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Posted by grantcart in General Discussion: Presidential (Through Nov 2009)
Tue May 05th 2009, 10:15 PM

In the world of political opinion the Republican Party stands alone in not supporting either universal national health care or universal health care insurance

While the Republican Party gives lip service to the idea of competing in the 'marketplace of ideas', history has made its choice. Looking across the span of political parties in modern development Democratic countries there is broad unanimous agreement among political leaders and parties that health care should be universally accessable.

The overwhelming numbers support a nationalized health care system.

A smaller minority support a natinonalized insurance, or nationally controlled health insurance system that requires insurance companies to issue guarantee acceptance at regulated rates.

Only one party, The Republican Party, supports the proposition that individuals are better suited to work it out on its own.

In glancing at the partial list below, the most striking point is that very Conservative parties in Canada, the UK, and Australia all support positions that are to the left of even the Democratic Party in the US.

In all cases these countries spend about 30% less than the US (as a percentage of GDP - 16% versus 10%) and deliver more effective care to more people.

This is because national health care does three things;

1) Eliminates an unnecessary profit center (The health insurance industry).

2) Eliminates the unnecessary cost of administrating an expensive mechanism to approve care and achieves other efficiences of scale.

3) Focuses care on earlier stages of health problems allowing for more effective and less expensive preventative steps to be more universally accessed.

Universal health not only works but it saves money. Because of the eradication of Small Pox by governments across the globe this year we will spend no money and suffer no human loss due to small pox.


Government programs underpin the key aspects of healthcare. Medicare, which is funded out of general tax revenue, pays for hospital and medical services. Medicare covers all Australians, pays the entire cost of treatment in a public hospital, and reimburses for visits to doctors.

Australian Labor Party (center left 43%) "defend and strengthen Medicare, which is the cornerstone of Australia's health system"

Liberal Party of Australia (center right 36%) The government should "(make) health services available, while encouraging preventative measures and private insurance


(no party advocates major changes to their health system )

Social Democratic Party (socialist 57 seats) (website is in German but the SDS is considered one of the most socialist parties in Europe /

People's Party (center right 51 seats) Access to medical care must be guaranteed for every human being, regardless of his/her financial situation, social status and place of residence.

Freedom Party (far right 34 seats) The freedom Party has a 5 point platform - none of them relate to changing health care

Alliance for the future of Austria (eclectic some far right some far left 21) The AFA has a 21 point platform - none of which advocate any change to Austria's socailized health care.

Green Party (center left 20) build a society respectful of fundamental human rights and environmental justice: the rights to self‑determination, to shelter, to good health, to education, to culture, and to a high quality of life;


Belgium's health care system is one of the best in Europe and none of the parties want to make major changes to it;

Devoting only half as much of its GDP to health as the United States does, Belgium has created a flexible, public-private partnership to pay for and deliver health care that preserves many of the attributes that Americans desire: universal coverage; comprehensive coverage of physician services, hospital care, and prescription drugs; free choice of primary physicians and specialists; and acceptable waiting periods for non-emergency services. (Belgium parties each have a seperate Flemish/Walloon-French speaknig Parties which are listed together)

Christian Democratic and Flemish/ Humanist Democratic Centre (Christian Democratic 25%)

Reformist Movement/Flemish Liberals/ (Liberalism 12%)

Flemish Interest (Right wing popularism/facist/anti immigrant 12%)
Even this party, one of Europe's most far right wing parties, does not include any change in the health system in its extensive 18 point platform.

Open VLD (Liberalism 12%)

Socialist/Socialist Different (socialist 21%)

Ecolo/Green (green 10%)


Since 1962, Canada has had a government-funded, national healthcare system founded on the five basic principles of the Canada Health Act. The principles are to provide a healthcare system that is: universally available to permanent residents; comprehensive in the services it covers; accessible without income barriers; portable within and outside the country; and publicly administered.

Universal Health Care is considered "sacrosanct"

Conservative (center right 36%)
A belief that all Canadians should have reasonable access to quality health care regardless of their ability to pay; /

Liberal (center left 30%)
Medicare—single tier, universal access, publicly-funded health care is still regarded as sacrosanct, and people are very concerned that we’re losing it. More and more people understand that within that system, some publicly-funded services can be privately delivered—the far larger concern is wanting to avoid a two-tier system. This creates an opportunity to have a more open discussion—
even if we don’t have the answers, we should be looking for them.

Quebec Party (french national 11%)

New Democratic Party (Center left 17%) NDP wants to expand public health care including expanded dental and prescription drug coverage,

Czech Republic

Civic Democratic Party (Center right 81 seats) Ideologically similar to British Conservative Party

Christian Democratic Union (Center left 29 seats) "the creating of a universal health care system and the guarantee of its functionality"

Communist Party (Communist 26 seats)

Christian and Democatic Union (Center right 13 seats)


Every resident in Denmark has free access to the ealth care system with free examinations and treatment. Residents receive a health insurance card from their municipality, which also arranges for the patients choice of doctor.

Venstre (Center right 26%) Recently ran on increasing investment into Denmark's national health care system to reduce waiting lines

Social Democrats (25% Socialism) Equality means applying decency and engendering a socially fair distribution of society’s goods. It means equal opportunities and equal access to education, health care and other services regardless of gender, social or ethnic background.

Danish People's Party (Right Wing Populism 13.9%) The party is mostly an anti immigration policy and does not advocate major changes in the Danish Health System.

Socialist People's Party (Socialist/Green 13%) Supports universal free health care.


Although the French system faces many challenges, the World Health Organization rated it the best in the world in 2001 because of its universal coverage, responsive healthcare providers, patient and provider freedoms, and the health and longevity of the country's population. The United States ranked 37 /

Union for a Popular Movement (Center Right 317 seats) refund at fair value both dental work expenses and spectacles, to put an end to inequalities in health care.

Coalition of the Left (Center Left/Socialists 204 seats) Several different Leftist Parties all supporting universal health care.


Germany has the world's oldest universal care system and is arguably the most successful. Like Americans, most Germans get their health coverage through their employers. But Germany's rich pay higher premiums to subsidize insurance for the poor — a principle the Germans call "solidarity"

The principle of "Solidarity" has been endorsed by all of Germany's political parties".

Social Democratic Party (Center Left 34%) Free or low cost nursing, doctor medical and hospital care for those who are sick, injured or unable to care for themselves. This may also include free antenatal and postnatal care. Services may be provided in the community or a medical facility.

Christian Democratic Union (Center Right 28%)

Free Democratic Party (Center 10%)

The Left (Socialism 9%)

Green (Center left 8%)

Christian Social Union (Center Right 7%)


Many Greeks have been clamouring for reform in their country’s health care system. Still, it was ranked by the World Health Organization as one of the best health care system in the world. Health care cost is the lowest among the European Union member countries. . . Public health system in Greece provides free or low cost health care service to residents contributing to the social security system including their families. Other benefits include free laboratory services, maternity care, medical-related appliances or gadgets, and transportation. Other European Union nationals can also avail of the free health care benefits provided they have with them their E111 forms.

New Democracy Party (Center Right 42%)

Unrestricted healthcare, guaranteed by the State. Healthcare is the principal social benefit.
For current and future generations, a person's quality of life will depend on healthcare. We struggle for a healthcare system, free of restrictions; lifetime healthcare, covering all health needs, for all citizens. /

Panhellenic Socialist Movement (Center Left 38%) Ensuring good education, health care, child care, et cetera for all citizens through government fundings.


All persons resident in Ireland are entitled to receive health care through the public health care system, which is managed by the Health Service Executive and funded by general taxation. A person may be required to pay a subsidised fee for certain health care received; this depends on income, age, illness or disability. All child health and maternity services are provided free of charge as is emergency care.

All Irish Parties support Universal Care

A survey, commissioned by the HSE in 2007, found that patient satisfaction with the health service was quite high, with 90% of inpatients and 85% of outpatients saying they were satisfied with their treatment. In addition to this, 97% said they were satisfied with the care provided by their GP.

Fianna Fáil (Center Right 41%)

Fine Gael (Center Left 27%

Labour Party (Socialist 10%)


In the Japanese health care system, healthcare services, including free screening examinations for particular diseases, prenatal care, and infectious disease control, are provided by national and local governments. Payment for personal medical services is offered through a universal health care insurance system that provides relative equality of access, with fees set by a government committee. People without insurance through employers can participate in a national health insurance program administered by local governments. Since 1973, all elderly persons have been covered by government-sponsored insurance. Patients are free to select physicians or facilities of their choice.

Generally speaking, the healthcare in Japan is not only provided free for every Japanese citizen, but also for expatriates and foreigners.

All Parties in Japan support universal health Care

Democratic Party of Japan (Center Left 40%)

Liberal Democratic Party (Center Right 28%)

New Komeito Party (Buddhist 13%) Supports Universal Care and wants cancer coverage expanded.


The National Health System of Italy, called the Servizio Sanitario Nazioanale, offers inexpensive healthcare to all European citizens. In-patient treatments which are covered include tests, medications, surgeries during hospitalization, family doctor visits, and medical assistance provided by paediatricians and other specialists. The health system is also responsible for drugs and medicines, out-patient treatments, and dental treatments.

All Italian Political Parties support Universal Health Care

PDL (Center Right 275 Seats)

PD (Center Left 217 Seats

Lega Nord (Regional Parties 60 Seats)

UDC (Center Right 35 Seats

Idv (Center Left 29 Seats)


Of all of the developed Democracies (besides the US) the Netherlands relies most on private insurance to combine with government subsidies and is therefore the closest to the US system:

The Netherlands has introduced a new system of health care insurance based on risk equalization through a risk equalization pool. In this way, a compulsory insurance package is available to all citizens at affordable cost without the need for the insured to be assessed for risk by the insurance company. Indeed health insurers are now willing to take on high risk individuals because they receive compensation for the higher risks <3>.

A 2008 article in the journal Health Affairs suggested that the Dutch health system, which combines mandatory universal coverage with competing private health plans, could serve as a model for reform in the US.

Nevertheless the Dutch system is both substantially lower and provides higher care;

"In 2003, the Netherlands spent 9.8 percent of its gross domestic product on health care, below the spending levels in Germany, France, and Canada and more than one-third less than the United States. Even under the constraints of this budget, the Netherlands has implemented a number of health sector reforms that have led to important quality improvement. . ."

While it is not a nationalized system it does provide for Universal Health Care Insurance

Since 1 January 2006, there has been a single healthcare insurance system in the Netherlands, Everyone living in the Netherlands, or paying income tax here is required to take out compulsory healthcare insurance, Although the basic package is fixed by law, people are free to choose their insurer.

Insurers have a duty to accpet everyone for the basic package and older or chronically ill people may not be charged higher premiums for the basic coverage. The new system should lead to more efficient and client-centered healthcare services.

All parties in the Netherlands support Universal Insurance (or completely nationalizing the medical service).

CDA (Center Right 41 Seats)

Labor Party (Socialist 33 Seats)

Socialist Party (Socialist 25 Seats)

VVD (Center Right 21

United Kingdom

The National Health Service (NHS) is based on the principle to provide a universal service for all based on clinical need, not ability to pay. It is supported by all major parties in the UK.

Labour Party (Center Left 350 Seats) Labour considers NHS "their greatest achievement'.

Conservative Party (Center Right 193 Seats) Now supports the NHS without reservation. In 2006, for example, David Cameron unveiled changes to his party's stance on healthcare which effectively undid Thatcher's efforts to try and subsidize patients going to private medical insurance. In his first speech becoming leader he said that he wanted the NHS to be free for all.

Liberal Party (Centrist 63 Seats) Supports NHS and would like to decentralize it and expand its drug coverage.

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