American Healthcare: How your system works

by Diogenesister 23 Replies latest social current

  • Diogenesister

    Canada has Universal Healthcare. The consensus is that America never will

    Can anyone explain why, please?

    Can someone explain the American Healthcare system, it's strengths and weaknesses and why America, the wealthiest country in the world, does not have universal healthcare free at the point of access, please?

    I'd also really like to know what this Obama Care was and why it was so disliked?

  • SydBarrett

    Because it was demonized as 'Socialism". And private health insurance companies lobby like crazy to make sure it continues to be seen that way.

    Back in the 1930's employers began offering health insurance as an employment benefit and it took hold and never went away. If you work for a large company that provides good insurance, it doesn't seem like a huge issue because "I got mine". Until you get laid off that is, or the company decides to reduce benefits. So you have a system where if you're employed in a decent job you're covered but if you are ever in between jobs, you pray you don't get sick. Another objection was people being told they won't have a "choice" if we had Universal care. But no one really has a choice as it is. Your employer is contracted with 1 company usually. Take it or leave it. The only choice i've ever had is between a standard or premium plan. Your yearly deductibles and co-pays are a little lower with the premium but of course you pay more per month.

    I have pretty good insurance through my employer and had a minor (as in non-life-threatening) operation 4 years ago. I still ended up with a bill for nearly $3,000. Navigating the co-pays and yearly deductibles is a pain. I can't imagine trying to deal with it if I were debilitatingly sick.

    The strengths of our system are we have some very good hospitals and medical schools. Great if you can afford it. I remember during the debates over universal healthcare the republicans always loved to point out that rich people from other countries like to come to America for healthcare. Yippee for us I suppose? Rich people also like to build homes in Beverly Hills, so what?

    Obama Care as I understand it was a crappy compromise. It provided a marketplace for people to buy private insurance at different price levels(thus different levels of crappiness) without being denied for pre-existing conditions. Making it available doesn't really help a low wage worker who's barely scraping by though. Also at tax time there are penalties if you don't have insurance.

    "here's how we fix the problem of poor people not having insurance. We make it illegal to not buy insurance" Brilliant.

    As to why some hated Obama Care so much? Because it was Obama. And we were assured he was the worst President in the history of forever and probably wasn't even really an American. Before that, Bill Clinton was the worst President in the history of forever. Now they assure us it's Biden. In my grandparents day it was Franklin Roosevelt who was the worst man in the history of forever.

    We do have Universal healthcare of a sort. For the elderly. Everyone qualifies at age 65 for Medicare.

  • Biahi

    Great posts, both of you. I’m an American, I love my country, but I really do wish we had universal health care. I vote that way, it’s my number one issue. Medicare for all, to start.

  • Diogenesister

    Thank you Syd!* I was wondering about the elderly. And kids. What about if you're having a baby and loose your job?

    What if you have a kid with type one diabetes and you want to set up your own business - say, go self employed as a carpenter. Will you be put off from starting because your kid has a preexisting condition and your insurance will be nuts??

    * Great name by the way. Actually 🎶"I Know where syd Barrett lives" 🎶😝🤣He lived in my mums village. Been around there about 1980 with my grandma.

  • SydBarrett

    And kids. What about if you're having a baby and loose your job?

    Im not sure about kids specifically. I know there is no government plan to make sure all kids are covered. So in that situation you'd be screwed.

    I know there is something called Medicaid, but I believe the income threshold to qualify is shockingly low.

    The answer for kids with no insurance is find a charity hospital. Set up a go fund me. And then there are also the jars at the checkout at gas stations with a sad looking childs face on it asking you to toss in your spare change to help the family pay for their childs treatment...

    What if you have a kid with type one diabetes and you want to set up your own business - say, go self employed as a carpenter. Will you be put off from starting because your kid has a preexisting condition and your insurance will be nuts??

    I have several friends who are self employed in this manner. The answer? Their spouse has a corporate job that provides the insurance. If you were a single parent, I would imagine losing insurance would cause great hesitation over leaving such a job and going it on your own.

    You'll probably wonder what we pay for employer based insurance. As I mentioned, mine is a pretty good plan and it is $61.00 every 2 weeks as a payroll deduction. But I only cover myself. If I were covering a Wife and Kids it' would be several hundred I imagine.

  • road to nowhere
    road to nowhere

    Medicare pays 80%

    Obamas Affordable Healthcare had astounding deductibles like 10-12000 for a family and the premiums were reimbursed by a tax refund. Dental is left out.

    The emergency rooms are overrun with people using them for primary care.

    Costs rose to match the " free" care

    Obama was hated for pushing his version of socialism and inflating race troubles. Look at the Biden cabinet.

    We hear anecdotes about Canada and England and Europe but no facts

  • littlerockguy

    Probably because people in America don't want to die waiting on a long waitlist for healthcare under a "free" system.


  • Disillusioned JW
    Disillusioned JW

    Regarding the requirement to have health insurance in the USA (at least one with really low level coverage which covers preventative care, such as getting free vaccinations and certain free health screenings), when Donald Trump was president the Republicans in congress passed legislation which removed the penalty for not having health insurance (though technically the law still requires people to have at least very minimal health insurance coverage).

    I agree with SydBarrett that the really bad thing about employer provided health insurance is the situation of when a person becomes unemployed. That is why I want the USA federal government to provide single payer universal health insurance (but with the option for people to choose a non-government health insurance plan if they prefer). I have been unemployed a number of times and thus without health insurance a number of times, until my very liberal state government passed a state law providing a free insurance plan (like medicaid, or as an extension of medicaid) to very low income people (and to those with no income at all, including to the homeless). For a while I was covered by that state health insurance plan at no charge to me (but each month I had I to inform the state government what my income was for the month). My state recently (by way of a ballot measure which the voters passed) amended the state constitution to declare that everyone in the state is entitled to access to affordable health care.

    Fortunately currently I am employed (for six years now with the same company) with a really great medical insurance plan (with really low deductibles) in which my employer pays 90% of the premium costs (otherwise the premium I would have to pay would be way too expensive for me). In the plan my out of pocket maximum (including deductibles and co-pays) is only $650/year when I go to an in-network provider.

  • LoveUniHateExams

    Can anyone explain why, please? - because there hasn't ever been a referendum on it.

    Does the majority of US citizens actually want an NHS-style healthcare system?

  • SydBarrett

    "Does the majority of US citizens actually want an NHS-style healthcare system?"

    I'm not sure about the majority wanting it 100% like the NHS. But it appears a slight majority want either a single national program or a mix of national and private. I would guess those who want the mix would be to fill in the gaps for kids whose parents aren't employed by companies who provide it or for the occasions when an adult becomes unemployed and therefore loses coverage. Like everything in America lately, opinions on this tend to line up with political affiliation:

    "Can anyone explain why, please? - because there hasn't ever been a referendum on it."

    Government isn't done by referendum here. At least not on a national level. Here's a WIKI article on all the various
    proposals over the years to initiate more direct democracy in the US. Currently the rules vary wildly by state. It's a good
    read if you need a sleep aid.

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