Is Health Care a Right? - page 17

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   fergus51
    No, it doesn't. I thought that too. In fact, we have many of the same technologies you do, and the REALLY new state of the art stuff is hardly even used much by Americans so in the grand scheme of things does not account for a huge amount of the health care dollars spent in the US (not even when you factor in the research costs). Canadians usually go there because it is faster, not because they won't get it here (and foreigners are a source of revenue for the US, so the foreigners using your high tech care actually helps you financially). I swear Suzy, give me your adress and I will mail you that damn book!!!! PM me and it will be your Xmas present!!! Tell me your city and last name and I'll send it general delivery.

    Americans spend a higher percentage of health care money on thing like administrative costs (mainly because of the fact that you aren't a single payer system) as well as using specialist type doctors (like using an internist when a GP or NP can do the job) and technologies (like MRIs) when they aren't necessary and not using them efficiently (having 50 MRIs running 6 hours a day instead of 15 running 24 hours a day). Not to mention the problems with malpractice insurance and lawsuits (I am sure I don't have to tell a fellow OB nurse how horrendous an impact they have on hospital and doctors' costs which means higher costs to patients). Not to mention things like prescription drug costs are too expensive, so the patient with TB only takes the meds for a little bit, then quits and starts spreading it around getting more people sick and costing the system more money. And the medicaid mess! If we agree on nothing else, I am sure we agree that needs some reform.

    In the end you are paying for everyone's care who can't or isn't responsible enough to pay themselves whether you like it or not. The question is, should we leave the system the way it is or try something different? Universal care doesn't even have to mean access to the expensive new technologies. It could be a low cost tax saver in the end. Study after study has shown that money invested early will save much more money down the road when it comes to health.
  2. by   fergus51
    And don't get me wrong, Canada has a lot of improvements it can and should make to improve its health care system. A lot! I just don't think that means the better alternative is to toss out universal care (paid through our taxes) and go to a US style system. Having been in both, I have absolutely no doubt which I prefer.
  3. by   Q.
    Part of your post struck me, and that was your mentioning of inappropriate services, like specialists or MRIs. Did you know that alot of patients demand this, regardless of appropriateness? Hell, we're even marketing Rx drugs on main stream television; patients go to their physicians and ask for the drug.

    You'd think education would help. But it doesn't. I've educated patients and they still will do what they wanna do, regardless. Like I said on page 2 of this thread, in order to solve the health care problem, we need to change our societal's mindset.
  4. by   fergus51
    TOTALLY agree with you! The same thing is happening here. Most Canadians watch American tv (cause it's WAAAAAYYYYY better than the Canadian stuff) and the ads are really influencing people. There was a study on the news awhile ago about how the most efective medication for high BP was the cheapest water pill. People need to learn that more expensive does not necessarily = better. A lot of people here are also starting to demand to see a specialist when it is unecessary. The difference is: here if it is inappropriate they have to pay for it out of pocket themselves. We will never be able to give everyone everything they want, just what they need is good enough for me unless they want to pay more. Change the rules and the mindsets become irrelevant to a certain extent. It can be done. I don't pretend to say that it'll be easy, but it is possible.

    Also, in my province I have noticed there are no real NPs yet and midwives only became registered a few years ago (no CNMs). They are an EXCELLENT tool for lowering health care costs, but many people look down on them and wouldn't consider going to a non-MD, even for something simple. Alberta still won't even pay for midwifery care even though midwives are registered there and CHEAPER.
  5. by   maureeno
    One of my sisters is a family practice doc married to an ER doc. She says 60% of visits are not needed. She complains of people coming in demanding she give them what they have seen on tv. Both she and my brother-in-law say too much of medical practice is guided by fear of litigation. They both gripe about the drug companies and the huge budgets for 'education and promotion'. They would both like to see universal insurance coverage with deductibles and co-pays and more regulation of big pharma. They've been doctors for 20 years and find less satisfaction by the day.
    Health care will be a giant issue the next few years; here is news from about BushII's state of the union speech for Monday:
    >>>On the domestic side, White House spokesman Ari Fleischer said Bush will talk about health care and the need to make the country a "more caring, compassionate place."
    "The president views [the] State of the Union as a moment to talk about the big challenges, the major challenges our nation faces at home and abroad," Fleischer said Friday. "He sees it as an opportunity for this generation and for people who are in office today to face up to these challenges and to deal with them, not to pass them on to future generations."
    Without giving specific details, the official also said Bush will offer new ideas for helping those in "pockets of despair" who have not "found the American dream."<<
  6. by   Nurse Ratched
    Originally posted by Flo1216
    So just out of curiosity, are poor lifestyle choices that result in illness or injury forgivable as long as the person making those choices has coverage?
    In answer to your question, I am a believer in the freedoms that this country has to offer. A person can say or do or be anything. However, do not ask me to pay for the poor choices made by others. If someone makes bad choices and accepts the consequences of them, fine. I feel that the consequences of poor health choices ought to be a "high risk" plan with higher rates. Just don't raise my rates or taxes (any more than they already are...)

    We had a pretty good disussion of this a while back - no solutions, however, unfortunately.
  7. by   MOMMY
    Is health care a right? Do I have the right to health care? Do you have the right to health care? Do you have insurance? Do you have a Gauranteer? In the health care system we know that everyone has a right to health care, once stablelized then you get shipped to a charity hospital if they will accept you. if you do not have insurance. If you have insurance, with HMO approval you get shipped upstairs to a bed. Health care costs money, hey that is how I earn my paycheck. So in essisance everyone gets health care, it is the quality that you may need to check into. I'm not saying that every place places less importance on the uninsured, however, how many times have you heard. We are not getting paid for that bed, lets discharge them quickly or ship them off. Were is the quality of care there. While an HMO may fuss and fume about keeping a patient in the hospital if there is enough diagnostics they will back down and allow the patient to stay. When I was at an MD appointment with a friend who had a child with a shunt, the child had frequent hospitalizations for pneumonia diagnosis. When I questioned the MD about what he was doing to find out the cause of the frequent hospitalizations, he reported that the family could not afford to find out the cause, you see this child was recieving medicaid. He would much rather have the child in the hospital for two weeks being treated for pneumonia rather that find out the reason why he was sick so often. After some fast talking I got my friend to switch Doctors, the new doctor started giving the child hemaglobin injections which stopped the frequent hospitalizations and it was about 10 years between hospital stays. The last one was to replace the shunt that he had for 13 years! When we look at the big picture it is not only the fact that every one needs the same quality health care accross the board, we need the health care system to have the same sense of loyalty to the welfare of their fellow man, no matter how much they make.
    Flo1216, so what ever happened to an ounce of prevention is worth more than a pound of cure? If we invest ourselfs to teach better health care, to teach those who have known nothing other than the welfare and medicaid system to help themselves then we have provided a better investment for our money than just handing it over to those who feel they need it. During the great depression, many of the working class would hold signs up saying "will work for food." Do we see this now? If you do it is most likely and exception to the rule. While in the service we were asked to give money to charities, after carefull research, I decided to donate to the Shriners. Why, because 100% goes to those who need it. No to buildings, not to advertisements and not to any CEO. Look it up. Most important to me they never praise themselves. Their advertisements if you are fortunate to here one is asking for those persons in need, they do not tread on you sympathy to give to some poor crippled child. The moral of the story, Invest your money wisely. Before you feel sorry for those who can not afford to better themselves like go to college, how many of you out there are still paying off student loans. I finally paid mine off that I use to obtain my LPN license and I used my GI bill I earned by serving my country for 4 years to obtain my RN. So if there is a will there is a way, all we have to do is present it to those who need it. I watched a show the other day (Ophra) were a family in third world country was given a goat which allowed them to provide for themselves verses just giving them everything. While I know that giving a person a goat in this country may not help, lets find something that will. I would much rather put my money in a scholarship fund, than in a bucket that is labled feed the hungry, for that I would gladly purchase the food if I knew that the person I was feeding was being shown how to help feed themselves.
  8. by   Merry1
    Not a right. Enough people abuse what they have, you want to encourage even more? No one is turned away from the ER by law. We all make choices in life and I feel bad for thoes who choose poorly but why should my grandchildren have to pay for their care??
  9. by   kmchugh
    Originally posted by chigap
    What shocks me the most about this thread is how nasty and coldhearted some people can be. Nurses that don't even care enough about their neighbors to feed, house, or give them healthcare if they are mentally, physically or spiritually sick enough not to be able to acquire it on their own.
    This one statement sums up nicely for me the problem with the argument in favor of universal health care, in that there is no real answer to those of us with the opposite viewpoint. Rather than debating logically, we are called cold, heartless and nasty because we would like to see some benefit accrue to ourselves and our families as a result of the hard work and sweat we put in to get ahead. How dare we presume to want to keep something of what we have done, when Chigap, Maureeno, or someone else has better knowledge of how the money we earn should be spent. When all else fails, you WILL stoop to name calling and shaming those who disagree with you. Look no further than the nuts who want me to stop driving my SUV.

    But, these same people have not yet been able to adequately answer our questions about personal responsibility. As I pointed out before, we are rapidly becoming a nation of those with rights without responsibility (those who receive benefits) and those who bear all of the burden of responsibility in society with far fewer concurrent rights (those of us who pay the lion's share of taxes). And when we exercise one of the few rights left to us, that of freedom of speech, to say "this isn't fair" someone like Chigap comes along and calls us "nasty and coldhearted."

    Rest assured, Chigap, I am neither nasty nor coldhearted. I am actually a pretty nice guy. I'll admit to being opinionated on some topics, but my opinions are based on education, experience, and time. I'm also tired of people saying "we need to provide this and that to give everyone opportunity," but when the question of paying for "this and that" comes up, the finger is pointed directly at me. WTF ever happened to taking responsibility for your own life, you own decisions? And why is it my responsibility, because I made good decisions in life and worked my butt off to get where I am, to pay for the bad decisions of others? Why does Susy, by virtue of living in a dual income no kids household, have an even greater responsibility to others?

    Yes, our healthcare system needs work. The first step is to get lawyers out of the system. We must stop forcing doctors and nurses to treat patients in a certain way to prevent being sued. I recently read an article that stated something like 40% of all healthcare dollars are spent on people during the last 10 days of their life. The point is that massive amounts of dollars are being spent on terminal patients at the end of their lives to provide treatment that will at best, extend their lives by a few hours. There are hard decisions that have to be made. But my saying you have dipped into my pocket enough, thank you, does not make me coldhearted or nasty. However, accusing me of such may reveal something about you.

    Kevin McHugh
  10. by   MOMMY
    I am all for helping the mentaly and physically challenged person. Even in this population you see that even with their diability they attempt to help themselves have you ever been to an ARC program? While working in Home Health I had the chance to take care of a person who developed an injury that prevented them from continuing thier current area of work. When they complained about not being able to earn an income, I suggested goverment assisted retraining that would put them back into the work force. Their response, "no I will just get on diability" . And they did, so at the age of 30 they become one of the nations diabled. Why, because they could only stand/ambulate for no more that 4 hrs at a time. This person could have recieved retraining free of charge all they had to do was put for the effort. I am all for helping my fellow man. And am involved in many charitable organizations, I choose to spend my time helping others help themselves rather than putting a bandaide on the problem and covering it with good will. My point help those that really need it there are really people out there that need help, but be sure you are helping in the right way. Many times we stop at the basic needs of food and shelter and forget what comes next.
  11. by   AHarri66
    I don't believe health care is a right, but I definitely would like to see care more accessible to more people. If government regulations and government-sponsored insurance systems were eliminated, and we went back to fee-for-service care, the total cost of care would be reduced. It used to be that health insurance was only needed for hospitalization. Individuals would (and could) pay their provider out of pocket, and the provider had more control over what he/she could charge.

    And as for prescription meds, the inflated costs are not due to the pharmaceutical companies but FDA. The drug companies need to re-coup R&D costs, as well as the costs placed on them by regulations. For example, when a drug is in test phase the company is required to send the FDA reports at certain points in the trial. Each reports is to be sent in a specific color folder. If the report is sent in an aqua colored folder instead of a teal colored folder by accident, the entire report is sent back by the FDA and needs to be redone!! (True story.) Imagine the costs that are eaten up with that kind of asinine stuff! Boggles the mind, it does.
  12. by   Furball
    FDA must be run by nursing instructors.
  13. by   AHarri66
    :chuckle :roll :chuckle :roll :chuckle