I have never blogged about political topics because I don’t want to offend and alienate anyone, but I’m making an exception today. This may get me in hot water, but I’m willing to take that risk for something I strongly believe.
First, let me tell you a story from my childhood. My parents were poor, my father disabled with Charcot-Marie-Tooth disease, a hereditary neuromuscular disorder that I and my daughter also have. Daddy was often out of work. Most of the time we had no health insurance, but because we lived in Minnesota, a liberal state, I never went without health care. As a teenager, I underwent several operations to stabilize my ankles and allow me to walk more easily, without often falling and injuring myself as I did before the surgeries, These surgeries were done at the outstanding University of Minnesota Hospital, through the orthopedic department.
Who paid for my expensive operations and follow-up care? The state, meaning the Minnesota tax payers, to whom I am forever grateful. But what if “Obama Care” had existed back then? Could my hard-up parents have afforded a little each month to pay for health insurance? I don’t know, but at least they would have had that option.
So, do you see why I believe everyone, no matter their income level, should have health care coverage? I’m not saying the Affordable Care Act is perfect. There will certainly be problems and changes needed. But in my very humble opinion, that’s far better than the screaming match going on in Washington, with both sides pointing fingers at the other and tossing out all manner of exaggerated statements – for obvious political reasons.
What do you think?
First chance I have had to read this post Lyn and found it and the comments that followed interesting. Health care is such a volatile topic but I believe everyone should have access to quality medical care no matter what their status. A country that doesn’t have some sort of scheme to look after the less privileged has a lot to answer for in my opinion. Why should the wealthy be the only ones entitled to good care? I am fortunate, we are fairly comfortable and although retired we can afford top cover medical insurance for hospital care.
We have a system (Medicare) whereby a levy is attached to your tax return for basic health cover. This means anyone can afford to visit a doctor, pensioners visit free of charge while those who aren’t pay a small gap over and above what Medicare refunds for your visit, procedure. Public hospitals again are free for pensioners, others pay the difference between what Medicare pays and what the hospital charges. There are long waiting lists for ELECTIVE, non urgent surgery. Urgent treatment is given immediately. Surgeries are carefully triaged (assessed) for the level of urgency and patients placed on a list accordingly. ALL waiting public patients will tell you their surgery is urgent and I don’t dispute that, to those in pain it certainly must seem so, but doctors and nurses have the knowledge to be able to assess this more accurately than someone who is biased and the centre of their own universe. We hear a lot of complaints about private patients ‘jumping the queue’ and being admitted first for elective surgery but the people who complain forget that we PAY for that privilege to the tune of thousands of dollars a year. Another complaint is they can’t afford to pay private insurance so why should they be penalised? Quite a few of these can still afford their $30 pack of smokes and $20 worth of alcohol every day though?
There is absolutely no quick and easy fix and our system has it’s faults but at least everyone can get basic care.
So many low information people. Has or can anyone read the over two thousand plus pages of the obamacare bill….and understand it and all its implications (read the small print as everyone is advised when signing a contract) and don’t you wonder why IRS is involved. All government does is add more red tape and eventually manage your care. Sounds good in theory but it will be the ruin of our country.
We are entitled to our opinions. Have you read those 2,000 pages?
Susan, I appreciate you sharing your opinion and your experience with the health care system in your country, Australia. Our situation here in the U.S. is very serious today, with the government now shut down. I hope and pray congress ends this disastrous stalemate soon, and that they pass a debt extension before the October 17th deadline. If they don’t, we will default on our national debts. Moreover our Social Security and Medicare benefits will be held up, which will endanger our senior citizens and disabled individuals.
At this point, I’d like to throw all the bums in Washington out!
Not having health coverage, either an insurance or a state care for every citizen, means that some people simply don’t seek for medical support and try what they can to delay as much as possible the moment the neighbors will rush them to ER, hoping to cure themselves with over the counter medicine (“hey, I think I have what you had last week; can you remind what your doctor told you?”) and follow a DIY approach to care.
What is totally lacking is preventative care, or starting a cure before an illness becomes critical and requiring more specialized—and costly—medical care.
On the other side, where anyone can get into an hospital, anytime, you have at times congested medical facilities when the states is not able—in those areas—to provide enough access to care for everyone, but ER doctors mostly work for fractured bones and accidents, not for a bronchitis, turned into pneumonia, turned into collapsed lung and necrosis.
There’s no silver bullet. I now live in an area where there’s a mix of the two: a basic state insurance for everyone, covering basic needs for everyone, plus a paid insurance scheme that will raise the reimbursement and the access to covered specialized care for more critical conditions. It works quite good, and I don’t have to wait to get a doctor anytime, anywhere.
Massimo, thank you for stating your opinion. It’s good to know how the health coverage in your part of the world works. Sounds pretty good to me. I wish our politicians would stopping arguing and learn to compromise. They waste precious time and our tax dollars fighting instead of doing their jobs and solving important issues like health care coverage.
I’m just gobsmacked that it’s even an issue. Government healthcare has done me proud whereas insurance would have refused unless I’d paid it from the age of 8. It’s just…. Weird. I remember having a bleed on holiday in the states. I was afraid it might get really bad and we would have to go to American A and E. I remember sobbing and sobbing and saying “what if I have to have a D&C we’ll have to remortgage the house.” Honestly to those of us in countries with state health care it looks like you live in the Victorian era over there. Sorry don’t take that the wrong way.
MT, I understand your viewpoint. We hear horror stories over here about standardized health care in the UK, Canada and other countries, saying how long people must wait for critical surgery and such. I don’t know how true that is, but it’s simply not right to let millions of our people go without insurance. They either suffer in silence or end up in emergency rooms, which costs tax payers through the nose. Crazy!