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> And the US is an incredibly individual-focused nation. So each individual wants "everything done". Again, Bentley care.
--> I must say that I find it unusual for "Bentley" to be used in such a context - I am more used to RR being the metaphor...
> I wade into this debate with some trepidation.
--> If we can't debate...
I have been "debating" and doing lectures on this healthcare system comparison for quite a number of years, with associated reading this entails and my own exposure to the UK system as well as a few other systems and visits to the USA and many EDs there. A common representation I come across, which I find a teensy bit misleading, is the one which states that, while in the USA one can get up to any level of care for enough money (say "Bentley"), in the UK/NZ/etc. one can only get to whatever level the system rations. While this "ceiling" might apply in some countries, it is NOT at all a necessary part of the "nationalised" systems. In the UK, for example, where the NHS "ceiling" is set at what most experts seem to rate as at least 99% of Bentley, one can still buy a Bentley! That the NHS won't give you a free Bentley does not deprive you of your car-purchase rights, which are just as free as in the USA!
Of course, it is sometimes pointed out to me,when I say this, that this is not as simple as buying a Bentley, as one has already been paying taxes into the NHS for years and then finds oneself having to pay for a Bentley if one requires something which is not in the 99.x%...
This is true.
But it is countered by another point - a medical Bentley often does not cost as much in the UK. For example, the NHS may offer a procedure but with too long a delay to satisfy, so, despite having paid taxes for years, the patient decides to "go Bentley" and pay out of pocket to have the procedure tomorrow. But the fact that the procedure DOES exist on the NHS has the effect of competing down the price of the Bentley in the market...
In summary, simply because 99.x% of what a wealthy American can buy is available through a socialised NHS does NOT mean one cannot also buy the other <1% just like in the USA.
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