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Tuesday, July 21, 2009

National health care debate.


The United States is the only developed nation that does not have universal health care. The arguments against it are supported by insurance companies. Our media is sitting around not getting involved.

What is wrong with that?

Who is speaking for the common folks? Our elected officials should; but, most of them have not had to shoulder the price of health care for their families.


Why aren't the bloggers speaking out?

Who is benefitting from a lack of universal health care?

32 comments:

Diana said...

I'm with you on this one (as a currently working insured person).

Insurance is big business. Things need to change. I'm signing petitions....not sure where else to go from here.

Moannie said...

I cannot imagine what it must be like to live with the spectre of spiralling health bills. I have mentioned many times in my comments that I consider ourselves to be extremely lucky here in the UK to have had a National Health Service since the late '40's. It is abused, overworked and underfinanced, due in part to the advances in medicine since those early years before hip-replacements and transplants, but it still gives EVERYONE free treatment, and children, pregnant mothers and pensioners do not pay for medicines, dental care or simple spectacles.
An amount is taken from every wage or salary, gone without even noticing anymore, and it pays for the NHS.
Social medicine is frowned on, or used to be, by most Americans as a communist idea...and the dark days of Reds under Beds still linger, I think. Scare mongers [Insurance?] use the phrase.
It is a scandal. To think that there is always money to wage war or fly to Mars, but people are dying for want of a kidney, or dialysis, or are crippling themselves financially when an unexpected emergency occurs.
Isn't it time that the American people demanded to know who benifits from this-is it the politicians? Big business?
It isn't my fight but I think it would be.
As always, and interesting subject.

willow said...

My thoughts exactly! We have to pay for our own health insurance, out of pocket, and it is unbelievably expensive. Who can afford $1000 a month for health insurance? Something has to change.

Brian Miller said...

have not had insurance in 5 years. too expensive. mine was quoted out over $1000 for the fam. cheaper to pay the doctor if needed or avoid if we can't afford it. something really has to change.

Maggie May said...

I think I could second what Moanie has said.
However, I'm not sure how long Britain can carry on the way it is doing because we are providing free things to more & more people. I reckon they will *go bust* before too long.
It is a great pity that the system in America is creating a great divide between rich & poor.Those who can pay for insurance & those who can't.
It is only a matter of luck who gets sick and when. It can afflict anybody at any age and I think that there is enough to worry about in times of bad illness without the strain of worrying how you can finance it as well as loss of earnings through the illness.

Pyzahn said...

Well, it's going to be a hard sell to the working class because it will probably mean a higher tax bracket. Folks aren't seeing the big picture and a bunch of loony tunes (probably funded by big insurance) are calling it socialized medicine which freaks everyone out.

Medicare is such a bureaucratic mess that most don't have faith the government can put together an effective, affordable plan. It's a BIG quagmire. If people had listened to Hillary 15 years ago, the bugs could have been worked out by now.

Instead people like me are going into debt because coverage is so outrageous. Or they're going bankrupt because medical bills have taken their life savings.

I really dislike insurance companies, almost as much as the pharmaceutical companies. What are your suggestions?

Fire Byrd said...

It beggers belief that a society as America does not have a national health service.
Ours may creak and groan but as someone who's worked in it for 30 years and can see it's faults I wouldn't like to lose it at all.

An English Shepherd said...

The Boss agress with Moannie.

We have the NHS here in the UK and its one of the best things about the place. If you have always had free heathcare at the point of use you have no idea what its like not to have it...

Plus its a lot cheaper as well.

Midlife Jobhunter said...

Touchy topic for politicians - especially for those who have no clue how so many suffer without proper care. Or those ignorant enough to think insurance is easily affordable or would be with a small token of help. Or all those accepting the monies from the insurance and pharmaceutical lobbyists as well as those that work to keep the system in their corner. I so wish we could foresee change. Something has to give somewhere, but it will require guts from many circles.

Woman in a Window said...

We have universal healthcare but it's a bit of a myth for Canada. We get basics for free only. Unless we have insurance through work we pay for prescriptions, which can be so expensive it's enough to put you in the hospital. And then if you have certain ailments, you're not covered at all. AND THEN there's the problem of even finding a doctor that's available, getting in to see her/him, and if you need a hospital procedure you better hope like hell your number gets drawn. Our system isn't pretty. We need an overhaul! But yes, at least we have basics.

Wander to the Wayside said...

I'm incredibly ignorant on the topic of insurance, sad to say. My husband was a self-employed carpenter, and I was a self-employed babysitter/petsitter. We had too much money to qualify for help, and not enough to afford insurance. Well, that's not true. We had it once for about three months, and as soon as there was a lull in work we couldn't afford it anymore! So it was all money down the drain. We had to file for bankrupty last year after paying for YEARS (on two emergency hospital visits for him) because of the decline of the construction industry. So here we are 61 years old and worrying every day that something will happen. I don't have a clue what the answer is for us, but hope someday at least my daughter and grandchildren will have a better and more fair system with more options.

Deb Shucka said...

Thanks for stopping by my blog. I really like your forum and look forward to reading more.

Gran said...

I've been lucky, so far. Healthy plus insurance, but my son and his family did not have insurance for 2+ years, because they just couldn't afford it. Luckily, they are fully covered now, but who knows?

I applaud Obama for meeting this issue head on, but I have little faith he will be successful. As my boss complained after 9/11/2001, as insurance costs rose, "insurance companies are only in it for the money."

Lyn said...

I've been wondering the same thing .. why aren't more people speaking out -- demanding the basics of a civilized existence -- universal healthcare. What better reason to pay taxes? As a Canadian and someone who has had very ill family members - a day doesn't go by where I am not grateful for this privilege - this right. Our system is not perfect, however we can sleep easy at night knowing that if we have an illness in the family, we can go to the doctor of our choice and get treatment without the worry of maxing out our coverage, or going into financial ruin. My mother had a lung transplant at 58 and it didn't cost us anything above the taxes we pay. This would not have been possible if we had lived south of the border. And I have to say that the propaganda ads that are running on TV make me angry and sick to my stomach.

Americans should be embracing the concept of universal health care without fear ... it is essential to have a system that does not discriminate. They say a society should be judged on how they care for the sickest and the poorest ...

Lori ann said...

Everything is wrong with it. Like Brian, we decided to take our chances and stop trying to keep up with nearly 1000 a month payments. The worst part of that was the high deductible, which meant the insurance hardly ever kicked in (we've been blessed with good health)for the year. Now I'm finding out first hand what it's like to be an uninsured patient. Just today went I went to have another blood test, I was told they don't accept cash. Credit card only. grrrr. We have found out too that some private practices will not see you without insurance. The only good in this is at least in California, hospitals cannot turn you away and must treat everyone. My bill for 3 hours in the e.r. last month was in the thousands. We are questioning every single test and the cost, but honestly it may be why it's taking so long to diagnose. We have to be conservative.

Nancy said...

I am so with you on this one. I've signed the petition going to my congressman. When will people realize we need to give insurance comapnies some competition? Isn't that what our economy is supposed to be all about? And when do we get the same benefits our politicians vote in for themselves??

Trish and Rob MacGregor said...

Health care is big business and huge profits. Check out a book called Healing America ( I think that's the title). The journalist has an old injury to his shoulder and traveled to different countries to find out how that country's health care system might treat it.

The U.S. was the only country - among Germany, France, India and the U.K. - that recommended joint replacement, to the tune of tens of thousands of dollars.

Politicians have great health care coverage - with taxpayer dollars. Why not extend Medicare for all?

Rob-bear said...

Our Canadian system is good for the basics -- hospital care and visits to the doctor. We're seeing government action on prescription drugs. But there is still a lot of stuff that isn't covered. For that, we get supplementary insurance, but it doesn't cost us $1,000 per month.

The biggest problems with Canada's system come from lack of planning by governments. Results include not enough doctors, not enough long-term care beds, and not enough nursing staff in hospitals.

There is an ad on American tv about a Canadian woman who is bellyaching about Canada's health care system. But when you listen to th ad, it's really apparent that the problem was not the health care system -- it was the doctor who was treating her. It's a phony baloney deal being pushed by the American health care industry, and the politicians who have been "bought and paid for" by the health insurance industry.

Check on what's being done with HR676 -- a bill that's being promoted by more and more Representatives and Senators.

Amy said...

Of course, we only have to do a little digging to know who is benefiting from not having a universal healthcare plan. Too many people in positions of power have had their pockets lined by the insurance and pharmaceutical companies. We unfortunately are being governed by too many of those who are more concerned about their bank accounts than they are for the common good of the citizens of this country.

Greed and power make ugly bedfellows.

I'm glad you're speaking up.

Ribbon said...

Sounds like they're trying to kill people off in America?
I hope something changes in the right direction for you all soon.
We're lucky on that front here in Australia at this stage in the game we have a relatively reliable healthcare system. (with room for improvement)

best wishes
Ribbon

Reya Mellicker said...

It's sad how short-sighted we are, not realizing that if you don't take care of your citizens, your country won't be worth a damn.

There was a great article in the New Yorker a few weeks ago about how healthcare works, and how to make it less expensive. The writer pointed out that if the system isn't revamped, no one will be able to afford it, no matter who signs the check.

Definitely we're at a crisis point. Hope we can open our eyes and make the needed changes.

Linda Faltin said...

I have written some personal comments about health care on my own blog, lifelinesbylinda.
As my 92-year-old mom lives with me and I am primary caregiver AND a "senior" citizen myself, I am encountering the joke which is Medicare on a pretty regular basis. Revising healthcare MUST include looking hard at Medicare and what it covers. Millions, if not billions, of dollars could be saved here, I'm certain. Medicare Part D was one of the biggest debacles ever foisted on the American people...it's very expensive and only those taking lots of medications benefit. The rest of us who are relatively healthy are footing their bill- and while I am in favor of assisting those less fortunate than myself, I am living on limited income and have recently cancelled my Medicare supplement since it will "supplement" ONLY those things which are approved by Medicare- which includes very little that supports maintaining good health. Oh, what a tangled web be have woven!

Cynthia said...

I completely agree. I think health care for everyone is a must. Many times we have had periods without heath care. It is stressful and unfair because those who work hard, make too much money (?), do not qualify for anything. Last month I had to pay 500 for one month of insurance because my contract ended early and the new one doesn't begin until August. Also, the government decided to stop providing family health care for contract employees because it was too expensive! They changed all contracts from 12 months to 10 in order to get around the insurance requirement. No one mentions the loss of health care. They just talk about saving money by shortening the contracts. (The work required is not decreased, you just have to do it for free.) We need a health care system that isn't driven entirely by the consumer market. Thanks for your post! <3

Gaston Studio said...

Well said!! Everyone should be writing to their congressmen, senators, etc. to insist on change. And while you're at it, include a change in our judicial, education and tax systems.

NitWit1 said...

My former occupation was in the medical field (pharmacy) and some of my posts have lamented the plight of some clients [ http://cowardscorner-nitwit1.blogspot.com/2009/07/tiny-dose-of-poison-part-3-rx-vs-food.html ] including a 3 part series on prescription meds; and this one about my seeing a specialist which is a part of the medical hierachy our legislators are trying to limit, and which in my particular case, I feel actually saved Medicare/Tricare for Life over $30,000 because before he was consulted I was headed (1)for unneeded surgery (2) he used tests and procedures already performed in his diagnosis saving cost of repeat tests, but he personally evaluated the findings line by line, instead of accepting the summary usually provided. See [ http://cowardscorner-nitwit1.blogspot.com/2009/07/better-medicine-you-decide.html ]

Truthfully we really need to start somewhere, but I am wondering if we need to toss out everything? We have a program known as Medicaid. Why not revamp that program to include persons with more income. States have to share in the expense of this program. This may be fairer. I am not sure. Medicaid patients receive relatively good medical care including specialists. I know one who had two kidney transplants. They do not get a reasonable deal on prescriptions in my opinion.

Like I said, I don't know, but it seems there is a rush to get rid of the good, as well as the bad, of what we currently of what we have. AND I oppose judgements of bureaucrats which may determine the age of a person as criteria for care, particularly judgements which smells of discrimination that the elderly are of limited or no value to society

Reasons to be Cheerful 1,2,3 said...

I remember a sad joke from when I lived in Canada, that the difference between a Canadian and an American was that a Canadian was an unarmed American with health services. It's an awful situation, ours is creaking and no-one really appreciates it, but at least it's there.

Helen said...

Thank you so much for such an important and timely post! I am just now trying to decide whether to let go of my Medicare supplement and just go it alone on Medicare ... after reading a few of the comments here, I am going to give it even more thought. Given the greed of insurance companies, pharmaceutical companies, huge provider practices .... the ability to fix the current system seems overwhelming. I pray we see progress this year.

Lizzy Frizzfrock said...

Thanks for the post. Did you read John Hayes' post on Health Care & Two Bums? It & yours spurred me to write something. I'm with Willow... who can afford $1000/month for insurance? But remember if we are working it comes out of our paychecks and the effect is similar. Higher costs of insurance and very little in the way of raises to offset the output.

Boots said...

totally disagree that we should throw in our system. People come to our USA for the best medical treatment in the world! We have incredible progressive medical treatment and options...Our own citizens need to learn to think for themselves and stop depending on our freaking government to TAKE CARE OF THEM!

There is a way to correct what is wrong without the government getting even more involved in my personal life. I do not agree with anything the present Administration has done for "change". People (bloggers) do need to speak out for changing the system

Yes the media is no longer JOURNALISM ~ it is propaganda.

Rob-bear said...

I agree with Boots.

Keep the same health care coverage that the federal politicians have, and extend it to everyone -- with the same people paying for everyone as those who pay for the politicians.

What's sauce for the politicians is sauce for the people, so to speak.

What could be simpler, Boots?

Angela Recada said...

I'm so glad to see you talking about this issue on your blog, Rosaria. I know so many people who are against a national health care system, and I just don't understand them. I am for it 100%. My relatives in Germany and friends in Canada can't understand how we put up with our current system.

Good for you for posting this!

Elizabeth Bradley said...

Health insurance for my husband and I cost $2100.00 a month. We pay because we are self-employed. I sure could use some relief but I am unclear on whether or not we would still have to pay this insane amount of money and still pay taxes for other's to be insured. I guess we'll just have to what happens.