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Healthcare reform in the United States - thoughts and opinions?

Leanan

I don't actually know that much about the issue, but I'm eager to learn more and hear the views of supporters and critics.



Wikipedia on the subject



What do you think? Is the reform good or bad? Should it have been done differently? Is now a bad time to reform healthcare, or not? Does the healthcare even need to be reformed? Are you a patient or a health care professional whose daily life the reform will change?



REMEMBER: be courteous, even when you disagree with someone. This is a touchy subject, concerning politics. Do not participate if you feel like ranting or shouting. Remember everyone has a right to say their opinion, but no-one has the right to insult others.

G0lden

Healthcare is so outta whack in this country it's not funny. I can't get any health insurance unless I'm employed by an employer who provides healthcare to their employees. Under the new plan I won't be able to get covered until 2014 due the pre existing health problems. Now their talking about taking it back through the house and the Senate due to some issues. Then you add in the so called adults threatening memebers of Congress. What a waste of time and effort.

Leanan

*hugs Golden* I know what you mean, I've been considering moving into the United States, but getting healthcare is a problem, I also have a pre-existing illness so I can't get an insurance unless I get a job. The problem is I'd rather not work for others, I want to start my own business and employ others!

Xiu

personally I could care less, only part of it I'm personally overjopyed about is the president kept his end of the deal. Basically what happens is that President Obama is Pro-Death (AKA Pro-Choice); and as such the healthcare bill had a area for abortions and the like, But on saterday the presdient made a promise to several key voters for the bill that he'd make an order not to provide abortion coverage through the bill.

So on wesnday afternoon, a somewhat wanting to kill the next pro-lifer he saw President Obama signed a deal into law saying that the healthcare reform does not cover abortions through federal or taxpayer money, if one wants an abortion they have to pay for it themselves

I'll shut up now

jeb

I am really surprised that there has been so much opposition to Healthcare reform because from what I can tell right now we have a system that NO ONE is happy with.



I know doctors who have quit their jobs because they get tired of the HMOs expecting more and more out of them for less pay. If you look at what the insurance companies contract to pay them for procedures it barely covers the costs. Plus, the threat of lawsuits makes malpractice insurance more than they can afford. Then they're stuck with having essentially wasted 10 years of their lives on training they're not going to use.



And I am actually not one who is going to vilify the insurance companies. I read a really interesting article by an insurance executive and he made the thought-provoking comparison between healthcare insurance and car insurance. We don't expect car insurance to pay for oil-changes and car washes, we understand that it's only there for accidents, yet we expect health insurance to cover everything. That drives up the costs, making things worse.



But expecting them to pay more makes sense, too. When you are already paying several hundred dollars out of each paycheck for health insurance, it seems like adding insult to injury when you are also expected to pay a copay when you see the doctor or are admitted to the hospital.



And because insurance is so expensive, the majority of people go uninsured. So instead of seeking help when a condition might be easily treated or controlled, they wait until it's really bad, then go to the ER where it ends up being more expensive and needing more attention than it would have if caught early or managed well.



So, yeah, to me it's a bad situation spiraling out of control. I think any kind of reform would at least give us a place to start and see if we can't make some improvement.

G0lden

I had my 20th operation in 2006. I had employer provided insurance. I had to pay $250 for my share of hospitial expenses, plus the $ 40 I paid for my drs visits. I spent about $ 500 in dr copays for about 17 mos due to illness, plus I had a minor procedure done in 05 which was $ 1500 with a copay of $ 190. Now here's the kicker my hosptial stay if I had to pay for it myself would have been $54,000 for a hysterectomy. I'm afraid to venture what heart surgery would run in this country.

Trollbabe

All politics aside, it would be a great benefit to those Americans who have medical issues they cannot help, if the rest of us would STOP SMOKING, LOSE WEIGHT, STOP USING ILLEGAL DRUGS, DRINK IN MODERATION OR NOT AT ALL, WEAR SEATBELTS, ABSTAIN FROM EXTRAMARITAL SEX or USE CONDOMS, GET IMMUNIZED and GIVE OUR FULL ATTENTION WHEN DRIVING. The health care dollars could then go to those Americans who have hereditary diseases, birth defects, accidental injuries and other misfortunes they cannot help.

Quitting smoking alone would save us untold millions in health care costs.

Leanan

Quote:


All politics aside, it would be a great benefit to those Americans who have medical issues they cannot help, if the rest of us would STOP SMOKING, LOSE WEIGHT, STOP USING ILLEGAL DRUGS, DRINK IN MODERATION OR NOT AT ALL, WEAR SEATBELTS, ABSTAIN FROM EXTRAMARITAL SEX or USE CONDOMS, GET IMMUNIZED and GIVE OUR FULL ATTENTION WHEN DRIVING. The health care dollars could then go to those Americans who have hereditary diseases, birth defects, accidental injuries and other misfortunes they cannot help.



Quitting smoking alone would save us untold millions in health care costs.





Let's see. I don't smoke, I am losing weight all the time, I don't use anything illegal, I haven't had any alcohol since November, I always wear a seatbelt, my sex life is no business of yours but I don't think being married would make it magically any safer, I don't know what get immunized means but I've had all the vaccines, I don't drive and I try not to distract drivers.



Oh, right. I'm not an American. Knew I was missing something.



But you make a good point.



(apart from the word 'extramarital' which I object to. Marital sex can give you HIV too if your spouse is cheating, and married couples aren't necessarily better equipped to handle pregnancies than unmarried ones. Everyone should use a condom, OR get tested for every sexually transmitted disease and after getting negative results, only have sex with their trusted partner who is also negative-tested and not having sex with anyone else. Whether some priest says a blessing and rings are exchanged or not has no actual effects on the couple's sexual health.)

G0lden

Don't smoke, drink or do drugs, yet I can't get health insurance because I was born with heart disease. Plus I have vision and hearing problems due to my mother being ill during her pregnancy with me. So I still have to wait until 2014 and I didn't do anything to myself to cause my health issues.

jeb

Quote:


Marital sex can give you HIV too if your spouse is cheating





Which would be "extramarital" sex. And you're right, marriage doesn't provide any magic health benefits, except that the partners have usually decided how open they are going to be sexually, which can be a problem if one assumes they are exclusive and stops using protection while the other one doesn't.



Quote:


only have sex with their trusted partner who is also negative-tested and not having sex with anyone else




Which could also be phrased as "abstain from extramarital sex" for those who are married.

Leanan

Quote:




Which would be "extramarital" sex. And you're right, marriage doesn't provide any magic health benefits, except that the partners have usually decided how open they are going to be sexually, which can be a problem if one assumes they are exclusive and stops using protection while the other one doesn't.

Which could also be phrased as "abstain from extramarital sex" for those who are married.





It wouldn't be extramarital for the one whose spouse is cheating. One could argue it wasn't that person's fault since marriage is supposed to be about trust and promises to be faithful... but I think people should be more aware of the fact that there are some cheating husbands and wifes around, and it is best not to automatically assume that theirs isn't one of them without a good reason to trust him/her.



It could be phrased like that for married people, yes - but it's different for gay people who aren't allowed to marry, and people who for one reason or another choose not to marry (ideological views, protesting against society norms, opposing relatives, financial reasons, divorced people who don't want to go through all that mess with lawyers again if something goes wrong)

krwordgazer

I wonder how many of the people who protest healthcare reform have ever experienced what it's like to not be one of the fortunate ones who are covered through their employers. Our problems started when my husband lost his job. We could not afford to pay for the excellent health-care coverage he was getting there, on our own. He has a chronic condition and no private insurance carrier would even consider covering him. The only thing he was eligible for was prohibitively expensive high-risk coverage. Fortunately we were able to get on student health insurance when he went back to college, but he's about to graduate, so here we go again. My small lawfirm cannot afford to cover its employees. It's going to be 2014 before we can expect any help from the new healthcare reform bill.



Fortunately our state has started offering public health care to children who have no coverage, and our kids will be able to get on that once school insurance ends. I have no idea what my husband and I are going to do for heathcare after he graduates, and frankly, I'm terrified. We can't afford to pay for insurance. We need insurance because of our age and health. We don't understand why people who have coverage themselves are unwilling to open their eyes to the plight of others.



The system as it is, is stupid. You're covered through your employer, if you're fortunate to work for a big enough company. Otherwise you're out of luck, unless you can afford a private policy. If you do have employer coverage, and get sick enough to lose your job, you also lose your insurance just when you need it most. People get cancer and suddenly find themselves on permanent disability with their health insurance gone and looming health care bills bankrupting them.



I see the new reform bill as a step in the right direction; as finally getting the US moving towards some kind of reasonable system that will work for everyone. I don't care whether it's privately or publically owned, frankly-- but it needs to stop being run as it's been run up to now.

G0lden

I know how that goes kwordgazer. I haven't seen my cardiologist since June 2006. I supposed to have an echo cardiogram once a year. It's been nearly four yrs since my last one. Plus my glasses are four yrs old and I really need new ones. Should start a 2014 club for those of us left out in the cold as far as healthcare.

Xiu

Personally I find it useless, though life insurance is still cashible..... However on the point of the health care and such, why so many freakingpages for the thing? all it started with wasa freakin' napkin at a dinner party! two words in fact! "Reform Healthcare" simple words, which turned into what? nearly five grand would of pages alone? sheese some people liek to write.

What I am personally happy about though i'lll only point to my last post in this thread (post #4), and say that I find it personally useless as I've never seen a doctor in almost 15 years, and to be honest I'm going to be 110 this July, so if anyone should be getting healthcare and they're upwards of 50 years or so youbnger then me, fine with me, but don't be burning off my gas monies Smile

lunakat

I completely agree with everything Jake said. Just to add a thought- the system we had before was inherently flawed. Insurance companies were primarily concerned with their profit margins. If you had a preexisting condition, you couldn't get health care- it was a catch twenty two! I encountered this when I started freelancing and lost my company health care. I tried to buy private, but no one would take me, until I fudged the results of a particular test... My point is- we have to fix it, and we had to start somewhere.

There was so much opposition to health care reform, and so many fingers in the pie, I don't think it was possible to create an ideal system. We were never going to get "perfect." But, something, in this case, is better than nothing. Now that the first bills are passed, they can be changed and improved in the future. If nothing had been passed- then we would have been starting from scratch each time. At least this way we can move forward!

lunakat

Besides... isn't the primary change simply that you are required to buy health care if you can afford it (which is really necessary anyway- if you have major medical emergency and aren't covered, you can lose everything!)... that medicare is expanded to help those who really can't afford it.. and that insurance companies (in the next four years) won't be able to deny you based on preexisting conditions? I think that all makes a lot of sense!

And it doesn't even change the current system much.

Say.. did you know that pregnancy is considered a 'pre-existing condition' by some insurance companies? My sister had to pay extra for insurance that covers pregnancy! Just in case... What would anyone do if it just happened accidently? You wouldn't be covered, unless you'd planned ahead for it, by the insurance you were paying for!

Honestly, i think that the strident opposition to health care reform is largely political rhetoric and hype. Some people are just getting carried away by it without really thinking the issue through!

Leanan

You have some very good thoughts Jake, it's the same kind of things I've been wondering too.

Trollbabe

Like many Americans, I work as much for health insurance as for a salary. As for being unemployed and uninsured, been there, done that, went through a chunk of our savings before we had health insurance again. My husband is one of those people who takes good care of himself, has good habits, and still has multiple health problems due to a bad family history. So it's not like I don't care about people with health problems.

G0lden

I was born with mine and have no choice in the matter.

Startear

I find it quite ironic that what was once "the Land of Oppertunity," where a man who had nothing when he came and was the owner of the most sucsessful buisness the next day... doesn't have a functening healthcare system.

jeb

I just got a bill from the government for $14,000 because they didn't stop paying my disability insurance when they said they would. I would have complained but I was too busy squandering that money on food and housing.

Cut by the double-sided blade of American bureaucracy.

Startear

Hypnotize

Trollbabe

When I was laid off at the plant, we exhausted our savings to pay for my husband's prescriptions. Having to sell jewelry my parents left me was heartbreaking.

NightAngel

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

This documentary made me sad.
....

WolfMoonSky

Quote:


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



This documentary made me sad.

....







Can you tell me were I can see the documentary?

Startear

It's avaliable for rent most places where they rent movies. That movie was so sad.

WolfMoonSky

Quote:


It's avaliable for rent most places where they rent movies. That movie was so sad.







I never saw the movie....but it sounds very sadUnhappy

Trollbabe

I'm going to have to sign up for healthcare soon, and I am nervous about it.

lunakat

It's a good thing to have. My friend put it off for years- literally, years- until he was forced to sign up on the Obamacare plan for California. Two weeks later he almost sliced his thumb off in an accident. He had to go for hard-core hand surgery. If he hadn't had health care- he would have been financially ruined... or without a thumb.

lunakat

I wasn't able, until the recent healthcare bill passed, to get independent insurance, because I have a pre-existing condition. It's nothing serious- just a cancer scare a few years back that turned out to be benign-- but no one wanted to cover me afterward regardless. I had insurance through school, but when I graduated, I was uninsured for years between jobs. Even when my work did cover me, I didn't see a doctor for anything serious because I was afraid of finding out about something else that would prevent getting private insurance when I needed it. I was always anxious about having an accident or getting sick, and what that would mean for me financially. Now- my work covers my insurance, but before that, I was able to get blue shield for $160/month. I'm pretty happy because my insurance covers all medications, half my dental and my vision care. And I know if I lost my job, I could still get covered. It's less problematic than not having it in the long run. Don't be scared, Trollbabe- it's a good thing. It gives you peace of mind! And that, as they say, is priceless.

Trollbabe

Last year, my employer decided to close our store. They laid off all of the full-time employees that weren't in management. Then they offered buyouts to all of the full-time employees in the other stores. This coincided with Obamacare enrollment. Like many others, I chose the severance package that came with a years' insurance on myself and dependents (in my case, my husband.)

When they closed the store at the end of October, I got a job for which I was considered full time, even though I worked only thirty hours a week. It turned out I would be eligible for insurance just before my severance insurance ran out.

Then I did the math, and checked with HR to confirm. MY ENTIRE PAYCHECK would go to the health insurance premiums on my unemployed husband and I. We would have nothing to live on.

I quit at the end of March, and did my writing full time. I just can't afford to have a job anymore.

G0lden

Well I'm cosidering enrolling for the new healthcare here in California. I'm listed as a full time employee with the company I work for, but work maybe 33 hrs a wk. I got my new single vision glasses for use at work for $45. Thank you VSP, but since I am a sole income in the household I have to save to get the co-pays to see my other 2 drs. No I haven't since my cardiolist yet. Hopefully I'll get another job soon. I quite frankly am sick and tired of subsidizing my employer so I can work. I pay $160 a month for benefits and use damn little of them.

Oh here is just dessert Rep Cantor an opponent of the new healthcare program, just lost his seat in Congress. He still gets his taxpayer subidzed health benefits. I think it is time to remove those type of perks for our Congress and Senate members. They will still get their health care covered, they'll just have to apply for Obamacare.

LadyUsako

I just read through this thread out of curiosity....
I somewhat hard for me to understand the discussing coming from a country where almost all healthcare is free...
I happy about healthcare and the idea of we're all taking care of eachother :)

Trollbabe

Heard from a lady whose son lives in England, where he works with the Royal Society. It's a great career opportunity, but the down side is that much of what he makes goes to taxes. She says this is because of socialized medicine.

Rob

While it's true the overall tax burden is higher in the UK than in the US, the UK government spends less on healthcare, per capita, than the US does.

You get less, and you pay more for it!

The biggest difference is general welfare spending, which is much higher in UK.