this conversation right now.

@phil3 don’t accuse others of sin. It is for God to judge not you

Stinson out.

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The simple facts are, the UK NHS is an awful system. I have posted those facts in the past and youre welcome to go find them and address the facts.

We dont want it because our system is better.

I pay less to the amount of about 1/2 (and so does my employeer) than what I would pay in the UK. Plus my health care is much better here.

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