Is Health Care a Right? - page 2

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   Flo1216
    Nurse4kids, not everyone is capable of going to college and getting a better job. A lot of Americans work 2 or three minimum wage jobs to provide for their familes and are not offered insurance through their employers. A lot of uninsured Americans are students who ARE trying to get through college and get a better job, and are getting by waitressing or temping and pehaps they fall ill in the meantime. The point is not every American who is uninsured is a lowlife. A lot of them are good people and sometimes, **** happens. I don't know if universal health care is the answer, but I know some sort of reform is necessary..especially on the east coast. It's ridiculous. We'll talk about car insurance some other time....
  2. by   Flo1216
    I think one thing I do have a problem with though, is illegal immigrants who come to this country, get sick and get better treatment than other uninsured or even insured Americans. Example: An illegal immigrant from Mexico needs dialysis for the rest of his life because he ate Advil every day for years becuase he had undiagnosed HTN, resulting in headaches. He was at our hospital for almost 2 years. But he had a wife and baby and even though it wasn't exactly fair, I looked at the human factor. However, later his wife went on Spanish television and said that we were holding her husband hostage. Hey, he was free to go whenever, but he probably would have been sent back to Mexico where he wouldn't get his dialysis and he would die. She then fell under the delusion that the hospital owed HER money because her husband hadn't been able to work for 2 years because he was in the hosptial. He was healthy enough to be outside of the hospital but he didn't have access to dialysis because there was a waiting list and since he was an illegal,he was at the bottom of it. They were very ungrateful and didn't seem to consider the fact that the hospital was most likely keeping him alive.
  3. by   obeyacts2
    HEALTH CARE SHOULD BE UNIVERSAL RIGHT> Lots of middle income people in CA dont have insurance as many employers have stopped ofering it Carrrying your own insurance is often way to expensive for a ordinary family, not to mention insurers are getting very very picky over whom they will insure. Due to lack of insurance coverage, 40% thats not a typo of biirths in CA are covered by medicaid. We carrry a policy for me, I work as a CNA. My Dh is covered by the VA as a vet. If we had children we would be in troublle, we dont qualify for assistance of any kind but cant afford any more insurance costs. DH job doesnt offer any thing either and he isnt exaclty poor.. I think if all the other Western European countires can have universal coverage we can too.

  4. by   VickyRN
    Thank you all for your thoughtful responses. I am trying to decide what position to take on this subject; can see both sides. I really feel for people who have no coverage--oftentimes they are good, hard-working people who simply do not have health coverage because they are self-employed or work for an employer who doesn't supply insurance. Something needs to be done; our system is in a mess.
  5. by   Flo1216
    The problem with universal coverage is that sometimes you have to wait months to even years for tests and procedures and surgeries and you kinda have to suffer in the meantime. A friend of mine is originally from Canada and his father had to wait a year a cholecystectomy, even though he was in severe pain. Just getting an MRI may take 6 months. I do have to say that deep down, I believe we should all be entitled to health care in some way shape or form.
  6. by   researchrabbit
    The problem is that health care is so incredibly expensive. My ex-husband let the kids' insurance lapse without telling me. My daughter had such severe, radiating, unrelenting pain in her side late one evening that I took her to the ER (she could barely walk). $1400.00 and they did not find anything wrong with her (they ran some blood tests and did a brief physical and a gyno exam -- nothing else). Luckily it hasn't happened again.

    That $1400 is half a month's pay (post taxes and everything else they take out). For the average worker bee, a couple of ER visits and they could lose the house, the car...and if those are lost, the job is lost. Universal healthcare makes sense to me.

    The hospital was not kind, either, about the fact I had to pay it off in bits. The payment plan they insisted on was more than I could afford per month and they called if it was one day late. Not a pleasant experience.
  7. by   sjoe
    At this point, in the US there is only one population that has a legal right to health care (absent a specific contract such as military personnel have) according to the US Supreme Court. And that is the population that is being held by a government-affiliated agency against their will: i.e. prison and jail inmates, involuntarily committed mental health patients, etc.

    NO other population has the legal right to health care in the US right now.

    At any time in the future, however, Congress could pass a new law assigning this right to certain, or all, other citizens. Given the experience of the Clinton presidency, however, there is little reason to believe such a new law will be passed at any time soon.
  8. by   deespoohbear
    Originally posted by fergus51
    I think it should be a basic entitlement or right of citizenship, especially for children. I think it is bassackwards to guarantee prisoners medical care, but not children.
    Need a clapping smiley for this one....I agree 100%. Also, medical treatment for our senior citizens. My 83 y/o FIL is WW2 vet and Medicare sucks. He is on several prescriptions that are prohibitively expensive...We have looked into VA coverage, but that would mean having to take him to the VA that is 40 miles away for his basic coverage...inconvienent...My FIL was a self-employed dairy farmer who worked hard his whole life to provide for his family...and now we are helping him with his prescriptions and stuff because he can't afford it on his own...hell of a for meds that you need but starve to death because you have nothing left over for food...
  9. by   Flo1216
    I don't believe it will happen anytime soon . I think the middle class population WITH insurance are the hardest hit by health care costs. A young man I know got sick with West Nile Virus a few years ago. He was a mechanic and his wife owned a beauty shop and they had a new baby. They had insurance. He was hospitalized for 4 mos. They lost everything. They had to sell their home, the business, their cars. Some people say it's better to be poor in times like these. If you don't have anything in the first place, there is nothing to take. It all sucks either way.
  10. by   Flo1216
    One solution that would ease health care costs is increased health promotion and maintenance, with focus on primary prevention, screenings, etc. I am very interested furthering my studies with an emphasis on public health, for that very reason. I don't think we do enough of that. Also, it is hard to reach young people, sometimes. They tend to think they are invincible. By the time they realize they are not, it is usually too late.
  11. by   WashYaHands
    One solution that would ease health care costs is increased health promotion and maintenance, with focus on primary prevention, screenings, etc.
    I agree with this. The problem is that many people who run the health care system as it is today are not health care providers, they are business people. Preventative primary prevention strategies cost money and the financial outcomes are not realized immediately. It takes months, sometimes years to compile positive outcome research data from preventative programs to prove they are worthy of financial support. The general public and business sector want immediate results, otherwise they feel they are wasting money. I believe that this is one reason that most insurance companies won't pay for preventative services. They believe that they ultimately spend less money only on the ill, rather than thinking upstream and providing coverage for those preventative services, screenings, etc. that identify those at risk and keep people out of the hospital and clinics to begin with. When the budgets get cut, the preventative services suffer, which I believe is the wrong direction to take.

    I also agree with the poster that said health care is a right, but with that right also comes responsibility.
  12. by   Sally_ICURN
    Originally posted by RN2B2005
    There are many people who feel they are entitled to health care--these people tend to be Medicaid recipients, in my experience.
    The quote above (and this is no flame) is a MAJOR, major generalization/stereotype. I feel like I'm entitled to health care and I'm not a medicaid recipient.

    I think healthcare should be a fundamental right of all people no matter what their background or life-choices (good or bad--which is subjective of course) have been. Talk about issues in ethics, how do you pick and choose who gets what healthcare? That seems to be what managed care from ethical concerns and under the guise of providing you a quality service.

    I think that Managed Care/HMO's are the root of all evil and wrongdoing in healthcare. If you think about it, since managed care came about a couple of decades ago, that's when healthcare in this country really began to fall into the toilet. I believe this is when "restructuring" of hospitals starting taking place by outside firms that had absolutely NOTHING to do with healthcare, and I also believe that nursing took the biggest hit in this "restructuring" and the effects are still felt today. I think it's pathetic that a doctor who's a Senator who hold millions of dollars in stock in a managed care company that gets popped for ripping off medicare resulting in 2 billion in fines can be put into the most powerful Republican position in the Senate on Capitol Hill. I don't know, but not a whole lot of people seem outraged by this! I am.

    I don't proclaim to have the answers to the problem, but one option (and I'm not even saying this is the best option) is a single payer health plan for the United States.

    The quote below is from something I found online a while back while reading up on Managed Care. It's called "Damaged Care, Damaged Caregiver" and was written by a physician who quit practicing medicine due to the crap she had to endure with managed care. This is from Chapter 16 on the website.

    A single payer system would give people greater freedom in looking for jobs. No one would be forced to stay in a position he can not stand because he can not afford to give up his health insurance. Middle aged people who dream of starting their own business would not have to worry about losing their health coverage. Since all doctors would be part of the plan, no one would be told "New Year, new contract. Time to change doctors again."

    Those who say that the government has no business getting involved in health care should remember that our government is already providing health coverage for the neediest segments of our population, the elderly ( through Medicare) and the chronically ill ( through Medicaid). These are the people HMOs do not want to cover. Does it seem fair that we, the tax payers provide health care for the sickest while private HMOs reap the profits of insuring the healthiest segment of the population? Would it not make more sense to pool all the health care dollars into one insurance plan?

    Before you answer consider this all too common scenario. A person works for years, only rarely taking advantage of the HMO coverage which his employer provides. Suddenly he becomes extremely ill--too ill to work. He has to quit his job. What happens to his HMO coverage? If he is lucky and has worked long enough, he can retire with insurance. Others can pay big premiums to keep their insurance. A fair number are left without any insurance coverage at all. They end up receiving their care at the local charity hospital until they can qualify for Medicaid. In other words, the HMO got all the premiums, but the government ends up paying all the bills.

    I think the viewpoint of this physician speaks volumes about the problem with managed care and their money grubbing fat little fingers. The quote above is but one tiny tid-bit of what she so eloquently, and sometimes hillariously (Chapter 1!), writes on her site about her story.

    Quality healthcare should be a constitutional right for everyone.

    Whew! That felt good!

    Last edit by Sally_ICURN on Jan 15, '03
  13. by   Flo1216
    Sally-right on. Like I said...its easy for people to turn up their noses and be judgemental of medicaid recipients when they are not the ones in that position. If a member of their family were seriously ill and had no health coverage, perhaps they would feel differently. People need to see the big picture. And these views are coming from nurses. I wonder what they would have thought of me when I was a bartender/student without insurance and required medical care.
    Last edit by Flo1216 on Jan 15, '03