Post # 1
Just wanted to repost this here, because it was buried way into the main post-shooting thread. I’m reposting it because I think it is relevant to the intense debate we’ve been having in this nation about public healthcare. Many people are opposed to public/universal healthcare, and while I’m sure there are many reasons, some of the things I’ve heard over and over are “I don’t want to pay for somebody else’s lifestyle choices” and “I don’t want my tax money to go to government handouts to people who are too lazy to work.”
So, here is one other element you might not have thought about: healthcare for the mentally ill. Read this article, written by the mother of a severely disturbed 13-year-old boy prone to terrifying violent episodes. She currently has insurance to help her pay for her son’s care, but she didn’t always. Read the comments section, where countless people relate their own struggles in caring for disturbed children or loved ones, and you don’t have to read far to understand that struggling to pay for treatment, therapy and medication–which, for severe mental illness, is a lifelong process, not something with a finite ending–is a MAJOR issue.
As I said in my other post, not every mentally ill person with dangerous, violent tendencies goes on a shooting rampage. Some of them kill themselves; some of them abuse or kill their partners, some of them abuse and even kill their own children. Another bee recently posted about her struggles in coping with her husband’s grave mental illness; in his case, his care is covered by the VA, but my point is that many people do not have reliable resources. To me, ensuring access to care for people whose illness could lead them to harm or kill others seems like a damn good reason to support public healthcare.
Post # 3
The problem is that many people STILL think mental illness is either an excuse, or something people can just “get over”. It is ridiculous.
Post # 4
My SO is/was staunchly against universal healthcare, until I sat him down one day and told him in a serious manner.
“I’ve had health insurance for 5 years, thanks to my stepfather. I didn’t always. My family struggled. My dad worked hard. You know my Dad. Do you think he was too lazy too work? No. His job paid him enough for food, car payments, mortgage, and new clothes about once a year. We struggled. When I got so sick that I was throwing up, crying, weak, feverish and couldn’t move, I turned the music up in the bathroom so my parents couldn’t hear me.”
I told him I’d rather pay double the taxes, and benefit “lazy people” than put other children through the guilt that I went through when I had to go to the doctor, or the hospital, or the dentist, or the optomologist.
Post # 5
Mental illness has such a stigma that even saying you have one makes people look at you differntly. I know, I have one. My family still doesn’t understand. They think I can just “get over it.”
I’m not a supporter of universal health care, but that is because the health care plan I am currently blessed with will not be as good once the new changes go into effect. I wish the government would give companies incentives to have great health care for their employees rather than making it just another government hand out. Then, people who work hard, but wouldn’t be able to otherwise afford it can have good insurance.
Post # 6
This is such a hard subject, and a very important subject. As a Canadian, I have universal health care. I have always had it so I don’t know what it’s like NOT to have it. I also do not have or do I know of anyone close to me with a mental illness. Unfortunately, there is the harsh reality that there are a lot of people who are able to work, who choose not too and I don’t think that’s ever going to change. At the same time, there are those who work so hard and still can’t afford the things they need. I will admit that im very conservative and believe that you get what you put in and deserve but there is always those special cases who just cannot put in, so therefore they should be assisted.
For lots of social assistance programs, there needs to be signs that those recipients who are receiving it are either making an effort to find a job or cannot work for special reasons. I AM NOT a social worker or do I know the rules of how things work (and I would love someone who is knowledgeable in this area to clarify the process) but there needs to be a bit more of an effort. No, this doesn’t directly relate to healthcare but it does somewhat.
Bottom line is, I do hope that healthcare could be offered to those who really need it.
Post # 7
@peachacid: Yup. I was recently diagnosed with major depression and my own DH actually said, several times before I went to see a doctor, ‘just control your thoughts and you’ll be happy’. Uhhh, not that simple.
@MissComicBook: I can see your thinking but what about the homeless population and those of lower income that can’t get a job?
Post # 8
I really think mental healthcare should be funded by the state.
Post # 9
I’m all for universal healthcare. I know that there are people who don’t work and some who have unhealthy lifestyle choices, but that doesn’t take away the fact that there are many more people who work extremely hard and still don’t have healthcare.
I have everything I need plus more. I have shelter, food, clothing, family, a good life. I’m not going to be Ebeneezer Scrooge, scrounging onto every last dollar I have, while Tiny Tim suffers.
I also find it ridiculous that people think someone can just “get over” a mental illness. It’s like telling an anorexic person to just eat a cheeseburger, or Tom Cruise telling women suffering from post-partum depression to just take some vitamins. It’s a serious illness.
Post # 10
I’m a big supporter of universal healthcare (though I am not the biggest Obamacare fan since it seems to sit on the fence in many ways). I absolutely think mental health should be covered by insurance and everyone should recieve the care they need.
I too was, and still am, one of those kids who didn’t always have insurance. I went to the doctor maybe three times growing up – for strep, mono, and a kidney infection. As an adult I waited and had bronchitis for over a month before giving up and going to the doctor because I just can’t afford the care. There are still minor issues I would like to get checked out if I could afford it, but instead I deal with it. I hate to think what position I would be in if I had some severe mental health issues. I would never wish that on anyone.
Post # 11
Yuck that is absolutely horrible that people will be told to basically suck it up.
Just food for thought: Our universal health care system has faults such as some people struggle to find a family doctor, ER wait times up to 4-5 hours, walk in clinics with the same problems and not all medication is covered on the health care plan. Also we do pay lots of tax which does go towards health care and if you don’t see a doctor all year, that could have been money in your pocket. I do realize however, like others said, rather pay those taxes than sick in your bathroom (you poor people :().
Post # 12
I believe healthcare is a human right, therefore I believe in universal healthcare, as I do not think people “deserve” rights based on their ability to pay.
I think denying people mental healthcare on the grounds of “personal responsibility” is the ultimate example of a society cutting off it’s nose to spite it’s face. I have people with mental illness in my family (nz has universal care). My family members on medication/ treatment= contributing tax payers and members of society. My family off healthcare = unable to work and contribute. My family members happen to only be a danger to themselves. I think it is so much more serious when considering people who will be violent toward others.
Post # 13
FTR, regarding the shooting, Aspergers is not a mental illness. In Canada, many forms of mental health care are funded, some are not. For example, I tried cognitive behavioral therapy for trauma/ptsd… well how log can I afford $140 a session?. Even family therapy is out of pocket. Our goverment is trying to bring in privatized health care on a larger scale.. I shudder to think about the consequences for the patients.
Post # 14
@Lindsay05: “if you don’t see a doctor all year, that could have been money in your pocket.”
But this is true of any health insurance, public or private. You always pay for it when you don’t use it. You pay for the privilege of having protection in the event you DO need it.
And I definitely know that the universal/public system, as in Canada and the UK, is not perfect, but I’d far rather have that than our current system where so many people have been going without care because they don’t have a choice.
@MissComicBook: “I wish the government would give companies incentives to have great health care for their employees rather than making it just another government hand out. Then, people who work hard, but wouldn’t be able to otherwise afford it can have good insurance.”
As someone else pointed out, this sort of policy would be absolutely zero help to anyone who loses their job. Or anyone who is too sick (mentally or otherwise) to work.
Post # 15
@starbuck: Good point. That is true.
Post # 16
Having been in government funded mental illness facilities, I can’t say I trust them to do that much for people even if there is universal healthcare. The state school is a hellish place for people with MI/MR, the state hospital is a place where there is not the staff or funding to really give anyone the treatment they need to continue to live as functional members of society and the re-admission rate is unreal.
I think our healthcare system in the US is broken, but I don’t know that universal healthcare will fix that. There is already a shortage of primary care providers, and even less are willing to take Medicaid, or CHIP or workers comp because trying to get the government to pay is such a hassle to them. There will be a bigger problem with PCPs if universal healthcare is mandated I think because a lot of healthcare systems are unwilling to change and a lot of PCP who have been in practice forever will just retire before them change. But there aren’t enough new people coming up to replace all that. Its a huge mess but I don’t know the best way to fix that.