TheCatSite.com › Forums › General Forums › IMO: In My Opinion › How do you think Universal Health Care would affect healthcare workers?
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:

How do you think Universal Health Care would affect healthcare workers?

post #1 of 16
Thread Starter 
I honestly don't know enough about how a Universal Healthcare system would work to answer this one myself. I agree that the US healthcare system needs SOMETHING done to reform it, but Universal Healthcare makes me a little nervous.

I am currently a Nurse Intern, I will be an RN in May and I am honestly worried about whether or not Universal Healthcare will decrease the pay of healthcare workers. Nurses earn a decent wage, but it is still far less than they deserve to be paid for all of the responsibility, liability, and backbreaking work we do. Does anyone have firsthand experience with a nationwide change of healthcare to a universal system or an opinion of how it could change the wage of healthcare workers (Dr's, nurses, techs, etc)?? I'm not saying I'm for/against the universal healthcare, I just need some more info on it before I make up my mind
post #2 of 16
In Australia nurses are paid very well. This is due to a lot of strike action many years ago and unions who looked after the cause of nurses (and a very just cause it is) to make their pay and conditions better. We have a public health system (same thing as universal health) and the nurses are given financial incentives to work in the system. The basic salary for a graduated RN in our public system is between $45,000 and $50,000 per year, with at least 50% on top of that because of the shift work they do. Agency nurses earn about $45 per hour (minimum) and as you become more experienced and progress through the ranks to CN etc, the pay can go up to over $100,000 per year. Max's sister is a psych nurse and works 2.5 days per week for which she makes $1200 per week AFTER tax. One of her shifts is on a Sunday so she gets a lot of loading.

So I don't know what things are like salary-wise in the US, but nurses here get paid pretty well. It's the doctors who get less pay for working in the public health system. Most of our public doctors who aren't still in training have private practices as well.
post #3 of 16
Like in Australia, nurses in New Zealand are paid very well - my sister is a nurse and has a comfortable lifestyle - she travels a lot with her partner and their daughter. He is a teacher, and teachers are paid very well here too.

I think it is also to do with strike action also - and not to mention the fact that nurses do all the work!

My best friend is a doctor and when she first started, her pay was $65,000 and it has continued to rise, especially after all the strike action that has happened recently.

Hope this answers your question.
post #4 of 16
Here the median rate is between $22 and $31 CDN per hour, a local hospital is advertising for $25 an hour for new nurses because they don't have enough. I have seen them advertised as high as $40 an hour personally for new hires of experienced nurses but I would imagine they go up from there.

The UK is not so high, salarys start at £17,060 for the lowest grade new nurse to a max of £34,920 for the highest grade experienced nurse, plus benefits etc, set by the Dept of Health. I started a job while in school at £24,500 which was fairly basic research and administrative work, writing press releases, information for the website etc and answering mail. So I think that is fairly low.

I would imagine that a move to universal health care in the US would try to minimise change to staff so you should get what you are getting now. The American Medical Student Assoc. has been a supporter of universal healthcare for a while too, so my guess is that it would benefit healthcare workers.
post #5 of 16
I certainly don't know enough about the details of the plan to explain them, but will share this: My doctor used to practice in Europe where they had a universal health care type system. The other day when my DH was in there for a physical, the doctor actually complained to him about how backwards things are in this country. It was from the perspective of both pay scales for healthcare workers, as well as the frustration he faces when he tries to get insurance companies to pay basic coverage for his patients. Just the fact that he had to refer my DH to 2 different places to finish a basic physical speaks volumns.

I'll take the word of a person that worked elsewhere that our system is antiquated.
post #6 of 16
It also depends on the type of universal healthcare they go forward with, one of the plans they have is to make insurance mandatory, which would mean the insurance companies would still exist, but would have more policies out there.
post #7 of 16
Quote:
Originally Posted by icklemiss21 View Post
It also depends on the type of universal healthcare they go forward with, one of the plans they have is to make insurance mandatory, which would mean the insurance companies would still exist, but would have more policies out there.
Yes, most of the candidates that have health-care plans are advocating universal insurance plans, That wouldn't change things that much. It would just provide insurance coverage paid for by the government for the poorer people who cannot afford insurance payments.

Unless we get real universal health care outside the insurance companies, like extending Medicare to more people, nothing will change that much.
post #8 of 16
My sister is an RN; has been for 30-some years; has worked in just about every conceivable nursing situation, and she is in favor of it. She hasn't told me why, all she said was that we really, really need it. Then the conversation moved on to something else. I should have asked.....
post #9 of 16
Coming from a country where there has always been universal health care, I really have a hard time imagining it any other way. I just cannot fathom how there can be any country in the first world that does not provide government-funded health care to its population as a matter of principle. I just cannot imagine it - and I've tried! It seems so alien and bizarre to me. It's not a privilege, it's a RIGHT. People have a right to adequate health care. Period. To me, it's a not-negotiable. But that's because I've never known things any other way.

I must say, working in a hospital, we get a lot of patients from overseas who are continually amazed that they don't have to sell an organ to get good healthcare here. I think it's one of the reasons people who move to Australia stay here. We have a lot of faults as a country, and our healthcare system isn't working too well - but that's because of overcrowding, not because of its set-up. I would be terrified living somewhere that healthcare wasn't viewed as a basic necessity like food and shelter.
post #10 of 16
Quote:
Originally Posted by KitEKats4Eva! View Post
Coming from a country where there has always been universal health care, I really have a hard time imagining it any other way. I just cannot fathom how there can be any country in the first world that does not provide government-funded health care to its population as a matter of principle. I just cannot imagine it - and I've tried! It seems so alien and bizarre to me. It's not a privilege, it's a RIGHT. People have a right to adequate health care. Period. To me, it's a not-negotiable. But that's because I've never known things any other way.
I could have written every word above.
post #11 of 16
I don't understand why we don't have universal government health care. It seems as though the people would stand up and demand it. I was stunned when I discovered how backward my country is compared to most other countries. coaster made a very eloquent argument for it on this forum.

We do have Medicare for the elderly and Medicaid for the very poor. In my mind we should extend Medicare to the entire population, and take the prescriptions out of the insurance companies hands, as well.

I have both Medicare and because my income is very limited I have the Calfornia version of Medicaid which is called Medi-Cal. I used to have prescriptions filled free under Medi-cal just by showing my card. Now, I have to have them filled under insurance plans under Part D of Medicare. In short, now I have to pay even though my income is exactly the same as it was before. I guess that makes some of you happy -- no free lunch sort of thinking -- but its just a way for the insurance companies to make more money.

We should have universal health care that is not in the hands of the insurance companies.

I decided to edit to add the following link:

http://healthcarereform.typepad.com/...are/index.html
post #12 of 16
Universal health care is not a free lunch if that's what some people think. We all pay taxes, and some of that money goes towards health care. There is nothing wrong with that. If we expect to live in a community and have community services we pay tax, and having some of that money go towards ensuring that everyone has adequate health care is a worthy and just way to spend the money. So a health care system that looks after everybody paid for out of everybody's taxes is perfectly fair - with also government funding as well. Again, it's a right, not a privilege. There shouldn't need to be any discussion or thought by governments on this. Just do it. It's the right thing to do.
post #13 of 16
Absolutely nothing is free. Health care for everybody is going to cost, of course. But it is already. Health care gets paid for one way or another. Hospitals pass on the cost of treating the uninsured to those who can pay. Employers who buy their employees insurance pass on the cost in their products and services we buy. People who don't get adequate health care end up costing society and paid for in our taxes. Everybody who gets a paycheck and has payroll taxes withheld is already paying for the cost of healthcare for the elderly, disabled, and poor. And with all this cost look at the overall health of our population.

I don't see where who pays for the health care is really going to have much impact on healthcare workers. Healthcare has to be provided, and there have to be educated, trained, and competent people to do it. And they'll end up getting paid somewhere in the neighborhood of what they're worth. Some will get paid less because they're just making far too much today anyway. But the rank and file of the healthcare industry will likely end up seeing little impact. If anything, an improvement as demand for healthcare services rises.
post #14 of 16
Thank you, Tim. You make an excellent case for universal health care that does not involve the insurance companies.
post #15 of 16
Thanks, Katie. I hope there's some kind of a system that works for America. We can't keep going down this same road. But.....I'm preaching to the choir, and it's only 40 minutes from a new year. So, everybody have a great one!!
post #16 of 16
I think the best example of payment for nurses and staff would be to take a look at the VA hospitals. They're really one of the closest examples (imho) that the US has to a universal healthcare. If you look out at usajobs.com you'll find what their current salary wages are.

If its a broad range, it's probably a post for multiple states so you will get paid accordingly to the local economy.
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:
  Return Home
  Back to Forum: IMO: In My Opinion
TheCatSite.com › Forums › General Forums › IMO: In My Opinion › How do you think Universal Health Care would affect healthcare workers?