Is Health Care a Right? - page 8

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   luluann
    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.
    My husband is self employed and I recently had to quit my job with a large Health Insurance company so that I can attend nursing school fulltime. I assure you that we are NOT choosing to go without health coverage. I have applied and already been turned down by one company because I was hospitalized 4 years ago with headaches. I am now fine but this company was not about to take the risk. I am currently waiting to hear back from another one. IF this company takes us, we will be paying $300/month and this is for a $5000 family deductible first!!!!! And thank heavens we are done having kids because there is NO maternity coverage. IF I would have decided to continue my plan with my previous employer it would be costing us $700/month. And I worked for THE insurance company!

    We have no cable tv, I drive a 5 yo truck while my husband drives a 11 yo van, we havent vacationed in 2 years and don't plan on it until at least 2 years after nursing school. We don't go out and the odds of me getting struck by lightening are probably 10 times better than winning the lottery, so I don't play it.

    I think if you did a poll, you would find that the majority of us "Uninsured" are really hard working, responsible people who are in a tough spot.
  2. by   fergus51
    Gromit, you don't have to have socialized health care to have universal healthcare. Believe me, even up here in Soviet Canuckistan doctors still find it worthwhile to do their residencies. I don't expect to work for free either.
  3. by   TNcanNURSE
    I think that free and guaranteed healthcare would be a burden. Anything that can be gotten for free will eventually be abused. Do you think everyone on welfare and foodstamps deserves them. I definitely don't think that those free things are used today in the manner that the were initially intended.

    Even convicts in prison have a $3 co/pay which is a lot to them. They pay unless it is a true emergency. Unless I missed something Americans do have the "right" to emergency medical care even if they do not have insurance.

    I know a lot of people that have taken jobs just because of the healthcare benefits. Benefits have to be calculated in with salary.
  4. by   maureeno
    I challenge those nurses complacent and satisfied with persons having the 'right to emergency healthcare' to describe how chronic problems like diabetes and arthritis are to managed in the ER? I also wonder if those nurses believe preventative care is of benefit to individuals and society.
  5. by   mrnurse2u
    Originally posted by srose
    As human beings, regardless of citizenship, past history (including criminal), occupation, or status, I believe we are all entitled to health care. I see it as a right, not necessarily a constitional right, but a human right.

    The more I learn about the US healthcare delivery and insurance systems, the more sickened I am. I would rather pay much higher taxes in exchange for a universal or national health care system than be in the system we are now. I think it's disgusting how if someone is ill or injured, they have to base their decision on seeking medical help based on finances.
    Why does that disgust you? You don't think the providers
    have right to be paid for what they do?

    People who feel entitled to health care but don't
    do what they can to pay for it disgust me, quite frankly.

    We do have high taxes and a broken social-security system
    that fund bloated, inflated systems.

    Perhaps if people had more self-discipline to save money
    for bad times and not act so entitled to everything we wouldn't
    have such a messed up system.
  6. by   mrnurse2u
    Originally posted by coolh2o
    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!
    Unfortunately that won't work for "undocumented" illegal aliens
    who don't get taxes withheld. Their cheap slave-master
    employers are equally culpable for putting a strain on our
    health care system.

    Your last sentences really sums it up for me. People are
    willing to spend all kinds of money on vanity-related items...
    none of which are essential to healthy living, but it never
    occurs to them to save some money (or invest some, it's
    so easy to do these days) for the bad times. Then they
    feel they have a right to treatment despite their lack of
    preparation/wisdom/responsiblity? I thought it said
    somewhere "Thou shalt not steal."
  7. by   maureeno
    this is off topic but important to correct: unless paid cash undocumented workers have payroll taxes deducted just like everyone else getting a paycheck.
  8. by   donmurray
    Individuals investing for their future already tried that. Enron, Worldcom really fixed them up!
  9. by   Q.
    Originally posted by mrnurse2u
    Why does that disgust you? You don't think the providers
    have right to be paid for what they do?

    People who feel entitled to health care but don't
    do what they can to pay for it disgust me, quite frankly.

    We do have high taxes and a broken social-security system
    that fund bloated, inflated systems.

    Perhaps if people had more self-discipline to save money
    for bad times and not act so entitled to everything we wouldn't
    have such a messed up system.
    Very powerful words, and I agree.

    I think everyone forgets that with advancing medical technology, comes the research to get there. I work in a research laboratory and see first hand the state of the art equipment and personnel needed to find cures for cancer, etc. Should they not get compensated? If technology is available, does that mean that everyone should just have it and is entitled to it? Who pays the research lab's bill?
  10. by   Sally_ICURN
    Originally posted by mrnurse2u
    You don't think the providers have right to be paid for what they do?
    I know this was a question directed at someone else but I'm chiming in. I think that YES providers have the right to be paid for what they do AND nursing services need to be taken OUT of room charges and compensated for what they are...a professional healthcare provider service.


    Perhaps if people had more self-discipline to save money for bad times and not act so entitled to everything we wouldn't have such a messed up system.
    Perhaps if this country would wake up and stop allowing greedy healthcare corporations who act entitled to ENORMOUS profits from human ailment we wouldn't have such a messed up system.
    Last edit by Sally_ICURN on Jan 20, '03
  11. by   Q.
    Originally posted by Sally_ICURN
    Perhaps if this country would wake up and stop allowing the greedy healthcare corporations, that feel they're entitled to make ENORMOUS profits off of human ailment, we wouldn't have such a messed up system.
    Why is it always the government's responsibility to monitor everyone and everything? I agree, health insurance is part of the problem here, but it's only a part. I think the point made above by people taking accountability and responsibility for themselves, financially, socially and with their own bodies might be a start as well.

    Preventative care and wellness activities are a start, but bottom line is, if a person feels they want to inappropriately utilize the ER, or demand inappropriate treatments or antibiotics that insurance pays for and thus has to pass on the burden to the rest of the policyowners, there's not much that can be done about it. I've educated numerous patients on wellness and preventative care, but, if they wanna go to the ER, by golly they will. If they want to not listen to advice, dammit, it's their right to do it. And they let me know this quite loudly.

    I think an overhaul of this nation's mindset is what would help the healthcare mess. Which is why I think it will never happen.
  12. by   Sally_ICURN
    Originally posted by Susy K
    Why is it always the government's responsibility to monitor everyone and everything? I agree, health insurance is part of the problem here, but it's only a part. I think the point made above by people taking accountability and responsibility for themselves, financially, socially and with their own bodies might be a start as well.
    I completely respect your point and I'm not saying that I don't see personal accountability as part of the problem, but I think that what I'm saying and what you're saying are two different things...somewhat.

    I see for-profit healthcare companies to be the thorn in our side. Individuals in general have zero personal power or influence over large corporations--but our government (we, not I) does and sometimes it's the government itself (meaning our taxes) that gets ripped off by these corporations (see HCA/Columbia and Tenet). Individuals do however have some power over their own health and financial circumstances, but one cannot always predict their health or financial future. I think that in an indirect way our government also has some influence over individual's health by allowing healthcare corporations to operate in the manner in which they do. Essential treatment for insured people is delayed or denied leading to either no treatment, which leads to more serious urgent problems or even death. And why? Because it is not cost effective for the corporation to properly take care of the problem, people are denied care. Either someone will die waiting for treatment or the problem gets passed along to medicare and "we" (meaning government) end up paying for it anyway because no one can be denied urgent medical care. The insurance companies walk away with pockets full of premiums in these cases and never have to pay out for the more expensive serious problems. Or like the poster who's trying to find insurance but can't because of a hx of headaches (hope you don't mind me using you as an example)...eventually that person will need medical treatment if it's for headaches or for something else. If the insurance companies are permitted to pick and choose who they perceive to be the healthiest clients and insure only them, it's us who will end up paying for the medical care of the person who was denied coverage because of headaches (?!), again, while the corporations pocket premiums from the people they choose to insure who don't need a great deal of medical attention. It's cyclic. How can we, the "great" country of the United States sit back and allow that to happen? I wonder if this is a problem in countries that have universal, socialized, or single payer health coverage? My guess is no.

    I refuse to make broad generalizations regarding people who utilize government assistance. Shame on anyone who judges anyone else's personal circumstances without a solid fact based analysis of their situation. It's insulting and not fair. I wasn't born yesterday, and I know that some do abuse the system, but I think the number of people who do not abuse it far far out number the people who do. Millions of people in this country are hungry and sick and society is blaming them, in most cases, for something they have absolutely no power over. Everyone has a life story, and everyone's story is not the same.

    What is wrong with a system in which people who can (the majority), pay in and quality healthcare is rendered and hopefully costs break even? What is wrong with having a goal such as that? There will always be those who will not be able to make a contribution but what ever happened to "bring us your sick, your poor, blah, blah, blah?" Why must healthcare be a profitable business? That's all I'm saying. Why? I am certainly open to anyone who can give me a good answer. Maybe I'm just too idealistic even in my old (wait, not that old) age.

    I appreciate being able to voice my opinions on this board. It's satisfying and personally empowering. And I appreciate hearing the voices of others and I do not judge what is said but rather learn from other people's experiences and views.

    ~Sally
  13. by   OzNurse69
    Wow, the more I read, the more grateful I am that I live here, not there --

    Set me straight, by my reading of the previous posts (and trust me, I am getting more than a little confused), there is no universal publicly funded (ie paid for out of the tax system) health insurance system in the states as a backup for those who don't have employer-provided health insurance? And private health insurance is so expensive that it has to be provided by the employer as the average Joe doesn't make enough money to afford his own? Am I right so far?

    So what happens to Fred, who has no insurance, and collapses with an MI in the street? He gets picked up by the ambos (do they check to see if he can afford to pay them before they transport him?), taken to the nearest ED (on registration, do they take a deposit before they let him through the door?) and treated -- 2 days in CCU, a day on the ward, then cardiac rehab -- who pays for this?? Or if health care is not a right, is he just left to die on the street?

    Don't hassle me for not knowing, I am just curious.....

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