To all "medical coverage is a privilege" folks: - page 2

by dirtyhippiegirl 16,433 Views | 134 Comments

You're presented with a five year-old who probably has appendicitis. The family is poor, does not have medical insurance, and they only have a small amount of money to cover diagnostics and treatment of their child. (Any... Read More


  1. 7
    The problem isn't folks chosing to go uninsured,its the group who receive Medicaid that jacks up costs for everyone else,not the uninsured.Think about it,I pay taxes so someone else can receive better insurance than I do?I have dental insurance,yet a crown for my tooth will cost me 1,000 dollars,yet for someone on Medicaid its free.I also pay $120 a week for my health insurance,so yeah even though many do have access to it,it just cost too much. Then add in all the co-pays,its not as simple as some make it seem.As for the op,maybe the child and his family qualify for private charity or Medicaid.If the family s middle class,well,we are left to fend for ourselves.
    SE_BSN_RN, hezza, Yenechka, and 4 others like this.
  2. 0
    The 5 year old gets his appendix taken out. If there are 10 a month they all get their surgeries. Somtime the families will pay a little at a time and pay off that debt. Hospitals are required to do so much charity care. Sometime charity care pays. Probably , a good bit of the time charges for items are increased so that the hospital gets some of that money back from the insurance co. of every patient that is admitted.
  3. 18
    I find it funny that, in the same breath, someone will argue against universal health care and then complain about health care costs.

    Off topic: I want to laugh in the face of anyone who goes off about "illegal immigrants." It doesn't even have to be about them receiving health care. It's just so comical to me. If we look back, America used to be the home of the free, where millions of European immigrants came in search of a better life. It was a defining building block of this country, something we romanticized in the 20th century. Now, many Americans think those same types of people are beneath them. It's so sad to me. Although I guess if we look back even farther, I actually can sympathize with those Native Americans who had their land taken over by a group of illegal immigrants from Europe.
    designer-mommy, myelin, latebloomer74, and 15 others like this.
  4. 5
    Well, while I agree that parts of your statement tend to align with some thoughts of my own, there are portions of your post that are just straight up untrue. There are PLENTY of people that work hard that do not have insurance. I myself work 2 jobs totally 50 hours per week, one of them is a very respectable-paying nursing job---with NO benefits. I am fortunate that my husband is able to carry our healthcare insurance through his employer, but many American's do not have that option.
  5. 3
    In my state, Medicaid won't pay for a crown for a tooth. Well, not without the provider jumping through a milion hoops to try and get it pre-approved so they can be paid about 30% of the original fee, which isn't even enough to cover the lab bill....
  6. 3
    As usual, the problem arises not from an ethical debate about whether it is 'right' for individuals to pay for their own healthcare or society to pay for it - ethically it would seem far more 'social' for payment to come from all for all. Unfortunately, we as a society can't afford all the healthcare that everyone needs. As a result of this, the limited amount of money available from society to pay for health must always result in some who get what they need and some who don't.

    This leaves you with essentially two extremes of choice:

    a) An entirely nationalised system where everybody gets 'free' healthcare (i.e. funded through taxation and free at the point of delivery) according to need - this is (sort of*) like the NHS in the UK where I work. Limited funding means that those who happen to suffer from very expensive to treat conditions do not get the treatment they need, regardless of how much they may have paid into the system through a lifetime of taxes (or not...), the rationale being that the limited funds must be spent where they will do the most good to the greatest number. In the original example above, the 10 kids with appendicetomies get their treatment ($50,000 to save 10 young lives) but a 50 year old with bowel cancer does not get the Bevacizumab ( a cancer drug that costs ~$50,000 to the NHS to give for a course of treatment) he needs because the NHS has to balance one 50 year old life against 10 kids. Great if you're the parent of the kid, less so if you're the wife of the bowel cancer patient (to push the example even further (but plausibly) - make the 10 kids come form poor families who have never paid tax into the system and the cancer patient a hard working man who has paid tax into the system for 30 years). Is this fair, or even morally acceptable ?

    b) An entirely privatised system, whereby all individuals are responsible for meeting their own healthcare needs and those who can't afford it don't get it. This is (sort of*) like the system in the USA, the limited funding manifests as those who are personally less wealthy don't get treatment (even if it would be relatively cheap, e.g. $5,000 appendicectomies to save a life) and the more wealthy get treatment regardless(ish) of cost (even if a huge payment may only buy you a few more months of life - $50,000 worth of Bevacizumab buys you on average about 5 months more life expectancy for metastatic bowel cancer patients). On the one hand, the bowel cancer patient has paid all his working life for his healthcare but on the other hand, why do the 10 kids deserve to die from a totally preventable cause just because their parents were born poor ? Is this fair, or even morally acceptable ?


    *Both are 'sort of' true - in the UK it is possible for bowel cancer man to get his treatment by paying privately, in the US the kids of the very poor will be treated under medicaid, so really what it comes down to is that as a society we have to decide which limited healthcare funding distribution option we are least uncomfortable with. Unsurprisingly, people who are wealthy enought to afford their own healthcare expenses generally favour option (b) and poorer ones who can't afford it favour option (a).....
    GerberaDaisy, Orange Tree, and XB9S like this.
  7. 5
    I am part of the working poor. I have minimal insurance to myself and my kids. That is, if we have a significant event like a hospitalization, we pay 20% and the insurance pays 80%. It's not good, but it's better than paying 100%. For well child and checkups, then it's cash. Which is still cheaper than the monthly premium for most insurances. $100 for a visit vs. $600/mo for insurance. My husband has always had a full time job, but never had insurance since he always worked for small businesses that don't provide it. I had regular insurance when I worked full time at a school, but it only covered me. I am a student now, so I work part time.

    I live in Arizona, which has cut all new medicaid applications since 2008 and so there are thousands of children without health insurance. If it weren't for the CVS and Walgreens clinics, they would get NO healthcare at all.

    My point is that just because someone doesn't have insurance, that doesn't mean they are lazy or a drug addict. We live frugally, so we have to be creative to meet basic needs. As far as public assistance goes, I don't think adults should be forced to have insurance. For people like me, who are basically healthy, it's more of a cost than a benefit. (except for that rare hospitalization that is the accdent insurance is covering). Children shouldn't have to suffer or go without healthcare because of employers benefit packages. I think that states should cover kids in those cases. I hate that people don't get the care for their kids because of the cost. There are sliding scales, which is great and should be utilized as well.
  8. 4
    Quote from Staragate
    My point is that just because someone doesn't have insurance, that doesn't mean they are lazy or a drug addict".
    " I don't think adults should be forced to have insurance. For people like me, who are basically healthy, it's more of a cost than a benefit. (except for that rare hospitalization that is the accdent insurance is covering).
    I certainly agree with the first sentence quoted , but the second para I wholehearted disagree with unless you are absolutely unable to pay for your insurance ( due to proved low income or physical or mental disability that stops you from being able to earn a income ). I have two reasons for this position
    1) The choice to be uninsured does not get rid of the risk or liability that a healthcare problem would cause it simply places the liability on me , as I have to finance the uninsured expenses . This risk increases my private insurance costs.
    2) by reducing the pool of insured , you reduce the number of people who share the costs of the risk the insurance policy covers , again raising the costs of my private insurance premiums .

    I don't think adults should be forced to pay higher insurance premiums to cover those who choose not to have health care insurance when they can afford it !. It may be easier on their pockets but not mine .
    SE_BSN_RN, myelin, Not_A_Hat_Person, and 1 other like this.
  9. 14
    I have been a full-time employed RN for more than 30 years. I have always had health insurance. My husband had a serious health issue (in 2005) requiring surgery and hospitalization in a university hospital system with months of after care which included expensive supplies. Our health insurance company at the time refused to pay for ANY of the associated costs and dropped our coverage. I recently experienced a critical health issue, paid for by my insurance, but my already fragile budget was devastated by the deductables, co-pays, and loss of income. We are now filing bankrupcy and have lost our home. It is important to point out that my spouse and I do not (and historically have not) carry(ied) any credit debt other than our mortgage and have driven used cars that we have paid for with cash for more than 25 years.

    The "individual mandate" was initially a republican concept that now is considered evil by many of the same folks who signed off on it years ago (think in terms of the push back against "Hillarycare"). I am still waiting to hear the modern proposal of the conservative leaders for the care of our most vulnerable citizens...those who are ill, injured, or disabled. Cutting medicare and medicaid is not a plan to improve our health care in this country.
    SE_BSN_RN, myelin, hezza, and 11 others like this.
  10. 3
    My 21-year-old daughter makes minimum wage ($7.25/hour --Idaho--caregiver at a group home) and pays nearly $200/month for medical coverage. I work at the local university and my healthcare package costs significantly less....however it comes with a yearly $5000 deductible per person on my plan. I'm paying for really no coverage at all outside of catastrophic illness or injury, in which case maybe even then I'd get stuck with the bill -- I don't even know what to expect! Better not complain, I guess, it's better than nothing...which is what I used to have. I'm 49 years old and doing my best to stay fit: keeping a healthy weight, staying active, and taking health supplements and vitamins and stuff -- god forbid I get sick cuz if I do it's coming out of my shallow pocket.
    Last edit by interceptinglight on Mar 29, '12 : Reason: typos
    Not_A_Hat_Person, tewdles, and wooh like this.


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