What do you think of the American health care system?

@ModelMom (129)
United States
December 8, 2006 2:48pm CST
I am fortunate enough to have excellent health care benefits through my husband, but while I was growing up there were many years in which my family did not have health insurance and therefore none of us were able to go to doctors when needed, etc. I find a health care systemt aht basically discrimintaes agaisnt the poor to be callous and dehumanizing. I know, because I lived it and not because my parents were trying to live "off of the system". My father happnes to be handicapped and therefore had a terribel time finding work when I was a kid, and the porr man pounded the pavement non stop looking for a way to feed his family. And even when you do have insurance, our health care system does not promise to be there in a time of need. Several years ago, a close friend of our family was a priest in inner city LA and was shot by a gang member during a drive-by. He was rushed to the nearest hospital and told that they did not accept his type of insurance and rather than treat him he was taken back home and dropped off like a dog where he literally bled to death. How can we call ourselves a civilized nation when this type of atrocity is going on? We should take better care of our people.
26 responses
@EagleEyes (646)
• United States
8 Dec 06
I agree...How do we let this happen in America? It doesn't make any sense at all, It's a very sad fact, but it all comes down to MONEY, and I think that is wrong. My dad was just diagnosed with melanoma and he called an oncologist, and he called a cancer hospital and they don't accept his insurance. As a matter of fact, they don't accept any HMO'S. Is that the most ridiculous thing or what? My father who is 65 years old, worked his whole life and is still working through all of this, and he gets screwed like this in the end? It doesn't make any sense, and it really is a shame, It is pathetic!
@ModelMom (129)
• United States
8 Dec 06
I am so sorry to hear about your father and I truly hope that he finds a provider that will accept his insurance. HMO's are horrible too. That is what my parents have and they are both elderly as well...any time they need a referral to see a specialist they have to literally wait months to get an appointment and even then they are lucky if they get to see an actual doctor rather than a nurse practitioner. It is a crime. This kind of stuff angers me to no end.
• United States
8 Dec 06
It makes me mad too, so mad! I told my dad he should apply for medicare and see if they could help him, He just turned 65 in Ocotober, It just doesn't make sense that we let this happen. People work their whole life to care for their families and then when they need care, they can't get it. It's just so wrong. I betcha if he was a millionaire they wouldn't turn him down. Peoples health should come before money anytime.
• India
9 Dec 06
I have always found the US HC system to be a manipulated one. It is standing more on a commercial ground rather than the fulfilling the basic aim of providing quality HC to Americans. If you do not have insurance, it means that you cant be treated...what does it mean...the basic right of every human to live has been compared to a monthly few dollars? I find this entire system to be bogus both morally as well as commercially.
• United States
9 Dec 06
once i turned 1 and graduated from high school i didn't have any form of healthcare. yeah i had a job but nothing that could completely cover all those expenses. now i'm in college and without a job the only way i got to go to the doctor was at the university health center which was cheap. i think they should really consider giving health care to the college students.
• United States
9 Dec 06
i mean "once i turned 18"
• United States
9 Dec 06
I think it is awful. There is no reason that we should have to pay so much when other countries get health care for free. The bad thing is we live on the Mexico/Arizona border and the people from Mexico get their health care here for free. The ambulance brings them to the border and then a US ambulance picks them up and transports them to the hospital for care. This is all done free and our hospitals are losing billons of dollars because once the person is taken care of they are taken back to the border and they don't pay. Also, you see a lot when you are in the stores where people are complaining of chest pains, etc so they get free medical in the US. However, if we go to the doctor they charge you an arm and a leg. I know it is because we are paying for other countries to get free medical care and not taking care of our own country.
@ModelMom (129)
• United States
11 Dec 06
That is crazy. I had no idea it was happenening so much! And I agree with you....how can we "affird" to give free healthcare to others and leave our own citizens to die? Where the heck are our tax dollars going?
• United States
9 Dec 06
I agree that the system stinks. The only people it does not affect are the very wealthy. I am middle class, if there is such a thing anymore. Both my husband and I have worked for 40 years. He cannot stop working to retire. I cannot even go to the doctor's, nor fill important prescriptions, as I don't have the money. Why did we work all our lives?
@ModelMom (129)
• United States
11 Dec 06
I know how you feel. My dad is 74 and is luckily not being forced to retire from teh company that he works for. He literally cannot afford to retire and lose his benefits even though the benefits are awful, they are still a bit better than Medicare.
@norteh (615)
• Netherlands
8 Dec 06
I agree with you. I follow the health care system of the USA for a couple of years, and i am a little astonished by the lack of social feeling for other people that are living in the same country. The 'american dream' should be a 'dream of all americans'. The USA is in a lot of ways a great nation, but to the poor and disabled, that nation is not always forgiving. I hope i don't step on to many toes, with this response.
@ModelMom (129)
• United States
8 Dec 06
I was born and raised in the US and I don't think you are stepping on a any toes. It is embarrasing and sad that everyone in the world knows how uncaring and money hungry the majority of our medical system is. I completely agree with your views. The US is a great plae to be if you have money....but if you are poor you really don't have any rights. Money talks....very loudly...in this nation.
@vikranth (179)
• India
9 Dec 06
its expensive
@kawillow74 (1417)
• United States
9 Dec 06
I really think is suck we are paying $172.00 + $13.00 a week for a family of 4 and the health care stinks . Yes we only have a 15 dollar copay.But is does not cover any meds unless they are genic so I am going to check on others.
@anup_cfa (899)
• India
9 Dec 06
With health care near the top of everybody's issue list in this election year, we wanted to call attention to one of the issues the country should be thinking about: how U.S. health care stacks up against Canada's universal single-payer system. We knew that Adam Gopnik and Malcolm Gladwell have both lived in Canada and developed strong feelings about socialized health care--pro and con. And, as we have long had the highest regard for their work, we thought it would be interesting to bring them together for a debate through which they could share their insights with each other and our readers. Because they both work for The New Yorker, we asked the permission of their editor, David Remnick, to undertake this project and he was kind enough to grant it. Robert Worth, one of our contributing editors, volunteered his services as moderator. As you read through the following discussion, you will probably find yourself eager to support, rebut, or elaborate on arguments and factual assertions that have been made. Please do. Your comments should be marked "Health-Care Open Forum" and sent by post to The Washington Monthly, 1611 Connecticut Avenue, NW, Washington D.C., 20009 or by email to our editors. Adam Gopnik: I have lived under three different medical regimes: Canada, the United States, and France. I have been seriously sick under all three regimes and had many family members with similar experiences. My wife's sister had a very, very premature baby born in Edmonton six years ago, the kind of baby who normally lives in about 20 percent of cases--and they had eight months of intensive care. I mean really intensive care. And the baby ended up living. It was a pound and a half at birth, the smallest baby that survived in western Canada in that year. The one thing they never thought about, the one thing they never considered, the one thing they never had to pay a moment's attention to was: How much will this cost? When does our insurance run out? It simply was not in the agonizing equation of worry and concern that they had to face. That seems to me, in itself, the most powerful argument you can make for socialized medicine, to put it in the bluntest possible terms.
@Krysha (48)
• United States
9 Dec 06
/sigh this discussion is actually a sore subject for me. We are surviving barely on one income with 3 kids. We all have insurance though my husbands work but its costing us $500 dollars a month. And with that $500 we still pay $40 dollar co-pays and $3000 deductables. It sucks! I've got a major kidney disease and no other insurance will accept me so I'm stuck. I've tried to get assistance for my kids through our state and they told me we qualify for state healthcare for $55 per child a month..... Problem is that we'd have to drop the kids insurance for 6 months before I can apply through the state..... tell me if that makes sense.......
@rakinitin (686)
• Canada
9 Dec 06
I'm not very knowledgeable about the US systems but what little I do know from the watching news, makes me glad I live in Canada. Here, if you get sick or hurt and are poor, there are plans available to assist you so there are no payments and there are wonderful free places to go to. We have an awful lot of resources at our disposal. Yearly government health coverage premiums can be waivered once Tax info is produced as proof of inability to make payments. I'm also glad YOU have an excellent plan. Unfortunately money talks. A few years ago, they passed the 'Private' health care sector in Canada. That means that if you are rich you can get to the front of the line and avoid the waiting lists for tests and procedures.
@riskey58 (248)
• United States
9 Dec 06
I think the American health care system is terrible.They want your money,but they do not like paying for what you need.They up the cost of your insurance,but they lower their services.
@jsnapp (137)
• United States
9 Dec 06
I agree with you. The American health care system has a lot of room for improvenemt. I have good health care insurance too, but with deductibles it still costs $1500 per year before insurance pays 100%.
@ljmc24 (413)
• United States
9 Dec 06
The health care system here is horrible. My husband has insurance, we can't afford to cover me on it though, would be over 900 a month. That is crazy. But basically until you have it for so many years it won't cover anything. Everything they say is a pre existing condition. I don't think they should be able to discriminate and deny treatment because they feel like it.
@hm1177 (1223)
9 Dec 06
like most health care systems in developed countries it has its pro's and cons. It must be terrible to be ill and not afford health care. In the UK our NHS often comes under attack but at the end of the day everyone here gets basic treatment and you can always pay for private care if you can and wish to. Unfortunately there isn't enough staff and resources to ensure everyone gets the treatment needed all the time.
@jewel76 (2305)
• Canada
9 Dec 06
Our public health insurance card - Our public health insurance card
I think the American health system is wayyyy too expensive for the residents. They should do like here in Canada, offer a public health insurance that covers doctor visits, hospital visits and part of the medication costs. I think our public health insurance here is the best. We never ever pay for a doctor's visit, unless we want to go in the private sector, we never ever pay for an operation, or a hospital visit. We do pay however if we call the ambulance, but then again, if the accident happens at work, it's the workplace that pays the ambulance. And we pay the whole price for some meds, they are not all covered by the insurance, but most of them are.
@iocaine (237)
• Australia
9 Dec 06
My sister recently went to America, and she got some swimmers wax stuck in her ear. She went to the hospital, and had to pay $600 to have it taken out by a doctor. This is rediculous for such a rich country. Here in Australia, she could have had it taken out virtually for free under our medicare system.
• India
9 Dec 06
TOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO EXPENSIVE
@NewHeart (528)
• Canada
9 Dec 06
think it sucks myself sorry to say. but i was born and raised in canada so far if we get sick and go to hospital they don't try and take your house if you can't pay doctor. if we visit states its wise for us to get travel insurance which costs us $1.00 aday down there not fare to you cause don't think you down there get it that cheap...
@terita (280)
• Pakistan
9 Dec 06
hmm DEFINITELY agree. I don't understand why, though. I came to the US from Argentina, and even over there they have an excellent health care system, where health care is accessible, and it does cover pretty much everything. No deductibles, no copayments, no out of pockets.
@Spheria (181)
• United States
9 Dec 06
I think nothing of it because it's too expensive.