The NHS.

Sarah - posted on 06/18/2009 ( 60 moms have responded )

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As a UK mum, all my healthcare is free! (well we pay for prescriptions, and we get taxed to pay for it!)
There's lot's of mum's on COM's who are from other countries where there isn't the NHS.
Sooooo, do we think the NHS is a good thing??
Do you have it where you are??
Are there bad points about it??
:)

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[deleted account]

Traci does make a good point about the US not being able to afford free health care for all. And the UK is going the same way. The NHS provides for now, but can it realistically keep going with the ageing population, rising obesity, binge drinking, STD's, and drug abuse? That is not an exhaustive list of the many areas where Brits are catching up with our American freinds. I suspect we have even overtaken them on some of these health issues. I was thankful for the NHS when I lived here permanently, but its days might be numbered.

Francesca - posted on 06/24/2009

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Quoting Abby:

he he, the harsh scottish accent is a hard one, but again not ugly.
the southern twang does make me giggle. i like soft irish accents x



i love the scottish accent, but yes very hard to understand sometimes LOL im from east anglia, so real suffolk accent, not as bad as my dad tho. i love irish very sexy ;-)



 

Erin - posted on 06/24/2009

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~Traci~ clearly we disagree on this one and that's fine, but I just have a couple of points to add.
You say the US is the best with medical innovation and treatment, and you're probably right, but what's the point in making all these life-saving advances if so many people are denied access to them due to costs???

And as for the family earning $110,000 being covered by a public health system, they would also be paying more in taxes than someone earning less. So it's really not a case of your taxes paying for the health care of a person in a higher income bracket. It's theirs. In Australia a person earning that much money would be taxed 49% - I have no problem whatsoever with some of that going to cover their own health care costs.

Erin - posted on 06/24/2009

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~Joy~ I'm Australian and work as a Medical Receptionist in a GP's office so I'll try and explain our national healthcare system as best I can :)

The govt pays a GP anywhere from $33 - $100 per visit, depending on the length of consultation. Some GPs Bulk-Bill, meaning they add no extra charge to this fee, and others add an additional fee on top of this. For Bulk-Billing doctors (which are VERY rare) they lodge their daily batch of claims online and then the money is transferred to their account. For those who charge extra (normal length visit usually about $55-$60), then patient pays out of pocket then claim a rebate of the amount the govt pays the doctor from Medicare. The govt pays the doctors an extra incentive fee of $7.60 for any children (under 16) or concession card holders (over 65s, unemployed, single parents, students etc) who they Bulk Bill, to encourage them not to charge them the high rate and keep the cost of health care down for these more vulnerable groups. Private health insurance does not apply to GPs consultation fees - everything is claimed through Medicare.

Prescriptions are under a different system here, the PBS (Pharmaceutical Benefit Scheme), and are not free. Some get subsidised by the govt, but often only after people lobby to get additional medications added to the list. However anyone with a concession card only pays $5.40 per prescription.

Any care in a public hospital is Bulk Billed, so the patient incurs no fee whatsoever. But if you need to use an ambulance you have to pay (about $450 I think).

Private health insurance is most applicable to specialists fees and radiology, as well as ancilliaries such as physio, chiro, optical etc. If someone has no insurance and get referred to a specialist, they go through the public hospital and must wait for an appointment. If the GP deems it urgent they will be squeezed in, if not there is sometimes a wait of a month or two (depending on your location). If the patient doesn't want to wait, they can elect to go to a private specialist and private hospital but will pay those fees (which would total thousands of dollars) out of pocket. Alternatively, if a person has private health insurance they see the specialist of their choice in private rooms, but will still often have a wait (though not as long). They can also elect to go through the public system if they deem appropriate - this most commonly occurs with Obstetrics, where women will choose to deliver in the public hospital with the NICU then either use their insurance to get a private room or transfer to a private hospital post-natally.

~On a personal level, I am more than grateful for our national health care policies, and couldn't imagine it being a total user-pays system. Adequate health care is a basic human right, not a business. I am currently on maternity leave, but I have been paying taxes since I was 15 (and got my first after-school job) and through uni when I worked 2 jobs and got taxed to the eyeballs, and I am perfectly happy for that money to go towards ensuring people get the help they need.

Sarah - posted on 06/24/2009

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Hi Traci!
Let me start by saying that's it's kinda nice hearing another opinion on this! I totally respect what you're saying and if that's the way you see it, then that's cool!
Also, being from the UK i have limited knowledge of the US system, so i'm not really in a position to put it down i guess.
From my point of view tho, i'm SO grateful we have the NHS. Personally, i think healthcare is a human right, for EVERY person, whether your unemployed, homeless, on drugs, whatever i don't think a single person on this planet should be excluded from receiving medical treatment.
I don't go to the doctor for a cold, i don't know anyone who would to be honest! Just because people COULD do that, doesn't mean they will.
For me, i don't think healthcare should be all about money, it should just be about giving people the care they deserve and have a right to.
I just think it's so sad that people have to worry about insurance costs when they should be concentrating on getting better, or enjoying their pregnancy.
I've worked since i was 16 (with breaks for maternity) and i've paid my taxes, it doesn't bother me one bit, those taxes are (mostly, i'm sure they use some of it in ways i wouldn't approve of!) going to pay for everyones benefit. Mine included.
I think we should all look out for everyone, from the rich right down the poor.
I also don't feel that we are 'controlled' by the government on healthcare, if you are refused treatment, you can appeal.
Certainly the NHS is not perfect, but i think the idea of it is great! And mostly it works.
I just think that every single person should be able to go to the doctors, or have an operation, or give birth, without money being an issue.
:)

Traci - posted on 06/23/2009

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Oh girls...where do I start??? :)



Michael Moore is an obtuse liar. Please don't base United States health care on him. His movies are full of outright lies and distortions. He is the "Sicko" if you ask me. The man makes me cringe. EWWWW!



Also, someone mentioned going to the doctor for a cold. What the heck! Why would anybody go to a doctor for a cold?!!?? That's why God gave us immune systems, right? Maybe that's a reason healthcare in America or anywhere else is so darn expensive! People going to the doctor for a band aid or a cold or some other inane reason. If you've got a cold, eat some chicken soup, suck on some zinc lozenges and be on your merry way, there is no reason to see a doctor for that.



And the people who are supposedly not admitted to hospitals for inability to pay? If that is the norm, then why are the ER's in California all broke? Not to mention ER's all across the country who take in patients who cannot pay. I know--it's because they treat all those illegals who aren't paying. Maybe they should start taxiing them back their home country so they can stay open.



Our system isn't perfect here, but it isn't as terrible as some people are making it out to be. As far as access goes, it's great! You don't have to wait months for tests or drugs or treatment or anything. You go in and get what you need done. Our problem here in the US is the costs. Which will NOT come down once the gov't gets involved. Costs will continue to rise. I mean, really. What have we seen the gov't take over that results in costs going down. Why are we seeing all these insurance companies nudging their way into Obama's office? They are seeing nothing but dollar signs. Taxpayer dollar signs. Medicare fraud alone costs us $60 billion (yeah, BILLION) every year. Do you really think that will go down when you add more people to the doles?



Why should insurance cover routine exams? Shouldn't we be paying for that kind of thing ourselves? In another thread on here I mentioned this. I mean, the whole point of insurance is that you plan on NOT using it. That's how life insurance, homeowner's insurance, automobile insurance, flood or fire insurance, works, right? Why should health insurance be any different? Why not just have major medical insurance for things such as catastrophic incidents or cancer or things like that? And routine visits are paid by the consumer? Costs would come down, waaay down if that were the case.



The gov't getting involved in healthcare is not about helping people it's about controlling them. Look at other countries where they deny hip replacements to obese citizens or heart surgeries to smokers. When it's an insurance company, you have options. You can look to find a different one, pay for it yourself, etc. When it's the gov't denying you, where do you turn?



I wouldn't exactly hail the Massachusettes health plan as a beacon of light. It's bankrupt and it is a failure. In Oregon they denied lifesaving breast cancer medication to a woman but offered to pay for a doctor to help her commit suicide. Yeah, that's success for ya!



I get Zogby polls sent to my email and the other day while I was taking one there was a question that asked, "Do you think state provided healthcare for children should be available to families making 500% of the poverty level, meaning a family of 4 earning $110,000 a year would be eligible for state health coverage." I wanted to scream. Why the heck should tax payers be on the hook for a family's healthcare when they make that much money??? We don't make near that much, but you can bet we'd be paying FOR OUR OWN coverage if our kids weren't covered. That was just a poll question, but in order for them to have even asked that question, I'm sure it's on someone's mind in Washington.



There is a good reason people come to the US from all over the world to get treated here when they get a catastrophic disease or need a rare surgery. We are the best, and have the best there is to offer in terms of medical innovation. I don't see Cubans inventing all those life saving medicines....



If Washington was serious about really helping us about this health care issue, they'd stand up to all those trial lawyers and enact tort reform. Doctors cannot afford medical malpractice insurance anymore because of all the frivolous lawsuits and ambulance chasing lawyers out there. That is another reason costs are so high. OBGYNS are especially being hard hit in this area. But, since trial lawyers donate heavily to the political process, you can guess why that will never happen.



Sorry for the rant ladies, this is just something that I feel soooo strongly about. The US cannot afford to be paying for every little sniffle and sneeze its citizens are enduring. I mean, we can't even afford what we are already on the hook for. How the heck do they expect us to pay for MORE??? It's impossible. This is a major power grab and nothing more and it really makes me ill that so many people are just ready to give all that up without knowing what it really means. :) I welcome your responses....

[deleted account]

For anyone who's interested in what's going on with healthcare in the US - I saw this article today:

http://www.slate.com/id/2221031/

The healthcare system is Massachusetts is what Obama is looking to as a model the national reforms. The article outlines the problems with it pretty clearly, but even so, I think it would be better than our current system.

Abby - posted on 06/23/2009

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alison, u had to pay a call out fee for an ambulance??? that is terrible!!!

i think in the uk we take this ALL for granted!!!

it makes me very sad to think of the healthcare system in the us!

[deleted account]

What Mary says is correct to the best of my knowledge. I find it funny that countries without free healthcare will treat energencies. So many of these emergency life saving treatments might not have been required if the patient had free health care in the first place.

Mary - posted on 06/23/2009

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Okay, forgive me if I repeat a point already made...I just don't have the time to read all the posts!

Yes, I would agree that the American healthcare system is completely f**ked up, especially for the lower-middle classes who either don't have insurance, but don't qualify for medicall assistance b/c they make "too much", or have minimal coverage, and are stuck with ungodly bills that they can't possibly afford to pay, but will kill themselves trying to. It works for those that don't work, as they will qualify for MA, or, in the case of my hospital, a Catholic institution, will write them off as a charity case, and absorb the cost of their care.

There is an federal law, called EMTALA (can't remember what the whole acronym stands for) which basically requires ALL hopitals to assess anyone presenting to their facility, and treat any EMERGENT conditions, regardless of their ability to pay. It is illegal to base the assessment mode based on their financial status/insurance covergage . this includes women presenting in labor. Not perfect by a long shot, but it does mean that if you have no insurance, show up in an ER with chest pain, they must evaluate you & treat you fully if, in fact you are having a heart attack. If it turns out to just be horrible, chronic idigestion, they will give you meds, write you a script, and tell you to follow up with a doc. They are not required to do a full GI work up, and treat all your digestive issues...not an emergency issue.

Sarah - posted on 06/22/2009

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Quoting Alison:

Sorry if it seems like every other one of my posts is American bashing. I love America and it's people. I just hate the health care system. I'm also new to some other stuff that is strange to me because I was not raised with it.


I too think for the most part, America has some ways of doing things that are better than the UK, just not healthcare! lol! :)

[deleted account]

Sorry if it seems like every other one of my posts is American bashing. I love America and it's people. I just hate the health care system. I'm also new to some other stuff that is strange to me because I was not raised with it.

[deleted account]

To be fair, if you show up at an ER in America they will treat you and bill you later. My husband had to go to the ER for a non-emergency because he couldn't get treatment any other way. The thing he went for could have been treated by a regular doctor in the UK. But you do have to pay the bill at some point and ours has been passed to a collection agency along with a $500 call out fee when I called an abulance for my son. I don't think they do the call-out fee in every state though.

Sara - posted on 06/22/2009

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I think stuff like that does happen in the US. We have a sytem of "in-network" providers for our insurance, which means certain doctors/clinics have contracts with our insurance company to provide service at a certain cost. "Out of Network" providers are more expensive both to you and the insurance company.



I have seen "Sicko" and while I do like Michael Moore and agree with his politics for the most part, I also thing that he has a way of exaggerating and twisting things to fit into the point he's trying to drive home. What happened to that lady was awful, but I do think that hospitals have an obligation to give care, especially in a situation where a child is dying. My guess would be there is more to that story that we don't know.



One part of "sicko" that I know is true and happens is hospitals booting out people without insurance that they know can't pay, like homeless/mentally ill people. There's a part where a taxi drops off a woman who is still in a hospital gown on the curb in front of a homeless shelter. She's confused and wanders up and down the street and into traffic. Finally, someone from the homeless shelter goes out to see if she needs help. It's truly sad. If a society can be judged by the way it treats it's lowliest members, then Americans are not very nice people. We have a lot of homeless people who are severely mentally ill and have no place to go and no one to help them.

Abby - posted on 06/22/2009

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Quoting Sarah:

Back to the NHS, i watched some of that Sicko film again today and i was nearly in tears!! Some poor woman took her baby to a hospital because her daughter had a really high temp, the hospital checked her health insurance and said they couldn't treat her there she had to travel to another one. The woman begged and begged, but they said no. By the time she made it to the other hospital, her daughter went into cardiac arrest and died.
It's just SO sad and un-necessary! :)


oh thats horrible, i prob wont watch that film!!! but do things like that actually happen. surely they have a moral obligation to help?????????????????

Amie - posted on 06/22/2009

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Yes Jennifer! I like our health care system and ask almost any Canadian... they will not travel to the states without buying the health travel insurance so ours will work down there too. It's just too expensive to chance getting sick or hurt while traveling. =(

[deleted account]

With regard to children being covered by insurance, this is a problem my husband and I are dealing with right now. We currently pay about $1700 annually for our son's health insurance. On top of that, we pay about 10% of all his medical bills (basics like vaccinations, etc). We're grad students, so our income is not very high, but because we don't have any debt and own a home, we don't qualify for any government assistance at all. Our son just barely qualifies for our state's medicaid program, but in order to enroll him, we need to drop his health insurance coverage for at least 3 months first. So in order to get help with insurance, he needs to lose the coverage he has now. So that means I'd be paying everything out of pocket for three months. Not only that, but I'd run the risk that he'd develop a chronic condition (diabetes, asthma, etc) at which point no insurance company would cover him, because they'd say he has a pre-existing condition. Government assistance with health care can be tough to qualify for, and a hassle to get. I'll agree with the previous sentiment that the for-profit system is a mess. I'd rather have a system intended to keep citizens healthy, than one that makes a profit off of sick people.

Amie - posted on 06/22/2009

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Joy, I wanted to answer your questions too. I'm in Canada. =)
Our doctors tally up the visits, have our health card numbers on file and just send them to the gov't each month. The gov't then pays them. The last I heard they get between $75 - $110 per visit. Depends on which doctor and what you are seeing them for.
We also walk in and leave without paying anything. We take our prescriptions to whichever store is cheapest too. lol.
For the tax issue it depends on which bracket you fit into how much you pay. They've recently changed these too so I need to brush up on them. For us though.. my hubby makes $10,000 a month, we see $6,000 of that. Now that $4,000 doesn't all go to taxes, we pay into EI & CPP but a lot of it is taxes. Each year though our return is about $5,000. So calculated out we are over paying by about $420 each month. That is also depicted by our family status. We have 4 kids and I am classified as a dependent for him because I don't make over $9,000 in a year. My job is part time and my wage is crap! For others like my in laws... They have no dependents so their return isn't as big. For my parents they only have 3 dependents so they get less on their returns as well. My brother breaks even each year. It's all so complicated but it's not just our health we are paying for. Our taxes get divvied up between a lot of programs.

[deleted account]

Well my son is still on Medicaid (for now) so we don't pay for his doctor visits or prescriptions. When I was pregnant with him, I was on Medicaid for Pregnant Women and I didn't pay for any of my doctor's, prescriptions or hospital care. But since then, my husband's income has gone up a little. It amounts to about a $30 a week increase but that's enough to where I don't qualify for Medicaid this time around.

About what Amie said about dental. If you have Medicaid, the ONLY dental they will pay for for adults is to have teeth removed. No cleanings, no fillings, nothing. We have dental with our private insurance now and I desperately need to go to a dentist but now that I'm pregnant they won't take xrays, therefore they won't do my fillings either. All I can get is a cleaning, which I'll still do, but I have to wait until after this one is born to actually take care of my teeth. So I just have to brush extra lol

Amie - posted on 06/22/2009

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Ah prescription costs. That's something I never touched on. It all depends on income here. If you are low income you kids are fully covered for prescription costs until they are 18. If you are within the next bracket up you only get partial coverage. Even further up you have to pay for it out of pocket. But you can claim it at tax time and get it back!! It's just so stupid how it's set up. Lots more paperwork for the gov't to sift through, glad I don't work for them. haha.
Things like prenatal vitamins, any medication you might need during your pregnancy, our doctors give them to us. Most have stock piles in their offices. If they don't have a certain one they will give you a prescription so you can either get it free, for a low cost, or at least have the proper receipt for tax time. I know the ones I've ever gone to are this way. Even after I had baby I was given a year's supply of Vitamin D for each of them. =)
I just wish our dental was covered by the gov't. We need to buy private for that, which is fine, we can afford it. To get dental coverage from the gov't here you need to be low income. But again, we can claim it all at tax time.
My biggest issue with all of this aspect is all the paperwork. I need to buy another filing cabinet because we have so many papers that we need for tax time. lol. Not to mention we need to keep at least 5 years worth at any given time, that's how far back they generally go if you get randomly selected for an audit. Has happened to us yet though! =)

Sarah - posted on 06/22/2009

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haha!! ok, for example, i went to the doctors the other week, saw the doctor, got a prescription, and had some samples taken and sent off for testing. All i paid for was the prescription.
The money from it all comes from our taxes, not sure exactly how much we get taxed (haven't worked full time for a while!) but the more you earn the more you get taxed.
Our taxes pay for lots of other things too tho.
So, the doctor is basically paid by the government. (and they get paid quite a bit too!!)
It's just so weird to me that you have to even pay for your kids and for pregnancy appointments and stuff!!!
Move here!! haha! :)

[deleted account]

Sarah, so when you get a cold and go to the doctor, you walk in and out without paying a cent? JEALOUS!!! I should probably read all the other posts before I ask this because it's probably already been answered...How does your government pay for it, as in, who pays the doctor? Does it come out of your taxes? Are your taxes high? Whatever and however other countries are doing it, it seems to work and I wish the US would take notes and learn from these other countries like yours. It's almost like the US is this entity that thinks "I know best and no other way is better than my way. I'm the United Friggin States of America dammit!" lol Yeah, lotta good that's doing us....

Sarah - posted on 06/22/2009

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Man, it just seems so confusing and so expensive!! it's crazy!
I'll keep my fingers crossed that it all works out for you and isn't too expensive!!
Over here we have to pay £7.20 for a prescription, contraceptives (like the pill or whatever) are free, if you're under 16, it's free. I think there's a lot of other reasons for it to be free too. When you're pregnant and for a year after, it's free!!
I'll def keep my fingers crossed for you!! :)

[deleted account]

Hi Sarah, I've heard the same thing about Michael Moore exaggerating and embelishing but I still like him.

To answer your questions:

1) Do children get it free? No. If your income is above a certain level, NO ONE in the household gets assistance in any way, shape or form. In fact, in August of last year, I got a letter informing me that my son's Medicaid would expire on his first birthday which was in October. I spent the next two months fighting to keep him insured but sure enough, come his birthday, he was no longer covered. So we began checking into my husband's insurance. Then, around the end of December, right before Christmas, we got a letter from Medicaid stating that our son's insurance would be reinstated IMMEDIATELY. That was thanks to President Obama. One of the first things he did when he took office was to reverse over 60,000 medicaid cancellations for children. However, I believe my son is only covered until he turns two this October. I can't get a straight answer from anyone at the Medicaid office on that one.

2) If I was feeling ill and made an appointment to see a doctor, what I pay depends on if I have insurance or not. If I don't have insurance, which I didn't for many years, I am respontible for the entire bill. Some doctors offices charge up to $50 per appointment and if they have to run tests they won't give you the results until you have paid for the testing. It's like they hold the results hostage or something. And if I do have insurance, it depends on the co-pay. Most insurance companies have "co-pays" for when you go to any type of doctor, GP, OBGYN, dentist, etc. A co-pay is what your cost of a doctor visit is. Years ago I had United Healthcare and I had to pay $20 for each doctor visit, $20 for brand name prescriptions and $10 for generic prescriptions. Now, for example, with my first prenatal appointment today, I have no idea what my copay will be because instead, I have a lovely deductible that will be split up into payments. It's rather confusing and I don't quite understand it all but hopefully they will explain it to me properly today at the doc's office. Hopefully I won't have to pay too much, we'll see....I'll let you know. So far though, I'm not happy with my insurance at all...at least when I didn't have any coverage, I knew up front what I would have to pay. My worry is that I'll get to the office, they'll run my insurance and then tell me I have to pay $whoknowshowmuch today and I won't have enough in the bank and they won't let me see the doctor. It sucks. Keep your fingers crossed....

Sarah - posted on 06/22/2009

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Joy, i LOVE Micheal Moore too!! His documentaries are great (tho i've heard it's not all strictly true, that he embelishes certain things)
I just think it's so sad that you guys in the US have to worry about the bill, and what will happen if you end up at a hospital that doesn't accept your insurance. I just can't get my head around that!!
Do children at least get it free?? (i guess not as i wrote an example involving a child above)
So if you were feeling ill, and you made an appointment to see the doctor, would they charge you just for that??
Do you have GP's (General Practitioner's) in the US?? when i say doctor i really mean GP.
It does seem to be a business in the US and that just doesn't make sense to me.
SO glad i live in the UK!! (for once!! lol!)
:)
:)

[deleted account]

About the American accent thing....I live in the south (Florida) and I know that I have a southern accent. I say "y'all" instead of "you all" and I say "hey there" instead of "hello" lol I have relatives who live in Ohio, Michigan and New York (upstate) and they all give me a hard time now and then because of my accent. I think it's funny lol Because to me, THEY have the accent...and by the way, I LOVE a British or Australian accent....it's one of those things, I could just close my eyes and listen to it all day lol





Anyhow, on to the health care issue. Up until April, I hadn't had health insurance in almost 10 years. As a cashier, I made too much money to qualify for government benefits but not enough to afford my own insurance and still pay my rent. Unless I broke a bone or was on the verge of pneumonia, I never went to the doctor. And if I DID have to go to the doctor, I rarely could afford to fill the prescriptions. The healthcare system in the US SUCKS. I would love it if we could have some kind of national healthcare. Obama has proposed a plan that I have a feeling will not pass because it has been called "socialized healthcare" and many Americans hear that and think "socialism". Personally, I don't care if they call it fried chicken as long as we can get the care we need. That being said, in April I got married and my husband added me to his insurance plan. It is costing us a TON. The only way we are able to afford it is because we paid off our car (YAY!). Still, having me on his insurance is costing us the same as our monthly car payment was PLUS some. With this new pregnancy, I can't go to any of the doctors in my town because, although they accept my insurance, they only deliver babies at the hospital in town (10 minutes away) and the hospital won't accept the insurance. I argued with my insurance company (Blue Cross Blue Shield) the better part of Thursday about this issue. My only option is to go to a doctor and hospital over half an hour away. I don't mind travelling for the doctor, but the hospital??? What if I go into labor say, at the grocery store? They call an ambulance. The ambulance is going to take me to the closest hospital, regardless of my insurance. Then what? Also, God forbid, but if either of us is in a serious car accident, they will take us to the closest hospital...which doesn't take our insurance. Then what? We get stuck with a ton of bills and I don't even want to think about it.


To quote Sara Long : "My biggest problem with our current health care system is that it's run as a for profit business by an insurance company. The insurance company is telling what kind of treatment you can get and not the doctor." That hits the nail on the head. Healthcare in the US is too much of a business. It is ALL for profit, not for any kind of benefit to the patient. The insurance companies line the pockets of senators, etc, just like the drug companies do. We will never get universal healthcare or anything like it because too many filthy rich people will lose too much money. It's sad really.


About the movie Sicko? OMG don't get me started. My husband and I are big time Michael Moore fans and we've seen all of his movies. All I can say is that a lot of people in the States call him a fraud, a liar and all kinds of other choice names but in reality, they FEAR him. It's people like him that put the truth in our laps and let us decide what to do about it. I think Obama is on the right track but I also think that any major changes he wants to make will be stopped or caught up in red tape. Personally, I'd like to see Obama as president and Michael Moore as vice president....the conservative republicans would be scared out of their minds if that ever happened lol This country could be such a great place to live. I am proud of the IDEA of our country but every day I am less proud of the reality of it. Watching Sicko actually made me consider for the first time in my life, giving up my citizenship to live in another country where I am treated like a human being with rights, rather than just a number in a system in a pile on an overworked social worker's desk.

Sarah - posted on 06/21/2009

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Back to the NHS, i watched some of that Sicko film again today and i was nearly in tears!! Some poor woman took her baby to a hospital because her daughter had a really high temp, the hospital checked her health insurance and said they couldn't treat her there she had to travel to another one. The woman begged and begged, but they said no. By the time she made it to the other hospital, her daughter went into cardiac arrest and died.
It's just SO sad and un-necessary! :)

Abby - posted on 06/21/2009

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u know what, if i dont EVER give him cheese strings i'll never know. my step daughter thru up banana and banana milkshake all over me. the smell of either make me bleugh! and now cam likes them...yummy!!!

we're gonna leave the second he wakes up bless him and hopefully get down there late afternoon and then he can play loads before bed! x

Sarah - posted on 06/20/2009

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Mine always just fall asleep the whole time in the car!
Well my eldest has a few issues sometimes (ever see a kid throw up Cheesestrings?? gross!) but all in all we're pretty lucky!
I'm worse than the kids most of the time!! :)

Abby - posted on 06/20/2009

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he he. im not sure it's a good idea to drive so far with cam, but it'll be worth it, we're going to st just(really far down i think) x

Abby - posted on 06/20/2009

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awwww im going to cornwall in the summer, i'll wave to somerset on the way thru for u xxx

Sarah - posted on 06/20/2009

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Lol! The bristol accent is weird because it's only people there that have it! I live like 30 mins away and yet we don't have an accent! (well, i slip into the somerset accent on some words!!) I be from cider country!! oooh-arr!! :)

Abby - posted on 06/20/2009

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Quoting Sarah:

I don't mind american accents! I live near a city called Bristol and the accent there is well....hmmmmm.....interesting! :)



hmmm, sarah the bristol accent can be v interesting, a good friend of mine is from fishponds and good god, i just have to laigh sometimes, love her tho!



im from hampshire and i dont think we have an accent but thats prob cos we live her.



 



my partner had appendicitis, it was diagnosed at 4pm (altho my mum and i had diagnosed it at 11 but he wouldnt believe us until the dr confirmed it, silly man) and it was out by midnight.



i'd b so worried the whole time if we didnt have the nhs

Amie - posted on 06/19/2009

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ah crap.... in my post it's supposed to say my fiance's grandmother NOT his mother. LOL! That's what I get for being in a hurry!

Sarah, I know! I've known lots of people who needed care fast and they've all gotten it. I can not stand the politicians in the states who are just fear mongers that keep putting down all these systems. Jeese wonder whose pocket their in because it sure isn't their constituents.

Sarah - posted on 06/19/2009

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I've seen Sicko too. Did really make me feel grateful for the NHS!!
When i had my appendix out (wasn't actually appendicitus in the end! long story) i went to the docs and then i was in theatre about 3hrs later! So i didn't have to wait at all!! :)

Amie - posted on 06/19/2009

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I don't have time to read all the posts but I just wanted to make a quick response to this!
I watched the movie Sicko. It scared me and made me glad I am in Canada.
It is a fundamental right for ALL people to receive decent health care. I was raised this way and have no problem paying extra taxes so everyone can receive it. Should I ever need major surgery I don't need to sit there and think about how it will affect our finances or possibly our children's.
Canada has universal health care. The biggest misconception is that we have long wait times. We DO NOT have long wait times. This past year my fiances mother needed quadruple bypass surgery. From the time they found out until the time she got the surgery it was 4 weeks. It needed to be re booked at 3 weeks due to the fact that she ended up sick (it was winter) with a cold and they needed to wait for her to get over it. Also in the last year one of our friends was told that her cancer had come back but this time it was bone cancer. She was started chemo the same week but sadly did not make it. If it is a major surgery/care that is needed fast you do get it.
Our wait times are for people that have non-life threatening surgeries/care scheduled. I don't see the big deal about that either. If I need to give up my spot to save someone's life, you bet I will do it! My care can wait if it's non-life threatening. Sure it's a pain to wait sometimes, sure we all complain about it from time to time. I also know that if we privatized our health care system there would be such an outcry to get it back. It is there for everyone to receive and they should get it. It should not be dictated by people who are in it for the buck.

Sarah - posted on 06/19/2009

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I really think the NHS is a good thing. Is it perfect? No.
I had 2 births done in NHS hospitals, and i've had my appendix out and been to A&E a few times too, and haven't found it too bad!!
I just can't imagine having to pay for hospital visits and stuff!
I would imagine healthcare for all should be a basic human right.
I guess because i've never known any different i just can't get my head around it!
:)

[deleted account]

I'm in the rare positon of having first hand experience of both systems. I don't have health insurance in the US because I'm sick of doctors over treating me to make money when there are other people who need treatment and can't afford it.



I hate the NHS until I have to see an American doctor. After what can sometimes be a bit of an ordeal I always think back to the friendly doctors office in the UK that has no credit card machine or insurance forms, just a bossy receptionist and a few kids running riot.



Plus if you want good health care in the UK you can also take out health insurance and go private. We have the option and don't use it because the NHS has not got that bad yet. Low standard health care is still better than no health care at all.

Sarah - posted on 06/19/2009

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I don't mind american accents! I live near a city called Bristol and the accent there is well....hmmmmm.....interesting! :)

Abby - posted on 06/19/2009

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he he, the harsh scottish accent is a hard one, but again not ugly.

the southern twang does make me giggle. i like soft irish accents x

Sara - posted on 06/19/2009

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true, there are some silly american accents! I automatically think of New York/New Jersey.



I'm from the midwest, very flat accent, no southern twang or anything. I love scottish accents, but man, I can't understand them very well!

Abby - posted on 06/19/2009

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oh trust me darling, there are some hideous uk accents!!!

i think that americans sound fun. i don't think they're ugly at all. but again it depends on what part of the us you're from. they're all a bit different x

Sara - posted on 06/19/2009

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Well, where I live it's not the greatest, but there is a lot of sun...but, I have a very fair complexion, so I don't think it would matter.



Can I ask a silly and very off-topic question to all the Brits? Do you think American accents are ugly or make us sound stupid? I've always wondered, you all have a such a lovely accent...

Abby - posted on 06/19/2009

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feel free sara. altho be warned we may have the nhs but the weather tends to suck!

Abby - posted on 06/19/2009

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Quoting Sara:

Well, I think that even introducing a government sponsered plan that you can have if you want would help things considerably here in the US. My biggest problem with our current health care system is that it's run as a for profit business by an insurance company. The insurance company is telling what kind of treatment you can get and not the doctor. Maybe if there was a gov't plan that was competitive it would stop some of the practices insurance companies currently employ that aren't fair (pre-existing conditions, denying coverage, etc). I have a friend who had a baby that was born at 24 weeks. He lived, but when he was released from the hospital the parents had a $250,000 bill and they had insurance! They had to declare bankruptcy because they couldn't pay it. Their story is one of many like it, and I think that's sad. You shouldn't have to go bankrupt in order to make sure you're well and alive.



that is such a sad story, what an unbelievable amount of money. i am truly grateful in the uk we know we go to hospital get treated and come home. no hassle of sorting insurance paper work etc,  and worrying whether or not u can afford the insurance every month.



i am all for the nhs, specially as my mum is a nurse! x

Sara - posted on 06/19/2009

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Well, I think that even introducing a government sponsered plan that you can have if you want would help things considerably here in the US. My biggest problem with our current health care system is that it's run as a for profit business by an insurance company. The insurance company is telling what kind of treatment you can get and not the doctor. Maybe if there was a gov't plan that was competitive it would stop some of the practices insurance companies currently employ that aren't fair (pre-existing conditions, denying coverage, etc). I have a friend who had a baby that was born at 24 weeks. He lived, but when he was released from the hospital the parents had a $250,000 bill and they had insurance! They had to declare bankruptcy because they couldn't pay it. Their story is one of many like it, and I think that's sad. You shouldn't have to go bankrupt in order to make sure you're well and alive.

[deleted account]

I'm hoping we have some sort of nationalized healthcare system soon here in the US. I have health insurance now, but I have gone without. With my current insurance plan, I deal will paperwork and billing hassles pretty much every time one of us sees a doctor. They lose my insurance information, or the insurance company changes their billing address so you can't find them, or they forget to bill altogether. There's an incredible difference between the quality of care at a private hospital compared to a public hospital (I had a horrible experience with this while pregnant). And even with as much as I pay to have health insurance coverage, I still have to pay a considerable percent out of pocket. I really think that if we had nationalized healthcare, our system in the US would be much more streamlined, and probably save a lot of money in the long run.

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