I think you have read things into my post that I did not intend. Socialism is the confiscation of all private property and the central planning of every aspect of production and distribution. Capitalism is where the free market supply and demand determines what is made and what its price is. Individuals work for a profit and are entitled to keep the wealth they generate.

I hope this helps

A Capitalist economy with a welfare state that provides universal health care is not a truly Socialist economy: it is a compromise between the efficiency of Capitalism and the Public Good of Government-provided services. The trick is to keep Government as small as possible while providing basic care for those who need it most. Otherwise the country will go into a Tax and spend spiral which will end up approximating the evils of Socialism.

I have lived in both Australia and new Zealand and can tell you that Healthcare is not free: A visit to the GP is subsidised by Government but you will still pay $40-$80 in New Zealand, and up to $50 in Australia, where some GPs will see you for the subsidy without a gap payment.

Health Insurance is compulsory in Australia for all but the poorest people, and covers only what the Health Department thinks an operation is worth. My knee reconstruction was valued at $800. Medicare paid $600, and my private health cover paid the other $200. The Surgeon demanded $4500 and the anaesthetist a further $1500, so my “Gap Payment” was $5200 for the operation. This is exactly the same problem as America has with Obamacare: it costs too much and doesn’t cover enough, but with no Public component does nothing to drive prices down in the Medical market.

The system in the UK, most of Europe and Australia/New Zealand is better than the United States’ because the (arguably Socialist) State Hospital System provides very basic services for free to poor people, but co-exists with private hospitals who are largely funded by Health insurance and gap payments from private patients. If you are prepared to go on a Public health waiting list (perhaps two years) you can get many of the same operations for free, but not all. To the extent that they are centrally planned, public hospitals are poorly planned, with idle wards in some places and waiting lists in others, but they do drive down what the Private hospitals charge, so overall are an improvement on the US system.

Government cannot generate wealth: only private enterprise can do that, and they cannot centrally plan any market: that’s why the private healthcare market needs to supplement it Central planning is the “central” problem of any Socialist State — it just doesn’t work. Anyone who thinks the price signals of a free-market supply and demand system can be replaced by armies of bureaucrats is seriously deluded. Karl Marx was just such a delusional idiot. Life experience and observation of how the world works is why “If you are 18 and you are not a Socialist, you have you Heart. If you are 30 and still a Socialist, you have no Brain.”

So in summary, the only way a Government can provide something approaching universal Healthcare is by limited taxation of an otherwise healthy Capitalist market.

I work in IT, Community volunteer interested in Politics, support Capitalism as the best economic system for lifting people out of poverty, Skeptical scientist.

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store