Universal healthcare will vastly improve the U.S. workforce

Discussion in 'Politics, Religion, Social Issues' started by pseudobrit, Jan 3, 2009.

  1. pseudobrit macrumors 68040

    pseudobrit

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    #1
    I can't tell you how many people I've encountered in the past year who are in toiling away at a workplace they hate or a career that bores them because it has "benefits" (of which they're only concerned about health insurance).

    When we get universal healthcare, our workforce will become much more dynamic. More people will get additional education and restart their careers. Others will work less (and get paid less) to spend time with family and clear payrolls for additional jobs and hours for those who want to work more. Even musicians and artists will produce more as the economic pressure of getting a "real job" is lessened.

    I can't site any specific research, but I have a very solid notion that our workforce has been increasingly depressed, held back and locked down for the past three decades to an extent that has greatly hurt our economic strength. Despite this creeping burden, our efficiency and productivity grew tremendously in the same time.

    I cannot wait until this weight is thrown off the American worker and we aim the power of the free market into the field of labor. I've been so pessimistic for so long that it's hard not to look for the cloud in silver linings anymore, but I really feel that there's some kind of uncanny rebound momentum behind us at this point.

    The Obama administration must deliver on campaign promises, and I've never been so optimistic about the strength of our nation and our people.
     
  2. Rodimus Prime macrumors G4

    Rodimus Prime

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    #2
    My question is about universal heath care and my consider about is the better doctors will not accept them.

    you will find a lot of doctors currently that do not accept medicare because it chocks there practice. They can not make a living off of it. That is what would happen in this country if universal healthcare was put out there.

    in countries that have universal health care is it quite true a lot of doctors will accept private heath insurance but will not accept government heath insurance
     
  3. Blue Velvet Moderator emeritus

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    #3
    I just want to add a note here living in the UK as I do.

    Universal healthcare as experienced in the UK can be outstandingly good at times, awful at others. There are a lot of variables including your own persistence as a patient. However, the UK as a whole can be a bit disorganised when it comes to bureaucracy so big systems, regardless of field, tend to be a bit crap here.

    My experience of national healthcare in the Netherlands is very different to that of the UK. I suspect there is a cultural propensity towards levels of organisation, bureaucracy and expectations that makes one country better at organising these things than the others. This makes the discussion about what kind of health service you expect a bit more subjective.

    However, what is not in doubt is being able to take up private health insurance if you wish, and if you have the money. You still have choice in that regard, and many people make that choice.
     
  4. iJohnHenry macrumors P6

    iJohnHenry

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    #4
    What you say is undoubtedly true, but at least you are not facing the loss of your home due to catastrophic health issues.

    The U.S.'s GNP lost to the war efforts would, IMO, cover all the major heath issues of their citizens.
     
  5. pseudobrit thread starter macrumors 68040

    pseudobrit

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    #5
    I have potential health issues that force me to keep full-time employment (and health insurance). I'd like to reduce my work hours to part-time so I can go back to school. And while I know you'd trade my inconveniences for your dire straits in a heartbeat, the beauty of universal insurance is that it dissolves problems both epic and picayune while restoring liquidity to the labor force.

    It can't come soon enough.
     
  6. Blue Velvet Moderator emeritus

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    #6
    That's undeniably true for most people. If I moved town and job, the healthcare is essentially the same. Although, as with any universal service, there is inevitable rationing in certain areas... from the 'postcode lottery':

    ...to debates on whether terminal patients should get the latest, but extremely expensive drugs.

    There is no one model of universal healthcare. What works in some places might not work in others.
     
  7. cleanup macrumors 68030

    cleanup

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    #7
    Isn't that a direct result of the privatization of healthcare in the States? It's that very reason that people who are sick tend to stay sick. They're uninsured and doctors refuse to treat them because of this. IMHO, as a university student planning to enter the medical field, doctors should be government employees. Healthcare is not meant to be paid for, but to be provided. It's a social and civil service. This isn't saying that doctors shouldn't make good money, but that the excessive costs and salaries in private healthcare are unnecessary.

    I know I'm sounding a bit socialist. A completely government-controlled, public, universal healthcare system is extremely difficult to run, and may leave some people behind if not properly organised, but a privatized system will definitely allow people to die when there really is no need.

    Beyond that, the government and the healthcare industry also needs to be relieved of some burdens. More emphasis needs to be placed on prevention rather than reaction. For too long has the North American public been more reactionary to health issues rather than preparatory. We get sick, then we spend lots of money treating it. Instead, educate the public on how to keep themselves healthy. Stop treating eating as recreation and start treating it as a health issue. A healthy populace, while there won't be as much money to make off of one by pharmaceutical companies and the like (and this is a big roadblock), will be a better functioning populace, living longer and being more efficient contributors to society, instead of the unncessarily large amount of sick people we have right now, sitting uninsured, their condition worsening, both a result of lack of government support and perhaps their own inability or lack of knowledge to help themselves. Clearly government needs to be held more responsible for the wellbeing of its public. Obviously it's a bit of a pipe-dream: an all-knowing, effcicient government with enough foresight to ensure a healthy public, but certainly privatization only puts the agendas of corporations, stockholders, and money-grabbers to the forefront.
     
  8. iJohnHenry macrumors P6

    iJohnHenry

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    #8
    Holy *****, in spades. That is disgusting!!!

    It smacks of one area of the country being "more worthy" of medical treatment.

    That is so wrong, on so many levels, that I can hardy formulate the words to describe my disgust.
     
  9. Aea macrumors 6502a

    Aea

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    #9
    That's the sad part of all this. And that'd probably be true whether or not we had spent the money to get us healthcare or simply hadn't (historically) taxed excessively to support the DoD.
     
  10. Blue Velvet Moderator emeritus

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    #10
    No, it happens when you have tiers of bureaucracy. The National Health Service here is still administered locally so you have local budgets deciding on how best to spend their allocations. It's not like you can't go to a GP, but you may have to wait for a specialist if your case is non-urgent.

    Like I said, there are many models of national health insurance. But never be sucked into the idea that they're a necessary part of a backward economy. Germany might disagree with you on that.

    The other thing about the UK's national health service is, is that it's pretty good for low-level stuff. You can get walk-in appointments pretty easily and getting a prescription for your back injury is usually no problem, super-fast... and when it comes to an emergency, they're fantastic. Private health care is not going to deal with a sudden need for an amputation or other intensive-care needs... it's the stuff in the middle, the chronic but non-urgent cases that often involve a bit of waiting and messing around with consultants.
     
  11. iJohnHenry macrumors P6

    iJohnHenry

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    #11
    Oh oh, that smells suspiciously like the LHINS that are now just being put into play in Ontario. :eek:
     
  12. NT1440 macrumors G4

    NT1440

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    #12
    I just feel that healthcare should be a right accessable to everyone, not a privilege where you can buy yourself an easier life.
     
  13. mysterytramp macrumors 65816

    mysterytramp

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    #13
    One of the main problems in U.S. health care is the insurance system itself. Essentially, it serves as a middle man between the doctor and the patient, and its profit comes from collecting from patients and not paying doctors. I'm not certain a government system will be much better. Incompetence can be as great an evil as greed.

    We do need more portability in the system. Best way to take care of that is to wean workers from employer-provided health care. Maybe put 100 percent of the cost of health insurance on the employee's shoulders. Then the employee becomes a customer of the insurer rather than the employer.

    mt
     
  14. mgguy macrumors 6502

    mgguy

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    #14
    I think this notion is a bit naive. So it would be OK for people to just quit their "real job" to pursue whatever they please while others continue to work to support them? Shouldn't everyone have to contribute monetarily to pay for the healthcare they receive? Why should anyone who is not disabled be able to get free care at the expense of others?
     
  15. Ugg macrumors 68000

    Ugg

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    #15
    A single payer health care plan would mean that it would be tax supported. Let's face it, the only people who have the luxury of not working are those at the top of the ladder. You know, the ones who have been showered with bushco tax cuts...
     
  16. Ugg macrumors 68000

    Ugg

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    #16
    That's like saying the best way to protect workers' rights is by banning the unions.

    Germany's system works pretty darned well. It has a private system for those who make more than ~4-5000 euros a month and everyone else is insured under a public system. However, the public system requires that the worker pay half the cost while the employer pays the other half.

    All health insurance is offered by a number of private companies that are regulated like public utilities.

    They seem to have avoided some of the worst excesses like Canada's entirely public system while keeping costs low and access high.
     
  17. Badandy macrumors 68040

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    #17
    Of course, those people don't work for their wealth, I almost forgot.
     
  18. Much Ado macrumors 68000

    Much Ado

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    #18
    Paris Hilton, what a workhorse.
     
  19. .Andy macrumors 68030

    .Andy

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    #19
    Because investing in the health of every individual system benefits everyone.

    Frankly you're a sociopath if you can watch your fellow citizens suffer from disease or die and justify it because they can't afford it or don't have sufficient insurance.
     
  20. Thomas Veil macrumors 68020

    Thomas Veil

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    #20
    That's a good point to remember every time someone tries to make an argument that universal healthcare automatically = crappy health care. Like a lot of other things, it depends on how it's implemented.

    I've no doubt you're right. On somewhat of a tangent, I recently read an op-ed which proposed that if the Democratic party finds a way to pass universal health care and does it well, then that's it for the Republican party for at least a generation. I find it a compelling argument. One could say that the current situation has already put the Republican party in the hole for a generation, what with people turning against both radical deregulation and religious fanaticism, but universal health care could do it too. Again, as I said above, it would depend upon how well it's implemented. People will approve of an efficient system and loathe a corrupt or incompetent one -- as it should be.

    You're being entirely too reasonable. ;)
     
  21. TSE macrumors 68030

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    #21
    I agree. Universal Health Care should be a priority, and this is coming from a conservative. I believe if a Universal Health Care system was put in place, we would have to change a couple things from other health care systems. AFTER our economy gets better. The only way our economy can get permanently better than it is is by not bailing out stupid companies and crooks that own banks.
     
  22. mysterytramp macrumors 65816

    mysterytramp

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    #22
    Maryland has an "all payer" system. Hospitals track the uncompensated care and a state agency decides how they can recoup those losses through their rate structures. Apparently we're the only state to still do this. Others have tried and failed. Maryland defends the practice. On paper it sounds reasonable.

    It applies, however, only to hospitals. Docs fight it out with the insurance companies one on one. That doesn't work.

    I'm not sure what says this, but I'll take another stab ... I think if my employer makes widgets, they probably aren't the people who should be managing my health care.

    A better solution, in my mind, is to let me manage my own health care; it's my responsibility. Because they're not paying for the back end of my benefits, I'll probably see my salary increase, which I can put toward the health benefits I purchase.

    If I get the runaround from my insurance company, I flip them the bird and find someone else.

    Under the current situation, if I get the runaround from my insurance company, I'm stuck with them because that's who my boss contracted with.

    mt
     
  23. FX120 macrumors 65816

    FX120

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    #23
    Universal healthcare will never work in the US unless every doctor, nurse, administrator, and janitor takes a significant pay cut. Try explaining this to the people who have already planned their lives around a certain career with certain pay expectations.

    Whoever made the comparison between the Iraq War costs and healthcare costs, let's just say that you're off considerably. The Iraq war in 5 years has created a massive bill of over 3 trillion dollars.

    But in a single year the total expendatures on healthcare in the United States is over 2 trillion. In a single year
     
  24. Ugg macrumors 68000

    Ugg

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    #24
    Employers have a vested interest in the health of their employees.

    Letting you manage your healthcare is probably going to mean many stressful hours on the phone with an insurance company. A company whose sole interest is increasing its own profits at the expense of your health.

    In this day and age, it makes absolutely no sense for an individual to "manage" his own health care. It's simply too complex of a field for every individual to go racing around not only to find the best deal but also the best care.

    Flipping an insurance company the bird is something that WILL be passed on to the other companies and you can bet your last bandaid that you'll find it very tough to get coverage elsewhere.

    From your statements, I have to wonder how much real world experience you have with insurance. Free market theory is something that really doesn't apply to health care, given that roughly 40% of Americans have no health insurance whatsover.
     
  25. JG271 macrumors 6502a

    JG271

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    #25
    More per person than the UK's free at the point of service healthcare system I believe.
    I don't know how much doctors, nurses etc are payed in the US, but here they still are quite well paid... doctors at least. Som doctors or the better doctors sometimes become full or part time private too, so I imagine pay would work out. The benifit of working for the healthcare service is at least that is a constant source of income - my uncle is a private dentist, but for one morning a week takes NHS patients - although he might have to take more because times are tough.
     

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