Monday, August 3, 2009

Caring about Health Care

A big topic of discussion right now is health care and the proposal that Obama is hoping congress will come up with.

I have never claimed to be an expert. I am just one person with an opinion and a blog. The things I write about are things I care about, and I am always open to your interpretation of things when given constructively.

I have a very strong opinion on this topic, having lived in the U.S. for four years with no health insurance, and then having lived in a country with public health insurance for two years (Germany).

I'd like to address some of the common arguments against a public option, or "socialized medicine" that I've heard. Please tell me what I am missing, I'd like to hear other arguments.

It would force taxpayers to fund abortion.

To this, my response is that yes, you will have to pay for abortion to some extent because abortion, whether you like it or not, is currently legal in many states. I have to pay taxes that fund a war that I don't support where innocent lives are lost.

Keep government out of my business! This is socialism!
I think this kind of cowboy, fend for yourself attitude is unrealistic. I don't care for the type of people that would rather let their neighbors starve than have a government that lends a hand. The government is already involved in Medicare, medical care for the military, schools, libraries, fire departments, police forces, etc. People who think this step will mean socialism for the U.S. are ignoring the fact that the government is already involved and can be involved for good. Even if you don't agree with that, currently health care is dictated by the whims of health insurance companies and their shareholders. How is this any better? These people profit most when they give less care. Their incentive is to deny your care.

There will be long waits for health care like in frightening Canada and terrifying France!
From what I have personally experienced and from what I have heard from others, the wait in countries with public health care is not significantly different than that of the U.S.


  1. I live in the U.S., and I have a great full-time job. However, I don't have insurance, meaning I have to pay an arm and a leg for health care. (Almsot literally.) I hate that my taxes are helping those who won't even get a job. It's not fair to those of us who try to make the economy better by doing our part.

  2. I'm pretty sure unemployment isn't currently on the rise now simply because people don't want to get a job.

    It's because it's hard to get a job. Many people have jobs, but don't have the education to get a better one. It costs money and time to get an education and not everyone has that opportunity. Many peoples' jobs do not provide health insurance for them. Many people have pre-existing health conditions that preclude them from even acquiring affordable health care.

    It's true, in countries like Germany, there are some people who live off of the system. But I would much rather people live off of the system than die because people who have the means to are too selfish to give up a little so that fellow citizens of our country and of our world can benefit.

    We are all on this planet together, and I think it is selfish and dangerous to think of only one's self first. Especially when a lot of people consider "struggling" as not being able to afford Starbucks every morning or a second automobile.

    I'm not trying to insult you, but I completely disagree with that sentiment.

  3. Oh, no. That's not what I meant by my statement. I know people can't get jobs (my husband was laid off, and he is unable to find a job). Not only that, but he is bi-polar, and without insurance, it's a struggle for him to be able to go to the doctor. BUT there are people that simply won't get a job because they CAN live off of the government. (I know a few personally.) Somehow, they are able to go to the doctor for little to no money (and they are in good health), but I have to pay a big chunk of change just for a simple doctor's visit.

    I think free health care would be such a great option, and I wouldn't mind if I had to pay a higher tax if that were the case. I just think healthcare should be a bit more equal for ALL of us, though.

  4. I'm Canadian and I've never known anything different than public health care.

    What's this rubbish about insanely long wait times? I guess I've *heard* of people waiting in the ER for up to 5-6 hours, but the longest wait time I've ever had was about 1.5 hours at the walk-in or the ER, and when I make an appointment I always get in within 20 minutes!

  5. I agree with you there. I think everyone should have the same access to treatment, regardless of income. I don't think the wealthy should be able to buy better care.

    In Germany they have the problem of some people free-riding off of the system. This is a downfall, but I see it as much better than the alternative of people being denied health care that they need.

  6. I live in the UK, with our much slagged off NHS, but I personally think its amazing (funny how the papers are usually full of the failings of the NHS, but all of us in the UK leap to its defence when another country decides to criticise it!).

    Even though there may be waiting lists, I think that everyone should get access to healthcare they need. No one should be worrying about money when a family member is ill. And if you don't like the NHS you can always choose to pay money and go private, and I can't imagine that option would be taken away in the USA if they decided to go with some form of national health service.


"The only way to make sure people you agree with can speak is to support the rights of people you don't agree with." -Eleanor Holmes Norton