Universal HealthCare

Barb - posted on 12/13/2010 ( 66 moms have responded )

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Please tell us which country you are representing (i know a lot of us know each other but some of us are new) and let us know the following:
Do you have it? Do you not have it? What is it like? Benefits and Disadvantages? How long are your wait times for an ER visit? non emergency visit? Can you pick any doctor you want, see a specialist anytime you want, get a mammogram or see an OB anytime you need too. Just call an get an appt. within an hour for a sick visit? How long are your wait times in a waiting room of a doctors office.
What do you think of your Country's health care system?
What do you think of other Country's health care systems?
What taxes do you pay for your health care system?

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Isobel - posted on 12/17/2010

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Socialism (to me) means that I believe SOMEWHAT NOT ENTIRELY in the redistribution of wealth...Sure people who make a lot of money deserve to live a fabulous lifestyle and enjoy the fruits of their labour, BUT...we must also make sure that the poorest and weakest of our society are protected.



The idea that 5% of the world holds 95% of the wealth is abhorrent to me. There is NO need for there to be starving children while 1% of their bank accounts could feed the world without them ever noticing it was gone.



Take taxes (from everybody) and provide health care, day care, and social services for everybody

Johnny - posted on 12/17/2010

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I'm another Canadian who would not give up universal health care without a fight! Not that I don't think that we need to do some hard work and take a good look at our reforming a good many policies and practices to make it work better, but I am a fundamental believer that healthcare is an absolute right and not a privilege. The idea of being refused care for inability to pay is abhorrent to my sensibilities.

My personal experience in our healthcare system has always been excellent though. The care myself and my family have received has been exemplary. For minor issues I have had to wait a few days to see my doctor. But each and every time I have needed to get treatment for my daughter, they have fit her in the same day, sometimes within hours. When she had a choking episode, the ambulance was there within two minutes, rushed her to the children's emergency even though she was clearly fine, and she was seen immediately. Within 10 minutes of our arrival she'd had her chest x-rayed. The bill was $60 for the ambulance ride, which is covered by my husband's private extended insurance plan.

I know that things don't always work as well as they have for myself and my loved ones. I think that there are options that need to be explored to improve service and treatment. But for a small population with a huge land mass, I think we do fairly well.

One thing I will comment on is dental. It is not included in our universal healthcare plan, and for those unable to afford private insurance or to pay out of pocket, dental problems are one of the leading causes of health issues. I can not imagine how unhealthy our population would be if there were other such conditions that were not covered like dental care. Frightening.

Krista - posted on 12/13/2010

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Another Canadian here.

I would not give up my healthcare for all the tea in China. Is it perfect? No -- there is always room for improvement. However, it still has some great advantages.

Visits to the ER are triaged and sorted by order of urgency. So someone having a heart attack won't have to wait. Someone with a broken finger will. Someone who's at ER solely because they didn't want to wait for a doctor's appointment? Well, I hope they brought some good reading material, 'cause they'll be there for awhile.

The same thing goes for surgery. Lifesaving stuff is immediate. Everybody else has to wait, and the time depends on what it is that they're having done.

We can pick any GP we want, if that GP is taking new patients. Many aren't -- we are experiencing a doctor shortage, particularly in rural areas. I don't have to wait long to make an appointment, though. I called my GP today to make an appointment for my husband, and they managed to get him in this same day. Waiting times really depend on the doctor. Some doctors are awful for overbooking, others are not. Mine is really good -- I never have to wait more than 10 minutes in his waiting room.

Specialists go under the same rule as surgeries and ER visits -- you're assessed by order of urgency. You cannot buy your way to the front of the line, which I appreciate. When I wanted a breast reduction, I wound up waiting 6 months between my initial visit and my surgery. That was fine with me -- I'd lived with those things for years, so an extra 6 months wasn't going to break my heart.

The way I see it is this: no matter what country you live in, a lot of your taxes are going to be spent on things that you DON'T use. So I'm perfectly happy to have some of my tax dollars spent on a service that I DO use, and that every other Canadian will use as well. When I went in to give birth to Sam, I did not have to worry about insurance, or about a big hospital bill. I can't imagine the stress of being a brand-new mom, AND having a gigantic hospital bill on top of that.

Jodi - posted on 12/18/2010

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Did you know that the US spends almost DOUBLE per capita than Australia does on health care? And yet you STILL end up with these ridiculously huge overheads? I cannot, for the life of me, understand how that works out. I just can't for the life of me, figure out why your healthcase is so expensive......maybe too many cooks, maybe too many people with a vested interest? Too many greedy people? I don't know. But the US has the highest per capita cost in the world, and there should be no real reason for it to be that way if the people cared about making healthcare accessible and affordable to everyone.

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Laurie - posted on 03/11/2011

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A prescription for Tylenol and others on new Health Care plan!
Well today is March 11, 2011 and I am a disabled vet. I was at the VA today. I was told along with another 200 vets that it is true that not only will it be tylenol it will be in pm meds excedrin pm and many others. They actually told us to stock up.It was coming this way. Now I know it will not be a mandate until 2014. So all you Bama health care lovers stock up because you will have to get a script to get over the counter medicines. Take a good look I hope it does happen just so all of us people out here that did not vote for this guy can say we told you so. He wants control even on when you have a Headache! So This will not effect me that much as I have insurance and I have the VA. But I am so sorry for the people who do not and the people that will have to wait to get a script for their baby that has a fever.
Or the people that have to take off from work to take their child to the dr. to get a script. Wake up people remember when it comes to this and if it truly does when it is time to vote again. You freedom is very important. But good news the election is 2012. Maybe they will not have this wonderful health care mandated yet!

[deleted account]

I know, Jodi! It's horrible isn't it? That is one of the reasons that Americans are so afraid to let the government handle healthcare. It is like the money just disappears into thin air.

Republicans suggested making healthcare prices more competitive and transparent, and thus curb over billing mistakes. Currently, there is nothing in place to safe guard patients (or Medicaid) for over billing "errors". Your bills are "coded" and if you want to figure them out, you have to pay a medical code specialist to find errors. I spent $300 for one to do my bills when I was in my early 20's and she found over $13,000 in double billings, errors, and billings for procedures and tests that I never had done. Most insurance companies have these people on staff, but the uninsured, and Medicaid rarely have access to such services. Democrats squashed measures to make billing more understandable :( but hopefully it will be brought up again.

There was also a report done once that found that the Senate was paying $350 EACH for hammers for the maintenance men.

Case in point, they are irresponsible with spending. It is not the big programs that hurt them, but the little errors and things that no one bothers to look at. I have no idea what good measures to stop that would be :(

Rosie - posted on 12/18/2010

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kelly, i see your point, it's kindof off the topic at hand though. i was trying to say i wouldn't have to pay that, and be afraid to take my child in for diagnostics again in fear that i won't be able to pay for it, if this country had universal healthcare. which i believe you think is a good idea from what i've gathered on this thread. a thousand dollars is a shit ton of money to me, your $400 insurance bill (which is crazy btw) is just about a hundred dollars shy of what i make in a month. i can't just come up with $1,000. it will get paid, it just irritates the hell out of me that something that is supposed to be helping me, is hindering me financially and emotionally.

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my son in the first year and a half of his life racked up most likely $75,000 in medical bills- and yes he was on medicaid at that time. i received a bill for one of his hospital stays, one of the 3 that he had, and it was a little over $20,000. all that plus all the specialists he's seen, trying to figure out what was wrong with him...well i figure it to be about that much. anyhoo....i was single, his dad didn't pay child support (i have gotten some the last 3 months, whoot whoot!! only took 10 years, but hell), and i made $27,000 a year at that time. tell me on what planet would i be able to pay that off?



the money i made working when i was a teenager went to my 1987 nissan stanza, it's insurance, and gas. i had a little play money to eat every now and then, i never bought anything lavish, no clothes (i'm not into shopping), no nothing. my parents never gave me money, i never had a savings account set up for me, there was no money to save. i moved out on my own when i was 18, enrolled fulltime in college and worked 2 jobs to make ends meet with my fiance. work got in the way of college, and i couldn't keep up with both, i ended up quitting school, and just worked. decisions, decisions. the first time i ever had insurance after moving out was when i married my husband 8 years later.



i wish life was as easy as you seem to make it out to be. people are different, circumstances are different. what is important to one, may not be as important to another. what is attainable to one, may not be for another. life gets in the way. sure it's all stars and stripes to say you can do it!!! well, fuck, i have 3 kids now. me being there for them is more important to me than going back to school. so i work what i can, and still be able to be there for my kids. if i were to stop working all together so i could go back to school, we'd go on welfare, and that's something i refuse to do. it's been embedded in me all of my life that i work hard, so i have since i was 14. to not work at all would break every moral fiber i have in me.



i really don't know why i just rambled on like this, i'm just trying to get you to maybe see that other people just don't think like you. it isn't just black and white. there's stuff called life that gets in the way. we have to make decisions about things, what seems logical to one person isn't to another.



the one thing we all have in common though is our right to live. everybody whether they are rich or poor should have the right to have healthcare provided for them, just as much as they have the right to have a policeman protect their life, or a fireman save their life. not only is universal healthcare a right we should all have, it's a smart thing to do. i think it would save this country so much money in other ways. people would be able to take care of themselves and stop waiting until they are deathly ill to get hospitalized and rack up outrageous medical bills that they won't pay, and the hospital eats passing the costs down on everyone else. gah, sorry for the long ass post. :)

[deleted account]

Actually, the recent tax cuts did benefit me and most of the middle class a lot, especially the estate tax provisions, which will allow many small business owners to pass their business down to their heirs without paying an exorbitant tax that will likely over burden the business. Many small businesses and farms are valued at more than $1million dollars, but their owners are not "rich." They earn middle class profits, and live middle class lives.



It is a misconception that the tax cuts only benefit the super-rich. It is true that they ALSO benefit the rich, but it would be impossible to exclude them. I don't know of anything in the bill that ONLY benefits the super rich, and did not benefit the middle class. If you do, please tell me about it because I do not want to be uninformed.



More on topic, Medicaid is basically a single payer system, but everyone pays into it and only a few can receive benefits. One plan proposed was to open it to everyone, since everyone pays into it, but it was decided that it would not sustain itself. It is a great idea, but it will only work if there is enough money to pay the bills. According to Gallup-Healthways Well-Being Index data, 25% of Americans are on Medicaid, and the Medicaid system is spending more than it is bringing in right now, even though it only pays healthcare providers $0.15 on the dollar billed and is being paid for by 100% of Americans. To open it to all Americans, taxes would have to quadruple, and most Americans are not willing to do that. I am, because my healthcare costs more than the quadruple tax, but most healthy Americans who have group insurance are not willing to do it because, for them, insurance costs less.

Isobel - posted on 12/18/2010

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but if you aint got it you aint got it so it might as well be a million.

You ARE the right that the American system punishes those who work hard...that's why you need either a single payer system OR at the very least a public option...because right now you can have free health care in the States only if you're poor or you are old...and those are the VERY people who aren't paying for it...it needs to be available to everybody.

That's why I don't understand why hard working Americans think that the republicans are their friends. They fought to stop the middle class from getting a tax break (unless the richest got a PERMANENT one), they fought against universal health care, they are refusing to pass the first-responders bill...

What, exactly do they do for YOU?

[deleted account]

What I wrote is not disrespectful or rude at all. I know exactly how much $1000 is. Compared to $90,000, it is a drop in the bucket. Compared to what taxpayers have already paid for the healthcare each Medicaid/state insurance recipient receives, it is a drop in the bucket.
I feel like what she implied was more disrespectful than anything I wrote.
Remember, I was homeless for 9 years, I know what it's like to not have money, but I was thankful for ever penny, piece of clothing, and scrap of food anyone was kind enough to give me, and I would never, ever, even consider telling them "Well, this was great, but you need to give me more."

Jodi - posted on 12/18/2010

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Ummmm, Kelly, $1,000 isn't tiny to a lot of people. I know you say you don't mean to be disrespectful and rude....but you are being disprespectful and rude.

[deleted account]

That does make sense, Laura. I guess the problem with implementing Socialist ideals in America is that the people in charge are in that top 5% and do not want to pay that much, so they tax those of us in the top 50%. Yes, we are more financially stable than those in the lower 50%, but not by much, and we don't always have the extra money to give away. Once we have paid those in the lower 50%, we are not even able to afford the things that those earning far less than us can afford.

I don't think Socialism is a scary catchphrase, it reminds me of the way things are handled on my tribe's reservations. Kati, I can completely sympathize with your situation because, as I said on another thread, I pay over $400/month just to keep myself alive. I had also racked up a $90,000 medical debt by the time I was 20yrs old just from diagnostics. Considering that you are going through basically the same thing, I am hurt that you were so mean to me in the other thread. I had worked from the time I was 14 to save for college. It took every penny I had saved to pay those bills and still I was left with so much debt that I couldn't get a college loan. What if I hadn't saved that money? If I hadn't saved, I'd have gotten help. I'd have gone to college. What sucks about this system is that it punishes people who work hard--I saved my money, but I paid just as much into Medicaid as those who spent theirs on fancy cars and clothes, yet I could not benefit from that program. It seems no matter how much those of us who work give, it is never enough for those reaping the benefits. They always want more. I was able to pay $90,000 back by the time I was 28, so how can it be so impossible to come up with a tiny $1,000? Especially after so much of the bills have been paid for you, I just think you are being a little ungrateful. I don't mean that to be disrespectful or rude, but think about it--you said they paid for everything else. Is it really so much to ask that you pick up this tiny portion of the bill?

Rosie - posted on 12/18/2010

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it is really sad to me that healthcare is not considered a right, but more of a privledge to those that can afford. i've been trying for years to figure out what is wrong with my son. this year after being told multiple times that it was just his ADHD, i needed more answers. so i went looking for them. now that i've been charged for stupid charges, apparantly our insurance through the state will pay to diagnose a mental condition, but the part where they tell you what it is, and what to do about it cost almost a thousand fucking dollars. i desperately want answers to be able to help my son. but i simply cannot afford it, so for now we're done trying to get him diagnosed. it makes me sad to my soul that i cannot help my son out. he simply doesn't function well in society and i don't know how to help him because i don't know what's wrong with him. i desperately need my sons health to be a right of his to get treated, instead of associated with scary fucking catch phrases like socialism. it pisses me off to no end.

Jodi - posted on 12/17/2010

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Oh, wow Barb, that's a terrible thing to have left when you survive breast cancer - a $250K debt. That would never happen here in Australia. A friend of mine died of breast cancer earlier this year, and I couldn't imagine how it would have made her feel leaving her family with a debt like that. How absolutely tragic. They were struggling a little financially, because they did pay for some trips to Sydney for treatments (and also some long stays because of bone marrow transplants, etc), private respite care and then in the end, a private hospice in which to spend her last weeks. Some of the medicines and things were very expensive, and her husband needed a lot of help with their two boys. But basically, none of this crippled them in any way near your friend because the majority of her care was within a taxpayer funded public health care system. And I wouldn't have it any other way.

Krista - posted on 12/17/2010

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You're thinking more of communism, Kelly. It is impossible for capitalism to exist within a communist society, but it IS very possible for capitalism to exist within a socialist society. In fact, one of the ideas of socialism is that everyone within the society will benefit from capitalism as much as possible as long as the capitalism is controlled somehow by a centralized planning system.

Of course, it all depends on what type of socialism we're talking about. There are as many types of socialism as there are types of capitalism, and they're all very different.

[deleted account]

Sorry about posting under two different profiles--I had issues and had to deactivate one. but I'm the same person.

[deleted account]

I may have chosen the wrong word there. When someone tells me they are a Socialist I guess I assumed that they mean that they hope for a socialist government, which I am not sure exists in real life, but would be based on common ownership of everything (I can't wrap my mind around how that would work). Would you mind expanding on what you mean when you say you are a Socialist? Is it kind of like saying you are a Republican, Democrat, Independent, or some other party?

Isobel - posted on 12/17/2010

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I am curious...what is a socialist regime? I've heard this term but never seen or heard of an actual one...do you mean like the French government?

Barb - posted on 12/17/2010

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Ladies i really enjoy the insight being brought to this thread.

Kelly, i must confess, you have really enlightened me on some of the issues of this bill. I had to concede to myself that i might be more ignorant about the bill than i wanted to admit. As well as admitting the contradiction in saying i'd rather the government take care of my healthcare when i believe our government is mainly run by major corporations via senators and congressmen. So why is it such a surprise that the healthcare bill would be drafted to benefit large corporations?

With all that being said, however, consider the right to vote was granted in 1870 but was not freely exercised until almost a hundred years later and many many changes.

I wish i had the answer and knew how to "fix it". A dear friend of mine has survived breast cancer but has lost her home, her car, and has filed for bankruptcy. She still has a job though :) But even after insurance, she still owes almost 250,000 in medical bills.

I think it is going to be a long hard struggle before we get anywhere with our health care system being anywhere close to "universal"

[deleted account]

I actually agree with a lot of what you say, Laura? :) I love the idea of Universal Healthcare and other Socialist programs (maybe not an entire socialist regime); I just don't like the way the US government is going about implementing healthcare reform.

Isobel - posted on 12/16/2010

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I agree that the cycle of poverty is almost impossible to escape from...I just feel like too many people blame the average poor person for accepting their fate and giving up trying to get out of it instead of sincerely trying to help people get out of it.

My answers have always been free education programs for poor mothers and fathers as well as mentoring programs for underprivileged youth, and accessible, affordable daycare while they are trying to accomplish things.

ooooor...pay them a little more if they agree to be on a time limit, so they can afford clothes make up, and transportation for interviews

Nikkole - posted on 12/16/2010

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I live in the US and my husband has a PPO plan and his is HORRIBLE the lowest plan is $200 a month not including eye and dental but its 200 just for me and him and we have a $6000 deductible (which we will NEVER meet) and we have co copays we have to pay the full dr visit, and we have this flex spending account its a card that they take so much out of you check each week and you can use it at the dr or on medicine well his insurance now we can use it for stuff like that but if we use it on medicine it HAS to be prescribed by a Dr even things like Tylenol which is stupid because that means i spend more because i have to pay to go to the dr to get a prescription! And my kids have Medicaid and i pay $60 a month for there insurance! But i think everyone should have free health care because soo many people dont have it because its soo expensive and that is not fair! I HATE our insurance it makes me not want it because i cant afford to pay a full Dr's visit or a few hundred to go to the hospital!

Stifler's - posted on 12/16/2010

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I agree with Kelly, even the welfare system in Australia makes it harder for people to get off it because the benefits are much higher to not working.

Lacye - posted on 12/16/2010

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I'm from the United States. I don't remember what insurances my dad and mom had on me when I was younger, but when I was pregnant, I was on Medicaid. I have to say that I was satisfied with it. They allowed me to have the care that I needed, after I had my daughter I had to have surgery and they paid for it (because it was before my 6 week period was up and part of the reason why I had to have surgery was because I had a stressful labor and it caused my gall bladder to mess up and I had to have it removed). I remember that my mother's insurance on me was not the greatest. I think that was with Blue Cross/Blue Shields. I can't remember though.

[deleted account]

I do agree about having to put up with loafers to protect those who need it, but a lot of times, people who really want to get off of welfare and are willing to work, get stuck on it forever because the loss in benefits is greater than the income they get from a raise or job that disqualifies them...I hope that makes sense.

Isobel - posted on 12/16/2010

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no...it's free in France :) They are FAR more socialist than we are...and yeah, the system is definitely broken, I just feel that it's a necessary evil to put up with the loafers to make sure that those who really need it, get it.

[deleted account]

Daycare is free in Canada?
Like I said, I do not mind paying extra taxes, but if my taxes pay for it, I feel I should be entitled to use it. That is why I have no problem paying taxes to police officers, firemen, libraries, roads, public schools, or anything else I am entitled to use. I do have a problem with the fact that so much of my tax money goes to a healthcare program that I am not entitled to use, yet I go uninsured.
I'm also not a big fan of welfare. A lot of you already know that. I feel our welfare system is a broken system that keeps people in poverty.

Isobel - posted on 12/16/2010

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oh...and if paying extra taxes means that I get free daycare? That doesn't seem like an infringement on my rights to me ;P

It kinda works on a capitalist theory of economy of scale...one gigantic buyer of millions of things gets a WAY better price than millions of people buying on their own.

Isobel - posted on 12/16/2010

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It's really basically this: we don't mind paying extra taxes so that people who need help, get it. Because Canada has such a gigantic land mass and tiny population, we have always had to combine our efforts in order to get anything done. America is much more densely populated so it was far more easy for private industries to grow and thrive quickly.

America, though a lot of people believe it to work on the free-market system, has adopted a LOT of socialist policies...welfare, the police department, libraries, etc...it's not as foreign or scary system as people like to believe.

A lot of people like to use it as a scare tactic, because they know that a lot of people don't really know what it means.

Stifler's - posted on 12/15/2010

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I am from Australia... we have universal health care.

We also have the option of private health.

Benefits: Bulk billing for people under 16 (no charge), you only pay $30 at the doctor some bulk bill everyone, hospital stays are free, antenatal care is free, giving birth is free, you get rebates on scans and bulk billed blood tests, medication is discounted, there's a free dentist at the hospital for those who are on low income and can't afford dental care or private health.

Disadvantages: Medicare levy for people who are making over $70 000 a year and are single.

There is controversy over waiting times at the hospital, especially QLD health. I've never had a problem there though, everytime I've gone in we've gotten straight in. I've never heard of anyone going to the doctor at the hospital except after hours at a private hospital which IS expensive. Waiting times at my doctor are practically non existent and you can ring up and get a same day appointment within the hour especially if your baby is sick or you need stitches but it's not really an emergency worthy of the emergency department. I think Australia's system shits all over other country's. We pay income tax which goes to everything and isn't really divided up into hospital, school, medicare etc. and some people pay medicare levy.

[deleted account]

I honestly do not understand socialism, Laura, but I would like to learn more about it. From what I have read about it, I just can't see how it would actually work in a real society....what am I missing?

[deleted account]

Tort reform was not the only republican idea, it's just the only one that got any press.

Another plan was state paid catastrophic care. Under this plan, doctors and hospitals would be required to charge the same amount for procedures across the board with the exception of Medicaid. Basically, insurance companies would not be charged less for a procedure than an uninsured patient. It also called for a national database accessible online for patients to compare prices between provider--medical care providers, not insurance companies, which somehow seem to be getting confused a lot in this issue. That would ensure that the cost of actual medical care stayed low. Patients could then purchase insurance if they wanted to, or they could pay for their own care. In the case of catastrophic illness (Cancers, heart conditions, etc,) where the cost of care exceeded a certain percentage of their income, The state would kick in and pay the medical bills.



In my opinion, this was one of the best ideas. It kept the cost of medical care down, while still ensuring those who got very sick, got the care they needed regardless of income.

Isobel - posted on 12/14/2010

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I'm totally jealous of Australians too! Did you know that after you have a baby in France, they send a "Mommy's helper" to your house a couple times a week to either do your laundry or take care of the kid you so can take a nap?!? man oh man...but I suppose you have to be a socialist to appreciate that deal...which (thank god) I totally am

Meghan - posted on 12/14/2010

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Okay...another Canadian. Yes we have a lot of perks here. Is our system as good as Britain's of France's...not even close. It is more accessible for everyone for sure, but recently there have been stories of our government big wigs heading south of the boarder for immediate highER quality care.
No we don't have to pay right away, but we are taxed on a provincial and federal level. The federal government takes a hell of a lot more than they give back and seeing as the health act in our constitution was made by the feds, they are really making it hard on a provincial level to keep up and abide by these stipulations. (which include comprehensiveness, universality, portability, and accessibility).
Wait times are absurd esp if you need to see a specialist, have an MRI/CAT SCAN...unless you see a private doctor which does cost money-as private doctors are legally unable to bill to government and patients. I have had appointments for myself and Joshua booked and been told that they were too busy and only had time for one of us so they could continue to see walk in patients. While I have the option to choose my own GP, unfortunately, most are totally bogged down.
I know that sounded like a lot of complaining. But, I just talked about this in two classes and I am feeling like a smarty pants.
Anyone who wants to see an interesting movie about this very thing should watch this one.
http://freedocumentaries.org/int.php?fil...

Rosie - posted on 12/14/2010

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i'm from the us and obviously don't have universal healthcare. wait times here vary in the ER. i've waited 5 hours before and left after talking to a man who was having CHEST PAINS and had been there before me. lucas had burned his hand on a curling iron, i took him in to his doctor in the morning. wasn't worth my time when they weren't even helping people that had symptoms of heart attack.
other times i've been in and out in an hour and a half. i'd say average wait time is about 2 hours in the ER.

i cannot pick any doctor i want to see, as our insurance is an HMO. i have to go to a doctor on their specific list. to see a specialist i have to have a referral from my primary care doc.
i can see an OB without referral, but they have to be on the HMO's list.

doctors office waiting times? not long at all for sickness. call get in the same day and be seen in and out in an hour or so.

my problem with wait times is in the ER, or when my children see specialists. i made an appointment in january to see is my child has autism. first appointment was in may. MAY!!! then, they couldnt' figure it out if he was autistic so they had me make another appointment with another lady, that i saw in september. SEPTEMBER!! and she didn't give me an answer i thought was reasonable AND they are charging me for part of the visit (my kids are on hawk-i, state insurance) which adds up to be $800. so not only did i have to wait 9 months, i got charged for bullshit charges (something about education and learning is how it's coded, long fucked up story), and i still don't have an answer as to what is wrong with my son.

we pay nothing for our childrens healthcare.for us we pay $280 a month for my husband and i to have insurance. half of that is put into a health savings account and we pay the full bill everytime we have an appointment, or have a prescription filled. nce we meet our deductible which is $1500 per person, we don't have to pay anymore. i like our insurance, but i would much rather have universal health insurance. healthcare is a right everyone should have, not just those who can afford it. it doesn't make sense to me.

Isobel - posted on 12/14/2010

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I think they're just planning on adding a public option when everybody realizes it's a necessity...the non-partisan groups are already advocating it.

The only idea I heard from the republican camp was Tort Reform...which I freely admit WAS a really good idea. Too many politicians are lawyers by trade though...so whataya gonna do?

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While I am very angry with the republican party, I am not going to support the democratic party after they passed this disaster of a bill. If they couldn't come up with something that worked, they should have continued working on it. It was wrong and irresponsible to rush a bad bill through just so they could say "Yay, we passed a health bill."

Furthermore, they completely refused to listen to or include many of the republican ideas. Besides that, the details of the "public option" were never released to the public. I could not tell, with the information we had on it, whether to support it or not.

Isobel - posted on 12/14/2010

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which of course tells you who is on which side (yours or the insurance companies) who was it that wanted the public option again?

Isobel - posted on 12/14/2010

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and all of those problems would have been solved by having a public option.

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Ok, Barb, I'm back.
Another thing that I am unhappy with is that it will be illegal not to purchase health insurance, but there are no strongholds in place to keep the cost of premiums from skyrocketing.

Another thing I am unhappy with only has to do with people who have pre-existing conditions. Insurers can no longer turn them away, but they do not have to cover costs for a pre-existing condition, and they can make people without access to group plans purchase from a"high-risk" pool, which will have high premium, high deductible plans to cut costs for insurers. So they can't turn them away, but they can exclude them from certain plans. They cannot do this to people with access to group plans through their employer, so it is another effective way to work towards eliminating small businesses.

The new bill gives A LOT of power to insurance companies and I would much rather have the government and my doctor in charge of my health than a for profit insurer. For one, the government may not know much about healthcare, but they know they need a healthy population to sustain a good economy and they need a good economy to stay safe. The insurance company doesn't need any of that because under the new law, they will have clients no matter what. Some are depending on competition between insurers to drive costs down, but there are only a few large insurance companies, and they will not under bid each other because that will result in them having to lower their prices again and again. They will quickly reach a level they are comfortable with and charges will be pretty close to even across the board, and they will be high, because demand will be high.

Government subsidies are only for a select few and do not take into account people dealing with pre-existing conditions. The subsidies will help people living between 200% and 400% of the national poverty line ( up to $80k for a family of 4) on a sliding scale, so the less they make, the more assistance they get. This is an incentive for people to stay in lower paying jobs rather than getting skilled jobs because the subsidy will likely be more than the higher pay can buy in insurance, thus causing what looks like a pay cut for working harder and increasing the gap between the poor and the rich. Also, since it does not take pre-existing conditions into account, a healthy family earning $75k annually will receive aid that they do not need, but a family with a child with cancer earning $82k annually will not receive any aid.

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Sure, Barb :) Before I go bashing it though, I will say there are some good things in it, but I don't think I need to write about them since most people know about it....just so you don't think I'm totally one sided.

The 1099 form requirement. This has nothing to do with healthcare and everything to do with putting small businesses out of business. The law now requires that business owners file a 1099 form for every vendor they purchase supplies or services from. The 1099 must account for every thing/service they purchased and plan to deduct as a business expense--down to the amount they spent on ink pens. It is simply too much accounting for most small businesses.

eek, I just realized the time, I can't finish now but I don't want to retype this later. I promise I'll come back :)

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I'm in the US and I think our health insurance system sucks. The system would be so much more efficient if we had a single payor. For my family, we pay approximately $6,000 per year for health insurance premiums. My husband's insurance plan only begins coverage after a $2,500 deductible PER PERSON, and then covers 90%. Thanks to Obamacare, things like preventative care will now be covered Jan. 1. I estimate we will pay about $12,000 in health care costs out of pocket next year because I will be delivering twins in the spring. It's disgraceful. Prior to Obamacare, our insurer (which is Blue Cross Blue Shield -- not exactly a small insurer) refused to cover immunizations for our current twins once the cost went over $500. They blasted through that at their 12 month appointments due to all the shots the kids get now. After their 15 month appointment, I received a bill for over $700 for immunizations. It was ridiculous. Needless to say, my boys are now not up to date on their shots! To me, it's ridiculous that we extended prescription coverage to senior citizens when we don't even have basic coverage for everyone else.

Barb - posted on 12/14/2010

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Sharon, i'm glad you are here with us and hope you are feeling better :)

Kelly, would you mind elaborating on some of the specifics you did not care for in the health care bill?

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Oh, last week I got the ambulance bill-$1331 and I am unsure how much of that bill Aetna HMO will pay, and if I will be responsible for any additional amount.

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Also in the U.S. and the 3 of us are covered under my husband's HMO plan. We've been on it since 1999 because it is a huge network of 10,000+ employees making the premiums less expensive. I have always declined my employee-offered insurance. Now, I have to say with the HMO, we've been fairly lucky and had minimal medical expenses. I pay my co-pays for anything medical. Vision/dental is higher. My infertiltiy treatments were covered to a certain extent. I honestly don't have a problem with my HMO. 3 weeks ago I was hospitalized-taken by ambulance from work. I paid a $100 co-pay and while I anticipate the remainder of the bill being paid, I also have to anticipate that I may have some additional charges. But the HMO (Aetna) will most likely pay their contracted fees and then drop teh remainder balance. That's what they did when I gave birth.

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Wow Kelly! That's a LOT for healthcare (just what your husband pays for him and your son). It sucks that you can't get insurance. Yet another reason we (the US) needs to consider universal healthcare.

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USA... State insurance for the kids, so I'm answering. ;) Our ER is usually pretty empty (one of the benefits of living on a small island), so when my daughter went in w/ a concussion she was seen right away. Only been to the ER twice in 9 years, so not a ton of experience w/ that. Not all doctors take our insurance, but all the doctors we would see on a regualr basis do. We do have wait times for specialists, but that is because of where we live and what we have available.... not much.

Before I got pregnant, we were paying for me to have medical coverage. We wanted to get pregnant ASAP, but also wanted to make sure it was covered. We actually went into the insurance office because of some confusion w/ reading the insurance manual and based on what THEY told us got pregnant when we did. It wasn't til after I found out I was carrying twins that we discovered the people in the office had lied to us and my pregnancy wasn't covered.... which is why I went on state insurance in the first place. Haven't had a problem since. ;)

Isobel - posted on 12/14/2010

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well...the recent healthcare law is what the GOP would let pass...a public option was the original suggestion...just sayin.

We also have private clinics here in Toronto though as well...if you have supplemental insurance (or you are willing to pay cash) you can go right ahead and get all your tests done without waiting.

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Wow! I must say, even 2% for health care I would actually be entitled to use would be unthinkably wonderful here. I am in the US, my husband currently pays about 4% of his income to Medicaid, which we are not qualified to receive, so for us, it's money out the window (Note that I would have absolutely no problem contributing to Medicaid if I were allowed to use it if I need it).
My husband and son are on a PPO plan, which costs about $600/month for both of them together. We have a $50 co-pay at their GP, and $75 co-pay for specialists. Hospital, lab, and other treatments are paid at 80%. It does not cover prescriptions, vision, or dental.
I do not have insurance because I have a pre-existing condition and private insurers will not sell insurance to me. As long as I stay healthy, my healthcare costs about $400/month for blood test, doctor visit, and medication.
So all together, my family pays just over $1000/month for healthcare, unless my husband or son get sick, then of course, it is more. So, I would say, as long as the additional taxes we would be paying add up to less than $1k/month, I'd be happy with universal healthcare.

Personally, I LOVE the Australian healthcare system and think it would work really well for America. It preserves the capitalist principles on which the US was built, but it opens healthcare to everyone. I believe healthcare should be a right, not a privilege for only the super rich or poor. The middle class must be included too.

I support universal healthcare, but that is NOT to say that I support the recent healthcare law. That law is not anything even remotely close to universal healthcare, and I will not support any candidate who had a hand in it.

Barb - posted on 12/14/2010

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hahaha Jenny the Commie, @ Switzerland



My mother also had an anuerism that burst in `07. She was in the Sierra Nevada's in California. She was flown by jet to UCLA medical center in Westwood, California, approximately 250 miles away. She was in ICU/CCU for 3 months. She had 2 insurance companies covering her.

One day while sitting with her, her Dr came in and i made mention of wondering how much the jet ride was going to cost. She told me point blank, "the insurance will cover it." I said "how do you know?" she said, "they would have gotten it approved from the insurance before she flew. If the insurance would have said no, they just would have made her comfortable there until she died"

It was like throwing a bucket of ice on me. Just, whoever answered that phone, some person who didn't know my mom, having a good or bad day, held her life in their hands with just a "yes" or "no".



Amber, I think your post is actually very relevant to this thread. A few other ladies have posted about a shortage of Dr's and i think that issue would be an important one to be addressed. Your post brings to light why there might be a shortage of Dr's.



I know that in the U.S. Dr's don't make all their money from patients or insurance companies. A lot of their money also comes from pharmaceutical companies that want dr's to push and advocate their drugs.



Here is a link to the World Health Organization's Rankings:

Health performance rank by country:

http://www.photius.com/rankings/healthra...

1. France

2. Italy

3. San Marino

4. Andorra

5. Malta

6. Singapore

7. Spain

8. Oman

9. Austria

10. Japan

18. United Kingdom

30. Canada

32. Australia

36. Costa Rica

37. United States of America



Preventable Deaths

http://www.allcountries.org/ranks/preven...

1. France

2. Japan, Australia (tied)

3. Spain, Italy (tied)

4. Canada

5. Norway

6. Netherlands, Sweden (tied)

7. Greece, Austria (tied)

8. Germany

9, Finland

10. New Zealand

14. United States.

The following is an interesting quote i took from this same page:

""It is startling to see the U.S. falling even farther behind on this crucial indicator of health system performance," said Commonwealth Fund Senior Vice President Cathy Schoen. "By focusing on deaths amenable to health care, Nolte and McKee strip out factors such as population and lifestyle differences that are often cited in response to international comparisons showing the U.S. lagging in health outcomes. The fact that other countries are reducing these preventable deaths more rapidly, yet spending far less, indicates that policy, goals, and efforts to improve health systems make a difference". "



Life expectancy: http://www.photius.com/rankings/healthy_...



Total expenditure on health as of GDP%

Yay!! the USA is at the top of one of the lists!!

http://www.photius.com/rankings/total_he...



So this means we are already spending a shitload of taxes on healthcare we ARE NOT getting!!

Krista - posted on 12/14/2010

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Oh, one thing I wanted to add is that Canadians can still buy private health insurance. There seems to be a misconception out there that we cannot do this.

Many of us purchase private health insurance, either as individuals, or on a group plan through our workplace. These private plans fill in the gaps that our public plan does not cover, such as dental care, vision care, pharmaceuticals, and things such as physiotherapy and chiropractic.

I have private coverage through work, which costs me $60 a month. I get 80% reimbursement for basic dental, endodontics and periodontics. I get 50% reimbursement for orthodontics with no maximum. I also get 80% reimbursement for my medications and other medical care. And lastly, I get a $500/year Health Spending Account that I can use for anything that isn't covered by my plan. I can roll it over for one year, so next year, I'm looking at getting laser vision correction and paying for it through that.

Jess - posted on 12/14/2010

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Jodi, I was actually referring to tax in general not just the medicare portion. Sorry if that wasn't made clearer.

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