50 Times People Took Screenshots Of The Dumbest Arguments Americans Have Made Against Free Healthcare
In pretty much any other nation on God’s green Earth, healthcare is a straightforward issue. However, in the United States, it’s a topic that divides, fractures, and polarizes the population into warring factions: those for access to free healthcare and those adamantly opposed to it.
Well, here at Bored Panda, we believe that access to free healthcare makes a lot of sense. Meanwhile, the current system is incredibly bureaucratic and wasteful according to the latest stats and ought to be improved. How bad is the situation? Well, around 760 billion dollars go to absolute waste each year. However, some Americans are stubbornly against free healthcare and overhauling the system.
Why? While there are some serious arguments here and there, we decided that it’s time that we took a gander at the most ridiculous reasons that people have said ‘no’ to something that ought to be a basic part of life. Scroll on down and upvote your fave pics. Be sure to let us know what you think the pros and cons of free healthcare are, dear Pandas—we always value a well-argued opinion.
Dr. Andrew Carroll from Arizona, has some experience dealing with healthcare insurance companies and fighting for what's best for his patients. Bored Panda previously wrote about how he broke down in tears when a company refused to provide one of his patients a CT chest scan and contacted him again to go even further in-depth about the system in the US.
According to Dr. Carroll, there are clear financial incentives for the companies that provide healthcare insurance to keep the system, with its high administrative costs, as it is. "It will be very difficult to reduce the administrative costs without overhauling the payment system altogether," he explained that even small step-by-step changes would be hard to push through.
Dr. Carroll was very candid about healthcare insurance providers and how it's not in their interest to do what's best for American patients. "Unfortunately, these payers tend not to have altruistic intentions towards their members. They cater to the advantage of the employers paying for the benefits, who want to try and spend the least amount of money they can."
He continued: "Employers that pay for benefits will need to demand more of the companies providing the benefits or patients will need to file class-action lawsuits to demand that benefits due to them are not unduly restricted, as they are today."
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The US spends huge amounts of money on healthcare, but a whopping quarter of the costs are administrative. This means that customers pay a lot, but far from every penny actually ends up helping them directly. There’s a lot of waste in the system and a lot of fat that needs to be cut.
What’s more, hospitals in the US are consolidated. This means less competition, meaning there’s little to no motivation to actually ensure lower prices for patients. If somebody can charge more and the customer has no other choice, why lower the price? (Well, apart from empathy, I mean?)
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Despite often boasting about being the bastion of freedom and being the best, the US is woefully struggling along with its healthcare system. The World Health Organization ranks it as the 37th best in the entire world. It doesn’t matter how many amazing doctors and how much cutting-edge tech you have if you can’t help people due to the system in place.
The US spends more of its national income on healthcare than other developed OECD countries and spends more per person than other rich nations. However, this level of spending doesn’t translate to better care.
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Where you live in the US and what type of insurance coverage you have (private vs. public) affect your wait times, too. So you can expect to wait in line to see a doctor even if you think you’re paying top-dollar prices for top-dollar coverage. However, 66 percent of all Americans are afraid that they won’t be able to afford medical care in 2021.
In a couple of earlier interviews, Bored Panda spoke about US healthcare with Tumblr user Avilocirapter (who was paying for a top-tier insurance plan), as well as Dr. Carroll from Arizona (who burst into tears when an insurance company “denied a CT Chest on a young woman with post-Covid syndrome”).
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Avilociraptor explained that, in their opinion, the private insurance model destroyed the doctor-patient relationship and reduced the autonomy that both patients and providers had. “Nurses are overworked and underpaid, and yet we demonize them when they strike to provide safer conditions for themselves and their patients.”
The solution? According to Avilociraptor, Americans have to “regularly write” to their government representatives and demand change.
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Meanwhile, Dr. Carroll previously told us that, in the United States, the insurance company is the payer for a patient’s care, so they’re “heavily involved in the provision of that care.” He said: “Their job is not to pay for healthcare but avoid paying for healthcare. It is a terrible system.”
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Dr. Carroll also opened up about the hardships that healthcare professionals like him face in the line of duty. “We are trained very early, almost like soldiers, to work hard and long hours, deal with extremely stressful conditions, and work through the emotional turmoil of death, debility, and the effect those things have on the patient and their families.”
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However, Dr. Carroll can’t imagine doing anything else. Being a doctor, helping people, is his calling. “I love what I do because I could not see myself doing anything else. I’ve wanted to be a doctor since I was 5, since I myself had a major medical issue.”
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He continued: “I remember the care and compassion my doctors when I was that age showed me, and helped me get through my very tough time. I wanted to do that for others, and so far I think I have done so. Insurance companies make it difficult though, and nearly force cold, inhumane, and compassionless rules on patients when they are most vulnerable.”
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Plenty of Americans who are against free healthcare have a mindset that’s full-on ‘the strong survive, the weak perish’ which would be useful in a post-apocalyptic world, not when we’re all supposed to be civilized and aiming for longer, higher-quality living. And it’s a tad ironic that a country that is so full of charitable, warm, friendly people also has to deal with a cold, dehumanizing, penny-pinching healthcare system.