Why the U.S. NEEDS universal health care

  • t0theheights

    Posts: 428

    Aug 07, 2009 10:20 AM GMT
    I've seen so many right-wing lies and distortions put out in an attempt to smear the public health care option that I had to put down my thoughts.

    The goal of a public option is to allow the government to compete with private insurance companies, adding more competition to the market, and thus lowering costs across the board--stopping the private companies from railroading us due to lack of competition, and thus putting the brakes on the soaring cost of health care that is crippling the United States.

    A public option would allow those who cannot afford private insurance access to health care, so that the millions of uninsured right now will no longer have to suffer and die due to lack of the essential care and medicine they need. The U.S. is the ONLY modernized nation that does not have health care for all it's citizens, letting literally millions suffer every day. This is simply disgraceful and it needs to end.

    Further, because the uninsured currently cannot seek basic and preventative medical care, they must let their condition fester until they are forced into the emergency room, where taxpayers must pick up the tab for very expensive last-minute treatments and operations--costing much more than if the condition were treated at the onset. Denying health care to millions is thus both cruel and costly.

    The public option is not socialized medicine, it will not lead to the end of private insurance or lower quality of care. That's nothing but hype and hysteria. Massachusetts already has universal health care, and it has not led to any of the horror stories cooked up by the fear-mongers. Universal Health Care has worked brilliantly in several nations, including France whose quality of health care is consistently rated far better than that of the United States.

    Don't be fooled by lies and distortions, and do support the public option. Do it to lower your premiums and curb the cost of health care. Do it for the millions of Americans, including young men and women and children, currently suffering and dying because of lack of the medical care they need. Please follow your conscience and fiscal sensibility and support the public option. Find out your senators' and representatives' positions and call them.
  • jlly_rnchr

    Posts: 1759

    Aug 07, 2009 11:22 AM GMT
    Excellent post, couldn't agree more.
  • Timbales

    Posts: 13993

    Aug 07, 2009 12:23 PM GMT
    It becomes socialized medicine when you aren't given a choice.
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    Aug 07, 2009 12:26 PM GMT
    Universal care works great here in Canada. But how are you going to have public AND private care? It seems to me that the wealthier and healthier will stick to the private option leaving government option to fund all the poor and ill. The whole point of universality is that everyone is in the pool so, as with any successful insurance plan, those who incur less costs help keep it afloat.
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    Aug 07, 2009 12:30 PM GMT
    OP is 100% right: this is about creating a proper insurance market with real competition for the private companies and real care for all american citizens. It will mean that insurance premiums drop and that the whole system is forced to become more competitive, which is why the insurance companies and the politicians they support financially are so opposed to it. There are already two government run health care systems in the USA: Medicare and the Vets health care (which provides exceptionally high quality care at a lower cost than the private system). Opposition to this is about big business interests which plays on the irrational American fear of "socialism".

    Now, you´d actually be better off with a single payer system and a leaner, competitive private sector, but health insurers make SO much money off the backs of the ill and dying that they will oppose this to the death.

    Literally.


    Freakofnature: the USA government is proposing (as I understand it) to do its own insurance, which will work like another insurance company. Only this time the motivation is not to make huge profits, but to help people.
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    Aug 07, 2009 2:25 PM GMT


    We think part of the trouble is the mindset often encouraged and displayed in the US; that 'others' don't deserve health-care for one reason or another, often based solely on perceptions and not insight into the factors that make up being poor or unhealthy. There's a 'survival of the fittest' undercurrent even here at times that's more than disheartening.

    We also find US people at large have an obsessive fear of anything that smacks of a social contract.

    Dog eat dog and every man for himself.


    Simplistically, we look at children and adults and see this: a child in a well -off family has most needs met, and is free in ways we reminisce about for the rest of our lives. Adults on the other hand are buried in an ocean of uncertainties; nothing is stable or can be counted on, and we think, not free at all.

    Just imagine a state where no one had to worry about their health destroying them financially. Some say everyone would make themselves sick, giving no credit to the human species and actually saying a lot about themselves.
    If people were that bad, then why does it appear Canadians are overall healthier than Americans?



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    Aug 07, 2009 2:30 PM GMT
    I think everyone who feels strongly about this -- for it or against it -- should take a moment to ask themselves, "why might I be wrong about this?"

    it's a complicated issue, lots of ideas are being thrown around, and there isn't really even agreement about what we want -- universal healthcare? mandatory insurance? free healthcare for the poor and/or uninsured?

    it's easy to see how any version could turn out badly, or at least differently from what's intended... yes, the dreaded law of unintended consequences...

    one of the most disturbing things to me is that the conversation is being driven by industry interests (healthcare unions, big pharma, insurance giants, etc) all of whom stand to gain or lose tremendously depending on how the details play out.

    given the current state of the debate, i'm fine if nothing happens at all. maybe in a few years we'll have more clarity about what we want and how we should best achieve it. icon_question.gif
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    Aug 07, 2009 2:49 PM GMT
    I can't wait for government health care. Health care for free...wohooo.

    Next I want a government supplied car...sort of an extended, extended clunkers for cash program ( it would cost the government less per month then health care.)
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    Aug 07, 2009 2:51 PM GMT
    We already have government health care.

    It's called Medicare.

    Oh and its buddy, Medicaid.

    All those old people whining at the town halls...HELLO! icon_rolleyes.gif If they're against government health care, they should give up their Medicare benefits and lower everyone's taxes....
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    Aug 07, 2009 2:53 PM GMT


    Good grief, Alpha13, no one's saying 'free healthcare'. Where do get these rabbits to pull out of hats? lol.
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    Aug 07, 2009 3:11 PM GMT
    freakofnature saidUniversal care works great here in Canada.


    That certainly isn't what I have heard from friends I have who live in Canada. The idea that the government can run anything better than the public sector is, in itself, a scary thought.
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    Aug 07, 2009 3:19 PM GMT
    ...you heard from people with an axe to grind, 40something. Explain what they'd pay for the same coverage down there. See what their reaction is, lol.


  • Mepark

    Posts: 806

    Aug 07, 2009 3:24 PM GMT
    40Something said
    freakofnature saidUniversal care works great here in Canada.


    That certainly isn't what I have heard from friends I have who live in Canada. The idea that the government can run anything better than the public sector is, in itself, a scary thought.


    -In Canada you may have to wait a month or two to see a specialist.
    -In the U.S. that wait isn't significantly lower.
    -In Canada, you may be denied coverage, and then appeal it.
    -In the U.S. insurance companies constantly deny coverage, and you can appeal it.
    -In Canada, you may be told which doctors you can see
    -In the U.S., I just received a list from my insurance company when I signed up of who I may see.
    -In Canada, you may be denied certain medications over cheaper ones
    -In the U.S., my father was forced to change his blood pressure medication because the insurance company decided to no longer cover it.

    My family of 5 pays $1,200 a month and still end up with problems up to our necks with every doctor visit or surgery. That $1,200, not including co-pays and other fees can be used on things that do in fact stimulate the economy and the private sector which you adore so much. Why is my family important in this discussion? because millions of others like them face similar or worse problems.

    There's no difference other than in Canada it doesn't cost near as much as what people spend on their healthcare in this country and still pay co-pay, still be denied, still get their premiums risen due to illness........How much do you think we'll be paying for the same service 10, 20 years from now?

    YES the government can run healthcare better, because there's no profit, and profit when it comes to healthcare insurance just doesn't make sense to me......care to enlighten?
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    Aug 07, 2009 3:40 PM GMT
    I think the current proposed program will be a good one overall. There are a lot of uninsured people who are employed because the employer can't afford to supply any program. My benefits are actually messed up enough that even with insurance, I could end up bankrupt with a major surgery or medical issue because my insurance plan only covers a certain amount of things after the co-pay, which can be high on certain conditions. And they are making record profits.

    But the issue with our medical system isn't just with the insurance companies,the hospitals are jacking up prices. A friend of mine had knee surgery (thankfully for a worker's comp injury) and the hospital billed like $120,000 and the insurance company said they would only pay $60,000 and that's what the hospital got. How can there be a $60k hike up on what they are asking for?

    So the issues and problems with our medical system are messed up all over the place. I'm sure the hospitals charge more to recoup some of the money from the uninsured also, so hopefully that will lower their overhead also if we have a national insurance plan.

    Also, it should provide those of us that work with a better plan if the insurance companies have some competition and incentive to lower their rates and provide better coverage.
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    Aug 07, 2009 3:50 PM GMT
    40Something said
    freakofnature saidUniversal care works great here in Canada.


    That certainly isn't what I have heard from friends I have who live in Canada. The idea that the government can run anything better than the public sector is, in itself, a scary thought.



    Ooooh! Scary-scary! But you have a point - My cousin's best friend's great aunt Tillie in Saskatoon went in to hospital to have a brain tumour removed and they put moose antlers on her by mistake.

    Btw, I asked around and nobody here in Canada is friends with you.
  • Mikeylikesit

    Posts: 1021

    Aug 07, 2009 4:11 PM GMT
    Lets get real folks....The only way to make health care "affordable" is by capping costs....I.E Limiting laws suits, malpractice insurance rates....ect....We are far to suit happy in this country. The average general surgeon must pay atleast $500,000/yr in malpractice insurance. At this rate, who will want to go into health care period!!!

    These politicians are real brain surgeons...LOL
    icon_rolleyes.gif


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    Aug 07, 2009 4:15 PM GMT
    I am just afraid that if it proves to be a bad change, there will be no way back.
  • GQjock

    Posts: 11649

    Aug 07, 2009 4:21 PM GMT
    Oh but gentlemen ...... don't confuse the right with facts

    They don't do well with facts
    They just send out their knee jerk naysayers to drown out any chance for discussion

    Kinda like a child when they stick their fingers in their ears and sing LA LA LA LA LA and say I CAN'T HEAR YOU

    We have the worst and most expensive insurance system in the industrialized world
    It's time we get these viper insurance peddlers off our backs and send them packing

  • mustangd

    Posts: 434

    Aug 07, 2009 4:21 PM GMT
    in that health is the single most important thing to mortal beings, health care should rate highly. for a country blessed with the abundance of resources, capacity for productivity and sheer numbers of population, the achievement of a lunar landing, and the ability to destroy the planets inhabitants many times over, not to offer a solution to basic health care for its citizens is beyond absurd.

    how do we pay for it?

    it should've been done long ago, but profit keeps getting in the way. to tax the middle class in the U.S. at this time to pay for it, for those who already have health care, is dangerous. the middle class is having its life blood sucked out of it by financial institutions and corporate bonus builders. to heap the expense of universal health care on the middle class at this time courts collapse of this backbone of the american economy. obama failed to end the outsourcing of america, he couldn't over ride congress. our tax revenues are shrinking, so, again, while i am for universal health care/reform, how do we pay for it?
  • Mikeylikesit

    Posts: 1021

    Aug 07, 2009 4:35 PM GMT
    DiVer saidI am just afraid that if it proves to be a bad change, there will be no way back.


    Well....We got what everyone wanted....CHANGE!!!.....LOL
    icon_eek.gif
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    Aug 07, 2009 4:48 PM GMT
    When it comes to health care there are plenty of myths on both sides of the political spectrum.

    The big issue is cost -- and there are many reasons for that -- and that's also the part that the current proposal has danced around the most, and also the part that's politically sticky.

    For one though I think it's a fallacy to assume that a government run system would be cheaper than a non-government run system -- it might and or could be, but it's not a given. And you can't assume that because other countries have cheaper systems that are government run that a US government run system would be cheaper.
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    Aug 07, 2009 4:49 PM GMT

    well, lets crunch some numbers - if everyone working in the US paid $100 a month for complete healthcare the amount collected annually would be...

    3 trillion 440 million dollars. Think you could fund healthcare with that?
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Aug 07, 2009 5:08 PM GMT
    well, lets crunch some numbers - if everyone working in the US paid $100 a month for complete healthcare the amount collected annually would be...

    3 trillion 440 million dollars. Think you could fund healthcare with that?


    Ummm, how does that math work?
  • SkyMiles

    Posts: 963

    Aug 07, 2009 5:09 PM GMT
    Thanks for posting this! And AMEN! For-profit health care is a dead-end. The financial incentives work against what we as a country need to achieve -- affordable and available high-quality health care. As it is right now, premiums rise every year and if you need a proceedure to save your life, guess what, you are AS likely to be denied as you are to receive the claim!

    My company has had to switch insurers four times over the last six years. Each time it gets more expensive with higher deductibles and more restrictions. The whole system has to end.

    Also,
    1) No one is talking about government 'taking over' health care. It's just a matter of how it's paid. A non-profit public option is the best way to force insurance companies to straighten the f*ck up.
    2) Amercans pay more for health care and drugs than any industrialized nation but get the least results.
    3) If you get, as I do, an insurance plan from your job, you're employer is not "providing" it. YOU are paying for it because it is a part of YOUR benefits package. That is your money being spent on insurance that will probably drop your coverage the moment you need it -- a common practice the industry calls 'recission.'
    4) Even if you fear 'socialized medicine' or whatever, won't you at least give those of us who rightly distrust the for-profit insurance industy the choice to go with a public option?

    Thanks!
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    Aug 07, 2009 5:11 PM GMT

    well, finding the number of employed people in the US was VERY difficult - seems it's a big secret. So what we had to do was use what was available - one government website there said that out of the total population 9.4% are unemployed. So, ugh, we went with 270 million workers out of an estimated population of 305 million people.

    270 million x $100 dollars x 12.....