It's 2008 but the US still hasn't got a health plan

@p1kef1sh (45640)
July 22, 2008 5:36am CST
I will happily go away if I have got this all wrong. A myLot friend of mine recently put up a discussion in which she said that the cost of medical insurance for her was prohibitive and asked others what they did and who they recommended. I am astonished at the number of people that have no cover at all! The US is allegedly the first amongst First World countries, but cannot offer a comprehensive affordable medical cover that all qualify for to all its citizens, especially those on low incomes. There is an election in November. For the sake of your children and your own well being lobby your politicians and get this gaping hole repaired please. Illness is traumatic enough without being unable to do anything about it. Please tell me that I am wrong and that in fact all US citizens are able to receive affordable health care at the point of delivery.
4 people like this
17 responses
@myklj999 (16808)
22 Jul 08
I haven't had enough coffee yet; I started to reply to this as though it were an actual email! Well p1ke, I'll put it to you like this: I've needed a hernia operation for two years now and have no health insurance. Won't go into detail about it, but it makes life...let's say interesting some days. I haven't been able to work, which is why I live in a friend's RV. Affordable health care in the US is a nightmare for millions of us, and that is no lie.
3 people like this
@p1kef1sh (45640)
22 Jul 08
In my view it shouldn't be an issue. I don't understand why politicians don't have this on their agenda. Well I do. I bet there are few senators that know the inside of a soup kitchen; but many that know the finest eateries in DC!
1 person likes this
• United States
22 Jul 08
Myklj, don't you have Connect Care there? I believe there are some locations there in Illinois - you need to check it out. You can just walk in and you don't need insurance. My sister got her gall bladder removed through them and it didn't cost her a dime. Please! see if there is any location that you could possibly get to and GO! And even if there aren't any locations there, there's gotta be something similar for people with no insurance. Let me know - I'll help you find somewhere to go, ok? You musn't keep putting this off! Especially now that you're looking to start enjoying being single again. Think about it.
@Rosekitty (19438)
• San Marcos, Texas
22 Jul 08
Morning P1ke.and yes i'm still here I'm one of them that can't afford any insurance..they call up all the time trying to get me to buy it but unless you can afford it we need help and fortunately i'm ok and don't need any.But what if someday i do? Well then we have to go under the Hospitals charity fund..all Hosp. have them, but they don't like to admit it otherwise all would come in and use it up. Until then i stay out of trouble and eat only farmers market veggies i know aren't tainted..now the jalapenos here are found to have salmonella in the news last night..and us Texans love out Hot and spicy food! But hey hot and spicy is good right? huggs
2 people like this
@myklj999 (16808)
22 Jul 08
Not all hospitals have that charity fund. It depends on the state and the city. Believe me, I've found out the hard way...
2 people like this
@p1kef1sh (45640)
22 Jul 08
You are a prime example of what I mean Rosie. It's bonkers. But what is going on in the US? Why am I getting excited about it anyway? LOL. Heck, it's because it just seems so crazy to me. Gad that you are talking to me again. XX
@skinnychick (6907)
• United States
22 Jul 08
I wish I could say you were wrong but what you know to be true about the state of our health care is true. Many people cannot afford it nor is it available to everyone and the government just doesn't seem to care. That's it in a nutshell.
1 person likes this
@p1kef1sh (45640)
22 Jul 08
I am reminded by some of the words on the Statue of liberty Skinny: "Give me your tired, your poor, Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free......." Perhaps not when they get sick!
1 person likes this
• United States
22 Jul 08
Nope they must be healthy, they should write that in. LOL
1 person likes this
• United States
22 Jul 08
or yet skinnychick, the ones who can't afford it get told they are over income to receive help. That doesn't make sense to me. How can you be over income, if your in the lower income bracket? They need to something about this, everybody should be able to have some kind of healthcare.
@peavey (16856)
• United States
22 Jul 08
The problem is that health care costs too much. NOT that we need "someone else" (us, the taxpayers) to pay for it. Where do you think the money will come from? The sky? The government has no money of its own. It uses ours. National health care is a feel good myth propagated by socialists, to make us believe that our government will "take care of us." Who is this government? It used to be of the people, for the people and BY the people. Not any more.
1 person likes this
@p1kef1sh (45640)
22 Jul 08
But the cost doesn't matter surely. It's a consumer driven society. You want it, you pay for it. The only way to drive the price down is to opt out until the companies revise their rates, and the level of care to go with them. But that will never happen as the last thing that people will want to lose is access to health. So should people without healthcare cover be allowed to sink? I live in a "socialist" country and trust me we don't have faith in the government to take care of us and we are well aware where "their" money comes from. Many of us would move to the US model in a heartbeat if it meant less nannying. But, there are some good things in a national healthcare scheme, the chief one of which is access to primary and secondary care for all at no cos at the point of delivery. The problem with it is that it can be easily abused, and is.
@peavey (16856)
• United States
22 Jul 08
"The only way to drive the price down is to opt out until the companies revise their rates, and the level of care to go with them." I disagree. We have price controls on everything else, why not health care? Sure, it's government interference, but on a different level. It doesn't cost us to have controls like a national health care system does. Pharmaceutical companies and insurance companies need to be severely reined in. They're the ones making the big money that health care brings in. Why not slow them down? Why let them run rampant over the consumer who needs their products? You said it yourself.. $700 a month in insurance. That's ridiculous, but there are other, better options than saddling the entire workforce with more taxes. We're in a recession right now, do you think that adding costs to everyone will help the economy? Doesn't it make more sense to stop the bleeding at the top level?
1 person likes this
@MrNiceGuy (4147)
• United States
22 Jul 08
I have a few points on this: 1-The US does not purport to provide healthcare for its citizens. We are an open market capitalist economy and we let medical providers offer their services just like any other market in our country. 2-Those that are in severe need like the impoverished and the elderly DO get special medical plans under Medicare and Medicaid. Now, if they need more help is another story. 3-You have to choose between paying for insurance or paying more taxes to pay for the government to give you insurance. 4-Competition breeds the best product, that is well known. Look at the government and how they handle things. Do you really want governmental red tape making the already difficult process of getting and paying for health care. 5-The US has by far, the most accessible and most advanced technology. We have the most xray machines per capita and the best xray machines on average. If you want to wait three weeks for an xray in Canada while you're arm is broken, then fine, but I prefer being able to get one asap.
1 person likes this
@p1kef1sh (45640)
22 Jul 08
Thank you. I should make clear that I have no axe to grind about the US system. Other respondents have disagreed with almost everything that you have said, but I accept that it is how you find it that matters. Fortunately I don't live in Canada. In the UK you will get your X ray immediately. It's the physiotherapy that will take the time!
@baileycows (3669)
• United States
22 Jul 08
Even if they implement a health care program who will staff it? There has been talk and the doctors have decided to pull out it is not making them any money and they didnt go through 10 years of schooling to work for free. They are not very happy about it. I think we will see a lot of great physicians retire if this happens.
1 person likes this
@p1kef1sh (45640)
22 Jul 08
I'm not saying do it for free. But make it affordable. It would take a sea change in the way that healthcare is provided but what do you want? Doctors in Mercedes or people who can manage their illnesses and get back into work. What do I know? Sorry I'm ranting and not at you. I guess that the majority of the US is entirely happy with the situation it's just a load of poor folk and what do they matter? Frankly let the doctors go. There is no shortage of wannabes. In fact in Europe we have too many apparently!
1 person likes this
• United States
22 Jul 08
There are two reasons why health care is so expensive (well there are probably a lot more reasons) Illegal Immigrants and politicians. for those who say that Doctors don't work for free. They do on the border. I have also seen DR.'s that go to South America and fix kids with Cleft Palate, Or there is Doctors w/o Borders. I am not defending Doctors by any means, Some of them are Greedy B@$t@rds. But not all of them. And I think the real problem lies elsewhere. But Gov't is NOT the answer. It's the problem. More and More Regulation only drives up prices more. And while Gov't will not Enact Tort Reform, they certainly do practice it. I was in an accident involving a worker for the city I live in. They are "self insured" Which means they don't have to pay premiums like the rest of us. Then They limit liability to $100,000. Even if your med bills are 5 times that. Anything over that amount takes an act of Congress and several years. Then when we went to settle. They said they would only agree on an amount that was LESS than the cost of the medical bills!!! Forget about the lawyer.(Who earned every dime he was paid BTW)Forget about the fact that now I have to Write "Back Injury" On every job application or Insurance form I fill out. Just a peek at Gov't run health care???? Hint: They don't give two rips about you and me. When GW Bush was first elected President, He tried to bring in a plan with Health Savings Accounts and Insurance for Catastrophic Illness. The Liberal Democrats and Press in this country VILIFIED him. Since they apparently believe that taxpayers are too stOOpid to get out of bed in the morning w/o BigBro's help. They fought tooth and Nail against him, As they have with everything he has tried to do. Now, WHOLE FOODS MARKET(r) has been using that SAME plan for about 6 years and they LOVE it. The whole country could have had this plan if not for the Democrats. But of course then they would not be able to blame Bush for America's Health "Crisis". On Fortune 500's list of top co's to work for, Whole Foods is #16. It's #4 on benefits. http://money.cnn.com/magazines/fortune/bestcompanies/2008/benefits/health_care.html
• United States
22 Jul 08
sorry they are #5 on benefits.
@p1kef1sh (45640)
22 Jul 08
I am afraid that no matter who you vote for the Government always get in! But something need to be done. It's not just poor America that's suffering but middle America too. When they bleed, politicians do take notice - eventually.
• United States
22 Jul 08
Our problem is we keep electing the same people over and over. There are too many Career Politicians. Every time they are re-elected, They take more and more from the very people that voted them in!! Look at Michigan, It's a great State to be FROM. But they continue to elect the same (liberal) politicians who promise them the world while they drive the state into the toilet. (pun Intended.) Making the people more and more dependent on Gov't. New Orleans Is the same. These are perfect examples of what the libs want to do to this Country.
@mtdewgurl74 (18118)
• United States
23 Jul 08
You are so wrong....NOT! So don't go away!I wish I could afford medical insurance for me and my husband. Right now though we cannot afford it.We need it especially for my husband but I am positive that everyone else needs it also. But alot doens't have it as you said. I wish we could get it and it be affordable.
@p1kef1sh (45640)
23 Jul 08
That's my point. It's there, but not affordable. Your husband is in work and still can't have it. What chance do the unemployed have.
@mtdewgurl74 (18118)
• United States
24 Jul 08
True there seems to be little hope..If you get sick you can't work if you can't work bills don't get paid and things pile up. Yeah they are payment plans but you still have to pay out the rear on the payments till paid I had over 3,000 to pay and they wanted $150 a month till paid. Seem little hope for the little guy and no hope of getting ahead or somehting always smacks them in the face and knocks them back more steps then they took forward.
@chima78 (11)
• Canada
22 Jul 08
The US economic model is closer to capitalism than any western democracy. The reason why America is so powerful is because growth and profits have almost always trumped all else. It means that the US has promoted a culture of work through incentives for growth... low taxes make working more bearable, consumerism makes people work more to spend more and the welfare state is virtually non-existant... you sink or swim. I think it's true that the American dream is that of personal gain and wealth creation. Social programs, such as health care, get in the way of wealth creation and personal growth. There are more healthy people than unhealthy people, and from an economic standpoint, there is no benefit for healthy people to pay for unhealthy people. According to the law of the jungle, unhealthy people will pass away, thus easing the economic burden on society. I may be totally off, but health care in the US simply costs too much to really be worth it. So sadly, affordable health care is basically available only to those who have money to pay for it.
@p1kef1sh (45640)
22 Jul 08
That's as a good an explanation as any that I have seen. I am not a Socialist, but I can't help but feel that maybe there are some policies that the US ought to look at critically. You cannot ignore the poor just because they are poor. They sap the economic model! After all, if you don't employ the poor, who's going to do all that work that makes you a rich and powerful nation? The problem now though, is that a fair few people in the higher socio-economic levels are starting to feel the pinch. No Government wants to alienate them. Thank you and welcome to myLot.
• Canada
22 Jul 08
That's very true. It's also important to note that human beings are socially-minded creatures. We have a natural predisposition to care for people who are close to us and we are generally benevolent. We don't need to be socialists to care for others. Even ruthless dictators care for someone... lol. In is an unescapable fact that the burden on the health care system is increasing at an alarming rate. The health care system will break one day. I believe that in the US, as in every society, change comes about when a problem reaches a critical tipping point. It hasn't yet but the writing is clearly on the wall. It is up to the current leaders and those following in their footsteps tomorrow to make some very difficult decisions about how to move forward on this issue without depressing the potential of wealth accumulation that makes the US the economic powerhouse it has become.
@littleowl (7157)
4 Aug 08
Hi p1ke the USA does sound like a third world country the fact they have no free medical cover ..no offense to all those in the USA..but something should be done about it and helping those that are unabe to pay for healthcover littleowl
@p1kef1sh (45640)
4 Aug 08
I agree with you Littleowl. There are schemes apparently. But by no means everyone is in them.
@getnbuy (1314)
• United States
24 Jul 08
This is for all Americans interested in changing health care. go to www.dividedwefail.org. It is sponsored by AARP and is dedicated to supporting our leaders who support health care change. Maybe if we all show an interest things will work out for the better.
@p1kef1sh (45640)
24 Jul 08
Thank you very much for that link, I read it with great interest. I wonder just how well know it is?
• United States
24 Jul 08
No sir, I wish with all my heart you were wrong, Love. Fact is that young adults working adults between the ages of 22 to 50 are among the highest percentage of people who can not afford insurance and has none. Children under the age of 21 most states allow coverage of some sort or another, women who are pregnant are also taken care of, but there is a vast vast hole in which many many hard working viable Americans are lost.
@getnbuy (1314)
• United States
23 Jul 08
No, we do not have a blanket system of health care. It has to do with free enterprise and freedom of choice. health care programs that are gov't sponsored usually dictate who you go to , etc. americans are reluctant to give up their right of choice. That said, I agree that we need a better system than the hit and miss one we have now.What we need is the right politician with the right plan. Even then, it would be a controversial subject. I, myself , have good coverage because of my husband's wisdom in choosing a profession that provides well. I notice that this becomes harder and harder to find, though. We do have welfare for the poor or jobless, so at least they are covered. In the state of Utah we have coverage for all children below a certain income level. So, there is some help for them. So you see, there are reasons for the present state of our health care. Also, it is not as bad as you have heard.
@barehugs (8986)
• Canada
23 Jul 08
I Know it P1ke, and you know it! All the best Countries in the world look after their poorest citizens. All but the "Good Old USA!" Its unconscionable, but its a Fact. Canada has had a Federal Health Plan since 1984 and It's one of the best things that ever happened in Canada.Our plan is not perfect. There's sometimes a long wait, but nobody loses their Home and Life Savings because of poor Health. The US is money motivated, the Insurance Companies are rich, and stand to lose too much. So they pay off the politicians to ignore the poor and infirm. Bill Clinton tried for a Health Plan,and nearly got impeached. Hillary isn't going to get a chance. Lets hope Obama has the guts and brains to get it done. (there's already talk of assassination!) God Help America!
@p1kef1sh (45640)
23 Jul 08
I accept that a federalised national health system would cost - but not more than the profits that the Insurance and pharmaceuticals make currently. I doubt that any President will manage it whilst s/he is kept in office by the very corporations that have a vested interest in not having universal healthcare.
@Hatley (164507)
• Garden Grove, California
22 Jul 08
pikey sorry but you are so right, my son is fifty and he doesn not have a good health plan as he is working for a small company and they cannot afford health plans for their employees, now I am 81 and have medicare and my very good gap insurance Secure horizons on the evercare program for poor seniors, but there are thousands of people like my son who c annot afford the high costs of insurances like blue cross or blue sheild, and its high time that the USA had a national health insurance like other nations do.but our government has fought against it over and over, so we the people need to demand this.You are right all US citizens whould be able to receive affordable health care,but so far this has not happened. so yes we need to lobby our politians and get this fixed.
@p1kef1sh (45640)
23 Jul 08
I agree with you entirely Hatley. There are others that seem to think differently. It's almost "un-American" to want to have affordable and accessible healthcare for all. I'm pleased that you are covered. Those darn shingles......
@mnksmommy (302)
• United States
22 Jul 08
I completely agree that every citizen of the United States is entitled to healthcare regardless of socioeconomic background, race, we should all be entitled to the same benefits.
@p1kef1sh (45640)
23 Jul 08
I think so. Thank you.
@bmorehouse1 (1029)
• United States
22 Jul 08
The government needs to pull their head out of their a** and see what is happeninig all over the country! There are sick peole who don't seek medical care simply because they can't afford it. And even those who have insurance are stuck with bills that the insurance company refuses to pay. I don't think we will ever have a national healthcare program simply because the insurance companies and pharmaceutical companies won't let it happen!
@p1kef1sh (45640)
22 Jul 08
That's the problem the world over I am afraid. But someone needs to take a firm grip of the situation.