Is Health Care a Right? - page 7

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   KP RN
    One aspect that hasn't been mention yet, is what is meant when people say they "can't afford" health insurance. Or is it that they choose to spend their money on other things??
    Recently, I read an interesting article in the Wall Street Journal regarding the huge increase in families of middle and upper-middle income who are "taking their chances" and not buying health insurance.
    I suspect many (not all) people choose to spend their money elsewhere : vacations, new cars, expensive dining and entertainment. Even people who are barely making it financially are able to afford cable TV and lottery tickets!?!?
    I promise you that I am not a wealthy elitist snob here. I just think many many people have their priorities screwed up out there.
  2. by   coolh2o
    Originally posted by KP RN
    One aspect that hasn't been mention yet, is what is meant when people say they "can't afford" health insurance. Or is it that they choose to spend their money on other things??
    Recently, I read an interesting article in the Wall Street Journal regarding the huge increase in families of middle and upper-middle income who are "taking their chances" and not buying health insurance.
    I suspect many (not all) people choose to spend their money elsewhere : vacations, new cars, expensive dining and entertainment. Even people who are barely making it financially are able to afford cable TV and lottery tickets!?!?
    I promise you that I am not a wealthy elitist snob here. I just think many many people have their priorities screwed up out there.
    This is why I say make it a payroll tax. I work with quite a few people who make good money but take their families and themselves to the county hospital for free treatment. And this is judgemental, but they all have cellphones, cable tv, fingernails and hair done!
  3. by   nurseman
    Originally posted by Tinkerbell
    My records got all messed up with someone else's and medicade had that my baby died when he was born - not true - and the date of conception for 2nd child was 3 days later. (is that even possible??) Even after taking my son to them with his birth certificate with the foot prints on it so they could match his to what I had they refused to change my records and would only pay for things after Jan. 3. My son was born Dec. 31 and I had a postpardum hemmorage that required 4 bags of blood for me to survive. Now my husband and I are over $25,000 in debt and the hospital or doctor refuse to work with us. We're looking at bad credit for a long long time.
    The current system fails even those that deserve it. It has to be replaced. Currently we have insurance thru my husband's job and if our premium's go up again this year, we'll have to cancel it because we just can't afford it. I don't know what we'll do. This was just my .02
    Recently a close friend of mine had premature twins by emergency c-section. The twins stayed in the hospital for two months. She is a college student and her husband is working a contract position as a computer programmer with no benefits. I worried about her health and the health of the babies. I most certainly did not worry about their financial state. The only time they ever mentioned money and the hospital in the same sentence was when they were talking about the cost of parking.

    If I go to the hospital, my doctor or a walk in clinic I give them my health card and then get treatment. I do not like the longer waiting time but I never worry about being refused medical care.
  4. by   christinemj
    I definitely think that there should be some sort of "universal health care coverage" for all citizens. An income-based sliding scale of premiums and a system of co-pays, could be instituted to ensure that people take on some "responsibility" for their own health care choices, and services aren't abused.

    I've had a few "nasty" experiences with medical bills. When I was in college, obviously without any health insurance (could barely afford tuition, how could I afford insurance???) I was in 2 freak accidents/incidents that resulted in both arms being casted (yes, at the same time!)... an "outpatient" orthopedic surgery that turned into a 5 day hospital stay....and a total of 9 months in physical therapy. This happened in 1991. I JUST paid off the last $1700 of those bills LAST MONTH!

    My husband and I have been self-employed/small business owners for the last 9 years. At times, we could afford insurance for some or all of the family...at times we couldn't and just PRAYED that we all stayed "safe." My husband has since become eligible for care through a VA hospital, which is located a convenient 2.5 hours from our home. At one of the times that we didn't have private insurance coverage for my husband, he experienced cardiac problems. Long story, short.....but.....he could have received "free" treatment at the VA center (2.5 hours away, remember). HOWEVER, the physician at our local ER and hospital didn't feel that he was stable enough to transfer. Not feeling quirky enough to pull out all of his own lines and hitch an ambulance ride to the VA hospital, hubby was "treated" at our local hospital. WE are now paying for that entire fiasco out of our pocket...which includes a failed angioplasty, several days in ICU, and a whole bunch of other fun stuff...to the tune of over $30K. Ahhhhhhh.............. Yes, being the "responsible" adult citizens that we are, we WILL pay every single penny, even if it takes us 'til 2020....(not too big a stretch of the imagination!!....LOL)

    All that to say that....YES........I DO think that there should be a "universal health care plan." "Good people" do end up in crappy health-care situations sometimes...........
  5. by   sanakruz
    Originally posted by mark_LD_RN
    some one explain to me how Frist was directly envolved in defrauding medicare as you propose. Do you not think that it occurs at all hospitals. It was not an actual plan, but just occured by design, when billing goes over a chart and codes it they try to get the most they can especially since medicare pays approx 1/3 the rate. it is not an intention to defraud any one.


    as far as the Patients Bill of rights, something had to be done, you should look in my area we just passed tort reform due to all the frivilous law suits, dr were unable to find malpractice insurance. that was not because they were not good doctors. people have abused and used the system now we all have to pay for it.


    on the topic of mental health, yes a lot of people need it and to some it is not a medical problem, i worked in psych for over a yr and find that a lot of what people believe is not true, but i agree psych needs more attention. but i still do not believe inmates are entitled to more than the basic health care needs especially ones on death row.just a pure waste of money and effort IMHO
  6. by   sanakruz
    Now what is it you think "what alot of people believe is not true????" I'm confused by this statement. ( and how to properly quote someone)
  7. by   sanakruz
    Oh and MagRN- Please share with us some stats RE non-citizens leeching our system.Do you have any clue as to where you may find them? Or are you just going to recite the same tired party line of the ignorant?
    Suzy- Heaven forbid that inmate had access to an abortion prior to being incarcerated! Pro life any of you? I know you are, Mark

    Can I believe my ears? Licensed nurses advocating the suffering of their fellow humans on this planet? Or are you all just whining because you have to pay taxes???
    Last edit by sanakruz on Jan 17, '03
  8. by   Flo1216
    KpRN-You are making a blanket generalization about uninsured people, though. I am sure there ARE people who have their priorities all screwed up, but you are talking about MILLIONS of uninsured. They can't all be getting their nails done. And even if they are, so what? It's a helluva lot cheaper than health insurance. Health insurance coverage in NJ for a single, healthy person without children starts at no less than $320 a month. So imagine the cost for a family of four, with medical problems. I really find it hard to believe that all of these uninsured families are spending the money that they should have used on health insurance to buy a brand new Mercedes.
  9. by   Venti Cappucino
    Exactly... the cost of health insurance can be astronomical.

    My partner and I are on a very tight budget. After rent, utilities, her car payment, and food, there's not much left. The only reason we have basic cable is that we got it as a Christmas gift from one of my relatives; otherwise, we couldn't afford it.

    As far as health insurance... my job offers none; and hers offers it thru BCBS, but she works for a small business, where almost everyone there is very very sick and is in and out of the hospital, and their premiums are pretty high. It would have cost her $400 a month, for coverage for just her. And, frankly, we just don't have that to spend. We cross our fingers and pray a lot.

    We haven't had a vacation in years, we don't eat out other than birthdays, or taking my mom out on mother's day, and we cook a lot of pasta and beans.

    Then, unless one of us works somewhere that offers Domestic Partnership benefits, we won't be able to be on a family-plan for insurance.

    And I think we're very much like the other millions of folks out there, who just don't have it in their budget. I'm sure there are some folks who decide to go to Disneyworld instead of buying insurance, but I think most folks out there, who don't buy insurance, live in constant fear that something bad will happen.
  10. by   VickyRN
    Thank you for all your thoughful responses (been away from the board for a day). Certainly food for thought. I especially like to hear from the Canadians about their health care system. Sounds like if you compare risks and benefits, the benefits side wins out with the Canadian system.
  11. by   maureeno
    Article 25 of United Nations resolution 217A[III] adopted 12-10-1948:

    (1) Everyone has the right to a standard of living adequate for the health and well-being of himself and of his family, including food, clothing, housing and medical care and necessary social services, and the right to security in the event of unemployment, sickness, disability, widowhood, old age or other lack of livelihood in circumstances beyond his control.
  12. by   Sleepyeyes
    I agree that everyone should have access to health care. ]

    Lack of medical treatment for some could come back to bite us all in the butt in the form of public health problems for everyone later.
  13. by   Gromit
    Everyone HAS access to healthcare in the US. NO hospital can turn away an emergency patient, or patient needing life-threatening healthcare. Will they get the best or even complete (cure for the sniffles? NO. It may sound cold-hearted, but I do not intend it to be. I have no problem whatsoever in helping someone who desperately needs it, but I do take offense that someone feels 'entitled' to all the treatments at my expense.

    I have lived for extended times w/o coverage, and am happy to have what coverage I have now. When I was without, I did worry about getting sick or injured, but that was life. I don't like seeing anyone have to worry about their health and the bills it can incurr, but to expect a population or even healthcare employees to provide it 'free of charge' is utterly rediculous.

    Garbage men do not work for free (if you don't think they are critical, just look to history, especially middle-ages europe and reference the Black Plague). Why should Doctors and nurses (and EMS personnel) ? These people put a lot of time and sacrifice to get their degrees and jobs. I know not everyone can do this, but then not everyone can drive a Lexus, either. Like it or not, healthcare costs money, and if the population that makes more than what the government thinks is poverty, has to cover EVERYONE, then why not provide "free" cars, smokes, TVs and anything else?

    When I worked in EMS, many of the down-trodden were my patients, and I felt sorry for them (even though I was only making $8.40/hr in 1995 as a four year paramedic/firefighter) but many of them considdered it a right, and that it was 'owed' them, and the majority of my 'ALS calls' were little more than taxi rides (because 'medicaid or medicare' would pay for it!, I became a bit resentful.

    >I< am paying for it!

    It is human nature to take advantage of anything that is perceived as 'FREE'.

    Again, I would NEVER turn away someone who desperately needed care. But on the other hand, I'm not real sympathetic for someone who brings in a scrape and wants Cadillac treatment.

    Socialized medicine will allow the government to set the wages and prices of all healthcare procedures. Suddenly it wont be worth it to take the years of college and residency (depending on your profession) to practice.

    Money was not a primary factor for my chosing nursing, but I DO expect to make a decent living for the efforts.

    You think the system is overburdoned NOW? Just wait until it gets socialized! HAHAHAHA.
    Last edit by Gromit on Jan 19, '03

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