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Why the Hell do we in the USA connect our jobs to our healthcare?

 
 
roger
 
  1  
Reply Sat 18 Feb, 2012 10:19 pm
@Ceili,
That sounds like a good setup. I would like to see something that covers the kind of medical necessities that could bankrupt an ordinary family, with optional and affordable private insurance that would cover what we decide to cover, depending on how much we are prepared to pay.

You say the private companies make a profit working this way?
Joe Nation
 
  1  
Reply Sun 19 Feb, 2012 09:40 am
And now, the word from Colorado:
http://www.denverpost.com/opinion/ci_19983680

Joe(Light at the end of the tunnel)Nation
0 Replies
 
Ceili
 
  1  
Reply Sun 19 Feb, 2012 10:41 am
@roger,
There are a lot of misconceptions about health care in Canada. It's not a free ride. Yes, the basics are covered - doctor's visits, hospital stays, medicine while in care, surgery (unless it's cosmetic - like a boob job), lab work, x-rays etc. We have to buy or get insurance through work or privately or hope you can live without it.
As I mentioned, we don`t pay for health care insurance alone, it`s tied to other services, like dental, life insurance, glasses or, in many plans - you'll get a stipend to spend on whatever medically approved related thing or procedure you want. So, say I buy a plan and it has a $500/year stipend, I could spend it on quitting smoking aids, shoe inserts, chiropractor, back brace, SAD lights.. whatever.
I can buy a plan that covers 80% of my prescription costs, and use my spouses plan to cover the other 20%.
Blue Cross is non-profit, but just about everything else is for profit and part of the free market economy. Like companies south of the border, they don`t offer the services for altruistic reasons. They can`t turn you down for pre-existing problems, but they can charge you through the nose, if you buy privately and not through a group or Blue Cross.
0 Replies
 
ehBeth
 
  1  
Reply Sun 19 Feb, 2012 12:44 pm
@roger,
roger wrote:
You say the private companies make a profit working this way?


enormous. there are more trying to get into the Canadian market all the time.
hawkeye10
 
  1  
Reply Sun 19 Feb, 2012 12:50 pm
@ehBeth,
Quote:
enormous. there are more trying to get into the Canadian market all the time.


the cost of delivery of service makes all the difference, the problem for insurance companies in America is that the bills come in so high due to our broken health care industry that it is difficult to charge enough to both cover the bills and make a nice profit. Folks simply dont have that kind of spending ability.

There is no way to fix the american system without getting costs down. It is not who pays or who has insurance or what kind of insurance they have that will fix it...that stuff is moving the deck chairs on Titanic.
0 Replies
 
roger
 
  1  
Reply Sun 19 Feb, 2012 12:58 pm
@ehBeth,
You've got good insurance; the companies are making money. That's how it's supposed to work.
0 Replies
 
aidan
 
  1  
Reply Mon 20 Feb, 2012 10:29 pm
Just as an aside - I watched that Panorama that everyone over here was talking about. Basically it was an anti-Obama, pro-Republican election year half-hour infomercial: in other words propaganda.

Yeah - if the whole US did look like the worst burned out sections of Detroit- we would look like a third world country to the rest of the world. But I wonder which third world countries also house their homeless in hotels with wide screen tv's and x-boxes.
And where else are all the hungry and starving people still plump, if not actually FAT! There wasn't one thin hungry person on the show. Of course my son reminded me that bad food is cheaper and more likely to make one fat, but come on - at least these people aren't having to watch their children collapsing by the side of the road and lay there with flies buzzing over them- although one mother was crying because she couldn't afford to pay someone to cut her son's hair.
Give me a break! By the end of the half-hour I was sitting there talking to the tv and telling her to borrow a pair of scissors - Jesus!
Like I said, give me a break...

But that doesn't change the fact that I still think we should have universal healthcare in our country. And I do still think it's a telling indictment that apparently alot of Americans aren't willing to sacrifice their metaphorical steak dinner of healthcare options so everyone could have at least a bread and water healthcare option. I think that's what it all comes down to although everyone wants to blame it on the politicians and big business.
hawkeye10
 
  1  
Reply Tue 21 Feb, 2012 01:54 am
@aidan,
Quote:
I think that's what it all comes down to although everyone wants to blame it on the politicians and big business.


fixing healthcare is a big job that we are not currently up to doing, however we are not willing to own this truth so scapegoats are needed.
Joe Nation
 
  3  
Reply Tue 21 Feb, 2012 09:31 am
@hawkeye10,
We are up to fixing it.

Joe(Who wants to help, instead of lockstep opposition?)Nation
0 Replies
 
izzythepush
 
  1  
Reply Tue 21 Feb, 2012 10:42 am
@aidan,
aidan wrote:

Just as an aside - I watched that Panorama that everyone over here was talking about. Basically it was an anti-Obama, pro-Republican election year half-hour infomercial: in other words propaganda.


I've not seen the programme you've mentioned, but I find it very hard to believe that the BBC, that is legally obliged to be unbiased would transmit pro-Republican, anti-Obama. Googling the term I found the following Panorama programme, What Now Mr. President? This was broadcast in January 2009, and deals with the problems Obama will have to face in introducing Universal Health Care.

This was aimed at a British audience, and as such the items covered would be of interest to your viewers. Considering the way the Tories are now starting to introduce American style privatisation into the NHS, we have every right to be concerned. I don't think many people over here are that bothered about how wonderful American Healthcare is for the wealthy, they always do alright.

Quote:
Some 45m Americans have no health insurance and millions more are under-insured.

Though there are schemes to help those who cannot pay - Medicare and Medicaid - millions are being failed by the system.
Panorama shows just how badly they are being failed when it travels to rural Kentucky to visit a temporary free clinic which has been set up in a football stadium by a medical charity.

Remote Area Medical (RAM) started work providing medical care to people in hard to reach parts of the developing world, but now 60% of its effort is devoted to helping America's poor.

In a scene which you would not expect to see in the world's richest country, hundreds of people, suffering from everything from toothache to cancer, turnout in sub-zero temperatures to see the volunteer doctors, optometrists and dentists on hand inside the stadium.


These scenes did happen, and they are shocking to British eyes, I'm sorry you find it propaganda, but it shows how important the NHS is, and how we need to strive to protect it.

http://news.bbc.co.uk/panorama/hi/front_page/newsid_7829000/7829393.stm
cicerone imposter
 
  1  
Reply Tue 21 Feb, 2012 12:49 pm
@izzythepush,
That's not the only issue; most recipients of government welfare live in the south, and they vote conservative to cut more taxes from the rich.

They don't understand simple math; cutting taxes for the rich while they get government handouts while our economy continues to struggle only means they are exacerbating the increasing deficit of the country. They continue to talk about Greece (increasing government deficit will destroy us), but they are the ones who are advocating our country's demise.

There's no cure for stupid.
izzythepush
 
  0  
Reply Tue 21 Feb, 2012 12:56 pm
@cicerone imposter,
According to these figures, America spends 13.9% of GDP on Healthcare, the UK spends 7.5% .
http://www.nationmaster.com/graph/hea_tot_exp_as_of_gdp-health-total-expenditure-gdp

The UK is ranked 18th, and America is ranked 37th.

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

Basically money that goes into the pockets of insurance executives is money that isn't being spent on healthcare.
0 Replies
 
aidan
 
  2  
Reply Tue 21 Feb, 2012 10:34 pm
@izzythepush,
Quote:
I've not seen the programme you've mentioned, but I find it very hard to believe that the BBC, that is legally obliged to be unbiased would transmit pro-Republican, anti-Obama. Googling the term I found the following Panorama programme, What Now Mr. President? This was broadcast in January 2009, and deals with the problems Obama will have to face in introducing Universal Health Care.

My son found the program on BBCitv or whatever it's called - I don't know how to work the thing. Anyway, it's called 'Poor in America' and it was broadcast February 16. I'm assuming it was made recently because its first sentence was: 'This is an election year in America...' and it talked about how much worse the situation has grown under Obama's administration- so it couldn't have been made in 2009.

Quote:
...but I find it very hard to believe that the BBC, that is legally obliged to be unbiased would transmit pro-Republican, anti-Obama.


I don't find it hard to believe that ANY media organization would not be totally unbiased. I don't think the BBC is the be-all and end-all of honesty and discretion. They present a view just like all media organizations. I don't think they're any better or worse than NPR or Public Television or ABC or NBC - you know - but then I'm not British so I haven't been conditioned to idolize them above any other media outlet.

Quote:
This was aimed at a British audience, and as such the items covered would be of interest to your viewers. Considering the way the Tories are now starting to introduce American style privatisation into the NHS, we have every right to be concerned. I don't think many people over here are that bothered about how wonderful American Healthcare is for the wealthy, they always do alright.

And this in reference to something I said? If so, what? I don't remember saying anything about this at all.

Quote:
These scenes did happen, and they are shocking to British eyes, I'm sorry you find it propaganda, but it shows how important the NHS is, and how we need to strive to protect it.

Yeah, just like the scenes that I saw tonight on Alistair Campbells documentary on alcohol use in Britian (by middle class professionals) was shocking to my American eyes. But since I live here, I do know that not ALL British middle-class professionals are winos - unlike the impression I would get if I didn't live here and took the scenes depicted in that documentary as gospel and indicative of the overriding culture of this country.
What I'm saying is, the documentary I watched was very one-sided. It gave a snapshot of a much more layered and nuanced issue. If one were to watch that and didn't know better- they'd think that people in America were either millionaires or bums living on the streets and that there was NO help or hope and nothing in between.
I grew up and lived there and worked primarily with homeless and poor people while I was there, and so know that the picture is less black and white than it was made to appear.
Even the writing was confusing. At one point the woman said, 'Tent cities have sprung up ALL ACROSS AMERICA,' and then in the next sentence she said, 'Outside SEVERAL CITIES IN AMERICA people are living in tents...' okay which is it? I'm an American, and I'm confused by the two images she's presenting. On the one hand, it could mean coast to coast tent cities. On the other hand, it could mean outside of six or seven cities...
I don't know - I'm asking.

And here's a little tidbit you may not be aware of. When a person is released from prison in this country, if they do not have an abode and there is not room in a hostel, they are provided with a tent and sleeping bag in which to live. That's the truth! They have to fill out a form outlining their needs and the first time I read it I asked, 'Wow - they provide camping equipment if you want it?' and the man answered, 'This is for me to live in if I have nowhere else to go and there are no rooms in hostels available.

Now, I could look at that and say, 'How inhumane!' and think that was what British society was or about. But I know the picture is bigger than that and it's not. If I showed that as the overriding ethos of British society - that'd be wrong, biased, untrue and yes - 'propaganda'.

At the end of the day, the picture that was painted by that Panorama was one-sided, but still if I had to be poor, I'd rather be poor in America than alot of other places.

And finally - I am FOR universal healthcare in America and I have no agenda or interest whatsoever in privatizing healthcare in Britain - so again - I have no idea why you're addressing this to me.
izzythepush
 
  0  
Reply Wed 22 Feb, 2012 02:47 am
@aidan,
So we're talking about two different programmes. There are laws over here affecting the BBC's bias. It's nothing to do with conditioning.

How much American television is shown over here? A huge amount, programmes like Modern Family show a very affluent upper middle class lifestyle beyond most of us over here.

You probably feel a bit embattled being the only American in your workplace, but for a lot of people in the UK, America is still the land of opportunity.

I didn't see the programme so I really can't comment nany more.
0 Replies
 
Joe Nation
 
  3  
Reply Wed 22 Feb, 2012 12:14 pm
It's always been tough to be poor in America. The poor are reviled.
Not as much as teachers, though.

They are reviled and low-income.

Joe(two mints in one)Nation
Ceili
 
  1  
Reply Wed 22 Feb, 2012 12:19 pm
@Joe Nation,
Interesting... Up here, teachers make a good income and their benefits and pensions are enviable.
Joe Nation
 
  2  
Reply Wed 22 Feb, 2012 12:36 pm
@Ceili,
Major MAJOR battles in the USA over teacher's salaries, tenure, pensions; the Right sees the people they expect to educate America's youth somehow as slackers, union-controlled hacks, baby sitters and various other epithets.

It's an American bi-polarity:
1)we want to have the best educational system in the world.
2) We think anyone who would actually want to paid well for teaching as greedy.

In America, it's best never to associate yourself with services to the poor, the young or the very old.

Right, Americans?

Who says "No, it's not that way."

Joe(Speak up)Nation

cicerone imposter
 
  1  
Reply Wed 22 Feb, 2012 01:55 pm
@Joe Nation,
They wrap everything the government does as social welfare, and the rich shouldn't have to pay for it.
0 Replies
 
izzythepush
 
  1  
Reply Thu 23 Feb, 2012 03:54 am
@aidan,
If you think that the Panorams programme was pro-Republican anti-Obama propaganda you might want to complain to the BBC. Here's a link to the BBC's complaints page.
http://www.bbc.co.uk/complaints/
IRFRANK
 
  3  
Reply Thu 23 Feb, 2012 02:08 pm
I didn't read all the responses here, so if I am repeating some, excuse me.

There is one big difference between health care and lots of other insurance situations. You don't have an option when you need health care. Maybe you can refuse to go to the doctor or hospital, but that would be rare and a short lived decision. With car insurance you can chose not to drive. In most states if you do own a car, you have to have insurance. Can you chose not to get sick?

i.e. health care and thus health insurance is not optional. If it was, what do we do with the people that opt out? Let them suffer?

What if basic education was optional? Should we make education a private industry. Let people opt out of educating their children if they didn't want to pay for it? Can we agree that basic education for all is a good thing. And yes I agree it can and should be improved. I for one think we should go the other way and make higher education free. At least some form of it.

There are basic things that we all need that the government should be involved in. That's the purpose of government. Law and order, national defense, education, infrastructure, and yes I think health care. We all need all those things.

My new bumper sticker.

If you don't like socialism, get off our freeway !



 

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