(Closed) Universal health care

posted 11 years ago in Wellness
Post # 3
17 posts
  • Wedding: May 2010

My understanding is that government-run healthcare is second-rate compared to private-practice healthcare.  I by no means have done sufficient research, but from what I’ve heard, many Canadians/Europeans are put in 6+ month waiting lists for life-or-death surgeries and have perished waiting.   My belief is that if the government controls healthcare, physicians will be paid less, and since money is unfortunately a great motivator for most people, the quality of service will decline. 

I fear that if a universal healthcare is available to all citizens, my company will forfeit their private healthcare and the employees will be required to have this second-rate insurance.

I’m open to opposing views and especially the opinions of someone part of this system.

Post # 4
369 posts
Helper bee

I don’t know if I’d sign up for universal health care. It might cover the basics and not the more in-depth stuff that my current insurer provides. However, once I get married and if my FI’s insurance costs too much or isn’t adequate, we’d look into UHC if it were available.

Insurance companies here are very against UHC. It’ll be a loss for them as well as very taxing (literally) for U.S. citizens. Like other government-funded health care that’s currently in effect (think medicaid), there may be limited locations where this type of insurance is accepted or there may be too many people wanted services. As a citizen, I wouldn’t really mind if the government had control of my health history but there are many others out there who are very against that idea.

Some are totally for it and some aren’t. Personally, I don’t mind either way. And I don’t mind if this becomes a huge political debate but play nice ladies!

Post # 5
6593 posts
Bee Keeper
  • Wedding: August 2010

As a Canadian and a health researcher I can say with 100% confidence that no one would EVER have to wait 6 months for a life/death surgery – a non-life threatening problem yes you do have to wait longer!

I am also interested in the views on universal healthcare also!

Post # 6
60 posts
Worker bee
  • Wedding: February 2020

I found a nice little rundown on BalancedPolitics.org that kinda sums up the reasons for and against it.


I personally am on the fence basically for all the reasons they mentioned in their chart. I think the idea is sound and the reasons for it are good. The problems that it can cause and the money that it will cost us scares me though. 

Post # 7
3979 posts
Honey bee
  • Wedding: January 2012

As a Canadian, this subject really gets me going. THE US MEDIA is portraying Canadian health care to be substandard. That’s not the case at all!!

In my little city of 120,000 people we have one of the largest hospitals with a research cancer center. It’s not drab. It’s not dirty. The wait times in ER are reasonable. If its a life-or-death surgery, you are NOT waiting 6 months or longer. The media takes the worst hospital in our country and uses it as the Canadian Health Care poster child.

My mom had back surgery, my grandfather spent 5 months in the hospital & I had my own surgery. We all received top notch care. The only downside is that we all had to share rooms with other patients, BUT we didn’t receive a single bill. The only bill I’ve ever received was for the ambulance ride: $60.

Some sort of health care reform is needed in the US… maybe its not universal health care, but some sort of compromise between gov’t healthcare & private insurance needs to be made.

Post # 8
117 posts
Blushing bee
  • Wedding: October 2010

I believe there will never be “perfect” health care. No matter what, there will be downsides for people and there will always be room for improvement.

And to make a long story short – a friend of mine who used to live in Canada when she was younger lost her mother to cancer due to the health care system. I’m not going into details – it’s a long story and I’ve forgotten a great deal of it. Basically she was neglegected and deferred and treatments and tests postponed because they weren’t approved. What could have been treatable if she got the proper care right away ended up progressing and progressing until the government decided to NOT approve anything because she was already in the final stages. This was a long time ago (about 15 years ago) so I would hope things have changed.

I’ve heard similar stories about people in the US though, because their insurance company screwed them over. I really don’t believe there will ever be a time when perfect health care is available to ALL people at ALL times.


Post # 9
7081 posts
Busy Beekeeper
  • Wedding: July 2009

I think people in the US are very fearful that having a Universal system might lead to socialism or at least a European-type Social Democracy.  There is a strong underlying political belief here about pulling yourself up by your bootstraps, and this is seen by some as a step towards a welfare state with handouts for all.

There are many examples of different and fabulous universal systems throughout the world, but since there are different types and many American beliefs tied up in the perception of those systems, I think it gets confusing.  The message here is one of “fear the changes”.

The Republican right has done a very effective job of getting people to be fearful and resistant to alternative health care structure. In fact people seem to be as resistant to a public health care option as they are to universal health care.  In a public option, anyone could opt in to a government funded system if they wanted to, but they wouldn’t be required to partake in… Having a public option would put pressure on the insurance companies to keep their profit margins lower, and so would likely benefit both privately and publically insured individuals. 

Personally, as a physician who works in an ER every day, I think if something doesn’t change significantly soon, the system is going to fail all people… not just the uninsured.  We are completely stretched to the brink right now, and every time an uninsured person walks through the ER doors, they get uncompensated care which means their charges are passed on to everyone else who is insured.  It’s a vicious cycle.

I would encourage everyone, regardless of their stance on the issue to read about the proposed system in HR3200, read about the public option, and read about the health care systems in Canada, Germany, Australia, the UK, France and other places to figure out what you like and don’t like… Then for Americans to use what they learn to participate in the debate in an educated and civil way.

The US is the only developed nation without coverage for all of it’s citizens, and this is reflected in our lower health status than other developed nations.

Hope this helps.  I’m in no way trying to be partisan.  I just am trying to explain the polarization and how it is deeply rooted in the American ethos.

Post # 10
601 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: September 2010 - Heinz Chapel Ceremony, Museum Reception

I believe that health care is a human right. I also think it’s absolutely wrong that a country like ours, whose professed ideals are democracy and freedom, has such an enormous portion of citizens who cannot see doctors when they’re sick, cannot have surgeries that they need, cannot be receive known cures for diseases, and so on, because they’re uninsured. I support universal health care, in case you couldn’t tell!

Post # 11
815 posts
Busy bee

Catlady–I would love to hear more about your experience with universal health care, actually.

I am on the fence with the current plan, it just seems so rushed and expensive.  What I think is that all Americans (all humans really, but we are talking about our country specifically) deserve equal access to healthcare at a minimum.  I grew up without insurance and we are very blessed that none of us ended up in the hospital until we were on our own and covered by insurance.  I think it’s shameful that hardworking people can end up going into bankruptcy because of the high cost of health care.  I think we also need to protect our responsible medical professionals from frivolous lawsuits and high insurance premiums.  And furthermore, we need more medical professionals which means we need school to be more affordable, but I think I am getting side tracked here.  Anyway, I am happy to have this conversation again, and I am saddened that people are letting rumors create hysteria about what universal health care could be.  The plan that is on the table now is not perfect and it needs work.  Hopefully Washington will come together and settle on a bill that is effective. 

Post # 12
613 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: May 2009

i think part of the problem is the conservative, right wing media. they have undertaken a massive media strategy of misinformation.

the universal health care plan is ‘universal’ in that everyone is covered. not that everyone is under the same plan. are you guys only watching “Fixed News”? If your employer currently provides insurance, they will be required to continue providing it.  If your employer does not provide insurance, you’d be able to purchase insurance at a much more reasonable price.  Private insurance will not go away.

so many are against the notion of universal healthcare, because they believe that all these ‘undeserving people’ (that conservative-speak for low income and immigrant) will have health care and we will have to pay for it.  Do the math.  If everyone was insured (in some fashion or another), the risk would be more widely spread, and therefore costs would be less.  Have you ever worked for a ginormously large company?  your out-of-pocket health costs were likely low.  have you every worked for a pretty small firm?  you out-of-pocket costs are much higher becuase the group being covered is much smaller.

‘universal’ health care would require coverage for everyone.  no elimination of benefits for ‘pre-existing conditions’.  also, all this nonsense about how much it will cost…ummm…the soaring costs of health care is what is making the US less competitive.  when baby-boomers start hitting the medicare age en masse, prepare for fall out!  furthermore, costs are so high becuase of the uninsured!!  uninsured use the emergency room as their health care provider, which eliminates the possiblity of early detecting or pre-screening.

supporters are not suggesting that the US should have a govenment run insurance program.  I am suggesting that we need to change the angle of this debate.  Health care is a civil rights issue.  We are the richest nation in the world, and yet, thousands of people declare bankruptcy each year because of their crippling medical debts.  visting a doctor when you dont feel well or when your 6 months pregnant or when you find a lump in your breast should not be a service only provided to us americans lucky enough to be covered by an employers group plan.

stepping off my soap box now…it just bothers me so much that so many of my fellow citizens are so apathetic and uninformed about such a major issue…

Post # 13
1205 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: May 2009

I think the debate confuses health care and health insurance. I’m not a clinician, but I do work closely with health insurance in employer benefits. I’m ready for the boos. My viewpoint is also from the employer-based system, which I do believe works, until someone loses their job or changes job or works in a job that does not offer insurance. Individual plans are the source of most of the negative facts about health insurance.

On the insurance side: It seems that people, both with Medicare and private insurance, say that something is “not covered” when they mean that they have to pay a portion of it. I understand that they pay premiums, so any additional expense is undesirable in their eyes.

On the care side: There is a problem with access to healthcare in this country. First, there aren’t enough primary doctors and they get paid the least from insurance companies.

And to combine both: Doctors can’t keep up with the multitude of plans and coverage options their patients have, so sometimes this means they tell their patients that their insurance won’t cover XYZ and sometimes their desired treatments (often this may be defensive medicine, the doctor wants to cover themselves against potential future lawsuits).

Post # 14
202 posts
Helper bee

My only argument is with the people who do not have healthcare but can afford it.  In the U.S. you either have health benefits or you do not. I believe more should be done for people who do not have health benefits and cannot afford it. I believe that if you make enough money but would rather take a trip to Mexico than get insurance, you do not need it.

This is what angers me against the “The number of uninsured citizens has grown to over 45 million.” argument.


Post # 15
610 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: October 2009

There’s always the option of paying extra to supplement the public option. It’s not gonna be different from what happens now. People (or employer) who can afford supplemental health care gets public option + whatever goodies you think the public option lacks. The difference is = people who have pre-existing conditions and people who cannot afford, get at least something. Something is always better than nothing.

Post # 16
428 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: October 2009 - Church Ceremony/Reception at The Waterford House

I would love hearing more about your experience too, Catlady! 

My personal experience with healthcare, in general, has been this: 

I work for a small company.  I love my company and even though they don’t offer short term benefits, the long term advantage to staying where I am is very, very great.  The other two members of this company are eligible for medicare benefits and can easily get individual health insurance.  I, on the other hand, found out the hard way that I cannot get individual health insurance.  I have a pre-existing condition which automatically disqualifies me for any individual health insurance.  It makes no sense to me that I, as someone who needs healthcare for doctor’s appointments and medication refills and lab work (my lab work w/o insurance runs over $1000/round of testing), cannot get it anywhere.  As a result, I had to go on COBRA for 18 months.  COBRA is very expensive… for me it was $500/month just to continue the health care I was receiving before (which I got kicked off of because it was my father’s health insurance and they have an age limit for how long children can be dependents).  I am now on my fiance’s insurance (had I not been able to do this, I would have had to go to a “risk pool” insurance… which, if I understand right, if you get assigned to this type of insurance, you won’t be able to get back on “regular” health insurance).

So,…. long story short I am very pro-universal health insurance.  My fiance is having to keep the job he HATES going to every day because if he were to quit and go back to school (to better his education, job opportunities, self, etc.) I would be SOL.  Sadly, right now we could afford to send him to school while I work, but for my health reasons it’s not possible.  I’m sure my rheumatologist (the specialist I have to see every 6 mo.) would be able to hook me up with some appointments at a discount.  The medicine is not too terribly expensive w/o insurance. But if something were to go wrong with my illness during that time, it would be bad and I would probably go broke from the cost of medicine/tests/etc.

If I had not had to deal with the health insurance system, I might be an adovcate against UHC.  However as it stands, I have complete empathy for all those who need insurance and can’t get it.

That’s just my two cents, rant over .:)

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