Universal health care - thoughts?

Krista - posted on 09/26/2011 ( 734 moms have responded )

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Not to pick on Sherri (seriously, I'm not), but a comment in the abortion thread made me wonder:

"I agree with everything you say Krista except I am also 100% against Universal Healthcare and I am pro choice. "

I'm curious as to why anybody would be opposed to Universal Healthcare, their rationale, and what they see as a good alternative to it. Are you for or against it, and why?

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The other day, in the "Moms Who Need to Vent" forum, I posted about a kid that came up to my son, yanked the ball from his hands then said, "Sometimes, you just have to think about no body but yourself" before throwing the ball into the mud.

You remind me of that kid, Angela J.

Tara - posted on 10/09/2011

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By the way Angela J, just because you pay property taxes does not mean the government is forcing you to put your kids in public school. You do not have to pay to homeschool your chidlren.
You could choose to keep them home and not send them.
I pay school taxes through my property taxes, I homeschool all my 6 kids. I receive nothing from the government to do this. My property taxes still go to the local school board. I still CHOOSE to homeschool them.
I do so out of pocket. WHY? because I am FREE to do so, and because I MADE that CHOICE. Why? Because I live in a country where I have choices.
Your ideology that if you pay taxes your government is somehow forcing you to do something you otherwise wouldn't do is flawed. It is YOUR choice to send your kids to public school, it is not your choice to stop paying property taxes. There are few places on earth (none of them in the industrialized world) where you can do whatever you want, never pay a dime in taxes of any kind and have all the choices you want. The places where those "freedoms" exist are fraught with war, poverty, disease, death, and lack the basic necessities of medical care, clean water and safety.
So if you are truly of the mind set that no one should have to part with their hard earned money for anyone else or any purpose their government puts forth. If you really believe that every dime of every dollar should be kept by the earner and nothing should be given to the government to help pay for the services of their country than you really should move to somewhere like Somali or Nigeria and see how you like the "every man for himself" lifestyle.

Johnny - posted on 10/09/2011

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So why aren't you sending your kids to private school? Are teachers slaves? Why do they have to settle for a government salary to teach your kids? Why don't you fork over for private school? Or homeschool? After all, it's not the federal governments constitutional mandate to involve itself in eduction either. So why does your family participate in that socialized system?

Iris - posted on 10/10/2011

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“I don't expect to change your minds, I know that your mind is made up. There are many however who just sit and read the posts that are making up their mind and I hope that I might provide one of them with a differing opinion that might be in line with their values.”

Gee, I don't even know what to say to you or where to begin. Your overall tone through your posts is "me, myself and I". You also sound like you really don't know anything about UHC, even though it has been basically spelled out for you in several posts by Angela B, John and others. Your posts simply sound like you are walking your marry way with blinders on.
Sympathy? No. Compassion? No. Empathy? No.
I know you are not talking about changing any ones mind, but you sure made me feel because I'm for UHC, I'm one of the "good guys".
And what freedom are you talking about? In our current situation none of us are free, so far from it. We have to put our life in the hands of the insurance companies, that is like a death sentence in itself.
Both my grandmothers had breast cancer, my aunt had breast cancer. I highly doubt that I'd qualify for insurance, I'm probably too high of a risk.
Kelly had cancer so now she is too much of a risk for the insurance companies to be willing to insure her. Is this what you call freedom??!
I call it corrupt MAFIA that needs to be stopped. EVERY human being should have a right to affordable health care, and I am more than willing to pay more taxes to have that happen.

Johnny - posted on 10/09/2011

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You don't have freedom. You have laws you must follow. You do not write or choose what those laws say. You get a chance once in a while to vote for a person who can represent you in saying what those laws will be. The person who ends up representing you may or may not echo your wishes. However, you must follow the laws that are written by your and everyone's representatives. To do otherwise would put you in jail or force you to pay a fine.

You must pay your taxes to support the military and the police that enforce the laws that are made to control you. If you don't pay your taxes, those enforcers will eventually knock on your door.

You are expected to pay taxes to cover the building of roads (even those you do not use), public transit (even if you do not ride on it), schools (even if you are childless or homeschool), medicare (even if you die before you reach 65), local libraries (even though you don't read books), fire protection (even if your house catches fire).

This is what is called a social contract. If you pay your taxes and use ANY government service, you are participating in that contract. As a law-abiding citizen of your country, you are NOT free to choose not to pay your taxes for those services which you do not use.

You have no greater freedom than anyone else here from countries with UHC. Although it could be argued that since we are never likely to be saddled with massive personal debt from falling ill nor the chance of losing our homes to pay our medical bills or faced with the choice of bankrupting our family or dying, we actually have greater freedom.

Nikki is correct. You could not possibly have compassion. No one who knows what that is would have said what you did to Kelly. If you like painful truths, I will share my thoughts. You strike me as a sadly brainwashed, ignorant moron who has an over-inflated opinion of where she stands in this world. You have bought into a bill of goods full of half truths, outright lies, and misinformation that is being sold to you by people who fear that their great wealth may become slightly less if they have to pay a dime more in taxes. For some incomprehensible reason, you believe that they have your best interests at heart. I have a funny feeling that you do have protection in this world, from the recipient of your 10% tithe. So you feel it is safe to damn everyone else to misery. You can not even see how completely immoral that is. How sad.

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Becky - posted on 11/06/2011

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I am neutral on this subject. If the private health care companies can get the rich and elite out of the public system, then I'm down with that. It will alleviate the wait lists etc and the rich have something for themselves. As for the rest of us it is a god send. I think health care should be made available for everyone who needs it. I have read about health care in the states and it scares me. The movie John Q opened my eyes as well as that documentary on Health Care in the states. I don't think it is good that the health care providers can decide to play God and who gets to live and who dies over credit scores and finances. Oh so and so need a life saving procedure to get done? Well he can't afford it so off home he goes to DIE.

Mary Renee - posted on 10/23/2011

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@Angela, YES! I'm from Alexandria, Virginia, and the Urgent Care Center I went to was in Arlandria (affectionaly known as Chirilagua) Virginia as a state is conservative but Alexandria (the city) is very liberal. Our representative, Congressman Jim Moran, was the one that supported and helped the Urgent Care Center get funded. In the waiting room I noticed that there was alot of children that were probably the children of illegal immigrants, but also alot of other people that were local. It was a pediatric Urgent Care. I challenge anyone who doesn't want the children of illegal immigrants to have health insurance to go to the clinic, sit in the waiting room, and look them all in the face. I don't think they could do it. How can you look at a sick child and deny them health insurance because of the status of their parents? Sometimes I think people who are against universal health care are only against it because they aren't there in the trenches, looking the people who NEED UHC in the face.

Angela - posted on 10/23/2011

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Mary The system you have is suppose to be for all states for pregnant woman and children. That is the law they changed but the new law allows states to decided if they want to cover illegals for the first five years children, pregnant or not. I cry foul to this part of the new law but glad the law will at least cover some of the people like you have in Hawaii.
A state like VA, (btw I lived in Alexandria, VA Mary is that close to you parents?) is conservative and I suspect the politicians would be the first to not cover those first 5 years.. Despite the high immigrant population rates.
I want this law to change, I know when I vote for the next prez. of the USA I am going to vote for who supports the best UHC policies for the entire country and it's people. Obama gave in to the pressures because he was bullied by a stalemate of government.

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Mary, you're sounding more and more like a poster child FOR a UHC! :-) It's nice to see that there is decent healthcare out there, but it's sad that you have to be pretty much poor to get it.



And your story about healthcare in VA leads me to believe that this is where people are getting the whole "we hand everything out for free to illegal immigrants" thing. It sounds like it's not just for immgrants, but people who are poor too.



I just can't understand why the US makes healthcare a business product rather than a right, like the rest of the industrialized world.



edit to add:

Meggy, healthcare workers are usually government employees here too, unless they work for a private hospital or have their own practice. Not only can nurses in a public hospital make a great wage, but they can salary sacrifice anything they want! I knew a nurse who salary sacrificed her mortgage and a holiday! (salary sacrifice means they take money out pre-tax for those that don't know)

Mary Renee - posted on 10/22/2011

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@ Donna,



We can continue to stay on this care as long as our financial situation doesn't change. Right now I am not married and have no job and live in a one-bedroom apartment with my daughter's father. I've considered getting on WIC too but I feel like as long as we can manage to make ends meet we should leave WIC for the people that really need it, and just appreciate our free health care.



Every 6 months or so, they send us a letter with an affidavit saying "Return this if your financial situation or household has changed or will change. If there is no change, don't send it back."



The way it works is that there are 100,000 slots for the free health care (and there are about 1,100,000 people in the state total, so that's roughly 10%) However, if you are blind or have a disability, or are pregnant or under 19 and you qualify because you don't have other insurance, you are automatically accepted, and the 100,000 is for everyone else during the enrollment period, in which they award it need-based.



THEN, once you get it you chose a regular care provider, HMSA, Aloha Care, or Kaiser. And then that's your insurance, but you just don't have to pay for it.



I hate to add this, because I don't want to get anyone in trouble, but my pediatrician knows I have MedQuest, and she will even give me a prescription for infant Tylenol or infant vitamins... just so that I won't have to pay for over the counter ones.



Also, I've never had to wait to see my pediatrician! Not so with my ob/gyn (who I started seeing when I still had private health care, and I'd have to wait up to a month for an appointment)



Every single time I've called the pediatrician I've said "I don't know, she has a funny sounding cough and a bad fever, is this something common where I just give her some Tylenol, or should I bring her in tomorrow?"



And her response is always "Would you feel more comfortable bringing her in right now? Go ahead and come now, we'll squeeze you in" Or they'll saying "Bring her in this morning at 8am" (they normally open at 9) and they ALWAYS see her, usually within 12 hours!





Here is another experience I had in the state of Virginia. We live in Hawaii, but my parents live in Virginia just outside of DC in an area that has a high concentration of uninsured recent immigrants. My daughter got sick while I was there (it was either a UTI or Rosea, but her fever was up to 104.7!) and my insurance was only in Hawaii so I wasn't insured in Virginia.



My mom knew of a urgent care clinic that operated in the community specifically to help the uninsured. It worked on a rolling basis... if you had no job and no money, you paid $0. Then it worked it's way from $0-$75 per visit depending on income. They literally saw us three days in a row and a forth day after her fever finally went down! They were concerned since they couldn't get a urine sample and didn't know if it was a UTI. They prescribed antibiotics (free) and I think it was a total of $120 total for four office visits (two in which we spent 6 hours in there trying to get her fever down)



I'm really grateful for both. When I was uninsured I cut my hand open and it was $1000 for 7 stitches!!!!!!!! Made me think that next time I should stitch it up myself! Honestly how does 7 stitches cost $1000? Labor included! That's just evil.

♥♪Megan♫♥ - posted on 10/22/2011

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Something else I feel inclined to point out is that here in Canada our health care workers (no matter what level) are considered government workers and entitled to very good pay rates. My MIL works at a no lift nursing home in Salmon Arm, BC and makes nearly 26$ an hour (more than what someone working seizmic does or at least close to it) She can also bank her overtime into paid time off.

UHC as I've seen it in Canada is beneficial beneficial to the people who work in health care as it is to the people in the country who use it.

I can't understand the selfishness which inspires many American politicians to scare uninformed American people.

Tara - posted on 10/22/2011

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While not in in the NWT or the Yukon etc. I do live in a rural part of Ontario where our population density is significantly less than bigger centers. We don't have huge wait lines, in fact I have always found that the wait lines in bigger city hospitals are always longer. We have access to any specialist we need, it just means a referral and traveling further than if we lived in the city, we have life flight services to transport critically ill people to bigger better equipped hospitals, we have state of the art teaching hospitals and research centers.
I have never had any of the experiences that are touted as the pitfalls of our health care system.
I like that my doctor has been my doctor for the last 24 years, I like that when I chose to have a midwife for 3 of my 6 births he was supportive, I like that if I feel I need a referral for myself or one of my kids all I need to do is ask for one.
I like that I never worry about what things will cost me, or how much I would have to pay for efficient, effective and thorough health care.
I like that if my kid is sick in the middle of the night on a holiday long weekend, I can attend the nearest hospital and get excellent services and be treated with respect and kindness, all at no direct cost to me.
I like that my taxes pay to continue to better the health of my fellow countrymen and women. I believe in a strong nation, and that strength can only start at the bottom, our health is all we have after everything else is stripped from our lives.
Relationships fail, jobs are lost, people move on, we lose our homes, we get new ones, we suffer financial losses, we enjoy gains, we fall in and out of love, but when all that is stripped away, we are left with our health.
And without a healthy nation we are weak.
A country is made up of the people that live within it.
I will maintain that a country's health care should not be measured by how much things cost or how expensive their services are etc. but by how healthy their people are.
Health Care is about Health. That is how you measure the effectiveness of a health care program, no?
You can have the best health care services in the whole world, but that doesn't mean jack shit if 50% of the population can not afford them.
And you can have UHC that provides health services to 100% of the population, thereby creating a healthier population.
Makes no sense to me how anyone can put Health Care in the same box as profit generating businesses.
HEALTH CARE...... It's an easy concept to understand.

♥♪Megan♫♥ - posted on 10/22/2011

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*face palm*

Mary I'm from the US we are one of the Richest countries in the world. There is no reason that we shouldn't be able to reasonably afford to insure all of our citizens. The only reason the US hasn't done it is because of the fear mongering politcians scaring sheeple into believing that you'll die from being on a wait list.

I've worked as a care aide for 6 years and even working nearly 7hrs a week I couldn't afford to go and buy my own health insurance because I 'made too much for Medicare' I was making 9$ an hour in New York state! FML! I don't understand how sheeple can be so gullible that they believe that those of us who aren't paid shedloads of money can go out and purchase our own health insurance.

I live in Canada now, while the system isn't the best in the world it sure beats going bankrupt or going without. What irks me right now is my husband won't go and use his provincial health care in Canada even though he's managed to pull muscles in his back due to his cough from bronchitis.

UHC in Canada varies from province to province. They'll charge you for an ambulance in AB, but they won't in BC. However you can get dental through your provincial insurance in AB but not in BC where I live. A friend of mine in AB had to drive from her home town down to Edmonton to see a specialist for cortizone shots in her shoulder. Her insurance reimbursed her for travel time.

Finally, all insurance in Europe and Canada is paid for by taxes, so it won't run out of money. And I was watching 'Capitalism A Love Story' Thursday night and found out that if FDR hadn't passed away before World War 2 was over, the US would've had UHC and been better off than we are now.

Jenni - posted on 10/22/2011

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Totally agree Karla. And those same lobbyists use Canada's UHC as the comparison. They pick out all that's wrong with Canada's UHC and imply that's why the US shouldn't adopt UHC. We should hardly be the poster child for UHC.



But really, I personally have never experienced any of the issues those who are against it parrot at me. I do live in one of the most highly populated regions in Canada. So maybe that has something to do with it. I imagine if you live in a fairly isolated region, you're going to run into more issues like wait times, mediocre care, and limited options. But that's more to do with geography and population density than anything else.



I have little doubt in my mind that those lobbyists use stats from places like the Northwest Territories, Nunavut and the Yukon (Inuit and polar bear country) to further their points. Which is utterly laughable.

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Mary, so you can see firsthand the benefits of a UHC system. How wonderful that Hawaii is like that!

Will your state funded insurance continue as long as you don't work?

Mary Renee - posted on 10/22/2011

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I live in Hawaii and I was very fortunate to get free state health care. If you are pregnant (at least in this state) you automatically qualify and your child is automatically born with your health care. I haven't had to pay a cent for my daughter's well-baby check-ups, and have only had to pay a $11 copay for my birth control each month. I don't work because I stay home with my daughter, but her father works and pays taxes and I'm very grateful. I can't imagine her having a high fever and being sick and me having to question whether I can afford to take her to the pediatrician. That's horrible. Just the yesterday a 9-month-old here in Hawaii died from a common throat virus that could have been taken care of but wasn't because the parents didn't take him to the doctor. I don't know if they were worried about money or not, but I just can't imagine someone giving me a reason why an innocent child should not be covered by universal health care.

Angela - posted on 10/22/2011

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YES Donna the Scottish sounds great too! But I am with you on the weather :) Yet I think the weather is just as bad here also ...

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Well, you probably know what I'm going to say about whether I like the Aus UHC. I'm thankful for it every single day after having lived through 28 years of the US system. I happily pay our taxes (especially since I'm also now back in uni... ohhh, cheap uni fees, I love you!), but I do sometimes whinge about how they keep going up just like everyone else.

I actually love the Scottish NHS!! I'd love to live there, except for the weather... and the lack of subtitles when talking to people. They have the best UHC system, in my opinion. Free, or nearly free everything.

Angela - posted on 10/21/2011

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Karla I agree with you, and it has to stop. I think the insurance companies need tight government regulation period.
I have to say after reading all the post on UHC I like the Aussie's UHC.
Just curious as to what some of you think after reading about UHC in other countries. Do you like yours or do you find other countries to be better?

Angela - posted on 10/21/2011

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I can't understand why you think this Mary. Did you read some of the post with info on how it can benefit insurance companies and the public?
It is not a pipe dream if most countries world wide have it.

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Jennifer, you hit the nail on the head! A healthy population produces a healthy economy and EVERYONE benefits.

Here's an interesting bit of info about total health expenditure per capita: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Total_...,_US_Dollars_PPP.png

The US has the highest expenditure out of those 8 countries. What's interesting to note about that is Japan has the lowest expenditure, but have the highest life expectancy!

Rank of life expectancy for those particular countries in that graph:
Aus 81.2 (#5)
Can 80.7 (#11)
Fran 80.7 (#10)
Germ 79.4 (#20)
Jap 82.6 (#1)
Swiz 81.7 (#4)
UK 79.4 (#20)
US 78.3 (#36)

Every country listed above #36: USA has UHC, with the exception of Puerto Rico who have a modified version.

Out of the 34 OECD member countries, only the USA does not have a UHC. Every major industrialised country has a UHC, except the USA! Surely there's something wrong with this picture when the US spends more, but gets so much less.

Mary - posted on 10/21/2011

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Universal health care in the U.S. is a pipe dream . It will just ruin insurance for those of us that have it . Those that cant afford it realy cant . 20 % copay and insurance is to much for someone working at McDonalds .

Jennifer - posted on 10/21/2011

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Having been turned down for necessary testing and treatment in the past due to lack of funds, I would have to say I agree there should most definitely be Universal Healthcare. When you are seen at a hospital, you wait based on your injury not on your insurance Anyway...and Doctor's offices make appointments so could someone explain how the wait would increase? Healthier people means LESS treatment needed. For instance...take a person that got a deep gash in their hand. They do not have healthcare so they attempt to clean it and wait until it gets infected or worse before going in to be seen. Instead of a simple clean and stitch, that person is now getting put on IV antibiotics with a 1-2 day hospital stay, possible surgery, etc....and they're not going to be able to pay the bill so the hospital eats the cost. With universal healthcare, the person can be seen quickly with no further issues and help bring down costs overall. This is just a simple example but things such as this happen 100's to 1000's of times a day. If we were healthier as a whole, we would also be more productive. Many issues that could have been fixed had we had universal healthcare, end up causing people to be placed on disability...which we, as a public, then pay for. Think about the bonuses.

Karla - posted on 10/21/2011

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From Jenni: “I think part of the problem as to why there are many Americans who don't agree with UHC, is because they are using Canada as the poster child for UHC. “



Though that may be true, I think a big part of the fight against true UHC in the USA is that it would hurt Insurance companies so they send out their Lobbyist and pressure Congress to not pass such a thing – also my gut says these strong Corporations have a heavy hand in Right Wing-nut media such as FoxNews (Rupert Murdock), and Rush Limbaugh etc. They feed the public all kinds of fallacies about UHC.



Every fear of UHC mentioned on this tread originated with either a FoxNews commentator, or Limbaugh (supposedly not affiliated with FoxNews.) ~ Yes I’m on my yellow journalism soapbox again.

Angela - posted on 10/21/2011

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Before you read further please note I 100% SUPPORT UHC IN THE USA, IN FACT I FEEL IT A RIGHT.

The following is to address the illegal immigrations issues with UHC policy. Sorry long post.. but you all should be use to it by know :) I just feel strongly on this and have a lot of information to share.



The challenges for policy on illegals depends on the type of UHC policy to be implemented. Most UHC plans cover legal citizens and residents. Most countries with an UHC plan do not cover illegals. This is a problem for many nations at this moment. They simply do not know how to cover them, and not anyone knows just how many of these people are in the country. How do you get a census that is accurate? So how do you make a budget for this?



I agree with Connie on part of her statements I do not want to support people who intentionally decided to not become legal residents or citizens of a host country. That commit serious crimes, and refuse to integrate. I feel this number is very low btw...

I am for the current law that states all children will be covered even if illegal.

Connie stated citizens, not sure if she really did not support legal residents. I wonder if Americans just say citizens as a blanket statement but also mean legal residents. I am going to assume that latter. For any American wanting everyone to become a citizen I think your a bit ignorant or just plain stupid. Sorry but if you ask me why I will tell you in another post.



Not all UHC is strictly paid for by taxes alone. So Americans who are considering UHC are being mislead on this statement. In fact the models the USA is looking at are not fully supported by taxes and private insurance co. will still be for profit. For example in the NL citizens and residents pay about 50% of premiums cost out of pocket not with taxes. But as I have stated there are many types of UHC. Americans need to look at many but the ones that are most likely to be a model for the USA are the type like the NL and Swiss have.



America does not have a VAT tax and not all States have State tax. Depending on the state is the cost of certain if any taxes on sales of goods or food. ( I wish we did have VAT in the USA it certainly would help along with taxing those rich people getting big fat tax breaks.)

It is impossible for an illegal to pay income tax State tax, you need to have a social security number or a green card to file taxes. You also need both to get a job. If you have a job and are illegal you are working for black money meaning money not taxed.

As stated however income tax and state tax are not the only taxes that support health care. Proof below.



So far the USA has implemented policies that I not 100 percent agree with.

For example The new legislation, signed into law by President Obama February 4, will add 4.1 million uninsured children to the 7 million already covered under SCHIP, but unfortunately I do not support this part of it: It also allows states to choose whether or not they want to treat legal immigrant children and pregnant women who have been in the U.S. less than five years.

"The current five-year wait period can mean the difference between preventing or treating health conditions that can affect a child's prospects for a healthy and productive life - or leaving those conditions undetected and not prevented, costing taxpayers much more in the long run," House speaker Nancy Pelosi's website reads. "Similarly, a pregnant woman cannot wait five years for pre-natal care that will help her have a healthy baby."

SCHIP was created 12 years ago to insure children who didn't qualify for Medicaid but couldn't afford private health insurance.

The funding for the four-and-one-half-year $32.8 billion SCHIP package is ironically extracted from of the pockets of Americans smokers. Thanks to an increase in the federal tobacco tax that is projected to generate $31.3 billion over the next four years, an estimated 45 million smokers will make the ultimate tradeoff: their health for the health of children.



As Jenny said the Americans should not just look at Canada's system in fact if at all because it is unlikely we will use a system like Canada's or The UK but more like The Netherlands or the Swiss. Which ranks very high over all. So all of you on the fence or even against or for please take a look at these systems. I put up plenty of links in my many post...but you can just google any country and find info.



What UHC really means across the board is that everyone has equal care and is not denied due to health, age, etc. But that DOES NOT INCLUDE ILLEGAL IMMIGRANTS ACCROSS THE BOARD. So any American worried of this please read the facts. But I ask you do you really feel we should not cover any illegal not to matter what the circumstances? I certainly do not feel this way.



What I want to see is how they will cover some, like children or pregnant woman. I know we can do this with out paying more income tax for example. ( exception please rich people pay more income tax) I think the middle working class have every right to worry of more taxes. They pay the most. But I hope those Americans realize it is not because the poor keep taking more it is because the rich keep paying less leaving you the tax bill for the entire country. ( yes that last statement is my opinion)



I hope some you all realize that your country probably does not offer free health care to illegals across the board. So this is not just an American issue.

I Can understand many of your emotions on this and yes I would hope we could have some type of policy for emergencies, children etc. But again more policy needs to be made and voted upon and I hope so soon when the USA considers UHC. I also encourage you to look up your current laws in your country and support what you so passionately express on this board.



Canada does not provide UHC to illegals

An illegal immigrant has no right to free medical intervention or ongoing health care under the Charter of Rights, the Federal Court of Appeal has ruled in a precedent-setting decision.

The ruling will help protect Canada from medical tourism, when people come to Canada expressly to get medical treatment paid for by the government, an immigration specialist said.

Sorry edit to add link to this...

http://news.nationalpost.com/2011/07/08/...



Edit to add in a world with so much potential call me a dreamer, optimist,socialist or whatever... I hope that someday everyone could have food, water, shelter and health care. I feel if we really wanted to we could do so, but we all have to want it.



"You may say that I'm a dreamer

But I'm not the only one

I hope someday you'll join us

And the world will be as one"



John Lennon

Jenni - posted on 10/21/2011

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I see so many Americans who are opposed to UHC say that their system is better and the proof is that Canada's rich and elite come across their border to receive care.



I see it this way. Even if America produces some of the best specialists, doctors, care, wait times etc.



It's all fine and dandy that let's say for example; America produces the best cars in the world. It's quite different when those cars start at $400 000 and gas costs 20/L and only the rich can afford to drive them. How is that beneficial to the majority of citizens that America produces the best cars when virtually none of the citizens can afford to drive one.



And then they give the poor class free cars but tell the working-middle class they can figure out how to get one on their own. That creates quite a bit on animosity between those two classes and towards socialized healthcare in general.

Jenni - posted on 10/21/2011

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I think part of the problem as to why there are many Americans who don't agree with UHC, is because they are using Canada as the poster child for UHC.



We should hardly be the representation of UHC with a healthcare system ranking 30th to the USA's 37th. As far as UHC goes, our Canadian system is piss poor compared to many other countries with UHC, like France, Australia, the UK (and many others) for example.



Don't get me wrong... I would never in a million years trade my UHC for a privatized system.

♥♪Megan♫♥ - posted on 10/20/2011

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I was 2 months pregnant at that time, and I had my very first ultrasound there. It was actually 5hrs to finish seeing me, I didn't even get to a room until 3am!

[deleted account]

Janice, that's exactly right! There are so many factors that determine how long you wait for a particular service and none of them are how the damn service is paid. During one ER visit, I was talking with the nurse as she did her obs and was surprised to hear how much some people complain about having to wait when they have actual life and death emergencies come in by ambulance. Of course life and death takes precedence, but people still complain! It just boggled the mind. There is no way I would complain if they had ambulances coming in with half dead people.

Meggy, a 5 hour wait for a pregnant lady is appalling!! The one time I had to go to the ER while pregnant, I waited 20 minutes. When my husband realised he hadn't told them I was pregnant and went to the counter to say, "uh, she's 26 weeks pregnant...." he'd no sooner got the words out when I was immediately whisked into the ER for a once over and then transferred to maternity for monitoring. It cost us nothing, of course, being in Australia.

I've never known anyone to wait more than 2 weeks for an appointment to see a specialist for something necessary. The more urgent, the quicker you get in and sometimes you can even go from your GP with referral in hand to the specialist in the same day! Even for elective things the wait isn't normally very long.

The ambulances (which are now free in Queensland) also offer a service for people who need a ride to medical appointments. My husband's grandmother is in her early 70s, doesn't drive and has regular appointments with her doctor to monitor a myriad of health issues. She'll ring the ambulance transport service up a week in advance to let them know when her appointment is and where. They come pick her up, wait and then drop her back home. Usually they'll have a coffee or tea waiting for her after her appointment. It costs her $8 roundtrip for each ride. She lives in another state to us, but we also have patient transport services in this state that are also a minimal cost, if anything. One time she had an appointment at a specialist in Brisbane (3 1/2 hours away from where she lives and across state lines). She booked her patient transport ride with the ambulance service as she normally did. They picked her up, waited, took her to lunch and then drove her back home. That was a big trip and cost her a whopping $52.

Now, she could ring her DIL (my MIL) who lives about 500m away from her, but she likes to be independent.

Janice - posted on 10/20/2011

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I have had my fair share of ER visits and specialist referrals and I must say wait times vary. I have gotten into see a specialist in under a month and I have also had to wait up to 3 months. I have gone to the ER and been seen immediately and I have gone and waited. I would assume this is true anywhere no matter how healthcare is paid for.

Katherine - posted on 10/20/2011

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I know nothing about the american system or any other health care system other then the one here in Canada that I use. I see the doctor, free, My so sees the doc, free, and specialist, x-rays, cat scans, any testing - free

the only thing we pay for is medication, medical equipement, hospital stays etc if your private insurance doesn't cover it. most employers have insurance that they offer to their employees for a decent rate\

Sylvia - posted on 10/20/2011

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Wait times story. My mum lives in Alberta, where a few years ago the provincial government did a whole big hospital-consolidation thing. Wait times for some things are actually quite a bit longer there than in Toronto, where I live, which has a population of 4+ million and a LOT of hospitals.

Last week she fell up the stairs and broke her finger; she was pretty sure it was broken because it looked and felt a lot like the various times she's broken a toe. She phoned her GP's office and they said "Sorry, can't see you till Friday." Understandably annoyed about this, she took herself to the local walk-in / Urgent Care clinic, got an x-ray which confirmed there was indeed a fracture, got taped up, and went home again. (This was made easier by the fact that my mum has a car and knows how to drive, but she could have got to the clinic by bus in about 15 minutes if necessary.)

Total wait time:

Stifler's - posted on 10/20/2011

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It was really quite bad, my dad worked at the Friendlies private hospital so we refrained from work talkat home as we often had the same patients and knew who the other was talking about if they were like ": i had this guy who did this" and I'd be thinking 'it's so and so from the home"

Stifler's - posted on 10/20/2011

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I used to do aged care too! But they just sent the person to the base and then they got transferred if they had private health.

♥♪Megan♫♥ - posted on 10/20/2011

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When I used to work at nursing homes and in assisted living the EMTs and the Lead RA or Nurse would call the resident's prefered hospital to inquire about the ED's code (Green, Yellow or Red) to determine if the person should be taken to that hospital or another one close by.

Merry - posted on 10/20/2011

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We had zero wait time in our only ER trip. Eric cut his forehead open and we waited in the room for a while but we didn't wait in the waiting room one second. Although, it's a small area ao it wasn't busy.

♥♪Megan♫♥ - posted on 10/20/2011

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Emergancy room waits also depend on how full the ED is when you go in. I went last year in NY and I did have an emergancy (I was severly dehydrated from constant vomiting while pregnant because of my thyroid) I still waited 5hrs for them to do everything. The ED at times was at code yellow

Stifler's - posted on 10/20/2011

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I laugh when people go on about wait times in the emergency room too. It's always people who should have gone to their GP rather than waste the emergency department's time for a non emergency.

Merry - posted on 10/20/2011

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My son waited 3 months to see a specialist and before then my HMO decided to drop that specialist off their coverage.
Fun stuff here in America.
Besides I'd rather wait a few months then never get it done ever!

♥♪Megan♫♥ - posted on 10/20/2011

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Marie, most of the wait times are for people waiting to be seen by a specialist and most of those ( at least in Canada, I don't know about other UHC) are for elective surgeries.

Besides in Canada if you absolutely need to get the surgery your provincial health care will pay to either bring a specialist up from the US or fly you down there.

Krista - posted on 10/20/2011

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Marie, you're grossly misinformed. Wait times in Canada are no worse than they are in the US.

Besides, call me crazy, but even if my wait times WERE a bit longer, I'd much rather have a slightly longer wait for a procedure, then NEVER HAVE THE PROCEDURE AT ALL BECAUSE I CAN'T AFFORD IT.

[deleted account]

Marie, two words: read posts. We've gone down that road already in detail from several UHC systems (Aus, UK, Canada, NL)

I wholeheartedly agree with what the others have said about UHC not being free (the services might be, but nothing in life in free) and that illegal immigrants are human as well as contribute to the taxes... and already use taxpayer money for ER visits if they go.

So are we supposed to give them a test to see if they actually want to become a citizen? Do you know that you don't actually have to become a citizen to reside legally in any country? Smart immigrants would become resident aliens, not citizens. That gives them the right to work and live legally in a country. It annoys me when people bandy about "it should only be for citizens" because obviously those people have no idea how the immigration system actually works and that most immigrants NEVER become citizens, just residents, but as residents they have every right as a citizen with the exception of voting and Social Security. So, maybe all legal aliens should refuse to pay Social Security since they will never benefit from it?

Now, what about those citizens who pay taxes but never use ANY of the services paid for by those taxes? I mean NONE of them. Should they have to continue paying taxes? Now, you may wonder who the hell are these people, because everyone utilises at least ONE service, right? I don't, nor does any ex-pat. Not one single solitary service provided by US taxes. I haven't done for 12 years now, yet I still pay taxes every year. I don't even live in the US and haven't done for 12 years... yet I still pay taxes every year AND I vote. I WANT you and everyone in the US (legal or not) to have access to healthcare, even though I will never benefit from it. I live in Australia, but am an American citizen so am still obligated to pay US taxes until which time I either give up US citizenship or die. The US is one of only TWO countries on the planet that tax their citizens on their worldwide income! (the other is Australia, so I'm double screwed) So, I'm halfway around the world paying for some bloke to keep your house from burning down, a 911 operator on the phones in case you have an emergency, a public school for your child to attend and an air traffic controller to keep planes from smashing into one another over your airspace... I'm not complaining about having to pay a tax that won't benefit me, because there are no guarantees in life and I may end up back there one day. Doubtful, but you never know. Mostly, I keep my citizenship because if I'm ever in a jam overseas (which I don't have nearly as much opportunity to travel as I once did) I can get consular assistance. Also, my children can benefit by being able to access their own citizenship papers through me, which will make it easier for them to go on a working holiday to the US or emigrate there, if they so choose.

So if someone like me willingly pays taxes and wants to see a UHC in the US, for no other reason than I care about others and think healthcare is a right for all, then I can't understand why someone who actually lives there and would benefit from a healthy US economy wouldn't want the same.

[deleted account]

Marie I have never waited more than a month to be seen by a specialist and I have never had an issue getting a referral either!

Merry - posted on 10/18/2011

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Besides if an illegal immigrant came to me with a broken arm and asked if I'd spare $5 for him to get it fixed I'd do it instantly!
Illegal or not, they're humans and I think healthcare should be available for ALL humans.

And animals too lol

[deleted account]

Those illegal immigrants who spend any money in stores pay some taxes (VAT on food etc), even if they don't pay income taxes and they are already costing you money...they raise premiums by using services without paying for insurance, at least with UHC they have potentially paid something towards their medical care!

Sylvia - posted on 10/18/2011

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What Meggy and Krista said.

It isn't free, any more than your interstate highways or your local fire department or the electricity for the lights on your street are free, or the health inspectors who check your local restaurants for rats and roaches, or the 911 service you call if someone's trying to break into your house, or the Children's Aid workers who come round when a child comes to school with bruises, or ... you get the idea. Not everybody who helps (through various kinds of taxes) to pay for all those things shares equally in the benefits thereof -- some people never eat at restaurants, many people never drive cars, the vast majority will (B"H) never have to call 911, most families will never need a visit from Children's Aid. But we all help to pay for them anyway. Aside from batsh*t-crazy Libertarians, I've never really heard anyone say "It's not fair! My house never catches fire, so why should I have to help pay for Fire Department services that I never use? I don't have a car, so why should I have to pay taxes so that the municipality can fix the potholes on my street? I don't have kids / my kids are all grown up, so why should any portion of my tax dollars support the public school system? I'm a vegetarian, so why my tax dollars be used to pay USDA vets?"

I think the idea that a lot of us have trouble with, outside the US, is that this exact same argument is used to "explain" why the USA shouldn't have / can't afford / doesn't need any kind of universal health care ...

Krista - posted on 10/18/2011

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Exactly, Connie. That's a BIG misconception about universal health care. It's not free. It's paid through our taxes. And believe it or not, illegals actually DO pay taxes. They pay taxes when they work, and they pay sales taxes on items that they buy. So they contribute to the system too.

♥♪Megan♫♥ - posted on 10/18/2011

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In Canada UHC isn't free Connie. It's paid for through our taxes. Even illegal immigrants in the US have to pay taxes when they work

Connie - posted on 10/18/2011

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I am sure this type of health care would be great but I draw the line at giving free health care to people who are in this country illegally and have no intentions of becoming citizens!

Angela - posted on 10/16/2011

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I want too emphazie the number of illegals is only approximate!
If those were 11 million dead would the number seem small?
I say this because when we lose 200 people in a plane crash...we say so many
Or 5000 on 9/11 we say so many
This is at LEAST 11 million men, women and children.

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