Will Universal Healthcare make our lives better?

United States
June 20, 2008 12:58pm CST
Will Universal Healthcare make our lives better? The following countries have Universal Healthcare: Afghanistan*, Argentina, Austria, Australia, Belgium, Brazil, Canada, Chile, China, Cuba, Costa Rica, Cyprus, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Iraq*, Iceland, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Japan, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Oman, Portugal, Russia, Saudi Arabia, Spain, Sweden, South Korea, Sri Lanka, Ukraine and the United Kingdom. We will have to wait for doctor appointments and surgeries for so long. A friend of our friend had to wait so long for a test, he died. My brother-in-law lives in Canada. And he said you have to wait for everything for an incredibly long time. If you need to go to the hospital and they have reached their quota for the day. Sorry! We need a new healthcare system but that is not it.
6 people like this
10 responses
@Margajoe (4720)
• Germany
20 Jun 08
Hi! I did not know that Belgium, Holland, Germany or Canada was part of a Universal Healthcare. I have always heard that the Dutch healthcare system was the best. Two years ago, alot of things had changed in the Netherlands. Things got more expensive. Waiting time always took long. I was lucky I only waited 6 months for my Hernia operation. But, then again I could hardly walk. Normally I would have to wait 9 to 12 months. I have been living in Berlin for a little over a year now. Healthcare is cheaper then in Holland. But, they are putting up the prices here too. And again a waiting time. I have been written sick because of my back again. And am still waiting for a result that will help me get back to work. Already a little over a year. Because I am waiting so long , They found I got a nice depression to go with it. I am not used to sitting at home, not making my own money. For me this is depressing. And again it makes the pains worse. Universal or not, I think it is the same everywhere. Some can be cheaper then others, but waiting is everywhere. We all get older then we used to. We are healthier longer,we live longer. But, then when we get seriously sick, they have all kinds of ways to make us better. And to be honest, I would like to live a long healthy life too. hahaha! Take care. Margajoe.
3 people like this
• United States
20 Jun 08
Margajoe, I sure hope things get better for you. In the USA, we don't have to wait, unless we are in the ER. My best to you. Yessie
2 people like this
@Margajoe (4720)
• Germany
21 Jun 08
Thanks Yessi. Take care, Have a nice day.
1 person likes this
@spalladino (17925)
• United States
20 Jun 08
I would not trust the federal government to manage a health care system for this country, not with their track record. I don't believe that it will work with a population as large as the U.S. population is. I don't think there will be enough doctors in the big cities and that there will be fewer doctors willing to practice in small towns so many people will end up waiting to see a doctor for various reasons. Along with doctors, dentist appointments will be harder to get so imagine being in pain and not being able to be seen for days/weeks. I think we will see less new doctors and dentists opening practices.
• United States
20 Jun 08
I agree. I can only go by what I have read and what my brother in law is going through.
1 person likes this
@baileycows (3669)
• United States
20 Jun 08
I have not heard about this. I am going to have to research this concept. Thanks for putting it out there so we can learn about the issue.
3 people like this
• United States
20 Jun 08
You are welcome. Here is a great link! http://www.thinkaware.com/2007/10/truth-about-universal-healthcarefrom.html
1 person likes this
@only1shi (405)
• United States
21 Jun 08
i think that universal healthcare would have to be better than the system that we have in place currently in the united states. so many people's only form of healthcare is an emergency room visit when something gets extremely bad. if you qualify for insurance, by the time you pay co-pays, meet deductibles and any other fees that come along, you're still paying a ton of money out of pocket. i had a baby last summer, after my insurance paid what it was going to pay, i spent over $5000 out of pocket. and believe it or not, i still have one bill that i make my final payment on this month, nearly one year later. there were no complications and we were in the hospital for a day and a half. what am i paying hundreds of dollars a month for insurance for, if i still have to spend thousands for a simple procedure? my husband has sickle cell anemia and doesn't qualify for private insurance due to a pre-existing condition. he doesn't qualify for medicaid because he can work full time- even though when he becomes ill, he is completely unable to care for himself. he also doesn't qualify for studies on this illness because he isn't "sick enough". unless one of us works for a job that offers insurance, he stays uninsured. i find this to be unacceptable. everyday on the news, they are talking about mentally ill people that are being locked up in prison because there are no support systems for the mentally ill. i find this completely unacceptable that the only way for these people to receive some sort of help is to be incarcerated like a criminal when their only "crime" was being ill. do i think that universal healthcare is the cure-all solution that america is looking for? no, absolutely not. but its gotta be better than what we've got now!
2 people like this
• United States
21 Jun 08
My husband and I pay for Cobra because he has a business so we are paying dearly for medical insurance. We feel like we are paying for insurance and medical care. My medicine alone is like over $6,000 a year. I certainly feel for your husband's situation. That is so unfair. I can see why you think it would be an improvement. My concern with it is that some people have to wait for surgery and other care for up to years that they are dying before they get medical care. We need a better plan. This is America!
1 person likes this
@only1shi (405)
• United States
24 Jun 08
we originally had health insurance through my job. when i switched from full- to part-time after returning from maternity leave, my job didn't want to offer the part-time insurance to me. instead, they tried to charge me COBRA payments which was more than double what i was previously paying. and it would've seriously been like my whole paycheck. under my husband's insurance, we were paying nearly $900 a month for three people. i find that utterly ridiculous.
@dodoguy (1297)
• Australia
20 Jun 08
Hi Yestheypayme2dothis, We might have "universal health care" in Australia under the label of "Medicare", but the government has been doing its best in past years to try to drive people off the public health system and into private medical insurance - presumably due to the obscene cost of the "health care" industry. To be perfectly honest, I'd rate Australia's "health care" system as third-world standard, precisely because of the outrageous costs and interminable waiting times to get even basic medical attention. But here's something which intrigues me greatly - why does the debate about "health care" seem to simply accept the existing paradigm for provision of medical services? Why isn't the established framework of wholesale financial extortion inflicted on entire nations by the existing "medical" cartels challenged? Why does discussion about the problems of existing "health care" systems always seem to focus on finding ways to KEEP FEEDING the pharmaceutical monster and it's pet insurance industry and teeming hordes of super-salaried "health care professionals", rather than giving attention to the critical issue of exactly why we all seem to be getting screwed to the wall and milked to the bone to pay for "health care"? What exactly is so WRONG with everyone's health that, for some strange reason, we now apparently each have to PAY someone about a THOUSAND times more than our recent ancestors for "health care"? Just what IS it about this "health care" that makes it so utterly indispensable and warrants a price way more than the lifetime earnings of most average citizens??? IMO the WHOLE WORLD has gone completely off the rails on this one. IMO we're ALL being held to ransom, WORLDWIDE, by an exceedingly powerful and well organized cartel of vested interests. Decades of media manipulation, brainwashing and marketing misinformation, not to mention graft, corruption, political lobbying and industrial sabotage, has apparently succeeded in convincing EVERYONE that the pharmaceutical giants, the medical training schools and all the established mainstream medical organizations exist for OUR benefit, when it's painfully apparent that the global medical industry serves its OWN interests, NOT ours! So when it comes to trying to sort out just WHY the "health care" system isn't delivering the goods, the 150-TON HAIRY-BUTTED TYRANNOSAURUS in the corner of the room behind the coffee table which keeps eating hapless passers-by gets COMPLETELY OVERLOOKED. The Western medical paradigm has a "heath care" system which is anything BUT. It's a DISEASE CARE system, because that's how it generates reliable, ever-increasing revenues for the parent pharmaceutical cartel and its myriad subsidiary tendrils. I'd MUCH rather have a "health care" system modeled on Cuba's example, where doctors actually treat and CURE illness, and do it cheaply, and the general population enjoys a healthy diet and lifestyle unencumbered by the ridiculous burden of "health insurance" premiums sufficient to send every patient on a journey to Alpha Centauri and back! I'd be really impressed if SOMETHING happened in the USA to catalyze a fundamental shift AWAY from the trap that you're in (the same trap that MOST Western countries have let themselves into) and free up people's cash for things they really DO need - like FOOD for example.
• United States
21 Jun 08
In a few words...the rich get richer. In my opinion, it does not matter which candidate gets in, we will pay dearly for health insurance, either with our money or our lack of decent healthcare.
2 people like this
• United States
23 Jun 08
Unfortenately, it IS broken--and expensive to boot. Something has to be done. The status quo simply is not acceptable.
@chitchat (179)
• United States
20 Jun 08
I guess I don't know enough about univeral health care. I know that from what I have heard from my family in Canada, sometimes it's not as good as it may seem. Waiting a long time to be seen, service itself not very good. Everyone deserves affordable healthcare, but at the same time, if you can afford a little more than someone else, why can't you get something a little better if you're willing to pay for it?
2 people like this
• United States
20 Jun 08
I agree. We deserve choices at affordable costs.
1 person likes this
• United States
20 Jun 08
I would just like to point out to Moonlight that that is incorrect about Hillary's plan for health insurance. It was plainly stated that if you already had health insurance, you could keep it. You would get tax credits to help cover the costs.
1 person likes this
@gabrifvg (167)
• Italy
21 Jun 08
heath is a question of rights, not of economics. the fact that public health systems are often slow depends on the minimum financing that the governments give. but a practical problem, like little money, shouldn't drive people from the knowledge that being cured is a right and not a priviledge
2 people like this
• United States
21 Jun 08
I agree. It is our right.
1 person likes this
@KarenO52 (2951)
• United States
22 Jun 08
I saw Michael Moore's movie, Sicko, about how great the health care is in Cuba, and other countries. I've also heard from people who live in Canada that their system is really not so desirable. We do need a new healthcare system, one that is fair and reasonable for everyone. In the meantime, I'm trying to stay healthy. When my husband retires, it's going to take a big chunk of his retirement income to pay our health insurance.
1 person likes this
• United States
24 Jun 08
Yet, Michael Moore does not live there. We need a change. The thing is, we need something we can depend on. We need to still have choices. My brother-in-law in Canada insists that the healthcare he receives is worse than the healthcare here received when living in France and Africa. He is not receiving Medical assistance. He works as scientist/professor.
@Pose123 (21667)
• Canada
20 Jun 08
Hi yestheypayme, I live in Canada and we have had universal health care for many years now, and very few people would vote to get rid of it. It is one of the best things that has ever happened in this country. It is true that sometimes you have to wait to see a doctor, but that's because emergencies are always seen first, and it has nothing to do with your bank account. Two of my three sons had some serious health problems while growing up, and spent a lot of time in hospital, one having had two open heart surgeries, and there was never a problem with the health care system. I don't know anything about other countries or their systems, nor do I know what is being proposed in the US, but the health care system in Canada, while it could always be improved, has to be one of the best in the world. Blessings.
1 person likes this
• United States
20 Jun 08
My brother in law lives in Canada. He is not having the same experience as you are. Here is a link: http://www.thinkaware.com/2007/10/truth-about-universal-healthcarefrom.html
1 person likes this
• Canada
21 Jun 08
As Vladilyich commented, I have never had a problem with health care as it is in Canada. When my finger felt like it was infected, I got an appointment not just for that day but for THAT MORNING!! I also got a good prescription that wasn't too expensive. I have a medical plan, but even if I didn't, he medication I got was affordable.
• United States
21 Jun 08
Maybe some areas of Canada are better than others.
• United States
22 Jun 08
Some aspects of any healthcare system are better than others. Unfortunately, the horror stories in American healthcare don't even concern such issues as long wait times for appointments (though that clearly happens). They have to do with the wrong limbs being removed and medical care being denied. In how many advanced, industrialized countries are mentally ill patients being discharged from hospitals to the streets? It happens here. Many of the homeless in major American cities have experienced this type of "treatment." In how many wealthy countries do parents stay unemployed (rather than merely underemployed) so their children with special needs can retain their eligibility for state-supported medical care. It happens here. Where else in the first world do the elderly have to supplement their Medicare plan with costly prescription coverage equipped with "donut holes" likely to undermine their already meager lifestle? It happens here. The elderly still sometimes choose between food and medicine or heat and medicine. Where else can a pre-existing condition be routinely refused coverage by a new healthcare provider? It happens here. In my opinion, Americans who criticize a universal healthcare program (such as Canada's) because people sometimes have to wait for appointments or optional procedures is an example of trying to pluck the mote for another's eye while ignoring the beam in our own. Our healthcare system is broken. We need to concentrate on that. Simply criticizing other (universal) healthcare systems because they are not perfect is not only beside the point, it's not kosher. It's a diversion in search of ignoring needed solutions. We've had enough of that in this country.