American Health care issues

#1
I have to say for me this is the one big downer for anybody considering emigrating to USA, I have said before I like the country, the friendlinest of the people, the Scenery and how cheap it is to get around independently, massive amount of food for less money, the big BUT is the issue of medical care, I find it amazing that for the world largest economy, it is the only developed country not to have universal medicare or Socialized Health care, I have spoken to many Americans , many have said they feel too scared to fall ill, life expectancy is lower in some cases beacuse of it, some have been bankrupted by the medical costs, that is no way to live in my opinion.
American Medical care report
US Healthcare coverage shrinks 2003 article
the biggest surprise is more is spent in USA than on British Heath service for less benefit.
more is spent on the war in Iraq FFS, I hope you will get the health service you deserve, according to the report the next political Hot potato is going to be Universal Medical care.

coming from a British background I feel fortunate, at least I had Free medical care off the NHS for all its faults is a damn sight better than the alternative.

what are your thoughts, would you and other Americans be prepared to pay more in taxes if it meant you can get universal healthcare ?
 
#2
The Washington State police retirement system covers all of my medical expences. I also am covered by the Military retirement system; however; I never use it, as the police medical retiree system is much better.

I do agree; with you on a need to cover those American people who are not covered by some type of medical coverage, as long as it doesn't take bennies away from people who are covered, like me.

I also do not want medical plans to cover illegal alians and people who are born into the dole and stay there for generations collecting my tax money and having babies. Make them work for the coverage!

We have generations of malcontents who have been on the dole for decades! (As I'm sure you have too!) ;(
 
#3
To answer your question?

Not just NO. BUT FCUK NO!!! Why should I pay more of my tax dollar, for YOU and every one else who comes into this country, for health care? Why should I pay for every illegal alien who comes into this country health care?

Before you give me: But, but, but I would be working. Sure you would. Except for when you lose your job, etc. Then, since you are here, by our screwed up laws, you would be ENTITLED to health care, which I have to pay, whilst your a$$ sits at home on the couch (please don't take this personal, its a general statement).

Not too mention: Universal or Socialized health care is A DISASTER. I can get any type of health care needed, in this country, in days/weeks. A routine ANYTHING in the UK, Canada, or any other such socialized medicine country can take MONTHS of NOT YEARS.

Again, no BS about: That isn't true. I've seen it with my own eyes and I know MANY people who live in these countries.

In Canada, which has such a "civilized" system, MANY PEOPLE, who can afford it, come to the US for dentist work and "routine" medical work. A lady I know, from Ontario, Canada, couldn't wait for a cancer test. Yes, the great ole socialized medicine; the one you tout, told her she had to wait 9 months before she could get the test. Came here, to the good ole, screwed up, USofA and had the test done in 2 days. It saved her life. The cancer was found. Had she waited 9 months, she would be dead today.

A girl I see from Alberta. Her mom is now dead. Why? She went into the emergency room and the doctor sent her home. Now, guess what? This girl I see is a NURSE, at THAT HOSPITAL. Her mother was sent home, with a very bad infection, because, "the hospital was too full." Sorry sport fans, that wouldn't happen here.

Life is hard. Life sometimes isn't fun. You get what you pay for. Want socialized health care and ALL of its down sides? Stay there...Want better health care? Where you don't have to wait months of routine treatments? Come here.

I need a basic medical exam? I'm on the phone with my doctor and in the next week. How many of you Brits can honestly say the samething?
 
#4
I`d like to see a system that covered catastrophic medical care ( cover the very high cost treatments, the kind of things that can bankrupt you quickly, etc, ), premiums taken out of paycheck something like social security now.I work in an industry that has always been either #1 or 2 on national list of most dangerous jobs( forest industry) and private medical insurance costs more in monthly premiums than the wages. 1985 was the last year I had medical coverage, employer provided, but hardly any private employers cover medical insurance now outside of very large companies.The debate always seems to get stuck at either total, universal coverage provided by government or the way it is now, some coverage by some, generally large or public employers and the rest picked up by your private coverage.Most small businesses I know of offer no coverage, it`s generally non-affordable to them.The middle way that I`ve mentioned, catastrophic insurance , is never debated by politicians its either all or nothing as far as the debate on national health care goes. I`d like to hear more from Canadians on this, I`ve heard from some of them that treatment for the simpler conditions is readily available under their system, but much more difficult if there`s anything serious wrong with you.Most everyone I know is more worried about how to pay for serious conditions rather than the inevitable minor non-life threatening things that you can at least eventually pay for when you return to work.To be honest I know of very few people in my area that have any medical insurance of any kind unless they work in a public or government job, the premiums are generally so high for private insurance it makes them out of the question.

I`ll throw in an anecdote here, maybe not germane to all this but shows what can happen if you`re young and don`t think you need health insurance. A friend of mine in his mid- 30s went to work for an employer on a large local Indian Reservation. As he was cutting a tree it " kicked-back" and tore his leg off from just below the hip.No health insurance because it was on a "sovereign nation`s" land and not subject to state laws. He had passed on private insurance because it was nearly $15 an hour in premiums and no coverage outside of work.Instant bankruptcy and "welfare-here-I-come".I can at least get VA coverage if it comes to worst, but it will be on the bottom of the list because it wont be service connected.
 
#5
semper said:
...would you and other Americans be prepared to pay more in taxes if it meant you can get universal healthcare ?
I agree with Trip to a large extent. We need to take care of our own at the most basic level--no American should die of cureable diseases within a certain cost range--but look out for abuse of the system. For me, I lost my health care last year when I left Fed civilian service. Luckily, as an Iraqi Freedom Vet I found I'm was at the front of the line for primary care at the Veterans Administration Health Care System, surprisingly better care than it was twenty years ago. It's not a system I want to rely on forever since I feel I'm taking the spot of some veteran who might be in need (I'll be picking up a private plan in 90 days) but they do take care of patients 'in the system'.

The US already has a huge government funded universal healthcare program called Medicare/Medicaid. It's for 65 and over, and while it has several 'issues' it's also a lifesaver for many retirees. Combined with the Veterans Health Care system the government the Feds have a huge number of dollars in the system.

A surprising statistic I learned while at a conference with Medical Insurance and US Health and Human Services personnel was that almost 1/3 of all US healthcare cost comes at the last two years of life with a large percentage of the cost falling on Medicare/Medicaid.

I'd say the answer is yes to some sort of universal plan for citizens, but, I'm not to keen about seeing something like a raft of Federal hospitals or clinics. Perhaps a subsidizing private and local public access, having nursing and medical students repay their government education loans and grants through community service, and making some serious decisions about whether or not vast Fed resources go to keeping some individuals alive who are past a certain threshold, then re-allocating those dollars. Not all fun choices.
 
#6
Phil306 said:
Not too mention: Universal or Socialized health care is A DISASTER. I can get any type of health care needed, in this country, in days/weeks. A routine ANYTHING in the UK, Canada, or any other such socialized medicine country can take MONTHS of NOT YEARS.
And yet the VA system, our own version of 'socialized medicine' is considered almost state of the art by private hospitals and others in the medical field. And before you say, oh no it's not, I've heard it personally from several hospital directors in DC, Virginia, NC and Wisconsin during American Hospital Association meetings, state AMA reps and medical insurance managers from Blue Cross NC.

Life is hard. Life sometimes isn't fun. You get what you pay for.
I love the 'hard ass' rhetoric. Real tough guy, letting elderly and children down to no options. What a man, a real John Wayne you are.

"Life is hard and sometimes it ain't fun". Good to hear you say that, when your taxes go up to fund this remind yourself of that instead of whining about it. Or is that only a one way statement as long as it ain't you whose 'life is hard' or 'no fun'?
 
#7
Phil306 said:
To answer your question?

Not just NO. BUT FCUK NO!!! Why should I pay more of my tax dollar, for YOU and every one else who comes into this country, for health care? Why should I pay for every illegal alien who comes into this country health care?

Before you give me: But, but, but I would be working. Sure you would. Except for when you lose your job, etc. Then, since you are here, by our screwed up laws, you would be ENTITLED to health care, which I have to pay, whilst your a$$ sits at home on the couch (please don't take this personal, its a general statement).

Not too mention: Universal or Socialized health care is A DISASTER. I can get any type of health care needed, in this country, in days/weeks. A routine ANYTHING in the UK, Canada, or any other such socialized medicine country can take MONTHS of NOT YEARS.

Again, no BS about: That isn't true. I've seen it with my own eyes and I know MANY people who live in these countries.

In Canada, which has such a "civilized" system, MANY PEOPLE, who can afford it, come to the US for dentist work and "routine" medical work. A lady I know, from Ontario, Canada, couldn't wait for a cancer test. Yes, the great ole socialized medicine; the one you tout, told her she had to wait 9 months before she could get the test. Came here, to the good ole, screwed up, USofA and had the test done in 2 days. It saved her life. The cancer was found. Had she waited 9 months, she would be dead today.

A girl I see from Alberta. Her mom is now dead. Why? She went into the emergency room and the doctor sent her home. Now, guess what? This girl I see is a NURSE, at THAT HOSPITAL. Her mother was sent home, with a very bad infection, because, "the hospital was too full." Sorry sport fans, that wouldn't happen here.

Life is hard. Life sometimes isn't fun. You get what you pay for. Want socialized health care and ALL of its down sides? Stay there...Want better health care? Where you don't have to wait months of routine treatments? Come here.

I need a basic medical exam? I'm on the phone with my doctor and in the next week. How many of you Brits can honestly say the samething?
Oh fecking please. Many foreigners who work in the US pay into Social Security and Medicaid but can never access these services because they are foreigners. So in other words, they are paying for your ass and other Americans as well while they are not entitled to those services so please don't complain like you are the only one being taxed too much.
 
#8
My dentist and I have this discussion regularly. He states that here in the US we have various free clinics and other programs to help poorer people.

Virgil is right about most of the costs accrued at the end of life. I think this is why you will see long term care insurance grow.

I personally do not want the people respnsible for September 11th, the Iraq War, Hurricane Katrina response, and the space shuttle Columbia disaster, among other things, being responsible for my medical care.
Let me have lower taxes and I will buy my own health insurance.
 
#9
I love the 'hard ass' rhetoric. Real tough guy, letting elderly and children down to no options. What a man, a real John Wayne you are.

"Life is hard and sometimes it ain't fun". Good to hear you say that, when your taxes go up to fund this remind yourself of that instead of whining about it. Or is that only a one way statement as long as it ain't you whose 'life is hard' or 'no fun'?
Absolutely correct. Do you really think I care about them? No. I don't. I admit it. I've never denied I am selfish, self centered, in it for me slob. I know my faults and I don't hide behind them.

I've worked my ass off since the age of 15. No, I am not saying I am the only one who has done this. However, its been 30 yrs of paying taxes for welfare recepients, people who smoke and end up in hospitals on my
dime, people who eat McDonald's everyday, and end up in hospitals on my dime. I am sick and tired of it and so are alot of American's.

Oh fecking please. Many foreigners who work in the US pay into Social Security and Medicaid but can never access these services because they are foreigners. So in other words, they are paying for your ass and other Americans as well while they are not entitled to those services so please don't complain like you are the only one being taxed too much.
As previously stated, ayep. I am a selfish slob. I don't pay into Social Security, so therefore I don't collect any, nor will I. Therefore, I could care the fcuk less about Social Security.

Now, as a "foreigner." Have your wife come to this country and have a child. They are AUTOMATICALLY a US Citizen. As that the case in the UK? HELL NO.

You can come here, walk into the hospital and get FREE medical care. Not cost you a dime; as a foreigner. I PAY FOR IT. NOT YOU. Can I go into a hospital in London, as a foreigner, and get free medical care? HELL NO. I am going to be billed and I have to carry health insurance, which will cover me in the UK, et al, when I travel.

So please, don't tell me about taxes, costs, etc. You come here, you won't pay for jack. I go there, I'll be paying for everything.
 
#10
You can come here, walk into the hospital and get FREE medical care. Not cost you a dime; as a foreigner. I PAY FOR IT. NOT YOU. Can I go into a hospital in London, as a foreigner, and get free medical care? HELL NO. I am going to be billed and I have to carry health insurance, which will cover me in the UK, et al, when I travel.

So please, don't tell me about taxes, costs, etc. You come here, you won't pay for jack. I go there, I'll be paying for everything.
What absolute crap. You should travel more and read the Enquirer less.
 
#11
Phil306 said:
I love the 'hard ass' rhetoric. Real tough guy, letting elderly and children down to no options. What a man, a real John Wayne you are.

"Life is hard and sometimes it ain't fun". Good to hear you say that, when your taxes go up to fund this remind yourself of that instead of whining about it. Or is that only a one way statement as long as it ain't you whose 'life is hard' or 'no fun'?
Absolutely correct. Do you really think I care about them? No. I don't. I admit it. I've never denied I am selfish, self centered, in it for me slob. I know my faults and I don't hide behind them.

I've worked my ass off since the age of 15. No, I am not saying I am the only one who has done this. However, its been 30 yrs of paying taxes for welfare recepients, people who smoke and end up in hospitals on my
dime, people who eat McDonald's everyday, and end up in hospitals on my dime. I am sick and tired of it and so are alot of American's.

Oh fecking please. Many foreigners who work in the US pay into Social Security and Medicaid but can never access these services because they are foreigners. So in other words, they are paying for your ass and other Americans as well while they are not entitled to those services so please don't complain like you are the only one being taxed too much.
As previously stated, ayep. I am a selfish slob. I don't pay into Social Security, so therefore I don't collect any, nor will I. Therefore, I could care the fcuk less about Social Security.

Now, as a "foreigner." Have your wife come to this country and have a child. They are AUTOMATICALLY a US Citizen. As that the case in the UK? HELL NO.

You can come here, walk into the hospital and get FREE medical care. Not cost you a dime; as a foreigner. I PAY FOR IT. NOT YOU. Can I go into a hospital in London, as a foreigner, and get free medical care? HELL NO. I am going to be billed and I have to carry health insurance, which will cover me in the UK, et al, when I travel.

So please, don't tell me about taxes, costs, etc. You come here, you won't pay for jack. I go there, I'll be paying for everything.
I don't know what foreigners you seem to run into but the ones i know make good enough money that they pay for the services they get cause they have insuarnce. I am a migrated to the US like millions of others and i do remeber that when i went to a hospital in Seattle to have my appendix taken out,i was billed in excess of $10,000 for this which was never paid for by US tax payers. I paid for my operation by myself. So instead of putting all foreigners into one boat in terms of free health care, talk about the ones you've met.I know way too many migrants in the US who pay for services that they themselves cant use but American citizens can.
 
#12
:thumbdown:
Phil306 said:
To answer your question?

Not just NO. BUT FCUK NO!!! Why should I pay more of my tax dollar, for YOU and every one else who comes into this country, for health care? Why should I pay for every illegal alien who comes into this country health care?

Before you give me: But, but, but I would be working. Sure you would. Except for when you lose your job, etc. Then, since you are here, by our screwed up laws, you would be ENTITLED to health care, which I have to pay, whilst your a$$ sits at home on the couch (please don't take this personal, its a general statement).

Not too mention: Universal or Socialized health care is A DISASTER. I can get any type of health care needed, in this country, in days/weeks. A routine ANYTHING in the UK, Canada, or any other such socialized medicine country can take MONTHS of NOT YEARS.

Again, no BS about: That isn't true. I've seen it with my own eyes and I know MANY people who live in these countries.

In Canada, which has such a "civilized" system, MANY PEOPLE, who can afford it, come to the US for dentist work and "routine" medical work. A lady I know, from Ontario, Canada, couldn't wait for a cancer test. Yes, the great ole socialized medicine; the one you tout, told her she had to wait 9 months before she could get the test. Came here, to the good ole, screwed up, USofA and had the test done in 2 days. It saved her life. The cancer was found. Had she waited 9 months, she would be dead today.

A girl I see from Alberta. Her mom is now dead. Why? She went into the emergency room and the doctor sent her home. Now, guess what? This girl I see is a NURSE, at THAT HOSPITAL. Her mother was sent home, with a very bad infection, because, "the hospital was too full." Sorry sport fans, that wouldn't happen here.

Life is hard. Life sometimes isn't fun. You get what you pay for. Want socialized health care and ALL of its down sides? Stay there...Want better health care? Where you don't have to wait months of routine treatments? Come here.

I need a basic medical exam? I'm on the phone with my doctor and in the next week. How many of you Brits can honestly say the samething?
So you are happy enough to pay your premiums for health care even knowing that insurance companies are legally entitled to refuse to renew your policy if you happen to have an expensive medical condition?

Happy to have productive tax paying working guys who get a curable illness but because they can't afford the insurance don't get treatment and become invalided and have to go on the dole/social, sucking up even more of your money?

You have won this weeks prize tool award
 
#13
Phil306 said:
I love the 'hard ass' rhetoric. Real tough guy, letting elderly and children down to no options. What a man, a real John Wayne you are.

"Life is hard and sometimes it ain't fun". Good to hear you say that, when your taxes go up to fund this remind yourself of that instead of whining about it. Or is that only a one way statement as long as it ain't you whose 'life is hard' or 'no fun'?
Absolutely correct. Do you really think I care about them? No. I don't. I admit it. I've never denied I am selfish, self centered, in it for me slob. I know my faults and I don't hide behind them.
At least you admit you're a piece of sh*t. Wouldn't have wanted to be in your unit or have you as one of my soldiers or NCOs.
 
#14
Steven said:
Phil306 said:
Why should I pay more of my tax dollar, for YOU and every one else who comes into this country, for health care? Why should I pay for every illegal alien who comes into this country health care?
I don't think an illegal alien automatically get treatment free, as they would have to show a social security card or a medical insurance card or similar otherwise they will have to pay, by turning up will mean the Immigation authorities will know where they are and turf them out.
So you are happy enough to pay your premiums for health care even knowing that insurance companies are legally entitled to refuse to renew your policy if you happen to have an expensive medical condition?

Happy to have productive tax paying working guys who get a curable illness but because they can't afford the insurance don't get treatment and become invalided and have to go on the dole/social, sucking up even more of your money?
[/quote]

the last highlighted comment is the Biggest immoral issue in my opinion, Insurance companies by their nature are profit orientated the same with Car Insurances, House Insurances, they would prefer to insure lowest risk and make money, than insure high risk and make a loss, that is why when you apply for Insurance of any kind , its called a proposal form, similar term may be used in USA as well, in that they will look at the information provided they can decide to accept the "Risk" , telling the truth in these forms is VERY important as any irregulairty will tender your cover VOID and a waste of money.


on another note can we have a Discussion without getting personal , a rational debate is whats needed here and cool heads will need to prevail over such an emotional and IMPORTANT issue :thumright:
 
#15
Should be more a question of can it be delivered?
 
#16
Random_Task said:
Should be more a question of can it be delivered?
Resource-wise yes, the infastructure is basically there. Political will and/or public pressure for or against, that's the real question.
 
#17
Virgil said:
Random_Task said:
Should be more a question of can it be delivered?
Resource-wise yes, the infastructure is basically there. Political will and/or public pressure for or against, that's the real question.
Don't forget the whole "and a sh1t load of money from insurance and pharmaceutical companies" bit too.
 
#18
crabtastic said:
Virgil said:
Random_Task said:
Should be more a question of can it be delivered?
Resource-wise yes, the infastructure is basically there. Political will and/or public pressure for or against, that's the real question.
Don't forget the whole "and a sh1t load of money from insurance and pharmaceutical companies" bit too.
About a year and a half ago I escorted a group of hospital administrators from Russia to a meeting with Blue Cross of NC, considered one of the better run medical insurance companies around (and a 'non-profit' company btw). The CEO hosted us and I was surprised at the frustration they felt over the state of medical insurance and medical billing in general in the US. The amount of resource they spent on 'juggling' billing to match services and to make up losses in one area in others was incredible. Pharma issues were a major headache to them. Even dealing with non-profit hospitals was a struggle.

My own opinion is that maybe it's time to make pharmaceutical companies non-profit corporations in the US or at least think out the pros and cons of doing so.
 
#19
If you've got the money or the coverage, American healthcare is excellent. God help you if you're just an ordinary working man with a long term health problem.
Getting insured if you've had a heart attack or other debilitating illness or condition and no insurance company will touch you, and then you're pretty much stuffed, unless can get on a research program something.

Of course, with the British NHS, you have the opposite problem, everybody is entitled to treatment free of charge, but the waiting times are often far too long.

You're best bet is probably to be a Canadian citizen who has free universal healthcare, but can hop along the border for things like tests when it would otherwise cost too much....
 
#20
Generally speaking, the NHS does a good job when dealing with acute/ major health problems. Ten years ago, I underwent open heart surgery to correct a congenital valve malformation: no long wait; MRI scans + £20,000 worth of surgery done at no extra cost to me personally, and for that I'M INCREDIBLY THANKFUL.

Simply not true that you wait months for "cancer tests" - if something looks/ feels dodgy, you get seen pretty damned fast these days. Couple of months ago, one of my pupils discovered a testicular lump: at his request, I phoned his GP, who saw him ONE HOUR LATER, and he was scanned at the local hospital that afternoon. Similarly, a colleague suffered **** bleeding - in hospital for a "scope" the next day. Another colleague, sadly, died from cancer last year - not a consequence of inadequate care; simply bad luck it wasn't caught in time. However, he (and his family) received excellent care throughout this terminal illness, culminating in a dignified & pain free demise in a fantastic hospice - all on the NHS, at no extra cost.

Now, of course, it's not all perfect; cock-ups do happen, and there are numerous well documented problems in our system - not least, hygiene in some hospitals, "post code lotteries" etc.. The problems re waiting times etc tend to occur with the "routine", not immediately life threatening conditions (hernias, joint replacement, cataracts etc) which nevertheless cause pain, inconvenience, reduction in life quality etc to sufferers, and it's maybe in these areas that we might usefully consider alternatives to the "one size fits all, financed from general taxation" model so rigidly adhered to as an "article of faith". After all, such an approach seems to work quite well in Australia.

American health care, without doubt, delivers fantastic outcomes (notably in cancer care) for many patients. Resources and numbers of doctors play a big part in this - for example, the state of New York alone (pop. about 18 million) has more medical imaging facilities than the UK (pop. 60 million), and there are typically twice the number of specialists per head of population than in the UK: reflecting the fact that far more money is spent on health care than in the UK.

The downside, however, is that a significant percentage of Americans have extremely limited access to all of this. The medical outcomes statistics are, therefore, problematic because they tend not to include the "negative patient outcomes" of the millions who die of the "nasties" (cancer, heart/ circulatory disease, metabolic disorders etc) without ever having really received any specialist care. My cousin worked for a time as a resident physician in the emergency room of a large, urban hospital, and was shocked at how many patients were admitted with acute problems caused by untreated cancers & other conditions: although treated in the ER for the immediate problem, many opted to discharge themselves asap because they couldn't contemplate the financial implications of any follow-on care. The reality is that a large proportion of America's poor die of untreated cancers etc without receiving any care worth the name; frequently, they "self medicate" with street drugs for pain relief. The "beauty" of this from the health care providers & hospital management perspectives is that the de facto exclusion of numerous poor (who tend to suffer a high proportion of intractable, highly lethal diseases) makes their outcomes statistics seem so much better: in the cut throat, commercialised world of American medicine this counts for a hell of a lot! In my experience, many Americans are fed a lot of balony about the NHS; and believe it rather too readily. It's certainly not ideal, but my own and others' real experiences of it indicate that it delivers pretty well for much of the time, and at far lower cost pro rata than their system. Plus, you can always "go private" if you wish - and have the means so to do! Better, I think, than a system that's essentially all private from the start.

On balance, acknowledging all the problems & shortcomings, I still think that broadly our system is better - although, of course, there's plenty of room for improvement. We should, I think, look at models closer to home (notably the Netherlands, and France - excellent, but rather burdensome on the tax front, I fear!) rather than constantly fearing that any extra payments, "privatisation" etc will immediately result in wholesale adoption of the US system.
 

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