Socialized / Government run Healthcare...not a debate

[deleted account] ( 35 moms have responded )

Ok so as most of the world knows, the United States is in a bind when it comes to the way our healthcare system works. We have issues and lots of them. My question here, is directed at those of you who live in countries where there is an established public healthcare system (socialized, government run, whatever you want to call it). My dear republican pastor friend posted a link this morning on his FB page, an article outlining some of the issues that countries who have government run healthcare systems face. Things like : long waits to see doctors. Unnecessary patient visits, people overusing the system, high taxes, etc. So I figured I would ask my "international" friends what your experiences are. Are these things true? Do you have to wait ungodly lengths of time to see a doctor? Are your taxes outrageously high? Do you or anyone you know go running to the doctor every time you have a sniffle or a bruise? I'm not looking for a debate from my American friends as to whether or not we should start a government run healthcare system here, I just want to know if it's really as bad as those who oppose it here say it is.

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[deleted account]

I'm locking this one because it's turning into exactly what I didn't want it to be. This is a debate we've had before. I was trying to hear what other people who DON'T live in the States have to deal with in regards to UHC. Now, I'm almost afraid they aren't going to post because it's turned into a debate about what America's problem is and how to fix it or how NOT to fix it or who is getting screwed or yada yada yada.

Tracy - posted on 07/07/2009

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Quoting Kylie:

Hey Megan, here we have something called medicare and you cannot see a doctor or specialist or get perscriptions with out a medicare number and you need to be an Australian citizen to obtain a medicare card and number


 I'm glad I live in Australia. Medicare does have some problems but its better than nothing.  I like that we have the options here in Australia that you can have both private and public cover. Lets face it not everyone can afford private cover.  People that earn $70,000 plus  paymore in tax if they don't have private cover.  I have seen documentary on the US healthcare system and that scares me that some people get bankrupt just to get medical care or go without medical care because they can't afford it. 



I believe our system would work even better if people that earned over $100,000, it was compulsory to have top cover private health insurance.  I have never earned that much and I have private health insurance and still have it and I'm a stay at home mum.  This way those who can't afford it are not on a list with people that can afford the procedure but don't pay!



 



Having said that I still think we are much better of under our system than some other counteries. If my son needs to see a doctor or go to hospital I have that option and it will cost me an arm and a leg....

Christa - posted on 07/07/2009

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Quoting Joy:

First off I think the issue with spending on defense in the US could be eleminated if all the wasteful spending that occurs with the Pentagon and DOD was dealt with. There has been so much corruption and wasteful spending going in with the military for years that it is ridiculous. Many of the defense contracts that are made end up milking the government of billions that is in reality uneccessary spending when it comes to maintaining defense and protecting and equipping our soldiers. I have heard too many stories for years from the men in my family of all the wasteful spending that occurrs at the highest points of the defense community. Plus there is something to be said concerning corruption when those within the DOD and Pentagon who make the contracts with these defense contractors end upon retirement working for these same companies. Eisenhower warned about the expanisve power of the MIC and the role it would play in government spending and we did not heed his warnings instead we have let ourselves in the name of national security fall prey to the intricate working relationship between the government, military and industry and allowed corruption to take over.

On the point of having universal health care in the US I think it is very interesting that many people in the US do not look to the military healthcare system as an example of the successfulness of a single payer public/private hybrid healthcare. As someone who grew up in as a military child and is now a military wife I can say that the military healthcare system which is smaller scaled version of what is being proposed for our system does well most of the time with providing care to soldiers and their depedents. I have never had to wait more that 3 to 5 days for a regular appointment with my doctor. For appointments with specialist I have never waited more than a month and if it is something I need to be seen for immediately and there are no appointments with a specialist available then I have been directed without any extra cost to myself to an outsider provider at a area hosptial or private clinic. Usually I can get same day appointments for my kids or at most for them it takes 1 to 2 days for them to be seen. If I don't like my doctor I can choose another one I am not forced to see who they tell me to see. In every military hospital there is a pateints rights office so if I feel like I am not being given the care I need they will step in a make sure that it happens. I have never had to wait more than 3 hours in an ER.

The only horrible experiences I have had with my medical care has occurred outside of the miltiary. When I was travelling once and pregnant with my second child I got sick with the flu and started bleeding. I called my doc who told me to call Tricare----the insurer for the military--for permission to get an immediate appointment outside my region. I got the go ahead and called the local hosptial that was suppose to be the best in the state and they told me I would have to wait for 2 months to be seen. So I called back Tricare and they told me to go to the ER and then set up an appointment at a private clinic. I had to wait ---NO JOKE---7 1/2 hours in that ER before being seen and 3 days to get an appointment at a private clinic. I asked other people in the ER if that was normal and apparently the norm was usually 5 1/2 to 6 hours which to me was ridiculous. Many of the people there had the flu and other things that could be seen in a next day appointment but they all told me that they tried but were told they would have to wait 3 weeks to get in to see their docs and they could not afford to miss work and others said they just could not afford a doctors appointement.

Though I have had a good experience with military healthcare this is not to say that the military healthcare system does not have its problems...it does but much could be learned from what is going on right here in the US and can be used as a foundation to improve upon. No one is suggesting that we completely copy the universal health care systems around the world but we can learn from the good parts and discover ways to improve upon the negative aspects. I known the cost analysis is an issue for many especialy Republicans but the cost has always been the issue so instead of fixing a failing system we have for 25 years sat back while it continiues to get worse. Yes it will no matter what we do cost us but in the long run it will be better for this nation as far as cost and humanity is concerned. You have to spend money to make money and you have to spend money to improve things. At some point we have to get over the dollar signs and finally take a stand and demand a better healthcare system for all Americans.


Just a couple of things. .  There is wasteful spending in every part of our government, not just the military, and I agree with you we need to cut that out everywhere, but we just elected a man who had one of the highest earmark requests while he was in congress, so I don't think he will be one to cut out the fat.  Also like you said there have been problems for 25 years and nothing has been done.  We need to fix the obvious problems with our current system before we try and create whole new one.  Look at Medicaid, it's going to be bankrupt in less then ten years, how would this program be any better.  Like I said before when you have more people receiving from the system then giving into it, it's not sustainable.  The people who pay into the system currently can for the most part already afford health insurance, this big new program is for those who don't pay into the system currently.  They are asking those of us who already pay for our own healthcare to front the bill for those that can't afford it.  Well I'm sorry, but many of the uninsured could be with a little bit more hard work.  Things are too tight for me as it is, I'm not going to pay for someone else who is too lazy to get off their butt and do it themselves.  If our system was just being used by those who have just fallen on hard times and need a help up, we wouldn't be in this problem. We have far too many leaches, including illegals and that needs to be fixed first.  Sorry I know I've gone off a bit, but this whole thing is just frustrating, and now people like me no longer have a voice in this country.  You have never not had a voice, so I'm sorry but you democrats have no idea what we are feeling right now.



 

Jocelyn - posted on 07/07/2009

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hmm well i am in alberta canada. i live in okotoks (doesn't have a hospital, but we have urgent care) we are just south of calgary and just south of us are two towns (15 min away), both which have hospitals. while the wait times in emergency in Calgary are horrendous (16 hours was the last gathered average) i never go to calgary lol. i go to either the urgent care (about 2-3 hours depending on how severe it is) or the other small town hospitals. when my son had a fever (3 months, 104 degrees far.) we took him to the town hospital and he was seen as soon as we woke the dr up! it was midnight) when i had appendicitis (although we didn't know it at the time) and went to the same town hospital. i was examined and had morphine within an hour. they kept me over night and then in the morning i had and ultrasound and a cat scan and then they sent me to the hospital in calgary (rockyview) by ambulance. i waited about an hour for surgery. and they were pretty accommodating, i was breastfeeding and they got me a pump :)
as for the healthcare aspect of it, alberta health care is going thru so many changes right now, it's ridiculous (we don't have to pay our premiums anymore, so things are getting cut, like chiropractic visits) although they are now funding midwifes (formerly a $4000 cost out of pocket) we are fairly low income, and because i am pregnant (and don't have extended health like dental) there is a govt program that i am in that gets me (and my kids) subsidized extended health during the time i am pregnant. after that, the kids will be added to another program, that subsidizes their extended health care. so far i haven't needed to go to the dentist or anything, but it is nice to know that i am covered if i knock out a tooth lol.

JL - posted on 07/07/2009

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First off I think the issue with spending on defense in the US could be eleminated if all the wasteful spending that occurs with the Pentagon and DOD was dealt with. There has been so much corruption and wasteful spending going in with the military for years that it is ridiculous. Many of the defense contracts that are made end up milking the government of billions that is in reality uneccessary spending when it comes to maintaining defense and protecting and equipping our soldiers. I have heard too many stories for years from the men in my family of all the wasteful spending that occurrs at the highest points of the defense community. Plus there is something to be said concerning corruption when those within the DOD and Pentagon who make the contracts with these defense contractors end upon retirement working for these same companies. Eisenhower warned about the expanisve power of the MIC and the role it would play in government spending and we did not heed his warnings instead we have let ourselves in the name of national security fall prey to the intricate working relationship between the government, military and industry and allowed corruption to take over.



On the point of having universal health care in the US I think it is very interesting that many people in the US do not look to the military healthcare system as an example of the successfulness of a single payer public/private hybrid healthcare. As someone who grew up in as a military child and is now a military wife I can say that the military healthcare system which is smaller scaled version of what is being proposed for our system does well most of the time with providing care to soldiers and their depedents. I have never had to wait more that 3 to 5 days for a regular appointment with my doctor. For appointments with specialist I have never waited more than a month and if it is something I need to be seen for immediately and there are no appointments with a specialist available then I have been directed without any extra cost to myself to an outsider provider at a area hosptial or private clinic. Usually I can get same day appointments for my kids or at most for them it takes 1 to 2 days for them to be seen. If I don't like my doctor I can choose another one I am not forced to see who they tell me to see. In every military hospital there is a pateints rights office so if I feel like I am not being given the care I need they will step in a make sure that it happens. I have never had to wait more than 3 hours in an ER.



The only horrible experiences I have had with my medical care has occurred outside of the miltiary. When I was travelling once and pregnant with my second child I got sick with the flu and started bleeding. I called my doc who told me to call Tricare----the insurer for the military--for permission to get an immediate appointment outside my region. I got the go ahead and called the local hosptial that was suppose to be the best in the state and they told me I would have to wait for 2 months to be seen. So I called back Tricare and they told me to go to the ER and then set up an appointment at a private clinic. I had to wait ---NO JOKE---7 1/2 hours in that ER before being seen and 3 days to get an appointment at a private clinic. I asked other people in the ER if that was normal and apparently the norm was usually 5 1/2 to 6 hours which to me was ridiculous. Many of the people there had the flu and other things that could be seen in a next day appointment but they all told me that they tried but were told they would have to wait 3 weeks to get in to see their docs and they could not afford to miss work and others said they just could not afford a doctors appointement.



Though I have had a good experience with military healthcare this is not to say that the military healthcare system does not have its problems...it does but much could be learned from what is going on right here in the US and can be used as a foundation to improve upon. No one is suggesting that we completely copy the universal health care systems around the world but we can learn from the good parts and discover ways to improve upon the negative aspects. I known the cost analysis is an issue for many especialy Republicans but the cost has always been the issue so instead of fixing a failing system we have for 25 years sat back while it continiues to get worse. Yes it will no matter what we do cost us but in the long run it will be better for this nation as far as cost and humanity is concerned. You have to spend money to make money and you have to spend money to improve things. At some point we have to get over the dollar signs and finally take a stand and demand a better healthcare system for all Americans.

Amie - posted on 07/07/2009

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Traci ~ Again I will repeat what I said before. It depends on whether or not your condition is deemed life threatening or not. There are people who get routine MRI's. My best friends husband does because he was in a head on with a semi and survived. His has always been scheduled for when he can make it. He's never had to wait. From the time he got hit, cleaned up, stabilized they had him in the machine by the next day, along with a whole host of other tests and mechanisms because his was a life threatening case. If our doctors think it could possibly be fatal then yes you get pushed to the head of the line and the others get pushed back to wait.
My friend I talked about that passed away last year. She always got her care quickly. As have a whole host of other people I know. My cousin, who was 9 when he was diagnosed with Leukemia, got his care very fast. It started with him feeling poorly, when it didn't go away right away they did an entire work up on him, ran so many tests, more than any child should ever have to go through. Found out he had it and he got treatment right away. He is now 18, cancer free and living a great life. It depends on the circumstances, to make sweeping generalizations is what I am talking about when I say things like fear mongering. It can not be applied to each case.

Some mentioned illegal aliens. We got them here too! I was surprised by the influx of Mexicans we've been getting in the last couple of years. I have no issue with this. For to get our free health care you have to be a citizen with a health card given to you by your respective province. Each province has different ones. When you move within our country to a new province you have 3 months to apply for one from the province you are now residing in. If you don't well then tough shit you gotta pay until you get it. =) I'm not sure how citizens not born here go about getting them but I do know you need to prove your are a citizen. When my kids got their's I had paperwork to do. Before we leave the hospital we have a stack we fill out for various things. From their birth certificate papers, child tax benefit papers, health card papers and I can't remember the other two. It's always been a pain in the ass for me since it just means more time in the hospital. I truly hate staying in hospitals though. lol!
It's not just illegal immigrants who try to benefit from our free health care though. There are people from the states who cross the boarder to try and use it.

Esther - posted on 07/07/2009

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Quoting Megan:

Christa... My fear is the same as yours... in that there is a LOT of illegal aliens in our country munching up our public services and not putting in.





 



From the Center of Immigration Studies: Our findings show that many of the preconceived notions about the fiscal impact of illegal households turn out to be inaccurate. In terms of welfare use, receipt of cash assistance programs tends to be very low, while Medicaid use, though significant, is still less than for other households. Only use of food assistance programs is significantly higher than that of the rest of the population. Also, contrary to the perceptions that illegal aliens don’t pay payroll taxes, we estimate that more than half of illegals work “on the books.”



In addition, most of the Medicaid use is for US-born children (i.e. citizens) born to illegal immigrant parents.

Esther - posted on 07/07/2009

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Quoting Megan:

Christa... My fear is the same as yours... in that there is a LOT of illegal aliens in our country munching up our public services and not putting in.





Do any of you have any numbers to back this up? I'm not saying your wrong, but my guess is that the cost to the country of illegal immigrants is wildly overstated.

Esther - posted on 07/07/2009

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Quoting Christa:

Just to add some perspective (not trying to debate) These countries have smaller populations, therefore less people to wait in line.


That's all proportionate though. Less people, less doctors, fewer hospitals etc.

Christa - posted on 07/07/2009

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Quoting Mary:


Illegal aliens?...girls, I hate to tell you this, but we are ALREADY footing the bill for this!! They just show up in our hospitals, and either the hospital finds a way to get them medical assistance, or they eat the bill, and it's a tax write-off. This leads to hospitals having to increase the amount they charge it's paying patients to balance things out and keep themselves financially solvent. You may not see it directly reflected in your taxes, but trust me, you are still footing the bill!


That's exactly what I said.  We need to fix that problem first, it will bring costs down.   I think our healthcare system needs to be fixed and that would be where I would start.  I think adding 1 Trillion dollars to our national debt without fixing some of these problems first would be detrimental to life as we know it.  We have leaks in the system (so to speak) and if we don't plug them pumping more money into the system will not help anything.  If you had a leak in your pool would you fix it by just continually filling it with more water? No.  You would fix the leaks first.  That’s what I was trying to get at.

Traci - posted on 07/07/2009

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I haven't known anyone EVER to have to wait for any medical treatment here in the US. I just read a piece that said the average wait for an MRI in Canada is 3 months. A couple years ago my OB thought I might have had a tumor and sent me for one the very next day. I live in "Chicagoland" and I've never had to wait for anything. Maybe it's just geographic! :)



My whole thing is that our gov't can't do ANYTHING efficiently. Look at all the Medicare and Medicaid fraud we already have, BILLIONS! And they want to expand this debacle? When we were in the military I saw the inefficience firsthand. I don't trust politicians to be honest. In that respect it's hard to compare us to other nations. What may work in the UK may not work here, etc. Maybe if our gov't could prove they can run one thing correctly, I wouldn't feel so strongly about this, but they jack up everything they get their grimy little hands on. EVERYTHING!



Sorry! I wan't trying to debate...JMO ;)

Mary - posted on 07/07/2009

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I really have mixed feelings about this, but should say that I'm not against socialized medicine in the US. I've read some of the arguments against it, and want to share a few thoughts...

Increase in taxes?...well, perhaps, BUT...when you consider this, don't just factor in the out-of-pocket deductible, but also the amount of $$ that comes out of your paycheck every month as well, not to mention how much your employer contributes as well to pay for that insurance.

Illegal aliens?...girls, I hate to tell you this, but we are ALREADY footing the bill for this!! They just show up in our hospitals, and either the hospital finds a way to get them medical assistance, or they eat the bill, and it's a tax write-off. This leads to hospitals having to increase the amount they charge it's paying patients to balance things out and keep themselves financially solvent. You may not see it directly reflected in your taxes, but trust me, you are still footing the bill!

Wait times?...We have them here now!! Try making an appt with a dermatologist for a suspicious looking mole...It is generally about 3 months before you can get an appt. And yes, I do think we as a society expect instant gratification, and want to be seen IMMEDIATELY when we have a complaint, that is not necesssarily emergent. Most children with a "fever" do not need to be seen..nor do they need antibiotics (we overprescribe them horribly in the states, thus leading to things like MRSA and VRE), but over anxious parents and lawsuit fearing docs perpetuate this viscious cycle.



I'm not saying that I completely support the concept of socialized medicine as the answer; I honestly don't know enough to firmly decide. I do know that what we currently have is irretrivably broken, and the whole system needs to be overhauled before it disintegrates entirely.

Sarah - posted on 07/07/2009

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Ok, so i don't really know on the politics of it all, or graphs and studies and all that, (lol) all i can really share with you is my experiences of the NHS.

In regards to my kids, if one of them was ill now this minute, i could ring the doctors and have an appointment today, probably even before lunchtime! It would most likely be with a 'locum' doctor and not her actual doctor, but i would be seen today.

If it was me ringing, depending on the severity of my illness, i would be seen within 10 days (i've NEVER had to wait that long tho, 3 days max).

When i had suspected appendicitis, i went into the doctors and about 3hrs later i was in theatre.

They do get some people who will go for any sniff and sneeze (usually little old ladies who just want a chat i think!!) but it's discouraged, they ask you on the phone roughly what the problem is, assess how great your need is. I honestly don't think many people abuse the system in that way.

As for taxes, it all depends on what you earn. You are taxed within your means. I think my hubby is taxed about 22% (could be wrong, i'm not great with things like that!)

Yes the NHS is not perfect, but from my personal experiences it's be great. :)

Kylie - posted on 07/07/2009

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Hey Megan, here we have something called medicare and you cannot see a doctor or specialist or get perscriptions with out a medicare number and you need to be an Australian citizen to obtain a medicare card and number.

Megan - posted on 07/06/2009

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Christa... My fear is the same as yours... in that there is a LOT of illegal aliens in our country munching up our public services and not putting in. My question is ... does any other country with successful universal/social health care have this issue? I feel that really makes us have a unique problem. i personally believe all US citizens or legal workers in the US deserve quality healthcare and the industry is not working for anyone... but the strain on our resources may be insurmountable if we allow all people living in the US to use these services. I want free/low cost healthcare so i don't have to prioritize on the health of my family! (I come last) So i hope you all can give us a picture of what it may REALLY be like? i hear so many conflicting opinions... but most of them are from americans!

Kylie - posted on 07/06/2009

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I live in Australia and use the public health system but people can opt for private health cover and they get a tax break at the end of the financial year. In my experience the public health system has been great, my doctor bulk bills so i am never out of pocket any money, and we are in the income bracket where we get a health care card which entitles us to discount prices of perscriptions. I had both my children in public hospitals and it was excellent, i had the best midwives and doctor (not my choice of), a private room and lots of follow up care. I was living in Broome when i was pregnant with my first and i found out i had polycystic kidney disease. I needed to see a specialist but because we lived in a remote town there was none so the government paid to fly me to the closest capital city, paid for my accommodation and i saw 2 specialists and a genetic counselor in 2 days and then flew home. there was no waiting. High income earners are taxed pretty highly but it seems the government is looking after the low n middle income earners and especially families with dependent children. we received a 5000 dollar bonus when our son was born and we get fortnightly tax benefits as well. My husband has been waiting almost a year to have some surgery on his nose as he has a deviated septum but because it is not a life threatening or major problem he is on the bottom of the priority list which is fair enough. I think the low income earners of America deserve free health care.

[deleted account]

Quoting Christa:

Oh and on the fear mongering, I think the truth is somewhere in the middle. Although I do think wait time will increase, it's pure numbers. You dump 40 million people into the system that isn't getting anymore doctors and won't get anymore because their pay will be slashed. You do the math. You won't be able to get your child in the same day because he has an ear infection or a fever.



I agree.  I don't think that all the articles are about fear mongering.  I agree that the truth is somewhere in the middle.  That's a really great way to say it.  The reason I personally asked this question is because in my circle of friends, those who even have one shred of an idea of what is going on politically and otherwise, all they know is the downside of socialized healthcare.  Most of the articles in the paper, even papers that should be objective, are usually talking about the negitive side.  I was just trying to satisfy my own curiosity by asking the only foreigners I know...the ladies here :)  Not arguing at all and I always appreciate your point of view Christa :)  I really do....just wanted to make that clear.  I don't want anyone thinking we're arguing or anything lol  I don't mind the debate really, adding to the rest of the conversation, because we're being respectful, as always....it's why I love this group of ladies so much :) 

Christa - posted on 07/06/2009

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Quoting Amie:

Eek! I didn't mean to imply all articles and peopled debating the issue are trying to use fear mongering to get their point across on why it's not feasible for the States. Christa sure isn't doing that. Sorry for the confusion! I know there are legitimate people who do want to see this type of system for the states.
National Defense... ok I assume this is part of the problem but if it's run like ours too then all employees who work for the government get paid through tax dollars as well. Which in a way is kinda funny, you get paid by everyone else plus yourself because even though the government is signing your pay cheque your still paying taxes. If that made sense. We pay all for all government workers too. That'd be an interesting thing to find out.... difference between what ours are paid and the ones in the states. Hmm.... Sorry Joy!!! Went off topic again.


It would be interesting to compare salaries.  I have no problem with my tax dollars going to pay for our military salaries, or the police and firemen.  That's what I feel tax dollars should pay for.  But the big difference would be our weapons/armor/equipment costs.  That's where we spend the big bucks.  The cost of deploying our troops and keeping up with the latest technologies so they are as safe as can be, that's where a bulk of our money goes, not to salaries.



 

[deleted account]

Here's a link to compare unemployment rates worldwide. Something I find interesting about this is that our current unemployment rates are not that much higher than the United Kingdom and Canada. I did a quick fact check on the US's numbers and the ones here are correct :

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_cou...



This graph shows what Christa is talking about as far as the high number of people that would inundate a new system if we adopted UHC here. Note that these rising unemployment rates have only been since April of '08 (on this graph at least) :

http://www.tradingeconomics.com/Economic...



This website is really interesting to read, if you're into this kind of thing. It's the US Census Bureau. All kinds of info on poverty limits, definitions, statistics, etc.

http://www.census.gov/hhes/www/poverty/p...

Amie - posted on 07/06/2009

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Eek! I didn't mean to imply all articles and peopled debating the issue are trying to use fear mongering to get their point across on why it's not feasible for the States. Christa sure isn't doing that. Sorry for the confusion! I know there are legitimate people who do want to see this type of system for the states.
National Defense... ok I assume this is part of the problem but if it's run like ours too then all employees who work for the government get paid through tax dollars as well. Which in a way is kinda funny, you get paid by everyone else plus yourself because even though the government is signing your pay cheque your still paying taxes. If that made sense. We pay all for all government workers too. That'd be an interesting thing to find out.... difference between what ours are paid and the ones in the states. Hmm.... Sorry Joy!!! Went off topic again.

Christa - posted on 07/06/2009

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Oh and on the fear mongering, I think the truth is somewhere in the middle. Although I do think wait time will increase, it's pure numbers. You dump 40 million people into the system that isn't getting anymore doctors and won't get anymore because their pay will be slashed. You do the math. You won't be able to get your child in the same day because he has an ear infection or a fever.

Christa - posted on 07/06/2009

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Quoting Joy:

Christa, I wholeheartedly appreciate your view on this subject and you and I have already agreed to disagree on it :) ((HUGS)) But again, in the non-debate spirit, I don't think it's comparing apples to oranges in the sense that we HAVE to do something to change the way the system works here. No one, including President Obama, is saying that we have to adopt the exact same policies as in other nations. But when starting something new, sometimes the best way to learn how to get started is to look outward and learn from our neighbors. Of course, ANY system that gets adopted in the States will have rough patches and speed bumps. Change doesn't come easy and it will take awhile to adjust. If they change the way things are in America, I'm absolutely positive that there will be a period of several years where the system will be overloaded. But that is because like you said, we have a high population and many in the population haven't been able to afford to see a doctor for years. Like you, I'm not trying to debate this issue. As you said, we've already done that :) But for my own curiosity, I just was curious to see if any of the things I read are true. Amie said something earlier about fear mongering. I'm not saying that's what ALL the articles about this subject are doing...but sometimes it sure feels like the ones who are afraid of change are trying to scare the rest of us out of what could be a good idea. You never know. I was just curious.


I get it and I wholeheartedly agree that we need to change what we are doing, the problem is the two sides have very different ideas.  The only reason I said anything is because people hear the great stories from other countries and it's great that it works there, but there are so many other factors that we have to take into consideration before we make a change.  I'm so afraid people are going to see how wonderful it works in other countries and listen to the positive spin Obama puts on things and think, this is our answer!  And then we will be in a world of hurt that will be very difficult to undue.  You ask Obama how much it will increase our taxes, he won't tell you because he knows the general population will say ABSOLUTELY NOT.  And it's hard to put a definitive number on it yet.  For me I'm a numbers person, free healthcare sounds great and I would love to not have to pay 3K for my delivery in February, but not if it means I'm paying an extra 14K in taxes.  Anyway that's why I chimed in. :-)



 

Christa - posted on 07/06/2009

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Quoting Amie:

That's another thing I don't understand though. With the population difference between the states and Canada how is it that their isn't the money? Where do your tax dollars go as it is? Are their really that many millions that don't contribute and in turn hinder the rest of the country? It makes no sense to me!



It doesn't make sense to me either. Much of it goes to our national defense and lets face it much of the world relies on our military as well, so we need to keep funding that.  But yes there are a lot of people, I don't have statistics, that feed off the system and don't pay a dime other then sales tax. Many people who use government aid have paid into the system very little.  Then there are poeple like me who have never taken a cent from the government and have paid into it since I was 15.  Much of our healthcare problem is because of our illegal immigration problem.  Millions of illegals come here and use our healthcare without ever paying a dime of their bill or of taxes.  They come here have their babies and then leave without leaving a cent and then they disappear.  How are we ever going to get that money?  We have MAJOR problems and they are all intertwined, the problem is our two political sides can't agree on the best way to fix them so NOTHING gets done at all.  NO one is willing to compromise anymore.  We have had the same problems for 25+ years and it just keeps getting worse.  Much of that is why we are in the mess we are in now.  Ayway I could go on, but I won't. ;-)  Like I said both sides think there way is the right way and I'm not trying to start a debate (I've started a whole group just to discuss these issues), I just wanted to answer your question.

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Christa, I wholeheartedly appreciate your view on this subject and you and I have already agreed to disagree on it :) ((HUGS)) But again, in the non-debate spirit, I don't think it's comparing apples to oranges in the sense that we HAVE to do something to change the way the system works here. No one, including President Obama, is saying that we have to adopt the exact same policies as in other nations. But when starting something new, sometimes the best way to learn how to get started is to look outward and learn from our neighbors. Of course, ANY system that gets adopted in the States will have rough patches and speed bumps. Change doesn't come easy and it will take awhile to adjust. If they change the way things are in America, I'm absolutely positive that there will be a period of several years where the system will be overloaded. But that is because like you said, we have a high population and many in the population haven't been able to afford to see a doctor for years. Like you, I'm not trying to debate this issue. As you said, we've already done that :) But for my own curiosity, I just was curious to see if any of the things I read are true. Amie said something earlier about fear mongering. I'm not saying that's what ALL the articles about this subject are doing...but sometimes it sure feels like the ones who are afraid of change are trying to scare the rest of us out of what could be a good idea. You never know. I was just curious.

Amie - posted on 07/06/2009

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That's another thing I don't understand though. With the population difference between the states and Canada how is it that their isn't the money? Where do your tax dollars go as it is? Are their really that many millions that don't contribute and in turn hinder the rest of the country? It makes no sense to me!

Christa - posted on 07/06/2009

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I get all that, that is all an example of why UHC would really cost us more then we can afford. Because we already can't pay for the programs we have and to add this one would make our tax bracket sky rocket. For us to be able to fund it and do all the other things you just described our tax bracket would be like 60% or something ridiculous. We have too many takers and not enough givers to our current social programs. Our debt is going through the roof and we can't pay it down as it is, so that's why I thing adding yet another program wouldn't work here like it does there. That's why I wanted to throw in some numbers, it's all well and good to talk about how well it works in other countries, but we are really comparing apples to oranges. :-) I'm really not trying to start a debate because I know that was not the intention and well. . . . we already did that. ;-)

Amie - posted on 07/06/2009

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Ah but see that's where we are so different. It's not all going to pay for our health care.
It goes to quite a few programs that our government runs...what we pay in health care works out to be 8 1/2 cent per dollar we pay in our taxes.
It also goes to paying down Canadian debt, our crown corporations, our child tax benefit, employment insurance, social services, along with a whole host of other programs that I do not understand.
It's all here under The Canadian Department of Finance. http://www.fin.gc.ca/taxdollar06/text/ht...

Christa - posted on 07/06/2009

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Just to add some perspective (not trying to debate) These countries have smaller populations, therefore less people to wait in line. Aimie the tax rate you described is high comparatively, if your husband made that here he would only pay roughly 28%, then we don't have a federal sales tax or a state sales tax (although that is different is some states), the local sales tax in my state is anywhere from 3% to 8%, my city is on the lower end. My property taxes are about the same, but I don’t know what your property is worth so it’s not a fair comparison. So just in your income tax difference you are paying an extra 14K in taxes. I don't know about you but I sure as heck don't pay that much in healthcare costs a year. Again just to put some numbers to the discussion. :-)

Amie - posted on 07/06/2009

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LOL!!! I'm sorry but my hubby and I always have to laugh when we hear about the fear mongering the states does about Universal Health care or others like it.
Wait times? Well let's see when I call my doctor the longest I've had to wait was a month... she was going on vacation. I could have used another doctor in her practice but it wasn't a huge deal just my yearly check up so I waited. Other than that I get in within 2-7 days each time. Longer if I book it that way.
In cases of treatment for things. If it's non life threatening you do need to wait in line. Not a biggie to me since my life isn't at risk. Might be uncomfortable for some but it's not a huge issue. My hubby's gramma is a good example. She needed quadruple bypass surgery and was in within a month. Would have been 3 weeks but she ended up with a cold so they had to put it off until she was better. One of my friends, who passed away last year, found out her cancer had come back. She started treatment the same week.
I can't speak for everyone but my family doesn't run in for every sniffle and sneeze. That's kinda stupid honestly. Even if you did I know my doctor and the ones in her practice would say, You have a cold go home I can't do anything for you. haha.
I don't find our taxes outrageously high. I'll break it down as easily as I can. My hubby makes $10,000 a month. We see $6,000 of that. Even at that though each tax season that comes around we get $4,000-$5,000 back because we're over paying. So broken down we're overpaying by around $300-400 each month. Then there's our property taxes, those are $1,900 each year. Plus the taxes we pay each time we go to the store. Which isn't much, they lowered it in the last year so our government sales tax is 5% and our provincial sales tax is 5% also. So 10% overall when we go shopping. Though not always, some things you don't pay PST on.
I have said it before though, if the states does eventually get a universal system like we or other countries have it will be like the flood gates opening. Then there will be those same people going see.. we were right. Psht! Give it a little time and it will even out. It would be that way because so many don't have the access to it now because of costs. Which I find dumb honestly.

Oh and for our taxes, it goes to a lot more than health care so in the grand scheme of things it's not something we really think about. There is always some social program we are paying into here, whether it be provincial or federal it's there. =)

Esther - posted on 07/06/2009

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Quoting Emily:

Good question Joy! This is a very important question to me as wel..To add to what you asked how about the elderly? How are they treated? I heard that they could get denied treatment for certain things due to their age? I've also heard that people live longer in the US...

I've spoken to my best friend about this issue (she is from the UK but lives here with her two sons who are American citizens). I'd like to hear your views and see how similar they are to hers.



I have never heard of anyone being denied care because of their age in Holland. I also don't think life expectancy is lower there than it is here. And infant mortality is definitely lower (the US actually has a pretty high infant mortality rate as a result of poverty issues and lack of available healthcare/prenatal care).

Emily - posted on 07/06/2009

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Good question Joy! This is a very important question to me as wel..To add to what you asked how about the elderly? How are they treated? I heard that they could get denied treatment for certain things due to their age? I've also heard that people live longer in the US...



I've spoken to my best friend about this issue (she is from the UK but lives here with her two sons who are American citizens). I'd like to hear your views and see how similar they are to hers.

Esther - posted on 07/06/2009

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I'm from The Netherlands. Holland has a fairly unique combination of universal health care and private insurance companies. There are waits sometimes to have certain procedures performed, but it's not a huge problem. I also don't think that the system is overused, but that may be a cultural thing as well. Dutch people don't generally go to the doctor unless they feel they might be dying - haha. It's part of the no-nonsense attitude that defines us. Hard to explain. The taxes are high, but people don't seem to mind that much either as you also get much of it back in other ways. There are no poor people there the way there are here, child care is heavily subsidized, education is practically free, especially compared to the US (incl. college), we get tons of vacation days (and believe it or not - vacation money!), we get a check from the government every month for every child you have to help with their care etc. Overall, I think the health care system works much better than it does here to be honest. I posted another thread on the Debating Moms circle about how much I love living in the US and how I do not want to move back to Holland, but if my husband or I or, GOD FORBID, my son ever got seriously ill, I would be on the first plane back as I would not want to risk losing everything over health care costs or, worse yet, being denied essential care because my insurance company wouldn't cover it.

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