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Sicko - Page 2

post #31 of 59
Having universal health care in America doesn't have anything really to do with Canada's universal health care. Theirs isn't the only way to do it, and comparing the two isn't necessarily the best way to think about what could go wrong with universal health care and what may be wrong with our own.

For one, the simple fact of it being America will make it different. We have way more doctors and hospitals in the first place, and people who currently have the government flat-out paying for their health care do not have to wait any longer than the rest of us. We are not the same country, and we need not have the same universal system.

I definitely agree that having two health insurances is not the way to go, it cancels out the economic benefits of having universal health care. That's the point is to not have any through your employer anymore.

Really we'd probably need a transitional stage where people who are currently uninsured get insurance through the govt on a sliding scale-- that would help so much in itself. It would reduce everyone's health care costs-- one of the reasons they're so high is because of people who don't / can't pay their hospital bills. Many hospitals already do this to some degree, if you are below x income you pay whatever percent of the regular bill, etc. If everybody had insurance that wouldn't be necessary.
post #32 of 59
lol, its funny.

having lived in canada in the same area as swampwitch does,
there system sucks, granted this does not sound like it has changed much.
If there system was so much better then why do i know several people that came to america for medical care?

the problem to fix american medical issues is not that hard.
stop stupied lawyears from making dumb suits, against doctors, and i am not talking about leaving a women to die on the floor without being looked at.
with that, the fee to see the doc should go down.

limit the price of drugs, yes price fixing.

there problem fixed,

lol but of course, those in washington and the drug compains wont go for it
the drugs compaines are making there money from american, how the prices in other parts of the world are cheap, WE keep allowing them to rape aer bank accounts.
post #33 of 59
It's especially strange how our taxes go to develop those drugs, to give grants to the billion/trillion dollar companies that come up with them. etc and then somehow we have to pay triple or more what other people do for the same drugs.

The whole idea that health care should be for profit is as ridiculous as saying education should be for-profit.

Our insurance companies operate with overhead costs of 10 to 30 per cent, government subsidized health care has an overhead of 1 per cent. The insurance companies have no pressing reason to try to spend less money, really they have reason to come up with more and more ways to spend the money that is supposed to be for our health-- while at the same time cutting our benefits. Soon we'll be paying them and paying all our own medical costs.

I agree Bruce about stopping frivolous lawsuits. That is one main problem.
post #34 of 59
i dont mind them making a profit,
but when the same drug cost me 299 a month here
but when i was living overseas the same drug was 1 dollar for 30 days supply something is wrong.

yea yea i know, they take a lose in those markert , how we pay for it.
people need to get smart and start demanding the goverment to control the prices. Since the drug companies are not
post #35 of 59
Colin and I actually had a two hour discussion over this movie today. I am going to see it (now normally i am NOT a fan of his- i do however want to see this documentary though!).
post #36 of 59
Thread Starter 
I think that healthcare for everyone is certainly the responsibility of the government to some degree, as is education, good policing, justice, shelter, food - all other basic human rights.

In Australia our healthcare system is in a bit of a mess at the moment, because the government is not allocating enough of a budget to take care of our public hospitals, ERs and so forth. But still, I think our system as an actual `system' is very good.

We have the public and the private system. Employers rarely, if ever, offer health insurance as part of a contract. If you want private health insurance you pay for your own (as I do) and you never get any of the hidden costs of thousands of dollars as seems to happen in the US. The public system is free to every single citizen of this country, but for things like elective surgery etc the waiting times are very high - at least twelve months in most cases. Therein lies the choice. You either pay for health insurance and get seen promptly, or you rely on the public system and wait. For urgent situations you don't have to wait this long, however. If you are uninsured you can still have your procedure in a private hospital, but you have to pay. That's when it costs thousands of dollars.

Our public system is overworked and underfunded, but it's still there. Many people do take advantage of it and then have the audacity to whinge when it doesn't suit them, but most don't. I have private cover and have had since I was born - and always will have. I never take advantage of the public system because I pay for my health insurance and care. The only times I've ever been to the public system was when I went to Emergency. Private hospitals in Australia do not have emergency departments so you have no choice.

Health insurance for Max and I costs $96 per fortnight. A number of doctors, hospitals and other providers are on what's called a `no-gap' scheme, so you can go to a doctor that does not charge a gap. So, for example, when I have my gallbladder out in two weeks, I will go to the hospital and surgeon of my choice, I picked the date of my surgery, I will have a private room and I will pay, in total, about $50 for my surgery out of pocket.

Max needs knee surgery in a couple of months and that will cost him about the same. If we were uninsured we would wait at least 12 months on the public hospital list, or if we paid to go private it would cost us both about $6,000 for our surgery. A lot, but still considerably less than the US. It's a good system - we just need more doctors, nurses and beds in our public system.

We pay for top cover, but there are various options and many insurance companies offer basic cover that will see you get treated in a private hospital with some co-payments, for around $25 per fortnight. Private health funds are privately owned, the public system is the government. There are several private health funds, and they have a lot of power, but they certainly don't abuse it like those in the States seem to.

My boss and I are currently brainstorming a business idea where we would get a lot of doctors on board and offer top quality medical services to uninsured American patients, including sorting out their flights and accommodation for them. It's already being done in Queensland, and the total cost for US patients to fly to Australia, have their surgery done by top surgeons in a private hospital and have somewhere to stay, and then fly home again, still works out less than paying for it in America. It's a good business plan and we have it underway.

But I think that it's a shame when there's a market for this kind of thing, when basic healthcare is a right of every citizen of every country, and it doesn't seem to be being provided in the US, the most powerful and wealthy nation in the world.
post #37 of 59
Quote:
Originally Posted by Zissou'sMom View Post
For one, the simple fact of it being America will make it different. We have way more doctors and hospitals in the first place, and people who currently have the government flat-out paying for their health care do not have to wait any longer than the rest of us. We are not the same country, and we need not have the same universal system.
No one is saying that you have (or have to have) the same system.

BTW according to the World Health Organisation, you don't have that many more doctors than Canada (2.14 per 1000 compared to 2.5 per 1000) and have less hospital beds. The problem is, as a % of GDP for public and private spending on health, you end up paying much more than Canadians do, which is the reason for the comparison.

We spend just under 10% of GDP compared to your close to 15% of GDP to cover what is close to the same statistics as far as doctors/hospital beds per 1000 people.
post #38 of 59
Quote:
Originally Posted by theimp98 View Post
lol, its funny.

having lived in canada in the same area as swampwitch does,
there system sucks, granted this does not sound like it has changed much.
If there system was so much better then why do i know several people that came to america for medical care?

the problem to fix american medical issues is not that hard.
stop stupied lawyears from making dumb suits, against doctors, and i am not talking about leaving a women to die on the floor without being looked at.
with that, the fee to see the doc should go down.

limit the price of drugs, yes price fixing.

there problem fixed,

lol but of course, those in washington and the drug compains wont go for it
the drugs compaines are making there money from american, how the prices in other parts of the world are cheap, WE keep allowing them to rape aer bank accounts.
I just want to add this. My SIL is a private practice doctor in a suburb of Chicago. She pays 150k a year in malpractice insurance. That's right $150k a year. Can you imagine if she only had to pay $25k? Or less? She'd be able to treat who she wanted when she wanted.
post #39 of 59
Living in a country with a universal health coverage, I find the US system very strange for a wealthy country. Everyone should have equal opportunities for health care and education, and the only way to ensure this is by the government or the city taking care of it. Profit-seeking private hospitals cannot be trusted to do that. They are not in the business of making people well, they are in the business of making money for their share holders.

The Finnish hospital system has it's own hiccups of course, but the only real advantage in paying for health care here is you don't have to queue. I'll much rather wait in line than live with the fact some people can't get proper treatment because I'm not willing to pay a few more tax euros.
post #40 of 59
Quote:
Originally Posted by neetanddave View Post
And I couldn't sleep at night if I took advantage of the system as you have described. If you have coverage through an employer, you should in no means be able to dip into the public coffers as well. Either you can afford it or not, you can't have it both ways. That scenario is one of the main reasons the US has so many issues with their government subsidized plans - people want it both ways, and that does not sit well with the taxpaying public.
The problem with that is that in Canada, we still don't have that option.
It's on it's way to a two-tiered system in some respects but as of yet, no one pays for general doctor/medical/ER visits. We don't even have the OPTION of paying when we go get a checkup for example..

I can't imagine the Dr's office staff if you told them you WANTED to pay! They would look at you with incredulity!

However, a dentist, massage therapist, any alternative naturopath therapies are not covered.
The employer (or the individual) can arrange a healthcare plan to pick up these incidentals.

If you are poor and are not on assistance and you want to see a dentist or any other healthcare provider that isn't covered (which is normally anyone but a regular doctor) or you need medications, then you are SOL.

Sometimes, it's the incentive for people to GO ON assistance!

And then there are the private services like these MRI facilities where you can walk in and for $600, get the MRI that day that you have been waiting for for 6 months. THis is a very problematic issue for some.

And in most provinces, yes, you have to wait anywhere from 4-8 hours to see an ER doc if it's non life threatening.
post #41 of 59
Quote:
Originally Posted by Loveysmummy View Post
And in most provinces, yes, you have to wait anywhere from 4-8 hours to see an ER doc if it's non life threatening.
That is true here in areas where people don't have insurance too. See, they can't go to a doctor because they can't afford to, so they go to the ER for every single medical problem. The ER can't refuse treatment at a public hospital, and most have some sort of subsidy for low-income families. It's cheaper for them to go to the ER and treat it like a clinic... they also end up there because they don't get any preventative care.

So when you have the sort of thing that would normally be an ER visit (concussion, broken bone, etc) you end up waiting with them... sometimes longer than 4-8 hours.
post #42 of 59
Quote:
Originally Posted by Zissou'sMom View Post
That is true here in areas where people don't have insurance too. See, they can't go to a doctor because they can't afford to, so they go to the ER for every single medical problem. The ER can't refuse treatment at a public hospital, and most have some sort of subsidy for low-income families. It's cheaper for them to go to the ER and treat it like a clinic... they also end up there because they don't get any preventative care.

So when you have the sort of thing that would normally be an ER visit (concussion, broken bone, etc) you end up waiting with them... sometimes longer than 4-8 hours.
Oh yeah, this is exactly why I will absolutely not go to the ER unless my limbs are hanging off and/or my arteries spurting blood!

There is a problem here as well with many, many people attending to the ER when there is absolutely no reason for them to be there. I have seen people waiting and chatting with their friends for minor cuts and complaining to nurses about the wait..

There are now clinics here that are deemed "acute care" or something along the lines of places where you can go to get treated for minor conditions. THis is meant to stop people from attending to the ER with frivolous complaints. But then these places are packed with even more frivolous complaints and the long waits just as bad.
post #43 of 59
Quote:
Originally Posted by neetanddave View Post
I know alot of people, none of which cannot afford healthcare. None of them are rich, by any means. It's something you have to budget for, and pay alot of attention to in order to make sure you have enough coverage and your copays/deductibles don't exceed your means.

I think the premise here is that you should pay for your healthcare needs yourself, or with the aid of your employer, not to live off the government subsidies paid for by the taxes of others. When people abuse that system, it forces costs for all of us to go up.

And I couldn't sleep at night if I took advantage of the system as you have described. If you have coverage through an employer, you should in no means be able to dip into the public coffers as well. Either you can afford it or not, you can't have it both ways. That scenario is one of the main reasons the US has so many issues with their government subsidized plans - people want it both ways, and that does not sit well with the taxpaying public.


Why should health care be only if one has a means to get it?? Why should anyone have to have to face the dilemia of food or healthcare? Honestly, because the way you put it just seems so simple and yet there are so many people who have to do without.

second, the extra insurance is a plan that we pay for through my husbands work and my tuition. I don't feel that I am taking advantage of anything at all. Added bennefits are just extras that some companies choose to offer to attract employees. I'm not going to feel bad, because I still have to pay out of pocket at the beginning and then wait to get reinburst (sp??), so sometimes I still can't go to the dentist because I don't have 1000 bucks to pay out of pocket at any given time.
post #44 of 59
Ok - I'm going to play devil's advocate here and expect to be blasted. There is something immoral about someone not having affordable health care -

But in reality, someone has to pay for it. And that someone is you and me. The US unfortunately ended up having the employer pay for large amounts for the health. It hurts employer growth and makes them uncompetitive in the global market. It ties employees to employers. Future employees wages are depressed because of retirees health costs.

Insurance companies' premiums are paid by us (obscene profits is another story). Socialized medicine will be paid by us through taxes. If we allow unlimited health care, then our premiums/taxes will go up.

In order to fix this problem, we need to examine what we are willing to pay (are you willing to increase your taxes $2000-$3000 a year?), how we ration care (we have to ration care or the costs will be astronomical. I heard of a story where a toddler requires over $1,000,000 of care each year - do we cover voluntary procedures like IVF? Do we wait 6 months before getting certain types of surgery?).

The biggest criticism of Moore's movie is that he only looks at one solution - socialized medicine - without giving the pluses and minuses.
It is criminal that we have people who cannot afford basic health care - but where does basic health care end and expensive life-style health care begin? And again, who pays?
post #45 of 59
Thread Starter 
That was a GREAT post

I just have one question though. Why should taxes be raised in order to cater for a better public health system? Our taxes here are just fine and we have public health. And according to some posters here, the US has the same or similar budget to other countries and yet has much worse health care. It seems as though lack of tax money is not the issue, it's how the money that is there is being spent that's the problem. Or, more likely, how it is being allocated.

Perhaps a little less on pointless wars might increase your budget for health? Lol...sorry, couldn't help that one

In all seriousness, though, I do think that perhaps things could be better managed from the top down, so that a good, working public health system with healthcare (again, this is a basic human right) paid for by the government would be much more achievable.
post #46 of 59
Quote:
Originally Posted by KitEKats4Eva! View Post
Perhaps a little less on pointless wars might increase your budget for health? Lol...sorry, couldn't help that one
We already have a thread on that...

As far as EVERYONE SHOULD HAVE HEALTHCARE.... everyone can. It's who pays for it that is the issue. I have to afford mine, so should everyone else. Are the costs too high? YES. Should the profits be regulated? YES. but me paying higher taxes to provide someone else healthcare while I am still paying for my own? Not a freakin' chance. Not even if mine were to be covered under the same plan. I want to choose MY doctors, MY payments, MY drugs.

And as far as the free health care that goes hand in hand with tuition, I would hope they are getting better returns on the health care benefits than the level of education success achieved. I 'm pretty sure that the cost of a college education for 4 years is cheaper than paying for healthcare out of pocket.
post #47 of 59
Quote:
Originally Posted by KitEKats4Eva! View Post
I just have one question though. Why should taxes be raised in order to cater for a better public health system? Our taxes here are just fine and we have public health. And according to some posters here, the US has the same or similar budget to other countries and yet has much worse health care. It seems as though lack of tax money is not the issue, it's how the money that is there is being spent that's the problem. Or, more likely, how it is being allocated.
In order to do what Moore is advocating, either a new governmental department will need to be created or Medicare/Medicaid would need to be expanded to cover everyone. Right now only a certain portion of the population is covered by these two programs. Money coming from employers to insurance companies would instead go to the government from the taxpayers. Initially, the companies might transfer the money to the employees as wages but all increases in costs will come from the taxpayers.

Using the following information as a starting point - Most of the medical costs in the U.K, Cuba and France are paid by the government, respectively 97 percent, 87 percent, and 77 percent. In the U.S., government spending accounts for 44 percent of the nation's health care bill, with most of that going to Medicare and Medicaid.

If the government starts to pick up more of the medical costs, they will need to take more in through taxes. We can't keep borrowing to cover our costs as we have for the last 6 years.

We also need to understand where our dollars are going. \t\t\t\t\t\t \t\t\t\t\t\tMedicare, the health insurance program for the elderly, spends nearly 30 \t\t\t\t\t\tpercent of its budget on beneficiaries in their final year of life. Slightly \t\t\t\t\t\tmore than half of Medicare dollars are spent on patients who die within two \t\t\t\t\t\tmonths.

I do agree with you that the system is inefficient and that is what needs to be tackled so dollars can be spent wisely. I just don't know if socialized health care is the answer (especially if the dept is headed by another "Heck of a job, Brownie"). I also think that if we continue with third-party payers, they should be not be run as profit centers. They need to be held accountable to the customers (keeping costs down and care up), not the shareholders.
post #48 of 59
Quote:
Originally Posted by katachtig View Post
In order to do what Moore is advocating, either a new governmental department will need to be created or Medicare/Medicaid would need to be expanded to cover everyone. Right now only a certain portion of the population is covered by these two programs. Money coming from employers to insurance companies would instead go to the government from the taxpayers. Initially, the companies might transfer the money to the employees as wages but all increases in costs will come from the taxpayers.

Using the following information as a starting point - Most of the medical costs in the U.K, Cuba and France are paid by the government, respectively 97 percent, 87 percent, and 77 percent. In the U.S., government spending accounts for 44 percent of the nation's health care bill, with most of that going to Medicare and Medicaid.

If the government starts to pick up more of the medical costs, they will need to take more in through taxes. We can't keep borrowing to cover our costs as we have for the last 6 years.

We also need to understand where our dollars are going. \t\t\t\t\t\t \t\t\t\t\t\tMedicare, the health insurance program for the elderly, spends nearly 30 \t\t\t\t\t\tpercent of its budget on beneficiaries in their final year of life. Slightly \t\t\t\t\t\tmore than half of Medicare dollars are spent on patients who die within two \t\t\t\t\t\tmonths.

I do agree with you that the system is inefficient and that is what needs to be tackled so dollars can be spent wisely. I just don't know if socialized health care is the answer (especially if the dept is headed by another "Heck of a job, Brownie"). I also think that if we continue with third-party payers, they should be not be run as profit centers. They need to be held accountable to the customers (keeping costs down and care up), not the shareholders.
Good post!

If we spend our own money, we'll be wiser with it. I feel I am getting good care for what I pay. If they make a socialized plan and my taxes go up, I will feel ripped off. I will be paying for the health care of even more people.

I guess if I didn't know that people take such great advantage of the system we have now, I might be more optimistic. But there is so much abuse of the system already, I am leery of any further government involvement. And I do not think it is their place to take care of my family, that's my job.
post #49 of 59
The statistic I gave for spending included private / employer health plan spending too, it was just supposed to be representative of each country regardless of where the money comes from. However, a % of GDP can be misleading depending on the actual $ amount of GDP. The UK with low amounts of private insurance would only spend what they need to as the government is essentially paying per surgery (giving the hospitals a set amount each year but the hospitals are always busy) compared to paying into an insurance plan where you may pay but never use, which is why the US's portion is so much higher.

Quote:
Originally Posted by IloveSiamese View Post
Why should health care be only if one has a means to get it?? Why should anyone have to have to face the dilemia of food or healthcare? Honestly, because the way you put it just seems so simple and yet there are so many people who have to do without.

second, the extra insurance is a plan that we pay for through my husbands work and my tuition. I don't feel that I am taking advantage of anything at all. Added bennefits are just extras that some companies choose to offer to attract employees. I'm not going to feel bad, because I still have to pay out of pocket at the beginning and then wait to get reinburst (sp??), so sometimes I still can't go to the dentist because I don't have 1000 bucks to pay out of pocket at any given time.
The fact that we still need insurance, which often costs more than insurance plans in the US that cover what is covered here by the government also shows exactly why our system needs to be overhauled. The 'added benefits' like in the US are pretty much needed, as you stated, you can not afford the dentist out of pocket, so you need the extra coverage the employer insurance offers.

In the US people have more money to pay for a health plan because they are taxed less and probably end up spending less than we do because we are stuck paying insurance premiums AND high taxes to pay for healthcare. I think it was swampwitch who posted the premiums she paid in both counties, she pays the same here AND pays taxes... is the level of healthcare she gets any better? Obviously not because just like Americans buy drugs from Canada for cheaper, Canadians look to the US for medical treatment when they are waiting months for something they can get in the US next week.

As far as employers being affected, they are here too. When we hire new employees, we factor in the CPP, EI and health insurance premiums the company have to pay for them and work out their wage from there, the exact same as in the US. It is not seen by employers as 'an added benefit' it is seen as part of your earnings even if they call it benefits.

Personally, I think ours is the worst choice, having lived in the UK where there is really no need for the extra insurance unless you want to use private hospitals etc, because the insurance is generally not accepted at the 'regular' hospitals, but my taxes reflect that choice. Or in the US where my taxes would be lower but I could make the decision on what kind of insurance I want (and there are many types including flexible spending plans etc). Here we pay high taxes to still pay the insurance they pay in the US and yet still look to the US for healthcare when it comes down to it.

I think Moore would have been better off comparing the system to other systems, because Canada's while it does supply the basics to the poor who can not afford insurance (but would be paying less taxes and so could spend that on insurance IMO) has a system that is just as 'broken' as the US.
post #50 of 59
I am actully interested to see it. 37th in the world surprised me, but then again it didn't. It all depends on the insurance you have and the quality of your local hospitals. No surprise that the wealthier you are the better care you tend to get. Is it right...no, but I don't see that changing anytime soon. It varies state to state. My hubby works in a hospital in Charleston WV and my brother and sister who work for NC State and Wake County Schools, both have better health benifits then my hubby!!
post #51 of 59
I watched it. I liked it. I would also like to see both sides. However I already though our health care system was a piece of crap before I watched it.
post #52 of 59
I haven't seen this yet, but I haven't made it out to the movies much at all in the past month.

I am looking forward to seeing it for the entertainment value, but I'm sure he does make points that we all are aware of.
post #53 of 59
Just to point something out-- my point when I said that there is no reason to only compare our health care with Canada's was (sorry about this) that Canada's public health system ain't all that great.

They have slighty longer wait times than us. But this has nothing to do with public vs private health care.

A few countries actually have shorter wait times than us, and guess what? They ALL have universal health care.

And. Yes, someone has to pay for it. I will gladly pay higher taxes. For one thing, if employers could quit worrying about their employee's health care since they never should have to begin with, our economy would do better. In Ohio, plants have been forced to close in part because of skyrocketing health care costs. Those people would still have jobs AND health care today.

For another, I don't knwo if any of you have ever tried to take out a health care policy just for yourself on your own, but it is as much if not more than the tax increase would be, unless you're scandalously wealthy in which case you're greedy as all get out for protesting a small tax increase just to keep other people alive. *gasp* taxes might actually go back to what they were less than a decade ago.
post #54 of 59
I just saw the movie and it just reinforced my thoughts about the US health care system: criminal.

I've heard the argument that if we make our care universal, then doctor's salaries will suffer. I really like the concept that they talked about in the U.K.: A doctor is given incentive (thru salary) by making his patients more healthy. Guess what - if people are more healthy, the health care costs go down!!

The other argument about how to fund it. My DH and I have the privilege of having health coverage. We pay $4500 a year for it and our company matches the rest. But due to the drug law that Bush signed into effect in 2003, we no longer are allowed medical coverage unless we pay for the drug plan, which costs us another $1900 a year. And when we go to a pharmacy to buy drugs, because we chose the cheapest plan, most prescriptions cost us a $50 deductible. We rarely have more than 1 prescription a year.

How do you fund it? Divert all of the money that we are paying for an out of control system into one that is better managed. I bet our taxes would actually be less than what we pay into a corrupt system.

I avoid the doctor because I get zapped with a copay when I walk in the door. There are a number of medical conditions that I let slide because it is annoying every time I have to go to an HMO doctor (I have a choice for private physician but that would cost me a couple thousand more per year).

I hear the argument that in universal plans you have to wait for treatment. In the U.S. without a plan, hospitals have been caught dumping you on the street. What would all the people that have died (because they were refused treatment) give to have to wait 6 hours to see a doctor!

I love the fact that the 9/11 workers who couldn't get coverage in the states got free coverage in Cuba. Doesn't that make a statement?

The movie makes me want to start a national protest.

And even if you don't like Michael Moore, it was a very enlightening movie!
post #55 of 59
There was an article in the Toronto Sun about this movie last weekend. Apparently Canadian nurses consider him a hero. They said in one instance (wait times) he may have been off a bit, but they were very impressed with the movie.
post #56 of 59
That and our HMOs are in it for profit. They are making money off our illnesses. What happens here? It is to their benefit that we don't get preventive care and get sick. It is to their benefit to choose which drugs we take-- ones that keep us minimally healthy. They are huge corporations with high overhead, with CEOs with huge salaries, etc.

The government would not be in it for profit, and instead would have great interest in keeping us all healthy from the get-go. We would see more smoking bans, more movements like the one to keep trans fat out of our food. I don't think people fully understand what the American health care system could do. We have some of the best doctors, best scientific minds to come up with new drugs, etc. If we could focus that energy towards keeping us all well, most of us would be. But our priorities now are to keep the HMOs and insurance companies happy. Doctors hate it. Patients hate it. Employers hate it. People with no insurance hate it. Why are we still doing it?!?
post #57 of 59
My husband was notified last week that his company is discontinuing health coverage effective the end of this month. I am heartsick about this. I have been researching this for several days now and here's what I found out:

There is not much available for those with pre-existing conditions. A limited coverage policy is available at approximately 1/4 of his take-home pay. Not all of the info is in yet, but it is unlikely that he will be covered for the treatment he is on now. IF he is, he will have to wait 6 months for treatment to begin because it is for a pre-existing condition. This treatment costs $22,000 a year. Even if it is covered under his policy (after the pre-existing condition waiting period) at 80%, we cannot come up with $4400 a year AND pay for his insurance.

In Florida, COBRA/FHICCA will insure him for "up to" 18 months of continuing coverage at approximately 1/3 of his take home pay. FHICCA is available to him because his company employs less than 20 people. They calculate the payment at 115% of his current policy.

For those of you who believe that socialized medicine is sub standard, what if you can't afford any at all? It looks like thats the situation my DH will be in soon. Although his employer is saving a bundle by discontinuing coverage, he has not received a raise to help offset his health care. It is virtually a cut in pay. We are in our late 40's. Its pretty difficult to find another job, especially one that offers health benefits.

Its possible that his lack of treatment will cause him to be disabled. Then I guess then he'll get some benefits, huh? What a thing to look forward to.

Can you guess I am ALL FOR socialized medicine? YOU BET!
post #58 of 59
This was a bit entertaining (she says sarcastically):

http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2007/...n3098359.shtml
post #59 of 59
Quote:
Originally Posted by Momofmany View Post
This was a bit entertaining (she says sarcastically):

http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2007/...n3098359.shtml
Hahhahahha! I read that in a bit of a Lewis Black rant-mode voice in my head... anyone else? (Before people start about the liberal media, it's an opinion piece)

I can't fathom a single valid argument against health care for poor children. Really, now. We don't want the government to encroach on health care... so we should let poor children die of asthma (which already does happen)?

That bit about subsidizing HMOs to me, is the Bush administration in a nutshell. He wanted to do the same thing to my sister's job. And everything else. Heck, he's even paying people to fight our wars for us, instead of the military. Who knows how much money has been wasted paying corporations to do the job of the government, which somehow has also grown to a larger size than any time I can remember.

And all that starting with a budget SURPLUS.
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