Fascinating and scary.
"Initially Mayak was dumping high-level radioactive waste into a nearby river, which flowed to the river Ob, flowing further down to the Arctic Ocean. All six reactors were on Lake Kyzyltash and used an open-cycle cooling system, discharging contaminated water directly back into the lake"
I've been on a couple of tours at Hanford, and the guides told us that the Soviet weapons programme was a carbon-copy of the one in the US - just scaled up, with many more plutonium-production reactors - so it's not surprising that they made the same mistake about the cooling.
 http://large.stanford.edu/courses/2017/ph241/buttinger1/docs... - pages 9-10
Especially in the USSR where they were using prison labor for a lot of the nastier work.
That era is full of examples of terrible human damage done because people didn’t really get the consequences of pollution. These are mostly special just because the pollution was radioactive
Russia was the important part of the USSR.
We should bankrupt and leave people untreated to make sure those government doctors don’t hide nuclear experiments from us. Go freedom!
You realize this is the Soviet Union, right? Only 15 years before this they were wrapping up systematic extermination of millions of people and had just executed most of their army officers (just in Time for the German invasion) to satiate Stalin’s paranoia. A few villagers in the provinces barely registered.
But because private healthcare has to compete with public healthcare in countries with such a dual system, the price for private insurance is driven very low, so it isn't as disastrously expensive as in the United States, for example, and demanding a large tax refund for this would seem extreme.
Just specifically objecting to claims that it's not a monopoly. If everyone pays in, it is.
That doesn't negate every upside.
And also because public health insurance is a relatively low, fixed cost. It's not a variable cost that can bankrupt you if you ever need to use it, like health insurance in the US.
A monopoly is exploitative. A public service can't be exploitative - it can only be inefficient.
In fact the British NHS provides some of the most efficient cost outcomes in the world.
It's impossible to overstate how incredibly beneficial this is, especially for startups and entrepreneurs.
In the UK I literally do not have to worry about the cost of health care. There are some relatively small employment taxes to pay, but that's all there is to it.
I think that's the part where we're misunderstanding each other. To me, a monopoly isn't inherently exploitative.
The NHS looks like a monopoly to me. Whether it's a net good is a different discussion.
HUD would be comparable, if almost everyone qualified for it. They don't. A monopoly implies dominant marketshare.
I suspect only a very few supplement NHS since it's comprehensive.
That market dominance makes it a monopoly.
Edit: I disagree with the conclusion below. A compulsory deduction that's large enough to address all your needs for a particular service creates a monopoly.
The issue just seems to be that the word sounds "bad" to those that like the NHS system.
If social security deducted enough that it resulted in a reasonable living retirement plan, it would be similar. It would make any other activity in the retirement market very narrow and mostly for rich people.
In any case, it seems to me that the important thing about a monopoly is most people having no choice. Standard Oil was a monopoly because most people had no choice but to buy their oil from that company. AT&T was a monopoly because that was the only company you could get phone service from.
Market dominance is a cause of this key thing, not the key thing itself. A company might have a "monopoly" with 80% of the market because the nature of that market means that 20% isn't enough to provide most customers with a choice. On the other hand, a company might not have a "monopoly" with 95% of the market in a market where scale is less important and 5% of the market is enough to give every customer a choice, and customers choose the dominant player because they want it.
Seems to me that the situation with health care in places like the UK is in that second category. The government system is dominant not because people have no choice, but because people don't want to pay for private care.