I wanted to reply to your comment with a comment but I found myself writing an essay. Please forgive me if the below looks like a rant!
Although I can understand that a lot of Americans think I’m crazy to say that the national health service is a good thing, please see it from my view. Since 2005 I have had five laparoscopic surgeries and a multitude of trips to various doctors for problems relating to my existing conditions and otherwise. I truly believe that, had I remained living in the US I would not have received such good health care treatment because 1) I would be constantly worried about the cost of visiting the doctor and therefore wouldn’t go as often as I ought; 2) I would constantly be worried about the cost of prescriptions and would have to choose which medicines to take – not on a basis of need but on a basis of what I can afford; 3) I believe achieving a diagnosis in the US is a bad thing because it allows insurance companies an excuse to reject health care cover; 4) from speaking with American friends and family, I have to note that the extra stress involved in forcing insurance companies to pay for the procedures that they have already authorized is intolerable and can easily aggravate the health of patients; and 5) I feel it is worth mentioning that I get world-class care from my local hospital. I am recovering surprisingly quickly after my operation!
Now, I’m not saying that National Health in the UK is perfect: 1) we have to wait our turn for elective procedures (as my hysterectomy was not treatment for a life-threatening condition, it is an elective operation); 2) there are problems with having adequate numbers of nurses and doctors; and 3) there are other bureaucratic problems that have emerged – money that might be better spent doing x and y rather than wasting money on a and b.
As you can see, I obviously feel the pros outweigh the cons. I sincerely believe that, had I remained living in the US, I wouldn’t have such a successful working life because I would be constantly battling my body and insurance companies. I would have struggled to hold a job due to my illnesses and pain. I certainly wouldn’t have been able to afford the five surgeries I needed over the recent years!
I believe that, as a productive member of society, I have an obligation to others and part of that obligation means contributing to the National Health Service. I think everyone should have the same opportunity for a healthy life!