A Gloom,

don't make enough to afford private health insurance-- they are the ones 
> whole need universal health not someone making $100,000 or more.
>

If the rich don't get it, or those in prison etc.. it is not universal.  

However in Australia we have a medicare levy, medicare being our healthcare 
system. I am not sure the exact figures but we all pay something like 1.5% 
of our wages through the tax system and people over say $70K will pay 
another percent if they do not prove they have private health insurance. 
However if you earn little or nothing you do not pay the medicare levy and 
in fact may be entitled to cheaper prescriptions and more, if they issue 
you with a "health care card". With insurance, you always have the choice 
to go public or private.

Our health care has being threatened a number of times, the "weasel words" 
used in health and social security are, its a "safety net" rather than 
universal. I don't like the idea of safety net, it makes me feel unless 
they arrive in time you will hit the ground.

More recently we have also adopted the "National Disability Insurance 
scheme" in which the Government insures all Australians such if they are 
born with or or acquire a disability they will be covered for help, 
equipment, care and basic support income their whole life. Interestingly 
this takes a lot of pressure of large payouts or legal suits, by being "off 
the table", overall insurance premiums can drop.

Whilst I am proud of Australia's health care system, it is always in need 
of improvement, and the main reason I explain it to others is so they are 
informed to influence their own Governments, or will share the ideas within 
their own systems.

Regards
Tony

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