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Author Topic: Health Care in the United States  (Read 11218 times)

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Offline RubySlippersTopic starter

Health Care in the United States
« on: June 12, 2006, 02:09:54 PM »
I have been thinking about this  and is the system in the United States fair and proper for the citizens? I look at other countries they don't make medicine a for profit business and also many have a nationalized system treating this as a basic societal need. I look at companies in the area that are hiring even larger firms and many offer no insurance at all or policies that are not sufficient to cover any major expense. And if you think about it many have dangerous gaps in coverage if you leave a job with benefits the COBRA insurance is expensive and there can be long gaps in the ability to get treatment. People may have to change doctors that can be bad with someone with need a consistant care and a primary care doctor that knows about them. And lastly most plans do not over pre-existing conditions for a longer period than the time just to qualify for health coverage perhaps up to a year.

Anyone have any ideas on this topic.

Offline National Acrobat

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Re: Health Care in the United States
« Reply #1 on: June 12, 2006, 02:20:29 PM »
The only experience that I have with other countries and their health plans comes from my stepfather, who is Canadien. Plain and Simple, he'd rather pay for healthcare in the U.S. than get the free healthcare in Canada.

I think that speaks volumes myself.

Offline Jefepato

Re: Health Care in the United States
« Reply #2 on: June 12, 2006, 05:27:39 PM »
Indeed.  In countries with national health care, people who can afford to generally fly to the US for medical treatment.  And one of my dad's friends still walks with a limp because he broke his leg in France, and unwisely went to the hospital instead of the airport.

Is the health care system in the United States perfect?  Of course not.  Would I trade it for the system of any other country?  No chance.

Offline Elvi

Re: Health Care in the United States
« Reply #3 on: June 12, 2006, 06:43:01 PM »
Well I am afraid I will have to speak here.
As a country who has a healthcare system there is no way I would trade it for the American type system.
I have a friend in the states who, because she could afford the proper treatment had to do without that treatment for a year before she qualified to get it for 'free'. She has suffered terribly and it infuriated me.
I walk into my doctors surgery and I am treated, if I need to see a specialist an appointment is made for me.
Yes, I may have to wait while others are seen before me, but meanwhile, I am given the medication and the treatment that is best suited to me before I am seen.

There are several people on here who are having treatment for certain things and I have heard several people say "I am not feeling too good at the moment because I can't afford to pay for my meds."
There is never an occasion like that here....my prescription is sat there every month waiting for me to pick it up.


 

Offline RubySlippersTopic starter

Re: Health Care in the United States
« Reply #4 on: June 12, 2006, 09:37:55 PM »
Yes my point exactly I'm not saying we need a Federal system in the United States but one run at the State level so each can provide for their citizens.

Elvi may I ask if you have an emergency do they get you taken care of? That's the important point in my view. What's wrong with waiting a bit for treatment not necessary for ones life. I for example am a diabetic and since its Type I need regular health care and its a pre-existing condition. I have to then find a company with a good health care plan and that will cover me most likely it will take a year to cover my vital care. Until then I have to pay for my medications and supplies which is not inexpensive I have to test and inject insulin three times a day. So what about people in my boat in the United States.

Offline Elvi

Re: Health Care in the United States
« Reply #5 on: June 12, 2006, 10:01:58 PM »
If you have a sudden illness or injury, you call an ambulance and get taken into hospital where you are treated according to the seriousness of the problem, it's free and you are given the best treatment that is on offer.

Diabetics are given free medication whether they are able to pay the nominal prescription charge or not, as are those who suffer from Epilepsy and many other life threatening or seriously debilitating illnesses.

Offline RubySlippersTopic starter

Re: Health Care in the United States
« Reply #6 on: June 12, 2006, 10:13:58 PM »
Maybe I should immigrate I heard gays can marry now in the UK maybe I could find a nice British woman to marry me.  ;)

I did the math Elvi and if I pay out of pocket for each month I'll be spending for medicines, testing strips and medical visits around $540 more or less. I'll earn around $1200 a month after taxes assuming I don't need to be hospitalized or have unseen costs. And I need to give my family something to help out that leaves me little to spend. And i have to also pay likely for the health insurance for 9 months before I can get my diabetic costs partially covered.

So is our system really that good? Maybe if your healthy but what about people like me?


Offline Jefepato

Re: Health Care in the United States
« Reply #7 on: June 12, 2006, 11:49:15 PM »
Besides the question of quality, I have to point out that health care is an individual concern, not a social concern.

If you can't afford treatment in America but receive it in a country with national health care, money is being taken from other people (in the form of relatively higher taxes) to treat you.  Cold as it may sound, your health is nobody else's responsibility.  Suffering does not imply entitlement, and making sure you're healthy is your job and not the government's.

I would never stand for my taxes being raised to pay for other people's problems, and I would rather suffer and/or die than expect others to pay for mine.

Offline Elvi

Re: Health Care in the United States
« Reply #8 on: June 13, 2006, 12:08:12 AM »
Then you have a very sad outlook upon others Jefepato and I hope that one day, you are never in the position that others find themselves in.

If taxes are not raised for 'other peoples problems' then what are they raised for?

When I was well and able to work in a well paid job, I happily paid my share, up until 11 years ago, I had not even been to a doctors for over 16 years and had used a hospital casualty unit once when I was in need of a quick stitch in my foot and tetinus injection.
Then I took ill. It wasn't something that I did on purpose, I was very fit and healthy before hand, I got a flu bug, which developed itself into CFS.
I am now retired due to ill health, I need drugs to keep myself reasonably well, others pay for those drugs, as I have paid for those who were in need when I was fit and well.
Infact, having said that, I still do pay my taxes, I have a pension and it is taxed the same way a wage is and at the same rate.


Offline Jefepato

Re: Health Care in the United States
« Reply #9 on: June 13, 2006, 12:17:33 AM »
Then you have a very sad outlook upon others Jefepato and I hope that one day, you are never in the position that others find themselves in.

So do I.  But if that does happen to me, I won't consider it anyone else's responsibility.

If taxes are not raised for 'other peoples problems' then what are they raised for?

For societal problems, not individual problems.
« Last Edit: June 13, 2006, 12:19:48 AM by Jefepato »

Offline Elvi

Re: Health Care in the United States
« Reply #10 on: June 13, 2006, 05:52:39 AM »
Society is a group of individuals working together for the good of all.

The Oxford dictionary defines it as:

The aggregate of people living together in a more or less ordered community.

A particular community of people living in a country or region, and having shared customs, laws, and organizations.
 

Without help and co-operation there can be no society, my tax is going on paying for society.
It's helping the weak become strong, the poor become richer, the sick to become well.

I am afraid your 'I'm allright Jack' attitude is what is very very wrong in this world.

Offline National Acrobat

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Re: Health Care in the United States
« Reply #11 on: June 13, 2006, 07:03:50 AM »
Perhaps in a perfect world, yes but do you think that members of society have an obligation to pay for the health costs of others who smoke, use illegal drugs, drink to the point that they have health problems, etc.?

I certainly don't think that and maybe it comes across as cold but those sorts of behaviors actually increase the cost of health care by a wide margin and make maintaining your health a very costly endeavor. I certainly wouldn't expect anyone to pony up the money to take care of me if I engaged in behaviour like that.

It's a choice that you make, that isn't a good one all the time, and I don't think that society should have to bear the cost of an individual's decision to descend into practices that are unhealthy.

Offline RubySlippersTopic starter

Re: Health Care in the United States
« Reply #12 on: June 13, 2006, 08:14:08 AM »
Lets look at this as an economic concern. Sick and ill poeople are not productive. Many are under employed because of illnesses most of which are treatable but they can't afford it. Businesses have to pay out a great deal of money to maintain a health care program IF they do. And I heard in a commercial one store chain with a pharmacy has to deal with 1500 health care plans for drugs. You can't tell me that is efficient or a good use of resources. And we spend MORE per person on health care than anywhere else in the world and have over 40 million uninsured.

Now national security you do realize if the Bird Flu or a biological weapon were used, or some other malicious illness comes those without insurance will not go to seek help. That could be days or weeks of a disease spreading in the major cities without anyone having an idea until its maybe too late. Public health begins with private health- the primary care doctor and the people at that level are the first line.

What I propose is just take all the money we already spend- medicaid, medicare, company portions and offer a good solid program where each State decides how to cover everyone with health care.

As for bad health habits sure make people pay extra for that smokers and drug users etc. should be required to take proper measures or get put into a more costly plan. I never said a free health care plan I think life saving treatments that work must be free, regular doctors visits and drugs suitably included like a certain number of free visits based on the patiant need and maybe 10 prescriptions a month leaning to generic drugs.

May I ask a question National Acrobat do feel the same way about the Fire Department, Law Enforcement and other services after all we all pay for those and I have never used them but I like they are there for me?

My last point is society has to care for their sick and do so compassionately and with common sense- I never said let them get off scott free. One has to see a drug addict unless criminally forced to take them in a different light than myself with a chronic medical condition I had since a child and its not my fault I'm doing everything right. I'll be giving up half my salary for a year to get treatment when in England I would pay a modest sum I would think a fraction of that IF I get a job with health benefits. And private insurance is not an option the State insurance for those like me (where no other insurer will take me) that is underwritten costs $989 a month plus the out-of-pocket expenses. In other words will cost my paycheck to just stay healthy each month.

I eat well, work out, take my medicine and am a law abiding citizen and a prison inmate in my country gets better health care than I do.

Offline National Acrobat

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Re: Health Care in the United States
« Reply #13 on: June 13, 2006, 08:20:05 AM »
Fire, Police, EMS, etc. is a totally different issue than Health Care.

Those services are needed to protect society.

Healthcare is more complex, and involves greater manageablity.

Massachusets I believe passed a law requiring all companies and businesses to provide healthcare for their employees at a reasonable cost, and also in that law was a provision that requires citizens to pay for healthcare if they can afford it. If they can afford it, and don't pay for it, and go to the hospital, etc. they will be in effect getting their wages garnished or something along those lines.

http://www.boston.com/news/local/articles/2006/04/04/mass_bill_requires_health_insurance/

It's not free, but supposedly will be affordable and will punish companies and individuals who have the means to purchase and provide healthcare, since they drain society's coffers when they don't have to.

Offline RubySlippersTopic starter

Re: Health Care in the United States
« Reply #14 on: June 13, 2006, 08:52:37 AM »
Yes that is what I'm talking about accountable health care provided to all somwhat guided by the state and national governments. I never said free health care someone has to pay I for example don't mind paying fair premiums and co-pays just medical care shouldn't break me financially or anyone else not earning a great deal of money. I want to see an American System England is nice but if I remember dental care is bad for example (not sure I read a newspaper story along those lines) taking the best ideas and melding them into a system that covers everyone.

Here's an idea if medical care can be done cheaper in a Indian hospital one used by Medical Tourists send the patiant there paid for by insurers. I heard that a $100,000 heart operation costs a fraction there for comparable care to a Western Hospital surely a doctor trained in the US or England or Hong Kong should be suitably skilled. So for high cost treatments that can be planned outsource them. I think iof the governement allowed insurance companies to do this and force them to include the savings in their costs more people could afford insurance. After all if the insurance company like Humana including travel costs spends $50,000 treating a cancer patiant over perhaps $200,000 if done in the United States that should be encouraged. As long as the hospital meets Western standards of course.

Offline Swedish Steel

Re: Health Care in the United States
« Reply #15 on: June 13, 2006, 09:13:38 AM »
I'm reading an interesting study. Here, I'll link it for you:

http://www.skl.se/artikeldokument.asp?C=473&A=15823&FileID=74795&NAME=Swedish%5Fhealth%5Fcare.pdf

Those of you who live in the delusion that free healtcare equals baaaaad healthcare should have a look at this. I notice that the US is ranked as 23d in the world. People of other countries flying to the US for medical reasons? Well, maybe the terminaly stupid ones. I trust my healthcare system fine, it isn't perfect, but then nothing is.

Offline RubySlippersTopic starter

Re: Health Care in the United States
« Reply #16 on: June 13, 2006, 10:29:56 AM »
This is getting interesting thank you all for this nice debate.  ;D

Here is a study done in Florida we have many uninsured workers that includes 41.6% in the construction industry the highest of any industry in Florida. I was curious in other countries would your people stand for this?

www.risep-fiu.org

This is for the complete report done in the state of Florida.

As for Medicine in the US if you have lots of money of course you get likely the best health care in the world we have an increase locally of Concierge Practices where people pay $3000 a year for example to have a doctor on retainer with limited pools of patiants for each doctor. Excluding the costs for the visits and treatment that may be covered by insurance or not.

I'm not saying do it like YOU over in the Netherlands or the UK but we can surely get creative and have an American system taking the best of your system and ours. We have strong points like medical research and cutting edge technologies but what good is that for people who can't afford it?

Now there are problems too with attitudes of the patiants. We seem to want in the US a choice of doctor, low costs and all the treatment we want for everything and we can't have all three. Someone has to say no to one of these. I for one would not want money wasted on a cancer patiant if there is a slim chance of success of curing them someone must decide what treatments will be covered and what ones won't focused on effectiveness. It is rationing but we already have the worst kind of rationing 40 million plus people can't afford any regular health care or are underinsured or have another reason they don't get good basic health care. Or take away the right to choose your own doctor or charge more for the care across the system. But all three its unlikely to work. And people must be responsible that I do agree with to help with their own health that mean living healthy and doing waht you can to reduce future costs.

Offline National Acrobat

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Re: Health Care in the United States
« Reply #17 on: June 13, 2006, 11:40:10 AM »
I'm reading an interesting study. Here, I'll link it for you:

http://www.skl.se/artikeldokument.asp?C=473&A=15823&FileID=74795&NAME=Swedish%5Fhealth%5Fcare.pdf

Those of you who live in the delusion that free healtcare equals baaaaad healthcare should have a look at this. I notice that the US is ranked as 23d in the world. People of other countries flying to the US for medical reasons? Well, maybe the terminaly stupid ones. I trust my healthcare system fine, it isn't perfect, but then nothing is.

I think that it's subjective depending on what you need, how critical it is, what the procedure, is, etc.

My stepfather needed an MRI for his shoulder. In Canada, they were booked up for four months at his physician's and the hospital where he would have gotten it done. He couldn't wait four months, so he had it done in the U.S.

Since then he's gotten a good job here in the states with a good health plan, and he would never consider going back to Canada for healthcare.

Granted his situation is different, but his employer provides him a generous plan and he takes full advantage of it.

Were that not the case, then he probably would get his health care in Canada.

His parents are the exact same way. They buy their prescriptions in Canada because it's cheaper but they get their medical care in the states because for them it's better.

It simply depends on each individual's situation.

Offline RubySlippersTopic starter

Re: Health Care in the United States
« Reply #18 on: June 13, 2006, 12:02:53 PM »
We have fine doctors and i like the American quality of health care right now my fathers plan covers me until I start employment then I'm on my own. But in my state many of the fastest growing industries offer no health plan at all. At a local hospital they don't cover their employees with health care either save an employee discount- that means nurses and other professionals that work hard long hours have no coverage. At a large hospital one of the areas best now that is just bad.

My view is practical give each State their share of money from all the sources and make them cover their citizens in their own way. After all each state is different some might have a large rural population and others with other issues. One thing I could think of is make every health care plan nationally cover anyone that applied if private and spread the risks evenly rates might go up but I could pay $150 a month or so for a decent Humana plan. And one I like ,if they would take me, costs $238 a month and covers a good deal especially low co-pays for regular doctors visits something I must do monthly. But with my health issues they will not take me or any other plan for individuals. But with my medical condition they can refuse or even if someone is overweight not even obese or for a skin condition- seriously.




Offline Nothing

Re: Health Care in the United States
« Reply #19 on: June 13, 2006, 03:21:40 PM »
Personally, I think America's health care system sucks...I don't have any health insurance at all, my company is to small to provide it, and I can't afford one of the "plans" that they offer...so, every time I go to my doctor, which is about once every 1-3 months, it costs me a minimum of $86...not to mention other fees and such...plus the precriptions, which range anywhere from $25 to $150...
All of which comes out of my pocket...and my parents pocket, since they're nice enough to help me pay for it...

I went to the emergency room 3 or 4 years ago because I had an alergic reaction to ethriromiacin (spelling??) and unfortunatly, I forgot to drive the 40 miles to Seattle to go to the "free" clinic thing up there at Harborview, and I now owe the hospital $1500 for borrowing their bed for an hour and a half, and taking half a shot of morphine and some saline.
Thats ridiculous...

I think the government should start like a basic healthcare coverage for EVERYone...have it cost a reasonable monthy amount (under $100) and it gives you like a $20 co-pay and helps pay for prescriptions...
Doctors don't need to charge $100,000 for a heart surgery, especially considering they do like 500 a year...thats like $50,000,000....thats crazy...why the hell do they need that much money and where does it all go??

Offline Swedish Steel

Re: Health Care in the United States
« Reply #20 on: June 13, 2006, 03:35:39 PM »
Golf memberships are expensive you know, how dare you question us! ;)

Offline National Acrobat

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Re: Health Care in the United States
« Reply #21 on: June 13, 2006, 03:39:48 PM »

Doctors don't need to charge $100,000 for a heart surgery, especially considering they do like 500 a year...thats like $50,000,000....thats crazy...why the hell do they need that much money and where does it all go??

A lot of it goes towards paying for Malpractice Insurance, because in America, everyone sues everyone for the smallest thing.

My sister works for a Doctor as his claims adjuster. He pays 200,000$ a year just for malpractice insurance.

Until the American people stop sueing the hell out of everyone, and there is some serious Tort Reform, medical costs are going to be artificially high, it's that simple.

Virginia is losing OB/GYN's at an alarming rate because of the malpractice insurance rates, which are upwards of 250,000$ a year. Many physicians in the rural areas simply cannot afford to pay that much and make a living.

A good friend of mine enlisted in the Air Force Reserves to go to Medical School, so he wouldn't have to pay back student loans or worry about Malpractice Insurance Premiums.

Offline Swedish Steel

Re: Health Care in the United States
« Reply #22 on: June 13, 2006, 03:43:43 PM »
You can't really sue us like that in Sweden, for wich I am very gratefull.

Offline National Acrobat

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Re: Health Care in the United States
« Reply #23 on: June 13, 2006, 03:52:23 PM »
I think it's out of hand, myself, and it's one reason a lot of costs of numerous things here in the states go up.

On the other hand, there are many valid times when someone deserves compensation for gross negligence and willful maliciousness.

It's a fine line to walk, and there is no easy answer. Some people do deserve compensation when someone screws up big time and it affects them for the rest of their lives.

On the other hand, we've gotten stupid as to what we decide those parameters are.

Offline Nothing

Re: Health Care in the United States
« Reply #24 on: June 13, 2006, 03:52:49 PM »
Jesus...Americans are stupid and greedy...
We file way to many lawsuits for the most ridiculous things...My ex was always saying he was going to sue people for this and sue poeple for that...luckily, he didn't have the money to pay for court fees :)

I don't know, there should be a malpractice insurance, because if a doctor screws up on the operating table, he should have to pay for it....but I don't think it should cost $250,000...thats just...idiotic...
Still, $250,000 doesn't cut into 50 Million much, does it?