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To the people with socialized healthcare

I just want to hear your opinion. What do you think of it?

You need to be a little more specific than that. What in particular do you want to know about it?

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You need to be a little more specific than that. What in particular do you want to know about it?

Just are you happy with it? I know in this country they don't want socialized healthcare cause there's big money in it and they'll lose it (the pharmeceuitical companies). I don't know if there's any other reason for being agains it.. In other words please educate me I don't know anything about it. Do you think it's good? It takes care of you? Do you think it's expensive?

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The only problem I see with it, is that some people tend to overuse it because it's free. They go for every little sniffle or ache. But it's free and it's there! I've had a doctor come out and make a house call at 3 AM--unheard of in the Midwest where I grew up. And it didn't cost me a cent. I've had surgery and other services too--all free. And even if you go to a private, paid clinic, if something goes badly wrong, they whisk you off to the nationalised healthcare hospitals, where all the latest machinery and techniques are available. The nurses are overworked, but tell me one country where that isn't the case.

Medicines too, if you get a clinic prescription, are free for pensioners; regular people with a health service card pay 25% of the marked price. Of course if you don't have a state prescription you pay 100%, but I guess they figure if you can afford the exorbitant fee for a private physician, you can afford the meds.

This afternoon I'm off to see the endocrine specialist. I'm fully aware I'll probably have to wait quite a while, though I do have an appointment, but again, it won't cost me anything. Neither did the bloodwork that led up to it. Nor the visits to my GP. Our health service has been revamped and computerised over the last few years, new clinics have been open, and I for one am very, very happy to be getting something back for my tax dollars. To know that free universal healthcare is available is a great relief.

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There is a common misunderstanding that socialized healthcare is free. It is not free, we pay for it, through our taxes. Now, am I happy with what my tax dollars are paying for? Yes & no. Breaking a leg, having a baby or being diagnosed with a disease shouldn't ever put a financial strain on anyone, so I am thankful for not having to pay for services.
I believe that every man, woman & child born of this earth is entitled to basic human needs...housing, education & healthcare. Yup, I'm a socialist  :) An NO, I do not believe that a wealthy person should be able to buy their healthcare. Creating a two tier system will do nothing but to further separate the classes.
There is good & bad with socialized healthcare & I tend to believe that the 'bad' is more the fault of mismanagement on the part of the feds & the province.
Yabbitgirl, hit it on the head when she said that some people tend to over use (abuse?) because they don't have to pay but around here, that is because there aren't enough doctors. You wouldn't believe how many people do not have a GP, so what is their alternative? They have to use the ER....which puts a strain on the ER. It wasn't designed to be a clinic...which can create some huge wait times. ER's should be for emergencies. An ER visit costs way more than an office visit.
We need doctors!
We need nurses!
We need front line staff!
We need less administration!
I would really like to see a comparison of how much it cost us (Canadians) in taxes, as opposed to an American with basic health insurance. Who pays more? Anyone know?

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That's another reason the US won't see national healthcare any time soon...the enormous profits to be made in the health insurance industry, let alone pharmaceuticals!

You can buy your own health insurance plan for a paid clinic here in Spain, but it's prohibitive, and as I say, any real problems see you whisked off to the national hospitals anyway.

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Part of the price has to include waiting time.  I've read that getting an MRI can be a 11 to 12-week wait if it isn't a life threatening necessity.  The Canadian senate's report on health care, i.e. The Health of Canadians - The Federal Role: Final Report, 2002, describes growing waiting lists as one of the fundamental problems with their system today.  Furthermore, the Canadian supreme court ruled a couple years ago that Quebec's ban on the private provision of services provided by the public health systems is illegal.  The reasoning?  Access to a waiting list is not the same as access to health care.

How much do you have to be willing to pay to get an MRI or a CT scan the next day?  I've had both ordered and performed on the next day.  I had an MRI ordered and performed at my convenience.  Turns out I had a broken arm that hadn't shown up on X-ray, so it's a good thing I didn't have to wait.  If I had crashed on the bike, I could have required a joint replacement...

Having said that, I'm liking the law that Massachusetts has put in place.  Everyone's required to have private health insurance with those unable to buy it receiving a state-subsidy (underneath the federal poverty level, they pay no premiums and reduced co-pays).  The issue is adverse selection.  Young healthy males who take few risks are less likely to need health insurance, so they also buy it less often.  This means that the risk is distributed over fewer individuals, who are already at higher risk.  That pushes the price up and as a result the poor are unable to buy insurance... that's not right.

Forcing everyone to buy private health insurance distributes risk over more people... bringing the price down and making it more accessible to everyone.  I think it'd be easier to get this plan set up in the United States than any form of universal health insurance program.  Publicly subsidized private institutions are significantly more path dependent than either public institutions or unsubsidized private institutions.

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i think that system is only as good as those running it and using it, really. the british system could be much better managed, and better utilised- the wait lists could be shorter, and the management better- as well as the patients a bit more grateful and frugal in some cases! but overall, i think its better than a private system for the poor and needy. our system isn't amazing, but apparently the french, german, and swiss systems are all excellent.

the concept of the individual taking care of their own needs (buying their own healthcare and employment insurance) is great, but glitches in life happen, and when you bring big business into it, with an agenda of profit, things are a little different. the nhs (national health service) in the uk has an agenda to keep us healthy- it cuts their operating costs- not an agenda to sell us services and drugs, which they have to pay for out of the money we already gave them. the main issue is that they hold the pot of our money, and we have to trust them to manage it and share it out properly.

i think the whole mentalisty is different in the uk- eg: my doctor once prescribed me a subsidised 30% discounted gym membership when i went to see him about weight loss! we don't have drugs advertised on tv either, so we don't wander in to the doctors office asking him for 'such and such a pill' that we saw on telly- that pressure/mentality isn't there. cheese just got labelled by the government as a high fat junk food in the uk, and advertising of junk food in kids tv shows is banned- i can't imagine that happening in the states- i feel like there, they'd be pushing dairy with one hand, and advertising cholesterol-lowering drugs with the other!

i really miss the 'free' (obviously not really) healthcare that i had in the uk, now that i'm in canada. i'm on my bf's work based health insurance here, which is really good, but i still get this little feeling of inpending doom, and the calculator in my brain starts trying to do addition, if i know i need to go to the doctor/dentist/optician now. if i didn't have his insurance, (buying it privately isn't cheap!) i'd be absolutely petrified to move or breathe for fear of falling down the stairs and breaking something, or catching something and needing expensive treatment/care. even now, things like thinking about whether or not we can cope with bills this month, knowing that we'll not get a refund on what we paid out for the dentist till next month, or what'd happen if he lost his job, or if i find out i have a permenant condition that puts our premiums up, worries me.

in the uk i could call my doctor, see him that day, and it'd be completely free. my prescription (be it asprin or expensive antibiotics, no matter how many pills or bottles or tubes of cream it was) would cost me either £7 flat rate, or be totally free- if it was a specific type of contraceptive, a thyroid, epilepsy or diabetes medicine, or if i was a child, a senior, pregnant, a new mum, or unemployed or on a low income. anyone on the free prescriptions also gets to see the optician (and their glasses) and the dentist (and their dental work) for nothing- the rest of us still get a good deal if we can find an nhs practitioner.

i could call an ambulance, or go to the ER (its called 'A+E' or 'casualty' for us though) and it'd be free. i might have to sit there all night, but i'd not have to show them a health card, or leave with a bill, or be sent home for lack of insurance. i i need them, i'd get stuff like xrays and blood tests, and see a specialist for nothing too- all be it with a currently quite long queue for some things (the waiting lists for non-vital dermatology and ENT stuff were 18 months each, when i last saw these specialists, but cancer specialists were seen within 2 weeks).

having been long term unemployed, having these things seemingly 'for free' made a HUGE diference. we do pay for them in our taxes, but i expect we generally pay less per month than the cost of private insurance might be, and that less money goes into private businesses pockets (though there is definately room for improvement there in the uk). there is no way i could have paid for my prescriptions with no job.

the benefits system for the unemployed in the uk is also another massive plus. when i worked, i had no qualms paying my taxes- i knew that as my healthcare provider, the government couldn't and wouldn't stop my coverage, or refuse me any treatment if i started to cost them too much, or couldn't pay- and if i got fired, i'll still have just enough money given to me, that i could buy food and keep a roof over my head. just. unfortunately there is still a cost based mentality- people in the uk have gone to court for the right to be prescribed some very expensive drugs that the nhs had refused them.

in the uk you can choose to buy private insurance and see private doctors, if you want to jump the queues, and if you can afford it- some jobs provide healthcare benefits too. but if you don't have this stuff, you'll still not die, or not get treatment, for worry about bills- and thats a reassurance. i think that perhaps in the uk people do milk the system, or not appreciate it, cos they're used to it being there- but france has just implemented a one euro charge to see a doctor- perhaps something like this in the uk, which is almost tokenistic and generally affordable- would serve to get people to think twice before plonking their bum in a waiting room chair, and add a little revenue to the pot.

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Just a thought... for the cost of one year in Iraq, the US could have the best socialized health care in the world.

It's not that it costs too much...  ::)

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Just a thought... for the cost of one year in Iraq, the US could have the best socialized health care in the world.

It's not that it costs too much...  ::)

Is that true? That is such a sad statement.

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Just a thought... for the cost of one year in Iraq, the US could have the best socialized health care in the world.

It's not that it costs too much...  ::)

>:( >:( >:( >:( >:( >:( >:( >:( >:( Tell me about it. Exactly.

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High end estimates for universal health care are at about 69 billion a year.

The war in Iraq is currently costing taxpayers 2 billion a week.

104 billion would make a fine healthcare system, eh?

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it depends what kind of "healthcare" you're talking about. I have a family doctor, and have been really fortunate because of that. I can see her when I need to.

but for other care, now that I'm away from my hometown? that's another story. the health services at school are awful - they're not SERVICING the students! I have to go elsewhere.. which is more than inconvenient.

but in general, I'm glad I live in Canada and have access to "free" health care. three cheers for Tommy Douglas (the founder of medicare)!

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When I say "free" of course I know it comes out of our taxes. But it doesn't cost you money in cash up front, which you don't have.And you don't have to mortgage your house to pay for medication here...which happens in the free-market places. In the US my parents paid taxes and taxes, and never had a health plan offered at work. My mother lost a pair of twins the year before I was born, and was in the hospital for about a month. Having no resources or insurance, they fell into the hands of a loan company which they managed to finish with when I was in highschool.

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I'm from Canada. I love the fact that I can go to a doctor and not pay. I love that  if I need life saving surgery it doesn't matter that I'm poor. I think our system could use improvement (what can't?), but I would be horrified to see us move to a private system. In fact, I think we should cover more services like dental and optical. A lot of the European programs seem to be run efficiently and afford services to all citizens, regardless of wealth. I think that's how it should be. The right to a life free of harm is a basic human right. Withholding medical services based on inability to pay is harmful, in my opinion. 

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You just watched Sicko, didn't you?  8)

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