What’s Wrong with Government-Run Healthcare?

It’s very easy for a politician to stand
up before voters and say, “Health care is a right,” and then passionately advocate
for “single-payer” or “free health care” or “Medicare for All”—whatever term
they might use. But before we consider the merits of the government
managing your health care—and that’s what this all boils down to—maybe we should ask
a more basic question: What do we mean by “health care”? Because if you get sick—and here, we’re
talking major illness—or you’re in serious pain, you don’t just want health care; you
want quality health care. And where is your best chance of finding that? The answer is right here in America. For skilled doctors, cutting-edge medical
treatments, and care without long delays, no other country rivals the United States. Not even close. Nobody from Texas is going to Canada for medical
treatment. It’s almost always the other way around. Sure, our health care system has lots of issues—and
we should address them—but do we really want to upend all the advantages that we do
have and start from scratch? Because that’s what would have to happen
if we completely turn health care over to the government. So, let’s imagine we make the change. We hear a lot about how great free health
care would be, but it’s only fair we look at the downside. The first is that government-run healthcare
takes medical decisions away from patients —that means you—and puts them in the hands of
bureaucrats. They decide, for example, how many MRI machines
are going to be available, or under what conditions you can get back surgery or a bypass, or even
whether you qualify for cancer treatment. That’s how it works in the United Kingdom
under its single-payer system. Because it has finite resources, the National
Health Service, or NHS, sharply restricts access to treatments like hip and knee replacements,
cataract surgery, and even prescription drugs to deal with common conditions like arthritis
and diabetes. If you suffer from any of these ailments and
many others in the UK, you may just have to live with the pain. And let’s hope you don’t have a medical
emergency. In a January 2018 article in the New York
Times, patients in emergency rooms around London are described as having “to wait
12 hours before they are tended to. Corridors are jammed with beds carrying [the]
frail and elderly.” To deal with the situation, “hospitals [were]
ordered to postpone non-urgent surgeries until the end of the month.” That hardly seems like an improvement over
what we have in the US. A second big problem with single-payer systems
is that they are expensive—really expensive. A recent study by the Mercatus Center at George
Mason University found that a Bernie Sanders-style “Medicare-for-All” health system would
cost a tidy $32.6 trillion over ten years. That’s on top of what the federal government
spends on health care today. And this is not a new number. Other studies have found the cost to be roughly
in the same range. So, how would we pay for it? Kenneth Thorpe, a professor at Emory University
and health policy official in the Clinton Administration, spells it out: “If you are
going to go in this direction [Medicare-for-All]… the tax increases are going to be enormous.” Not just for the rich, Thorpe estimates, but
for working Americans and the poor, too. Charles Blahous, the author of the Mercatus
study, puts it this way: “Even a doubling of all projected individual and corporate
income taxes would be insufficient to finance these added federal costs.” And he considers that a conservative estimate. Canada knows all about exploding health care
costs. In Ontario, the country’s biggest province,
those costs took up 46% of its entire budget in 2010. By 2030, that number is projected to be 80%. In other words, in a few years, Ontario will
have little money to pay for anything except health care. Finally, and perhaps most importantly, government-run
systems depress the search for new cures. Biomedical research spending in the US far
outpaces that of any country with nationalized health care, even when you account for differences
in population or size of economies. That’s one reason medical breakthroughs
rarely come from countries where the government controls health care; they come from the United
States, where the government doesn’t. The lion’s share of biomedical research
and development spending in the US —over $70 billion in 2012—comes from the private
sector. Discovering new medical cures and technology
is a profitable business—and thank goodness it is. Those profits drive innovation. Take away the profits and you will surely
take away the innovation. Single-payer, free health care, Medicare-for-All:
they might sound great, but like all visions of utopia, they ultimately produce a lot more
harm than good. I’m Lanhee Chen, fellow at the Hoover Institution
at Stanford, for Prager University.

100 Replies to “What’s Wrong with Government-Run Healthcare?”

  1. The science and IT of USA are owned by Indians and Chinese (Steve Ballmer vs Satya Nadella). Why? To have University education in UK – it's very cool! You are cool man! But there are countries where all education is… free. So, there is successful Germany, there are a lot of Indians and Chinese, but not Japanese (because all education even school in Japan is expensive and not free) in US science and IT. I love USA people and culture (it's my personal position), but there is a serious problem: legacy of Great Britain Empire and their ideological/political system – it's totally out of date and it's not competitive. Even metric system 🙂 Guys, 21 century is today, education should be free, medicine should not be expensive like space projects. US citizens are treated, perform dental procedures in other countries!!


  3. First of all, the average study finds it to be 24 to 25 trillion dollars over ten years, and were spending 34 trillion every ten years now, increasing, so please save me that money.

  4. In the UK, our NHS is struggling to provide quality treatment because our government has imposed restrictions, not because it merely exists. Those politicians are only doing so in order to sabotage the NHS and boost private care for profit. In any case, I'd rather have slow treatment to my illness than none as a result of being too poor to afford it.

  5. While I agree that the market definitely makes healthcare better quality and more efficient, I do believe that we do see very heartbreaking events within the US's free markets. A lot of drug companies, motivated by profit, have taken advantage of the chronically ill, and when you want to be a profitable corporation, you view the human body- and soul for that matter- as a means to an end (profit and growth). Yes profit and growth a are wonderful things that can then help treat Americans even more, but often times it comes at our own expense. Just see any episode of American Greed or on the US;s opioid epidemic.

    These are not issues cooked up some guys meth lab, and they're not exclusive to veterans or the homeless. They're at every nook and cranny of America and often because of doctors seeking profits and drug companies willing to give kickbacks. Our system as it is needs to be looked at. I am not suggesting single payer, but I think there needs to be more accountability, and responsibility for patient health. Thanks

  6. Trying to explain the benefits of universal govt funded healthcare to a conservative American is like talking to a brick wall, such a shame! This neo con rubbish piece is part of the problem I’m guessing!

  7. Think about this: No one living in Western countries with universal healthcare campaigns for an American-style healthcare system.

    I wonder why

  8. In the U.K. and USA there is scarcity of healthcare, the difference is the NHS distributes care based on need and the US distribute it based on who can pay the most for it. You might have to wait 12 hours in an nhs hospital but you will be seen to, unlike the USA where you’ll never be seen to if you can’t afford

  9. Now seeing how much Canada spends I realize that so much money goes to doctors and nurses who are either doing their job or standing around waiting for a new situation. What Canadians could do is, if we got rid of government run hospitals in favour of private hospitals. The money we used to pay in taxes could be set aside to be used for when you do get injured.

  10. BS ! Do research people and see what lairs this PragerU is ! They are for the rich elite and their parasitic insurance companies ! The visions of Repubictards and Demoncatz is no medical care for the poor ! Yes many Americans have went to Canada when denied medical care here in the US. The waiting for hours in Britain hospitals is a down right lie ! People do your research and know the lairs for who they are!

  11. It would have been cheaper Not having ObamaScare / Unaffordable HealthScare Act (ACA) and just paying the premiums of plans for those who can Not afford it (i.e. the poor). healthcare costs sky-rocketed under the ACA.

    Congress exempted themselves and got the "Cadillac" plan and gave "We The People" the "Chevette" plan or the "Yugo" plan !

    "We The People" should have access to the politicians' doctors, surgeons, pharmacists, dentists; the regressive politicians s/ pay the bill !

  12. I wonder why all other western nations have universal health care? Maybe because it costs way less for the average person?

  13. Funnily enough, I know quite a few people who spent weeks in China to get surgery, because even though they would lose money from not working, and spending 2 weeks in China, it was cheaper than spending 20,000 in the U.S. It doesn't matter how good the healthcare is if you can't afford it.

  14. If you want to stand in line and take a number it's great, but if you want to be seen in a short time before you die it's great. The only thing that concerns me is taking good efficient healthcare away from seniors who are more likely to need it when their old. Of course we won't have all those doctors cheating the system to fraud Medicare out of millions of dollars, if there were caps on healthcare. Drug companies would have to lower drugs on medication, You would not have big pharmaceutical charging big bucks for medicine if there were caps and passing our pain meds like candy. Other countries would have to step up and pay for research instead letting United States citizens paying for it.

  15. I’m wondering why people claim to have drastically different personal experiences in the comments section? Is that because the quality of health services could vary greatly in the same country, or is that because people are making things up?

  16. A 12 hour ER wait? That would be amazing to have here in Los Angeles. The local hospital has a 24 wait. With people in hallways as well.

  17. 3:50 We're just gonna ignore the fact that most pharma companies don't spend any money on R&D anyway.

  18. The American solution to healthcare is simple: kick 40 million people off healthcare and hey presto you've got world class healthcare for the rest. I can't imagine why the rest of the world won't copy them.

  19. A few questions.

    How would price caps on drugs work?
    Are there any ways to make things less pricy, or is the Republican party just going to leave everything as is?
    Can I please see my bill before I have an operation?

  20. I Love the PregerU videos but this one is not entirely correct. Example, Cuba has government run health care. Cuba also administers an immunotherapy vaccine for stage 3 lung cancer. FYI immunotherapy is more advanced then chemotherapy in the cancer world. The real kicker is it cost the Cuban government approx 1 dollar per injection (they will charge foreigners about $800 for the treatment) for the Immunotherapy versus 150 thousand per year for 1 cancer patients chemotherapy. US pharmaceutical companies are studying this Cuba immunotherapy. The estimated cost of the drug is projected to be around 250 thousand per year by the time the US pharmaceutical companies bring there version to the US. Google Cuba's Immunotherapy for yourself. The biggest problem with our US health care system is the pharmaceutical companies and there crazy prices.

  21. I think the main fear in America about going to a free health-care system would be the impact on the poor. For well over a hundred or more years (i'm not looking it up, possibly since the US formed) America has not had free health care. Due to this sellers of EVERYTHING from food, land, homes, rent, clothes, cars, gas, and all the numerous products we use to survive and enjoy our lives on a daily bases cost alot more simply because the sellers know we HAVE more due to our lower tax rates. The massive increase in tax would lead to sweeping homelessness because the sellers who based their prices off the average income will not respond in time by lowering costs of living, or will not respond period because they won't be able to afford to without defaulting on all THEIR costs and debts. I think we may have been trapped into this stupidly expensive and blatantly evil but efficient health care system due to the rampant greed of the elites that we hide under phrases like "Just business" or "capitalism" or "Free Market". I am all for those things, and greed is necessary for innovation and urging people to work harder, but we allow it to go completely unchecked and it has trapped our country in the situation we find ourselves in today.

  22. Japan has Government-run healthcare – it is free at the point of use for the country's citizens, and there is a complete ban on providing healthcare for profit.

    The country's extremely advanced healthcare has been cited as a reason behind the country having one of the longest life expectancies in the world.

  23. PragerU, short for Prager University, is an American non-profit organization that creates videos on various political, economic and philosophical topics from a conservative or right-wing perspective.

    Just so your all aware that their is going to be a bias here

  24. To people who say “healthcare is a right”, rights are things the government protects, in order for healthcare to be a right, the government would have to provide it, therefore it’s not a right.

  25. A gross exaggeration of the NHS, it's much better that he says, of course it isn't perfect, but he's using scare tactics against it.

  26. Sooo
    The US has the best healthcare system in the world? Not true, not even in the top 10.
    Changing from America's current system to a government run version obviously doesn't mean that you would have to start from scratch.
    In the govt run healthcare some bureaucrats decide "how many MRI machines are available". In the current system do patients decide this? That's what this guy seems to suggest.
    Giving the decision of whether you need cancer treatment or not maybe should be left to medical experts and not to the patients.

  27. This video is subjective. The author acknowledge that there are flaws in the US healthcare system, but does not address them. The presentation is one sided and the conclusion is too. You have to consider the pro and cons of both system and weigh them before presenting a conclusion. If you do that then it is possible to present your own alternative.

    The downside of the current US healthcare system is very well show by a video of a nineties game theme hospital theme: a patient comes at the doctor, the doctor checks if the patient has insurance and discards the patient when he discovers that the patient has does not have insurance. Just search for "theme hospital commercial".

    Sure, giving every body health insurance comes with a cost and reducing the cost means that the can be waiting times or not all healthcare is governed, but that does not mean healthcare in the US is great because some US citizens are on the receiving end.

  28. I wonder what kind of studies did this, wallstreet or congress or Bureaucrats lol bull shit first off healthcare shouldn't be based on money.

  29. We don't need to travel overseas to experience treatment rationing and long wait times. The health insurance companies in America ALREADY do this to people who pay their exhorbitant premiums – rejecting patient claims (even with a doctor's statement of necessity!) or making you wait for "authorization". Everybody's afraid of single payer, but from what I and my friends and family have experienced it is private insurance companies THAT WE PAY MONTHLY who deny procedures that the doctor says are needed. So some paper-pusher across the country – not the doctor – is determining our treatment. And there are many stories just like ours. The government or insurance companies? Six and half a dozen. Who's worse?

  30. I live in Belgium, Europe. My health care is (almost) free and that's how it should be. I pay for it in taxes of course. If you're crying about health care being too expensive it simply means it's not important enough and your budget is spent on other things. Prager U is just the next conservative cult like the ones before. Lots of great videos but not all of them!

  31. even though my country is poorer than the US, i can defenitly tell you the health care here is a lot better because its governement run

  32. U sounds like from china speak english, not offence, I am a education and mental care graduate. I live in asia and europe and spend time in the state. I and my child injury before in asia, europe and america, the worst are asia and america when people are scare to ask for medical care when accident. That's very sad and cruel and immoral. I live and work in uk part time and free nhs make people mind happier and healthier. Workers also get paid. I don't get his point. u can't total exempt all free medical care in a country that will be disaster. +

  33. Are you kidding me? Even in Slovakia, we have state-guaranteed medical insurance, with contributions from both the employers and empoyees, both state owned and private hospitals, and it's working much better than in the US. In fact, the USA has one of the worst health care systems in the world. Non-affordable health care to many. I wish it was better. In Slovakia, we have state-regulated health care system and it's not perfect, but far better than in the US, as far as I know. You don't have to sell your house when you get cancer.
    I nevertheless wish all the best to the American health care providers and hope it will be better.

  34. But with private healthcare, there is a danger that unnecessary procedures may be performed to make a bigger profit. In the UK, Ian Paterson, a surgeon in the private sector, was convicted of multiple counts of wounding with intent after performing numerous unnecessary surgical procedures on some of his patients, most of whom were female. He was jailed for 15 years, but following a complaint to the Attorney-General's office that this was unduly lenient, the case was referred to the Court of Appeal, where his sentence was increased to 20 years.

    When you take profit out of the equation, there isn't such a high risk of this happening.

  35. If you don't know enough about economics, for example economies of scale, or understand that insurance is literally cost/risk sharing (i.e the bigger the insurance pool, the better), there is an easy way to find out if single payer is good practice.
    Step 1. Look at international comparisons in health care rankings.
    Step 2. Find the US in these rankings, and especially notice how single payer nations are ahead of the US.

  36. This video is lying…Medicare For All is not health care… its public insurance. No one is saying to start from scratch. Medicare is not anything like the United Kingdom. The government does most of the long term government research.
    Health care costs the same, the savings would be that we would not be giving insurance companies billions for super high multi million dollar salaries, no heath care dollars going to Wall Street and no private insurance nonsense like “pre-existing conditions” to block payments to your doctor or hospital. Savings from Medicare for all over private insurance is 17%.
    Vote for a Medicare For All option and give people a choice and let’s see which one wins… you like competition… let’s compete!

  37. Quality

    So lets see what we got you claim they have the best doctors and equipment and such in the USA? All you have to do is to do a quick google search on best quality healthcare and what you find is that the Americans clearly arent at the top. Why do you think they go from Canada to Texas? Because you got really good super expensive healthcare there in Texas. Normal people cannot afford this though and so the rich Canadians go there.

    I would rather have a democratic government decide those things than corporate dictators. That you have your corruption issues in America is a different issue though that I wouldn't mind you addressing.

    Bad access
    Yes underfinanced public healthcare does suffer from this. Or if it is poorly organized. And even then you might have to wait but atleast you don't go bankrupt and happen to be thrown out on the streets.

    Per capita costs are rather high in the US compared to other western countries. And what makes them different in terms of healthcare? all others use public healthcare systems. Then with the progressive income tax(even though I oppose it but that's not the focus of today) you get a lower cost for the average citizen but higher costs for the ones that can easily afford it. Yes it is true that you have to spend more and more on public healthcare but that is because people live longer and we have aging populations. Also because the population isn't decreasing and so on. Then you might have a poorly organized system which leads to further costs.

    Research and Innovation
    Heard of Cuba? Basically a third world country. It has been blockaded for years. Yet it is the country sending doctors all over the world to help out the sick. Yet it is one of the leading countries in terms of healthcare. Interesting how you have the profit motive in there. Is the cure for cancer profitable? Or is it more profitable keeping cancer to profit from those patients? I mean if you cure it you will have less patients. I think you see what corporations would choose.

    So is public healthcare worth it?
    I say yes. For the betterment of everyone's health, not only the ones who can afford private.

  38. Altough it is true that a lot of turist come to USA looking for Advance Techiques McKinsey and Co. revealed that on 2008 85000 medical tourist enter to USA BUT 750000 people went out of the countrie searching more accequible medical services and mayor and complex procedures. And is funny how you are comparing to Candada when Canada have a mayor life expenctacy

  39. Who the hell is concerned about GOVERNMENT HEALTHCARE? Everyone knows, private healthcare is less expensive and better!

  40. I like a lot of Prager U content but this is horse shit. Socialized medicine works well all over the western world and we can have it here. We burn trillions on war, bail outs, quantitative easing and the Pentagon cam lose 3 trillion dollars and no one bats an eye but we can't have socialized medicine? Come on. This is a tired right wing trope spewed often if not always by those with the means to have whatever health insurance they want so let's let your bias take a break here and be honest, we can have nationalized healthcare and we can do it well.

  41. Yes, I am perfectly confident in saying that my grandmother would have much rather sold her house her food and her car to be able to pay the cost to get healthcare for my grandfather's lung cancer, blood stroke, dementia and more on top of the physical therapy he got, rather than simply having to wait a while to get it for free, here in Australia under the triage healthcare system.

  42. This video seems to overlook the fact that in many countries if you can't get the treatment you need on public health care then there is still the option of going private if you can afford it. It's not ONLY public health care and nothing else. 🙄

  43. I am from the Czech Republic, and our public health care system is excellent. A lot of westerners come here for treatment. The fact that in the USA, you do not have public healthcare is the reason why I would never move to your country. I understand that to create such a system for a country with more than 300 000 000 people would be extremely difficult. Maybe even impossible. But an idea that cancer treatment could cost me everything I have and it still could not be enough is scary.

  44. So you expect us to just take you at your word? You have cited zero sources, making your arguments worthless.

    Sorry but only an idiot would actually believe something without evidence, and that’s what your loyal fans are, idiots.

  45. I know he’s insulting our healthcare system, but I’m just happy he acknowledged that Canada exists.

  46. NHS struggles to provide certain surgeries because the Conservatives are cutting the service as much as possible. The NHS isn't even single payer, it's a nationalized system. Medicare for All is similar to the way Scandinavian countries run their healthcare

  47. Denmark has "free" healthcare but we also created insulin and has one of the top research centers/companies in the world – Novo Nordisk. Universal healthcare doesn't stop innovation.

  48. The USA is not the only world leader in healthcare and everyone else has social medicine. Innovation is from quality people and is not based on how much money the treatments cost. As an example, if you want a hernia operation, you want to go to the Shouldice Centre in Toronto. If you have a bum knee, you want to go to Ireland…. What good is innovation anyway if not everyone has access? It's ok USA, you won't self-destruct because people have socialized medical.

  49. Wow, and here I thought satire was dead. Please keep making sketch-based comedy. You guys really know your stuff!

  50. I'm from the UK, half of what this guy said is wrong. We have private healthcare here too, on top of the NHS.

    Prescriptions are available on the NHS at a fraction of the cost, hospitals are not littered with beds and it does not take 12 hours to be seen. I have waited in A&E before for 3 hours, that was on a Friday night and the place was packed. My injuries were pretty minor, so I was not immediately seen.

    I had some xrays done, received painkillers and a prescription, a cast for my arm. And it cost me about £4.80, and that was for parking.

    The NHS is a fantastic system, it does have it's flaws I'll admit, but not nearly as many as the US system, where for some reason people will defend a rich pharmaceutical companies profits over the life of a poor person.

  51. Thanks I'll stay in a country that provides Universal / free healthcare I'm disabled I don't have the money for that oh and I don't know anybody that goes to America for healthcare stop lying to people and the reason why no one goes to Canada for healthcare is because it's only free if you're a citizen

  52. you americans need to recreate the system in EU countries like Spain, Italy etc (UK sucks)
    Its the greatest idea ever: Its like the one in US, but much much cheaper and sometimes even free.
    Like, wth do you pay taxes?

  53. This is not true, depending on which country you live in in Europe. but in general health care is certainly good if you compare it with USA. In the Netherlands, people with disabilities receive a large budget from the government to spend on health care whereby they themselves can choose to whom they spend it.

  54. Rand Paul went to Canada for Healthcare! https://www.politico.com/story/2019/01/14/rand-paul-canada-surgery-neighbor-attack-1099485

    The real reason people go to other countries for healthcare is to see a specific doctor, not because of the system. Rand went to Canada because they were the best for his condition. Same goes for people who come to America for care.

    This video is pure propaganda.

  55. Canada pays less than half of what America pays for healthcare and everyone is covered.


    A single payer system like Medicare for All is cheaper than our current system! Your 32+ trillion estimate is accurate, but you forgot to mention our current system is estimated higher at 37 trillion. Medicare would save us almost 5 trillion over 10 years!

    The real issue is about corporations profiting off the medical insurance system. It's easy money. They are just pushing paper for profit while millions go without care.

  56. https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Health_care_cost_rise.svg

    This shows the rise of health care costs and State spenditure in relation to GDP, compared with other countries.

  57. UK healthcare isn't free. It's deducted out of our wages every month and you pay according to what you earn. It's free at point of service but you still have to pay.

  58. I want one of you passionate supporters to tell me exactly how much it would cost to get universal healthcare with as much quality as we see today. And be honest

  59. If the government spent half as much money on healing Americans as it spends on bombing foreigners, that would probably help.

  60. This is just big pharma propaganda. He did not even mention how often big pharma pays for its politicians? He completely ignored this report which said that the cost of Bernie Sanders suggested healthcare is higher if it is business as usual. What a terrible comparison to other countries. Watch any other system that actually shows you some data and see for yoruself: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tNla9nyRMmQ

  61. What utter bull shit. NHS is a free but you can pay for private healthcare. To say we don’t treat diabetes is utter bollocks

  62. No other country is better 😂😂😂 Insulin is 300 fold the price it is in canada and in cuba the government created a vaccine for lung cancer funny thing is the pharmaceutical company's probably made it but won't release it becuase it wouldn't be profitable

  63. I live in a socialized medicine country… Scream from the rooftops and do anything you can not to let this happen!! Its terrible!
    Do you really want the government in charge of your heath? Believe me you don't!

  64. Universal healthcare doesn't work. Just look at the difference between American teeth and British teeth. It just doesn't work.

  65. I am British and can confirm the NHS is far from perfect indeed a lot of people have private healthcare as well. But what people in U.K. Including myself, can't get our heads round is how a child in the US with cancer could be refused treatment when they don't have insurance????? I don't think any country has answer and I agree that the answer doesn't lie completely with the state.

  66. Ok. Now compare the health care to Sweden instead of the UK. Oh wait, you can't, because you picked the country with the worst medicare for all system. Seriously, I'm from London and I have lived in other parts of Europe too. The UK is lagging behind other countries like Switzerland or Sweden or even Germany. Does anyone see how Prageru is brainwashing people here. They're basically comparing a bear to a cat when they could be comparing a bear to a lion. They're comparing the US to the UK when they could be comparing the US to Denmark for instance. Don't let this video fool you

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