1. LordKyleOfEarth
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    LordKyleOfEarth Contributing Member Contributor

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    Sort of researchy question...

    Discussion in 'The Lounge' started by LordKyleOfEarth, Jul 19, 2009.

    Where do people go when they suspect that they may have cancer, heart disease, or similar long term expensive conditions, but have no medical insurance?

    I assume they have to get diagnosed and then receive treatment, but how can they pay for procedures that cost well over $100,000 with no medical coverage?
     
  2. Rumpole40k
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    Rumpole40k Banned

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    In many cases they either:

    A) go without and possibly die

    B) end up owing hospitals literally hundred of thousands of dollars. Many hospitals are willing to set up payment plans but realistically people just end up drowning in debt.
     
  3. marina
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    marina Contributing Member Contributor

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    Some states (such as mine) have a state-subsidized health plan for those whose income falls below a certain threshold. Although, they do pay a very small monthly premium.

    I would think if someone was in cardiac arrest or some emergency situation, an ambulance would be called, they'd be taken to the nearest hospital and emergency treatment would be given--regardless of their insurance situation. But as for regular doctor visits to deal with a serious health problem, unless the person has a Federally-funded health plan, I think they'd just be SOL.
     
  4. Wreybies
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    Wreybies The Ops Pops Operations Manager Staff Contest Administrator Supporter Contributor

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    Yeah, there is no one simple answer. I depends on the state and even on the hospital within the state. Some hospitals have their own plans that they offer to their patients. Where do those hospitals find the funds to then deal with the cost? I have no idea.

    Parkland Memorial is one of the hospitals for which I work as interpreter and they do have an internal plan they offer their patients who qualify.

    Same state as you, Kyle. Give'um a call.
     
  5. Ashleigh
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    Ashleigh Contributing Member Contributor

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    Well if you live in Britain or Europe, you can recieve treatment from the NHS.

    Not a penny is charged to the patient.

    This is why i'm proud to be a Brit :)
     
  6. Dante Dases
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    Dante Dases Contributing Member Contributor

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    If we're being technical, we do pay for our treatment, but it's via taxes that barely anyone takes real notice of (unless they're put up, at which point everyone whines).

    But the NHS is brilliant. We whinge about waiting lists, we whine about service, but when it comes to what matters we have it: 'free' healthcare, without needing to worry about an insurance premium being paid, and whether, as a result of defaulting on a payment, we'd be refused treatment.

    In my opinion, healthcare in such a manner cannot be justified. Certain things should be free of any sort of business, and healthcare should be one. We all have a right to life, and freedom from illness, regardless of what our bank balance says.
     
  7. Ashleigh
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    Ashleigh Contributing Member Contributor

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    ^ Same here, I agree. Taxes are things we're all forced to pay - and I'd be glad to if part of that is to fund the NHS. It's money we don't ever own, anyway.

    We have BUPA and such for private medical care if we choose to, where by you pay insurance like they do in the USA - but why would any standard British citizen want to?

    We get excellent healthcare in this country. It's a part of equality that shouldn't have to be questioned or denied, wherever you live, and whatever you earn.

    I think it's the governments responsibility to provide care for their country...too many country's have leaders that lord it up with royalties and neglect their own people.
     
  8. Dante Dases
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    Dante Dases Contributing Member Contributor

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    Hallelujah to that.

    Healthcare as a business is unethical. We didn't get the choice about whether we were born or not, so we should at least get to stay healthy for nothing.
     
  9. mammamaia
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    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

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    depends on where this is...

    sad to say, if they're in the us, only in states that have welfare programs to cover medical problems of the uninsured will the person get diagnosed, let alone treated!

    in others, they'll just have to wait till their condition is so bad they have to call 911... in which case, the hospital they're taken to may or may not accept them as an emergency case, if they can't pay cash up front and have no insurance... if not, they may be sent to another hospital that does take 'charity' cases...

    bottom line in the us is that if no one will pick up the tab for their diagnosis and care, the uninsured generally just get sick, then sicker, then die...

    go online and watch michael moore's 'sicko' for the awful truth about what happens even to those who do have insurance...
     
  10. Torana
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    Torana Contributing Member Contributor

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    Here in Australia we have a government health plan called Medicare. Otherwise my mother would be well and truly dead by now! (she has a terminal heart and lung condition.) Some of her medications cost up to $5000 a month, if she had to pay full price, selling her house would only give her 6 months worth of medications to keep her alive. There is no way she would be able to afford them if our government didn't have a health plan in place to help out the low income earners. People like my mother also get a pension, which gives them their medications at a cheaper rate. Most of their medications only cost $6.00 maximum.

    We also have charities that help out like there is no tomorrow when it comes to illnesses and major medical expenses that are not covered under the health care scheme, or to those who can't get the help from the government for any reason. I guess that is one of the good things about Australia and sure does make me lucky to live here. If I had to pay for my doctor appointments, I'd be paying a lot considering I go to weekly visits in 6 weeks...
     
  11. Mercurial
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    Mercurial Contributing Member Contributor

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    We also have Medicare / Medicaid here in the United States. It does its job fairly well, and it's only major problem that it is severly underfunded. Increasing the tax rate anywhere between 1.45% to 3% would help it out significantly. But, in my opinion which is upheld by A) courses in governmental accounting and B) a friend who's got a bachelors degree in governmental accounting, a great deal Americans are paying for so much right now out of their taxes that, at the moment, it's just not feasible to do so.

    In addition to Medicare and Medicaid, we also have programs that allow those in need to receive their medications with much less expense, as well as many giving charities.

    In that vein, we are no different from any other country. America supports its citizens just like any other country. If it didnt, its citizens would move somewhere else. But we are different in the way it is provided.

    This is how it works in America: If an emergency is evident, the facility is obligated to provide treatment or transfer the patient to another hospital. If the patient does not have an emergency medical condition, the hospital has no further obligation.

    So, to reply directly to the OP:
    Kyle, if you or a friend does not have medical insurance and suspect you have a serious illness or problem, I suggest you find someone who will diagnose you --there are many in virtually every state although not every health provider or hospital that will do it free of charge and start applying for any insurance you can get and start applying for any program that will help you out. Seek out Wrey's advice, and Rumpole's insight is the most realistic. If you dont want to die, you will be in serious debt.

    But you'd be in serious debt if you had insurance anyway. I've undergone numerous surgeries for my ears (my hearing is still jeopardized despite surgeries and antibiotics that have left their side effects), and we've just recently paid off those bills. I had those surgeries roughly a decade ago, and we were / are extremely well insured. My dad has worked for the same insurance company since he graduated from university. Granted, he works in life insurance, but simply the nature of the job has benefits like superior health insurance.

    Every healthcare system, whether it is in the United States, Australia, or, yes, even eastern European countries has a great deal of kinks to work out.

    Is it cruel to deny people basic healthcare? Is it cruel to charge them treatment? Is it cruel if a company refuses to spend billions of dollars on a drug, but citizens still expect to pay very little for? My opinion matters not; it's just way a socio-capitalist society works. Everybody has to pay sometime. The United States is socio-capitalist whether some politicians like to recognize it or not; most European countries are socio-capitalist; Australia is socio-capitalist.

    Doctors can only do so much after all, and I dont know about any other country outside of the United States, but we are experiencing a shortage of general practitioners anyway, particularly because the net earnings is significantly less, and if their work is completely publicized... I dont know. I fear healthcare would become much more about serving quanity than quality. I was a victim to that type of system, and it's evident in my hearing. Publicizing health care is a great theory; all would benefit --doctors do what they want to do, people stay healthy.. but people are severly flawed; the fact that we are flawed is what behavioral accounting revolves around.

    But isn't it kind of my fault if I develop Diabetes mellitus type two if I am generally lethargic and have terrible eating habits? It doesnt matter if it runs in your family; it's almost entirely preventable. --I say almost because even though, during my intense studies requiring a 20 page paper I never found a case that couldnt have been prevented, I know someone, somewhere, could probably find a case.-- Why should my neighbor have to pay (via taxes) for my diabetes medication because I was an unhealthy slob? The thing is that people expect to be able to do whatever they want, and when they get sick, if the doctor cant provide, it's definitely the doctor's fault. In some but not all cases, I beg to differ.
    The taxes may not be that high, as I pointed out earlier --at least in USA, Medicare is suffering from undertaxation, but you have to remember how much in taxes we already forfeit to the government. Roughly half of my parents' paychecks goes directly to the government, and they worked a lot harder than most people for the jobs they have. As consequence, they have to give more to the government? That's not fair, either, but life isnt fair. No one is obligated to give you anything. I'm going to generalize with my knowledge of the United States government, but most politicians dont particular care for your needs; they care for what they think is most beneficial to themselves. It's corrupt. In fact (and this is the most underresearched sentence in this post), I would go so far to say that most governments provide certain 'rights' to its citizens to keep them there, as an incentive. It's evident in the passing of the United States' Bill of Rights, at least.

    xxx

    NaCl, if you read my post, recall our conversation about two months ago about the health insurance plans coming to the USA. You said I should do as much research as I can and fight for what I think is right, even though it's sometimes difficult to understand. Are you proud of me? :) I definitely know what's going on now, and I'm fighting.
     
  12. Ashleigh
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    Ashleigh Contributing Member Contributor

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    I don't see that deserving has anything to do with it. Taxes are going to be paid reguardless, and I would much prefer that they went to healthcare than anything else.

    That kind of attitude is exactly why people are denied help, and even die as a result. Somebody who lived an unhealthy lifestyle and gave themselves diabetes (or continued with the wrong diet despite knowing they had diabetes) could've also suffered from depression - causing them to comfort eat and be psychologically ill-equipped to put their health as first priority.

    Having the ability to treat patients does not give them god-like rights. Being a tax payer doesn't give them god-like rights either - if somebody needs care and attention, then it would be morally wrong to deny it to them. There are already priority lists - they can't help everybody at once. But absolutely nobody should be denied the right to survive if the help is available, because even if the health issue was technically a result of their own actions, it was still a result of something going very wrong in their lives to cause them to go that way. Addictions, depressions, manic behavior, can all be treated and often 'cured' to some extent that they can start living a good life, and hopefully a healthy one, even if the root problem doesn't go away entirely.

    It's unfair and selfish to judge someone based on their actions without even considering that they might've had an underlying problem that caused them to be that way.
    Diabetes could've easily been a result of an eating disorder - why should they be denied treatment? Before they even had diabeties, their health was already out of their hands.
     
  13. Mercurial
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    Mercurial Contributing Member Contributor

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    Taxes are going to be paid regardless, but to raise the healthcare taxes would not be good for our economy right now. I dont know how it would affect everyone internationally, but as the world is in a depression.. I'm going to say it's not logical to raise taxes right now, and certianly not feasible in the United States. --Although I did mediocre in my AP Macroeconomics course. Someone correct me if I'm wrong. :p
    One option would be raising taxes for one cause and lowering taxes for another. In America, at least, eliminating state sales taxes might be a good start to help fund public healthcare systems. --You and I are on the same page that we want our taxes to go there and not somewhere else, but there are a lot of people who prefer other things.

    Under the current system, the US government pays for health care for the ex-military, the extremely poor, and the elderly. Americans who do not qualify for either of those categories have to pay for their own, usually through their work, and employers arrange it. I'm not going to say it's easy, because over 40 million in America cannot afford it because they may have lost their jobs. At the same time, I'd like to ask, of that forty million, how many own cell phones? Designer jeans? Cable television? Want does not equal need, and I dont feel like I should have to pay for someone's health care because they'd rather have a cell phone or MTV. I recognize that many prioritize, but I know a lot of families below the poverty line; I dont live too far away from the state "slums" and go there almost every day for work. And a great deal of them own nicer cars than my family does and have big screen TVs.

    In America, however, we all pay to support our fellow citizens, if they need help, through taxes --it's how the people who cant afford to be hospitalized are hospitalized. We have millions of illegal immigrants and millions who just choose not to have health insurance. And yet, if an illegal immigrant gets sick or someone who thinks "it'll never happen to me" gets sick... I've got to pay for them when they not once will ever pay for me. I dont think that's moral either.

    It's so complicated, and it's complicated for me to even compose a reaction to the original post, or yours right now, Ashleigh, because I am torn between my heart and my mind --and I'm extremely conservative, fiscally. My heart says that I've got to help these people who need it. I'd hope they'd do the same for me. But my mind says "If you give a man a fish..."

    So to be as clear as I can be, I think that we should have a bare minimum that takes care of the people who cannot take care of themselves. We have that now. It could be much better than it is, as so many Americans who need that safety net do not qualify for it.

    I know at some point, unless I'm lucky, I'll be one of those people, and I know a lot of people will be there with me. I know what this will lead to --it will be best for Americans my age to be sick in October when we're old. :rolleyes: But it shouldnt come out of my pocket. How in the world does the country spend more than it generates? If the boys in Washington can afford their mansions while I'm losing my home, they can bail out the people who need it without me.
    Maybe it's not just those who cant afford health insurance who dont prioritize.. the boys in Washington havent for so long, either.

    You might say I'll never miss a few dollars that could make the difference between life and death for someone, and that's right. But they keep on taking a little more and a little more. This is my generation we're talking about --the generation that cannot weigh in on this system because we're too young, unless you count writing letters, which wont be answered because we're still too young. Yet, we are totally screwed. I've given thousands to Social Security, and I'm still young. Trillions have gone into SS over the years, and it's broke (or, as broke as government funded programs can get, as they cant actually file a Chapter 9). I'm going to pay for someone's health care because they cant prioritize... call me coldhearted, but I've given thousands of hours to charity this year. I'm just stingy with my money --rightfully, as I'm being robbed (okay, so techinically the money's not mine, but I worked my butt off for it), and there's nothing immoral or wrong about it.

    I'm worried that this is not going to make any difference because it seems the most recent posters are from GB and I am from the US, but I've tried anyway, although bear in mind that most of my text, research, and resources are coming from me being an American citizen. :)
    I'm not saying that the GB system is bad at all... How could I know, personally? I can only take your word for it. But the system we have currently does not need the reformation that Congress will likely vote on in August. To change our system will put more below the poverty line than there already is.

    Blech. I think I'm done talking on this thread. I'll be happy to hear anyone's responses, but just thinking about what goes on is so draining to me, and it makes me quite angry too. I just had to say something in the first place (re: two posts up) because it seemed like what the general feeling was, was that the current American system is totally screwed up, when it's not. There are a lot of loopholes and myriad non-government organizations that will provide assistance.
     
  14. Ashleigh
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    Ashleigh Contributing Member Contributor

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    Lets just make it clear that nobody is blaming the citizens, we're blaming the institutions. You have no choice but to pay taxes - but it's the governments responsibility to prioritize when spending it. I think people should have the choice between free medical care and private medical care - but most importantly, the healthcare should be there without question.

    Personally, I feel very lucky to know that I won't need to rely on some loophole turning up in the system If/when I fall ill one day. Assistance is guaranteed - the NHS will try their best for me, whatever my situation, and no matter how hopeless. Where health is concerned it is not a case of charity, it's a case of upmost importance, and quite often, the difference between life and death. It's essential - something we shouldn't be frivolous about.

    The NHS is by far the best possible way to provide equal healthcare nation-wide.

    Also, I'd like to point out that I do not believe in 'the poverty line' - poverty is relative in places like America and England. One person cannot judge what the definiton of poverty actually is - it's all relative to the norms of our countries. Certainly in America, I think it's a laughable notion that anybody other than the homeless (Who still have options, I might add) live in absolute poverty.

    In England, we also have the welfare state, which although it has faced alot of problems with people taking advantage, there are continuous improvements being made - for example, immigrants are no longer prioritized on the housing lists over british cits, but instead are dealt with fairly by the systems put in place. That's not even including the hostels, social and workplace programmes, and qualification opportunities that are available to people via the welfare state.

    The system in England is unquestionable - whilst it has faced its problems, it works, and works very well.

    IMO England rocks - but this isn't about our countries, it's about healthcare.

    So to conclude, in my opinion - the NHS is by far the best solution to the problem mentioned in the OP. Undoubtedly.
     

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