I hear the term national healthcare being thrown around and I would like to know, both as a Doctor and as a human, who would pay for this and what would it pay? For those of you unfamiliar with our current government healthcare system ie medicare and medicaid, they are awful programs that doctors accpeted before because it went with the territory. Now you have insurance companies making millions while the fees they pay out go down and down. No Doctor could run a practice just on medicare or medicaid, never. Many will not even accept medicaid because they don't pay, require too much paperwork and the patients don't show up for appointments. Medicare isn't much better, and they are the most self deserving group of people you could ever meet. The both are a complete failure.
How would national healthcare work? This is a country where all we do is pass the buck. We raise highway taxes to pay for the buses, We Tax everyone and anything we can to pay for everything else. People cry about copays and deductibles yet don't think twice about cell phones, 300 channels on tv, ipods, playstaions, 50 haircuts and so on. We are a nation of sprinters trying to run a marathon by passing the baton to whoever we run into first. there is no accountability just expectations. So since no individual wants to pay for their own health, who would it fall to.....
The same big corporations that everyone wants to vilify?
Sorry for my tone, but I can tell you that with the lawsuits and insurance payments the way they are, we are not only facing a crisis of who is going to pay for healthcare, but who is even going to provide it.
A very valid issue and controversial for sure but something that can't be avoided when talking politics.
Who would pay?
The middle class.
What would they pay for?
Everybody who couldn't afford or be able to pay for adequate health care.
Would there be loopholes?
Sure.. those who could afford it may avoid the crowds or the waits and travel to other countries or pay for a private procedure. Not too different from today I would guess.
Would it be a good idea?
Maybe if you have enough people paying in. Problem is in the United States, there seems to be more takers than payers.
It's a neat political idea but if we can't figure out our national debt, the war, gay marriage and other such topics that are unmanageable... I don't see how we can care universally for the entire population with a system that would work.
I'm willing to be proven wrong. I don't by any means think I have the answer.
National Health Care exists in Australia and while we complain about its shortcomings, it works pretty well. People are still encouraged to insure themselves, but no one is ever denied care if they have an accident or life-threatening illness.
National health care also exists in the UK - where waiting lists are much longer, but seriously ill people still get treated - and in most countries in Europe. So there is plenty of research available if the US government decided to introduce a scheme.
I understand that national healthcare exists in other countries, but as you both pointed out they are by no means perfect and only time will tell if they are even manageable. If in these systems the people who can afford to pay go somewhere else, and those who can't get the care they need, then how is that so different than what we have here? Poor people go to the er, and in fact many people turn to the er instead of addressing issues when they should. By giving our already needy society any less accountability towards their health, I think the abuse and mismanagement will rise and not fall. Welfare seemed like a functional idea when it was created, as did social security but both of these programs have done nothing but served as bagining chips for politicians and along the way have destroyed the future for many of us.
We have had universal health care in Australia for at least 50 years - I think that's long enough to say that it basically works.
If you need life-saving surgery, you will get it, no matter how poor you are. If you are well-off, you may choose to pay extra to have it done faster, by the doctor of your choice, in a private hospital which has better food and more polite nurses.
If you need elective surgery, you can still get it under the public health system, but you may wait years for it. The well-off will usually pay rather than wait.
We have lots of medical centres which bulk-bill (so you don't pay anything when you go there), and most people use those rather than the ER.
There are complaints (for example, knee reconstruction is classified as "elective", and plastic surgery isn't covered at all, even to deal with scarring from a major injury, and dental isn't covered until you have a huge infection and need antibiotics), but those are fairly marginal compared with the disaster area that is health care in the US.
We also have lifetime welfare for unemployment, disability, and carers for the disabled. A small group get stuck on welfare for generations, but the majority want to get back on their feet, and do. Nobody here wants to see the sort of social destruction that comes with throwing people off welfare after six months.
It can work, but the prospect of trying to introduce it in a system as riddled with corruption and greed as the US political system just beggars the imagination, I am afraid.
Ive experienced national health systems in NZ and Australia and I would never move to the US unless someone else was paying health insurance! Part of the problem in the US is that people get stuck with jobs because health insurance becomes part of the package - that is raraely the case in Australia/NZ Living in Australia at the moment I have no health insurance - I have to pay to go to the Dr - about $60 over $100 for xrays but the health insurance premiums would cost more so why bother - if I get hit by a bus or diagnosed with cancer tomorrow the state will pay - in NZ they would pay anyway -only "elective" stuff is covered by your insurance (I dont know how it works in Australia) In both cases if I found it unaccpetable to wiat 3 months say for chemo (which I would) I would hope on a plane to Asia and get 1st rate private care for a fraction of the cost in Australia or NZ - Asia is only 5 hours away from Perth though!
I do carry income replacement insurance so if I get sick I still get paid my salary for another 12 months or so - in case Idon't feel like working or run out of sick leave
I don' understand how health insurance can be tied to jobs - I am me with my medical history - it doesn't affect my health insurance risk if I am employed or not or where (in Australia it probably changes a bit depending on whether I have a dangerous job or not - in NZ not at all because the government pays for all accidents workplace or otherwise)
I'm in Canada. Here our health care is paid for by taxpayers and employers; if you are employed your employer pays some of your healthcare and you pay for some through paycheque deductions. If you aren't employed, you are still covered. We also have to pay a tax premium based on income; mine is an extra $300 a year, about 1% of my salary. I don't mind paying taxes for necessary things such as health care.
Yes, it's hard to find doctors; it took me 4 years to get one after I moved. However, I like the fact I can go to the doctor without having to weigh if I can afford it or not. Ten years ago I had breast cancer, I am convinced my chance of survival was greater here than if I had lived in the US at the time; I would not have been able to afford the treatments I eventually got if I hadn't lived here.
This might surprise you, but we have a National Health Service in Qatar, for all residents, not just for Qataris. Who pays? Ultimately the Emir, Hamad bin Khalifa Al Thani, and not from taxes, because there aren't any. Sitting on a vast natural gas resource and with a population still under 1,000,000 mostly located in the capital, Doha, he can afford it. Still, it's good of him, I think.
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