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Do you think America should have Universal Healthcare? Why? Why not?

By September 29, 2008 - 12:49pm
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Do you think universal health care should be part of our way of life, as it is in many other countries? Will it work? Why or why not?

I believe it can and would work. Our taxes will not be raised any more than without it, they can be simply redistributed (Iraq).

I cannot fathom why whether we have healthcare or not depends on our job. It doesn't even matter if we have a job anymore, it depends on our employer! And more and more employers are either raising premiums and contributions or not offering heathcare altogether, even if you work 50-60 hours a week.

All children are entitled to a free education but not healthcare. Is this not insane?

We are not expected to pay for police, fire or other 911 services - they are incorporated into our tax system.

Universal healthcare works quite well in many places (eg, the United Kingdom). Why not here?

Or do I over-simplify?

Tell me how you feel about this very topical issue.

Add a Comment4 Comments

If companies cannot afford the employer share of healthcare plans, they'll reduce or drop them. This is the reality that has been growing for the past couple of decades.

For example, IBM used to offer one of the best corporate employee benefit plans available. My DH was with them twice. The first time around, we enjoyed low co-pays, extensive coverage and great rates. The second time he joined them, we got a Health Spending Account that we were told moved with us should he leave the company (which he eventually did), but our health plan was pretty basic and at significantly higher costs. Age was not the significant factor.

To keep premiums down, you will most likely have to pay high deductibles. The rising cost of corporate plans is as affected by litigation and covering unhealthy participants as other healthcare programs.

The programs designed to provide group rates to small businesses within an association have seen premiums rise, as well. Private individual healthcare plans are becoming more available, but with many restrictions.

I've observed the emergence of new low-cost clinics, like Redi-Clinic, designed to fill the gap between private physician care and public clinics. Costs are reasonable, at least that I've seen, and routine preventive services, like flu shots and basic health screenings, are provided by Nurse Practitioners. These clinics can be the affordable care alternative to traditional corporate plans that an employer could offer.

The nation will not "shore up" the situation for self-employed or under-employed any time soon. Corporate America rules the roost because that's where the money is. The smaller neighborhood clinics and individual plans are trying to fill that gap for the self-employed, small business and under-employed.

We have a new service in our area, now, too - the return of the doctor who makes house calls!

Bottom line, national care will be a long, painful and costly proposition just to define, design and deploy - if ever. Corporate healthcare plans are crumbling. Creative healthcare plans are on the rise, it seems. But, until there are more medical professionals willing and able to make a difference in rural or economically disadvantaged America, we will, unfortunately, continue to experience a lack of good care in those areas and there will still be no answer to our growing healthcare dilemma.

October 3, 2008 - 4:44pm

Something needs to be done about the millions of Americans who fall through the cracks.

My sister is a nurse; her husband is a roofer (owns his own small business). The two of them are hard workers! But until she took a job at a hospital that was large enough, they were not able to afford health insurance for themselves or their children.

There are people all over the country like this: good workers, with jobs, who can't afford health insurance and therefore go without, using the emergency room when necessary. It's not a good situation. Wellness care is nearly non-existent, and by the time someone goes to the emergency room, a situation can be much more serious than it would have been earlier in their doctor's office.

Seems like the corporate health care system, while certainly flawed, could be allowed to continue for now while the nation shores up the situation for the self-employed, the part-time workers, those in small companies and rural areas, and the families and children who can't afford any insurance at all.

October 3, 2008 - 8:13am

There would have to be a paradigm shift in how medical costs are determined and handled by doctors, institutions, insurers, agencies...the list goes on.

Today, one of my colleagues asked me for a referral to my consulting firm, and any other firm I have contracted through, as his announced they were dropping their health care plan. He tried to get an individual plan, but was rejected because he was once treated for a sprained wrist, migraines and kidney stones. An avid cyclist, he's not overweight, is active and relatively healthy.

We have a hard enough time getting private insurance. Companies are trimming or dropping their employee plans. One would think this would be impetus for our legislators to push for nationalized healthcare.

Who knows. Maybe someday. But, not until the politics are taken out of the picture...and that's not bound to happen any time soon.

September 30, 2008 - 7:20pm

It seems that with the rising costs of healthcare today, it would benefit everyone to be able to have some sort of national program that makes sure every citizen has access to good medicine and preventative health care. Few people would debate that point, or the fact that as more wellness care and preventative care are available, more people have fewer larger health problems later.

How to structure any kind of a national program, however, is problematic. Not all countries with national health care are seen as doing it particularly well. Questions about how to fund, structure, administer and police such a system are huge. Are elective procedures allowed? Is doctor choice up to the individual? How is payment handled? Will benefits be the same for all Americans regardless of their income, or will less affluent families have access to more preventative care simply to level the playing field? What about a person who smokes, or uses drugs? Will society accept a health-care system that covers those people as well?

You can see how complicated the issues are. And it doesn't simplify it any to know that whatever health care plan that passes will need to find its way through Congress and the White House before becoming law.

September 30, 2008 - 9:56am
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