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FREE Healthcare

ysabel

/ˈɪzəˌbɛl/ pink 5
1. I've noticed several times that when someone mentions the term "free healthcare", they're usually corrected by some that it's not "free" because taxes pay for it. For those who correct it, are you also that technical when people say "free education"? Or somehow it only sounds erroneous when people say "free healthcare"?


2. Whether a country has universal healthcare or not, healthcare costs for the government. So yes, it's not free. Taxpayers' money cover it.

It's technically not free for us who have universal healthcare but we at least feel where the money is going because on the individual level, it pays for our medical visits and medicines, etc. and on the bigger level, the overall health indicator doesn't rate our country badly.

The thing is, US has been spending more on healthcare than any other country in the world and yet it has higher rates of infant mortality (an indicator often used in determining level of health of a country) and lower life expectancy than many other developed countries. (source: CIA world Factbook and this ). In addition, it also doesn't have a universal healthcare plan. So in both micro and macro perspective, taxpayers aren't really getting much return of investment from what they currently pay for their healthcare.

However, I observe more "outrage" from people to know that their taxes could be put to use to have something similar to other's universal healthcare plan (which would make it more at par with other developing countries), than outrage that all these years the tax money hasn't really made the impact it should on the overall health system of the US. This is beyond disagreeing with Obama's politics but the very principle of having to use their taxes for other people's health (which in fact isn't a new thing).

In addition, why does it make sense to still shell out money whenever you visit your doctor, get prescriptions, or buy basic medicines, or feel the need to pay for a private insurance just to make sure you get basic coverage? After all, your tax money is already paying a lot for healthcare as it is, compared to other developed countries - and their citizens don't need to pay "extra" by going through this.
 

Doc

Trust me, I'm The Doctor.
V.I.P.
1. I've noticed several times that when someone mentions the term "free healthcare", they're usually corrected by some that it's not "free" because taxes pay for it. For those who correct it, are you also that technical when people say "free education"? Or somehow it only sounds erroneous when people say "free healthcare"?
I do understand that "free" isn't always "free" because we pay taxes for thsoe services but I understand that the taxes are necessary to have these social systems. I don't see them as 100% free but I do see the word free describing them as free on a regular basis. The ability to walk into a school without having to pay straight up for them or do the same thing with a broken arm at a hospital.

It's technically not free for us who have universal healthcare but we at least feel where the money is going because on the individual level, it pays for our medical visits and medicines, etc. and on the bigger level, the overall health indicator doesn't rate our country badly.
We don't have free heath care but I understand and agree with this statement 100%.

This is beyond disagreeing with Obama's politics but the very principle of having to use their taxes for other people's health (which in fact isn't a new thing).
Not only that, but the right considers this type of social system to be bigger government and conservatives are generally for smaller government.

In addition, why does it make sense to still shell out money whenever you visit your doctor, get prescriptions, or buy basic medicines, or feel the need to pay for a private insurance just to make sure you get basic coverage?
I can't afford basic coverage and I don't qualify for low-income state insurance so I have no insurance coverage at all. Universal healthcare would greatly benefit me, students, and the lower class while not changing the level of health care the middle and upper classes receive.
 

SmilinSilhouette

Registered Member
Hey Ysabel, since it was probably my comment today that encouraged you to make this thread I'll give my perspective.

1. You're right, education isn't free either. Nor is our system of taxpayer funded education perfect and sometimes it is a complete fail: see Detroit Public Schools. I would support reform in this area. A good start would be a voucher system and the elimination of teacher tenure. But I don't think that's what you really want to discuss.

2. Acceptance of those statistics as a definitive establishment of a cause/effect relationship and an indicator of the quality and effectiveness of the US health care system is up to the individual. I don't accept those statistics as anything more than statistics. There is always more to statistics than meets the eye and it is in the interpretation and application of those statistics to persuade or "prove" a point that is usually predetermined. Just as you have attempted to use them to demonstrate how we pay too much and do not receive the value in return. Just another sales technique designed to persuade and influence.

I could again reiterate my personal experiences with the excellent health care I have received, both as uninsured and insured, and no one ever determined what type of care I would receive based upon my ability to pay. I was treated first and payment was arranged after treatment.

So once again I will note that:
1. Our government has a proven track record of misappropriation of funds, wasteful bureaucracy, fraud, and abuse. The return on investment is, IMO, poor at best. See Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid.
2. Under our form of a constitutionally limited representative republic the federal government has no right to impose this upon the citizens.
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@ Steve: Do you really "need" health care insurance? Most young people don't have a high need for insurance except for catastrophic insurance in the unlikely event of a bad accident or severe illness/disease. Usually those types with a high deductible that don't cover office visits or prescription can be affordable, if you seek peace of mind. I went many many years with no health insurance whatsoever. My doctor told me to never hesitate to come see him and we would work something out should I need medical care. Please understand this is not a criticism, just a suggestion that I hope might benefit you.
 
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Doc

Trust me, I'm The Doctor.
V.I.P.
I haven't been to the dentist or eye doctor in years. I have astigmatism and I need glasses but I also need a new pair every year because my prescription changes that drastically. So I do need eye care coverage for sure.

To answer you in short so I don't hijack this thread: Yes, I believe I need health care and I have good reasons why. I'll PM you the details to keep it from driving the thread off topic.
 

qweerblue

Registered Member
Hey Ysabel, since it was probably my comment today that encouraged you to make this thread I'll give my perspective.

1. You're right, education isn't free either. Nor is our system of taxpayer funded education perfect and sometimes it is a complete fail: see Detroit Public Schools. I would support reform in this area. A good start would be a voucher system and the elimination of teacher tenure. But I don't think that's what you really want to discuss.

2. Acceptance of those statistics as a definitive establishment of a cause/effect relationship and an indicator of the quality and effectiveness of the US health care system is up to the individual. I don't accept those statistics as anything more than statistics. There is always more to statistics than meets the eye and it is in the interpretation and application of those statistics to persuade or "prove" a point that is usually predetermined. Just as you have attempted to use them to demonstrate how we pay too much and do not receive the value in return. Just another sales technique designed to persuade and influence.

I could again reiterate my personal experiences with the excellent health care I have received, both as uninsured and insured, and no one ever determined what type of care I would receive based upon my ability to pay. I was treated first and payment was arranged after treatment.

So, am I to understand that you reject the legitimacy of empirical, statistical evidence based on millions of data points, yet offer your own, personal, singular experience as proof that the US's health care system is a just, functioning, thriving system?

Huh.

Another thing I find interesting is this notion that lining the pockets of insurance company executives with more and more profits--premiums and deductibles have risen astronomically in the past decade--is preferable than those profits instead going toward funding health care for your fellow citizens... That is, it seems as if you are suggesting that the for-profit system, which sees gargantuan piles of cash going into the coffers of insurance companies and their executives, is more acceptable to you than using those monies to provide all US citizens with health care.

Double huh.
 

ysabel

/ˈɪzəˌbɛl/ pink 5
Not only that, but the right considers this type of social system to be bigger government and conservatives are generally for smaller government.
Yeah, and I do understand that more than the other stance.

I can't afford basic coverage and I don't qualify for low-income state insurance so I have no insurance coverage at all. Universal healthcare would greatly benefit me, students, and the lower class while not changing the level of health care the middle and upper classes receive.
I know several similar to your case. I'm not familiar with US demographics, is middle class the biggest share? If it is, then such a program would indeed benefit majority of the population.

Hey Ysabel, since it was probably my comment today that encouraged you to make this thread I'll give my perspective.
Actually it was a thread in Health forum but I do appreciate any perspective from anyone concerned so thanks for replying.

1. You're right, education isn't free either. Nor is our system of taxpayer funded education perfect and sometimes it is a complete fail: see Detroit Public Schools. I would support reform in this area. A good start would be a voucher system and the elimination of teacher tenure. But I don't think that's what you really want to discuss.
My point was, people can freely say "free education" without someone correcting them that it isn't free but when it comes to saying "free health care" some feel compelled to correct the notion about it being free, although it seems that those who say "free" anyway know in fact that it is covered by taxes (the way free education is).



2. Acceptance of those statistics as a definitive establishment of a cause/effect relationship and an indicator of the quality and effectiveness of the US health care system is up to the individual. I don't accept those statistics as anything more than statistics. There is always more to statistics than meets the eye and it is in the interpretation and application of those statistics to persuade or "prove" a point that is usually predetermined. Just as you have attempted to use them to demonstrate how we pay too much and do not receive the value in return. Just another sales technique designed to persuade and influence.
It's not my statistics nor my personal indicator but the world's - or at least health organisations/professionals. What would you otherwise use to indicate the effectiveness of a county's health care system?


I could again reiterate my personal experiences with the excellent health care I have received, both as uninsured and insured, and no one ever determined what type of care I would receive based upon my ability to pay. I was treated first and payment was arranged after treatment.
I know that you get treated whether you can pay or not, in cases of emergency. And they won't treat you differently than if you had money to pay that very moment. It is the same care.

However, can anyone just walk in a doctor's office and say, I have no money right now but I'm not feeling well and I probably need antibiotics - can I pay later? I see that you've had luck with your doctor but it's not the norm. I know people who won't visit doctors unless they're almost dying just to qualify for emergency care that could be temporarily covered (and even with that, the idea of being indebted for it later still makes them want to ride out their illness, hoping it will go away). And these people do pay taxes yet cannot benefit from whatever portion of it that goes to paying the healthcare system.

So once again I will note that:
1. Our government has a proven track record of misappropriation of funds, wasteful bureaucracy, fraud, and abuse. The return on investment is, IMO, poor at best. See Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid.
I'm inclined to agree given I still don't understand how it could spend so much on healthcare and can't afford a universal healthcare program without probably asking for more taxes than some people are already paying.


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@ Steve: Do you really "need" health care insurance? Most young people don't have a high need for insurance except for catastrophic insurance in the unlikely event of a bad accident or severe illness/disease.
I'm not Steve but people do need to be insured for basic care not just catastrophic care. Preventive medicine is an example. And they're probably cheaper than waiting until your case worsens before getting medical care.
 

CaptainObvious

Embrace the Suck
V.I.P.
However, can anyone just walk in a doctor's office and say, I have no money right now but I'm not feeling well and I probably need antibiotics - can I pay later? I see that you've had luck with your doctor but it's not the norm. I know people who won't visit doctors unless they're almost dying just to qualify for emergency care that could be temporarily covered (and even with that, the idea of being indebted for it later still makes them want to ride out their illness, hoping it will go away). And these people do pay taxes yet cannot benefit from whatever portion of it that goes to paying the healthcare system.
I know this isn't specifically the topic but it was brought up so I wanted to address it.

This is how it used to be. People could just go the doctor and pay whatever the market price was for a doctor's visit. This was before government got involved in the market creating an artificial demand thus driving up prices that forced people to buy insurance.

I don't think SS was lucky, that pretty much is the norm. Are there those that don't have access to that care? Absolutely. But less government intrusion in the system and more market based solutions would be better in the long run, in my opinion.
 

qweerblue

Registered Member
I know this isn't specifically the topic but it was brought up so I wanted to address it.

This is how it used to be. People could just go the doctor and pay whatever the market price was for a doctor's visit. This was before government got involved in the market creating an artificial demand thus driving up prices that forced people to buy insurance.

I don't think SS was lucky, that pretty much is the norm. Are there those that don't have access to that care? Absolutely. But less government intrusion in the system and more market based solutions would be better in the long run, in my opinion.
I am deeply curious to know where you get your information--specifically, that people used to be able to visit the doctor and pay "the market price", but then the government got involved and created "an artificial demand". What, exactly, are you talking about?

Also, in what way is your plan to rely on "market based solutions" different from what we have now? You know, the system that has left 40 million or so of your fellow citizens uninsured and that has seen the cost of premiums and deductibles skyrocket?
 

SmilinSilhouette

Registered Member
@ QB: Welcome to GF, hope you enjoy it here. I look forward to our spirited debates!

In answer to your question, statistics do not equal a cause/effect relationship. Just because our infant mortality or life expectancy is not at the top of a list does not mean that it is a direct result of the quality (or lack thereof) of our health care system. That would be a conclusion that is a matter of opinion, not a scientific fact. There can be many reasons why our data is not the same or better than any other group. Here is one example:

Preemies Raise U.S. Infant Mortality Rate

The same holds true with the opinion that costs are high because of executive compensation. Could the high cost of malpractice insurance have anything to do with it? How about "defensive" treatment? Could the cost of excellent facilities and equipment be a factor? Where we live (U & I "neighbor") we have an incredibly high standard of quality, with two excellent hospitals just minutes away from each other. I have been treated at both and no one can convince me that they are any thing less than world-class.

Taking one factor and blowing it out of proportion to insinuate that it is the sole or predominant cause is a matter of opinion, not fact.
 

CaptainObvious

Embrace the Suck
V.I.P.
I am deeply curious to know where you get your information--specifically, that people used to be able to visit the doctor and pay "the market price", but then the government got involved and created "an artificial demand". What, exactly, are you talking about?
Um....history? You know, the period of time prior to Medicaid and Medicare.

Also, in what way is your plan to rely on "market based solutions" different from what we have now? You know, the system that has left 40 million or so of your fellow citizens uninsured and that has seen the cost of premiums and deductibles skyrocket?
Oh really? The market place left people uninsured? Businesses DON'T want customers? Imagine that.
 
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