Is Health Care a Right? - page 43

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   Good_Queen_Bess
    Everyone should be treated on the basis of need, not on the ability to pay. Equality for ALL.
    I will never work in the private sector as I don't believe someone who just happens to have more money should be treated better/quicker. It would go against every grain of my conscience as a nurse to look after a patient who was in a hospital bed who got there quicker just because they had more money, and that there was someone in greater pain or even dying at home due to them having less MONEY.
    The National Health Service isn't perfect, but everyone is equal.
  2. by   Gromit
    Sounds good. Wish I could afford the Harley Road King, instead of the Kawasaki Vulcan Classic that I ride, but my finances don't support that (yet. They will in about a half a year). I understand the desire, but who should donate the money? I mean, it DOES seem harsh to say 'you just don't have the coverage', but the truth of the matter is, CABG, and any other advanced tx just cost a lot of money, resources etc, and well, who eats the cost? Please don't tell me 'the government'. The government has no money of its own. It gets it through taxes. Most Americans (of the U.S. Variety) are just not willing to donate 1/2 of their earnings like that.

    Whats the point in working for a living, if you can't enjoy the living your working for?

    As was said earlier, BASIC care is given and refused to none, but you just cannot get Cadillac (or Rolls Royce, for our English friends -love the old Rolls.... back when cars were cars!) care for a Volkswagen price. SOMEBODY has to make up the difference. Who do you force to do that?

    Of course, you could always just donate your earnings to help them.... (I already volunteer what few 'free' hours I have left)

    Good Queen, are you saying that if you can afford better care, you cannot get it better than or faster than the National Health Service? You must be on the same waiting list as everyone? (I do not pretend to understand NHS in England).
    Last edit by Gromit on May 6, '03
  3. by   jenac
    I would love to have the magic answer here. It sure would fix alot! I do think heathcare is a right-a basic human right. But money buys the best of everything-and those with it can get the best care, the best Dr., the best meds. While those without it don't get any care-or half rate care at best. Heath insurance has become so expensive-you have to be a rocket-scientist to afford it. How many struggling families have to forgo trips to the Dr. because they can't afford the $400 a month for heath ins. or the $75 for just an office visit-not to mention the cost of medications? For some-the lack of available care means life or death-or at least quality of life. Here's a great example that riles me up every time I think of it. (I've had this dissucsion before-can't ya tell? ) Take two women-both have breast cancer. One of them is married to a top CEO of something or another. The other is a struggling single mom. The first can afford the best Dr. and the best meds, the top experiemental drugs. The second can barely afford the office visits-let alone the meds. And she makes more than what the goverment says she can on paper to get federally funded heathcare. Which do you think is gonna have a better chance of survival? Why? Because of circumstance. Because of things we cannot always control-because of things none of us chooses to happen. Why should the second women suffer and ultimately die because of her financial circumstance? Does she have any less right to live? Is she any less important? No-she's just unluckier than the former. Her lot in life has just turned out to be worse than the former. As heathcare workers-and human beings-we should all respect both these lives. We should do everything in our power to save them both- for their values as people, not their stations.

    Anyway-that's my opinon. I'll step off my soapbox now. I don't have all the answers. I have no idea how to pay for this, or how to fix the problems with the system as it is. I think the federal government could afford alot more if they would stop useless spending on things like crystal ashtrays in Congressmen's offices-when all federal buildings are smoke-free. Or short trips in limos around the corner. But-that's the beast at the heart of all evils, isn't it?

    Thanks for letting me give my two cents.
  4. by   Gromit
    I agree with you on that part! I wish the government was made more accountable for the useless spending. I've worked for local governments before (county level, EMS/Fire) and the senseless spending and waste used to make me sick! Any business would go belly-up (and many have, for those very shenanigans)
  5. by   nurse2002
    Originally posted by sixes
    I guess we could go on debating this for ever.
    I did not realize that taxes were that high in the US, forgive me I am canadian and have never left Ontario.
    I just see what is on TV, everything seems cheaper and your dollar is worth way more then our LOONIE.
    Yes our health care system is the best and I can not think of an country that would not want it, Yes the US needs a Us solution, I am just thankful that I'm not the one who has no health coverage.
    I hope your government solves this national disaster as fast at it is solving the conflict with Iraq.
    I will repeat myself again everyone in the US deserves proper coverage, in a country with such great wealth no one young or old should have to live in fear of becoming ill, illness is a fact of live and it does'nt care if you are rich or poor.
    Have a great day.
    On a happier note it is +4C today the sun is shining brightly prehaps our-26C weather is gone for good.

    Actually, I am bashing our healthcare system. Healthcare should be a right in a country as rich as ours.

    I work in homehealth and get elderly patients ALL the time that they send home from the hospital without meds knowing this person does not have the money to get them. Social services does nothing. I dont care if they were a doc before retirement or a garage collector....they deserve to live. Let them die because they are poor?

    I see them send home young people from the hosptal that came in DKA because they could not afford their insulin.

    Saw a little baby girl 22 months old die last month because her insurance company would not pay for surgery and only a few chemo and radiation visits. Who helped them? Noone. Even more children would die if it were not for organizations such as the Shriners and Masons. A LOT more.

    I have a lady right now who will die without surgery because insurance does not want to pay it all. But she is going to sell her house, but where is she going to go when she gets out of the hospital? She worked hard ALL her life for that house. Gone now.

    Our politicians can spend millions to campaign. Our goverment spends billions on defense. Also millons on reseach such as 'why does a fly have two wings?' (serious example) But medicare cannot pay for meds? ARRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRG!

    Ive seen them sell off nursing home residents property and not leave them so much as a gown to sleep in.

    America is a great place to live, but we pay a high price for it. We pay the taxes, but not everyone is covered. Even people that have worked ALL their lives.

    Sixes, you are SOoooooooooo right. We need to get it together. And fast.
  6. by   nurse2002
    Jenac, I just read your post! You are sooo right!

    I feel much better also after this vent.
  7. by   nurse2002
    Originally posted by Gromit
    Sounds good. Wish I could afford the Harley Road King, instead of the Kawasaki Vulcan Classic that I ride, but my finances don't support that (yet. They will in about a half a year). I understand the desire, but who should donate the money? I mean, it DOES seem harsh to say 'you just don't have the coverage', but the truth of the matter is, CABG, and any other advanced tx just cost a lot of money, resources etc, and well, who eats the cost? Please don't tell me 'the government'. The government has no money of its own. It gets it through taxes. Most Americans (of the U.S. Variety) are just not willing to donate 1/2 of their earnings like that.

    Whats the point in working for a living, if you can't enjoy the living your working for?

    As was said earlier, BASIC care is given and refused to none, but you just cannot get Cadillac (or Rolls Royce, for our English friends -love the old Rolls.... back when cars were cars!) care for a Volkswagen price. SOMEBODY has to make up the difference. Who do you force to do that?

    Of course, you could always just donate your earnings to help them.... (I already volunteer what few 'free' hours I have left)

    Good Queen, are you saying that if you can afford better care, you cannot get it better than or faster than the National Health Service? You must be on the same waiting list as everyone? (I do not pretend to understand NHS in England).
    The government DOES have the money. Where is it? Well, if they would get their heads out of their butts, they might find it.
    See my previous post please.

    Better to be on a waiting list than no list at all.

    imo.
  8. by   Gromit
    I agree, Nurse2002. Think of the BILLIONS we have sent in aid to other countries. If we would curtail some of that, we could have a national health care system that was second to none -without taking one more red cent from us working chumps. I have long advocated the idea of reducing what we just give away to other countries (no way in the world could most or would most pay it back). Helping others is great, but help should also begin at home.

    as for waiting lists, what good is it to sit and die by a number? end result is the same. From what I've been reading in the London Mirror, it seems your own citizens have a few gripes about NHS. Point is, none of 'em are perfect. And you didnt answer what I was asking anyway. I'd like to know, in your system of one-size-fits-all (everyone is the same) can the person with extra bread in the pocket get any private care, or are they relegated to the waiting line just the same? England has its share of haves and have-nots too. How do THEY deal with the medical system?
    Last edit by Gromit on May 6, '03
  9. by   nurse2002
    [QUOTE]Originally posted by mattsmom81
    [B]IMO basic healthcare is a right we ALREADY enjoy in the US. Every community I know of has a county clinic or hospital which works with indigent, and it is against the law for facilities to turf serious ailments due to inability to pay. So the people who need free or low cost basic healthcare already get it, in my experience. If they don't, they aren't looking too hard.

    It is not against the law for any facility to turf serious health ailments. At even an "indigent hospital" they only have to 'stabilize' the patient then they send them home. Stabilizing someones pain when it is coming from bone cancer is not helping. Same as a clinic. They stabilize them and send them on their way. With a list of 'community resources.' (might as well dig their grave for them.)

    Charity funds run out QUICKLY.

    Most of the time if you WORK but cannot afford health insurance you also do NOT qualify for 'government help.' Because no matter how little money you make, it is too much.
  10. by   jenac
    Originally posted by nurse2002

    Most of the time if you WORK but cannot afford health insurance you also do NOT qualify for 'government help.' Because no matter how little money you make, it is too much. [/B]
    That's my point. How many working families can afford to loss $400 a month to heath ins.? Very few can do so- and still eat or pay their bills. And when someone in that family needs heathcare- the costs come straight out of their pockets. Often it puts you in the poorhouse and means other bills won't get paid that month. The end is always the same- feed your kids or pay for insurence. It's no contest.

    To many families fall between the cracks of the goverment systems as they are now. The HeathyStart program helps- but it still loses many people. You can either make next to nothing-or work two jobs to pay for it yourself. Medicaid is the same. Medicare- sure, if your 65 or disabled and if you only need what they'll pay for.

    Again- I don't have all the answers. I take care of people- not budgets. I'm just showing my frustration with our system as it is.
  11. by   Good_Queen_Bess
    The NHS tries to treat people equally. Some NHS trusts will put more investments into different services; ie: In some NHS trusts, waiting lists might be longer, for say; a hip replacement. As an example: In London, you might be waiting longer than Birmingham as in Birmingham there may be more beds/more investment for that particular speciality. It's complicated and I am in the middle of a night shift and can't adequatley explain myself!!! I know what I mean, but my brain is running on battery supply back-up!!
    Don't believe everything you read in the tabloids! All you hear about are bad things. Many years of underinvestment by Margaret Thatcher and the Tories DID run down the NHS, but things have improved over the last few years.
    Yes, you can get treatment quicker paying privatley, but it is not necessarily better. The consultant just seems to kiss your arse a bit more because he/she's getting his pockets lined. I don't think healthcare should be ran privatley by companies who just put profits first.
    Incidentally, what rates of tax are paid in the US? I can't remember ours exactly, but I think the first 6,000 or so is tax-free, then around 24% after that, rising to a higher rate over 30k or so. Don't quote me for exact figures. I would be willing to pay more if it meant better services.
  12. by   JMP
    Bess

    In many ways England and Canada share the same type of universal health care system. I work with a RN from England and he has confirmed many times that the systems are the same.

    It is hard for me to imagine ANYONE needing ANY TYPE of health care and not getting it. So far in my career, if someone needs a CABG, they get it- usually within a week or 10 days.

    My family member had a recent problem, was in, had MRI and CAT scan and diagnosed within a week.

    Speaking from a critical care point of view ( my area) everyone gets what they need- and many get things they don't need------ but then that is another topic.
  13. by   VickyRN
    Wow, this thread has gone on and on, debating and restating. I sort of dropped out of the discussion early on, when things got just too "heated." Hopefully, we can all agree CIVILLY to disagree. We all have valid points of view. I think we can all agree on one thing--the system we have now is in need of serious repair. I believe we can also agree that many good, hard-working people through no fault of their own do not have or cannot afford health insurance. It is an entire subclass of American citizens--tens of millions of people. Their economic lives are in constant peril--at any time they can become sick and lose everything and incur thousands of dollars of debt. They are often treated as second-class citizens when they enter health care facilities. Their life expectancies are statistically shorter than their counterparts who have insurance. I really feel for them. I believe that we as a society must do better.

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