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Europeans often moralize about the American reluctance to join the “civilized world” by implementing “universal” health care. A typical example of this condescending attitude can be found in the comment stream of this post at OVER!MY!MED!BODY!, where a Danish student offers the following:
Today there’s not a single country in Europe that doesn’t have publicly sponsored and regulated health care; in fact, of all the countries in the Western world, the USA is the only one without universal health care.
She also boasts about the low cost of Danish health care:
I’d have you know our ‘free’ health care system only costs 8% of anyone’s income. As a student that means I pay $65 a month for as much health care as I like, with no fuss and no paperwork.
There is, however, one issue that she neglects to mention: The United States subsidizes the health care systems of Denmark and all of the other EU countries that provide “free universal care.”
Because Denmark and the other EU members emulate Canada in allowing the U.S. to pick up the tab for their national defense, these nations are able to spend their own money on various social welfare programs.
Indeed, this is why most EU members can get away with having Lilliputian military establishments. It isn’t because they are more civilized, but because they freeload off the American tax payer.
So, rather than moralizing about how uncivilized we Americans are, perhaps those oh-so-superior Europeans should be thanking us.
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October 23rd, 2007 at 11:23 pm
You have to be kidding me??!! Its time to get off your high horse David. Name me one time that the U.S. has ever come to Canada’s defense?? For the record, next to the U.S., Canada has suffered the most losses in Afghanistan. We are a good allie to the U.S., but purely ignorant comments like that is just absurd.
October 24th, 2007 at 10:15 am
[…] David Catron created an interesting post today on Guns, Butter and European Health Care.Here’s a short outline:MY!MED!BODY!, where a Danish student offers the following:. Today there’s not a single country in Europe that doesn’t have publicly sponsored and regulated health care; in fact, of all the countries in the Western world, the USA is the … […]
October 24th, 2007 at 1:29 pm
I was amused when this entry was first posted in that other blog, but now the hilarity is wearing thin. I have done nothing but correct the false information and outright lies used by opponents of universal health care in the attempt to derail a complex and highly relevant debate with scaremongering, and in return my country is slandered and I’m being quoted out of context in several blogs, accused of being condescending and moralising by someone who in the very next sentence proclaims America’s superiority and demands that the entire world grovel in gratitude before this nation.
You’re continuously evading the real question; the debate you refer to is not about European health care, it is about American health care. Stop obsessing about what you think we are doing wrong and focus on the real issue; despite spending twice as much of its GDP on health care as the European average, the USA still does not have equal access to good health care for all its citizens. This is not Europe’s fault, or Canada’s fault, and this is exactly why you need a debate, and need it to be objective and constructive. If America decides to forego universal health care, it’s no business of the rest of the world’s; but for pity’s sake, stop blaming us!
~Cecilie, exasperated Danish student.
October 24th, 2007 at 4:30 pm
No need to be exasperated, Cecilie. None of this is worth getting upset about.
The original question was about whether there is such a thing as a “right” to health care. My position is that no one can have a “right” to someone else’s labor or resources, and that is always the end product of mandatory universal health care.
October 26th, 2007 at 12:11 pm
This is the first time that an article on FreeMarketCure makes me cringe. Unbelievable. Your “reasoning” is:
1. The US has a gigantic, imperialist military, and they don’t.
2. Therefore they have more money to pay for health care.
3. Therefore we’re superior.
Do you not see the little flaw in this logic?