Why Are So Many Americans Against Free Healthcare?

lenetstan / (Shutterstock.com)
lenetstan / (Shutterstock.com)

As someone who lives in the UK, there are a lot of things I like about America:

• The American accent
• Wrestling
• The rodeo
• Cool names of places (Salt Lake City. Awesome!)
• Mexicans (If you’re gonna be overrun with immigrants, it might as well be beautiful Hispanic people.)

There are also things I don’t get, predominately because of the culture I was raised in:

• American football
• The number of commercial breaks on television
• Why the US won’t embrace soccer
• How people such as the Kardashians are on television
• How Opie and Anthony have managed to get so popular

Either way, these are personal tastes. The one thing I can’t understand in the USA is the negative feeling toward healthcare, or more specifically, the type of healthcare that we have over in the UK—the FREE kind.

Why are reactions to free medical treatment so bad? It almost seems illogical. Right-wing political commentators such as Glenn Beck, who I actually don’t have a problem with most of the time, talk about it as if it was one of the worst things that could ever happen to the great United States.

Yes, OK, so your taxes would pay for it (just like they pay for the NHS in Britain), and if you don’t use much healthcare, you’re effectively paying for other people to be treated.

Look at it this way—your taxes pay for all kinds of things you never use anyway, so why not do some good with them and pay for others who really need medical attention? How about counting yourself lucky if you don’t have some condition that causes you to have to visit a doctor every week?

Another argument made against free healthcare revolves around the waiting times and supposed bad service you get when in the hospital. Yeah, but I would still prefer that to dying because you couldn’t afford to have a vital operation done. For those who have the money and want to have tip-top service, there are private hospitals and clinics that will be glad to take your money for making you better. By the way, free healthcare service isn’t that bad.

It strikes me that the key issue here, at least for some people, is that they don’t like paying for others. The whole healthcare idea is linked in with the idea of socialism that right-wingers don’t like. (I’m a right-winger, by the way, most of the time.) They don’t like a society that works together and helps each other out. They don’t like their taxes going toward those that have less. They like to gather their nuts and keep them for themselves, because they EARNED them!

“The state can’t adopt you! Fend for yourself,” they say.

What if some people can’t? I’m not saying there shouldn’t be some sort of hardline system put in that catches fraudsters and people who sponge off benefits because they’re too lazy to work. I do, however, know that some people do work, they work very hard, often two or three jobs at a time, and still don’t earn anywhere near what some fat white man in a suit sitting on the top floor of some New York building earns. When did we become a society that kills off the weak? This isn’t a jungle. Help those who are less fortunate—that’s what makes people unique.

Life simply isn’t fair, and no matter what they tell you about how we have equal opportunities, we don’t. It’s not an even playing field. Many of the people who have achieved success have done so because they were born in to it or knew the right people. That’s not to say some people didn’t get to where they are from poor backgrounds thanks to a lot of grit and hard graft. Now they run a company and make a good living, but the examples are rare and hard work still unfortunately does not guarantee success. Knowing the right people or doing some sexual favors does, unfortunately.

My philosophy is that when you are part of a society that is always going to be unfair, those that have managed to get more ought to have enough goodwill for a percentage of their earnings to be used to help out those that didn’t have as much fortune. You know there are people who work harder than you but have less, or people who don’t work as hard as you and have more.

Free healthcare is a prime example of leveling the playing field as much as you can. If you don’t have any illnesses, thank God and don’t resent a part of your taxed wage going toward helping some child who has to see the doctor every month to get a new breathing machine fitted that keeps him or her alive.

Britain is not the only place to use free healthcare. It’s quite popular around the world, actually. Give it a shot—you might like it. TC mark

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