i am against social welfare programs. i have to work to pay for my health insurance, why does some mexican immigrant get the same level of care in the same emergency room, and not have to pay a damn dime?
After my accident, it was the private health insurance which enabled me to transfer from the local ER to Columbia Presbyterian in NYC. Without the insurance, the ER staff told us they would have just amputated my leg so as not to waste money.
Same level of care? Maybe if you're getting stitches or an emergency appendectomy. But for more serious things, private insurance certainly does make a difference. All told it cost more than $250K (in 1994, about $375K now) to fix the leg.
I doubt I'd have gotten the same level of care under any universal health care plan though, that's a lot of money that could be better spent providing basic care to many others.