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> I often laugh when I hear inexperienced American talk about how much better the health system is in the UK. Sure, health insurance is expensive, but the actual healthcare is leagues ahead of anything available via any sort of national health service

Exactly the same private healthcare is available to you in Scotland, if you chose to pay for it.

Yes, it is available, but the high levels of taxation - not just income tax but, also, a 20% tax on purchases - means that most families simply cannot afford that.

My argument is that people are _already_ paying but in a mandatory, indirect way, that removes their power as consumers and creates a situation in which the health services' prerogatives often differ from those of the patients.

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