Health debate: a comparison from an outsider

I have often commented on here, and other forums that the debate about healthcare in the US is a very alien concept to those from other developed Western democracies with universal healthcare.

The concept that there could be an argument against supplying free quality health to every citizen that needed it just doesn't make sense form someone from a country like Australia.

However I recently was musing on the attitude on the debates and I found an interesting comparison to another major area of public spending; Education.

Here in Australia our education system is split into 2 main streams. 66% of students attend government schools and 34% attend Catholic/other independent schools. My friend Wikipedia tells me in the US the figures are 88% Public, 9% Independent and the somewhat scary 3% home schooled.

At least to me this shows an interesting disparity between the acceptance of government spending in the different spheres in both countries.

One caveat though. In the Australian schooling system the government does fund the religious/independent schools for each student they teach. Parent who choose to send their kids to private schools will then pay above that amount in school fees.

I personally have sent my 3 kids through the government system for their Primary education (age 6-12ish), but have sent my eldest daughter to a private Catholic girls school for Secondary education (age 12ish-18ish).

I struggled a lot with sending her to this school. Quiet frankly however there is no better education available that was reasonably local and that we could afford. Whilst religion is a part of school life they aren't preachy and it is a damn good school. While the fees aren't cheap they aren't exorbitant, although I  dread 2017 when i have my eldest in year 12 (final year), my middle daughter in year 9 and my son starting year 7. That year will cost me $15-20K in school fees. Top tier private schools charge up to $20k p.a per student so there is that.

Back to my point. Whilst we here can't imagine not providing quality health care, we don't question having to spend so much to give our kids the best education.

My take on the health debate in the US is that the opposite is true and I wonder if the Democrats could use such a comparison to help sway entrenched positions against Obamacare.

Do you think there is any truth to that?

MB

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I doubt it would help. We have some pretty intense propaganda machines over here with Fox News. It's really hard to get GOP supporters to listen to anything.

We have access to shitty, but free public schools. The quality of education really depends on where you're living. College prices are insanely expensive. The average student debt is 30,000. I know people with more. 

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