What are the Benefits of Socialized Health Care?

Malcolm Tatum
Malcolm Tatum

While there is an ongoing debate on the application of socialized health care versus that of private health care, there is no question that a socialist approach to providing health care for everyone is attractive to many people and has a number of benefits. One of the most often cited benefits is that the program is available for all people, regardless of social or economic standing. This type of universal health care appears to lessen the chance that a person with no health insurance will choose to not seek health care in the event of an illness. One of the underlying principles of socialized health care is that every citizen of a given country has an inherent human right to receive at least a minimal standard of medical attention.

For poor people, socialized health care eliminates the need to decide between medical care and food or rent.
For poor people, socialized health care eliminates the need to decide between medical care and food or rent.

Proponents often point to the vast numbers of uninsured citizens in countries where private health care is the norm. The question is sometimes asked about what happens to those who are temporarily out of work or otherwise have to decide whether to seek a medical professional’s care or use their funds to buy food or pay rent. With a program of socialized health care, those types of choices do not have to be made, except in extreme cases.

Socialized health care can help keep down the out-of-pocket cost of medicine.
Socialized health care can help keep down the out-of-pocket cost of medicine.

Socialized health care is also often seen as a means of keeping down the overall costs for providing medical care within a given country. Since countries that operate with a public health care system rather than a state-sponsored health care strategy tend to spend a higher percentage of their gross national profit on health care, the conclusion is that the free market system encourages the increase spending on such items as administrative costs. This in turn translates into higher insurance premiums and higher costs for out of pocket expenses for medication after the insurance deductible is met. With socialized health care, the amount of funds used for administrative purposes is kept within proscribed limits, thus keeping the cost of providing health care within acceptable limits.

No one can be denied treatment under socialized health care.
No one can be denied treatment under socialized health care.

It should be noted that not all current socialized health care programs function exactly the same. As an example, there are differences in the system employed in Canada when compared to that in use within the United Kingdom. In the end, consumers are in the best position to determine whether a public health care system is superior to a socialized plan, or vice versa.

Not all current socialized health care programs function the same.
Not all current socialized health care programs function the same.
Socialized health insurance provides coverage for all people, regardless of social or economic standing.
Socialized health insurance provides coverage for all people, regardless of social or economic standing.
Malcolm Tatum
Malcolm Tatum

After many years in the teleconferencing industry, Michael decided to embrace his passion for trivia, research, and writing by becoming a full-time freelance writer. Since then, he has contributed articles to a variety of print and online publications, including wiseGEEK, and his work has also appeared in poetry collections, devotional anthologies, and several newspapers. Malcolm’s other interests include collecting vinyl records, minor league baseball, and cycling.

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Discussion Comments


The sooner people start thinking as a society rather than individuals living together, the sooner America will be a decent place to live.


The single biggest cause of individual bankruptcy in the US is healthcare costs. Americans have been duped by the insurance industry. Keep paying your ridiculously high insurance while the rest of the world laughs at your stupid system.


Yeah, socialized medicine is great. The cancer deaths are twice as high, although the rates of occurrence are the same as in the US. Why? Quality of care! Hope you don't need anything serious and have to wait for months for your free care and then die waiting like many do--including my personal friend! So please do not tell me this is not reality. Anyone can get care in the states, you just may owe for it.

Hmmmm: exceptional care and owe, or substandard free care. If you want your healthcare to be like a trip to the DMV, go for it. I wonder what the odds are that your mother, father, baby, wife or husband never need care?

If you're willing to risk that for yourself and the rest of us, don't you dare complain when you need good care and not just some nameless face. It can't be undone. Educate yourself!


Health care is the one endeavor of humankind that absolutely should not be part of a Capitalistic system. I say this because health care is fundamentally different than any other seller-buyer relationship. If you think a product is too expensive or a service provider is making an obscene profit, you could choose not to use their services or buy their product. In health care, if you get sick, you will pay for health care, whatever the cost. The entire industry, from the doctors, nurses, insurance companies, drug companies, etc. all take advantage of this fact and do make large profits. Extra competition does help slightly to lower insurance costs, but it is the profit levels and the corporate need for ever higher profits which drive up the providers' charges.

The comment was made here that someone was tired of paying for services by freeloaders who don't work.

Besides being heartless, that's not even an intelligent argument for the simple fact that under a private system, you are paying for them right now anyway. Why do you think a doctor's bedside visit in the hospital which lasts five minutes will cost you 200 dollars? You are having to pay for somebody who came in through the emergency room and got admitted to the hospital with no insurance. Unless you are willing to say that anybody with no insurance should only be treated with cash on day of service, then all of us with insurance are paying for others right now.

At least in true socialized medicine, the costs can be kept lower because the desire for large profits could be kept out of the equation.

So in our present free market system, think about who is actually paying the next time you see some drug commercial on TV every twenty minutes.

And by the way, I work in health care and under a true socialized system, I realize that my pay might be reduced, but given what I've seen of the system we have now, it would be worth it to change.


Taxing people for other people's health care is worse than the holocaust!


@anon175859: That is so out of the ball park! How would the government making your health care choices be different than an insurance company making your medical choices? You still get denials, pre-existing conditions, certain procedures not covered with your plan, blah, blah, blah.

Insurance companies are in this to make money, not spend it! And listen, as an agent myself, I am talking myself out of a job, but it is much better for the people. Universal health care is not in the "business" to make money, so there are no denials, no giant bills in the mail box!

Break a bone, it's covered! Cancer, covered! Giving birth, covered! Under the current system you can expect this: Break a bone. Insurance carrier: "well, on your application, you did not tell us about the bee sting that you were treated for 26 years ago when you were 12, so we cannot cover you for this procedure." That's a bunch of crap! People die every single day because of capitalistic insurance carriers!

Oh, and then if you feel that your health care is not the right fit for you and you need more coverage, you have to pay more money, and may still get the same "denial". And what about the people who can't afford "more"? I don't mind capitalism at all, so don't get me wrong, but it has no place in the medical field! Making profit off of people's lives is just wrong!

A universal health care system is proven to lower costs, in every respect, and increase life expectancy! How the heck can you argue with that? Saying the insurance companies making your health care choices is better than the government, ha. You're just a dollar sign to an insurance company. As for the government, losing you is losing income. You're worth more to the government alive, than dead. Read some facts!


The government isn't efficient it's shown that throughout history. Would you rather have a few bureaucratic control and tell you what health care system is best fir you? Or would you rather choose which system is best for you? The government, by instilling universal health care, is saying that they understand your needs better than you do. Seriously, how can anyone give over their freedom of choice in anything, especially health care, to a bunch of regulators and rulemakers? This is the Land of Opportunity, so give the people the opportunity to choose for themselves.


Socialized health care will save Americans money. Old people (55+) are going to die anyhow, so why pay money to keep them alive. We won't need to spend billions of dollars on health care for prisoners anymore, and no need to spend money on non-U.S. citizens, no need to spend money on smokers or drug users.

The IRS will do a good job at regulating the health care payments and premiums. We must have socialized medicine in order to progress into a new United Socialist country.


For those who are against socializing health care, what do you suggest?

Keep in mind we currently pay high insurance rates that are subject to increase in the future. The elderly already wait too long to receive treatment for illnesses.

Bottom line, what you want to avoid is already happening. So if socializing health care is not the answer, what is? A rebuttal is useless without a resolution.


Coming from a canadian stand point, it's unfortunate to see people who work really hard their whole lives to earn their money and yet not be able to use it to purchase immediate needed life saving care. Instead, you wait five months for the results of a MRI that could be potentially life threatening.

It is not freedom if you cannot choose to spend your money on what you see fit, especially if that something is the type of care to save your own life.

There is no perfect system; both have their faults. The only answer is to find something somewhere in the middle. Our socialized health care is far from perfect.


I completely agree with anon72494. if Obama helps thousands of Americans stay alive, he will be just as bad as a man who killed millions of Jews and started a world war, good for pointing that out.


anon25343, how many guns have you looked down the barrel after all of the taxes you've paid or refused to pay?

Socialized health care is more efficient economically and is by far the moral choice. How can our well being be in the hands of stock options and quarterly statements? it's a disgusting system. Everyone talks as if socializing health care is a new idea or that's it's less efficient.

America is the only industrialized country that doesn't have it, and it is also dead last in all health outcomes compared to any other industrialized country and by far spends the most per capita.

Obama's plan only cost $800 billion, while we spent $2.3 trillion in 2008 with the current system. Why would anyone think that they would be in worse hands in a socialized system? We are statistically already in the worst hands.

The health care debate is divided between two kinds of people: those who have not studied and are against a public option, and those who have looked at the stats and are in support of a public option.

And hey anon66048, what leeches are you referring to? Over three-fourths of people without health insurance are full time workers who were privileged to be born into middle class little christian bubbles that most of the opposition to a public option was born into.


If Obama thinks that he can force this upon us against the will of the citizens, then he is nothing short of another Hitler.


66048: Yeah like me. a person who is 22, in college, who has worked constantly for six years and can't afford health insurance. Yeah, I think i have a human right to get some sort of help. I get it for college, why not my life?


Socialized health care. The dream of free health care for all is just that -- a dream. What it comes down to is this, you will have to wait longer to get treated, the quality of care will go down, and it would appear that people like my parents(the elderly) will be put at the back of the line.

How is this good for anybody?

Oh yeah, this is good for the people who choose not to work, the lazy Americans. These leeches on the American tax payers will benefit, since many of them don't pay taxes to begin with.

I am tired of working so they don't have to.

This applies to all countries who currently have socialized health care and those that don't.

Obama, learn from others' mistakes.


to anon39759: respectfully, the problem is not there is not enough of you to go around, it is the governing of the industry.

Have you ever stopped to think about why there are not more doctors? There are caps on how many are educated each year. This is not our government working for us. What dream world do you live in? This is purely about control of an industry and regulations forced on us by people who only push pencils prohibit true reform.

Get the burdensome regulations out of the way and then you will see true freedom.

Socialized health care is something we should never jump, wade, or tiptoe into because it shackles people. I'm tired of slavery. You relinquish your freedom for ease or safety, you deserve the collar.


Just to reiterate, what anon39759 commented. "Of course socialized healthcare will be funded through taxation. However it is not provided by the government."


How did we as humans handle health care before the almighty savior of government showed us how? Oh yeah, we had to rely on those crazy Christians for their mercy and compassion. They just wanted to help their fellow man. Oh, that's right, we are supposed to hate those who want to help. Unless it is a tyrannical institution that has no authority to even consider such an endeavor. Reminds me of a book quote, "if you can control a thing, you can destroy a thing." Careful what you wish for, you just may not get it. Anyone who relies on the government for a hand out should remember that the relief comes with strings. Don't be a slave again.


Of course socialized healthcare will be funded through taxation, however it is not provided by the government, but by the governed. Our government works for us, and as our health depletes it is time we make a drastic change. Mutual-aid societies do not work has well as you think and it is not available to everyone. Medicine is my life but I have no life because so many people can't afford to see me. Socialized healthcare isn't something we can jump into overnight like a new outfit, but a subtle and gradual process is more agreeable. Private healthcare isn't working and not too many people are head over heels for socializing, but if the private were to be socialized, then we can bring in complete socialized healthcare over time. Think of it as a hybrid if you will. Wouldn't you like to get medical attention for free, theoretically of course.


The problem with socialized healthcare is that it is provided by government and thus funded through taxation. Taxation is inseparable from violence (or the threat thereof); how else are tax payments enforced? If someone refuses to pay taxes, they will eventually end up staring down the barrel of a government gun. So, ethically, we must reject government provided socialized healthcare. That's not to say that we couldn't have voluntary socialized healthcare, in fact it has historically been done successfully on a large scale through mutual-aid societies.

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