They just haven't decided to have it. The UK didn't have it until 1948 (we're celebrating its 70th birthday this year) and until then, people had to pay or rely on charity hospitals.
During WWII, the government commissioned a report on "the existing national schemes of social insurance and allied...
Best answer: They just haven't decided to have it. The UK didn't have it until 1948 (we're celebrating its 70th birthday this year) and until then, people had to pay or rely on charity hospitals.
During WWII, the government commissioned a report on "the existing national schemes of social insurance and allied services". What the Beveridge Report ended up actually proposing was huge changes to combat the "great evils of society", so there is at least a minimum level of income and care for everyone. And it resulted in National Insurance so we have social security for the unemployed and sick, at last a decent-sized state pension, and health care mostly free at the point of use - the NHS.
"What about poor people... if they get sick?" Dead right. Beveridge thought of that. So we don't pay except through taxes, and because it's out of tax, rich people pay more to help poor people out. Some countries think that's not fair, but we think it is. It's also the civilised thing to do.
So the UK has it because the government over 70 years ago actually THOUGHT about it and decided to do something, and decided to spend the money on it. So now, social security benefits and health care are the two biggest things our tax money gets spent on, and we agree it's a good thing that it means nobody has absolutely nothing and we don't have to worry about what health care costs. Health care was a particular concern because it's so incredibly expensive.
Other countries don't have it because they haven't thought about it, they can't afford it, or in the case of the USA, they positively disagree with it. There are Americans who will say "why should I pay for other people to be cared for?" So they have no such system except for poor and old people, and you need to buy health insurance. So if you ever go there, don't be uninsured because it could cost you thousands of pounds if you have an accident! They have the most expensive health care in the world.
Apart from them, most rich countries have something similar. The rest of Europe does. Though it's not always as free as ours is - maybe you just pay a lot less. And maybe it works a bit differently - for example, if you go to the doctor in France and get prescribed some medicine, you have to pay for it but then you can apply to the social security office to get some of the money back. So much easier our way where you just pay nothing or a reduced amount in the first place!
While we're thinking about that, the other reason you should get travel insurance to go abroad is if they DO have some system like this, it'll only be for people who live there (that's true for the NHS too) so you have to pay. For Europe, you can get a European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) free from the NHS that shows you're entitled to health care on the same basis as their people, but as I said, it might not cover everything so be insured as well. Travel insurance is always a good idea anyway because of the other things it covers, like delays.
If you could write in sentences, it'll be so much easier to read.
4 days ago