Is Health Care a Right? - page 26

Just want to see your opinion (friendly discussion, no flaming, please). Is health care a right that should be enjoyed equally here in the U.S.? If so, how would this be financed without breaking... Read More

  1. by   researchrabbit
    Originally posted by JMP
    I think no matter what either side comes up with...the other side can not be swayed.

    I still believe that citizens have the right to health care- regardless of how they got sick, who they are or what they have.
    At the end of the day, when I stand on this side of the boarder, I still am worried and concerned about the number of Americans with no health insurance, no way to tend to their sick. I can not imagine the worry that families must have when they have no insurance.

    I think that we ( this is going to be a problem I know) "we" (society) owe it to those less fortunate ( children, aged, sick) to make sure they have access to base line health care needs. But again, I have to remind myself, this is a Canadian's point of view.
    This is NOT just a Canadian's point of view as I share it. And I agree with you that people who have already made up their minds do not change them (at least, it's very, very rare). We are much better off when all segments of society have access to care (look at universal vaccinations and the $$ saved thereby; polio alone could take tremendous amounts of money throughout the lifetime of the affected person). When one part of our society is vulnerable it makes the rest of us vulnerable, too.

    But it did look like to me that a lot of the earlier posts had become polarized over deserving and nondeserving; the actual discussion had stalled.
  2. by   maureeno
    An area of agreement in this thread is acknowledgement of current and growing problems in access and utilization
    One big agreement among all is we are already spending vast sums on health care: in fiscal year 2000, according to the Department of the Treasury 18% of the federal budget went to health care. States and counties are now straining their budgets and cut backs are happening: for example, clinics are closing, money for any dental, vision or assisitive ambulatory aides is disappearing. Due to low re-inbursement providers are refusing to add Medicare/Medicaid patients to their roles. Emergency rooms are too full.... Meanwhile families are unable to afford private insurance which can easily cost over $700/month. And many businesses are holding off on hiring workers due to the prohibitive expense of ever rising health care premiums.
    Another thing we may all be able to agree on is the ability of this country to find solutions when we believe the problem is important enough to solve.
    Mandatory self insurance, with reasonable co-pays and deductibles, and with choices in benefits [basic/comprehensive] could be a decent part of a solution.
    This would spread risk and encourage responsibilty.
    Another part of the solution is sensible regulation of the drug companies. For instance, I am especially in favor of drugs being tested not only against placebos but also against others in their same class.
  3. by   2banurse
    Originally posted by researchrabbit
    This is NOT just a Canadian's point of view as I share it. And I agree with you that people who have already made up their minds do not change them (at least, it's very, very rare). We are much better off when all segments of society have access to care (look at universal vaccinations and the $$ saved thereby; polio alone could take tremendous amounts of money throughout the lifetime of the affected person). When one part of our society is vulnerable it makes the rest of us vulnerable, too.

    But it did look like to me that a lot of the earlier posts had become polarized over deserving and nondeserving; the actual discussion had stalled.
    Well said Researchrabbit. I personally feel that everyone has a right to "affordable" healthcare. I totally understand that money is needed to provide healthcare, but when I hear that families (I know a few) that have to pay out $700 a month for healthcare for their premiums, not including copays, medications, etc. I'm totally flabbergasted.

    There was a post I saw, I can't remember which thread, that had some MDs going on their own without using health insurance and having in essence their own plan. It was, I believe, a doctor and nurse team that made house calls for the majority of their patients and their overhead (especially billing) was significantly reduced.

    As someone who is uninsured, it is scary as he**. I had put off going to the doctor for quite a while and when I finally went, I was told that I had pneumonia. I was very lucky that it wasn't severe enough to go into the hospital, I'd never be able to afford it.

    Some kind of reform needs to be done, specifically with the private health insurance carriers. I understand that they are businesses that are their to make a profit, but it shouldn't be at the expense of peoples lives.

    Just my 2 cents.
    Kris

    btw, Researchrabbit, I like your new avatar...is that your daughter? she looks just like you!
  4. by   teamrn
    I've done a lot of thinking on this one. I don't think a universal system is the answer, as I've heard of people who NEED to see specialists or have procedures, to have to wait months or a year. Seems close to barbaric to me. I believe some care is actualy rationanized, and a system like that is not what we need.

    However, we can't afford to go on like this, throwing dollar after dollar down a big hole spending more, and getting less in return.

    The last I read, the United States was first in the world in per capaita spending on healthcare; but, the return on its healthcare dollar put it in 37th place after many other countries

    Is it a right? Well, for me, the jury is still out, but I'm leaning towards its being a right for all US citizens. How to make this a reality is another story, but I feel that nurses, who see day to day workings of hospitals and the healthcare system are in a unizue position to influence a change which we ALL know must come.

    Politics is in here to stay, but we need to let the suits and politicians know that the commodity they 'see' as their bottom line is a PERSON...

    There are tough decisions to be made, but this is the US of A, and our collective media, scientific, caregiver, consumer, accounting and think tanks minds should be able to come up with something. I'm working on it, are you?
  5. by   teamrn
    KP,

    I like your reply about our making it a DECISON to afford or NOT to afford healthcare. Not having it is NOT an option for us. I have pre-existing conditions, and haven't worked for 2 years. Hubby lost his f-t job 6 1/2 mos ago and is freelancing now, so our benefits are through COBRA. It is amazing what you can accomplish if you prioritize. We're finding out that there is so much suff we thought we HAD to have, that is on the gravy side. We're now starting to look at things from the basic human needs side. Remember Maslow, and sort of like triaging...

    Sure, we'd like to get new windows to avoid a draft, so we could save a few bucks on heat. Do we really need to have the chimney sweep come this year, furnace expected? In our normal life, we'd do these things, but these are not normal times. We've learned that 'Scrabble' and other board games make for good entertainment. Gifts can be made; Sam's Club has good buys, and on and on.

    We're not the 1st, nor will we be the last to scrape by, but I have every confidence that we will.

    I also read Ted Halstead's article in New York Times originally posted by Nurse Rached. Got me to thinking, and I hope you follow the link above a few posts back to the article. It burns me up to see people my age in perfectly good health 'playing the odds' that they won't get sick. Unfortunately when a catastrophe happens to them, our rates go up collectively. He introduces the idea of ALL being made to have some form of health insurance (like not an option NOT to have car insurance, right?), and then watching the market-forces drive costs down.

    Any thoughts? Keep 'em posted, 'cause I'm interested in nursing's input to the solution of this problem.
  6. by   maureeno
    I read in the employment section of the newspaper [Seattle Times] today that according to the Census Bureau, the number of young people without insurance coverage is growing especially fast-those ages 18-34 increased by 800,000 in the last year to a total of more than 16 million.
    Maybe we should re-phrase and decide if health care access is a responsibility; society being responsible for ensuring affordable insurance and individuals being responsible to obtain it.
  7. by   researchrabbit
    Originally posted by 2banurse
    btw, Researchrabbit, I like your new avatar...is that your daughter? she looks just like you!
    Yes, she is! Thanks -- she is quite the sweetie.
  8. by   Q.
    Originally posted by maureeno
    I read in the employment section of the newspaper [Seattle Times] today that according to the Census Bureau, the number of young people without insurance coverage is growing especially fast-those ages 18-34 increased by 800,000 in the last year to a total of more than 16 million.
    Maybe we should re-phrase and decide if health care access is a responsibility; society being responsible for ensuring affordable insurance and individuals being responsible to obtain it.
    In response to that, at my former place of employment in which at one point I was paying for health insurance that they offered, a young girl by the age of 25, and an employee making equivalent if not more than me, elected not to take health insurance to save the money.

    Soon after, she developed a pulmonary emboli and subsequently had a very expensive hospital course, as well as outpatient lovenox therapy which is also close to $100 an injection. She now has to pay out of pocket, but can't.

    Things like this need to stop. I am starting to like the idea of mandatory self-insurance more and more.
  9. by   Nurse Ratched
    Originally posted by maureeno
    society being responsible for ensuring affordable insurance and individuals being responsible to obtain it.
    Now I could probably get on board with that. I can see people being agitated that gov't was requiring them to spend their money a certain way, but if the "affordable" part was guaranteed...

    Plus, you can't really say that you're hurting no one but yourself by not carrying insurance. Again, society bears the cost in your place by the rest having higher fees/premiums to make up for the free care costs that hospitals have to "eat."

    (Aside to Suzy: I hear you. Even when I was making $4.15/hr, it didn't occur to me not to have health insurance. I was 18, out of my parents' house, not covered otherwise, and it was a necessity. I didn't have cable tv, but I had insurance.)
  10. by   Q.
    Originally posted by Nurse Ratched
    (Aside to Suzy: I hear you. Even when I was making $4.15/hr, it didn't occur to me not to have health insurance. I was 18, out of my parents' house, not covered otherwise, and it was a necessity. I didn't have cable tv, but I had insurance.)
    Yep. And the thing is, it's not like my parents took me aside and had the "health insurance talk" like that of a "sex talk." Health and having health insurance was just a no brainer to me. Of course, I could choose to not take the coverage, and that is my choice I guess, but then I run the risk of having to pay my bills.
  11. by   KP RN
    Teamrn, someone else recently posted data suggesting over one third of the uninsured are families making more than $50,000 per year. This is unconscionable, and further buttresses my belief that people with screwed up priorities CHOOSE not to purchase health insurance. I hear where you're coming from! My husband became legally blind after an illness, about 7 years ago, and our youngest son was born with a congenital heart defect. Finding affordable health insurance wasn't easy, but I did a lot of research and telephone calling, and finally figured out a creative way for our family to join a larger group of families and purchase a policy that way.
    I am in full support of a mandatory plan requiring all individuals to be responsible for paying into the system in order to access health care. Much like requiring all who drive an automobile to purchase car insurance.
  12. by   kmchugh
    Originally posted by JMP
    I think no matter what either side comes up with...the other side can not be swayed.

    Kevin, you and I will have to agree to disagree.....since most of what you posted I disagree with and I am sure you feel the same way about my posts...as you pointed out.

    Reading your posts Kevin, I can see you where raised differently and your values and judgements are proof of that. Your country hold different things close to your hearts....like your constitution, freedom and liberty for all.

    I think that we ( this is going to be a problem I know) "we" (society) owe it to those less fortunate ( children, aged, sick) to make sure they have access to base line health care needs. But again, I have to remind myself, this is a Canadian's point of view.
    Actually, I can be swayed easily, by facts that controvert or override what I have said. Normally, I accept an agreement to disagree, but JMP, you came up on this topic and insulted me, and all those who agree with me, in spite of (or perhaps because of) whatever reasoning we offered. Remember "greed and self indulgence?"

    So, I'll challenge you to point out exactly what I have said that is either greedy or self indulgent. Why is it greedy to want to keep some of what I make for the welfare of my own family? Why is it self indulgent to want to have some money left over after paying my bills to be able to put away for retirement? Or does it become greedy and self indulgent to complain about the spiraling cost of increasing numbers of entitlements for those "less fortunate," and to wonder where it will all end? When is enough enough? (Another question you neatly sidestepped.)

    Think about what you say before you say it. Before calling other people names, think about what they are saying, and that they may have a valid grievance. Supporting those who cannot support themselves is a necessary thing for a society to do. However, questioning where the line is drawn for inability to be self supporting is also necessary.

    Kevin McHugh

    Edited to add: I would tell the same things to Chigap, but she has not come back up on this topic since I took her to task for being equally insulting.
    Last edit by kmchugh on Feb 3, '03
  13. by   JMP
    Kevin

    I think your post smacks of verbal bullying. You will have a difficult time indeed, taking me to task.

    You have to understand Kevin that I live in a different country with VERY different values. We share somethings, but so many are different.

    Health care is one of the great differences. (But only one). I live in a society where health care is a right, and every person receives it, regardless.

    To me, in my opinion, to not want that right shared amongst all citizens is selfish and singleminded. I work full time and believe me, no one takes "everything" I have so everyone else can have something........this kind of thinking is silly and, again in my opinion selfish.

    If you find my thoughts, writings offensive, then shall be it. Put me on your ignore list, refrain from reading my posts, do something, but don't ever think I will back down because you don't like what I say, or try to take me to task....... as I said in an earlier post, agreeing to disagree would be the more reasonable route.

    I truely hope your country can come to turns with universal health care, every person deserves health care......it is a basic human right. Again, a Canadian's view.

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