Arguments Against Universal Healthcare in America

The prospect of universal healthcare in America brings out a great deal of arguments from both sides of the political spectrum. I thought I'd take a closer look at some of these arguments. While it might be a good idea to take a closer look at each one individually, the purpose of this article is to provide an overview.

Civilized nations across the globe utilize various forms of universal or nationalized healthcare insurance programs. Germany, the first country to implement national healthcare, did so in the 1880's, decades before America would see the serious development of any kind of health insurance at all.

All of these national healthcare systems in other countries have their own unique ways of accomplishing the goal of universal healthcare. Some have banned private healthcare insurance companies altogether. In other countries, the goal of universal coverage is met through legislation and regulation of the healthcare companies, and by requiring citizens to enroll in one way or another.

Other countries allow private insurance companies to exist as competition, or as supplementation to the national plans to provide additional coverage. Additionally private insurance carriers act in some nations in a complimentary manner to cover such medical services which are not covered under the governments' plans, such as cosmetic treatments.

While, there are many different ways of accomplishing universal healthcare, it is clear that doing so has many important benefits to the medical and financial well-being of the citizens of these nations. Countries with universal healthcare plans generally experience significantly lower infant mortality rates, longer life spans, and a greatly reduced per capita healthcare cost. The general health of the nation as a whole is improved by the prevention of epidemics.

Still, many opponents of universal healthcare in America are not convinced. Indeed, some are adamantly opposed, and exhibit an extreme amount of anger at the very thought of either a publicly funded plan, or government regulation of for-profit healthcare corporations. While many of their stated reasons for this fierce opposition are based obviously on misunderstandings of the specific plans the United States Congress is now considering, some of their arguments are a bit more reasonable.

The Free Market Argument

One of the main reasons for opposition to universal healthcare is the argument of the effectiveness of free markets at providing better results and cost controls. It is generally believed in a free market society that less government involvement produces multiple competing organizations which are theoretically supposed to in turn produce lower costs and increased innovation. This is supposed to result in a better, more affordable end product for the consumer.

When the "end-product" is not a matter of life and death, this model generally works quite well. Even so, there is a fairly large group of Americans who are perfectly satisfied with their healthcare insurance the way it is. This group consists primarily of people whose health insurance premiums are subsidized by their employers, and who have never faced a serious illness - yet, that is. As long as these people stay relatively healthy, and don't face premium payments that consume a large percentage of their income, this group will remain satisfied with things the way they are.

However, there are also a great deal of people who face rising premiums which increasingly eat up larger percentages of their income. For this group of people, the free market model isn't working so well. While premiums are rising across the board, and on average have doubled over the last decade, sometimes even higher raises in premium are occurring, due to such things as simply having a coworker with an ill child, which thus produces higher rates for that entire company.

Other people have experienced the frustrating reality of paying their premiums for years only to discover when they or a covered family member become ill that the insurance provider will not cover the necessary treatments. And once the primary insured, or the spouse or a covered dependent becomes seriously ill, increased premium rates can often become unsustainable, and the insurance irreplacable due to industry wide preexisting condition clauses.

In addition to high premiums, there are large annual deductibles, and caps on how much an insurer will insure you for yearly, and over the course of your lifetime. In the cases of serious illness, these above average premiums, yearly deductibles and over the cap out of pocket expenses can bankrupt a family, and still leave them incapable of funding necessary treatment.

So what the free-market provides us with is usually a very satisfactory insurance program as long as your need for it isn't very strong.

We Have the Best Healthcare in the World, Don't Mess With It

France has the best healthcare in the world, as rated by the World Health Organization. They accomplished this through providing comprehensive universal healthcare and also the utilization of non-profit supplementary providers. The government of France subsidizes 70% of normal expences, but pays 100% of more expensive or long term treatment plans. The compulsory contributions are enforced via a 5.25% deduction from salaries, capital income and other income such as lottery or gambling winnings.

After France on the World Health Organization's list of rankings come 35 other countries before the United States comes in at 37th, just behind Costa Rica. While the United States does rate high in advanced medical technology and procedures, France, Australia, Germany, Sweden, Japan and the United Kingdom rate very well comparatively, and all of these countries have universal healthcare programs. The major difference then being that this advanced medicine is actually reaching the people of their countries, and not just those people who can afford to pay high premiums and/or high out of pocket expenses.

Further, we have fewer doctors per person, obscenely higher death rates among all age groups including infant mortality, and we pay about twice as much as all of the countries mentioned above on healthcare per person on average, including all the people in the U.S. who received no healthcare at all, making the amount even more astonishing. We are less prepared to handle medical crisis, with a lower doctor to patient ratio, and less beds and facilities available per citizen as well.

If Healthcare Workers Face Lowered Compensation, Less People Will Want to Enter the Medical Field

Medical specialists in America do enjoy a very healthy salary, and that certainly is as it should be. Their education costs are higher than most, they have fees, dues, and liability insurance payments to make, and many work long hours putting in extra time to stay abreast of current advancements in knowledge and technique. We certainly wish to maintain highly skilled practitioners, and though we may occasionally hear complaints about the high price of doctor's bills, I'm sure no reasonable person truly begrudges the high salaries of skilled and caring physicians.

That said, there is no evidence to suggest that a program for universal healthcare would limit salaries to such an extent that would cause a loss of skilled talent. Indeed, when compared with other industrialized nations which do enjoy universal healthcare, the United States has a low percentage of doctors.

France has 3.4 doctors per every 1000 citizens. Germany, with the oldest universal healthcare program has 3.5 doctors per every 1000 citizens, as well as even Sweden whose doctors do not enjoy a high level of compensation. Meanwhile the United States with its free-market driven health insurance corporations, has only 2.4 doctors per 1000 citizens.

We Don't Want the Government Deciding What Procedures We Can Have

Would you like to have those decisions made for you by a for-profit healthcare insurance corporation whose main concern is making money? Because that is what we have. There are countless stories of insured individuals being denied treatment, or coverage for treatment, for a variety of reasons.

It is important to understand that healthcare insurance providers do not care about the patient, they care about the bottom line. Our sufferings, illnesses and tragedies do not concern them. It is a business, just business.

Like in any well run business, the executive pay is great, really, really great. In fact the healthcare insurance industry CEO's enjoy an above average CEO compensation, somewhere in the high 7-8 digit range, and those extra digits do not represent cents. They also enjoy many pleasurable perks and lucrative bonuses such as generous stock options. The shareholders also make money. None of this has anything to do with whether a patient lives or dies. The premiums always come in, and the trick of the business is to make sure that as little of that income as is possible through hook and crook is paid back out in claims. That's business.

A 2008 survey of doctors in America showed that the majority of them favored a universal healthcare program. The reason cited was overwhelmingly the fact that private insurers interfere too much with necessary treatments even when the patient has adequate coverage, and the lack of coverage or adequate coverage to cover necessary treatment in other patients.

Why Should Healthy People Have to Pay For the Unhealthy

This is already the situation, up to the point at which insurance providers yank coverage for unhealthy individuals. As discussed before, an ill coworker -or covered dependent of such- raises the premiums for everyone within the group. If a coworker's child has leukemia, you're increased rates are helping to cover that child's treatments.

Even assuming that no individual covered through the group is ill, the premiums are still calculated to help cover high cost treatments for other individuals insured through the same insurance provider, whether or not those individuals are included in your specific insured group.

You might think you can escape this 'share the load' consequence by obtaining insurance outside of employment. However, insurance premiums for individuals are priced even higher, since there is no specific group to spread the costs among should that individual or one of his or her covered dependents become ill.

So while cost sharing is already in effect on insurance plans obtained through private insurers, the difference with a government sponsored program would be that your premiums will not be used to fund shareholder dividends or extremely excessive -astronomical- executive salaries, benefits and other perks. Nor would your premiums be used to fund lobbying purposes or influence politicians. Experts predict a substantial cost saving on these administrative costs of about 14%.

But The Government Can't Even Run the Post Office

The United States Postal Service has been in business for well over 200 years. They are the third largest employer in the country employing over 760,000 Americans with over 32,700 branches across the U.S. They are extremely efficient, very fairly priced and have adapted well to changes in the industry.

So let me get this straight. The governments of Australia, New Zealand, Argentina, Brazil, Canada, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Cuba, Panama, Peru, Uruguay, Trinidad, Tobago, Venezuela, Brunei, China, Hong Kong, India, Kuwait, Qatar, United Arab Emirates, Saudi Arabia, Israel, Singapore, Japan, Malaysia, South Korea, Seychelles, Sri Lanka, Taiwan, Pakistan, Thailand, Austria, Belgium, Bosnia, Herzogovina, Bulgaria, Croatia, the Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Georgia, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Italy, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, the Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Russia, Serbia, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Ukraine, and the United Kingdom can all maintain effective universal healthcare programs, but the good old US of A cannot? Rubbish! Indeed, even Irag and Afghanistan have universal healthcare these days, sponsored by the United States War Fund.

All photos courtesy of freedigitalphotos.net
All photos courtesy of freedigitalphotos.net

The Burden of Unhealthy Lifestyles

Again, you're already paying for it, to at least some degree. Employed, insured people also smoke and drink, and use illegal drugs, and practice unhealthy eating habits and suffer from a lack of sufficient exercise.

There is some legitimate cause for concern regarding increased premiums due to adding poorer people to the insurance pool. For example, it is certainly true that poor people cannot afford the cost of a healthy diet. Between trying to earn a living and taking care of their family and homes, and their inability to afford healthy foods, they may not have much time, energy or money for exercise programs or other physical recreation. Unless such people are employed by a company which subsidizes a high portion of their insurance premiums, they will likely be currently uninsured, adding a lack of proper medical intervention to their healthcare dilemnas.

In time, this leads to increased medical needs for conditions which may have been averted had proper medical attention been accessible to them earlier. Now faced with full blown, out of control illnesses, they often require a great deal of expensive treatments to try and fix what might have been prevented in the first place with adequate medical care. Again, through higher hospital costs and taxes, you are already paying for this as well.

Adding these individuals to the medical care pool earlier will cost less in the long run, and might just have the added benefit of providing them with the same chance for a healthy life that more fortunate members of our society possess.

Universal Healthcare is Socialism

Socialism in its simplest definition is when industry and resources are owned and controlled by the state or a collective of the people, for the theoretical good of all as opposed to being for the benefit of a few. In a socialist society, there is no private property, or only a very limited ownership, and an egalitarian approach to goods, income and access to resources.

The acheivment of universal healthcare would not qualify as making us a socialist society, it would simply mean that we have achieved equal access to medical care. That's why it's called 'universal healthcare'. It does not mean that overall socialism would follow. While some fringe type individuals would like to see America become a socialist society, it's pretty much crazy to think anyone else does, let alone politicians.

Jesus, by the way, was a socialist.

Establishing Universal Healthcare

I discussed briefly in my opening the fact that there are many different ways of achieving universal healthcare. The trick for each society is to discover what works for them, and what doesn't.

Though many economic and healthcare experts believe that the single payer system is the most efficient, self sustainable and the best option for us in America, many Americans remain opposed to the concept. In light of that, for us, other options are being considered instead. 

It is important to note that it is believed that a great deal of the fear people have concerning a single payer system is due to propaganda put forth both discreetly and overtly by healthcare insurance lobbying firms whose employers would like things to remain the way they are. Currently congress is working on hammering out a compromise, but this effort is hampered by a still misinformed public, politics as usual, and the fact that at least some of the members of congress may be in the pockets of the healthcare insurance industry.

I'll be taking a closer look at different aspects of the healthcare debate over the course of the next few weeks. Feel free to offer suggestions or comments. I take criticism as an opportunity to learn, so don't be hesitant to say what you're thinking. Let me know how you feel, and thank you for reading.

Comments 152 comments

2patricias profile image

2patricias 7 years ago from Sussex by the Sea

Pat writes: I started reading this hub expecting an emotional rant, but finished impressed with the amount of information that you provided.

Tricia and I live in England, and have experienced the NHS as patients, parents and through parts of our (varied) careers.

It is FAR from perfect, but for most people it works.

I was born in the USA and still have a few relatives there. Some of my relatives there have chronic illnesses, so I know from them about the anxiety and stress caused by negotiations with insurance companies.

My son had an accident in France when he was a child, that required surgery and a hospital stay. The quality of care he received there was excellent. Until I read your hub I had not known that France is rated 1st in the world for health care.

My son has further experience of the French system because he moved to France to work as an accountant. (He must have really enjoyed the hospital stay LOL) He found that there is a French 'well for work' programme where people in employment are visited in their place of work by a doctor. The object is to reduce time off sick.

I guess that Americans would not like something like that - could be seen as interfering with personal freedom.

I am so pleased to see a rational discussion. I have felt so sat reading about the demonstations and shouting at the 'Town Hall' meetings in the US.


Things Considered profile image

Things Considered 7 years ago from North Georgia Foothills Author

Thank you, Pat, for your kind words. I know the title is a little put-offish, but I wanted to make sure those people looking for arguments against might hear some arguments for. Of course, universal healthcare isn't going to automatically fix everything, people shouldn't expect perfection. But goodness it will be better than what currently exists. Like everything, it's something we'll need to watch and adjust until it is as near perfect as possible.

Thanks again for your comment!


Ralph Deeds profile image

Ralph Deeds 7 years ago

This is an outstanding, well-reasoned analysis and refutation of the arguments against universal health care. Well done!


Ralph Deeds profile image

Ralph Deeds 7 years ago

Here's an email I received just now from a friend that illustrates the problems with the insurance industry:

Dear Family and Friends,

I received a 'phone call today from Memorial Sloan-Kettering. You may recall that, over the last two months, I have informed them twice that, having reached and exceeded my annual "out of pocket cap", for which I paid Health Net, Inc. an extra premium, I no longer owed them payment. I made an exception for two services that were not covered by Medicare and sent $900 to MSKCC in June. That left a bill, for hospital services, of about $5,000.

When I answered the 'phone and was told that it was MSKCC calling, I prepared myself to deal with the expected, "We are sending your account to collections unless you pay us your balance within the next . . . days. But that is not what I heard. Instead, I was told, "We want you to know that your current balance is zero; actually, we need to reimburse you for overpayments."

Once I recovered my composure, I asked which unit they were talking about, the hospital or physician services. Hospital, my caller said, and then she added, "But we are going to check with the physicians' billing department to see if they also owe you a reimbursement."

Once I picked myself up off the floor, I thanked her, decided not to ask the amount of the reimbursement but to await the posting of the credit to my credit card, and to think, in the meantime, about some pricey piece of equipment I might buy for my boat.

Why and how did this happen? Because of my winning grievance against Health Net, Inc. This forced them to renegotiate their payments to MSKCC, and guess what? I get some of my money back.

The moral of this story is NOT that the health insurance industry is actually a bunch of good guys after all; no way. This time they got caught out and hoisted on their own petard. I also convinced them that I knew the game and how to play it well and wasn't going to go away. And that I was bringing in some potentially troublesome allies, just in case.

The moral of the story is, don't take "no" for an answer unless you are absolutely certain that they are right and you are wrong. And then don't give up, don’t pay, and know their policies and practices by heart. And don't lose heart, ever.

This, I hope, is the happy ending to the financial plotline of the Medical Honeymoon. On the medical front, the "other" plotline, all is well at this point.

Saludos,


Ralph Deeds profile image

Ralph Deeds 7 years ago

Here's another item from my morning email:

I'm an oncologist. And I talk to my patients regularly about end of life issues. And these comments by Grassley and others are an insult to doctors and patients everywhere.

Earlier this evening, I spoke with a patient who is dying. I've known this patient for a long time. And in spite of many treatments we've tried for his cancer, nothing has been working. Today, we spoke about his illness, and he told me what he wanted. He told me that he's tired of coming to the emergency room, and he's tired of being admitted to the hospital. He told me that he wanted to be home for the remainder of his life. He told me that he didn't want to suffer. And he told me that he wanted to die peacefully, in his sleep. We spoke about this at length, and he asked me to enroll him in a hospice program.

People have a right to talk about their wishes at the end of life. This includes setting up health care proxies and advanced directives, exploring their wishes about resuscitation efforts, and discussing end-of-life care options such as hospice. It is the responsibility of doctors -- whether they are oncologists or cardiologists or primary care physicians -- to have these discussions with patients and their families. Such discussions ensure that an individual's wishes are respected at the end of life. Any physician will tell you that patients and their families benefit from these discussion. And they benefit whether these discussions occur over 10 years or 10 days.

We need to make it clear to everyone that this provision does one single thing: it allows physicians to be compensated for having these discussions. These discussions happen anyway -- compensated or not. But they need to happen more. And perhaps one of the reasons they don' happen enough is that there is frequently no way for physicians to be reimbursed for them.

Doctors need to speak out against these unconscionable lies. We know the importance of end-of-life counseling. Many, many people have spoken to their doctors about end of life issues as well -- and they should be speaking out as well. It is time that we stopped these awful lies.


Things Considered profile image

Things Considered 7 years ago from North Georgia Foothills Author

I couldn't agree more, Ralph. Thanks for posting those healthcare experiences. I hope people will begin to see that something more effective than tort reform has to be done.


ColdWarBaby 7 years ago

This is a stellar example of an extremely well prepared, researched and written presentation. It is so rationally and pragmatically stated that it really leaves no room for contention.

I really appreciate it.


Things Considered profile image

Things Considered 7 years ago from North Georgia Foothills Author

Thank you! I've been enjoying your hubs as well.


calfcreek profile image

calfcreek 7 years ago from Republic of Texas

Thanks for writing. It is indeed a well written piece. I do, however, disagree. First of all I wouldn't trust the WHO any more than I trust the U.N. both of which have shown extreme bias in their summary reports of various issues.

Secondly, your analysis of the Post Office is completely erroneous. UPS and Fed-Ex are much more efficient than the Post Office and have been petitioning for years to be allowed access to daily mail, but have been denied by the government because it well knows that would be the end of the Post Office. There is no way it can compete in a free market. My father worked for the Post Office btw and he loved the people but hated the bureaucrats that ran it.

Finally, you have given no real statistics to prove what you've said, and as we all know in today's climate one can probably find studies on both sides of the argument. But simply to state something as fact doesn't make it so.

Lastly, no one can adequately report just how much government influence which is already knee deep into the health care industry, is the cause of the problems in health care today. Medicare and Medicaid are on their way to eating up upwards of 45% of the national budget by 2050 (CBO). Government run health care in this country will be a disaster.

I so love it when people wax eloquently about government. It is inefficient, obtrusive, overbearing, oppressive and ripe for corruption for political gains. Private industry has many problems as well, but there are market solutions to these problems. There is no solution to government programs. Can you name one large government program that was turned back to private industry? Some have tried this with Medicare and Medicaid, against much resistance from the left; trying to save money. It typically is only minimally effective as the programs tend to grow exponentially, and if the whole program is not shifted, loopholes uphold the status quo.

The free market has done more for the health of the entire world than all of the government programs combined. Just ask the billions that we feed everyday.

Again, thanks for writing and keep it up. You have talent.


knell63 profile image

knell63 7 years ago from Umbria, Italy

I have been saddened by the downright lies and exagerations the American right have been making about the British NHS, admittedly it's far from perfect but next to a profit concerned market reactive private insurance company I know where I would prefer to place my bets. Surely its the right of every citizen to have at least essential healthcare and not put it down to their ability to pay. Americans need to get away from this idea that anything with a socialist tag is Satans ideology, lets just look at the state free market trading has left the world in.

Good hub, thoroughly enjoyed letting off steam.


Plants and Oils profile image

Plants and Oils 7 years ago from England

A very good and thoughtful hub. I think most non-Americans are startled at the opposition to universal health care in the USA. It seems obvious to the rest of us!


surfzen 7 years ago

I have been marketing health insurance for almost 40 years I can tell you that 7 companies in America control all the Health Plans that are available to consumers and like the oil and gas industry, the prices are fixed and controlled by the seven. There has never been any competition price wise between the hundreds of plans available. I pay $746 per month for my wife's Kaiser plan. She was grandfathered when I turned 65 and went on Medicare which terminated our group plan. She cannot switch to any other company due to a pre existing condition clause so we are stuck. We can pay Kaiser or have NO COVERAGE. One of the guys that surfs nearby has a daughter who is inline for a liver transplant and she is locked into a $1500 a month premium with no possiblilty of relief. Each year on anniversary I shop her case with over 60 companies. No luck for over 5 years now.

Actuaries in the insurance industry project that only about 10 million people will opt for the public plan and that competition will come into play for the first time in decades since the consolidation of all the companies into the big 7.

The VA health plan is an excellent example of "socialized medicine." Government owned hospitals and clinics and Government paid physicians and staff. Reforms are taking place at the VA as ordered by the new president. It will be fixed. One of my best friends was able to take advantage of the VA program during his fight with pancreatic cancer, but his wife has no coverage, is that fair. She has cancer too. I believe that our soldiers who faced combat are certainly entitled to free or nearly free health coverage for life but what about widows and children...They are out of luck. Obama's reform will take care of that problem and not at a cost but as a huge multi billion dollar savings to taxpayers. Blue Cross will fourish as will the other carriers. who are automating many of the heretofore administrative costs. For instance, my lastest cancer tests were e mailed to me and are on KP.Org for me to see 24 hours per day so that I am much better informed as a patient now. I don't have to take someone's time on the phone to get my information. Drug companies have run rampant, My Flomax costs me nearly $100 copay each refill and I raised caine and was told that Kaiser pays almost $600 for the prescription and they get the difference from medicare. In 8 years there will be generic flomax for a copay of $4 a month but because of drug company lobbyists we are all paying dearly. My doctor says that if I do not take it there is a good chance that I will have a recurrence of cancer so I take it every day.

Americans are totally ignorant of the facts. They get their information from Hannity and Rush.

I am done. But here are some true facts. Most people that I talk to dont even bother to look at the facts. There is no bill to vote on...it is being developed by the crew on both sides of the issue congress. It is our fault, we voted them in. When I saw Arlen Spector stand there like a speechless it all became very clear. The man has no clue and has not done his homework. Remember Ross Perot. He would go to a meeting prepared with a chart of facts. I sent an email to the white house suggesting that the facts be put on a flip chart for the people who are holding the town hall meetings so they can communicate what Obama is doing. Dave Axelrod sent me this today.

8 ways reform provides security and stability to those with or without coverage

Ends Discrimination for Pre-Existing Conditions: Insurance companies will be prohibited from refusing you coverage because of your medical history.

Ends Exorbitant Out-of-Pocket Expenses, Deductibles or Co-Pays: Insurance companies will have to abide by yearly caps on how much they can charge for out-of-pocket expenses.

Ends Cost-Sharing for Preventive Care: Insurance companies must fully cover, without charge, regular checkups and tests that help you prevent illness, such as mammograms or eye and foot exams for diabetics.

Ends Dropping of Coverage for Seriously Ill: Insurance companies will be prohibited from dropping or watering down insurance coverage for those who become seriously ill.

Ends Gender Discrimination: Insurance companies will be prohibited from charging you more because of your gender.

Ends Annual or Lifetime Caps on Coverage: Insurance companies will be prevented from placing annual or lifetime caps on the coverage you receive.

Extends Coverage for Young Adults: Children would continue to be eligible for family coverage through the age of 26.

Guarantees Insurance Renewal: Insurance companies will be required to renew any policy as long as the policyholder pays their premium in full. Insurance companies won't be allowed to refuse renewal because someone became sick.

8 common myths about health insurance reform

Reform will stop "rationing" - not increase it: It’s a myth that reform will mean a "government takeover" of health care or lead to "rationing." To the contrary, reform will forbid many forms of rationing that are currently being used by insurance companies.

We can’t afford reform: It's the status quo we can't afford. It’s a myth that reform will bust the budget. To the contrary, the President has identified ways to pay for the vast majority of the up-front costs by cutting waste, fraud, and abuse within existing government health programs; ending big subsidies to insurance companies; and increasing efficiency with such steps as coordinating care and streamlining paperwork. In the long term, reform can help bring down costs that will otherwise lead to a fiscal crisis.

Reform would encourage "euthanasia": It does not. It’s a malicious myth that reform would encourage or even require euthanasia for seniors. For seniors who want to consult with their family and physicians about end-of life decisions, reform will help to cover these voluntary, private consultations for those who want help with these personal and difficult family decisions.

Vets' health care is safe and sound: It’s a myth that health insurance reform will affect veterans' access to the care they get now. To the contrary, the President's budget significantly expands coverage under the VA, extending care to 500,000 more veterans who were previously excluded. The VA Healthcare system will continue to be available for all eligible veterans.

Reform will benefit small business - not burden it: It’s a myth that health insurance reform will hurt small businesses. To the contrary, reform will ease the burdens on small businesses, provide tax credits to help them pay for employee coverage and help level the playing field with big firms who pay much less to cover their employees on average.

Your Medicare is safe, and stronger with reform: It’s myth that Health Insurance Reform would be financed by cutting Medicare benefits. To the contrary, reform will improve the long-term financial health of Medicare, ensure better coordination, eliminate waste and unnecessary subsidies to insurance companies, and help to close the Medicare "doughnut" hole to make prescription drugs more affordable for seniors.

You can keep your own insurance: It’s myth that reform will force you out of your current insurance plan or force you to change doctors. To the contrary, reform will expand your choices, not eliminate them.

No, government will not do anything with your bank account: It is an absurd myth that government will be in charge of your bank accounts. Health insurance reform will simplify administration, making it easier and more convenient for you to pay bills in a method that you choose. Just like paying a phone bill or a utility bill, you can pay by traditional check, or by a direct electronic payment. And forms will be standardized so they will be easier to understand. The choice is up to you – and the same rules of privacy will apply as they do for all other electronic payments that people make.

Respectfully,

Chuck


someonewhoknows profile image

someonewhoknows 7 years ago from south and west of canada,north of ohio

put those words in a letter and send it to each member of congress and have then sign it with no amendments and have then send it to a well known constiuent in their district for reference and I might believe that.


Ralph Deeds profile image

Ralph Deeds 7 years ago

surtzen, great comment! It's good to hear from someone who actually has had experience in the health care industry and who is able to speak factually rather than spreading lies and rumors about the bills in Congress.


Amanda Severn profile image

Amanda Severn 7 years ago from UK

I've read a large number of the hubs currently published about Universal Healthcare, plus I've been following some of the forum threads. This hub is by far the most balanced and calm presentation of the arguments that I've seen so far. I hope it gets all the traffic that it deserves.


Ralph Deeds profile image

Ralph Deeds 7 years ago

I agree, Amanda. Here's an editorial from today's NYT

http://www.nytimes.com/2009/08/13/opinion/13thu1.h...

and an op-ed by Bob Herbert

http://www.nytimes.com/2009/08/15/opinion/15herber...

And a piece by Peter Steinfels

http://www.nytimes.com/2009/08/15/health/policy/15...


kerryg profile image

kerryg 7 years ago from USA

What an excellent and thorough refutation of some of the main arguments against single payer/universal health care!

You've just made yourself a new fan. :)


Things Considered profile image

Things Considered 7 years ago from North Georgia Foothills Author

Thanks for the kind words everybody, I do appreciate it. Knell, you're so right about Americans having an irrational fear of the word socialism. Odd too that among the most strident naysayers are a good deal of our elderly folk and veterans who are already benefiting from some of the socialist programs we already have in place. It isn't like we're trying to give everybody a mercedes Benz or a membership to their favorite golf courses, this is healthcare we're talking about. Thanks for your comments.


Things Considered profile image

Things Considered 7 years ago from North Georgia Foothills Author

Surfzen/Chuck thanks so much for posting those myths. We need to dispel as many of them as we can, and you being on the frontline of healthcare issues gives you the personal experience to know. I am certain you are right about the big 7. I've read articles about them working together to defend their own interests. It just makes no sense to trust businessmen with our healthcare. As Plants and Oils said, it seems so obvious.


Things Considered profile image

Things Considered 7 years ago from North Georgia Foothills Author

Ralph, thanks for your links. Interesting to see the situation from these different angles.

Thanks again to everyone for your kind words!


amillar profile image

amillar 7 years ago from Scotland, UK

An excellent hub. Well done.


Ralph Deeds profile image

Ralph Deeds 7 years ago

Everybody should watch this video of an interview with a former health insurance company executive--

http://www.pbs.org/moyers/journal/07312009/watch.h...


Ralph Deeds profile image

Ralph Deeds 7 years ago

Why We Need Health Care Reform

By BARACK OBAMA

Published: August 15, 2009

OUR nation is now engaged in a great debate about the future of health care in America. And over the past few weeks, much of the media attention has been focused on the loudest voices. What we haven’t heard are the voices of the millions upon millions of Americans who quietly struggle every day with a system that often works better for the health-insurance companies than it does for them.

These are people like Lori Hitchcock, whom I met in New Hampshire last week. Lori is currently self-employed and trying to start a business, but because she has hepatitis C, she cannot find an insurance company that will cover her. Another woman testified that an insurance company would not cover illnesses related to her internal organs because of an accident she had when she was 5 years old. A man lost his health coverage in the middle of chemotherapy because the insurance company discovered that he had gallstones, which he hadn’t known about when he applied for his policy. Because his treatment was delayed, he died.

I hear more and more stories like these every single day, and it is why we are acting so urgently to pass health-insurance reform this year. I don’t have to explain to the nearly 46 million Americans who don’t have health insurance how important this is. But it’s just as important for Americans who do have health insurance.

There are four main ways the reform we’re proposing will provide more stability and security to every American.

First, if you don’t have health insurance, you will have a choice of high-quality, affordable coverage for yourself and your family — coverage that will stay with you whether you move, change your job or lose your job.

Second, reform will finally bring skyrocketing health care costs under control, which will mean real savings for families, businesses and our government. We’ll cut hundreds of billions of dollars in waste and inefficiency in federal health programs like Medicare and Medicaid and in unwarranted subsidies to insurance companies that do nothing to improve care and everything to improve their profits.

Third, by making Medicare more efficient, we’ll be able to ensure that more tax dollars go directly to caring for seniors instead of enriching insurance companies. This will not only help provide today’s seniors with the benefits they’ve been promised; it will also ensure the long-term health of Medicare for tomorrow’s seniors. And our reforms will also reduce the amount our seniors pay for their prescription drugs.

Lastly, reform will provide every American with some basic consumer protections that will finally hold insurance companies accountable. A 2007 national survey actually shows that insurance companies discriminated against more than 12 million Americans in the previous three years because they had a pre-existing illness or condition. The companies either refused to cover the person, refused to cover a specific illness or condition or charged a higher premium.

We will put an end to these practices. Our reform will prohibit insurance companies from denying coverage because of your medical history. Nor will they be allowed to drop your coverage if you get sick. They will not be able to water down your coverage when you need it most. They will no longer be able to place some arbitrary cap on the amount of coverage you can receive in a given year or in a lifetime. And we will place a limit on how much you can be charged for out-of-pocket expenses. No one in America should go broke because they get sick.

Most important, we will require insurance companies to cover routine checkups, preventive care and screening tests like mammograms and colonoscopies. There’s no reason that we shouldn’t be catching diseases like breast cancer and prostate cancer on the front end. It makes sense, it saves lives and it can also save money.

This is what reform is about. If you don’t have health insurance, you will finally have quality, affordable options once we pass reform. If you have health insurance, we will make sure that no insurance company or government bureaucrat gets between you and the care you need. If you like your doctor, you can keep your doctor. If you like your health care plan, you can keep your health care plan. You will not be waiting in any lines. This is not about putting the government in charge of your health insurance. I don’t believe anyone should be in charge of your health care decisions but you and your doctor — not government bureaucrats, not insurance companies.

The long and vigorous debate about health care that’s been taking place over the past few months is a good thing. It’s what America’s all about.

But let’s make sure that we talk with one another, and not over one another. We are bound to disagree, but let’s disagree over issues that are real, and not wild misrepresentations that bear no resemblance to anything that anyone has actually proposed. This is a complicated and critical issue, and it deserves a serious debate.

Despite what we’ve seen on television, I believe that serious debate is taking place at kitchen tables all across America. In the past few years, I’ve received countless letters and questions about health care. Some people are in favor of reform, and others have concerns. But almost everyone understands that something must be done. Almost everyone knows that we must start holding insurance companies accountable and give Americans a greater sense of stability and security when it comes to their health care.

I am confident that when all is said and done, we can forge the consensus we need to achieve this goal. We are already closer to achieving health-insurance reform than we have ever been. We have the American Nurses Association and the American Medical Association on board, because our nation’s nurses and doctors know firsthand how badly we need reform. We have broad agreement in Congress on about 80 percent of what we’re trying to do. And we have an agreement from the drug companies to make prescription drugs more affordable for seniors. The AARP supports this policy, and agrees with us that reform must happen this year.

In the coming weeks, the cynics and the naysayers will continue to exploit fear and concerns for political gain. But for all the scare tactics out there, what’s truly scary — truly risky — is the prospect of doing nothing. If we maintain the status quo, we will continue to see 14,000 Americans lose their health insurance every day. Premiums will continue to skyrocket. Our deficit will continue to grow. And insurance companies will continue to profit by discriminating against sick people.

That is not a future I want for my children, or for yours. And that is not a future I want for the United States of America.

In the end, this isn’t about politics. This is about people’s lives and livelihoods. This is about people’s businesses. This is about America’s future, and whether we will be able to look back years from now and say that this was the moment when we made the changes we needed, and gave our children a better life. I believe we can, and I believe we will.


pgrundy 7 years ago

What an awesome hub! Thank you so much for this. I started reading it expecting yet another off-topic rant about the evils of socialism and Obama-as-Hitler and instead found this excellent informative rebuttal to all the main arguments against universal care, such as they are.

I do hope that Congress is able to pass something that includes a public option. If we end up with some mandate that everyone must buy private insurance it will be a disaster, and if we end up with no health care reform that will be very serious for the nation financially. We always hear about how we can't afford reform and neglect the fact that we can't afford no reform either. Thanks for an excellent overview if this crucial issue.


Gypsy Willow profile image

Gypsy Willow 7 years ago from Lake Tahoe Nevada USA , Wales UK and Taupo New Zealand

Amazing hub. Thanks for taking the time to write this. As an ex pat Brit. I have experienced both sides of the argument and being sick in America is scary. There is so much anxiety among sick people here which probably makes for a slower recovery. Friends of mine have opted for bankruptcy over medical bills. The British system is wonderful even if it does have flaws and I never minded paying the reasonable deductions from my monthly pay check. The "I'm alright Jack "attitude of those who can afford health care here in the USA is sad.


Ralph Deeds profile image

Ralph Deeds 7 years ago

Medical bills are the single greatest cause of bankruptcy in the United States.


Things Considered profile image

Things Considered 7 years ago from North Georgia Foothills Author

pgrundy, I too hope they can put through a public option. I am pretty disturbed today to be reading that they're reconsidering it due to resistance from the right and the far right. I'm not sure how these co-ops they're talking about would work. Maybe that would be okay, so I'm not saying anything either way about it, but it maddens me to see people caving in to the demands of the fear mongers. I've also read today that now the end of life counseling is being reconsidered. This is ridiculous. Sarah Palin starts an unfounded 'death panel' rumor and now a good idea is being slashed to accommodate these people? Just disgusting. But we will see.

Gypsy - You're right, absolutely 100% right. I've read about studies that show this to be true. I also agree that it's really sad that those who have don't seem to care about those who don't.

Ralph, I'm sure you're right. It makes absolute sense, and thank you very much for your always sensible and informed contributions.


Hxprof 7 years ago from Clearwater, Florida

A well written article. Though I disagree with your conclusions, I do agree that the problems you've pointed to in Ameican healthcare are serious.

One more comment: The WHO put out a seriously biased analysis of world healthcare systems back in 2000. Like another person that commented here, I don't trust WHO or the UN as the UN has an agenda that pushes for more government involvement/intervention in private enterprise and in people's personal lives. Some in America believe that conservatives are moral bogeymen seeking to 'control' people's moral decisions. With the current crowd in power, just keep your eyes open-you ain't seen nothing yet.


Michael Willis profile image

Michael Willis 7 years ago from Arkansas

Very good article. Well researched and written! Too bad people will not see the truth because of the propaganda all over the airwaves stirring up people.

The Industry does not want to lose their "Golden Goose."

If nothing changes, it will only get worse. More people will not get medical care, more will die unnecessarily and the Industry will just get fatter on their profits.


Connie Smith profile image

Connie Smith 7 years ago from Tampa Bay, Florida

I was quite impressed with this hub. From the writing to the obvious research, it is very well done. It is clearly the best article I have read on the subject.


Things Considered profile image

Things Considered 7 years ago from North Georgia Foothills Author

I do not feel that the WHO's rankings are biased. I do feel that the Cato Institute is biased. They are pro-market, anti-government involvement, and a big part of their mission involves stirring up the masses to believe as they do. Cato is a libertarian think tank, and this and the promotion of their ideas is no secret.

Cato and other similar organizations feel that the WHO report is biased because it takes into consideration such things as accessibility, cost per person, and how likely healthcare costs are to impoverish a family or individual.

Some people find these considerations inappropriate when evaluating the overall effectiveness of a nation's healthcare system. Like I said, as long as you can afford it, and/or stay relatively healthy, there's nothing wrong with our healthcare system. As long as you can afford it.


Amanda Severn profile image

Amanda Severn 7 years ago from UK

I watched the interview that Ralph Deedes posted a link to in one of his comments here. What an eye-opener, and yet in a way, no more than I had expected.


Misha profile image

Misha 7 years ago from DC Area

Interesting, do cows rationalize staying in the line to get slaughtered? :)


pgrundy 7 years ago

Like the cows being slaughtered in Britain, Canada, Sweden, and France? Tricked into the nightmare of totalitarian rule by the legislation of humane, affordable health care? Those poor oppressed Swedes! What a nightmare it must be for people like Amanda and CJStone and the other Brits here, forced to live in such a nightmare society!


Misha profile image

Misha 7 years ago from DC Area

Give it some time Pam, cows still wait in line :)



Sarah Horth profile image

Sarah Horth 7 years ago from Seattle

Really impressed with this hub, thank you for taking the time to write it. And thanks too for the links in the comments - time to do some reading.

I'm a visitor to the US from NZ, a country with public health. I echo some of the other comments - our system is far from perfect, but I find the US system quite scary. My husband is American but one of the reasons we will probably never settle here is the health system.


Connie Smith profile image

Connie Smith 7 years ago from Tampa Bay, Florida

Thanks, Amanda Severn, for bringing up that link to the video that Ralph Deeds posted earlier in these comments. I went back and took a look. That health fair that turned health insurer Cigna's exec, Wendell Potter, around happened very near my birthplace in southwestern Virginia. I hope that everyone who looks at this hub decides to take a look at the video of Bill Moyers show interviewing Mr. Potter. It is very eye opening and should be REQUIRED viewing at every town hall event in this country.


Ralph Deeds profile image

Ralph Deeds 7 years ago

"It must be considered that there is nothing more difficult to carry out, nor more doubtful of success, nor more dangerous to handle, than to initiate a new order of things. For the reformer has enemies in all those who profit by the old order, and only lukewarm defenders in all those who would profit by the new order, this lukewarmness arising partly from fear of their adversaries, who have the laws in their favor; and partly from the incredulity of mankind, who do not truly believe in anything new until they have had actual experience of it. Thus it arises that on every opportunity for attacking the reformer, his opponents do so with the zeal of partisans, the others only defend him half-heartedly, so that between them he runs great danger."

Niccolo Machiavelli, "The Prince"


Hxprof 7 years ago from Clearwater, Florida

The WHO's report takes many things into consideration, including "fairness" of a system. How does WHO define fairness? It defines fairness as a system that allows everyone equal access.

The idea behind this 'equal access' clause is that only government plans PROMISE equal access. This is not to say that they deliver on that promise, but the requirement for equal access is slanted towards government run healthcare. Therefore a system like ours automatically looks bad right off the bat because it doesn't promise everyone equal access.

Another 'bias' of the WHO's report is that many findings are based upon the number of complaints about a country's system. How many people in Cuba can openly complain about their system? Eh, can they openly complain about anything?

Americans on the other hand are known for being complainers. By golly, if we don't like something someone is going to know it! Culture is a huge variant when it comes to complaining, and WHO's report didn't/couldn't take this into consideration.

You're right about the Cato institute being biased, but for the love of Pete we need that bias to counter the bias of WHO and the UN in general.

Bottom line is this: If any organization is biased in believing that government control/interference/influence in people's lives is the best route for the problems of a country, then any report done by that organization will be slanted in that manner. Any organization that is biased in believing that government control/interference/influence in people's lives tends to create problems rather than resolve them is going to report in a way that is slanted in that manner.


Ambition398 profile image

Ambition398 7 years ago

Great hub. This is a complicated subject and I hope the government gets it right.


Pat O'Malley profile image

Pat O'Malley 7 years ago from Pittsburgh, PA

Once again, you people are incapable of comprehending simple English.

UNIVERSAL heath care means that everyone has health care.

Now tell us all exactly why you are opposed to that.

What you describe is SINGLE-PAYER, GOVERNMENT SPONSORED health care.

That has its pros and cons.

Get a dictionary.


sbeakr 7 years ago

This is one of the most informative hubs I've found on this site...I'm not only impressed but finally INTERESTED. It takes a diplomat to get me involved...arguments make me apathetic. Kudos!


Mardi profile image

Mardi 7 years ago from Western Canada and Texas

Excellent hub and very well researched. Thanks for your information on the subject. As someone who has lived with universal health care and now doesn't, there is a big difference for a lot of people in the society.


Sarah Horth profile image

Sarah Horth 7 years ago from Seattle

@Hxprof

You might be right about Cuba but in countries like the UK, Australia and NZ (and I would guess most European countries), it is a national sport to complain about the state health system (that is why you will see people above who have said the systems are not perfect).

Most of the countries looking in to the US focus on the fact that 50 million here are uninsured and have to pay. The benefits of all our citizens having access to affordable healthcare outweigh any concerns about government involvement. We want our neighbors to be able to get the help they need, we want our neighbors' children to be looked after. It might be you needing help one day or your children, so we look after those who need it.


Things Considered profile image

Things Considered 7 years ago from North Georgia Foothills Author

"We want our neighbors to be able to get the help they need, we want our neighbors' children to be looked after. It might be you needing help one day or your children, so we look after those who need it."

Great comment.


Ralph Deeds profile image

Ralph Deeds 7 years ago

Amen!


JamaGenee profile image

JamaGenee 7 years ago from Central Oklahoma

I too came here expecting to have to counter the usual Right Wingnut's garbage about socialism and euthanasia. What a nice surprise that I didn't have to!

Let me preface my next comment with I'm all for unions and what they stand for. That said, we started down the slippery slope to where we are now back when unions fought for and won health insurance tied to employment. A HUGE mistake that opened the door to greedy, for-profit "insurance" companies. No business that wants to stay in business voluntarily gives away its profits if it can help it, and that includes not only the insurance companies who sell policies, but the employers who then *had to* offer health insurance as a "benefit".

There is NO benefit to having access to medical care tied to one's job. I know too many people who stay in jobs that are wrecking their health because they "need" the health insurance that comes with it.

Our own Pam Grundy is an example of staying in a job that makes and keeps a person sick, but she recognized her job was causing many of her health issues and had the good sense to quit. Bravo for her! I doubt she'd be with us today if she hadn't.

Unfortunately, others aren't so brave. They don't find out hanging on to a toxic job was all for naught until they need the health "insurance" that came with it.

I'd truly like to be around 50 years from now to see how historians will treat what I call the Great Stupidity. I also wonder how many of the protesters at the town hall meetings have had to test their own insurance coverage. My guess is none.


Will Apse profile image

Will Apse 7 years ago

Good to see a well reasoned argument backed with well researched facts. Some of the other hubs on this subject are downright scary. Reading them, I felt as if I had fallen down a rabbit hole into a reality where facts did not matter and there was only fear and prejudice.

Sadly, fear is usually more powerful than truth.


Ralph Deeds profile image

Ralph Deeds 7 years ago

Truth prevails in the long run. But as somebody said "In the long run we're all dead."


tdarby profile image

tdarby 7 years ago

I don't come down on either side of the argument yet. This is by far one of the best arguments I have seen "for" a Universal Health Care system. I am not sure if I agree with the comment that "Jesus was a socialist" I actually think that line hurt the rest of your argument a little. I have read the entire Bible many times and have yet to see that Jesus really sided with one political system or another. Except he did argue that we should respect the political system we live in with his "render to Caeser" comment. We do have a great political system and I think it is important that whatever direction we head in, we do it within the bounds of the Constitution. Thanks for a clear look at one side of the argument.


caspice 7 years ago

Great writing. I love the title because it suckers in the naysayers.LOL. but seriously, I work in the service industry. Privately owned Restaurants don't usually or cannot afford emplyee sponsored healthcare. My sister and brother inlaw just lost their jobs in a plant. They have a combined 50 years of loyalty to their former jobs. They are in a community that has no jobs. They have a home that they could not possibly sell due to the economy there. They are in their late fifties. They will be able to afford their cobra for 12 months after that it skyrockets. Life can turn on a dime and people just don't get it.Insurance reform on all levels needs to be carried out. I lost my home in KLatrina and I can tell you it was the Federal Government, with the exception of Fema that bailed me out even though I carried insurance. Insurance Companies are thugs, they take your money as protection payments and then when you need them, they don't care if you die.


Things Considered profile image

Things Considered 7 years ago from North Georgia Foothills Author

Caspice,

That's what I don't get. Why do people tend to think this is an issue about poor people and people unwilling to work for a living. It's about working people and the middle class. Any one of us could suddenly find ourselves or our spouse or one of our children facing a serious illness.

Thanks for sharing your family's experiences. Things are getting tougher than ever, and for too many people it is already too late.


sirnunnos 7 years ago

Ok a private hospital in alabama,1 xray = 500.00,now that same xray machine ran the day before,lol,and the day before that;so when is it right to charge people those pricess in a free market

and if you do want insurance from compianies you work for is at least 100+ out after taxes a pay period of weekly.hospitals,insurance companies are just as greedy as the banks,yea free enterprise.


Clayton 7 years ago

I'll first admit I didn't read the entire article. A lot of the information taken sounds like it came from Michael Moore's documentary, Sicko.

In regards to France having the best healthcare in the world, this is affirmed by WHO. What information does WHO use to make this conclusion? Is it based on accessibility to healthcare? Mortality rates? # of people who do and do not seek care? In other words, why do I need to accept the WHO's conclusion as irrefutable fact?

You see, people like to also point to Cuba and say their health care is better than the U.S., but what they don't realize is the WHO got their information from the Cuban government. Not the people. So, can we really trust this information? And this goes for all countries.

Truth is, if you need a life saving procedure, you come to the U.S. We are responsible for over half of all medical advancements in technology and medicine for the 20th and 21st century. This is because of our free market, and competition drives advancement, plain and simple.

In regards to universal healthcare not being socialism? I'm not sure how you were able to come to that conclusion. How is a federal run healthcare system not socialism? Part of the socialism that will be included in the universal healthcare is rationing. I know everyone keeps saying that healthcare won't be rationed, but tell me if you can deny this? The U.S. is about to experience massive deficits. We don't feel it now, but very soon, we will have over 50 trillion dollars in debt. How, you ask? Social Security, Medicare, & Medicaid. Between these three social programs, our country will experience the Weimar Republic. Hyperinflation, and unemployment worse than the great depression, if we don't act now. The only reason we're not experiencing this yet is because all of the baby boomers haven't retired.

So, I ask you, if we have universal healthcare system, and we're then hit with this 50 trillion dollar deficit, how will america save money? By cutting costs in the healthcare system. How will we cut costs? By rationing healthcare...

All of this proves one simple fact - we simply cannot afford it, and neither can other countries. Your article says nothing of the deficits healthcare is causing France, or any other country. You see, we've also already tried Universal Healthcare in Hawaii, and it failed in 7 months due to higher than expected costs. Massachussetts is also experiencing the same problems, as it is battling mounting debt from it's universal healthcare program.

There are also stories in Canada of how healthcare is so expensive, they've rationed care by leaving it up to fate - the lottery. There are cities who literally put names in a bowl, and if your name get's pulled, your the lucky winner that gets to see a doctor! Is this what we really want? (ABC has a documentary showing this - not hard to find)

Lastly, just need to point out, that everyone in the U.S. has healthcare. If you walk into an emergency room, by law, you cannot be turned away - insurance or not.


Connie Smith profile image

Connie Smith 7 years ago from Tampa Bay, Florida

If you don't think health care is rationed now (for the profits), you really are naïve, Clayton.


Ralph Deeds profile image

Ralph Deeds 7 years ago

Clayton, universal health care in one form or another seems to work pretty well in all the other advanced industrialized countries. Costs are much lower and results better. Most people who are eligible for Medicare seem to like it. The only problem is that it needs to do a better job of curbing cost increases as Atul Gawande's article in the New Yorker pointed out--Medicare's cost of for profit medicine in McAllen, Texas, is triple those at Mayo in Minnesota or Cleveland Clinic because doctors own the hospitals and testing facilities and as a result order unnecessary tests and perform unnecessary surgery and other procedures.


Things Considered profile image

Things Considered 7 years ago from North Georgia Foothills Author

Clayton, I must admit I didn't bother reading your whole post. By the time I got to the usa being responsible for more than half of medical advancement in the last hundred years, I pretty much stopped reading. Feel free to post your sources. I'm just kidding, I did read your whole post. I'm a compulsive reader, couldn't help it. But when you start your comment as you did, you're obviously trying to offend. Like the repubs in the senate, covering your ears and screaming no no no, while claiming you're actually trying to engage in a productive two-way conversation. Socialized medicine doesn't make us a socialist country, that was my point, and it was pretty clear. Dude, you should totally stop watching John Stossel. And hey that Canadian lady who came to america to get her operation ended up dying you know? Did Stossel mention that? Did he mention that she could have had her operation sooner in Canada? Did he mention that Canada has actually been working hard to improve their system over the last decade or so? Doesn't matter, but what you should understand is that there are at least two sides to every story, and Stossel is a tool.

Most of what you say is pointless, like no, you shouldn't trust the World Health Organization, surely they have no idea what they're talking about when it comes to world health. I think you should go on trusting the rhetoric of the right wing party whose main purpose for existance right now seems to be nothing more than to thwart the democratic party in a childish -but politically fair- attempt to make them look bad. That's what republicans do. And to be fair, they do it much better than the dems.

I do want to address one thing you mention. It makes no more sense than the rest of your arguments, but since I keep seeing that comment in different places I want to address it.

Yes, poor people have access to emergency rooms and sometimes in some places to clinics. And you think that gives them quality healthcare? That when they have a heart attack, or the symptoms of advanced cancer or other illness become so severe, that then they can go to the emergency room AT THAT POINT and be properly taken care of?

No, of course you don't think they're getting the same quality care that more fortunate people receive. People who get yearly physicals, whose symptoms are observed by a physician before they themselves even knew anything was wrong. And who then can be and are put on immediate treatment plans to counteract and stop sickness in its tracks before it devours their insides. That's quality care, and that is not what access to a free clinic and the emergency room generally provides. Alot of good all the advanced medical techonology in the world does for someone who can't afford it.

You want health care horror stories, you don't need to look to Canada for them. But what your last comment seems to reveal is some sort of snobbery that allows you to think that hard working low wage earners don't deserve quality health care. Quality health care is the privilege of the well to do, and screw the waitress, the single mom, the hardworking laborer with a family of children to support.

Those people have more pride than you'll ever merit. The system we've fostered makes them feel like it's charity, because we've made it a COMMODITY they can't afford. Quality health care shouldn't be a privilege of the rich, and if that is the system our country takes, then our country is not led by a government for the people. Health care is about the well-being of people. It's not a luxury.

I have no patience for you. You're offensive, ignorant and selfish.


Connie Smith profile image

Connie Smith 7 years ago from Tampa Bay, Florida

TC, you really are so articulate and put across another great argument here. That is my problem with healthcare. The right just doesn't get it that the people who go without ARE in the working force. Most of the poor receive socialized medicine already in the form of Medicaid, so the ones who do not have it are in the service sector: maids, retail clerks, etc. It is a national disgrace. My own daughter (a student) is on Medicaid. She went to the same dentist to get the same procedure done that I just had. Hers was free, mine was $380. I have a great healthcare program, Tricare Prime (military) so I don't worry for me. I only worry for my other daughter who owns a small struggling company and can't get Medicaid because of her income, yet can't afford $800 a month either for a family plan. Like she says, she feels victimized because she works. There is no rhyme or reason to it.


Sufidreamer profile image

Sufidreamer 7 years ago from Sparti, Greece

Good Hub, TC - blowing away some of the myths. I have little idea about the best system for the US, but this arrogant denigration of other countries becomes tiersome.

@Connie - $800 per month! You can have a decent standard of living in Greece for that sort of money. $200 for health/pension payments and the rest for having fun!


Clayton 7 years ago

Things Considered, before you judge me, you need to understand that I was a COBRA Administrator for 3 years, and worked as a 1099 contractor selling insurance for 1 year. So my experience is not as limited as you may think.

So I'll rephrase my last comment so you can clearly understand what I meant. As I said, healthcare is not a right and it is a privilege. I say this because the issue here isn't about what it right and wrong, moral or immoral, it's about the fact that people like yourself actually trust the government to handle your healthcare. Seriously!? With a track record like our complex tax code system, that not even our new Secretary of Treasury, Tim Geithner, can't even follow, our failing social security system that my generation and the generation after me will be forced to pay into but never reap the benefits of, the mounting deficits from medicare and medicaid that when all added together with SS comes to 50 trillion dollars...How can you possibly believe that our government can handle healthcare on a national scale!?

We've already tried it in Hawaii and Massachussetts. Hawaii's universal healthcare plan failed in 7 months! Why? Because what was meant for the uninsured, the insured wanted! Who the heck doesn't want FREE healthcare? And in Massachussetts, healthcare is adding to the state's already crippling deficit.

And do you really think this won't increase everybody's taxes? Healthcare costs are currently over 1 trillion dollars a year. This has nothing to do with insurance companies...insurance as you know covers for the cost of healthcare..it doesn't drive it. So even if you tax the wealthiest 10% of this country that already pay for over 80% of all federal income tax, there's no way to cover the cost of healthcare.

So I'm sorry, your dream is an unsustainable one, and in your mind you think you'll be offering the poor better healthcare, but in reality, you'll be forcing everyone, middle class and up, to have sub-par healthcare. Why? because rationing would be bound to happen cause the cost would be too great.

Oh, and in regards to me not wanting to follow the WHO...I'll give you a perfect example of why their data isn't accurate. Infant mortality rates. The U.S. is the only country in the world that counts any baby that was alive for even a second, as a live birth. All across Europe, many of the countries don't count a baby as a live birth if it doesn't meet their requirements of size, weight, or maturity (any birth 26 weeks and under are not counted).. So when the WHO get's their data, where do they get it from? Each country's government, and as you can see, each government gathers their data much differently.

In any case the infant mortality case people try to count as fact that socialized care is better, is easily debunked.

And P.S. My father was an illegal immigrant from Mexico in the early 70's and was granted amnesty under Reagan. In the early 70's he of course, couldn't have any insurance, and healthcare was much worse, as technology wasn't as advanced. He had a motorcycle accident so severe, that doctors told him his legs would need to be amputated. He asked for a second opinion, and another doctor said no, let's save his legs. My dad can walk today because of that doctor. You may chalk it up to him having a lucky doctor, I say he's smart for asking for a second opinion! Fortunately, we can still do that in America! Under the NHS system in the UK, you're pretty much stuck with the person you're given! (Psst.. this is part of what rationed care looks like)


Ralph Deeds profile image

Ralph Deeds 7 years ago

Clayton, there are so many errors in your thinking that I don't know where to start--

1. We already have a universal government health care plan that isn't perfect but works quite well for most people--it's called Medicare. I've been eligible for some time and am quite satisfied. Medicare does need to do a better job of curbing cost increases due to unnecessary and sometimes harmful tests and medical procedures. In general our health care "system" provides too much emphasis on paying for tests and procedures and too little on preventive medicine. Continuing on the present path of double digit annual increases is not an option. Soon nobody, except employees of Goldman Sachs or the federal government will be able to afford health care insurance. Our system costs much more than health care in other countries and produces inferior results.

2. You are wrong in your negative comment on Social Security. It is an effective program supported by both parties. You should not worry about receiving benefits when it comes time for you to retire or benefits for your wife or children in the event of your premature death or for you in event of disability. Social Security needs only a couple of small tweaks to put it on a sound financial footing for the forseeable future. The same is not true of Medicare where more radical reform is required in our basic approach to health care in this country.

3. U.S. health care ranks down with developing countries in effectiveness as measured by the World Health Organization in life expectancy AND infant mortality. WHO data may not be perfect buy it's the best available.

Two basic goals of reform are essential--1) Universal coverage and 2)Control of skyrocketing cost increases. There is no single fix for controlling cost increases. This will require a variety of measures including very tight regulation of health care insurance companies who perform no necessary function.


Sufidreamer profile image

Sufidreamer 7 years ago from Sparti, Greece

Clayton: Under the NHS system in the UK, you're pretty much stuck with the person you're given!

This becomes very tiresome - I have little interest in your health system, but these constant attacks on ours become very tiresome, very quickly.

I can name at least a dozen family and friends who have changed consultant/doctor, including my dear old mother (three times). Every other British hubber will tell you exactly the same. Either:

1) We are all wrong, despite being British.

or

2) You are pulling 'facts' from between the cheeks of your arse.

I think that I know the answer to that one - I hope you washed your hands afterwards.

The NHS is not perfect - no system or organization is - but that does not justify the open season going on in the US at the moment. If you don't agree with Universal Healthcare, fair enough. However, you should be able to make a solid case against it without spreading mistruths about other nations.


someonewhoknows profile image

someonewhoknows 7 years ago from south and west of canada,north of ohio

The WHO? World Healthcare Organization?Sounds like a rock group.The Rock? Isn't that an Insurance company? and Mutual of Omaha ? Isn't that in Nabraska where they make lots of money selling insurance rather than growing corn? I really like those legal loopholes they have in their con-tracts where it says they will not cannot raise your rates or reduce your coverage based on your age.Don't they just raise everyones rates ,or lower their coverage so as not to discriminate against any age group? That sounds fair although a bit misleading.The Boss is a rock singer who probably needs insurance by now as he's getting up there in age.Maybe he can sing his way into the hospital,but the rest of us can't carry a tune ,so were going to have to be like the gratful dead and go the way of the dinasaurs.


Ralph Deeds 7 years ago

We already have many preventitive measures in place for healthcare. For companies, it's called health & wellness. If the company puts in a gym at the office, or provides healthy lunches, company outing events for walking, biking, etc...provides pamphlets for their employees on how to eat healthy, things of these nature, it can significantly reduce premiums.

And what? We don't have doctors that say, don't eat this, and excersise this much, or you'll have these complications? We don't have blood tests that show genetic disorders that could cause problems down the road? I'm 23 years old, and I already know that my body automatically produces more bad cholesterol than good. This is why many people in my family have heart disease. To help, I can diet and exercise more, but it is my choice.

As such, the problem isn't that we don't have preventative measures, or that we as American's don't have the knowledge, it's that we CHOOSE to live unhealthy lifestyles anyways! We like our fast foods and fried foods...pizza and beer during a football game. That's who we are! And it's why we don't live as long either. In places like France, people people walk and take transportation. They eat their meals in small portions, and take time to eat as part of etiquette, and drink a lot of tea (which it's been proven that drinking warm liquids while eating helps your digestive system quite a bit).

And, since we have a country of 300 million people, vs. 69million, and we live as unhealthy as we do, you are obviously going to see higher healthcare costs.

Other factors for healthcare costs being so high include: The fact that ambulances are forced to take you to the hospital if they arrive on the scene, even if you say no. The fact that many people go to the emergency room, when they should schedule an appointment, and one of the biggest which costs billions of dollars every year, are the 12-20million illegal immigrants who use our facilities, and you and I as tax payers have to pay for their care. This will continue to happen with or without universal healthcare, unless the law changes to only provide care to citizens and legal residents.

In regards to social security, medicare, & medicaid, I urge you watch I.O.U.S.A.themovie.com. I'm not sure of the link, but if you google it you'll find it...Then you'll see how these social programs are going to leave a debt for your great grandchildren so large, that unless we do something, they won't have much of a life to look forward to. (I exaggerate not)


pgrundy 7 years ago

Are there two Ralph Deeds here?

The off site Ralph doesn't sound like our Ralph.


Ralph Deeds profile image

Ralph Deeds 7 years ago

The above comment was erroneously attributed to me (Ralph Deeds). I disagree with nearly everything in it. Sounds like more "facts" from Clayton. Maybe somebody's playing identity theft games???


Things Considered profile image

Things Considered 7 years ago from North Georgia Foothills Author

Clayton I did not assume you were well off yourself, there is no doubt that a great deal of people financially challenged are protesting against health care reform. You and I disagree fundamentally, you see healthcare as a privilege, as you said yourself, and I don't.

You see reform as giving the currently uninsured too much of what the insured already enjoy. You see it as hurting the haves too much to share with the have nots. These things I'm saying about how you see things are based on your own words.

You sound like an impatient parent trying to explain to a child why you can't keep a stray dog. It's too inconvenient, it's too impractical, it'll cost too much, we'll have to walk it, etc etc. That's fine as far as it goes, but we're talking about people here.

You may want to paint it as a problem of the indigent, but it isn't. It's a problem of the working class, and the ever shrinking middle class.

The WHO, okay I'll give you another obvious one. America has a really high murder rate, which of course, contributes to the lower average life expectanies. But these points are not what prompted the WHO to give us a low overall rating. It's the high costs, the inaccessibility to so many Americans -not just of insurance, but of healthcare insurance doesn't cover, and the likelihood of healthcare expenses to bankrupt a family or elsewise cause severe financial burden.

The public option is going to have some problems, as long as it cannot compete with private insurers. If all the public option manages to attract is the sick, the rejected by the insurance companies, and the malnourished poor- the high risk pool, if you will, then it will have trouble. But tighter regulation on the ins. cos. will have the dual benefits of producing better care for the privately insured and forcing the cos. to compete with the public option for the business of the healthier, which will help to level out the risk pool of the public option.

You're right that insurance premiums aren't the only drive behind the high costs, however, the med. ins. industry does add between 20 to 30% in costs to the system. 15 to 25% in their overhead, executive salaries and bonuses and profits for the shareholders, and the rest in the excess paperwork and time spent by providers in negotiating for coverage of patients' treatments. The public option plan unfortunately won't be able to combat most of that for all of us, but they will be able to control it in part in regards to the public option itself.

What we can't afford is to go on as we have. The average cost of family coverage is over $1200 a month. That is a pretty hefty chunk out of the average working class family's monthly income. It's more than doubled in the last ten years. If we don't change our direction soon, we're going to end up where we're headed, and that is what we can't afford.


Connie Smith profile image

Connie Smith 7 years ago from Tampa Bay, Florida

Will the real Ralph Deeds please stand up? LOL

It sounds like Clayton is lucky that he lives in the USA, thanks to an amnesty program that most Americans were against at the time, to be able to protest our current administration. I'm also curious about how Clayton's father was able to get his doctor bills paid after his accident as Clayton said he did not have a healthcare plan. Can you imagine all the people currently in America who cannot afford the first opinion, much less the second one that Clayton's dad was able to get to save his legs? It sounds as if Clayton has done well in America in spite of his father coming into this country illegally. Wonder if Clayton used American tax payer dollars to fund that education he obviously now has?


Clayton 7 years ago

Sufidreamer,

You misunderstood me. Yes you may be able to switch doctors, as long as you have time to do so. If you are in critical condition, as my father was, you don't have the same time. You have limited doctors and limited hospitals. Because of this, you can't just change doctors at the snap of your fingers.

For me, I can go online with my HMO, and look at a list of doctors, and go "click"! I want that one! And they're mine. Also, we have PPO's that allow us to bypass our regular physician and go straight to specialists. You, on the other hand, have to wait, and wait..and wait.. often times for half a year until you can see a specialist. Maybe you're Ok with this, but as Americans, we enjoy the fact that we don't have to wait.

P.S. read this http://www.telegraph.co.uk/health/healthnews/60926... . Now you can realize it's not just me speaking through my arse, but actually this article, written by your own people, prove my point.

P.S. I don't say these things to insult you. The American people love FREEDOM. Europe sacrafices it by allowing the government to regulate everything for them, and they like it! In france, they actually protest in the street against capitalism in favor of socialism! That's not the U.S., and we will fight it all the way!


Clayton 7 years ago

Ya, I posted as Reed accidentally. :)

Connie,

My father didn't pay a cent for his healthcare because he was an illegal at the time. The cost was subsidized by the tax payers. Now, I was born in this country, which automatically makes me a citizen. Plus, my mother was born here as well - I'm half mexican half white.

I did not go to a public school, thank god, I went to a private school, paid for by the hard work of my parents. We've never been rich, but we've been smart with our money. I'm currently in college finishing my degree, and working full-time, paying my way through - no grants, no financial aid, no scholarships, just hard work.


Connie Smith profile image

Connie Smith 7 years ago from Tampa Bay, Florida

I am not really knocking your right to be a citizen, Clayton. I am saying you are lucky that your father was given amnesty against the wishes of the majority of the people. The fact that your father received free healthcare highlights just exactly what we are talking about. Many Americans work hard, but cannot afford health insurance. Yet, the poor folks (and illegals) get it anyway, all the while the hardworking poor get nothing. Do you really see nothing wrong with that?


Sufidreamer profile image

Sufidreamer 7 years ago from Sparti, Greece

Clayton - another offensive statement. I detest this assumption that we are somehow not free, or are under a totalitarian regime. You are more than welcome to visit anytime and see how we live.

I now live in Greece - nobody bothers me, I am free to set up a business, I pay very little tax and have a life that most libertarians can only dream of - the whole owning a smallholding thing. Greeks genuinely lived under a fascist regime, as did many Europens, so your views are offensive. We have freedom, too.

As for waiting lists, there are for non-critical issues, but people are free to have their own private insurance or to pay directly. My mother has never had to wait for treatment. Neither has my sister, who wanted a second opinion after her accident. My wife's nephew broke his neck in a car accident a few months ago, and the care that he has received is top-class - he would be dead without the expertise of the NHS specialists.

The Telegraph that you quote is a right wing paper - I could just as easily insert links to left wing papers, but what does that prove. I lived in the UK for 33 years and, believe it or not, do know a little about it.

Even the leader of the Conservative party supports the NHS, and the British are up im arms about the lies told. Once again, stick to your own health service and stop spreading BS about ours. We have always been an ally to the US, so this attack on the UK is just like being stabbed in the back by a friend.

I really cannot be arsed to keep repeating myself to you people and your narrowmindedness. Here is a post I wrote about it, because I am so pissed off with your arrogant assumptions about other countries.

http://dropoutnation.blogspot.com/2009/08/greeks-a...


Clayton 7 years ago

TC,

You and I actually agree on something. Healthcare costs now are not sustainable. There are many ways to help curb these costs though. Stop providing free care to illegal immigrants (there's roughly estimated somewhere between 12-20million), People stop going to the emergency room, when it's not an emergency, and schedule an appointment, limit the amount of malpractice lawsuits (while some lawsuits are valid, most are bogus, according an an AP report), Americans start living healthier lifestyles (we have the largest obese population), Ambulances not forced to pick up people even when people don't want it (if an ambulance arrives, it is against the law to not take the person to the hospital, whether you want to or not. This is to ensure there are no lawsuits), Get rid of COBRA & MediCare & Medicaid (these government programs are very VERY complex - in some cases worse than the tax code - which is why administrative costs at hospitals and insurance companies are so high, which directly influences your premiums), once all of this is done, and we see billions of dollars and red tape saved and removed, I gaurantee you will see massive improvement in healthcare, and more people who can afford coverage.

I'm sure there are many more ideas out there, but anything that involves government regulation I'm against. Mostly because I believe government is already too big, has too much power, and it's track record shows it usually makes everything worse. Just look at the TARP program, initiated by Bush, and continued by Obama. The CBO (Congressional Budget Office) estimates that this will add 23trillion dollars to our national debt. Wonderful....

Socialism works until you run out of other people's money - Margaret Thatcher.


Connie Smith profile image

Connie Smith 7 years ago from Tampa Bay, Florida

Funny that you want to do away with free healthcare for illegal aliens when your father possibly would not have lived to even conceive you (assuming that since you are still in college) due to gangrene and other complications from your father's accident. However, it is true that the suggested healthcare program does not offer healthcare to illegal aliens.


Clayton 7 years ago

Connie,

Right...neither does the current healthcare system...But unless they change the law that denies healthcare in an emergency room to illegals, nothing will change.

Also, I can assure you my father and I do not see eye to eye. He is hardcore liberal/democrat, and thinks all illegals should be granted amnesty - I do not. And whether I would be conceived or not doesn't matter because this isn't about me. This is about America as a whole. I believe in helping others, I have no problem with that at all. What I don't agree with is being FORCED to do it. Cause when you do this, you disenfranchise the other side, but for some reason, the left think "oh it's ok cause the rich have all this money that grows on trees." The problem is when you disenfranchise this side, you lose other things like... I dunno... jobs. And, like I said in my earlier post, Socialism works until you run out of other people's money.

I mean seriously though, if you think about it, what if the IRS was abolished, and there were no taxes. Can you imagine how much money you would save? The things you could afford? If government was just out of the way of making things MORE complicated, how the private market would explode? You cannot tell me that the government is the answer with the track record it has. Name one social program that the government has done well on?


Clayton 7 years ago

Sufidreamer,

You and I have a different opinion of what real freedom is. Being taxed for your healthcare and other expenditures, is not freedom. Do you have a choice of whether to be taxed or not? In the U.S., the answer is no. I'm not familiar with Greek's government, but I imagine the answer is the same. This in itself is an infringement on your freedom to choose, and it is something I'm against here in America.

Now, the reason I'm so riled up has nothing to do with Europe. Europe is used as an example, because it's the only example available, so sorry if you feel offended. When in Paris, I didn't exactly feel welcome either, and I was shunned for being an American. Literally...I mean.. I went into a restaurant, and I asked for ice cause my drink didn't come with any, and the waiter said they didn't have ice, and as he walked away, he mumbled "Stupid American." I mean, I didn't know France doesn't use ice!? Lol... but anyways...

I'm so passionate about this because the left are taking over this country, and it's the extreme left, the progressives. One of our president's Woodrow Wilson, was an extreme progressive, which many people don't know. Basically, the belief is that people are too stupid to take care of themselves, so the government needs to step in and do it for you, but they do it under the guise of "helping." However, Woodrow Wilson, knew he couldn't get a lot of his socialist programs across right away, cause people would reject it. So hows does one fix this? One of the things he did was to actually revise our school system's history books, leaving out a lot of important details of our history. This was the beginning of indoctrination, and the beginning of controlling the people. No one here in the U.S. will deny that our school system is horrific, and while I know many Europeans look at us as stupid, the truth is we're just uninformed. But the more uninformed we are, the easier it is for govnerment to have their way, and so they continue to expand and expand, again all under the guise of just trying to help us. So, I'm sick of this game, and I will not give in to allowing the government to take control of more power, and that includes my healthcare!

The other scary ideology of progressivism is where they believe you get your rights from? Progressivism believes in the evolution of man, that the fittest will survive, and that our rights are endowed by the strongest. In America, our Declaration of Independence tells us our rights are given to us by God. But under the progressive ideology, it's by the more superior, the more intellectual. So if God doesn't grant us our rights, who does? The answer? The government.

This is the exact same ideology under Adolf Hitler, which for some reason people claim was right wing, which doesn't make any sense, considering it was the Nazi SOCIALIST party. But it was this progressive thought that the superior people, in his case, the superior race, should be in power.

So this healthcare issue isn't just about healthcare for me. It's about much much more, and it's very difficult here for people to see, because, well, they just don't know. The government is saying hey, look at this hand! All the while the other is slowly stripping away our freedoms from right under us. I tell you, I'm scared for my country, and I love it as much as you love yours. But I don't agree with Europe's ideologies. We didn't become a superpower in a short 200years by following what other nations do. We did it our way, and we've done just fine. Unfortunately...the principles we were founded upon just haven't been followed in a very long time...


Sufidreamer profile image

Sufidreamer 7 years ago from Sparti, Greece

That's better, Clayton - I have nothing against a reasoned response like that.

As you can imagine, people spouting mistruths makes us angry, in much the same way that Americans are rightly irritated by Europeans making blanket assumptions about the US. Intelligent discussion is good, and you have shown a lot of intellectual honesty in your comment - I respect that.

Certainly, I would say that you have some justification if you are talking about the UK - there are a few things there that I am not happy with, especally the corporate lifestyle. Greece is a law unto itself - they do not like to be told what to do. Tax evasion is an artform, although Greeks happily pay health insurance - it is not a lot of money. I have a lot of freedom here - the Greeks will, quite literaly, burn down the parliament if the government attempts to infringe upon rights!

You are were quite right to be offended by the waiter - not only rude, but crazy in a country that relies on tourism. It does not create a good impression.

I have had debates like this before, and they usually descend to the point of cultural relativism - healthcare is a good example. Most European systems were built from scratch, after the devastation of the war. They were built with Universal Healthcare in mind and have evolved that way. It works, so please do not believe the hype. No system is perfect, but the benefits far outweigh the costs.

From the little I know about your system, it was built upon completely different foundations. I am not sure if Universal Healthcare would work - any answer must be using your American ideals. Other than that, I have little opinion - I have never been to the US, although I hope to, one day.

As for the rest, there certainly are many differences - the idea that European countries are under the spectre of control and totalitarianism is a little extreme, but America seems to have done well under its own steam, as you said. As long as discussions are civil, we can all learn from each other and benefit from looking at different viewpoints.

I suppose that what I am trying to say is that I have seen too many of these debates descend into 'my way is better than your way.' No system is perfect, and the aging population, decline in birth-rates and environmental problems are something that will affect every system.

Interesting times for us all :)

You should sigh up to Hubpages and write your thoughts down in a few Hubs :D


Real Freedom 7 years ago

One of the great freedoms that Europeans enjoy is the freedom from anxiety about healthcare. There are no worries about obscure phrases in insurance contracts that rob you of treatment. There is no fear that sickness will mean loss of a job and simultaneous loss of health care.

If you can be treated you will be treated. The rationing of healthcare is becoming an issue as new technologies make it possible to keep people alive at great cost but with such a poor quality of life that many of them want to die. Some point out that the money would be better spent on preventative medicine etc. It's a hard debate for all involved.

As a European, I can only really comment on US issues as they appear in debate. The most obvious things are the amount of fear in the debate, the distortion of easily checked facts (especially regarding the overall quality of healthcare which is relatively poor in the US by all reliable stats), the distrust of Governments and the all the flag waving.

It seems to me that deliberate deception plays a far smaller role in life over here. The frenzy of misinformation that have been unleashed in this debate and are clear on hubpages just couldn't take hold in a western European country.

(I saw one comment in a hub suggesting Obama was planning on allowing abortion of two year olds. The hubber host had not challenged it.)

There are too many trustworthy news media in Europe with too much to lose by disseminating untruths or passing off wild rumours as facts.

Flag waving is also something that would never be allowed in any serious debate. Natioanalistic politicians and commentators are immediately distrusted even by less educated Europeans. There is too strong a memory of the nightmare nationalism plunged us into seventy years ago. Also nationalism obscures truth in a way nothing else does.

As for fear? Europeans have welfare systems that work for those who suffer misfortune and universal healthcare. Once the basic fears in life have been addressed people become a lot more rational and can debate serious issues in serious ways.

To sum up- freedom from fear of treatable sickness is one of the greatest freedoms anyone can enjoy.


Things Considered profile image

Things Considered 7 years ago from North Georgia Foothills Author

Thanks to everyone for your comments. It has long been my personal belief that you often learn more from reading other peoples' comments than you can learn by reading the posts, and you guys all confirm that.

Real Freedom,

Great Comments! I think you've really gotten to the heart of the matter, and made several relevant points. The "frenzy of misinformation" is dizzying, and confusing to many people. Fear of losing what they have is a main concern expressed one way or another over and over again by Americans opposed to health care reform.

Everyone is certain that everyone else has been falsely indoctrinated, and so confident that they've been drinking the right flavor of Kool Aid themselves. "Drinking the Kool Aid" is an Americanism I guess, meaning becoming brainwashed more or less, or indoctrinated. We're all susceptible to indoctrination, I suppose, but of course we all prefer to think we've swallowed the 'right' flavor. I think the trick is to try them all. Just keep spitting out that which doesn't sit well in your stomach.

I've read medical studies that back up your last couple of statements, more or less. People who are stressed get sick more often, and suffer more deeply, and patients stressed -often by the financial costs of their treatments- have a much harder time recovering.

Thanks for your comments.


Opinion Duck 7 years ago

Universal Health care must replace the system currently held by Congress and the government workers. If they don't want then the people should want it either. Many people in the private sector cannot afford or get health insurance because their companies no longer offer it or subsidize it. This is not true for government workers, so how does the government afford to do it, when private enterprise can't do it? It is called Taxes. While the private sector is receding, the government work force is getting larger.

Health Insurance companies now make the treatment decision that some of the comments worry the government will make in the new healthcare system.

Patents on drugs are a monopoly that generates treatments rather than cures. The last real medical cure was polio in the 1950s. Curing patients takes them out of the queue, while treatments just make the queue longer and longer.


Opinion Duck 7 years ago

Apparently, I should look at what I type before posting it.


Ralph Deeds profile image

Ralph Deeds 7 years ago

Here's an excerpt from an interesting dispatch by Lou Dubose in "The Spectator" on some town hall meetings held by Senator Jeff Merkely in Oregon:

"I caught up with the senator at his first meeting in Tillamook and proceeded up the coast for an afternoon meeting in Astoria. On the following day Merkley held meetings in the Dalles and Madras, tow smaller towns east of the coastal range.

"Ten minutes into the meeting at the Tillamook library, a man asked the question that would be sked at least twice, in one form or another at each of the four meetings: 'I hear if you're at a certain age you're going to have to go before a committee where they're going to try to convince you that it's not in the interest of the country for you to get the medical care that you need.'

"The senator explained that a provision in the House bill would require the government to pay private physicians for one voluntary counseling session regarding end-of-life decisions every five years. The questioner didn't buy it. It reminded him of Jack Kevorkian, the Michigan physician who served seven years in prison for assisting terminal patients to end their lives.

"End-of-life counseling was the topic of the moment. That afternoon in Astoria a woman asked, 'Why do we have to have mandatory end-opf-life counseling?' The senator again explained the provision of the House bill: an optional consultation with your private physician paid for by the government. His explanation was followed by a variation on the same theme from yet another woman. 'Would you be willing to let me counsel your parents without knowing what my belief system was and I encourage them to end their life?' she asked. 'I think the government has no business making end-of-life decisions.' She angrily refused to accept the senator's explanation that coun seling would be provided by private physicians.

"It was evident that these questions had little to do with the actual content of any health care bill. It was also evident that them most vocal opponents of reform were literally reading from the same script. In this case, a script that revealed the influence of Christian extremists, (like Jexter) whose sloppiness in dealing with facts and programmatic deceit has been largely ignored by the media.

I spoke with one of the women who had asked about mandatory end-of-life counseling. She said she knew the counseling was mandatory because 'it's in the bill.' Yet she hadn't read the bill. She was reading from a memo posted on the website fo the Liberty Counsel, a Christian law firm and advocacy groupl and related to Jerry Falwe'''s Liberty University in Virginia.

"Among the 112 talking points in the Liberty Counsel's ten page electronic samzidat were the following:

"Sec 2511, pg. 992-government will establish school based 'health clinics. Your children will be indoctrinated and your grandchildren may be aborted!

"Sec 1233, Pg. 429 Lines 10-12--'Advanced Care Consultation' may include an ORDER for end-of-life plans from the government.

"Sec. 1713, Pg 768, Lines 3-5--Nurse Home Visit Services--Service #1: 'Improving maternal or child health and pregnancy outcomes oor increasing birth intervals between pregnancies.' Compulsory ABORTIONS?

"Sec. 1751, Pg. 800--the government will decide which Health Care conditions will be paid. Say 'RATION!'

"None of these claims are true. Nor were they compiled by the Liberty Council's staff. They were provided by right-wing blogger Peter Fleckenstein and posted under the imprimatur of the Liberty council.

"HITLER, OBAMA AND MALTHUS--Sunday meetings in The Dalles and Madras were more angry and volatile. There was a lot of concern about a non-existent provision in the House bill that would provide free health care for illegal aliens. And the end-of-life questions continued.

"In the Dalles, a 74-year-old woman wearing a nasal osygen tube held in place by a headband asked about 'this new House measure in the bill which says the government will determine when I stay and when I go.' when I asked her about her sources, she handed me a printout of the Liberty

Counsel talking points, which she said she 'got from a pastor on the Internet.' She also said that 'getting rid of the old people was how Hitler got started."

And so forth.

Comment: Several of our most vocal Hubbers are apparently getting their "facts" from the same sources as the Oregonians.


Ralph Deeds profile image

Ralph Deeds 7 years ago

A note to my Congressman:

My first choice would be to see Medicare extended incrementally to everyone over a period of years, starting with children, the poor, the unemployed and continuing until universal coverage is achieved. I recognize that this approach is quite unlikely.

http://hubpages.com/politics/Canada_has_better_hea...

It seems to me that reform should accomplish two objectives;

1. Universal coverage.

2. Control of skyrocketing health care costs which won't be easy and which will require a number of approaches such as

-efficacy studies so that ineffective, unnecessary and sometimes harmful procedures can be reduced or eliminated

-encourage preventive care instead of treating people after they are sick

-discourage McAllen, Texas, style for profit medicine and encourage payment of physicians salaries rather than piece rates for procedures and tests.

-regulate the shit out of the health care insurance companies. (In my opinion they are parasites which perform no necessary function.)

http://hubpages.com/health/CROOK-ALERT--UNITED-HEA...

http://hubpages.com/health/Leeches_Contribute_to_H...

-stop Big Pharma from bribing our doctors to invent illnesses for treatment by their drugs.

http://hubpages.com/health/CROOK_ALERT__BIG_PHARMA...

http://hubpages.com/business/CROOK-ALERT-Army-Doct...

Thanks for the opportunity to voice my opinions on this important subject!

I'll try to get to one of your town hall meetings.

Ralph Deeds


creemos profile image

creemos 7 years ago from United States of America

Health Care provision is a LUXURY NOT A RIGHT of we Americans.

I successfully raised a large family of 18 WITHOUT government intervention or health care packages.

Our nation (and taxpayers) simply cannot AFFORD this luxury. Our national debt load alone has bankrupt social security because, contrary to popular opinion, "Money don't grow on trees" and our beloved government doesn't have the resources to fund it... no matter what any party platform says.

I think our political leaders believe the average American is a gullible doting idiot... and they are right.


lostgirlscat profile image

lostgirlscat 7 years ago

Great article , but has anyone considered [as I'm sure you have] that the governmental requirements to cover EVERYTHING,

(i.e.-70 yr old woman with maternity care on her policy] has driven the costs beyond belief? Of course this greatly benefits the insurance companies, as half of what they charge you for , they know you'll never need. But perhaps an ala carte insurance option would be a great stopgap measure until a better solution can be found. Let's not rush into this for the sake of any action is better than none. That is often NOT the case.


chris fairchild 7 years ago

great read but you know they can make it affordable but keep the government out of the way they cant even run the government and people want to trust them to run healthcare i say keep it private


donotfear profile image

donotfear 7 years ago from The Boondocks

Good article and very convincing, however, I find responses from doctors opposite of what you report. I work out of E.R.s as a mental health assessor. EVERY doctor I come in contact with in my profession is absolutely AGAINST this "restructuring of health care". I can't go into detail on all the conversations, it would take forever, but the jist of what I'm picking up from the doctors is NO NO NO...."it will get worse..". Other comments are: "It will bankrupt the hospitals..." "Talk about a 'waiting list' now, just wait til Obamacare kicks in..." Even doctors who specialize in certain kinds of medicine, say, a urologist. Talked to one the other day in his office and he is not happy about the proposed change. I'm sure you will assume these doctors are only mad because it will cut their salary which they work VERY HARD for, but what they are trying to get across is that it will create a HUGE backlog of patients waiting to be seen, more hours put in by doctors, less money paid, and longer waiting periods for patients. The E.R.s I visit regularly NEVER turn anyone away, whether they have insurance or not. It's true that we DO need 'minor care clinics' for individuals with colds, fevers, and minor illnesses, without clogging up the E.R.s who need to be servicing SERIOUS problems. (yeah, that's why we have triage, but it still creates a backlog of people waiting to be treated for minor illness) A minor care clinic that will assure the person will be seen whether they have insurance would be ideal, but why not allow these to be supported by both governemt AND private donations, providing those who donate be given a good tax break for their contribution? Look, I'm no expert on this by no means. I don't know all the in's and out's of this. All I have to go on is my personal encounters with individuals working in the healthcare industry, yes, including nurses. And I have yet to speak to a doctor or health care provide who believes this system will work.

ONE MORE THING I'D LIKE TO MENTION: I haven't heard one thing mentioned about mental health care. NOTHING. Right now all the state hospitals in Texas are on diversion, meaning there are no beds available and clients need to be diverted to other state hospitals across the state. We have REALLY sick people who are waiting around for a bed..people who are delusional, psychotic, suicidal and major depressed. And do you know where they end up? Sitting in and taking up space in an E.R. on a court order emergency detention until their bed becomes available. Remember, not ALL areas have their own mental health crisis holding units. As a matter of fact, we even have some who are being held, for safety reasons, in the county jail detox cell because there is no other place for them! We are one of them. So, I thought I'd better share this since I have direct contact with healthcare providers who are 99 to 100 AGAINST this plan.


Ralph Deeds profile image

Ralph Deeds 7 years ago

Which is preferable, bankrupting the hospitals or letting the hospitals continue to bankrupt the uninsured patients? Medical bills are the leading cause of bankruptcy in the United States.

Doctors seem to survive in other industrialized countries, just fine.


Ralph Deeds profile image

Ralph Deeds 7 years ago

creemos, where did you get the idea that Social Security is bankrupt? That's not true. My social security payment is deposited every month in my checking account. Only a few small adjustments are needed to put Social Security on a sound financial footing for the forseeable future.


Things Considered profile image

Things Considered 7 years ago from North Georgia Foothills Author

donotfear,

Thank you for your comments, and for raising a couple of points I've been meaning to address. Health care reform is such a large, complex issue, there are so many parts to it, and moving parts that relate in different ways to other parts, it is really a very vast and complicated thing to try and get a good solid grasp on. In a way it's no wonder people are so confused and scared, they're too busy to really take the time to figure the whole thing out.

So you'll have to forgive me for not putting much value in your anecdotal evidence about 99% of the doctors you've spoken with. What I can tell you is that a great many doctors and healthcare provider associations do very strongly support reform such as the AMA and many grassroots doctor groups that have sprung up solely for the purpose of supporting health care reform and a public option.

As you must know being so intimately involved in the field, we have a hospital crisis situation going on now. Hospitals across the country have been going bankrupt and many have been forced to close altogether. The reasons cited are the burden of the uninsured, high costs, not enough patients, and the high cost of administration due to having to file and refile and fight constantly with the insurance companies.

On the note of not enough business, have you ever heard of medical tourism? Most naysayers to reform in the U.S. like to claim that everyone comes here to have medical procedures because we have the best system in the world. What you'll never hear them mention is that so many Americans are going elsewhere for treatment and surgical procedures because it's so much less expensive and just as good. These are people with money, and usually some form of insurance. But they're not stupid, and when their insurance refuses to pay and they're faced with paying extravagant rates for something they can obtain elsewhere for half as much or better, they go there instead. So those in America who can't afford treatment aren't getting it, and those who can afford it are getting it elsewhere, leaving hospitals with a lack of paying business.

You also mentioned mental health, which is an increasingly important issue in health care these days. The house bill and the senate bill both include several provisions regarding mental health care, including legislation that would require insurance companies to treat mental health issues as fairly as other medical concerns, which reform is also attempting to raise the standards of.

Thanks again for your comments, and for raising these important points.


Ralph Deeds profile image

Ralph Deeds 7 years ago


Things Considered profile image

Things Considered 7 years ago from North Georgia Foothills Author

Ralph, Great article, by the same gentleman who wrote The Healing of America posted below.


Patrice52 profile image

Patrice52 7 years ago

What a fantastic and informative hub. If only this information could reach more people, instead of the information put out by big business, i.e., the insurance companies!


Ralph Deeds profile image

Ralph Deeds 7 years ago

Editor

New York Times

Josh Marshall recently offered a simple, elegant health care reform proposal: Allow people under age 65 the options of keeping their current insurance or signing up and paying for Medicare coverage. Works for me!

Ralph Deeds


Hmrjmr1 profile image

Hmrjmr1 7 years ago from Georgia, USA

Thingsconsidered - a well reasoned argument and well written hub. I have done several hubs on this issue as well, not with the idea that reform isn't needed but primarily that HR3200 (which I have read) is not a good answer to the problems at hand. The problem I have with the changes proposed is this If they design a system as good as our post office (I was a carrier for nine years) we will give universal service at a discount price but like medicare not really be able to afford it. Reform must address costs. Does everybody need coverage - yep sure do it will help lower costs for all of us. I truly believe the best possible solution done in a uniquely American way would be to set up four to six regional programs designed on the model of the Federal Employees Benefit Plan (which offers coverage at various costs and terms) and require all to be in one of the plans. This plan is so good that the lawmakers refuse to pledge to join the public option they propose for others. This is doable and would mandate universal coverage and has the potential to make it better for all.

One other note, none of the other countries cited have a population as large and diverse as ours. Save China and India. I would not prefer to live under either system. I have refrained for the most part from knocking the NHS (Single Payer)for others it is their way and that's fine with me I still do not see it as a viable solution for the US.

Would welcome your thoughts on this or on my related pages, my latest http://hubpages.com/hub/American-Health-care-refor...

Thanks for your time and your view..


SJS 7 years ago

The straw man arguments that you argue against are valid points but they ignore the real issue. The only way to enforce Govt health care is by using or threatening to use force. I don't agree with initiating force against others to promote a social agenda. Force should only be used in self defense and clearly health care doesn't qualify as self defense. If you haven't thought about the relationship between Govt and force the argument may be tough to swallow, but to pay for your health care utopia you have to steal money from me and give it to others according to principles that I disagree with. I prefer voluntary interaction among people along with the associated pros and cons.

Spence


omi saide profile image

omi saide 7 years ago

I am a nurse for over two decades. I know what goes on behind the scenes. The whole market is based on body count, and rating at all cost.


omi saide profile image

omi saide 7 years ago

I am a nurse for over two decades. I know what goes on behind the scenes. The whole market is based on body count, and rating at all cost.


maggiemae profile image

maggiemae 7 years ago

We are older Canadians (snowbirds) and we just went through the annual hassle of finding emergency medical insurance coverage for the winter in Mexico and a couple weeks in the US. Even the best of the policies leave us wondering if we are just throwing our money away. Oh, and our policy is 1,000 deductible. It is no wonder that so many retirees are heading to Mexico, Costa Rica and even the Philippines.

I like our public system. Our professionals are well paid. The overwhelming majority of people get excellent basic care. Tomorrow I go for cataract surgery. It's a relatively simple procedure these days, and my total cost is $460 for the soft fold-able lenses. I could have opted for the hard lenses at no additional cost.

Our public health system is alive and well. When I arrived back in Canada this last spring I had letters waiting from the diabetic nurse, the dietitian and the mammography program all wanting to schedule appointments.

Of course our system has flaws or inadequacies, but don't they all. We have chosen to live in a rural area so our costs just to get to medical care are more, but that was our lifestyle choice. Prior to retiring we paid a lot of taxes, and I am sure that we paid more tax over the years than our counterparts in the USA. I think it was worth it, because we all are travelling on the same road. We all hope to live into our 90's in our own homes and suddenly die of a stroke or heart attack, but that is not the reality.

I truly fear for our two sons who live in the US because I know they would lose their health care insurance if they were to lose their good jobs. Would they be able to afford any health care insurance on unemployment? I doubt it as their wives are stay at home moms.


skylinerj34 profile image

skylinerj34 7 years ago

Great Hub All Things Considered. Funny! I just wrote a similar Hub last night. I have to admit mine is not as organized or have as much information as yours does but you just won yourself a fan!


Beyond-Politics profile image

Beyond-Politics 7 years ago from The Known Universe (beyond.the.spectrum@gmail.com)

The thing aspect of the universal health care debate which surprises me the most is how those who oppose the idea can allow themselves to vote against their own self-interests


martycraigs profile image

martycraigs 7 years ago

I'm self employed and currently healthy. My biggest fear is that after paying into the system all of my life if I get sick I will be dropped.


OMG 7 years ago

Scanned your document, one obvious misleading ststement:

"The compulsory contributions are enforced via a 5.25% deduction from salaries, capital income and other income such as lottery or gambling winnings."

Frances compulsory contributions, if you are working, is around 21%, not 5.25% as you state, and their system is operating in the red. This percentage WILL go up.


ADH 7 years ago

If Universal Health care is for everyone, why will Medicare be needed? Will Medicare premiums be less? Will there be a cap on lifetime benefits? If everyone has to be enrolled into the Universal system, shouldn't reckless behavior be considered? I choose not to smoke pot, cigarettes,drink alcohol, over eat etc., is there a financial reward for living a healthy lifestyle?


Vikkimama 6 years ago

The dems ought to be commended for not allowing negative sentiments to derail the ongoing health reform initiative.

They are doing the right thing. To make it possible for more

than thirty million more Americans to have access to health insurance is no mean feat! Some people argue about the cost

of this reform bill as if there is any time now or in future that such an endeavor will cost less.

Some who delight in self-deceit, tell us that America has the best insurance in the world! No surprise. Other such

assumptions or should I call it, brain-washing abound in most areas in the country. Most of us swallow hook, line and sinker any garbage we are fed by the politicians and the media. All it takes them is to harp on the phrase 'the American people will or will not...' and down we fall!

This bill is certainly not perfect. But nothing ever is.

Things are usually perfected over time.


Vikkimama 6 years ago

The dems ought to be commended for not allowing negative sentiments to derail the ongoing health reform initiative.

They are doing the right thing. To make it possible for more

than thirty million more Americans to have access to health insurance is no mean feat! Some people argue about the cost

of this reform bill as if there is any time now or in future that such an endeavor will cost less.

Some who delight in self-deceit, tell us that America has the best insurance in the world! No surprise. Other such

assumptions or should I call it, brain-washing abound in most areas in the country. Most of us swallow hook, line and sinker any garbage we are fed by the politicians and the media. All it takes them is to harp on the phrase 'the American people will or will not...' and down we fall!

This bill is certainly not perfect. But nothing ever is.

Things are usually perfected over time.


Vikkimama 6 years ago

The dems ought to be commended for not allowing negative sentiments to derail the ongoing health reform initiative.

They are doing the right thing. To make it possible for more

than thirty million more Americans to have access to health insurance is no mean feat! Some people argue about the cost

of this reform bill as if there is any time now or in future that such an endeavor will cost less.

Some who delight in self-deceit, tell us that America has the best insurance in the world! No surprise. Other such

assumptions or should I call it, brain-washing abound in most areas in the country. Most of us swallow hook, line and sinker any garbage we are fed by the politicians and the media. All it takes them is to harp on the phrase 'the American people will or will not...' and down we fall!

This bill is certainly not perfect. But nothing ever is.

Things are usually perfected over time.


Vikkimama 6 years ago

The dems ought to be commended for not allowing negative sentiments to derail the ongoing health reform initiative.

They are doing the right thing. To make it possible for more

than thirty million more Americans to have access to health insurance is no mean feat! Some people argue about the cost

of this reform bill as if there is any time now or in future that such an endeavor will cost less.

Some who delight in self-deceit, tell us that America has the best insurance in the world! No surprise. Other such

assumptions or should I call it, brain-washing abound in most areas in the country. Most of us swallow hook, line and sinker any garbage we are fed by the politicians and the media. All it takes them is to harp on the phrase 'the American people will or will not...' and down we fall!

This bill is certainly not perfect. But nothing ever is.

Things are usually perfected over time.


Vikkimama 6 years ago

The dems ought to be commended for not allowing negative sentiments to derail the ongoing health reform initiative.

They are doing the right thing. To make it possible for more

than thirty million more Americans to have access to health insurance is no mean feat! Some people argue about the cost

of this reform bill as if there is any time now or in future that such an endeavor will cost less.

Some who delight in self-deceit, tell us that America has the best insurance in the world! No surprise. Other such

assumptions or should I call it, brain-washing abound in most areas in the country. Most of us swallow hook, line and sinker any garbage we are fed by the politicians and the media. All it takes them is to harp on the phrase 'the American people will or will not...' and down we fall!

This bill is certainly not perfect. But nothing ever is.

Things are usually perfected over time.


thejcrevelator2 profile image

thejcrevelator2 6 years ago

Great comments all! I would agree with Ralph - we need to look at expanding Medicare for all, but this must start with those at the bottom of the income scale, the "least among us". JC needs to be in our minds as we proceed. If we adhere to his words; “Love your neighbor as you love yourself” and “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you” - we are off to a good start.


braudboy profile image

braudboy 6 years ago from Long Beach, MS

Government run healthcare is a horrible idea. The only way to truly control costs while maintaining a high standard of medical care is to get more competition and free markets involved in the process. We could also take a good look at the insurance laws and make sure that competition is allowed to work across state lines. BUt, keep the government beauracracy out of our lives, for pete's sake.


amanes 6 years ago

Very Comprehensive, and great article....thanks!


hello there 6 years ago

thank you very much. it is quite obvious to me.... I was just trying to work out what on earth the counter argument could be.


hello there 6 years ago

how many of you know each other?????


ray 6 years ago

Hi All,

I just feel that one cannot live in this way anymore, but... Say, I have a health coverage but my deductible is 1,000 per person per year ( mi wife) but I earned 35,000 annualy, and I have two small children. There's no way in hell that I will be able to keep the noble medical coverage that my employer offered me, what am I supposed to do?

They are really leaving no option for the regular man to survive in this society. Free market does not mean free tyranny, free plundering, free does not go along w/market because simply it's a stupid non-sense.

Ray


adorababy profile image

adorababy 6 years ago from Syracuse, NY

This growing problem is pushing health care reform back onto the agenda of American politics after more than a decade of neglect. And yet, nothing guarantees that this debate will end differently than previous battles.


Lorna 6 years ago

Wow.....That is such useful stuff. Thank you for sharing, so that others may suffer less.........


FindMyTeenFashion profile image

FindMyTeenFashion 6 years ago

I can not believe that this problem has not been addressed. There are perfect models of Universal Health Care in other countries.


Lethbridge Dentistry 6 years ago

Good support for the argument. In Canada they enjoy mostly free health-care but have to endure atrocious wait times for necessary procedures.

http://ricerollingsondentistry.com

There has to be a happy medium somewhere. What kind of a society wants to watch the financially misfortunate suffer because they can't afford what should be a human right? Adequate health care.


lmmartin profile image

lmmartin 6 years ago from Alberta and Florida

I see the fanatics are out. I'll come back another time. Great hub by the way. Lynda


Dale R. Suiter 6 years ago

Of interest is failure to note the loss of freedom. Government control of private decisions = totaletarian rule. It is really that simple. National health care is government control of personal, private decisions. It is a huge move towards a socialist society too.

Dale R. Suiter


Things Considered profile image

Things Considered 6 years ago from North Georgia Foothills Author

Living in a society, Dale, requires some working together and compromise.

John Ewall quit spamming my hub. I don't have the time to deal with all your long, rambling and often pointless posts. Find another platform for your tea party rants.


JON EWALL profile image

JON EWALL 6 years ago from usa

Things Considered

YOUR COMMENTS ON MY WRITING IS APPRECIATED. I received notices from my insurance carriers this week. Premiums will increase 20% and deductibles will be higher. Didn't president Barak Obama promise that healthcare cost will be lower? Incompetence or just another lie.


JON EWALL profile image

JON EWALL 5 years ago from usa

Things Considered

Discovered in the healthcare bill. Businesses will be required to file a 1099 tax form for purchases over $600.

To cover the additional cost the business will probaly be laying off another person to cover the added cost.

This has nothing to do with healthcare?????


Ashleigh Cruickshank 5 years ago

I'm only 18 so i don't understand the full complexity of the whole issue surrounding universal health care, and i may have the simplistic view that since when is it right to let sick poor people suffer just because they can't afford healthcare? I'm from the UK, and our health system is far from perfect. But if I'm ill I don't have the stress of phoning insurance companies or whatever. I just go to the hospital. or to my doctor. I have chronic migraines and so I'm on prescription medicine, this is still free since I'm in university, but when i hit 19 I'll have to pay for that and I'm not complaining; I'm in Scotland its pretty much free.. My family would probably be in a lot of debt due to my medical bills; doctors appointments, specialists, CAT scan, medicines, everything..

I've visited America 3 times, and only had a run in with the health service once.. During my flight my ears popped and wouldn't un-pop, I was going to leave it until I got home but was in a lot of pain and it was ruining the holiday; so we decided to get something done about it.. after finally working out how to locate a doctor (in the back of some drug store, cant remember the name).. She doen a basic check then cleared my ears and prescribed me ear drops and tablets.. all of that was well over $200.. AND! It was only a temp fix, when I came back home I had to go back to my own doctors.. I expected a nop notch service considering how much it cost, my mother almost fainted, but my doctor in the UK was better than the doctor I seen. And I've never really had an issue with the UK health service.


JON EWALL profile image

JON EWALL 5 years ago from usa

Ashleigh Cruickshank

You said ‘’ since when is it right to let sick poor people suffer just because they can't afford healthcare’’

In America anyone needing immediate Healthcare attention can go to any hospital’s ER room for FREE, including non- citizens.

In every State of the US , MEDICAID ( healthcare for poor people ) provides Healthcare for those who qualify.

You said ‘’I'm on prescription medicine, this is still free since I'm in university, but when I hit 19 I'll have to pay for that and I'm not complaining; I'm in Scotland its pretty much free’’

You will soon find out that nothing is FREE in life, remember that someone will be paying for the service.

In America insurance Health premiums costs have been rising for those who are paying their share. The problem is the additional cost for those receiving FREE healthcare is passed onto the ones paying which includes the rich and poor.

In America illegal immigrants are costing the taxpayers ( GOVERNMENT ) $ 300 billion a year for them using our government entitlement programs. In England , Scotland ,Soviet Union and China ,I doubt that those countries would accept paying for non citizens in the country.

You said ‘’expected a nop notch service considering how much it cost, my mother almost fainted, but my doctor in the UK was better than the doctor I seen. And I've never really had an issue with the UK health service.’’

Good luck on your next visit to the USA, we have the best Healthcare in the world right now, not government run. Don’t believe all the propaganda you may hear about the US healthcare. We are free to choose our doctors and we choose what kind of coverage we decide to pay for at this time. We not the government decides what services we need, the choice is between the doctor and the patient. Have your mother explain the pros and cons of your government run healthcare


chill Bill 5 years ago

Couldn't the government just flat tax ALL individuals income and business profits at say 30%. Have some type of fair sales tax on food and goods that we buy. Take in the the tax money and use it to take care of all basics necessities. National security, universal healthcare, social services for elderly and disabled, education, infrastructure, etc. will all be paid for from our tax monies. If elected officials can't manage the money then send them home to find other work to do. So when I get my paycheck it's no mystery as to where my money is going. I can see a better freedom for americans when our tax money is used to take care of things that we shouldn't even have to think twice about. If you get sick just go to the doctor and get it fixed or treated and the service is already paid for. I know abortion is a major thing to consider in universal healthcare. I am mostly against the practice, but I know that banning abortion is not going to stop it from occurring. I do believe that if we were to adopt a flat tax to cover americas basics as mentioned above then people would be plain and simply much happier, and over time I think that cruel practices will subside some. Things are overly complicated so that someone can get over on someone else.


Jimmy 5 years ago

WHy would we put healthcare in the hand of the Government???? They cant run a business i thought we learned that already....OH by the way the only reason the postal service has been in business for over 200 years is BECAUSE we the taxpayers pay fro it!!!!!It cannot fail....because the government will keep pumping tax dollars into it!! SO any idiot who thinks the government does a great job at running it...stop and think who pays for it...US!!!!


McLaren 83 profile image

McLaren 83 5 years ago from Planet Earth

We do not pay a fireman to come and save us from a burning house.

We do not pay a policeman to keep us safe from crime.

We do not pay the army to defend our country.

SO, why should we fund these basic services through tax and not healthcare? Wouldnt it be in the nations best interest to keep people healthy and able to contribute to the economy?

Should healthcare be a basic service like the fire department, the police and the military?


Mark Fishman 5 years ago

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The additional revenue solves Social Security’s long term funding problem, creates and fully funds National Health Care and expands public education to include college free of charge. It also solves every states fiscal crisis.

Fishman’s Framework for Tax Reform is only 18 pages long and comes with commentary, tax revenue estimates and five year budget projections. Additionally, there are seven appendices that prove that this tax reform plan lowers taxes for everyone and funds all government programs while running a budget surplus.

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contact: mark@serioustaxreform.com

Fishman's Framework for Tax Reform, Video Lectures


htodd profile image

htodd 5 years ago from United States

Thanks for the great post..nice


Coolpapa profile image

Coolpapa 5 years ago from Florida

Great Hub. For those still drinking the best healthcare in the world Kool-aid, I suggest you read "The Healing of America" by T.R. Reid


Neil 4 years ago

This is like saying France's military is the best in the world when the US really IS the French military. Since the US provides 80% of the world's medical innovation we enable these little systems around the globe to conceal their true horrors. No kool-aid here - Supply and demand never fails, and Europe's declining population is evidence enough that demand of what is free has outstripped supply.


Custer 4 years ago

Mclaren 83 good God, man.

The fire department and police are emergency services and they are by definition what government is. They are the compromise free men make between anarchy and despotism to establish justice and tranquility.

Apart from that Fire and Police are local. Your local municipality has every right to establish a "free" healthcare system and watch it wilt, just as long as I can vote with my feet and get the hell out of there.

While police and firemen do their jobs when called upon. Do you REALLY want a police officer in charge of your personal safety? Do you really want the fire department in charge of wiring standards in your home?

Take a breath people, your being sold on a utopian fantasy. Look at the sytems around the world. They are repleat with abortions and euthanasia to eliminate the costly members in the system. The WHO doesn't release information like that the same way the IPCC wouldn't address East Anglia's fudging world climate figures in order to receive more funding.

When a bureaucrat is in charge of what services you're entitled to, you are at the complete mercy of the state.


William 4 years ago

What is the problem? The cost? Okay, if politician's care why don't they make medical expenses 100% tax deductible? Oh, that's right they want to run it also. I get it.

Wait...why then do the subjects in socialized medical systems have a different system than members of parliament. Oh that's right, because MPs are better than you.

The government is the cause of the problems in home prices (CRA), college tuition rates (gov stud loans), and healthcare (tort, insurance regulation).

Governments create the problems by promising on what they can't deliver and to solve the problems they created they are promising something nothing in the universe can deliver: a free service.


Sheri 4 years ago

Anecdotes?

I knew a brother and sister from Europe. The brother came to the U.S. and the sister stayed in Europe. They both were diagnosed with brain tumors in the same year 1993. The brother went to Montfiore in NY, the sister went to a government medical center in France.

To save on costs the French government performed a run of the mill procedure, while Montefiore went state of the art. The sister died in 1993, and the brother, Paul died in 2011 of a heart attack. He was my neighbor and a staunch defender of the free market.


louromano profile image

louromano 4 years ago

Good hub.Certainly, I would say that you have some justification if you are talking about the UK - there are a few things there that I am not happy with, especially the corporate lifestyle. Greece is a law unto itself - they do not like to be told what to do. Tax evasion is an artform, although Greeks happily pay health insurance - it is not a lot of money. I have a lot of freedom here - the Greeks will, quite literaly, burn down the parliament if the government attempts to infringe upon rights!


Mike 4 years ago

The people that are against Universal Health Care are; for one, the doctors, because of fear of getting paid less; republicans, because they do not want to share the cost with everyone; the insurance companies, for fear of getting paid less. As long as there is profit to be made from it, the people that benefit from the profit are going to be against it. When it comes down to profit, people benefiting from it will not care if people die from not having enough health care. One less person to worry about treating.


Mike 4 years ago

You left out the fact that people in France and the UK pay half, that's right half of their paychecks into retirement and healthcare. Americans will not be able to pay their bills, let alone enjoy the high standard of living we currently maintain.

National Healthcare is not a sustainable program, and these dirty politicians know it! This author lists numerous countries with so called effective National Healthcare, when in fact these programs are falling because of rising costs and substantial decreases in the quality care. Let's try to remember that the organization that ranked these healthcare programs belongs to NATO. The World Health Organization (WHO) is a specialized agency of the United Nations. Enough said.


Brian 4 years ago

Mike, they do not. How could they live? You used the argument that Americans couldn't live off of half their paychecks; but you seem to think that somehow people in France and the UK can? I live in Canada and I get taxed less than what you pay in premiums for healthcare. The service is great in Ontario. Where there are labor shortages (in western Canada) it is less so, but still great! Ya nothing is free. It certainly is more efficient than your system though. My wife is American and she was surprised at how great it is that she doesn't pay deductibles or have to fight with insurance companies. And the doctors are still just as caring as in the States. The doctors here are still very wealthy people. On top of all of this, our healthcare systme isn't falling apart. We are the most fiscally strong nation in the world.

To everyone: There should be an organization that would fight for universal health care in the US. They should collaberate with politicians and law makers to show the social injustice of a private health care. Hopefully people understand that this is more of a moral/ethical issue of people being denied their right to life when they must give everything up in order to pay their healthcare costs out of pocket. And when they can't pay, they are denied healthcare until they die. How can they pursue happiness when their entire paychecks are eaten up by healthcare costs? If these costs were shared by everyone, it would be affordable for everyone to live. Essentially, the system right now makes in unaffordable to live if you get seriously sick. Even if it isn't your own fault. It's just too expensive to stay alive if you get seriously ill in American. These costs should be shared by everyone. Anyone who denies that is basically just living for money. You know what Jesus said about the love of money. I'm sure people stick by their convictions until they themselves get sick and the system turns against them. This is people's lives at stake. Those lives are worth more than mere money. I'm a republican/conservative, but even I see the evil in having privatized health care. People say this isn't a religious debate. I find it funny that the "religious" right (again I am religious and I am conservative on most issues) is more concerned about the cost of health care than the universality of health care. If you are religious, you should be more concerned about the well-being of your neighbor. The golden rule is, "Do unto others as you would have them do unto you." Would you not want people to help you pay your healthcare bills if you couldn't afford to pay them? Would you want people to make you feel guilty about the inability to pay medical bills? Just goes to show that the "religious" right is no more religious than pagans who worship things rather than showing their love for God by loving their neighbors (I question their belief). It's a sad day when liberal atheists who support universal healthcare can be better examples of Christ than conservatives who call themselves Christians. All Christians should support universal health care. There is no question about it.


Eiruam 4 years ago

Mike,

Here in Australia we have Universal Health Coverage known as Medicare. I pay less in tax to support this system then you pay in Insurance premiums.

I have been Hospitalized twice for life saving surgery. These procedures cost well in advance of $60,000 yet I left hospital not having to pay one brass razoo !

As for retirement... Here your employer pays into your retirement fund. It costs you nothing and is not part of your wage, it is compulsory for all Employers to pay into your retirement fund. You can if you wish add to it yourself but you don't have to.

I am also a Diabetic. I know many Diabetic Americans through forums and they have to pay out of their pocket between $35 and $100 for 50 glucose meter test strips. I pay 60 cents for same thing.

Doctors here are not poor either. They drive their Ferrari's, Porches, Mercedes etc and live in three story mansions. Obviously they get quite well paid by the Government here under Medicare.

America is a nice place to visit but I wouldn't want to get sick there.


michaelkemsens 4 years ago

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SomeoneRandom 4 years ago

@ Eiruam Yes, thank you! I have no idea why people slag off other Universal Health Care systems for being "too expensive" and "offer less money to the doctors." It's ridiculous! I just learnt what my cousin from California was paying for her insurance and medication and I almost hit the floor. I think it was more than I earned in a month and I'm on our Medicare. Also, I do love the fact that we get some money back, haha!


SotD and Zera profile image

SotD and Zera 4 years ago

Thank you for this article! It breaks down the problems with those arguments perfectly. This is a great resource.

-Zera


Michael Zilbering 4 years ago

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Nthmoment 10 months ago

I loved this; so well written. I worked in the finance dept. in a hospital and I know the profit being made while many go without care because they can't afford the insurance premiums and deductibles. I am allergic to bees and went to purchase an epipen. I was shocked by a $500 gross price but BCBS would gladly let me buy the brand name pen for $300 versus $100 generic (that wasn't allowed). I also know that there are CPT and DRG codes that describe procedures and diagnoses with prices attached but yet the public is never told what they will pay upfront. With our technology and computer systems, we can't give a patient an estimate of their costs when it isn't an emergency? Instead a patient is patronized into signing waivers agreeing to pay anything not covered. I recently added a note to the waiver saying "I will be glad to pay, if you tell me the charges before they are incurred". I was denied the right to be seen by a dermatologist until I signed another form without that written. Where else is the public expected to agree to pay anything without prior notification of at least an estimate of the costs? I believe many in the US don't want universal healthcare because of what you mentioned - they are benefiting from those lucrative salaries, bonuses and insurance profits. The US needs to become less capitalistic and more humanistic and if that means more socialism, so be it. My question is how does the public (especially those suffering from our system) get heard? Can you find a way to get this published and sent to Congress? Thanks for your article. It was very validating.

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