universal healthcare-what exactly is it?

Rosie - posted on 01/22/2010 ( 2 moms have responded )




i was reading through older threads and came across one about the pro's and con's of universal healthcare. i've always been for universal healthcare, and reading all the peoples replies made me want it even more, but i do not know exactly what obama has proposed. does anybody know where i can find information on this? i've looked alot of places and can't find anything other than stupid articles about death panels and stuff that i know isn't true. any help would be appreciated, thank you!!


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Michelle - posted on 01/22/2010




Obama has not proposed universal health care, not because he doesn't want to (I'm definitely of the opinion that he does), but because he's thinking smart politically. Politically speaking, proposing universal health care right now in the US would be the end of his political career. However, I believe he is taking what he thinks are the necessary baby steps toward the US eventually having universal health care, and I, like you, think it would be a wonderful thing to be introduced.

The public option that Obama originally proposed, but has been removed from the health care reform currently being debated by the Senate, was merely a public option for health insurance. The health care reform that is currently being debated will (theoretically) lower the cost of insurance by making the market a more consumer based market and thus more competitive. It will (and already has) extended coverage from parents through 26 rather than 23, and it will have many other changes that will reduce health care.

Here is a link that explains more about the health care reform. This is from November, so keep in mind that there have been some changes, but the basics have mostly remained the same.


Jenny - posted on 01/22/2010




Here's the wiki version of Universal Healthcare: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Universal_h...

This is a summary of how the system works in my country (Canada):

Health care in Canada is delivered through a publicly-funded health care system, which is mostly free at the point of use and has most services provided by private entities.[1] It is guided by the provisions of the Canada Health Act.[2]

The government assures the quality of care through federal standards. The government does not participate in day-to-day care or collect any information about an individual's health, which remains confidential between the patient and the doctor.

Canada's regionally based Medicare systems are cost effective partly because of their administrative simplicity. In each province each doctor handles the insurance claim against the state insurer. There is no need for the patient to be involved in billing and reclaim, thus making the system more administratively simple than one in which patients are billed and then entitled to reclaim. Private insurance is only a minimal part of the overall health care system. Competitive practices such as advertising, other forms of self promotion and lobbying activities are kept to a minimum thus maximizing the percentage of revenues that go directly towards patient care.

In general, costs are paid through funding from income taxes though three provinces also impose a fixed monthly premium (e.g.,$54/month in British Columbia[9]) which may be waived or reduced for those on low incomes. There are no deductibles on basic health care and co-pays are extremely low or non-existent (supplemental insurance such as Fair Pharmacare may have deductibles, depending on income).

A health card[10], also called a Care Card, is issued by the local Ministry of Health to each individual who enrolls for the program and everyone receives the same level of care. There is no need for a variety of plans because virtually all essential basic care is covered, including maternity and infertility problems. Depending on the province, dental and vision care may not be covered but are often insured by employers through private companies. In some provinces, private supplemental plans are available for those who desire private rooms if they are hospitalized. Cosmetic surgery and some forms of elective surgery are not considered essential care and are generally not covered. These can be paid out-of-pocket or through private insurers. Health coverage is not affected by loss or change of jobs, as long as premiums are up to date, and there are no lifetime limits or exclusions for pre-existing conditions.

Pharmaceutical drugs are paid for by public programs for the elderly or indigent, or through employment-based private insurance. Drug prices are negotiated with suppliers by the federal government to control costs.

General practitioners (GPs) are chosen by individuals. If a patient wishes to see a specialist or is counseled to see a specialist, a referral can be made by a GP.

Preventive care and early detection are considered important and yearly checkups are encouraged. Early detection not only extends life expectancy and quality of life, but cuts down overall costs. Those suspected of abusing the system by over-frequent or frivolous use, can be tracked by the doctor through the ID on their health insurance card and may have to wait longer than those with more urgent needs.

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