More high-income Americans go without health insurance

  1. As healthcare insurance premiums rise at their fastest rate in a decade, more Americans with higher incomes are going without. While the working poor make up the biggest chunk of the 41.2 million uninsured Americans, the Census Bureau estimates there are 6.6 million Americans with household incomes above $75,000 who do not have health insurance.

    USA Today, Nov. 22, 2002
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    About NRSKarenRN, BSN, RN Moderator

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  3. by   renerian
    Our insurance price we pay is almost $700 per month now for family coverage. Terrible. I am still glad we have it though.

  4. by   JMP
    As an outsider, do you think Americans will ever embrace the idea of health for all? In otherwords, universal health insurance?

    If not, what is the sticking point? Or would it not be seen as a idea to aspire to?
  5. by   emily_mom
    I had always been told that free health care for all that some countries has is really bad (don't beat me, please!). Does the government/parliament regulate this insurance? If so, I don't think I would want that. They have a hard enough time running this country, much less taking on a vast health care system.

  6. by   JMP
    The government does not regulate.... not sure what you mean there. If you get sick, need treatment, you get it. No price tag. Universal health care is not perfect however. But I think it is the best thing that we, as a fairly small country can come up with. If you look at the World Health Org stats, countries like Canada and Denmark and Sweden have the one of the highest marks for reduction of infant mortality and overall health, due mostly to universal health care.

    Like I said however, it is not perfect and some flaws do exsist, BUT if you are sick, in an accident, have a baby, are diabetic, need go and get it. We are fairly heavily taxed, but I feel it is worth it. We have provincal tax and federal tax, ( 15 percent in total) on most goods we buy, with exception of food. Prescriptions are free to those over 65, or disadvantaged.

    From what I have read, universal health care is one of the jewels in Canada's fortunes. I firmly believe that health care is a RIGHT for all citizens, but then, that is Canadian view.
  7. by   Pretzlgl
    Just curious about the income tax rate in Canada. 15% for goods is high also. And isn't the cost of living higher in Canada as well? Just asking because I don't know.
  8. by   JMP
    Cost of living..... not too sure. I know we have a high standard of living and probally that costs...... food for example probally costs more here than in the US, but I can not say for sure...since I live in Canada and the price of a loaf of bread, depending on what kind you buy can range from 90 cents to 1.49.

    I know that some Americans feel out income taxes are high, hum again, not too sure since I live here. Every two weeks I pay about 380 in taxes, and I make about 23.00 dollars an hour ( I go to 25 dollars in hourin May 2003) ( 2 years of experience as an RN) The top RN here in Ontario makes about 32-33 dollars an hour- and of course, they would have a higher tax rate, 8 years to get to the top of the pay scale.

    My feeling from listening to the news and reading alot of newspapers is the gap between poor and high income is not as severe here as in other parts of the world- the US for example. But we are looked at as a more socialist country and have fairly strong social supports in place for disadvantaged and the ill.

    So, all in all, I have not really answered your quesion...about the cost of living. Everything of course, has a cost. Health care, social programs, ect.... and we all pay for it in one way or another. Being Canadian, I would rather have a higher tax rate and know my fellow Canadians are getting the health care they need and deserve....but like I said is a Canadian point of view.
    Last edit by JMP on Nov 24, '02
  9. by   Pretzlgl
    That rate isn't too bad considering your wage - which is really good for your years of experience. (Compared to the US that is - nurses should make more anyway). It would be great if we did not have to pay for healthcare like in Canada. I just can't imagine the confusion if we tried to do that here!
  10. by   Youda
    I've been reading some reports from the World Health Organization, and other studies about USA health care. The conclusion from ALL these studies, including those done in the USA, is that of all the industrial countries, USA paid more for their health care (insurance premiums and out-of-pocket expenses) than any other country, while having the highest morbidity, mortality, infant deaths, negative outcomes, etc. The biggest difference between the US "free enterprise" system and other countries with a national health plan is that the USA paid an extremely high amount for administrative costs . We already pay more and get less.

    It is a favorite argument that a national health care plan for the USA would raise taxes. What difference would it mean if you paid $700 a month in taxes or gave it as an insurance premium? None! But, the reality is that in the USA, you are paying ridiculous amounts to support the investors on wall street and the high salaries of the CEOs!

    We need to stop getting taken in by the scare tactics of the hospital, insurance, and pharmaceutical PACs about how your taxes will get raised as a good reason not to have a better health care system! That false argument is self-serving to those who are using the system to get rich while you all are paying $700/month insurance premiums! NO OTHER COUNTRY is paying that much in taxes for health care, but we accept paying that much for INSURANCE! Do you really NEED $700/month in health care every month?

    The reality is that a national health care plan would likely LOWER your monthly cost of health care, because the amount taxed would be lower than your insurance premium you are already paying!
  11. by   JMP

    Well said. I think you are right on the money that they are using scare tatics with you.

    Everytime I read about universal health care, and it's benefits, the people from the US often have distorded views of what is really is. You are right on when you describe the scare tatics. Your calculations are also right.
  12. by   maureeno
    when people worry about about a single payer system turning our country 'socialistic', I can almost hear germs laughing.

    We are sitting like ducks in an arcade, just waiting to be knocked down by bioterrorism.
  13. by   ShandyLynnRN
    I'm sure that there are problems with healthcare systems like Canada's, but are those problems any bigger than the problems in the US? I live in Oklahoma, and pay $200 a month for insurance for my son and I. This includes deductables that this year I didnt even meet. This means that even though I had insurance, I still had to pay out of pocket for everything except the few prescriptions I had. I hate to say it, but insurance-wise my son and I were both better off when I was in nursing school and unemployed, as there was Medicaid then. Its a very sad situation.
  14. by   purplemania
    My son lives in Sweden where he pays >50% in taxes on wages, but has no health insurance or sales tax to pay. His homeowner's and auto ins. is about $50/mo. There are still private ins. co. in Sweden and private MD's because there are flaws in the system, but overall, the coverage and care is good. I think a lot of money is wasted on upkeep of the royal family whose main function is to wave at people. IMHO.