What countries have free health care for everyone?

@mentalward (14716)
United States
May 26, 2008 4:25pm CST
I was in another post and talking about who has or doesn't have health insurance. That got me to thinking about which countries actually supply health care for free. I know of a few, but I'd love to hear about as many as possible that provide free healthcare. We are suffering so badly in the United States due to health insurance issues. I would love to see a major reform in our health care system. Please let me know if your country has a better system than ours.
1 person likes this
17 responses
@Savvynlady (3686)
• United States
20 Jul 08
Just so you know, I feel as strongly as you on health care here in the US because we are suffering. Thank God, if worse comes to worse, I can get to the VA. So far God has been good to me to keep my health up and I am grateful to him on that regard.
1 person likes this
• United States
20 Jul 08
And don't feel sorry for venting about these insurance companies. SHoot, I was paying on car insurance until recently, and I stopped and they said they gonna report me to the DMV. Go ahead, I ain't riding nothing but the bus and because I have no transmission, and I'm tired of the b.s. So I'm not mad at you for venting one bit Mentalward, I feel you 100% and then some in this situation.
1 person likes this
@Cannonball (3639)
• France
6 Jun 08
I watched last Michael Moore documentary "Sickos" and they mention about my country health care insurance and I guess its one fo the best in the world. He also make a stop by Cuba which seems to have a good one too.
1 person likes this
@mentalward (14716)
• United States
20 Jul 08
Yes, I saw that, too. If France can offer such wonderful benefits, why can't the U.S.??? Greed, that's why. Our government doesn't care about it's citizens. It only cares about the money it's citizens can give to it. We aren't bad people, you know. It's our government that is so corrupted and egotistical. We literally have no say in what goes on in our government. They make us think that, by voting, we can change things. But voting only replaces one liar with another. I despise our government! (Is there room for 2 more in France?) I couldn't believe what the medications cost in Cuba, either! I know that, personally, my medications would cost over $500.00 a month without my insurance and I pay about $200.00 a month with the insurance. But, what if I didn't have that $200.00? Most people can't afford even that. AND, we're paying monthly insurance premiums on top of that. We get our insurance through my husband's company, but he's about to become independent (we just incorporated his business) and we'll have to pay the full insurance premium for health care, which is almost $600.00 a month!!! In Cuba, I doubt we would have to pay more than $20.00 a month for my medications. Cuba can do it, why not the United States??? Greed, pure and simple. The insurance companies pay our government huge amounts of money "under the table" so our government will not put a cap on their profits. It's all a big game to them, while human lives are at stake. It's despicable! Thanks for your input!
@uklizzie (52)
13 Jun 08
In UK everyone gets free health care. There is free dentistry, optical care, doctors and hospitals. It is funded by national health insurance which is taken off everyone's salary along with taxes. We pay for medications but anyone with no money can get these free.
• United States
27 May 08
I think Canada has free health insurance, but I'm not totally sure about that. It would be interesting to hear from some Canadians about that. I don't know about other countries. I've been to France and I think they pay for their health care. :)
@bonbon664 (3480)
• Canada
27 May 08
I live in Canada, and yes the healthcare is free, but, as pointed out by another poster, we do have to pay very high taxes.
@lvaldean (1613)
• United States
27 May 08
No country in the world has free health care. None. It is paid for in some manner by someone. Usually by higher taxes. Do not be mistaken. Do not be fooled by the rhetoric. There is no FREE in Free Healthcare. Someone is paying for it. Some examples of this are as follows: Canada: Federal for individuals is 15-29% (income based) Provincial for individuals are an additional 10-24% GST (Goods and Services) is 5% HST (Harmonized Sales Tax) is 13% So that means that at the high end of the bracket you would pay 53% in income taxes in addition to GST and HST on your purchases. Great Britian Federal for individuals 10-40% (income based with some deductions VAT (Value Added Tax on Goods and Services) 17.5% Sweden Federal for individuals 0-56% (income based) VAT (Value Added Tax on Goods and Services) 25% For anyone that thinks letting the government take over their healthcare is a good thing read the following about Sweden. www.nationalcenter.ort/NPA555_Sweden_Health_Care.html Sources: www.worldwide-tax.com
@mentalward (14716)
• United States
27 May 08
Why is it, then, that I hear such wonderful things from ordinary citizens from these countries? I know that we would have to pay higher taxes for the health care. We're doing that now for Medical Assistance (for the very poor). Why not do it for the rest of us? I would much rather have a little less money in the bank than to watch someone die because they did not get health care because they did not have health insurance because they could not afford it. The only ones complaining about health care reform in the United States seem to be doctors and insurance companies. But even the doctors in some of these countries with "free" healthcare are not complaining. It's the doctors who want more, more, and even more... the greedy ones. I know there are huge payoffs to politicians to stop healthcare reform. While Bill Clinton was president, his wife, Hillary, was working for healthcare reform. She received a tremendous sum of money to "keep her mouth shut" about healthcare reform. Yes, she took it. It is the greedy people of this country who do not want to see healthcare reform, and it makes me sick! People are DYING because they cannot afford health care. Doesn't that mean anything at all to you? What do you propose for THEM?
@lvaldean (1613)
• United States
27 May 08
I am neither hard nor am I callous. However, I am also unwilling to pay ever increasing taxes. We are a free market nation not a Socialist nation. Already as a nation we provide health care to the indigent, health care to children, health care to pregnant and nursing mothers, health care to illegal immigrants, health care to the elderly. All of this is on the dime of the taxpayer. I am not happy with the cost of private insurance. I am not happy with the idea that if I lose my job I lose my insurance, scares the hades out of me since I have pre-existing disabilities which make it hard and costly for me to get private insurance. I don't love my insurance premiums through my employer ($395 per month for my husband and I). I don't love our deductibles at $1,500 per year or our co-pays at $25 per visit. But I will take them if it avoids nationalized health care. I am not saying that basic care should not be provided. It should, emergency care should be provided to those that need it. What I am saying is that there must be a limit and the taxpayer should not be held liable for all of it. Health care supplemental plans that are affordable and accessible should be provided as well. Expand Medicaid to include others but collect premiums on a sliding scale and charge co-pays on a sliding scale. I am fine with this type of plan. Make Health Insurance mandatory for children under 18. Punish a parent who doesn't insure their child. All for that. But don't force an adult to obtain insurance, it remains a free country and those that wish to take that risk should be allowed to do so. If they end up in a catostrophic situation it is of their making. What I am saying is, do not under any circumstance Nationalize health care itself. This is the road to failure of our systems and our nation. The plans that are put forth will take us ever more in debt, they will diminish the care and services that doctors can provide, and send costs sky rocketing. Have you looked at the plans? Like I said nothing is free. The one thing I desire is to live in a country that continues to respect the words and values of the Declaration of Independence, the Rules and Laws established by the US Constitution and the Bill of Rights. I want this to remain a free country. Do not infantilize citizens, they already rely to much upon government rules and handouts. At some point we must remember our roots. We must stop robbing those that are willing to work to provide for those that are not. We must stop pointing the finger and calling others greedy simply because they have more. I don't deny there is profit taking across many industries, including healthcare. However, the answer is not to regulate profit the answer is to enable choice in a free market.
• Brunei Darussalam
6 Jun 08
Yes, there is a country doing a free health care for its citizen, Brunei Darussalam, a small yet not widely known country where i live in..the government in Brunei has been so lenient on the public, we dont even have to pay taxes for this.. From my experience, for dental procedure, i only had to pay $1 dollar for it, which is about £0.40..and there's also prescription where you can get for free..
@p1kef1sh (45648)
26 May 08
We have free access to medical care at the point of delivery. It is paid by contributions that we make on our salaries as a percentage of gross pay. Those people in employment have to pay a set charge for prescription medicines in addition, although there is a "season ticket" system at lower cost for those in need of continuing meds. No British citizen (or European Union citizen) is refused treatment, but we have a "Postcode Lottery" in respect of what medicines a Local Health Authority is prepared to pay for. That way you have people literally on one side of the street receiving treatment at a higher standard than people with the same diseases etc on the other. This causes huge dissatisfaction across the country. Dental care is available, but many dentists won't take State funded patients, preferring the more lucrative work that private practice brings. Spectacles and routine eye tests are provided through private opticians, usually connected to a retail outlet. The cost of the eye test is often waived if spectacles are purchased from the store. The whole lot is named "The National Health Service" and whilst it has serious failings, no citizen can be turned away. I often read awful stories on myLot about lack of insurance etc - it concerns me greatly that the most developed and powerful nation in the World, struggles to provide even basic medical cover for some of its poorest citizens.
@mentalward (14716)
• United States
26 May 08
Thank you so much for a great response! In the States, we have HR 676 (House of Representatives Bill 676, Health reform) which we need desperately to get passed. Many, many people are talking about it and the word is getting out to our elected officials that we want it NOW. It boggles the mind why this country cannot or will not get help to it's citizens. Our government is trying to convince everyone that health care in countries such as yours will never work and isn't worth even trying. That's why I'm trying to see how health care is in other countries from the citizens of those countries, and not just listen to what our government is telling us (lying to us about). Thank you for your honest assessment of your health care. Every little bit helps my mission.
• United States
26 May 08
Well I am in the United States we live in Massachusetts, in our state it is mandatory to have health care coverage, if you do not have it you are fined alot of money. Before filing taxes you have to prove that you have it. If your company offers health care you have to get it no matter what the cost is. If it does not then they have a state run program which is very affordable for people with a low income. I honestly think that this was the best thing that Romney did while he was in office. I work for a very good company and I pay 75 a week for bcbs which has excellent benefits. Oh and that includes dental and that is the family rate. We also have a program that no child is left behind if they need thier shots or physical they can not be turned away if they havent gotten health insurance yet.
@mentalward (14716)
• United States
26 May 08
It sounds like Massachusetts is in the running for the best health care in the U.S.! We, too, have health insurance for infants and children. Social Services Medical Assistance. But once that child is of school age, they are no longer eligible, and this is a time when health insurance is needed most with all the contagious illnesses that pass between school-aged children. Health insurance is not mandatory here. I suppose that's a good thing, since so many people are forced to take jobs that pay minimum wage ($5.65 an hour now [BEFORE taxes], I believe. I may be wrong). There is no way in the world they could afford $75.00 a month for health insurance, especially when children are involved. There are so many people who "fall between the lines", economically speaking. They are not poor enough for government assistance (which is hard enough in itself to get!) but cannot afford medical insurance. This country so desperately needs health reform. Why can't our "big and powerful" government see that?
@yona06 (585)
• Indonesia
27 May 08
definitely not in my parts. we don't even have free education... darn government. If there is anything here for free it would be of absolutely poor quality, it may not even have any quality at all
@mentalward (14716)
• United States
27 May 08
In which country are you living?
@yona06 (585)
• Indonesia
28 May 08
I live in Indonesia, and I hope things get better here soon. Sometimes I feel our government never knows what they're doing.
@mentalward (14716)
• United States
28 May 08
Welcome to the "Our Government Doesn't Have a Clue Club". It boggles the mind trying to understand how our government's got so bad when the leaders are supposed to be so intelligent!
@mmiller26 (1932)
• Canada
26 May 08
I was born in the United States and lived there til I married my husband, who is Canadian. A few years back we moved to the States briefly to be closer to my family since they were having some issues. In the States, I had a part-time job and couldn't afford health care, and since I wasn't full-time I wasn't eligible through my work. When my son got really ill with pneumonia and had to be hospitalized for a week in an oxygen tent, it cost me thousands that I had an extremely hard time paying back at only $7 per hour. Here in Canada, our taxes pay for our health care. I delivered my son here and didn't have to pay for any of it. If I get sick, they swipe my health card and I never see a bill. The only things I have to pay for are prescriptions. Is the system perfect? Of course not. There are people who take advantage of the system and abuse it by going to the emergency room for non-emergency issues. There are long wait times for some tests or appointments or surgeries. But considering the alternative, I'd much rather be here in Canada where at least I know I won't lose my house if I get sick. At least I won't have to decide between paying the bill and buying groceries. Americans are conditioned to the idea of little or no taxes. But in order for a universal health care system to work, they must pay taxes. I think the US could take a look at Canada's health care system and find a way to improve on it, if they so desired. But the insurance companies might stand in the way of that.
@mmiller26 (1932)
• Canada
26 May 08
I understand where you're coming from. It makes me sick that some guy in a cubicle gets to determine whether or not something is necessary for your health.
@mmiller26 (1932)
• Canada
27 May 08
I'll put this another way. My husband is a sick man. He's got a lot wrong with him, and as a result he has to have a lot of experimental surgeries and travel across the province to different hospitals. He has to take a lot of medication. He has an InterStim unit in his spine (like a TENS machine) that helps him regulate his pain. He had to have Botox injections last year in his prostate. There are a number of things he's had done in the last several years that would have cost us tens of thousands of dollars were it not for Canada's health care system. We're reimbursed for travel expenses to these different hospitals. We paid nothing for the InterStim. The device itself is usually over $10,000. He's in Toronto today for an ECG and he'll be back in July to find out of the nodule he's got on his thyroid is cancerous. All of these things would put us far into debt if we had to pay them out of pocket. My husband would be a writhing mass of agony were it not for the InterStim. We'd likely have to sell everything we owned. Even if we had to pay the deductible we wouldn't be able to make ends meet because of all the various things he needs to have done monthly. Yes, our taxes pay for these. Our taxes are high (although Canada actually beat the US this year in terms of countries that pay highest taxes--Canada was ranked at 99 out of 178; the US ranked at 102.), but they go to health care, public education, roads, police and firefighter services, social services, etc. Canada doesn't tax on gambling winnings or inheritances. Our people are incredibly well taken care of. Our government is not in debt and has shown a surplus for many years. Maybe the difference is we don't spend $696 million per year in military spending. The government actually takes care of people who cannot help themselves; the sick, elderly, crippled, orphans, widows , etc. Our social service system isn't just there for "bums who don't want to work." And the government helps people get by instead of just giving them food stamps (which as rapper Eminem says "don't buy diapers"). People on disability get access to health care, cheaper prescriptions, eye glasses, dental care, etc. I feel like the government has the best interests of the people in mind, whereas the US government has an "everyone for themselves" mentality.
@chechuva (1277)
• Philippines
6 Jun 08
here in Philippines, there are certain places that provides free health care services. like in Makati. if you are a resident of Makati, for woman who are giving birth they'll receive free off charges for delivering. there are also some health centers in every small community that offers vaccines and check ups. but sadly there are health care centers that ask for money on their patients. and there are hospitals that over charge patients.
@mentalward (14716)
• United States
6 Jun 08
We used to have free clinics here in the States, but I haven't heard of any for many years now. Some of them used to charge a 'sliding scale' according to how much money you made. I think that would be ideal, and fair, for everyone. But they are gone now. It's so sad that so many people aren't getting the medical care they need because they can't afford it.
• United States
20 Jul 08
When I lived in the Bronx as a child, they had a clinic you could go to and they provided some good care to people.They even had home health nurses come out to the elderly and check on them. that was a real good place. Down here in the Mobile area they have a similar clinic(s) that provide care to those who can't afford to go to HMO or what have you. I think it's a good thing because the people need it. I have even used it until now I go to the VA for anything I need. I do have an eye appointment with them first of next month.
@venticius (156)
• United States
3 Jun 08
Most countries have socialized systems, some are good and some are bad. It depends who you ask.
@mentalward (14716)
• United States
4 Jun 08
Yes, that is very true. But this country, the U.S., is supposed to be the most powerful country in the world. It should be setting an example for the rest of the world if it wants to retain that title. I don't see why our leaders cannot come up with a plan that takes the best parts of all health care systems in the world in order to provide for it's citizens. This country does very little for it's citizens, actually. I realize that I would have to pay more in taxes, but if I can get health care into the hands of people who cannot afford it and desperately need it, I will be able to look at myself in a mirror and like who I see.
• United States
6 Jun 08
I agree, I think everyone should have healthcare, but I don't trust the government to directly supply it. South Carolina senator Jim Demint said something along the lines of--Why would we trust a government to supply healthcare when it fails at roads, education, and most other function?-- I believe everyone need H.C., but I still think there needs to be a middle man and competition.
@cdteja (9)
• India
27 May 08
nothing is free in this world... but may be the rich coun tries may provide free treatment but the middle class countries like india,srilanka and most of thr asian countries may not provide free treatment but the rich countries like usa,uk,london,britain,england etc may provide free treatment as they are the rich countries
@mentalward (14716)
• United States
27 May 08
You can take the USA off that list. Our government doesn't give anything free. It does supply infants and children of very poor parents free health care. By "free" I mean that our income tax dollars pay for this health care. That's okay with me; I just wish they would do the same for every person in the country. I wouldn't mind paying more in taxes for this. I think a sliding scale method of paying for health care would be ideal. What you earn determines how much you pay. We pay so much for health insurance (those of us "lucky" enough to have it) and then have to pay extra for each medication, dental and vision. It would cost my husband and myself around $500 to $600 a month just to have health insurance if we did not get it through his employer, and he's about to quit working for his employer and become self-employed because of the gas prices. Then I have to pay around $200 a month for medications the I need. Our insurance does not cover vision or dental. We pay full price for those (about $100 just to have a dentist LOOK at your teeth). It can be well over $1,000 to fix most problems). This is why we have such a crisis here. We can do this because my husband makes enough money to pay for these things. But we have nothing saved in the bank. The people who make less than we do, and there are millions of them, cannot even afford the health insurance!
• United States
20 Jul 08
Rorie, I'm with you on that.
@anawar (2406)
• United States
3 Jun 08
mental_ I read all of these posts. I was wondering what you're doing to facilitate a better insurance progam for America, and is there anything I can do to help?
@alienstar (5124)
• India
3 Jun 08
I though UNited States provide free health insurance and i think maybe only for old people around isn't it? then moreover, countries which provide free health insurance may also charge high income tax unlike other countries which don't ahev this fcaility isnt it? eaither way, it looks same...dont you think so?
@mikeysmom (2095)
• United States
27 May 08
i agree that we need major reform in health care in this country but i doubt we will get it much to my chagrin. we have too many illegal aliens in this country feeding off of our social services and it is affecting all of us negatively. if we do get healthcare reform it will not be free in my opinion but i think they will use a sliding scale for monthly premiums much like nj family care now uses, which i think would be better than nothing. if everyone is made to pay something it may make them much more likely to be responsible and work. if you do not work you should not be eligible.
@mentalward (14716)
• United States
27 May 08
The illegal aliens in this country, in my opinion, should be made to show proof of birth, residence, and a photo I.D. Almost everywhere else you have to show these things, even us legal residents. If they are working with someone elses I.D., that means that they are paying taxes. I believe that, if our taxes are raised to pay for the health care, even the illegal aliens would be paying for any health care they receive. This works in other countries. If you earn under a set amount of money, you pay nothing. If you earn over that set amount, you must pay a certain amount for prescriptions, eye care and dental. That makes sense to me, although a sliding scale would be more appropriate. I'd hate to be earning $1.00 over the limit for the free benefits. I used to do dictation for workers' compensation cases. I cannot believe the number of illegal aliens, PROVEN illegal aliens, who file a WC case which actually goes to court! These cases shouldn't even be considered! The illegal aliens should be deported back to their own countries right away. Our government is so messed up it's scary.
@heleni0 (323)
27 May 08
Here in the UK health care is free. A lot of people complain about the NHS but I think we have it pretty good here, it could be an awful lot worse. If you make a certain amount of money per year then you do have to pay for any medication prescribed to you, but my mother, grandmother and I are all on long-term medication and we don't have to pay a single penny for it.
• India
3 Jun 08
We do not have a free health system in India. Although the Indian Government tried to implement that, it was misused and due to the large population of India, the costs weren't feasible to support it. Although it is still in process in some villages where the use of such a thing is done in a better manner. bourne PS : Watch this documentary called Sicko, by Michael Moore. Throws light on the health care scenarios on Different countries. Worth Watching.
@ak2008 (63)
• India
30 May 08
In India, about 50% population is not sure of one full meal a day. Government has just not done anything for it. Just 2% people have heard about health insurance and very few have a policy. This is not affordable also for many and getting a claim is worse than suffering from a disease. I do not know about other countries but the issue of health is JUST no issue for the government, what to say about its being a fundamental right.