Is Health Care a Right? - page 38

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   Sally_ICURN
    Originally posted by Susy K
    ...I didn't want to turn this into a "it's all about Sally" thread, because that's not the point nor is it productive.
    And thank you for not turning it into that. My post was in response to another post by KP RN.

    Susy, I really do respect your opinion, but it doesn't mean I agree with it.
  2. by   Sally_ICURN
    Originally posted by Nurse Ratched
    Programs are means-tested for gov't assistance so we don't go broke supporting those who have other options.
    This is a very good statement and I'm dying to comment further on a personal level because I think I have a good personal example, but like Susy mentioned in her last post, and I completely agree, it's not about me.

    I still maintain however that in some cases our government CREATES poverty.
  3. by   kmchugh
    Originally posted by Sally_ICURN
    #1. I had too much money in the bank. They didn't care that I was in school trying to establish a means for my future--a future that would not require ANY assistance from the government. They didn't get it that I had carefully planned the next 18 months of my life to survive on the money in the bank. They wanted me to spend it! Yep! I was told to be eligible, I had to "spend it down" and that it needed to be done no sooner than 6 months prior to applying for aid.

    #2. I was making car payments on a fairly new car. I purchased the $24,000 car the prior year. I was told I would have to sell it and the most I could spend, or the most a car could be worth, was $3,000 blue book.

    #3. They needed me to sell some of my belongings. They counted the televisions in my house (3-2 in bedrooms and one in living room), told me I needed to sell two of them. Had to get rid of some furniture too. Couldn't really own anything that was considered a luxury. These are "luxuries" I worked my whole life for- uh huh.

    So I was not willing to sell my car and "spend down" my saving account, the savings account that took me years to accumulate and the savings account that I needed to survive through the coming months until I could graduate and secure a well paying job. I was basicaly SOL!! I might as well just quit nursing school and go back to my old job with no future just to get the insurance??

    Had I stayed in my previous career, I would be in big trouble when the child support stops coming in and it was up to me to support myself on my measly salary. I would become a welfare recipient for sure. Our government does absolutely NOTHING for folks like myself at that time who only needed a little bit of temporary security. If I had gone ahead and done what they requested for the coverage there would have been NO WAY I could have completed my nursing program. No Way.

    I think I see your point, and please forgive me for using what you posted to make mine. I do not want this to be a "Bash Sally" thread. But, you highlight exactly what I am saying.

    You had a job, but it was dead end. When your kids reached majority, you would no longer be able to rely on income from your ex-husband. You wanted a brighter future. So far, so good?

    You had a span wherein you could not afford health insurance (and with $12,000 in the bank, that doesn't make a lot of sense to me, but then...). You had a $24,000 car. You had luxuries in your home. You wanted assistance "over the hump." So, you expect the taxpayers to help you over that hump, so you can keep your "nice things." So, in your mind, I and other taxpayers must pay. So you can keep your nice car, and your $12,000 bank account, and your home luxuries that you worked your whole life for. Actually, you are saying the same thing I am.

    Understand, I too was in a dead end job (staff nurse) and wanted to get ahead. I wanted to be able to make more money, I wanted more autonomy, I wanted my wife to be able to stay home with the kids, if that was her wish. So, I too went back to school. We scrimped some, and borrowed a lot. We managed to keep the home we had bought, and even did some work to improve it. And after two years, I became a CRNA. And we did it without government assistance. I made it. Now, I want to keep some of that money I have worked my whole life for. I want to save it for my retirement. I want to spend it on my kids, on a nicer home, lavishly on my wife who has stood by me throughout what we went through to get where we are. I am in effect told that I must give up what I have worked so hard for, so that you don't have to give up what you worked for. I must pay more for universal health care, so everyone has "equal access."

    How, exactly, is that fair? Why should you expect me, who worked hard and did not use government assistance, to pay for you to get ahead? Why is it unfair for the government (read taxpayers) to expect you, with $12,000 in the bank, a $24,000 car, and the luxuries accumulated, to take responsibility for yourself in that time?

    Please understand, I'm not slamming you. I just want you to see it from the other side.

    Kevin McHugh

    Edited to add (with deference to Susy): You made a decision. You decided the money in the bank, the nice car, the home furnishings, the whatever, were more important that health insurance for you or your kids. Don't blame me, or the government, for the decisions you make.
  4. by   Q.
    Originally posted by kmchugh
    Edited to add (with deference to Susy): You made a decision. You decided the money in the bank, the nice car, the home furnishings, the whatever, were more important that health insurance for you or your kids. Don't blame me, or the government, for the decisions you make.
    Um...(gently) yes, very much so. :uhoh21:

    It really does seem Sally that we agree here, at least on the wanting to keep more of what you earned for yourself and your family. How is that any different from what we are saying? To me it seems the same.
  5. by   Sally_ICURN
    No Kevin and Susy, what you're suggesting I should have done is sell the only things of any monetary value that I owned and get rid of my savings account JUST so I could give $600/mo to the COBRA plan that was available to me or, might I add because I did check into it, buy a different policy that would have cost ~$400/mo for me and my son.

    I had a few choices:

    #1. I could have quit nursing school and stayed in my old job making $15.00/hr with, let's say, cost of living increases of 2% every couple of years. There wasn't a bad retirement with this job, including health insurance. Except where I live, that salary is considered close to (if not at) the poverty level. That's one of the reasons I went back to school. I loved this job and I was doing okay, but it had no future and I was in no way living in the lap of luxury or even close to it.

    #2. I could have gotten rid of the car, the few other things that were considered luxuries, and my savings account and taken the healthcare assistance. I wasn't looking for financial aid, that's what my savings was for, I was only looking for healthcare, and only for my son and only temporarily. If I had chosen this option I would not have been able to continue nursing school and my fate would be choice #1 because I would have nothing in the bank to support myself through school.

    #3. Take the chance of going uninsured and continue through school living as I planned off the savings account I so carefully budgeted and rebudgeted after my ex lost his job. (Thank GOD he found another job in less than 4 months. He, and as a result I, was fortunate that he did-my son was covered again.) I would go into this choice knowing that when I finished school, I would have nothing in the bank, just my car and my household belongings and tens of thousands of dollars in loans not only for myself but for my daughters who were working on their undergraduate degrees at the same time.

    Of course I chose #3 and I live, in good health, to talk about it.

    I think that my situation at that time is a perfect example of why this country needs a healthcare system that provides basic coverage for ALL no matter what. Again and again and again it's been stated, with tons of research to back it up, that it would cost us less NOT more. Are you all upset about those 18 months that I wasn't paying taxes, or that if something did happen to me or my son, god forbid, the taxpayers would have to pay the bill? Does it not count that I put into that same tax system for more than 20 years and planned to responsibly pay even more tax once I obtained a higher paying job? This was just my situation and even this stuff doesn't matter when it comes to covering the uninsured. No one should have to be put in a situation of having to make such choices about their health.

    This is what happens to people. They are faced with these choices. If I had been a diabetic I would have had no choice about my future in this situation. I absolutely would have had to have some type of health coverage. I would have had to stay in my old job and live in poverty or get rid of everything and live in poverty, but with government healthcare.

    IT'S just WRONG and this is where so many millions of people are stuck. Something needs to be done about our healthcare system. I'm sick of hearing about the outrageous profits and salaries that some are making at the expense of not only other people's health, but other people lives.

    I have absolutely no financial problems now and neither does my ex. Between the two of us we make about $200,000/yr. He pays his child support every month and only missed one month during his unemployment. We are amiable ex's who don't mind helping out each other or someone else when they need it, but know that there's got to be a better way.

    edited to add: I have no problem with the situation I went through being discussed, but still no, it's not about me.
    Last edit by Sally_ICURN on Feb 18, '03
  6. by   melsay
    I'll tell ya, my husband is from Australis where EVERYONE has health insurance. He was in disbelief when he came here and saw that I (we) pay for insurance THEN have them tell us who we can/can not see, and STILL owe a co-pay AND a percentage of the bill. The way his country does it, no matter if you are a millionaire or on a government check, a percentage (across the board) comes out of your pay...this is all able to pay for the whole countries health care. He said it's the same as our Medicare taxes and you never miss the $$. How is it the supossed wealthiest country can't even manage to cover health benifits for their people. It is better to NOT work and get a free check AND get Medicaid where ALL is paid for, Dr. visits, RX's, hospital. Medicare sure doesn't do all of this. No wonder we get so burnt out. The money they are taking from us is going somewhere, and it sure isin't our pockets. And as far as "waiting" on a procedure that I read in an earlier post, you don't have to wait in Australia, you can't go in for a boob job, nothing elective paid for, but all medically needed procedures you have as needed, no waiting months.
  7. by   JMP

    I have been trying to tell some of these posters for a few posts now what universal health care is all about, how it can work etc.

    However, they have their minds set on keeping the out of wack system they have and defending their right to it to the bitter end.

    Kevin, you have disappointed me. You asked me specific questions, I answered them and no reponse.
  8. by   Q.

    No one is defending our current "wacked-out" system. We have all acknowledged that there is some serious problems in our health care system.

    We just don't think that taking our money away to fund it is the answer.
    Clearly, to even fund herself and her child, Sally didn't want to give up her lifestyle. So why should I?
  9. by   JMP

    If by now you can't see past the "taking money away from me" argument then..... I guess you just choose not to.
  10. by   SmilingBluEyes
    I think a much more equitable system could be designed and succeed w/funds available NOW...but that would mean money-grubbers would have to take a cut (not you and me, but those making millions on the current system)....hard to do, isnt' it? I maintain the money is THERE it's a matter of HOW it is allocated.
  11. by   Sally_ICURN
    Originally posted by Susy K

    Clearly, to even fund herself and her child, Sally didn't want to give up her lifestyle.
    What lifestyle? Okay, I knew the car and my savings would be an issue when I first posted this story. I wanted to see the reaction I would get and unfortunately, it's exactly what I suspected it would be.

    Lifestyle...I think it's pretty clear that it wouldn't matter to some whether I drove a Celica (mine is a 1998--Renaissance Red) or a $800 piece of junk that needed constant repairs and a vehicle that my son and I called home; I don't think it would matter if I had $12,000 in the bank or nothing at all; or whether I was tying to secure a future for myself to live independently of anyone's assistance or living with a drug problem that I knew I needed help with but couldn't get into a drug rehab program because of the lack of availability; it wouldn't matter if I was helping my daughters become educated, responsible adults or if I was called grandma and trying to support the grandkids at the age of 35 because my daughter(s) became another teenage pregnancy statistic. It just wouldn't matter. I think it goes much deeper than just not wanting one's tax money going towards a universal health plan for this country. Sadly, I feel that some people just don't care.
  12. by   Furball
    This is unbelievable....
  13. by   Q.
    Sally, no, I really think it has more to do with this:

    If there were a millionaire CEO who suddenly lost his job, and therefore his health insurance, should we allow him to have Medicare for his children as a "bridge" until he got another job? Afterall, he's well paid into the system, being taxed at 40% for probably 10 years or more. Shouldn't he be able get the health insurance/assistance for his kid?

    NO! That is not what the system was designed to do. He has the means to provide for his children. Just because the system is there and he "paid into it" doesn't mean he should have access to it.