Friday, October 9, 2009

Burning Question of the Day: Universal Healthcare

Healthcare has obviously been a big news topic lately, and I'm curious to hear what you all think about universal healthcare.

Some of you may know that the U.S. is the only industrialized nation that does not have a universal healthcare system. Would you support moving to a universal healthcare system? Why or why not?


  1. I'm really on the fence about this one, mostly because I am not thoroughly educated on the subject. However, I do think that well baby visits, physicals, eye exams, mammograms, all that preventative stuff should be covered because it would give people the initiative to stay healthy. Not every child gets the flu or ends up hospitalized, but they all need their shots. Make sense?

  2. I don't know enough to really have an opinion, but my gut is that I don't like it. I need to learn more. But from what I've heard, there are some disasters in industrialized countries that do have universal healthcare. I do think the costs associated with healthcare are outrageous, but honestly...I kind of like knowing that if something were to happen I could rest assured knowing that I would be able to pay to have the very best care.

  3. Unequivocally, yes.

    You'd expect your one openly socialist follower to say that, I guess.

    Why? Because every human being has a basic right to the medical care to keep them alive. Also, because, in the countries that have implemented it, universal healthcare has worked pretty damn well. Yes, there are often long waits for elective procedures in countries like Canada and Norway. On the other hand, those procedures are elective; those requiring immediate, life-saving procedures receive it, and without additional cost (other than their income taxes).

    I feel that the amount of money we spend on "national defense" (i.e., power projection) is obscene--the United States spends more money on warmaking than the rest of the work combined (that's not my leftist ass whining, that's fact)--and for a fraction of that amount, we could have healthcare unparalleled in the Western world. So, Americans, which would you rather have--hegemony over oil-producing Arab nations, at the cost of supporting oppressive dictatorships, or medicine for your children?

    Just saying.

    Then again, I gave up on America around 2006, so fuck this place.

  4. I think something has to be done, our system is spiraling out of control. But I haven't been sold on any ideas from any politician yet, liberal or conservative.

    My old professor forwarded a NY Times article on the Swiss system that looks like it could be a better fit for the U.S. than other developed nations universal systems. It's also a recent implementation, about 1996 and isn't perfect but it would allow for a private options to remain. They just would be prohibited from denying coverage based on pre-existing conditions.

    The doctors seem to be the ones to struggle the most, because if they give too many prescriptions, usually elective, drug companies will question them and even demand reimbursement. But our system has so much over-prescribing personally I see that as a good thing. Nothing will be without flaws but I'd prefer to see something done than nothing.

    At this point I'm willing to try just about anything, because no one should be afraid to go to the doctor for fear of the bill, as has happened to me way too many times.

  5. I am NOT for universal health care. Everyone already has access to health care to keep them alive...there are county hospitals, one can pay for insurance or get it through their employer, or one can pay out of pocket. Access isn't the problem. The problem is the expense. That can be fixed with health care reform, which will affect billing departments and insurance agencies instead of the individuals providing medical attention. Reform is necessary, there is no doubt about it; but universal health care and health care are not the same thing. Universal health care will bankrupt the country and affect quality of care. It is only logical that the best health care in the world isn't the cheapest.

  6. edit:
    "Reform is necessary, there is no doubt about it; but universal health care and health care REFORM are not the same thing."

  7. I'm all for change with the system as there are obvious flaws, but I'm NOT for a government run system. We already have forms of just that, and they are broken (ie Medicare and Social Security which are essentially a ponzi scheme doomed to fail within the next decade). 94% (it was in the ninties...I might be off by a percentage or so) of Americans are overall, happy with their healthcare (so why overhaul something that isn't completely broken???). You are more likely to die of cancer in the UK and France (read this in a newspaper article back a few months ago) because you don't get as much preventative care as most Americans get in our country (ie don't have to wait months for a colonoscopy that might find cancer in time to treat, just as an example). And it's a myth that people don't have access to healthcare...there are free clinics that are there for the very reason of offering healthcare to those who need it but not be able to afford other forms, every child has access to vaccines with or without insurance, and even when I was unemployed fresh out of college, I still had access to healthcare that I chose to pay for (only $54 dollars a month) and finally, I have a brother with Juvenile Diabetes...a preexisting condition that he has had since the age of 5, he still has access to healthcare, sure its not easy to get and can initially be expensive, but the fact of the matter is that he still has access to quality healthcare! And after being covered at a high cost for his first year, typically can be grandfathered into a program at relatively "normal" rates. Anyways...that's my two cents (if any of that made sense):)

  8. I think we should not have universal healthcare, I agree with amazing grace and Kathy C for the same reasons. I saw a report on 20/20 several months back on how Canadians come to the US to get treatment because they are on a waiting list, and last time I checked getting a lump removed for breast cancer was not an elective surgery, but because it was in an earlier stage they would have to put this woman on a waiting list. Talk about stress. Also in those countries that have universal healthcare the resources for cures is nonexistent and has to solely rely on private funding to get a research funded. I'm not sure, but I think that Norway because of univer hltcare has the highest income tax rate than any other country (by far). Its not a perfect system but I remember having government provided healthcare as a child but then again we lived behind the iron curtain so there were a couple(haha) things that werent available to us either way. What pisses me off the most is I pay monthly for insurance to be on my husbands group plan we pay 780 a month to have group insurance and have a $1000. deductible per person - but a friend who is illegal here had a baby with complications so they had to have a longer stay and c-section which comes out to 20K here in Chicago, and she got everything paid for. WTF!!! Why am I paying soo much a month to get insurance and still had about 3k in bills for my delivery and Im the one who has insurance!!!! Fix that!

  9. As you can see based on my late response, I'm behind on blogs, but slowly catching up. :-)

    I am 100% against universal healthcare. First of all, universal healthcare is not a right, it is a priviledge. Voting is a "right" as an American, but no one ever said "you're American, therefore you are entitled to 'free' healthcare." The govt run systems already in place here are very broken, however, not nearly as corupt as universal healthcare in other countries.

    So many people say that Canada is a wonderful example of well-run universal healthcare. Then someone please explain why the Canada death rate for prostate cancer is 28% higher than in the US. Explain why people are crossing the border from Canada to get immediate healthcare (and pay a lot of money out of pocket) in the US because they are on a 6 month - 1 year waiting list in Canada, and their life expectancy without treatment is 3 months. NO ONE is turned away at hospitals, with our without insurance.

    Yes, this is a difficult economy, but there are jobs with benefits to be had out there. No, they may not pay much, but if all you're looking for is benefits, it's worth it.

    Also, for the drug addict bum on the street, or the 400 lb cheeseburger addict, why is it my responsibility, as a healthy person, to pay for their treatment with my tax dollars? Yes, they are very sick and in need of help, but they have to help themselves instead of waiting for a handout.

    However, as far as children are concerned, I do believe they deserve care up to a certain age, perhaps even 18, when they are a legal adult and able to insure themselves. If a child cannot get his shots, that is not his fault, and he should not fall victim to his parent's situation.

    Sorry for the long response. I am very passionate about the issue (if you ask about abortion, I'll be even more wordy haha). I pray everyday for our countries leadership, because I feel that the direction this country is headed is a very scary place.


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