Uninsured Adults are 25% more likely to die Prematurely

  1. a real life story from the nation: this person was not irresponsible, didn't skimp on benefits to buy a car or party and what happened? we are destroying our human capital as a society by not meeting the responsibility we have to each other for providing access to decent affordable universal health care.
    :wakeneo:

    i knew that my health insurance would run out shortly after i finished college, but i couldn't find any affordable options that provided more than catastrophic care. if the best i can get will only help in an emergency, i thought, what's the point of having any? faced with what was essentially a choice between insurance and food, i opted for food and hoped for the best. it was just bad luck that i got sick in january 2004, less than three weeks after my parent's insurance stopped covering me.

    i waited for over a month to visit a doctor for tests, and i only went then because i was starting to feel too sick to work. it took two more months, multiple appointments, one visit to an emergency clinic, and four rounds of antibiotics to treat the infection that i had, although none of the physicians i saw ever gave me a specific diagnosis. on at least one occasion the doctor listened to my list of symptoms and wrote a prescription without doing any tests because she said they didn't want me to incur any unnecessary expenses.

    in the end i spent nearly $3,500 on care and prescriptions between january and april, and another $1,500 in november and december when i got sick again. after struggling to avoid excessive student loans in college, i found myself with another school year's worth of debt. in many ways i'm lucky. i didn't need hospitalization, i don't have a chronic condition like diabetes, and my parents helped me with some of my bills. it is a testament to how broken the american health care system that i feel fortunate to not be financial ruined after my experience.

    this substandard care takes a heavy toll: uninsured adults are 25 percent more likely to die prematurely than those with private health insurance. with the numbers of uninsured americans increasing, young people face the prospect of being sicker and less economically productive throughout their lives. immense economic benefits can be gained by making sure all americans have healthcare, somewhere between $65 and $130 billion dollars, even more significant when you take into account that the government spends approximately $30 billion annually to compensate healthcare providers for assisting the uninsured.
  2. Visit HM2VikingRN profile page

    About HM2VikingRN

    Joined: Apr '06; Posts: 11,159; Likes: 11,316

    17 Comments

  3. by   ZASHAGALKA
    Compelling.

    Maybe they should make healthcare a higher priority in their lives then Cable TV??

    Just a thought.

    The American Healthcare System isn't 'broke', it just requires some personal responsibility. Imagine that, PERSONALLY taking an interest in one's own health.

    How enabling.

    ~faith,
    Timothy.
    Last edit by ZASHAGALKA on Sep 5, '06
  4. by   StNeotser
    Where in the article does it say this person had cable TV?

    I am employed, my families health insurance costs are $550 per month and due to climb again. Total cost with employer contribution $1100 per month. Just for insurance - we are not on any meds, none of us are sick.

    Why are people so quick to blame the individual, the indigent, etc rather than wondering WHY this costs so much and why insurance companies had their most profitable year in 2005?

    Why do people moan when they pay 20 cents more per gallon of gas, but haven't seemed to scream about the fact that healthcare costs are going up way above the rate of inflation or anything else?

    It's always been easier to take on a sick individual than it is a billion dollar industry, that's why.
  5. by   ZASHAGALKA
    Sorry, I'm just not interested in a 'cradle to grave' gov't Daddy.

    Pave a few streets, build a few tanks, deliver the mail and otherwise: LEAVE ME ALONE! (and actually, these days, I consider delivering the mail to be optional.)

    And, I'm not alone. THAT is why this initiative failed so utterly in '94. And you know what: the public is even LESS interested in communizing our healthcare system TODAY.

    I can bet ONE THING: Candidate Hilliary will be less interested in touching this hot wire NOW then she was in '94.

    ~faith,
    Timothy.
    Last edit by ZASHAGALKA on Sep 5, '06
  6. by   StNeotser
    Nobody said you had to be.

    However, HMO's are becoming so greedy that people simply cannot afford to take out their own insurance if their employer fails to offer it - any many don't any more.

    http://www.weissratings.com/News/Ins...0051024hmo.htm

    What is your take on the profiteering? Let me take a guess - it's a free market economy right?
  7. by   ZASHAGALKA
    Quote from StNeotser
    Nobody said you had to be.

    However, HMO's are becoming so greedy that people simply cannot afford to take out their own insurance if their employer fails to offer it - any many don't any more.

    http://www.weissratings.com/News/Ins...0051024hmo.htm

    What is your take on the profiteering? Let me take a guess - it's a free market economy right?
    Actually it IS a free market economy, which is what distinguishes us from failed communist systems.

    But, my argument is different: it's not that I CONDONE profiteering so much as I DESPISE the alternative: gov't inefficiency and indifference.

    The gov't has no business being in the business of healthcare.

    ~faith,
    Timothy.
  8. by   StNeotser
    Well, it's a sorry state of affairs when the mortgage payment on my house is actually less than what it costs to insure a healthy family.

    Having dealt with the US government, I would have to say I wouldn't be perfectly happy with them running healthcare either. Having lived in the UK I would say that system is not perfect either. Yet at least I know I wouldn't be bankrupt or lose my house due to illness - it happens to people WITH insurance too.

    So what is the answer? We can't all be as rich as the George Bushes and Dick Cheneys of this world.
  9. by   ZASHAGALKA
    Quote from StNeotser
    So what is the answer? We can't all be as rich as the George Bushes and Dick Cheneys of this world.
    I'm not nearly so rich.

    But, I DO have healthcare. You don't have to be rich to take responsibility for your own health.

    You need look no further then gov't housing or our ERs on any given night to know that, if you don't earn something, you don't respect it.

    THAT is what is wrong with our system.

    The only way to protect individual rights is to ensure individual responsibility. Does that mean that some will not do right by their responsibilities? Yes. But, that itself does not merit threatening MY rights.

    What next? Do we ban cokes and donuts because if you give some the RIGHT to such 'unhealthy' products, then others will neglect the responsibilities of moderation that come with them? Where does it end?

    ~faith,
    Timothy.
  10. by   azhiker96
    Quote from StNeotser
    Well, it's a sorry state of affairs when the mortgage payment on my house is actually less than what it costs to insure a healthy family.

    Having dealt with the US government, I would have to say I wouldn't be perfectly happy with them running healthcare either. Having lived in the UK I would say that system is not perfect either. Yet at least I know I wouldn't be bankrupt or lose my house due to illness - it happens to people WITH insurance too.

    So what is the answer? We can't all be as rich as the George Bushes and Dick Cheneys of this world.
    I think one answer is to look at the root causes for the escalating cost of healthcare. Tort reform would be a good start. Eliminating outrageous judgements and frivolous lawsuits would help decrease diagnostic tests ordered just to rule out everything under the sun for a straight forward illness.
  11. by   Halinja
    Quote from ZASHAGALKA

    But, I DO have healthcare. You don't have to be rich to take responsibility for your own health.

    ~faith,
    Timothy.
    While I agree that people don't appreciate what they don't have to work for, I find myself bristling at what seems to be an assumption that if you don't have health care you are irresponsible. Perhaps I misunderstand you???

    I'm happy for you that you have health care. Likely your health care is subsidized by the hospital you work in. If you're posting on this board, likely you make a lot more than a large chunk of the public, who are working as hard as they can. Sometimes two jobs at a time.

    You don't have to be on welfare to not be able to afford health care. For ten years my husband worked at a business that was small enough that it was not required to provide health insurance. I was raising four children, two of which were special needs, and doing what I could to bring in money as well. (day care cost more than I could make) We simply could not afford the 1200.00 a month it would have cost us to have more than catastrophic insurance. That was 1/3 and 1/2 of our takehome pay. (depending on the month)

    It had nothing to do with responsibility. We did not have cable TV. We did not have cell phones. We did not have cars younger than 10 years old. (one was 20) We ate simply and I bought clothing at garage sales. We were not in debt...THAT is responsibility. We also didn't go to the doctor. At all.

    It upsets me when people imply that those of us who are uninsured are somehow scamming, looking for a free ride. I'm now a single mother, putting myself through nursing school. I've made it two years, one more to go. I long for the day when I can afford healthcare for myself and my children. The instant I'm working as an RN, health care will be the first thing I buy. Not a new car. Not a satellite dish.

    I don't have a good answer for how to handle health care. But our system right now is near-broken. The amount of uninsured and underinsured is growing by leaps and bounds, well over 40 million now. MILLION. They can't all be slackers, can they?

    But I digress. The thread said uninsured adults are 25% more likely to die prematurely. And they will die after having cost the state more money than had they been healthy because they lacked preventative care. Preventative care is much less expensive than end of life catastrophic care. Who pays that cost? Taxes. That big chunk of money that keeps coming out of YOUR paycheck. Which would cost more? A few dollars for preventative care? Or the state picking up the tab for an extremely ill, terminal individual.
    Last edit by Halinja on Sep 5, '06
  12. by   pickledpepperRN
    Video - http://www.grahamazon.com/sp/whatissinglepayer.php

    Patient stories - http://www.calhealthplan.org/

    Countries with a universal healthcare system include Germany, Denmark, Japan, Canada, Australia, New Zealand,Portugal ,
    France, Sweden, Austria, Belgium, Finland, Greece, Ireland, Israel, Italy The Netherlands, Norway, South Africa (post aparteid), Spain, The United Kingdom, Costa Rica,
    http://www.pnhp.org/facts/singlepayer_faq.php

    Young patients, private insurance and risk of death from cancer - http://www.hindu.com/thehindu/holnus...0604010330.htm
  13. by   Fuzzy
    I cannot get affordable health insurance. I've looked and even the state insurance plan is just a little less than one-half my income. I have been on disability which means that I have pre-existing conditions. My disability was something that I was born with and not acquired by bad habits. I do not expect free healthcare or government sponsored healthcare. I want affordable and accessible healthcare. Heck I'd be happy with a catatrophic policy that would pay if I were to have an MI or cancer. Right now I could pay for the medical screenings that I should be getting. I'm over 40. However, I've never had a mammogram or a PAP smear. It isn't because I can't pay for them it's because I couldn't pay for the treatment should something be found. So I would rather not know. I'll just have to be one of those people who gets so sick that they are at death's door before I seek treatment. After all if I die than I won't have to pay. I don't have any dependents so the bill won't get paid. Yes, the system is broken for people like me. People who would rather work than be on disability.
    BTW I don't have cable TV. I get 6 lovely channels using rabbit ears. As you can see I'm not a premium member of this site or any other site so there's more money saved. I don't own a cell phone. My vehicle is over six years old and paid for. My internet use could be considered a luxuary as I have it in my house. I do have pets but they are my family and I feel that they keep me healthy. Sadly my pets receive better healthcare than I do. No they're not insured it's just that their care is affordable. I live quite frugally and happily. I would be happier if I could get some affordable healthcare. Just my spin.

    Fuzzy
  14. by   StNeotser
    Thanks for those links Spacenurse.

close