TheCatSite.com › Forums › General Forums › IMO: In My Opinion › Why I'm in favor of universal health insurance
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:

Why I'm in favor of universal health insurance

post #1 of 14
Thread Starter 
What is the state of health care in the U.S? I have no doubt that in the U.S. we have the best doctors in the world; we have the best hospitals; we have the best medical technology; we have the best medical research. So, no doubt the U.S. leads the world in health care. Wrong. As measured in terms of the results of its health care system, i.e. the health of its citizens, the U.S. is not number one. Surely, then…number two? Nope. Oh, come on….surely in the top five. No, and not in the top ten, either. Well, where is it, then? As measured by the World Health Organization, in terms of the overall results of what the U.S. health care system achieves for its citizens, the U.S. is number 37, just behind Costa Rica and just ahead of Slovenia:

WHO Health Rankings

Well, what in the world? How could the United States of America, the leader of the free world, be so far down on the ranking of the world’s health care systems? Well, the problem in the U.S. isn’t health care, it’s health insurance. Health insurance costs too much, pays too little, and covers too few people. Think of it: how does a for-profit health insurance company make its profit? It maximizes premiums and minimizes benefits. In other words, it charges its customers as much as it can, and tries to get away with paying for as little health care as possible. In my opinion, the health insurance business is a business that profits by increasing the pain and suffering of medical patients and is responsible for poorer health and even death when benefits are denied. Oh, I suppose it’s legal….it’s all written in the fine print in the policy. But is this any way of providing first class health care? Frankly, I think the health insurance industry as it currently operates in the U.S. is immoral and unethical. The health insurance industry apparently isn’t covered by the Hippocratic Oath, summarized by “do no harm.” William McGuire, former CEO of United Health Group, was the third-highest paid CEO in the U.S., according to Forbes Magazine: Forbes CEO Salary Rankings His total annual compensation is almost $175 million. Now, just think of how many lives could be saved and how much pain and suffering could be averted if he were paid the still very handsome compensation of $25 million and the other $150 million paid out in claims.

The health care system in the U.S. is in mortal crisis. It’s busted, broken, cannot provide for the health of its citizens. There are too many uninsured, too many limited benefits, denied claims. The cost is too high. The current system of employer-provided health insurance doesn’t help those who are unemployed, self-employed, employed part-time, or employed by a small employer who can’t buy them health insurance. The uninsured go to emergency rooms, where they are mandated by law to provide health care, and who pays for it? It raises the cost for those who can pay: the insured and cash customers, and it’s the cash customers who get billed the “full price” -- like $10 for an aspirin. The only choices many people have are to get sick and die or to spend all their assets and then declare bankruptcy. I remember talking to a man whose wife had cancer. He showed me a box full of paperwork - bills from providers, statements from insurance - and he told me that so far over a million and a half had been spent and his wife was still going to die. And that was over 15 years ago. Today that same sum would probably be over three million. Even just twenty percent of three million is certainly unaffordable for just about everyone.

The paperwork that’s required for providers to get paid is unbelievable. I had a long talk once with the office manager of a local clinic and I could not believe what she told me. I don’t think I even understood it all, it was so complicated. And how about doctors’ malpractice insurance? Many doctors are getting out of practice because of the cost of insurance. And of course, this is a cost that’s passed on to the patient. Medical malpractice tort reform is desparately needed. These extra costs of the uninsured and the paperwork and the malpractice insurance are killing health care in this country. They are literally, killing people.

The only solution to the health care crisis in this country is:

1. everyone must be insured
2. health insurance provided and managed by a not-for-profit entity
3. medical malpractice tort reform

Now, I don’t know HOW this is going to be done, but I have no doubt that it MUST be done. It’s just outrageous that health care in this country ranks so low when we have the doctors, hospitals and technology to provide first-class health care in this country to every citizen. Yes, it’s going to cost. But the cost is already skyrocketing each year, and not everyone is covered. Think of it…how is insurance supposed to operate, after all? Everyone pays something to spread the risk, and those who need it get the money. We have to take profit out of the insurance part of the health care system. The only way I can see this is possible is by taking the health insurance companies themselves out of the system. Health insurance should be provided and managed by a not-for-profit organization. And if there’s no profit in it for private enterprise, I suppose that means a public entity will have to provide health insurance. And what’s so bad about that? Health care under the Medicare model actually works fairly well. Ask someone who’s on Medicare. The insured pay a reasonable monthly premium and they pay reasonable copays for healthcare services. Nothing is free, as it should be, but it is affordable. Health care needs to be affordable for everyone, and today it is not, and it will not be with superficial reforms that don’t overturn the current system of how it’s paid for. Exactly how it’s paid for can be worked out. As I see it, if the health insurance companies are taken out of the cost structure, and the cost of the system is spread over everyone like it should be, the cost per person will actually be less than the cost per person is now for limited coverage.

And that’s why I’m for universal health care, under a system of universal non-profit health insurance. Everybody pays something….everybody is covered. Nobody lacks health care because they can’t pay for it….nobody gets filthy, outrageously, immorally rich. Health insurance CEOs and medical malpractice attorneys can find other work. Sounds pretty good to me.
post #2 of 14
lol that was way o much typing

i am in favor, of several things being done.
limit the amount of payments on law suits,
the biggest thing that needs to be done is price control on drugs.
those 2 items alone would lower the over all cost of health care in this country.
post #3 of 14
Thread Starter 
It's a start, but would do nothing for the uninsured.
post #4 of 14
I doubt that anyone is going to counteract your statement (including beyond what I stopped reading because of the amount of words - sorry I just can't read that long on computers).

Anyhoo, the only opposition that you will see is from the doctors. One reason why we see some many doctors immigrate to this country is because of the amount of money they can make. No one really caps their income. So a brain surgeon in Europe may make $90K and can make $250K here.

I will say that after seeing the VA health system, I'm amazed...the ones I have experiences (through B) are great. They often work like an HMO, where you see a primary physician first then they refer you to another department. Plus B will walk out paying $25 out of pocket (maybe) and that's it...that includes all the visits and Rx.

Unfortunately though he had to serve in the military for 6 years to get the VA privileges.
post #5 of 14
Quote:
Originally Posted by coaster View Post
It's a start, but would do nothing for the uninsured.
At first no, long term what i think will happen. As cost come down more business will be able to afford to hire more workers. Also as the cost comes down it would also be more easy to help the uninsured with being a hugh drain on everyone pockets.

Really i think the way to to do this is to control the over all cost.
As have said before the same drug i take every day without insurance is 299 a month. I buy it from my doctor in Indonesia for 3 dollars.
post #6 of 14
Thread Starter 
Taking the insurance companies out of the system is one major way to control cost. They're responsible for a huge part of the increasing cost.
post #7 of 14
Quote:
Originally Posted by lunasmom View Post
Anyhoo, the only opposition that you will see is from the doctors. One reason why we see some many doctors immigrate to this country is because of the amount of money they can make. No one really caps their income. So a brain surgeon in Europe may make $90K and can make $250K here.
As they should. They're not gardeners, after all. They're brain surgeons. They spend nearly 20 years learning how to do the most incredible things to save countless lives. They deserve whatever they get paid - and more, IMO. And that goes for all doctors.

I think you'll find that you'd get little to no opposition from the doctors. They earn good money but they also work up to 80 hours a week and literally have people's lives in their hands to do so. The general public is so amazingly ungrateful towards doctors in general that it just makes me sick. We demand their services, we demand that they save our lives - and virtually give up theirs in the process of doing so - and we take them for granted and huff and puff if they get paid good salaries and take a lunch break once in a while.

Sure, there are a small percentage of doctors out there who only became doctors so they wouldn't have to worry about the next downpayment on their fourth Porsche, but they really are few and far between. Most doctors don't really start seeing good money until well into their careers, when they have paid off the million plus dollars of debt they leave university with (which is the average for doctors in Australia - not sure about the US)

Doctors, nurses, and other caregivers will be the ones who want the system fixed the most.
post #8 of 14
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by KitEKats4Eva! View Post
Doctors, nurses, and other caregivers will be the ones who want the system fixed the most.
My sister is an RN and she's in favor. I don't begrudge care givers a good income.....they earn it, they deserve it. Health insurance company CEOs on the other hand, do not.
post #9 of 14
Yeah - ain't that the truth. In Australia the private health providers have the physicians over a barrell. It drives us nuts - they have so much power and yet they continually put up their premiums to cover their `costs'
post #10 of 14
Quote:
Originally Posted by KitEKats4Eva! View Post
Yeah - ain't that the truth. In Australia the private health providers have the physicians over a barrell. It drives us nuts - they have so much power and yet they continually put up their premiums to cover their `costs'

Do you have government-controlled health insurance in Australia?

I read your entire post. For once we entirely agree. For mainly the same reasons. You can add that illness is the main reason for bankruptcy in the U.S.

I don't know about the rest of the U.S. but in California there's a serious emergency room shortage. If we had public health care, emergency rooms could be kept for emergencies only and receive the funding they need for that. Now the uninsured crowd the ERs waiting hours for care for illnesses that could otherwise be treated at a clinic or doctor's office.
post #11 of 14
I'm for affordable health care as much as anyone. It was my local pharmacy that was the 'english pharmacy' in Sicko, and i'm proud it was featured
Its not perfect though. In england we have £6.50 payments, and thats about it, but the low cost does mean we lose out in some areas.
We have a problem with MRSA and other hospital infections, in can take a while to get an appointment to see a specialist, and if you need an organ you're probably going to die.
Also some drugs that cost alot to produce, but are judged to offer less benefit (ie improve quality of life, but not cure) are not available on the nhs.
However people sometimes get health insurance so they can afford the more expensive procedures and drugs if needed, and use the nhs as their day-to-day health service.
Still, i'd rather have the nhs than most other health care providers.
In England brain surgeons can make $140,000 a year, and a 6 year medical degree costs about $36,000, although its just the start of the training.
post #12 of 14
Quote:
Originally Posted by katie=^..^= View Post
Do you have government-controlled health insurance in Australia?
We used to, but it's been privatised. Which is when the private health funds decided they had all the power. Still, here the private health system is still pretty good, and people are treated well and promptly without too much out of pocket expense - if any, in a lot of cases.

Our public health system is a different story. Bed shortages, staffing shortages, ridiculously long waiting lists for surgical procedures, not enough hospitals, hospitals on bypass, poor working conditions...the list goes on.

It is our federal election tomorrow and I am hoping and praying with all my heart that there is a change of government. Something needs to be done about a lot of things in this country but our health system is one of the most important areas that needs to be addressed and fixed.
post #13 of 14
thanks for the info on the doctors end...I guess I was seeing them as still working their 80 hour week in a government healthcare because less people would want to go into the profession. Although maybe it will control those that could care less about people that just want the $$$, from going into the profession.

I do agree that doctors such as brain surgeons should be making 6 digits, so don't take that I was saying that they shouldn't.

I agree that people can often be the problem with the staff's 80 hour work week...often times people wait until they pass out or something bad happens to them before going to see a doctor (nevemind having the pain for a year or two). By the time that a pain is apparent there's a sudden demand to make you feel better ASAP because you can't take the time from work, the kids, etc.
post #14 of 14
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by katie=^..^= View Post
...I don't know about the rest of the U.S. but in California there's a serious emergency room shortage. ....
Thanks for bringing that up. I realized last night I had left that out of my OP. But it's too long already. We don't have problems with emergency rooms where I live, but I understand it's beginning to happen in Milwaukee, so I think that problem is beginning to affect the rest of the country, too, starting in the large cities. And that's a really, really serious problem.
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:
  Return Home
  Back to Forum: IMO: In My Opinion
TheCatSite.com › Forums › General Forums › IMO: In My Opinion › Why I'm in favor of universal health insurance