Mandatory Health insurance? Is it a solution to health care? - page 3

I am a pre-nursing student, and am looking at issues surrounding current healthcare. What has recently caught my eye is the controversy over mandatory health insurance, and I have recently read some... Read More

  1. by   pickledpepperRN
    DeMoro and Leonard: Candidates' reliance on more insurance won't solve the health care crisis
    Wednesday, January 30, 2008

    With the Presidential race approaching Texas, voters may wonder how to distinguish among the contenders on the critical healthcare issue.

    All the top tier candidates favor selling more private insurance, which misses the crisis faced by millions. Just ask Pat Allgood of Lockhart, Tex. …

    http://www.statesman.com/search/cont...moro_edit.html
  2. by   pickledpepperRN
    Large Business Association Releases Plan To Overhaul U.S. Health Care System

    The National Business Group on Health, a not-for-profit association of nearly 300 large employers, on Wednesday released a set of 20 conditions that would need to be met to establish a universal health coverage system in the U.S.,…

    … all U.S. residents should be required to purchase insurance for themselves and their children on a tax-advantaged basis. Under the plan, individuals who purchase insurance from the market would receive the same tax advantage as employees who purchase insurance through their employer, allowing individuals to write off their insurance benefits for tax purposes and the money spent not counting as taxable income….

    However, businesses should not be required to offer health coverage to workers or to help workers pay for coverage...

    http://www.kaisernetwork.org/daily_r...fm?DR_ID=50146
  3. by   jjjoy
    In one of the articles I read from the Los Angeles Times, it said high deductibles discourage patients from getting preventative treatment. I can only assume that making it a requirement to get health care will drive up prices insanely.
    Why assume mandated insurance would drive prices up? There would be more healthy people in the pool as well as stiff competition to get those healthy people to sign up for one plan or another. Prices might go down. Of course, health care is expensive no matter how you slice it, and so prices might continue to increase regardless. Still if prices are going up, we'll pay for it one way or another (through private insurance, government assistance or living in a society that writes off those who can't pay). Finally, if the reason prices go up is because it's mandatory and insurance companies figure they charge whatever they like, then we still need some sort of regulation - which you mention later and I agree with. Not-for-profit status makes more sense to me for many health care functions. It still creates jobs and pulls in money, but there's no pressure to squeeze ever more out in profits to shareholders.

    In the same article it was also stated that in Massachusetts a couple in their fifties with one child had to pay $767 a month for the bare bones plan and that did not include prescription drug coverage. Will people really seek care or treatment, and can they afford it, at those prices?
    That's how much health insurance costs even when it's not mandated. That's why so many employers are shifting more of the cost of health insurance on to workers. They don't like paying $700/employee for insurance either. I do think we need to find a way to separate affordable health care from employment AND have health costs be affordable to the individual as well. High deductibles are said to discourage patients from seeking care. I don't know what the answer is. There's been much talk of people not being responsible, so I think we should also spend some health care money on public service spots that encourage good health behavior. We're bombarded by advertisements telling us to buy, buy, buy. If someone doesn't have good sense, they've got to learn it from somewhere & it won't be from commercial advertising! It's feels all righteous to say they should just be responsible in their choices, but we KNOW advertising works... otherwise, companies would't spend so much money on it. So I think we need more counter-advertising. But I'm going off on a tangent...

    In my honest opinion, when I pay insurance I feel like I’m paying for nothing at all—insurance, yeah right, I cannot even be insured that my insurance will cover anything and I am told that is how they all are.
    And yet if you lose that insurance and/or get really sick, you'll quickly exactly what you're paying for. $75 to see a doctor. $130 for lab tests. $150 for a prescription. And if you need a CT scan, an operation, or -uh-oh- an extended hospital stay... or if you are diagnosed with a chronic disease requiring on-going treatment (and on-going expenses)... It's crazy! I understand your frustration with the current system and your concerns with mandated health insurance. There don't seem to be any easy answers.

    It does not make sense to not insure people who are the most in need of healthcare.
    It does as a for-profit business model. Those most in need of health care have the greatest costs... there goes the profit. But with today's costs, non-profits are having a hard time making ends meet, so even my wish that most health care companies were non-profit doesn't solve the problem of cost.

    So what if they lose money, people need to be more important than a paycheck.
    Does that mean nurses should work for less money? (rhetorical question) So what if they make less money? People need to be more important than a paycheck.

    If the government wants to stick its nose in the business of private citizens then they most certainly can bug the health insurance industry into lower rates and better premiums.
    while I don't think mandating insurance equates to "sticking it's nose into the business of private citizens" I do agree that it seems that more could be done on the regulation side to at least curb the worst of the problems we see in the health insurance industry.

    It's good food for thought. I wish there were easier answers.
    Last edit by jjjoy on Feb 7, '08
  4. by   AprilRNhere
    Quote from CRNA2007
    Ever heard of WIC, foodstamps, and the myriad of other social safety net programs that lets the paycheck to paycheck afford the cadillac escalades of the world?
    Are you kidding me? You equate giving free milk, juice, cereal, and beans to pregnant women and children under the age of 5 with "cadillac escalades"? I'm stunned. When I was in nursing school, with 3 young children, and a combined household income of under 30K, WIC was our lifesaver. BUT- you can only stretch WIC so far...and it definally does not include cadillac status.
  5. by   Code_VSA
    I live in Canada, but I am American.

    I have seen patients wait 12 hours in the ER with a subarrachnoid hemorrhage because there is no neuro-surgical bed available in the Province. Finally after 12 hours they decide to go by ambulance to Buffalo, NY. This happened twice....in one year. People wait 6 months to a year for an MRI. Gallbladder surgery might take 8 months. But that's okay....just come to the ER and wait 8-11 hours to see a doctor for pain relief when you have an attack. Oh, your painful arthritic knees need replaced?? No, problem...wait time is 18 months to 2 years. But hey folks...it's FREE!! I wonder how free when as a Nurse I am in a 32% tax bracket, and every thing I buy has a 15% tax added on. Oh....there are NO tax deductions, not your stethoscope, uniforms, house, work shoes, nada, zip, zilch. I paid $22,000 in income tax last year. Won't get a dime back. Never paid more than $5000 when working the US.

    Flip side. My oldest son, an Army vet with a disability. Makes minimum wage and supports his wife and four kids on that. Make him pay for mandatory health care? Ain't gonna happen. Can't get blood out of a turnip folks.
  6. by   pickledpepperRN
    10 Myths About Canadian Health Care, Busted

    http://www.alternet.org/module/printversion/76032
  7. by   HM2VikingRN
    Thanks for the debunking....
  8. by   Simplepleasures
    http://www.alternet.org/healthwellness/74256/

    Digging In the Right Place
    In a move making health care lobbyists quiver, Washington state Sen. Karen Keiser (D), chairwoman of her legislature's powerful health committee, this week introduced the nation's most far-reaching universal health care proposal. Her legislation is the American West's version of a parallel Wisconsin initiative, and the replication suggests this model may begin building the universal health care system our country wants.
    The plan is simple: Employers and employees pay a modest payroll tax in exchange for full medical benefits, with no premiums. Patients never lose coverage and pick the doctors they prefer. And for the spendthrifts, here's the best part: According to an analysis of the Wisconsin proposal by the nonpartisan Lewin Group, the plan would save middle-class families an annual average of $750 on their existing health care bills. In all, the state would save almost $14 billion over the next decade.
    Seem too good to be true? That's because you're used to being bilked by an insurance industry that drives up premiums, drives down benefits and gives executives like former UnitedHealth CEO William McGuire $1.6 billion worth of stock options in one year. Eliminating that greed is precisely how the Washington state and Wisconsin proposals simultaneously save money and cover everyone.
    Unlike the much-touted Massachusetts law forcing citizens to buy insurance from the private profiteers, the Washington and Wisconsin models pool all existing health care expenditures and then replace the middlemen with one publicly controlled, not-for-profit system. That structure attacks problems beyond the immorality of allowing 18,000 Americans to die each year because they lack health coverage.
    For businesses faced with crushing health care costs, the Lewin Group predicts the plan will save private-insuring employers almost $700 million a year. For politicians looking to provide economic stimulus in the face of a recession, the nonpartisan Families USA estimates the proposal's investments will create 13,000 new jobs. Even tax reformers have something to like, as Wisconsin's version directs much of the system's savings into property tax relief.
    The Royalist Right is distraught about the plan. When an initial draft passed the Wisconsin Senate last year, the Wall Street Journal's editorial board attacked it on the grounds that it "reduces out-of-pocket copayments" and "increases the number of mandated medical services covered" for patients. Wow. Sounds just awful.
    The screed showed how little conservative elites care, not just for the uninsured, but for the working-class wing of the Republican Party -- the roughly 40 percent of GOP voters who, according to the Pew Research Center, tell pollsters they "favor universal health coverage, even if it means higher taxes." These voters are part of a new transpartisan consensus -- one that believes the words of the hero we remember this week. "Of all the forms of inequality," Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. said, "injustice in health care is the most shocking and inhumane."
    Wisconsin, Washington state and a few others, seem to be getting the message , maybe the rest of the nation will follow.
    Last edit by Simplepleasures on Feb 14, '08
  9. by   Katie82
    Quote from Code_VSA


    Flip side. My oldest son, an Army vet with a disability. Makes minimum wage and supports his wife and four kids on that. Make him pay for mandatory health care? Ain't gonna happen. Can't get blood out of a turnip folks.
    I suspect that under any sensible UHC plan, your grandchildren would continue to be covered bu CHIP. Your son and his wife would most likely be covered by premiums paid by the gov't and his employer. All of the drafts I have seen place more responsibility on employers, who are already paying for employee coverage. THis could be bad news for workers, who may find themselves all working part time so that employers don't have to pay benies.
  10. by   HM2VikingRN
    Many employers don't proovide insurance or are pricing family coverage out of reach of employees.
  11. by   TAB_RN
    I live in Massachusetts and yes, we have to carry mandatory health insurance. If you do not, you will pay a fine at tax time. This past year, because it is so new, you may have been lucky to only be penalized about $200.00, but next year, they plan to penalize each person over 18 years old about $1,000.00. Still, some people find that this is worth it. When you pay anywhere from $300.00 - $500.00/month for insurance through an employer, it can become very expensive.

    I believe that making everyone carry health insurance just helps pay the deficit that is created with free healthcare, and really does nothing more. Some of the cheaper health plans really don't cover anything anyway.

    Here are some of the facts:
    Massachusetts Mandatory Health Insurance program will provide health coverage as follows for the state's 500,000 uninsured:
    -- 100,000 poverty-level residents qualify, but have not yet signed up, for Medicaid. They will be legally required to sign-up. Price Tag: $225 million a year, half to be repaid by the federal government.

    -- The incomes of 200,000 resident families are too low to afford health insurance, but they don't qualify for Medicaid. Nationwide, this group comprises about 70% of the 45 million Americans.

    Massachusetts plans to partially or fully subsidize health insurance premiums for this group. Those earning between 100% and 300% will pay part of their premiums, calculated on a sliding scale. Those earning 100% of less of the federal poverty level will have their premiums paid by the state.

    Price Tag: $720 million a year, initially to be funded by a $1 billion fund already set-aside for uninsured care.

    -- The remaining 200,000 uninsured are deemed to be able to afford health insurance, and will be required to do so by 2008 or be assessed substantial annual tax penalties and/or wage garnishments.

    I personally do not want socialized medicine. I want to have procedures done when I need them done and not wait ridiculous amounts of time on a waiting list. I don't think there are any real answers to this dilemma, but this is the first state to try this out and see how it will go.
  12. by   HM2VikingRN
    The Massachusetts mandate system will fail.

    The US has longer waiting times on average than countries with UH plans.

  13. by   lamazeteacher
    Quote from Faery1
    I am a pre-nursing student, and am looking at issues surrounding current healthcare. What has recently caught my eye is the controversy over mandatory health insurance, and I have recently read some articles on the issue that have alarmed me. My first thought is that the government has no right to force me to buy a product I have no choice but to purchase, but my second is that it might have positive effects especially for those who are denied care due to health related issues. However, I cannot accept this as a solution to the healthcare predicament; there must be another way to go about this.
    As a future nurse, I am concerned on how, if it comes to be, mandatory health insurance will affect my job and taking care of patients. In one of the articles I read from the Los Angeles Times, it said high deductibles discourage patients from getting preventative treatment. I can only assume that making it a requirement to get health care will drive up prices insanely. In the same article it was also stated that in Massachusetts a couple in their fifties with one child had to pay $767 a month for the bare bones plan and that did not include prescription drug coverage. Will people really seek care or treatment, and can they afford it, at those prices? I believe it is wrong to make someone pay so much for healthcare; it may pay my future salary but is it worth it? Health insurance companies are businesses, that I understand, but they need to be taking care of their customers and fulfilling their purpose so that I as a future nurse do not feel the repercussions of not being able to do my job and help persons in need just because their insurance company does feel like paying. In my honest opinion, when I pay insurance I feel like I'm paying for nothing at all--insurance, yeah right, I cannot even be insured that my insurance will cover anything and I am told that is how they all are. How can people get proper health care this way I ask you?!
    I understand that to people who cannot get coverage it may seem like a god-send, I have a friend who had cancer and now cannot find anyone to insure her. She is one person who truly needs health insurance to get preventive treatment and cannot get it due to health insurance policies. It does not make sense to not insure people who are the most in need of healthcare. If they pay their rate (a decent one hopefully), they should get care and they should be able to purchase from at least someone. What a good solution may be is to make it illegal for insurance companies to deny coverage to people who need it. So what if they lose money, people need to be more important than a paycheck. If the government wants to stick its nose in the business of private citizens then they most certainly can bug the health insurance industry into lower rates and better premiums. If people did not have to pay so much and the insurance companies could be counted on for their purpose then, perhaps more people would seek health care treatment more often and therefore be healthier, happier individuals.

    Since when doesn't government "stick its nose" where we don't want it? The IRS being a prime example? At least government won't be able to reject those with "previous illnesses", because the politician who wrote that out would promptly lose his/her seat in whatever gorgeous House they're in (if the populace becomes inclined to become actively involved).
    I commend you for your concerns and investigation, if not for the repugnance you have for government driven responsibilities. CA imposed compulsary car insurance for all drivers (even if unlicensed) for many years, to avoid the serious health and financial consequences their citizens had, of being mowed over by an uninsured driver.

    A curious side effect, was that the cost of car insurance went up tremendously when that happened. You'd think over subscription to it, would have lowered the costs by their shear volume..... cars got impossibly expensive, and softer, user friendly bumpers went out, and costs of automobile body repairs soared. Also the waiting areas of "approved" repair places became sumptuous.......

    I really don't think the politicians responsible could ever have envisioned the subsequent higher costs of body repairs (did you know that Japan cites drivers of dented cars?); but they could have placed a proviso on the costs of both car insurance and repairs, don't you think?

    The same thing happened with health insurance, once people and their employers realized that poverty (and law suits) followed those poor uninsured souls who were felled by accident or preventable illness due to exposure to hazardous substances (don't I wish stressful circumstances, too) at work, and needed the government sponsored "unemployment" and "workers' compensation" benefits. Hence OSHA and training for accident prevention/exposures at work (compulsory for larger companies).

    Illness prevention is big business for health insurance companies fearing larger costs than profits today...... they hire nurses to call "members" to assess their illness coping skills and compliance with physicians' "plans of care", strictly adhering to HIPPA (now called "Health Insurance Portability (?huh?)and Protection (I forget what the "A' turned into). You turn around and it changed......Those educational programs are purchased by employers, to keep their premiums down (which go up with employees' ages and serious illnesses- it's much like the "house that Jack built".

    One of the problems with the costs of the delivery of health care in our country, is that priorities got squewed, when industrial decorators moved in. Now we have gorgeous hospitals (in the like of which we could never live), which really hasn't been proven to improve patients' recoveries. If I could afford Westin Hotels over Motel 6, I'd stay at the former. However, since healthcare insurance will pay for the latter, healthcare costs go up with the costs of such surroundings, as well as suppliers' improved facilities (would that quality would exceed beauty).

    I'm for pretty surroundings in my home, but today's prices really make that unaffordable for me and hospitals with appropriate priorities. So it may mean that hospitals stay clean over sumptuous, when government run financially. Is that a bad thing? Does anyone remember how "county" hospitals looked before they were taken over by profit driven megacorporations?

    The maternity departments started looking luxurious, to pull the younger, less expensive set (who are much to busy raising families and working, to look into the travisties in those facilities), and before you knew it, cardiac care and eventually the ER (except to its credit, that TV series' scenes, which stay functional looking, if increasingly lurid due to the popularity of "Grey's Anatomy", which does have the trappings of sumptuosity - expect "ER" to get glitzier). But chins up - grey and green pea walls should never reappear, as those colors are about the same price as more appealing others that could be recommended by shakra- ites, not high priced decorators.

    So government imposition regulating insurance companies' acceptance of those with prior conditions would have greater ramifications than we could possibly imagine.......

Must Read Topics


close