Friday, July 17, 2009

Healthcare in the US

I've seen a few posts on this topic recently from other bloggers - including the "mommy blogger" bunch. This post is in response to those.

1) Do you see other governments who provide nationalized healthcare controlling them through pills? No, enough said.

2)Those that use the argument that it's not the right of the government to provide healthcare, um, you realize that we ARE already providing this service, right? Does your mom get Medicare (or maybe her mom?)? Yeah, that's nationalized healthcare. How about poor people? Ever hear of Medicaid? We as a country have already decided that people need health care, or we wouldn't be providing these vital health options for so many. Most people that I hear use this argument are people that are priviledged. Sure, maybe you think you struggle. I've got news for you, if you don't receive Medicaid as an adult, you probably don't. Hear in Ohio, you have to be 90% of the FPG in order to receive Medicaid (at least in Ohio, and I'd guess it's similar in all states) as a non-pregnant adult. The FPG for a family of four is $22,050.

3)The taxation issue. Yeah, I understand no one wants their taxes raised. But, how much are you and your employer already spending per month on your healthcare? At my husband's last job we were paying over $200 per month for our health insurance, plus a $500 deductible and $20/$40 copay. Oh, and 10% of all costs. The company was paying over $1000 per month. I understand that some are more priviledged and don't pay this amount. I remember being a county worker and paying $16 a pay for my family coverage and only having to pay 10% of my costs and never paying a copay. Yeah, that was nice. But, the cities and counties that are doing this are now struggling to keep up with the employer end because of the fact that the employees pay so little.

4)Wait times. Yes, in Canada, you'll wait longer than here to have an non-emergency surgery. If it's an emergency, you'll go straight to the top of the line. Interestingly, none of my friends in Canada complain about their healthcare (well, they might complain about a specific Dr, but not about the comprehensive care), whereas I often hear my American friends complaining about costs of health insurance, deductibles, etc.

5)National health care would not eliminate Dr/patient confidentiality. Guess what? Your Dr shares information with other people about you right now! Shocked? You shouldn't be. Do you think that the people that work at the Dr's office don't know why you're there? How about the billing office? Did you know many Dr's office are outsourcing this? Oh, and everyone at your insurance company knows your record as well. They won't pay without a diagnosis code (or sometimes codes) and a CPT code that shows what the Dr did. But, there are HIPPA laws to protect you - basically, only people involved in your care know things about you, including your insurance company, people at the doctor's office and any billing offices. It wouldn't be any different with nationalized healthcare. Oh, and did you know that your Dr is required to report certain things to the local health department? Yeah, required.

6)Nationalized healthcare would waste money? Um, yeah right. Medicare is one of the best run programs that the government has - they are cost concious, while also trying to provide the best care for the patient.

7)The only one benefiting from our current system is the insurance companies and the pharmaceutical companies. Especially the insurance companies. They make money on all ends. They cut reimbursement for doctors/pharmacies/DME companies and yet they're continually raising deductibles, copays, coinsurance and the premiums of our insurance.

8)More businesses would thrive with nationalized healthcare. Think about it. Over $1k per person working at their company per month, for healthcare, with costs rising each and every year.

9)The people would not be subjected to petty things like prior existing conditions. Guess what, even if you continue to take your medication and continue to follow your Dr's advice, heck, you may even pay out of pocket to see your Dr, if you lapse on healthcare, if you have any pre-existing condition and finally do get insurance again, you'll be unable to attain care for that pre-existing condition until a certain amount of time elapses.

10)We should want our nation to be a strong, healthy one. Preventitive care will help with this. Expecting people to use the emergency room for free care, or to wait all day at a free clinic does NOT help with preventitive care. By the way, who do you think ends up paying for the ER healthcare that the ERs have to write off? Yeah, that would be us anyways! So, instead of paying for pricey healthcare for our fellow citizens, why not provide quality, accessible healthcare to all Americans?

We are currently without healthcare. The kids are on Medicaid. It's a horrible run program, they made us choose a managed health care program and the limits on Dr's was horrible. We had to leave the pediatrician that we've used for three years, who knows my kids and knows me (I do most of the check ups, since I'm the one home). But, I'm very thankful to have anything for them. I'm terrified of my husband or myself getting sick. And there seems to be no jobs out there. Well, there are some, but with thousands of other people applying for the same job, it's hard to get your foot in the door. :(

So, did I simply decide nationalized healthcare was a good thing when we fell on hard times? No, I've always thought that we need to take care of everyone. It amazes me when Christians say that we shouldn't be involved in healthcare - I believe that God takes care of the least among us, and while yes, churches should be helping too, the fact of the matter is, a lot of them can't afford to do so either. I think the increase in taxes would be non-existent when you look at all the health insurance fees that we'd no longer be responsible for. Sometimes, and I'm guilty of this too at times, we see more taxes and become greedy. Yes, greedy. Are there times when a government (local, state or national) does not deserve to get more in taxes. Yes. But are there times, like now, where we won't really end up paying any more? Yes. And when those taxes will benefit the common good without really hurting anyone, why wouldn't we do it?

1 comment:

chacha said...

I am in 100% agreement.

The other thing with taxes that is really funny is the misrepresentation of how much people really pay. They keep throwing around this 50% tax rate and it's bogus. Right now the wealthiest 1% pay an effective tax rate of around 31%. Good article explaining it: http://andrewsullivan.theatlantic.com/the_daily_dish/2009/07/another-bad-argument-against-taxes.html. There is no way that taxes will increase 20%(!) to fund a nationally run program. And how nice to know that I'm likely paying a higher rate than the top 1% and you don't hear me bitching about paying possibly more taxes for healthcare. Greed is right.