Is Health Care a Right? - page 35

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   OzNurse69
    You do have a point there, in that even if your govt did manage to introduce a health care system that was less complicated & expensive than the one you already have, the average Joe on the street would be likely to see his tax cuts on about, oh, say, the same day that hell freezes over!!!....if they are anything like the average public administration, that is.....
  2. by   Gromit
    Originally posted by OzNurse69
    Ok, maybe calling you witless was a little severe, and for that I apologise....:kiss

    I did not call you a hick, FYI I grew up on a farm also, and I have no problem with rural people being educated....some of the most intelligent people I know are from rural areas.

    Having said that, however, it seems to me that some on this board have very set opinions of certain topics, and refuse to logically consider the arguments that others present to try and educate them.
    Nah, the Hick part was mine for myself (grin). But otherwise, where the set opinions are concerned, I agree that mine are set, as are the rest of the members, this is evidenced by the postings. I am open to information and have (though not easily) changed my opinions on things. As for the arguments posted and the attempt to educate the posters, I haven't seen anything that would change my belief in a universal healthcare system. I am not without compassion, but I'm just plain tired of spending more. Several here say that it can be done less expensively. Well, on paper, I agree completely! HOWEVER, having worked for years in a loca (county-level) government, and watched our own federal inefficient beaurocracy, I say :show me where or when our government made ANYTHING less expensive, and more efficient?

    Its all fine and dandy to wish everyone could have everything health-wise, sadly, human nature has shown time and again that ANYTHING that is percieved as "free" will soon be overwhelmed with demand far exceeding supply.

    An example? Welfare was started as an attempt to ASSIST people in times of need, with the idea that they would pull themselves up by their own bootstraps. It was NEVER intended to turn into the behemoth 'venus fly-trap' that it has become.

    Actually, I think I can say that for EVERY social program the government has come up with. They never get smaller, only larger. The larger, the more inefficient.

    I do not trust my government to restrict itself, it has NEVER shown any tendancy to do so.
  3. by   donmurray
    It isn't just on paper! those comparative figures are actual, not theoretical. Surely all governments are bureacratic, amost by definition, and the fact that other governments can provide universal healthcare with less cost to the taxpayer, however the details are worked out, must show that it is a better optoin than what you have now. Or will we get into a "my govt. wastes more than your govt." spat?
  4. by   KP RN
    Let's talk about Medicare for a moment, or our present government run health plan. Medicare has substantially restricted and limited utilization over the past 15-20 years, because the federal government realized Medicare was perceived as an open checkbook.
    Since the inception of Medicare, the long term projections have not even come close to the actual cost of the services. Furthermore, the more people who utilize the health care system, the greater the cost inevitably will be.
    As you know, Medicare has significantly reduced payments to hospitals and doctors (which, by the way, isn't good for us nurses either). Some doctors are refusing to see more Medicare and Medicaid patients because they actually lose money. You know the old saying, private insurance is retail, medicare is wholesale, and medicaid is loss in money.
    One last thought I had, if people are financially unable to purchase a health care insurance policy, how is it that they would be able to pay the 20% out of pocket charges that medicare does not pay??
  5. by   OzNurse69
    Originally posted by KP RN
    One last thought I had, if people are financially unable to purchase a health care insurance policy, how is it that they would be able to pay the 20% out of pocket charges that medicare does not pay??
    The way it works here is, if you are a low income earner & have a health care card, you can be bulk billed by the doctor, that is, she only receives the Medicare rebate. However that is going by the wayside at the moment & doctors who bulk bill are becoming fewer & farther between, because the medicare rebate has not been increased to allow for extra expenses like the recent blow-outs in indemnity insurance premiums.

    That is why we are seeing more & more GP type pts presenting at ED's, because then they don't have to pay anything. Seems to be a fairly simple solution -- increase Medicare rebates, then more GP's will bulk bill, people will go back to their GP's because they won't have any out-of-pocket expenses, & ED's will go back to treating acutely ill people.....

    .....but I forget, I'm only a nurse, I don't know anything about health policy.....
  6. by   fiestynurse
    Everyone who wishes to debate or advocate for health care reform should read "The Economics of Health Reconsidered."
  7. by   fiestynurse
    The United States National Health Insurance Act being introduced to Congress as we speak:
  8. by   fiestynurse
    The Hartford Courant
    February 12, 2003
    Who's Shaping The Debate On Health Care Reform?
    By Theodore Marmor and Kip Sullivan

    The 2003 debate about health care reform, unfortunately, is likely to be as muddled as it was a decade ago, when President Clinton promoted universal health insurance under the banner of managed care and the inflation rate in health insurance premiums was also in double digits.

    Now, as then, those with interests in rising health expenditures will try to make sure the American public does not understand the real causes of the recent surge in medical inflation. Their loudest argument is that Americans overuse medical care and that such overuse would only worsen if all Americans were insured.

    Overuse does exist, the evidence indicates. But so does worrisome underuse. And overuse cannot explain the latest burst in health insurance prices or the sharp rises in what drugstores and doctors charge. There is no credible evidence that Americans received a lot more medical care in the past few years. But the price of health care has skyrocketed nonetheless. That inflation is because of the market power of insurers, drug manufacturers,
    hospitals and other suppliers of medical services.

    Advocates of medical savings accounts and other high-deductible plans talk of overuse because they think they have an answer to it. With a few exceptions, these advocates avoid discussion of underuse. They know they have no solution for underuse and that their practices will almost surely aggravate it. But that does not dissuade them from disseminating the overuse thesis at the meetings of health insurers and the gatherings of groups like the National Association of Manufacturers.

    In that context, a sensible discussion of medical inflation, let alone
    universal health insurance, is very difficult. It is almost impossible
    when the news media act like an echo chamber, amplifying the voices of the already heard. Well-financed interest groups have lobbyists who are paid and prodded to comment and who show up regularly in debates that journalists try to "balance." The trouble is that there are 50 industry spokespeople for every underfinanced representative of ordinary citizens. The news all too often then turns out to be what prominent figures in the
    medical-commercial complex claim.

    No wonder that Americans support the reform principles of universal coverage but express fear at most efforts to act on them.


    I emphatically recommend reading the article, "Soaring health
    premiums creating more uninsured," by Nancy McVicar of the Sun-Sentinel in Florida.

    She addresses the real problems and discusses realistic solutions.
  9. by   Sally_ICURN
    Fiestynurse thank you. I'm not sure how anyone can ignore the valuable information that you post here.

    I posted these links earlier and here they are again. Especially as nurses, we should be involved.

    Fiestynurse, you keep posting sources to backup exactly what I personally have been trying to say on this thread. It's so important that people get involved in efforts to try to overcome the strong lobbyists who are so good at spending millions and millions of dollars to put out information that is glowing for them but stifling to the voices of reason and fact.

  10. by   sanakruz
    Ditto, thank you, fiesty
  11. by   fiestynurse
    This is in response to a comment made awhile back by fergus51 regarding mandatory health insurance.

    Individual mandates will not work

    The American Prospect
    One Dimensional
    The notion of individual mandates for health insurance is untenable and shortsighted. - By Jonathan Oberlander

    Mandatory self-insurance -- which would compel all Americans to purchase health insurance (much like all drivers are required to purchase auto insurance) with public subsidies going to those who cannot afford the cost -- has emerged as the flavor of the month in health reform. Ted Halstead, president of the New America Foundation, argued in a Jan. 31 New York Times op-ed piece that mandatory insurance is "the most promising solution to America's health care crisis." Sen. John Breaux (D-La.), a congressional leader on health policy, has offered a similar plan,
    praising mandatory self-insurance as a "bold and new idea."

    Halstead's case for individual mandates is based on a misleading portrait of the uninsured. To Halstead, the uninsured are mostly "middle class" -- young, healthy Americans who can afford to purchase health insurance. If only they were compelled to buy insurance, Halstead argues, not only would we get universal coverage but these healthy newcomers to insurance pools would also drive down the cost of premiums.

    In fact, the uninsured are not mostly middle class: Nearly two-thirds (64 percent) of the uninsured earn less than 200 percent of the federal poverty level. As a result, if universal coverage is truly the goal, an individual mandate program would have to offer much higher subsidies to a much broader segment of the population than Halstead implies. And because the average premium for health insurance is $8,000 for families and $3,000 for individuals, Halstead seriously underestimates the federal price-tag for subsidizing individual mandates. That price would decline if the "basic" insurance that Halstead would require all to buy really means only catastrophic or bare-bones policies. But such plans would not provide adequate health security.

    Moreover, individual mandate plans have no cost-control mechanisms. They instead rely on the vague hope that competition between private insurers will lower health-care costs. Yet the American experience with competition in medical care provides no basis for relying on a private insurance system -- the most expensive in the world, incidentally -- to slow health spending. Without government regulation and freed from the negotiating leverage that big companies now exert for premium discounts, there would be no constraints on private insurers who wanted to raise prices. Under an individual mandate program, health-care spending and insurance premiums would continue to escalate, necessitating sizable increases in public subsidies -- and likely generating political pressure to retreat from universal coverage.

    The aspiration to universal coverage embodied by the new wave of individual mandate plans is a welcome improvement over the incrementalism that has dominated the health-care-reform debate for the last decade. Yet without generous subsidies, clear mechanisms to pool risk and effective cost control, an individual mandate that makes being uninsured illegal will no more solve the health-care crisis than a mandate that makes unemployment illegal would solve joblessness. If what we want is affordable and secure health insurance for all Americans, individual mandates simply won't get the job done.
  12. by   kmchugh
    I want to go waaaay back on this thread, and direct a question at JMP.

    Originally posted by JMP

    I think your post smacks of verbal bullying. You will have a difficult time indeed, taking me to task.

    You have to understand Kevin that I live in a different country with VERY different values. We share somethings, but so many are different. ...

    To me, in my opinion, to not want that right shared amongst all citizens is selfish and singleminded. I work full time and believe me, no one takes "everything" I have so everyone else can have something........this kind of thinking is silly and, again in my opinion selfish.

    I truely hope your country can come to turns with universal health care, every person deserves health is a basic human right. Again, a Canadian's view.
    How interesting. You accuse me of verbal bullying, yet in this post you call me selfish and single minded. You initially came up on this thread, calling me and all who agree with me greedy and self indulgent. I called you on that, and I'M the one who is being a bully.

    This is another issue for me. While I respect your right to disagree, I won't allow that right to extend to you calling me names (the last refuge of those without logical argument). Yet, I'm the verbal bully. Interesting planet you live on.

    Kevin McHugh
  13. by   JMP
    Where is the question Kevin?