The Truth about Healthcare, Culture, and Taxation in the US

I discuss the myth that higher taxes will result in a better healthcare system and compare the United States to Japan and Switzerland (both countries with Universal Healthcare Options) .

I also touch on the myth that higher healthcare costs and lower life expectancy in the United States versus other developed nations is a result of not having a Universal Healthcare Option. *You can see the charts and statistics better if you expand the video to full screen.

You can check out the all the stats used in this video here.  Also thanks to Phil Ebersole’s Blog for the inspiration on this topic.

10 thoughts on “The Truth about Healthcare, Culture, and Taxation in the US

  1. Pingback: Universal health care, pro and con « Phil Ebersole's Blog

  2. philebersole

    I appreciate you taking the trouble to post this reply to my post on universal health care. This is the kind of thoughtful discussion I hoped for when I started my web log two years ago.

    My basic argument is that, all other things being equal, a universal health care system in which everybody gets medical care and nobody dies because they can’t afford medical care, is better than a system in which millions of people lack access to medical care and some of them die every year.

    The only way my argument could be refuted would be to show that universal health care is unacceptably expensive or produces worse results, neither of which is the case.

    You point out that my chart does not prove that Americans have worse medical care than countries with universal systems, and that the bad American health statistics may be due to some other cause, such as obesity-related disease resulting from poor diet and lack of exercise.

    You’re right. My chart does not prove that, and obesity-related disease and other societal factors probably do account for the worse American mortality statistics.

    I have put up a new post with charts and links directly related to the quality of medical care in the United States. Click on to read it. One statistic is that the United States ranks 37th, just below Costa Rica, in preventable deaths.

    1. Atticus Finch Post author

      Whenever two people can get together and freely discuss an issue as important as healthcare I consider that a success. I am looking forward to reading your post! I’ve really been wanting to dive into the healthcare topic on this blog, I have been slightly avoiding it because healthcare is such a complex issue. Now is a great opportunity to do some research – so I’ll probably do another follow soon.

  3. jon

    AF, what a great information-rich post. I loved it. And hearing the voice over the data chart and list of statistics was just great.

    1. Atticus Finch Post author

      Ha! Thanks Jon. I was kind of hesitant to post it up because I felt like I wasn’t clear enough – and it’s still weird hearing my own voice… Anyways, thanks for the support! More like these coming soon I think.

  4. Rattlesnake

    Interesting (and good) video.

    If you think about it, defense is one of the few things the federal government of the USA can legitimately spend money on. Maybe they spend too much on the military, but I would say the absolute amount spent on the military is more relevant than the percentage of GDP spent on it. And according to this, 14% of total expenditures by the federal government of the US is on defense, compared to much more on collective entitlements. I don’t know where the statistic (40% to 50% of taxes spend on the military) in your video comes from, or if it is correct and the one I cited isn’t, or what. As for the USA being an empire, I agree, but I’m sure many people are proud of the USA for being an empire. So it’s a matter of opinion, I guess.

    Anyway, the real driver of the debt and spending is entitlements, according to that link. And with the aging population, the spending on entitlements is ballooning. Entitlement reform is, in my opinion, the best way to address the spending problem. I would also argue that whatever spending is reduced, taxes can be reduced accordingly to make the US more competetive internationally (which may increase revenue further by increasing the tax base).

    As for health care, I wrote a post on the subject if you’re interested, but here is a summary: universal healthcare (as well as a system in which the government subsidizes healthcare, as in the US) requires society to pay for people’s poor choices. That is primarily why I am opposed to universal healthcare, but I would argue that the best solution is to get government completely out of running healthcare and leave it to the private sector, while giving low income individuals vouchers so they can have access to private healthcare.

    1. Atticus Finch Post author

      I think the number regarding defense spending is tricky to nail down because some statistics do not include spending on organizations such as the CIA, the military industrial complex, R&D, intelligence gathering, etc. Slowly that number creeps toward 40%.

      I’ll check out your post on healthcare. I think you would really enjoy the book by Ron Paul called “Liberty Defined”. It’s a good one.

  5. Pingback: Best of 2012 – February « BlogTruth

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