I think most people can agree, our health care system has some flaws that need to be fixed. However, despite these problems, Canadians flock across the border to access our system because their system takes too long. England is no different. There are all sorts of stories about waiting weeks for heart surgery (kinda a pressing matter if you ask me) and it makes sense. Everyone has equal access to the system so it is flooded and you end up on a waiting list. A waiting list isn't really something you want to be on when your health and possibly your life are on the line.
Regardless of the stories, some of which are undoubtedly embellished a bit, universal (socialized) healthcare is expensive. US News and World Report had an article that gave to cost estimates, $1 trillion and $1.6 trillion. This is an incredible amount of money for a nation deep in debt to be spending on a system that is not guaranteed to make things better, and evidence would indicate, may make things worse!
The price tag alone should give people pause. This, combined with the stimulus packages (another topic entirely), will increase the deficit significantly and most likely raise YOUR taxes, significantly.
So what happens if this passes? (It is being contested by many Republicans as well as centrist Democrats). I can foresee 4 possible outcomes.
1. I, and millions of others who believe in the free market system that has made America the most powerful and wealthy nation in the world, are completely off base and Universal Health Care will be a profound success. (This is the most unlikely)
2. Our deficit will increase considerablly (this WILL happen) and the value of the dollar will collapse throwing the world markets into a much more catastrophic plumet than what we have already faced late last year. (We are not in a Depression, but we could be.)
3. Or, all of the spending will prompt more action (Tea anyone?) that will eventually (2010) result in the swift exit of many Democratic lawmakers during the midterm elections and possibly more drastic action. (The swinging of the pendulum).
4. People fed up with the mismanagement of government, and the incredible swelling of government (U.S.S.A?) will go beyond Tea and forcefully remove those responsible from office. (Also unlikely since our system can reverse course easily in 2010).