A step towards "universal health care" run by the government? - page 3

search results - thomas (library of congress):: the text of the bill has not been published yet, but this looks like one more step towards universal health care. what do you think?... Read More

  1. by   talaxandra
    Australia's obesity statistics are second only to the US
    The Scotsman - International - Obese Australians to get cash to slim
    But what a difference a year makes! Another source says we've moved down to sixth highest obesity level (fourth, if you add in the overweight population) ttp://www.parentsjury.org.au/tpj_browse.asp?ContainerID=tpj_australia_moves_dow n_rankings

    I have a current life expectancy of eighty-three, seventy nine if I was male.
    Mortality FAQs

    That would shamefully drop to only if I were indigenous). Australia's track record on indigenous health is appalling (life expectancy is fully twenty years lower than for non-indigenous Australians).
    Bleak picture of Aboriginal life expectancy | Special reports | Guardian Unlimited

    reporting an infant mortality rate three times higher in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Island populations
    Bleak picture of Aboriginal life expectancy | Special reports | Guardian Unlimited again

    indigenous Canadians have a life expectancy of 79.2 years
    European Network for Indigenous Australian Rights: news
    which is close to the general Canadian population.
    2003 Canadian Life and Death Statistics - Life Expectancy and Statistics on Deaths in Canada

    In 2004 Australia spent $2,874 per capita, or 9.5% of the GDP, on health care.
    WHO | Australia
    Canada? $2,989/9.9%.
    WHO | Canada
    New Zealand spent $1.893 or 8.1%,
    WHO | New Zealand
    while the UK spent $2.389 or 8.0% GDP.
    WHO | United Kingdom

    The US spent $5,711, or 15.2%.
    WHO | United States of America
    Last edit by talaxandra on Dec 10, '06
  2. by   outcomesfirst
    talaxandra - great sources - I completely overlooked WHO - too early, not enough coffee, too much wine - who knows . Thank you, its in my bookmarks now!
  3. by   SharonH, RN
    It's highly unlikely that Rep. Thomas, a Republican who introduced a medical malpractice bill designed to protect physicians as a bill to improve patient access, would suggest levying a special tax to provide care to the indigent. So there's no need for all this hand-wringing without any proof whatsoever of what the bill is about.

    As for the Canadian healthcare system, pretty much every Canadian I have ever discussed this issue with is very much satisfied with their system. I know that is only anecdotal observations but that is more than those who suppose that Canadians are miserable and suffering for months without healthcare seem to have.

    We should have a single payer system. Our current health care system is busted and broke. I don't know how anyone can defend it. Medicaid is insufficient to meet the needs of the innocents who need it most and there are millions of hardworking people who do not have the healthcare they need. None of the people who ranted about the unfairness of providing what they refer to as "socialized" health care have proposed an alternate solution. What is a better choice(other than letting those you deem unworthy die or suffer, and trust me plenty of that goes on already).
  4. by   pickledpepperRN
    Thank you outcomesfirst, talaxandra, and Pepper The Cat!

    In California a state insurance plan was vetoed by the governor. It would have decreased healthcare costs by about 25%. That is before negotiating for lower costs for drugs, equipment, and supplies. Some of that would have gone to keep emergency rooms open.

    Well we may be stuck with this governor, who said he "kicked nurses butts because WE are special interests. ( can pray for a recall can't I?)

    I think people are ready to discuss Medicare for All. It would be our national Medicare improved to include a single standard of high quality care for all of us. Why should the schoolteacher with insurance be sent home from the ER with a broken leg while Governor Schwarzenegger gets plastic surgery for a cut lip while driving without a proper license?
    We all deserve the same high quality of care.

    First few minutes of video - YouTube - "The Healthcare Solution: California OneCare"
    USATODAY.com - Schwarzenegger not charged in motorcycle accident
  5. by   S.T.A.C.E.Y
    Quote from ZASHAGALKA
    Socialism is always more inefficient and always costs more. There are more costs issues at play in any system than price.
    I don't have time right now to search for the references, but in several of my classes discussing the canadian health care system I remember talking/reading that the American system of HMO/private insurance/co-pays etc that the significantly high administrative costs of the running these systems strongly outweighs any decreases in cost through service delivery.

    In Canada we have a single payer system: the gov't. Hospitals, drs offices, etc are reimbursed a fixed amount for each service delivered. Dr gets so much for a consult, so much for this surgery, so much for a night in hospital, etc. As others on this board have stated, Americans are actually paying far more than people in other countries, while some 40 million(?) people still are uninsured.

    Here in Canada we do have very high taxes, but personally, it doesn't bother me. I know its going to fund services I hope to never use, but will be there should something ever happen.

    Our health care system does not cover everything. Prescriptions, Dental, and optical are all individual responsibility, so people still do have private insurance for these things, or pay for it themselves.

    Quote from ZASHAGALKA
    Canada's system marginally works in large part because they have the U.S. as an outlet. Where are Americans going to go for that outlet? Mexico?
    Could you elaborate on this please?
  6. by   JeanettePNP
    The problem is that the US government does cover healthcare costs -- up to 50% of all healthcare spending is by the government--but we do it in the least efficient and cost-effective manner possible! Instead of covering routine monitering of chronic conditions, we wait until the person's condition deteriorates to the point that they're eligible for disability, unemployment and medicaid.... and *then* we cover all their expenses. Whereas if a person is well enough to work, but cannot afford health insurance, their chronic conditions go untreated (because they can't afford the doctor visits/drugs/etc.). So instead of paying the moderate costs of treating chronic conditions, we end up paying through the nose for all the people who are unable to work and need complicated treatment for conditions that have already become acute because they weren't taken care of properly in the initial stages.
  7. by   pickledpepperRN
  8. by   rach_nc_03
    Here's a question (seriously not trying to confrontational, I simply don't know the answer):

    What is the financial impact of providing healthcare to illegal aliens (undocumented workers, if you prefer) in the US? What is it in other countries?

    For the record, I am all for national healthcare coverage. Right now, we're in a vicious cycle- healthcare costs in the US keep increasing, so few (if any) uninsured people have the means to pay for the care they need. They often end up catastrophically ill, and end up in the hospital anyway, but with far more costly care. Since they can't pay a $30,000 hospital bill any more than they can pay for a $900 ER visit, the prices charged by hospitals to insurance companies rises.

    Meanwhile, the skyrocketing costs of treatment are passed along to the insurance companies- which they pass along to employers. (This is true for both for-profit and non-profit insurance plans.) Our employers then turn around and stick the employees with the bill. Our benefits are decreasing, and our own costs- through co-pays, premiums, and deductibles- increase dramatically.

    So what happens?

    Even those with access to employer insurance plans have problems affording care. I can't count the number of people I know who simply can't afford the premiums their employers charge, just like tgb3rn. This infuriates me even more- the SAME people who are PROVIDING THE CARE can't afford to receive it???

    If anyone has seen the series 30 Days on A&E (with my hero, Morgan Spurlock), you may remember the episode where Morgan and his fiancee tried to survive on minimum wage for a month. During that time, two *very* minor problems- a UTI and a sprained wrist- cost them close to a thousand dollars! At the rate of pay they were getting (even with one person working 2 to 3 jobs), it would've taken several months just to pay off those bills. For one ER visit, Morgan was charged $40 for an ACE BANDAGE. Imagine what it feels like to *really* live that reality- and what about kids?

    The primary reason I took my current job is the health insurance (it's a nonprofit insurance cooperative, so I get the same benefit our members receive, and they're excellent). I really like my job, but frankly I would've taken it even if I were lukewarm about the job itself. I simply can't afford a lapse in coverage. During the time I was unable to work over the last two years due to health issues, I had to pay COBRA rates to keep my coverage- to the tune of $600-$700 a month. Maintaining access to coverage cost me as much as keeping a roof over my head. I depleted my entire savings because of this.

    Here's the bottom line- the 'free market' version of healthcare isn't working. The terms 'free market' and 'socialized healthcare' are bandied about, mostly (I think) to arouse negative associations with the latter, because 'socialist' = 'evil' in the minds of many Americans. Nevermind the fact that our 'free market' system is anything but.

    How many of us- even those working in the better-paying states for RNs like California- could *really* afford to pay for our own healthcare without employer-sponsored insurance? How much would *you* have to make to do it? My husband and I have a combined income of $137K right now, and my recent surgery would wipe us out if we had to pay what the hospital charged my insurance company. So how could the family with the US average household income (which, I believe, is around $40K/year) do it? And all those people earning minimum wage??

    Where would the government get the money to pay for national healthcare? I know of at least one endeavor costing us two BILLION dollars a week that the government could cut.

    Kudos to outcomesfirst and talaxandra for posting these informative links. If more people took a hard look at the data instead of subscribing to politically-driven dogma without suggesting viable alternatives to our broken system, maybe we Americans could turn the tide here. I'm not taking potshots at the posters here, either. EVERYONE in the United States has a stake in this, and we owe it to ourselves to get informed and actively fix our problems.
  9. by   GardenDove
    People go to Mexico for dental work because they don't have dental insurance. When I lived in Southern Calif I knew people who did that.

    Back to Canada, their life expectancy is 80.1 average, including men and women. In the U.S. it's 77.71. The evidence is irrefutable, they are doing something right. They have a very good system. Of course, I forgot, we are the greatest, we are the best, we shock and awe the world with our superiority!
  10. by   pickledpepperRN
    Care for non citizens is a concern. I only have anecdotes.

    I know of family and friends who were ill or injured in Europe. Ambulance, emergency, and hospital care was delivered before any question of citizenship, pay, or insurance.

    One friend fell and dislocated his shoulder. He was taken to an ER in Italy by a taxi driver who didn't charge him, treated in the ER and cared for while sleeping off the medication. Then given a bottle of pain medication and taped up they told him there was no charge even when he said he was an insured American. He did pay for the taxi to a hotel.Three days later his follow up in France was arranged by the Italian hospital. He paid a small fee because he was not a citizen.
    There was a mix up in Spain with planned chemo for my step mother. She had to come back the next day because they didn't have an out patient chemo nurse. They drew her blood the first day as the dose was dependent on her blood count. The nurse was excellent. They didn't like the doctor because he rudely remarked that my Dad spoke Spanish like stupid Mexicans.
  11. by   blueyesue
    Quote from GardenDove
    Of course, I forgot, we are the greatest, we are the best, we shock and awe the world with our superiority!
    Should leaders lead or follow? As the leader of the free world we must display some strength. If we just roll over to the worlds demands then we will be taken over. (I am not advocating being the police of the world. I am advocating self defense, a little show and tell, and of course protecting our freedoms.) We are superior in many aspects. That is fact. We do make some bad decisions and mistakes, but we try to rectify them. (That is part of being great.) IMO, we live in the greatest country in the world. Of course if someone doesn't like what America is all about, then one can always move. There are other great countries out there. :spin:
  12. by   fiestynurse
    EJM - "Of course if someone doesn't like what America is all about, then one can always move." Yes, I suppose that is true. If we need health care that we can't afford in the US, we could go to another country to get it and many do.

    Or, we could commit a crime and go to jail. The incarcerated are the only US citizens with a constitutional right to health care through the 8th amendment. Many people with life threatening illnesses have purposely committed crimes, so they can go to jail for full health care coverage. That is fact! Is that the America you want to live in?
  13. by   Simplepleasures
    I am one of those unfortunate people who find themselves uninsured.I was a nurse for 27 years, excellent record, but I had a concience. I was fired for reporting illegal/unethical practice of my LTC employer, am lucky to have found protection under a state law, have a lawsuit in the court system. I am now blackballed from ever working in healthcare again, plus I have multilevel DDD, DJD of spine and DJD of bilat. knees.I need knee replacement surgery and 3 level fusion.After I was fired I was offered Cobra , which the employer must do.I could not use that Cobra because the cost was extremely prohibitive. I have now emptied my savings account, moved to tiny apartment,use the local free clinic(thank God for them) and my family is supporting me financially 100%.

    I have relatives in Germany and Canada and Australia, every one of my relatives I have spoken to about my situation is horrified that I no longer have any health care except through a free clinic and I would not be eligible for this free care IF I had any money left . Not one of my relatives resents having a tax taken out of their paychecks for their healthcare system.They all think it is worth it, cant understand that a country like ours can be so "backwards".

    So after working hard in the dungeons of LTC for all those years and taking care of folks, I now find myself in the position I am in.Something is REALLY wrong here.

    Oh I guess there might be some out there who are going to say if you dont like it here, move to either Canada, Australia, or Germany.I want to let those folks know that I deserve to live here and I deserve to critisize what I feel is wrong in our country, BECAUSE this is one of the freedoms in our constitution.My brother served in the military during Vietnam, my daughter is a Navy nurse, my nephew is in Iraq.My family has done their fair share, I hope our lawmakers will see fit to do theirs and quit being influenced by the powerful lobby of insurance companies .
    Last edit by Simplepleasures on Dec 10, '06