Is America making you sick?

Is America making you sick?

Accessing Healthcare

It’s been reported that a group of Occupy Wall Street activists has bought almost $15m of Americans’ personal debt, then subsequently abolished it over the last year to help people pay their bills.

Purchasing the debt at significantly reduced prices, the Occupy’s Strike Debt group has managed to free individuals and families of $14,734,569.87 of debt, spending only $400,000.

I read that this was primarily medical debt, which makes me all smiley inside.  

Of course, it’d be best if the system wasn’t so ridiculously messed up that people could actually avoid getting into insane amounts of debt in the first place, or worse DYING from completely curable sickness because they cannot afford quality healthcare.

I was one of about three people that is PRO Obamacare on OM’s recent blog ‘You can keep your healthcare plan’  

*snorks*

I would not be suprised if there are people who believe the recipients of the gesture are unemployed, unscrupulous low life’s who are undeserving and should have just died if they couldn’t pay for their healthcare.

Reading through various forums on this issue, I have to be honest and say I haven’t actually heard anyone say those exact words (except Facebook trolls) – that’s my exaggerated interpretation for dramatic effect (but they were pretty close).

I reckon this is a really really good thing (paying off peoples medical bills) What do you reckon?

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109 responses to “Is America making you sick?

  1. Pingback: Sunday Round Up #4 | Laidig's Broadway·

  2. So, this is one of the biggest things I think is wrong with the USA. I’m not even sure where to start. Healthcare seems to be driven mostly by insurance companies now days. If you don’t have insurance, you have a very difficult time getting seen. I think insurance companies are banking a lot more money than the hospitals are because we have very high premiums even for a high deductible plan. How is that fair?
    I’m giving them about $500 a month for premiums and then still haven to pay another $7k a year in deductibles before they start paying? That’s $13k a year out of my pocket before they decide to drop a penny. This excludes preventative care which I know doesn’t cost the $6k a year I’m dumping into premiums! Why don’t I just drop the money into savings and use that when I need it? Because Obamacare screwed that one over for me with the penalties on my taxes if I don’t have healthcare insurance! Sure the first couple years I’d be banking it a little but the penalties go up each year to make it so I’d be paying the same either way.
    And, I’m one of the more health conscience people that actually does research and cares what I put into my body, and my families bodies, so I don’t need to go get care for some of the countless chronic illnesses that exist these days. I think our healthcare systems is just as messed up as our government is at some levels.
    Here’s how I think of it. When I was on active duty there was such a thing as free health care. Free as in if I feel sick or something happens, I just go to the doctor’s office on base and they take care of me without needing to fill out a lot of insurance forms or having extra pay because it’s not an appointment or being denied because I don’t have insurance. No extra pay came out of my checks or anything. Why doesn’t this happen for the general public? There is such a thing as a life threatening situation and I think hospitals should be there to provide you with the service of keeping you alive without needing to go into large amounts of debt.
    I could go on and on about how messed up healthcare is over here but I try not to think about it too often as it angers me to no end. It’s not just about the healthcare but also about how doctors are trained to treat patients as well. Just give drugs for certain symptoms and hope that it works vs. actually finding out the cause of the problem and trying to fix that.

  3. Ahh, Miss Lou, you’re a lovely human being. ((HUGS))
    Okay, I’ve lived on both sides of this coin so this is a sore spot with me and one I could rant on for an eternity, but as I’ve said before, no one ever listens to me. 😦 And since I am an opinionated b with a capital B on this subject. I will only say this: Providing the exact same quality of medical service free to all Americans regardless of income is NOT a give away or a handout. And it would NOT turn them into a bunch of do nothing zombies expecting more handouts. We pay a fortune in taxes for medicaid and medicare. Not to mention the zillions of dollars going into other worthless government programs. Abolish all these good for nothing programs and put the money into quality healthcare for all. This will never happen because #1 GREED and #2 the feeling of superiority that upper class and rich Americans have the need for. I could go on and on, giving reason after reason for my opinion, but I will will simply leave now.

  4. I’m reminded of Scrooge’s Dickens’s “Christmas Carol”: “Are there no prisons? . . . And the Union workhouses . . . Are they still in operation?”

    When we ask the question the right way, the answer jumps out at us. Should a person die because he or she cannot afford adequate health care? Of course not.

    If anyone doubts that proposition, let us ask this: Should a child die because his parents or guardians cannot afford adequate health care?

    Anyone who says “yes” has a heart chipped from the coldest flint.

    • Your views are consistent with my own.

      Your comparison of Scrooge is fitting in my opinion.

      Although I understand the premise of why some people are unhappy about contributing to a universal healthcare system, emotionally, I’m not connecting the dots.

      I feel like it’s selfish often and find it difficult to relate.

      That makes me judgmental *groans*.

      #Flaws #Judgement #Critical #Understanding

      Working Progress

      Thanks for the comment

      ML
      xx

  5. Well we’ve had the system since 1948 (created in 1946) as a result of the World Wars, and to this day that opinion still surfaces from time to time. I guess that’s welfare for you, though. It doesn’t really matter what system is implemented, there will always be people who will abuse it; you have to have faith that you are helping those who truly need it. Aren’t they lucky only to be hearing the beginning of it? 🙂

    Also, a belated thank you for the follow!

    • I agree that there are those who abuse the system/s and receive assistance through lying (fraud).

      At this point, I do not think that is the majority, but do acknowledge it happens and by more than just a few.

      Re the follow, you’re welcome. I was sucked in my the title Monkey Bars and was quite suprised to hear it was a production! I’d like to see it one day!

      • Absolutely. I think the difference between say the States and the UK is what brought the system about. Here, it was born out of principle, as well as an homage to those who fought and died for the nation’s future. This is purely speculation, but in the States it feels like its born out of necessity, a reform that is seriously unfashionably late to the party. Echoing my uncle, who lives there, there’s really no need for what happens.

        Buuut I do get that it probably is a shock to the system. Those that have spent years working and paying for healthcare only to have the government go “it’s free now” will make you feel a bit cheated. There is a lot of distrust of the White House in the States, with people putting their faith in the local authorities because what they say is more likely to immediately affect them than the White House. So when a government that (for a lot of people) hasn’t necessarily been there for them, only to turn around and say ‘This is happening’, it probably feels like that parent who walked out on Christmas 20 years ago, returns and starts saying how things should and shouldn’t be done. Weak analogy, and I’m not saying that it’s an excuse, but given how long it has taken the country to even get to this point is at least some kind of progress.

        Haha, yeah, it was a small production. Quite sweet, if a bit flawed. Sadly I think Edinburgh was towards the end of the UK tour, been running since 2012. You never know, though! The company did say it was a ‘game-changer’ for them 🙂

  6. Just for the record, I’m also pro-ACA, and am exactly one of the people it’s targeted for. I haven’t had American health insurance since leaving my last US job in 2008, and have been entirely healthy since then, so during this whole time I would/should have been paying into a system, but it was too expensive, and bad benefits. I’m about to start paying into the system, and hope the cooperative society idea is allowed to function, because I’d love to see premiums decrease and/or coverage improve!
    (I miss Belgium, where socialized medicine took good care of me, for much less than I’ll be paying in the US…)

    • Hi Vaga 🙂 (what should I call you?) Thanks for dropping by and taking the time to share your personal experience.

      I really do pray that you get the healthcare that you need in the future.

      Belgium’s systems sounds awesome. I imagine it has it’s flaws – like any system but it sounds similar to Australia.

      I consider how many people there are in the states and understand that there are going to be challenges implementing something new.

      I think it may take a while, but it will happen!

      ML
      x

  7. Interesting blog you have here. I’d probably read a lot more of it if it didn’t have that tiny white type on a black background. Kinda rough on the eyes, even after zooming it.

    • Thanks for the comment 🙂 I have been meaning to address the light grey fontish of the comments of others in my blog, though it has proved to be slightly arduous and I need to commit an entire afternoon to code fiddling 🙂

  8. Hi,

    First of all, the question that you asked is what we can call a very much biased or leading question – I understand that you have a particularly strong point of view on this question but when you are asking others and seeking their views, posing such a leading or biased question would mean only those who have similar strong views on this would participate. The fence sitters or those trying to avoid any debate on this topic would not participate.

    Even though I have a slightly different point of view on this, I certainly won’t chose the option which makes me feel a little guilty, we just can’t let anyone die, there is still some humanity left in the world, despite all the crimes we have committed against humans and the creations of the Nature.

    My views are impacted by the condition that I live in here in India. I grew up in almost a socialist political/economic environment here in India – For about 60 years since we got independence from centuries of British Colonial rule (which preceded by occupation by other foreign rulers for centuries), we called (still calling) ourselves as mixed economy where both Capitalism and Socialism co-exist.The result of such a peculiar scenario was that we had a horrible health care system. Govt. runs a set of facilities which makes healthcare available to govt. employees free of cost and to general public at extremely subsidized rates. Such facilities are limited in numbers, infrastructure is pathetic, they are unable to attract and retain best talent, have limited access to the technological innovations due to financial constraints. Nepotism is wide-spread, if you know someone, who knows someone, or are willing to pay some bribe, then the facilities are available to you otherwise you are on your own. There is also a thriving privately owned health care system in India which provides world-class health care facilities, extremely expensive, to those who can afford it.

    It is so hard to be able to avail the govt. subsidized health care services that people with limited finances (and majority of Indian population falls in this category; with more than 30% people earning less than a dollar a day) either die without medical facilities or sell/mortgage their assets to avail expensive private medicare facilities.

    It would be an ideal world where the best medicare facilities could be provided to all the people free of cost. but that is just an utopia. Despite living in a kind of socialistic society, I myself and most in our society know that it would never be practically possible for the government to do that. Its not a financial viable proposition in the long run. We have a saying here in India, the only sector which have developed well and have gain world class expertise are those out of government’s purview. Subsidies and doles by government make people dependent on them. Its like drugs, once you are habitual of it, you just can not live without it.

    So Yes I wouldn’t want someone to die because of lack of medicare facility, but the answer is not free medicare facility, the answer is making people financial strong enough to be able to afford the medicare facility of their choice.

    • Hi Bhuwanchand, welcome back. Thank you for taking the time to present such a well considered response. I very much appreciate that.

      I agree (in part) that it is a leading question. If we are using formal terminology I also think we can throw in both open and closed (a contradiction). People can select one of the choices and are then invited to explain their point of view.

      I do have strong opinion on the topic of healthcare.
      I believe;

      – every person should have access to it, whatever their circumstances.
      – this is the responsibility of the community.

      With regards to only people who have the same opinion participating – if you read the blog comments you will realise that is not the case in this instance.

      I have had conversations with people about this topic in their blogs, and here in my own. The majority of people disagree with my point of view. I respect their right to do so. This doesn’t make me feel shy about asking them about their reasoning or expressing why I think it may be flawed. This is a safe place to have that happen.

      If you read the array of comments in here you will see that individuals have taken responsibility for expressing their own opinions and provided reasoning for them.

      I have done the same. I’m even open to the possibility that one day, my view in relation to this subject may change if I gain information that makes me feel differently than I already do.

      If a person states that they think a person should die if they cannot afford healthcare, I believe there may be a sense of guilt (or conviction) because it’s not a compassionate or considerate way to think, and if roles were reversed, they may hope for the compassion of their fellow man.

      When people are up in arms about participating in universal healthcare, and questioning why they should pay for the healthcare of others they personally deem lazy or druggies or [insert some stereotype here] I perceive that as a form of ignorance.

      Ignorance because unless you are very personally involved with a person, there is no possible way you can make that determination in an informed way.

      Even if YOU do make that determination based on some very informed experiences with that person – it is STILL your perception and EVEN if it were true and they admitted it, how does that help the situation?

      It does not.

      “Our prime purpose in this life is to help others. And if you can’t help them, at least don’t hurt them.” – Dalai Lama.

      I understand your view that the idea of every single person having access to the ‘best’ healthcare is just a utopia. I agree, isn’t the thought awesome.

      So is the idea of no one dying of starvation.
      So is the idea of having no homeless people.
      So is the idea of the world being cancer free.

      The idea of something being a ‘Utopia’ is no justification to not work towards it.#ReachfortheStars

      Doing anything that is universal is always going to be a very complicated and challenging project.

      Yes, a universal healthcare system is going to cost money. I think the community as a whole needs to cover the cost. There is enough wealth to do that.

      With regard to income assistance ( which is not what I was referring to in the case of this blog) my personal view is that people who are able bodied and in circumstances where they are physically able to work or attend formal accredited training/study, then they should do so in order to receive a community funded income.

      This approach provides people with skills and experience. This approach can improve confidence and prepare people for the workforce.

      I also believe that people who are incarcerated should be involved in work/training/study.

      With regards to illness and individuals getting appropriate healthcare services, I think the answer is affordable access and in some cases that means free.

      • Sorry for jumping the gun, yes I didn’t read all the comments earlier, even now also I have just glanced through them and noted many voices of dissent. It is a very emotional subject and I agree to many of your observations. Yes we should not stop believing in the ideals even if they seem hard to achieve.

        I also understand that you do not completely reject the idea of socialism – and I can get that as well, since for a long period of time I myself believed in it.

        My political/ economic views are slightly towards the center of Right – not a hard core Right winger but definitely have moved away of the Left. And I am sorry to say this that at least in India, over the years the Leftist have forcefully appropriated the whole liberal space. So if I say that I believe in market economics and giving complete freedom of choice to the people, the Left-Liberal people in India may paint me as a Right winger, capitalist, anti-poor, anti-secular – which I am not. Just like you feel you are in minority in US, I am in minority here in India. Which means the majority in India (specially the political class) share your views on providing, affordable (even free) medical services to all and many other schemes are also launched almost every year. But the never have the desired effect. Precisely because when the govt. starts to enjoy spending the taxpayers money on popular schemes, there is huge potential for corruption and thats exactly what is happening in India. I can keep giving you examples after examples how this culture of providing free/ subsidized things to the people have created such a massive % of our population which is completed dependent on it and can not look beyond it that India continues to be an under developed nation, despite having best of natural resources in abundance and extremely talented human resource pool.

        Its a very slippery slope once the people start looking at govt. to take care of them. I am telling this to you from personal experience. If one studies India and the governance model here, there would be many case studies. People are better off taking care of themselves, giving govt. a chance to make those decision which will ultimately infringe upon freedom of choice for an individual will always result in messy situation.

        Healthcare is not a isolated issue, it is basically linked to what the role of government should be in free societies. We can discuss this issue in much more detail, maybe this blog post is not the right place to raise all those issue. Will keep debating this with you…

      • I’m actually from Queenstown and live in Australia, not America. Lol

        I very much appreciate the well considered response and also understand your reasoning for your views.

        I agree, lots of topics all rolled up into one, and there will no doubt be room for more involved discussion on each at a later date.
        ML

      • Sorry my mistake once again for assuming things without going through the details. Understand the time difference as well, so good night and will surely talk to you later.

      • Lol, no problem, it’s really not suprising you would think I’m American, after all, this is a blog full of my opinions on the state of American Healthcare..

  9. We, the working and the earning ones, pay taxes to contribute towards a common good and health is a common good to be afforded to those who have the misfortune not to be able to afford healthcare.

    • We think along the same lines with respect to this Inavukic.

      I feel Healthcare is an essential service. I think that we have enough in the world collectively to ensure that every. single.person has access to healthcare.

      I feel this should be provided to the lazy, the unemployed, the rich, the poor, the unfortunate, the ones who inflict harm on themselves or who are responsible for their own illness. Everyone.

      That’s a tall order for the world, through our own greed and desire for materialistic gain (myself included) for some reason we still have people who are starving in the both third and first world countries.

      In well developed countries like America and Australia I think we have the means and the intelligence to work through the issues preventing people from having access to affordable healthcare when they need to.

      Thank you for taking the time to drop in and leave a comment I really appreciate it!

      Miss Lou
      x

  10. You have given a timely blog. Food, water and the air are killing us. We are the inventors of our own doom. The saddest part is that most of us are in total denial. Very nice to meet you. I am sure our paths will cross again soon. Hugs, Barbara

  11. I remember, as a child when the taxes we paid were sufficient to keep Hospitals open and available to the public. Back then folks who did not have jobs, therefore were not paying taxes still had access to healthcare. I don’t know what changed this. Was it the kind of people who now would enter the medical profession? I don’t know. Was it greed, selfishness? No, I do not think a person should be left to die because they could not afford medical treatment. I think perhaps we should make the private sector of Medical professionals train the countless unemployed people into the medical profession to create a Government funded Medical Sector, affordable to the Government. In this way we can kill off unemployment and starve the private Medical Sector. Later for those rich snobs.

    • All seemed pretty relevant to the topic to me, though happy to delete anything you request.. 🙂

      p.s: did I mention it was great to see you again?

      • Lol… xbox! There’s something naughty about that. 😉 … I felt like I just dropped a comment that didn’t answer the question at hand. I don’t mind leaving it if you feel it’s relevant. I simply don’t want to come off stuck up. Great to see you too! I’m hoping to get back to this blogging business shortly. The last couple of starts have been rough and one blogger in particular has left me questioning the entire sphere and who and what it is I value reading.

      • The original title of the Blog was ‘America, you make me sick’ – intended to be a play on words. I think that could have been perceived as me coming off ‘Stuck Up’

        I think I’ve changed it twice since. lol ( I second guess how I might come across alot I think)

        I tried to find your bloggy, and you had gone private. so I sent you a request to let me in, and tried a few more times then couldn’t access anything at all! I thought you had gone so I am very glad to see you back 🙂

        One of the things I enjoy about the blogging/WordPress environment is the contrast of views. I tend to easily get frustrated with generalizations because I think they represent a selective ignorance. This is evident when you look at my discussions with a variety of people, both in my own blog and that of others.

        I don’t mind so much when people have differing opinions, even if they are baseless (LOL) I’ll try and find some middle ground where each of us can agree on at least something….

        BUT if things start getting abusive, personal, degrading, I will usually bow out at that point. Nothing to be gained.

        Honestly, I don’t get in here too much. On average I blog maybe once or twice a month and when I have a little free time and feel like it, I will do some blog hopping to interact and engage. If I’m not enjoying it, or getting anything out of it, I move on, and I don’t think there is anything wrong with taking a break when you need it 🙂

        Just happy to see you back, cause I did enjoy reading and engaging on your posts, so maybe get one or 2 out before you disappear again eh!!

  12. I am a Canadian and though our health care system isn’t perfect, I feel blessed to live in a country where we value medical care for all. Our people are worth it. Investing in the health and wellness of our country folk is at the forefront of a great deal of what we do here. We don’t live in fear of going broke when we break a limb. Enough said. I ❤ my country, and I ❤ our healthcare so much.

    • Measha *huggles* I
      So happy to see you! It’s been ages!

      I also feel very blessed to have a universal health care system here in Australia. Although I am sure there are differences between the system in Canada and here, I think we both enjoy the benefit of being able to access healthcare and not have the potential to go bankrupt….

      Thanks so much for dropping by Measha, it’s really great to see you.
      Xbox

  13. This thankfully always seems an odd question to me because of the NHS we have here. Thankfully I am exempt from medical bills by way of being type 1 diabetic, but when I think about the stupid propaganda saying about death panels etc. That makes me sick because if there were such a thing, I would be one of the first to go, which goes to prove that they only exist in some fevered republican wet dream than the real world!

  14. To my knowledge, life saving and medically necessary treatments can’t be denied in the United States. My issue with the healthcare reform is mostly with the premium hikes, which are pretty much required for all those who weren’t getting healthcare before (by choice or necessity), the exemptions promised to a massive number of groups to get support for the legislation to pass, and that the Executive and Legislative branches didn’t immediately champion it by joining the healthcare markets they “created”. To top this off, there was some serious misinformation being passed, and the tax payer is on the hook for a very large number of people getting healthcare under the ACA. Eventually a line needs to be drawn because we literally can’t afford to keep spending money we don’t have, and gutting the DoD is not the way to cut spending. What the ACA did do poorly, for sure, was also put the tax payer on the hook for either paying an insurance premium that many individuals and families couldn’t afford in the first place (which is why they were uninsured), or pay a fine during tax season.
    The best thing the government could do right now is to raise the minimum wage a little bit, and clarify what it means to have a 4 year degree; and that is that you still have to work up from the bottom, a job fairy doesn’t just grant you a high-paying job for having a degree.

    • Hi 🙂 Thanks for dropping by and commenting. Greatly appreciated!

      I just had the opportunity to go through and take a look at the EMTALA (The Emergency Medical Treatment and Labor Act). Jeff ( the last commented raised it just before you did!

      I think that in some ways it is great, but not so much in others.

      Firstly the potential to inundate ED’s with patients who could have had their issues resolved or at least referred by a GP before the conditioned worsened.

      People lives are being unnecessarily put at risk when individuals wait to seek medical aid for a condition that may have been easily treatable initially, but has progressed to a life threatening stage.

      If the system had been more affordable initially, that could well have saved money, time and resources down the track.

      The issues you raised were also very valid and my research on the ACA has demonstrated that the roll out has been a disaster. I’m really hoping that with time the issues are resolved and this truly does become a system that provides each and every American (& Permanent Resident) the opportunity to access affordable healthcare, whatever their income.

      LP

  15. Do I think someone should die because they can’t afford health care? No, and in fact they are not. Stories like that may sell newspapers, but the fact is it isn’t true. A person in need of medical care can not be turned away because they can’t afford to pay, it’s the law.

    While I don’t believe OM’s statements that the majority of the uninsured in this country are lazy leaches, there are however, more than a few. I personally know several who’ve been gaming the system for years, and it makes me sick. People I know full well are perfectly capable to work, if only they were willing to get off their lazy ass(next door neighbor this means you!). I can’t even drive by the local low income, subsidized housing projects anymore without becoming livid. When I drive by and see all the shiny new cars and satellite t.v. dishes in the yards, knowing they are living utility bill free, and with their rent subsidized, if not rent free, it pisses me off to no end. If they can afford a new car, they can sure as hell afford insurance. The welfare system in this country is even more broken than the health care system, and if it weren’t so easy for so many able-bodied people to sponge off those of us willing to bust our butts working, this health care law might just be easier to swallow for many of us here in the U.S.

    Now I am all for helping the truly needy, that is the responsibility of a civil society. I’m also not inherently opposed to the Affordable Care Act, though the implementation has so far been a disaster. But again like OM stated, we in the good old U. S. of A. don’t like having anything forced down our throats. It’s going to take time, and when(if?) our government gets its act together it won’t be such a big deal anymore. I’ll reserve final judgement until after the kinks have been worked out of the system.

    • Hi Jeff, thanks for dropping by 🙂

      Do you think the notion of people putting off Doctor Visits for financial reasons is far fetched if they are struggling to make ends meet?

      I don’t. I’d suggest it was common.

      For some, there wont be much an impact, with things resolving themselves. For others that 6 months of sporadic coughing, neglected until they began spitting out blood and raced to the emergency room, could be a death sentence. That indicates a flawed health system in my view and to me it’s highly likely people are dying as a result.

      Thanks for raising the EMTALA (The Emergency Medical Treatment and Labor Act). I did not know much about it at all, and so I had to go do some research.

      Enacted in 1986, It requires hospitals to provide care to anyone needing ’emergency’ healthcare treatment regardless of citizenship, legal status or ability to pay.

      The EMTALA applies to participating hospitals, which is pretty much all of them in the US with the exception of the Shriners Hospitals for Children, Indian Health Service hospitals, and Veterans Affairs hospitals – so we can agree that would be most.

      Did you know;
      * They can refuse to provide treatment if after screening, the doctor does not consider the condition an emergency? – An emergency medical condition is defined as “a condition manifesting itself by acute symptoms of sufficient severity (including severe pain) such that the absence of immediate medical attention could reasonably be expected to result in placing the individual’s health [or the health of an unborn child] in serious jeopardy, serious impairment to bodily functions, or serious dysfunction of bodily organs.

      Currently EMTALA only requires that hospitals stabilize the emergency – then they can ask that individual to leave and refuse further treatment. Not even the delivery of a baby is considered an emergency! ( I was suprised by this one personally)

      *There are is no reimbursement provisions in this legislation? The government does not reimburse the hospitals for providing this treatment if the individual cannot afford it, and although the individual is still liable under civil law, if they haven’t got the money and can’t pay it, then the hospitals have to sell the debt off, often for way less than the cost of providing the care in the first place.

      Messy!

      and… how about the burden on emergency departments who are reportedly inundated with not only the cost of treating such patients but also the sheer number of patients now using the emergency room for conditions that *could* have been resolved by a GP and other health care providers earlier? (American College of Emergency Physicians) – http://www.acep.org/content.aspx?id=25936

      Hopefully the implementation of this current system will continue to work through the major issues it has presented during the roll out.
      If people are able to attend their local GP and other primary health services at a reasonable/ affordable cost to be diagnosed and treated earlier, this would likely safe lives, time and money.

      I do understand your frustrations with having to pay for anything for anyone you deem to be lazy and leeching off the system. I’ve no doubt those people exist, to what extent exactly I do not know (and I’m not sure anyone truly does) but, I’d never imagine it being as high as 75% of those estimated 50 million people requiring support with the costs of their healthcare.

      I also think it is a fair comment to describe the current roll out of the AHCA as a disaster. Peoples policies have been cancelled, some are more expensive, some are no longer available in the form they were in. That’s terrible when the American people were told they would be able to keep their current plans, period. Either intentionally or unintentionally, they were lied to. Watching some Press releases, it appears Obama has taken responsibility for this and that he has his team working overtime to try and resolves the issues within the system. This is a huge project and I imagine that there will be more issues to resolve. Over the coming years, lets hope you guys get a quality system that is more affordable and provides primary healthcare for every citizen.

      The welfare system is a conversation in its own right (and we’d be here for days lol.) I deem healthcare as an essential service, and my own values mean I think that absolutely everyone should get healthcare, even the lazy ones.

      Thanks again for taking the time to both read and comment, I really appreciate your thoughts!

      Miss Lou
      x

      • I don’t think people putting off medical treatment because of cost is uncommon at all. But I’m not sure cost is the only reason people put it off, at least here in the States. I think we’re a country of procrastinators, and rather than get a problem looked at while it’s still minor, many just wait and then end up in the emergency room.

        I did know about the “stabilization” part of the law, and I seriously doubt anyone is going to be shown the door in a truly life threatening situation. I did not know about the fact that they hospitals are not reimbursed in some way for the care they provide to these people. Typical of our government to pass an unfunded mandate, passing a law telling us we have to do something, but also forcing us t figure out how to pay for it.

        One thing I strongly believe is that until other factors contributing to high health care cost are addressed, the cost isn’t going to come down. As OM mentioned, we in the U.S. are a sue happy bunch. Heading off to court at the slightest perceived wrong. In regards to health care, I’ve read of women having to drive 10s of miles for OB-GYN care, because the rate of malpractice suits is so high that many doctors aren’t willing to take the risk. Me personally, I believe shit happens. Doctors, no matter how well trained make mistakes. Make a mistake on me, make it right, pay my medical bills resulting from the mistake, and I’m good. If there was negligence involved though, I’ll do my best to own that doctor! With malpractice insurance, just like any other business, if the cost of doing business goes up, the cost of the service is going to go up.

        Oh, and I don’t think we’re ever going to get the system we want. You obviously know nothing about us. 🙂 We want EVERYTHING, we want it cheap, we want the highest quality, and we want it NOW! We are our own worst enemy sometimes.

        I don’t agree that the welfare system is a different discussion. If only due the subsidies people who don’t earn enough to pay for their own insurance will receive. Knowing I’ll be subsidizing some lazy slob, while I have to pay full price is never going to sit well with me, ever. Health care is an essential service, that shouldn’t only be for the well off, but something needs to be done about they determine if people get a subsidy, or pay for it themselves. The price has to be paid by someone, for this “essential” service, making sure those who can pay are actually contributing to the cost seems pretty fair to me. Call me a hard ass, but I’m not interested in paying for anything for someone who is perfectly capable of getting off their ass and getting a job so they can at least help pay for themselves. For the TRULY needy, yes, they deserve my help, and I’ll gladly give it.

        “You will be able to keep your current policy.” What a joke! I’m not very educated, I’ve been an auto mechanic for the past 30 years, and never went further than high school. But even I could see this coming. Pass a law requiring insurance companies to provide certain coverage in their policies, then you’re surprised when policies that don’t include that coverage are cancelled? Well imagine that! Obama has been running on improving the health care system in this country pretty much since he was elected the first time. So why did he seemingly slap together a plan in what seems like 15 minutes without really thinking it all through. Same thing with the healthcare.gov website, most sites of this size are in the works for years, with a soft roll out and beta testing long before the “official” launch. Our illustrious government thought they could do it in a month or two? (Bangs head on desk in frustration).

      • *provides pillow so you don’t injure your head too badly while banging it in frustration*

        I’m actually about to head off to work, so can’t respond in kind now, but I will tomorrow at some stage 🙂

        You’ve raised some valid, well considered views and I thank you for taking the time 🙂

        *races off*

      • Enjoy your day! What do you do that has you heading off now? I only ask since I’m also heading out and it’s 7:15 a.m. here.

        Thanks for the pillow too 😀

      • Night! It’s almost 10pm here. I work primarily in community development.The development of training frameworks, sometimes delivery too. Quality Assurance and project management. Tonight I’m helping out one of my best friends with dispatching. I’ve done it every Friday and Saturday for the last few months. It’s a great social role, and generally not stressful. It supplements my income nicely meaning I get to spend time after school with the children, finishing my other work at 2:30 in the afternoon. 🙂

  16. Governments forgive each other debt, so I think it’s great if individuals can help each other out of debt. Also, people are generally okay about paying property taxes, water rates/taxes, dog registrations, car registrations, service taxes, stamp duty, road tolls, etc etc, which all contribute to the common good but, suddenly, when it comes to health and taxes and insurance cover, people squeal and complain…don’t get it!

      • So, do people not have to pay dog registration? Or car registration? Or do they avoid paying them somehow? When we pay car registration here we are also charged a levy for our national accident corporation. So that means that almost everyone contributes to the national insurance scheme and then if someone has an accident, the corporation picks up the tab. The corporation will even pick up the tab if a tourist has an accident here. Then we also pay petrol taxes whenever we buy petrol. Not sure what happens to that money…though. I am not particularly referencing America re my don’t get it comment. Plenty of people here willingly pay out for a compulsory warrant of fitness for their car, but when it comes to health they cry about spending the same amount for a health check. Just not sure why health gets everyone so heated.

      • Because in America it has never been mandatory and because America is the home of the “leaches.” There are so many people in this country that sit around ALL day thinking of ways to sue someone, win the lottery, or get out of paying taxes or contributing to society. One of the huge reasons why healthcare is so expensive in this country is due to malpractice suits. My father is a doctor and he has explained in detail how people “sueing” for a free dime are the reason why much of the healthcare in this country is so expensive. If you were afraid of being sued for a million dollars would you perform a 50,000 dollar surgery? That doesn’t make mathmatical sense does it? The reason this country is so heated over this issue is because it is new to America. We have never been “forced” to contribute to others directly in this way. We do volunteer and give to people, Americans are giving, but we do not like to be forced to act a certain way. To us that is socialist and it puts our backs up. Besides, who wants to work 40 hours a week so some lazy ass can sit at home all day with their kids? I have kids, I would love to stay at home! And yes I realize there are “sick people” but that isn’t the majority that will be taking advantage of these new laws.

      • Is there some degree of fear of something new, then? And do you mean that it is first time for something compulsory in the health system? There would be other payments that are mandatory in life ; like sales tax in the states that have it? Our system of healthcare isn’t perfect here but it works well enough; doctors can’t be sued but they can be disciplined and barred for malpractice by medical councils. Our accident corporation is also in place on a no blame basis; no one can be sued but they can be held accountable. I don’t know that we would want a compulsory insurance scheme but one way or another everyone in the country contributes to the taxes of the nation. Even if people are on welfare their money is taxed before they get it and they pay sales taxes on all their purchases. Interesting for me to see the differences in different countries..

      • I also find the contrast in policy very interesting in various countries.

        For some countries, certain policies (in regards to a range of platforms including healthcare & education) work very well. However there are so many factors involved, that the same system may not necessarily work somewhere else.

      • You have highlighted some very valid points in relation to malpractice suits. I can logically see how that would have a significant impact on the cost of delivering healthcare and related insurance.

        Definitely something that needs to be addressed within the industry.

        In relation to your final sentence outlining that sick people would not be the majority taking advantage of the new laws. Sick people are sick, right? They require healthcare to get better. Why would they access it, if they weren’t sick? Perhaps I do not understand what you are saying exactly?

        Personal experience is valid. Though I cannot see you having had enough of it to qualify the generic statement that the majority of the 50 million Americans without adequate healthcare gaining benefit from new legislation are lazy, and set out to have 10 babies expecting everyone else to pay for their costs.

        Sure, some might. I don’t know the exact number, it could be the majority of 50 million, but I doubt it.

      • Do you know how many don’t contribute OM?

        Have you got any qualifying ‘objective’ evidence that backs up your generic comments about the ‘majority’ of people supported through this legislation being lazy?

        Did you do a holistic survey?

        Have you ever personally met a young women whose aim in life was to set out to have 10 babies, stay at home with them all day with the intent to do absolutely nothing but leech off the system making every one else pay her to do just that?

        What an ideal life objective. Not.

        My understanding of the legislation is that the implementation intends to benefit everyone. The desired outcome is that every one receives quality healthcare at an affordable cost.

        Stories I’ve heard about cancelled policies demonstrate it’s not there yet, but hopefully, with time that will be the result.

      • Yes I have met these people. Australia must be nice, come visit the ghetto in Memphis, TN and see real poor Lou and also real uneducated people. I didn’t live in the ghetto, but I have seen it. As for my 75%, yes that is made up to signify how much of a majority these people are here. Have you been to America?

      • I have not been to America. I do hope to at some stage.

        You’ve met 37 million 500 thousand people, and you determined that each one was a lazy leech?

        *stares*
        Obviously you have encountered ‘some’ people you would describe as lazy. – Though meeting 37 million 500 thousand people? Perhaps you’re using limited experiences with a small % of the 37 million 500 thousand people of select demographics and generically applying your opinion to the ‘majority’ of the rest?

        Either way, that’s opinion. An obvious application of contemptuous stereotype. Not credible or objective, but so as long as we are clear that is ‘opinion’ and not evidence based commentary, I’m good with that.

      • Okay, now I understand, you made a generalization/ Contemptuous stereotype about 75% of 50 million people based on your own personal experiences with a very small percentage of that number.

        Gotcha. Thanks 😀

      • I’m not clear on exactly what that means, but my experience within the blogging world has been relatively positive (if that was what you are referring to) 😀

      • In relation to your comments about me seeing ‘real’ poor and ‘real’ uneducated people;

        I have not been to the ghetto in Memphis, TN.

        How would you define poor and uneducated?

        People living in the slums of Penang. Men, women and children who’ve never been to school and were born into the triad gangs, prostitution and poverty. Would they constitute ‘real’ poor and ‘uneducated’?

        I’ve seen and met ‘some’ of those, in their environment. I stayed there each day and night for just over 30 days.

        The citizens of Leste in East Timor? Estimated 35 – 40% of the population live below the international poverty line (That’s less than U.S. $1.40 per day, or pretty close). Approximately 50% are illiterate many unemployed. I’ve met and worked with ‘some’ those people.

        How about children & young adults (Late teens, early twenties) who are/were wards of state in cities of 1st world countries? Dublin, London, Manchester, Glasgow, Sydney, Brisbane and Darwin? Little education, homeless, sexually abused, sometimes starved, and almost always physically and emotionally abused. Are they really poor and uneducated? Vulnerable? I’ve been to those cities and I met and worked with ‘some’ people in them who had all or ‘some’ of those challenges.

        There are common themes which holistically relate what some people in a vast number of demographic areas experience. Not all themes are represented in each person’s experience, or demographic.

        There is no room for the contemptuous stereotype when you are carefully considering experiences of individuals and how to provide them with opportunities to be the best they can be.

        On the other hand, if expressing frustration at having to pay some of the costs associated with providing essential primary healthcare to everyone, including those who experience hardship and yep, maybe even some who are lazy then the ‘lazy’ stereotype can be used to describe all, or say 75% of them. This gives the statements a little more ‘ooomph’. Eh?

      • Actually the girl that got “fired” but really quit. She is a leech that said she purposefully went on unemployment because of 3 kids. She would have changed your mind partially. Shitty humans exist in abundance here in the land of the “think how I can sue someone so I don’t have to work.” Yep, seen, heard, met, all.

      • I still call contemptuous stereotype.

        That’s one person, Where is the experiences of the 37 million 499,999 others?

        Where are the father/fathers of her children? Who will look after her children while they are young and she has to go to work? Is there a policy in place that supports single parents or even families to cover the cost of childcare while they undertake work or study? How about the significant lack of positive parental interaction with those children in the early years of their development, because they have spent no quality time with them what-so-ever?
        Should her children miss out on quality healthcare because their mother wanted to stay at home to raise them?

        Did you consider any of those things before labeling her a leech?

        I do not think it is a bad thing to want to stay at home and raise your children, particularly in their early years, but parental presence is essential in children’s lives. This is more of a challenge to those parents who are single parents. As a parent yourself, I think you understand the challenges in raising children, even with 2 parents present, Imagine being a single parent?

    • I’m also of the opinion that a good thing has been done here. Of course I do not know those individuals stories, but I personally feel like getting the healthcare we need shouldn’t put us thousands of dollars in debt.

      Practicing medicine is supposed to be about helping people, we all remember that oath, right? It makes no sense to have a system in place that makes healthcare that expensive that it cannot even be accessed or when it is accessed it puts people so far in debt they can never recover.

      I think, like anything new, it might take some time to adjust and see the benefit. I’ll be watching the progress closely myself.

  17. No, if we cannot care for the sick and the needy then what is the point of all this? Are we really civilised?

    (By the way, the white font does not work on WP reader – I thought I should let you know that the preview is unreadable.) ❤

    • *huggles you scarlet* It is awesome to see you!! It’s been a while!

      I know it doesn’t work in reader, It’s something I’ve known for a while though been too lazy to address.

      I’m not sure why, because I personally find it so frustrating when I can’t access the preview of someone else’s post.. *bangs my own head on my desk*

      I agree with your sentiments in your comment as well!

      Thanks for taking the time to comment!

      xx

      • Hey Lou, great to see you! Sorry I have been absent, I moved to the country and have been self absorbed in cow and pasture land 🙂
        It’s probably something to do with your font encoding, best get a serious nerd to check it out for you 🙂

        Always welcome sweetie ❤

      • YAY for #CowCompany. I live in Darwin of all places and we only have a population of about 150,000 people, yet I often feel like I want to disappear to the country!

        I’ve done a lot of fiddling about with my theme to customize it. I physically turned my font white, because it wasn’t looking just the way I wanted it to. Stubbornly, I’ve left it, despite knowing it limits readers seeing a single word of what I’ve said in preview or on their portable devices.

        *frowns* I’m thinking it’s a little OCD stupid on reflection, though I probably wont change it either.. lol

      • Yes I’ve already frightened one sturdy man off when he asked me what I did for a crust 😉 It’s nice out here, people are friendly and its quiet but I miss the lifestyle a lot, baying too much for everything and flirty gay waiters.
        If this is the way you want it then screw the reader, its your blog, you are fabulous – you can definitely carry it off – I say keep it!

      • Lol, I changed it to red. *ponders*

        Not sure how long that will last eh!

        I think the rest and away time is doing you some good 🙂 Soak it up while you have the opportunity eh!

        I’ve plodded over to your blog and note I have catching up to do! lol

      • I like red, I bet it looks hot on you 🙂

        It’s sunny today so I will try and get off the computer and go frolic, nice to chat again and I’ll have to do the same XD

      • It kind doesn’t lol Or maybe it does and I just do not like wearing it! Perhaps I should put in a concerted effort eh..

        Have a great day and until next time! xox

      • I was raised to look at red as tacky, but being a strumpet I re-visited red, its vivid and bright, a lot of women are afraid of that, maybe it was therapy for me too lol.

  18. I voted No, In this day and age, we collectively have more than enough resources to provide quality healthcare to everyone, and in my mind (at least) particularly in a 1st world country, I think everyone should have access to it. It is an essential service.

    • G’day Guapo, Thanks for dropping by. I do think that it is partly about that, but I also think that through this recent roll out of the Reformed Healthcare System, ‘Obamacare’,there has been hardship on people who have had issues with their policies being axed and then not being able to access to affordable insurance. This is a problem.

      I have read about the experiences of so many people, and acknowledge that there is a great deal of work to be done to work through the issues that have presented themselves during these initial phases of the policy implementation.

      My view its, it is not perfect, there is alot to be done to get it where it needs to be, BUT it is a start, and something has to be done to address the very broken system Americans and their families have been living with in past years.

      I don’t think people should die because they cannot afford quality healthcare.

    • Did you think that someone should die if they can’t afford healthcare, OM? What do you think about the medical bills being abolished through the actions outlined?

      • You and I already know where we stand on this issue Lou. We have discussed it more than once. I don’t see any reason to rehash this, we won’t agree and you aren’t American so I don’t feel you can understand what it is like to have this “forced on you.” Sure in 30 years when the government has a firm hand on healthcare this will be old news, but for right now it is fresh on the minds of those that are affected by it. I don’t believe people should “die” from lack of healthcare, but that isn’t what is going to create the big bill. The large bill will be from people that are having 10 babies on purpose so they can stay at home, the people that on purpose don’t purchase insurance on the “hope” that someone ELSE will be forced to pay their bill, the people that have abortions multiple times as birth control. We can sit here and argue if this does or does not happen, I know these people exist and they are actually in the majority in this country. You are right , America makes me sick sometimes, but for a totally different reason than you have stated. -OM

      • Om, I asked you 2 specific questions, they were:
        Did you think that someone should die if they can’t afford healthcare, OM?

        and

        What do you think about the medical bills being abolished through the actions outlined?

        It is your choice about whether or not you do or do not ‘rehash’ your own reasoning for your views. If you deem it pointless, then do not do it.

        As for the ‘you aren’t American so I don’t feel you can understand what it is like to have this “forced on you.’ statement,

        I am Australian, and as such I live by the legislation put in place by the Government with aim to provide the best care for people that live in this country.

        This means, whether I like it or not, I actually do have to pay the Medicare Levy, EVERY. SINGLE. YEAR. Which provides healthcare to Australians who cannot afford to pay for it themselves. So I do KNOW what it is like not to have a choice, however it does make it easier to swallow because I appreciate the reasoning for it and see it as part of my responsibilities as a member of the community.

      • It is my understanding (and I could be wrong on this) the initial policy for Australia’s publicly funded universal health care system was put in place in 1975. I was born in 1978.

        That would be 3 years before I was born. However, I fail to see how that is relevant (other than the fact that my mother was as well cared for as she could have been at the time she gave birth to me )

        I still had the conversation with my accountant when I had to do my taxes for the first time, and was confronted with the notion I had to pay it.

        ‘Louella, you’ve made X amount of $$ this year, and I know you have already paid X amount in taxes, however, you now need to contribute 1.5% of your income to cover the cost of the Medicare Levy.’

        Wasn’t too sure about what was going on, because whenever I’d gone to the hospital (including a four month stint for a broken, displaced pelvic injury caused by a drunk driver) I’d never been asked about money. I sucked it up, paid the tax and did my research.

        Turns out, I support the policy that intends to fund affordable primary health care treatment for all Australian citizens and permanent residents, and as such, have no issue paying it.

        I do understand, I simply have a different reaction to it than you do.

      • The point of me saying that is the law was already in place, regardless if it was 3 years. You didn’t feel the sting when it was “enacted.” To thus say “America you make me sick” when people are still feeling the “shock” from this law is unjust and unfair. It will take time, thus my 30 years statement, for people to get used to this. In 30 years we won’t care as much, today we care. Take care Lou, -OM

      • I understand, let me clarify,

        ‘America You make Me Sick’ was a play on words on my part, due to the healthcare system and lack of access to it actually making some Americans genuinely sick/er.

        America does not personally, emotionally or actually ‘make’ me sick. Like you said, I don’t live there.

        The title of the blog WAS intended to capture attention, I’d like to hear about how others feel on the topic of healthcare in the states, how the current implementation is affecting people and the Wall Street Occupying group paying peoples debt (primarily their medical bills).

        In the context I’ve just explained the phrase was used in, it is a factual statement.

        I could change the heading to, the American Health System is making people sick/er. I probably wont.

        Perhaps even, ‘Is America making you sick?’ or or… Is the American Health System making you sick? or…

        The foundation of this post is that some people have had their medical bills paid, that’s great, though it’s a shame that they had them in the first place due to an healthcare system I believe has not done a good job providing Americas with affordable access to health care.

      • Yes, well I also find it frustrating that people always try to find a way out of their debt. My wife and I have over 100,000 in school debt combined and we pay a huge chunk each month. It was an investment in ourselves and we aren’t trying to wiggle our way out of it. This is different from healthcare, but the “perception” is the same. Americans are more interested in “finding ways out of things” than dealing with life and working hard for the most part. This is not directed at people with terminal illness, but instead the leaches on this country. And there are a ton of them. I am glad the needy have healthcare, I will never be happy about paying for healthcare for the lazy and the liars. They do exist, I know some of those people and there are many like them in this country.

      • See that word “responsibilty” that is the huge issue for many of us Republicans. My family has always donated and given to charity, probably far more than the “average” Democratic family. That being said, that is a choice in the “land of the free.” There is no “responsbility” in this in my view. None at all. We can choose to help, which I hope people do, but being forced to help is socialist and that is why we hate this law.

      • I don’t think Socialist is a bad word. So I understand the difference of opinion. I also love the thought of us contributing as a choice. I value that, and appreciate it when people make the decision to support others.

        However, I also believe that living within a community, using shared resources there are some essential services that everyone should have access to. Primarily, education and healthcare.

        They are 2 areas that benefit the ENTIRE community. When people are educated they have the ability to participate more effectively and make contributions to society.

        Having access to healthcare also acts a preventative measure in many many cases and this saves valuable resources, including time and money. If people are treated when they first notice an issue, chances are it will be a much less expensive fix than later on down the track.

        Long term sickness also presents high costs in the community – outside of the healthcare industry. What about lost time at work, even if you do not have to pay that person sick leave, you still have to pay someone to come in and cover their position and that turnover of staff while they figure it all out can be very costly.

        If part of your reasoning is about money, either way it is expensive to society. Isn’t treating people quicker because they can access the healthcare more cost effective than the alternative?

      • Sometimes the most vulnerable people within our communities are not in a place to make a significant contribution.

        I think the best thing we can do for them is to provide the assistance so that they make it to that place where they can, eh.

      • The vulnerable don’t make up a large pecentage. Tell you what, I am 100% ok with paying their bills with taxes. the other 75% of the people though are leaches and lazy. “I can’t find a job” uh… I flipped burgers at a fast food joint for 3 weeks after the Air Force because no one would hire me. It was the first time in my life I had ever made minimum wage. Those people can cry me a river, suck it up and work like the rest of us.

      • Yes, I made up the 75 as a “lesser evil.” I could have said 90% but that would have gotten greater scorn right? Instead I used 75 to show I have met more people like this than not. That might seem shocking, but consider we meet far greater people in life than we have actual friends. I meet a lot of shady individuals it seems, but American’s demographics provide such opportunities according to social class. My family might be wealthy, but I have not always been. Thus I have met a lot of these people. -OM

      • I don’t doubt you have met alot, Do you think it would be more reasonable to state 75% of the people you have met, in your opinion are leeches?

        Rather than applying sweeping generalizations to support your frustrations with the new legislation?

      • And I agree socialism and even “pure communism” would be a great idea if man were not greedy and selfish. That is what keeps that form of society from ever working.

    • Also, I wont apologise for my views, and you don’t have to apologise for yours either (even if they are wrong and I am right, merely based on the fact that I am a woman and we know everything eh 😛 lol)

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