I am fortunate enough to live in the large green island at the bottom right of the map in the linked article. In this country, everyone who works either pays a ‘Medicare levy’ — a percentage of their gross pay — which pays for the free public health system OR holds private health insurance, in which I have never felt any desire to participate. There are two reasons: 1) my politics; and 2) my ex-father-in-law. He started life as a railway fitter, qualified as an accountant, and ended as chief auditor of a federal department. He had no private health insurance, he said “if you are taken to a private hospital, they transfer you to a public hospital if your condition is serious enough”.
Recently, I read that of the top 20 OECD countries, only one does not have universal health care — the USA. A simple Google search shows that Costa Rica (GDP per capita $9,442.66) has an average life expectancy greater than that of the USA (GDP per capita $59,495.87). The life expectancy of Australians is greater than both, and 3.4 years greater than the USA. I wonder if it has anything to do with the fact that in Australia 3/4 of all medical general practitioners (and many medical specialists) ‘bulk bill’ Medicare — the patient pays nothing, the cost of medicines is capped at $AU38.80 ($AU6.30 for concession card holders), and the public hospitals are excellent and entirely free.
Ah, the evils of socialized medicine.