Americans support universal health insurance

Discussion in 'Politics & Current Events' started by BenReilly, Nov 15, 2003.

  1. BenReilly

    BenReilly New Member

    Apr 8, 2002
    ABC News/Washington Post Poll. Oct. 9-13, 2003. N=1,000 adults nationwide. MoE ± 3 (total sample). Fieldwork by TNS Intersearch.

    "Which of these do you think is more important: providing health care coverage for all Americans, even if it means raising taxes, OR, holding down taxes, even if it means some Americans do not have health care coverage?"

    Coverage For All 80%
    Holding Down Taxes 17%

    "Which would you prefer: the current health insurance system in the United States, in which most people get their health insurance from private employers, but some people have no insurance, OR, a universal health insurance program, in which everyone is covered under a program like Medicare that's run by the government and financed by taxpayers?"

    Current System 32%
    Universal Program 62%

    http://www.pollingreport.com/health1.htm
     
  2. DoyleG

    DoyleG Moderator
    Staff Member

    FC Edmonton
    Canada
    Jan 11, 2002
    Victoria, BC
    Club:
    FC Edmonton
    Nat'l Team:
    Canada
    Going down a slippery slope.
     
  3. Pauncho

    Pauncho Member+

    Mar 2, 1999
    Bexley, Ohio
    Club:
    Columbus Crew
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    In 1992, one of the major issues in the presidential campaign was major reform of our health care system, one which is very, very different from the way the rest of the western world treats it's population. Then, when Mr. Clinton was elected, he put together a blue ribbon panel of experts, chaired by his wife, to come up with a plan for reform. The 1994 election was, more than anything else, a referrendum on the idea of real, fundamental change in how Americans structure the way they pay for, and deliver, health care.

    Then Harry and Louise killed the whole idea dead. Hillarycare is what got us Newt. While the majority of intellectuals definitely favor a single payer system, and the majority of people say they want better access for the uninsured, the majority of voters won't stand for the costs of socialized medicine. More than anything else, this issue is why the Republicans control the House of Representatives to this day.

    The day will never come when we say we're satisfied with what we have. As the baby boomers get closer to retirement, expect health benefits for oldsters to get a little better. But don't look for fundamental change as long as half of registered voters don't bother to vote.
     
  4. Mel Brennan

    Mel Brennan PLANITARCHIS' BANE

    Paris Saint Germain
    United States
    Apr 8, 2002
    Baltimore
    Club:
    Paris Saint Germain FC
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    Census Bureau stats:

    [​IMG]
     
  5. Yankee_Blue

    Yankee_Blue New Member

    Aug 28, 2001
    New Orleans area
    Just proves that, if you phrase a question properly people will respond just like you want them to. See the VA system for any references you may need tp the wonders of "free health care"...
     
  6. BenReilly

    BenReilly New Member

    Apr 8, 2002
    Or compare life expectancy in the USA with that of several dozen countries with national health care :rolleyes:
     
  7. DoyleG

    DoyleG Moderator
    Staff Member

    FC Edmonton
    Canada
    Jan 11, 2002
    Victoria, BC
    Club:
    FC Edmonton
    Nat'l Team:
    Canada
    Universal Health Care is a dinosaur.

    Surprised that so many people are demanding it with reading the consequences.
     
  8. oman

    oman Member

    Jan 7, 2000
    South of Frisconsin
    Dinosaur - extinct

    Is the trend in most countries away from a universal health care system?
     
  9. DoyleG

    DoyleG Moderator
    Staff Member

    FC Edmonton
    Canada
    Jan 11, 2002
    Victoria, BC
    Club:
    FC Edmonton
    Nat'l Team:
    Canada
    Dinosaur can also mean out of date. Try reading more than the first definition.

    People are becoming more in favour of "user fees" for use of some medical services. It's now not that unusual for people to go to a private (mainly non-profit) clinic and pay to get a vital MRI or CAT scan done.

    Especially if you don't want to be on a waiting list for months just to get one.
     
  10. Craig the Aussie

    Craig the Aussie New Member

    May 21, 2002
    Sydney, Australia
    It works here in Australia.

    Sure if you want elective surgery done by the doctor of your choice, and want wine with your meals, you pay for private insurance and go to a private hospital.
     
  11. Mel Brennan

    Mel Brennan PLANITARCHIS' BANE

    Paris Saint Germain
    United States
    Apr 8, 2002
    Baltimore
    Club:
    Paris Saint Germain FC
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    The reality is this: Today, we have built the first 21 B-2 bombers at $2.2 billion each; we have established a budgetary mark (before discretionary spending) on a military that cannot stop another 9/11 from happeneing of $408 billion every 365 days...we have gone to the Moon, generated hair re-growth and given men the rock-hard *#*#*#*# pill. It comes down to will. It is a matter fo will. The "correct" health care system isn't out there to mimic...see the analysis below of this study to see that for yourself. The mission is to take those five or six systems and forge the vision of a seventh that really exhibits the value of each citizen in the prevention phase of their health, throughout their life, and the treament portion of their health...I mean, we spend $408 billion a year on weapons systems, human or otherwise...if "the greatest democracy in the world" spends that much on its killers, shouldn't it spend double, triple that on its healers?

    Of course it should, unless you think, as many do here, that the best of health care is like the best of anything else...you should only get it if you can afford it.

    I on the other hand would submit that being a citizen in this democracy should automatically get you supreme quality health care, even if you are a lazy stinking bum...why? 'Cause democracies and their policies ought not bebased onthe lazy stinking bums, but rather the best ideals of what democracy can be...its not about the abusers and "losers," it about who we are...about what America is...is it a leader in compassion, or a follower -by the nose - of the dollar?

    Oh yeah, the analysis of that study below:

    ...The authors surveyed 1,400 adults each in the United Kingdom (U.K.), Australia, New Zealand, Canada and the United States on the merits of their health care systems as well as their personal experiences.

    Insuring for Health Care.

    Each country has a different system of financing health care. The U.K. has a National Health Service in which physicians are on the government payroll and hospitals are owned by the government. Canada uses private-practice physicians and nonprofit hospitals, but provincial governments act as the sole payer for virtually all essential health care, except dental services and prescription drugs. The United States has government programs for the poor and the elderly and voluntary private insurance for the rest of the population. New Zealand's system is similar to that of Britain but with a larger private sector. The Australian system is a hybrid, a national system supplemented with private financing.

    The scope of coverage varies, but in general all five systems have incomplete or no coverage for prescription drugs, dental services or nursing home care. Similarly, vision care, cosmetic services and alternative medical services usually are not covered.

    It is widely believed that each of these countries, other than the United States, has universal health care coverage, but that is not really true. People fall through the cracks in the safety net systems and no system can provide every individual with every possible health care service.

    Paying for Care.

    On every measurement, people in the U.K. have the least direct cost. Only 3 percent of Britons say they have had "problems paying medical bills," compared to 7 percent in Canada, 11 percent in Australia, 12 percent in New Zealand and 21 percent in the United States. Forty-three percent of Britons report no out-of-pocket costs in the previous year, and only 2 percent report having paid more than $1,000. The figures for the United States are 7 percent and 26 percent respectively.

    Lower-income Americans have trouble affording care in greater numbers than their counterparts in other countries. Thirty-nine percent of lower-income Americans did not fill a prescription due to the out-of-pocket cost in the past year. This compares to 21 percent in Australia, 22 percent in Canada, 20 percent in New Zealand and 7 percent in the U.K. Fewer people with higher incomes chose not to purchase a drug because of the cost, but the numbers are far from negligible: 18 percent in the U.S., 18 percent in Australia, 7 percent in Canada, 11 percent in New Zealand and 7 percent in the U.K.

    Rationing by Waiting.

    Health care access is defined as the ability to obtain a needed medical service. The study finds that, Americans have much shorter waiting times to receive hospital services than do people in other countries. Only 5 percent of U.S. patients report waiting four or more months to receive surgery. This compares to 23 percent in Australia, 27 percent in Canada, 26 percent in New Zealand and 38 percent in the U.K. [See Figure I.] Australia and New Zealand rank highest on being able to see a doctor on the same day - 62 percent and 69 percent respectively. Only 36 percent of U.S. residents, 42 percent of Britons and 35 percent of Canadians can see a doctor on the same day.

    Unequal Health Outcomes.

    The way we pay for health care seems to make only a marginal difference in health status. All five countries report that lower-income people have much worse health than do those with higher incomes, usually by a factor of three. [See Figure II.] Since the study will be used to discuss the merits of national health insurance, note that the lower-income results in Figure II include a disproportionate number of elderly - the one U.S. population group that has universal health insurance.

    Satisfaction.

    The survey revealed enormous dissatisfaction with health care services in all five countries, although the U.K. is the only country in which people are less satisfied with their health care system than they were four years ago. In all five countries, about 80 percent of the population said that their system needs to be "completely rebuilt" or "fundamentally changed." The number favoring "only minor changes" is 25 percent in Australia, 21 percent in Canada, 18 percent in New Zealand, 21 percent in the UK and 18 percent in the US.

    Conclusions.

    Apparently none of the five countries surveyed has found an ideal health care system. Each country has its own strengths and weaknesses. The United Kingdom has the least out-of-pocket costs, but it has the longest waiting times. The United States is just the opposite. The rest fall somewhere in between on both measures.

    But to argue that the U.K. or Canada has a superior system, one would have to place a very high value on health care being "free" at the time of service and a low value on getting care quickly.

    Despite superficial differences, all five systems rely almost exclusively on third-party payment, either public or private. Even in the United States, people pay directly for only 15 percent of all health care costs. Employers, insurance companies and/or the government pays the other 85 percent. The proportion of direct payment in the United States has fallen precipitously over the years. In 1980 patients paid 28 percent of all costs, down from 56 percent in 1960.

    All five countries keep people from getting the care they believe they need - rationing care through prices, waiting lists, limiting the supply of services, controlling the number of doctors or simply denying care.

    No wonder the level of discontent is so similar in all five countries!
     
  12. oman

    oman Member

    Jan 7, 2000
    South of Frisconsin
    Everything you say Doyle, does not go against trends towards universal healthcare. This is the problem of you calling something a dinosaur -- whether extinct (as dinosaurs are) or out of date, as you seem to believe dinosaurs are.

    As the aussie says, you can have universal health care and retain "private" hospitals.
     
  13. Foosinho

    Foosinho New Member

    Jan 11, 1999
    New Albany, OH
    Club:
    Columbus Crew
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    I have to believe that a good socialized system is going to be better than the $300 a month I pay for my 28-year-old wife's bare-bones health insurance.
     
  14. christopher d

    christopher d New Member

    Jun 11, 2002
    Weehawken, NJ
    OK. How about the system the active duty personnel get? No complaints here. Certainly it wasn't anything special, but I also knew that I'd never have to worry about how to pay if my wife or I got sick. And when I needed it for more routine stuff, it was there.
     
  15. DoyleG

    DoyleG Moderator
    Staff Member

    FC Edmonton
    Canada
    Jan 11, 2002
    Victoria, BC
    Club:
    FC Edmonton
    Nat'l Team:
    Canada
    Main Entry: di·no·saur
    Pronunciation: 'dI-n&-"sor
    Function: noun
    Etymology: New Latin Dinosaurus, genus name, from Greek deinos terrifying + sauros lizard -- more at DIRE
    Date: 1841
    1 : any of a group (Dinosauria) of extinct chiefly terrestrial carnivorous or herbivorous reptiles of the Mesozoic era
    2 : any of various large extinct reptiles other than the true dinosaurs
    3 : one that is impractically large, out-of-date, or obsolete
    - di·no·sau·ri·an /"dI-n&-'sor-E-&n/ adjective

    Pay for universal for many services, and possibly die before you recieve them. Or pay up front and get it done in time, which may save your life.

    Try looking at reality than anything else.
     
  16. John Galt

    John Galt Member

    Aug 30, 2001
    Atlanta
    Improved access to health care is not a zero-sum game. There are plenty of options besides a single payer universal health care system.

    The first question to resolve is whether current access to health care is adequate. It seems obvious the answer is no, but maybe someone has some data proving it is?
     
  17. oman

    oman Member

    Jan 7, 2000
    South of Frisconsin
    Shut up Galt. As Doyle says, universal health care = death, up front paying (whatever this means) = life.

    Next!
     
  18. christopher d

    christopher d New Member

    Jun 11, 2002
    Weehawken, NJ
    Oh come now, John, get with the times! The first order of business is the toss some "Medicare Queen" who's getting rich off of Your Taxpayer Dollars (tm) out to the Public. Use her as an emblem of what's wrong with our corrupt medicare system, why it needs to be done away with, and use her as the best example of why feel-good neo-New Deal nonsense like free access to healthcare would bring hellfire and damnation on our fair land. Why look for facts when "common sense" can save the day again?
     
  19. JPhurst

    JPhurst New Member

    Jul 30, 2001
    Jersey City, NJ
    Ask these vets what they think about the system...

    http://www.nydailynews.com/news/local/story/137430p-122208c.html

    "Without this hospital I'd probably be dead."
     
  20. Craig the Aussie

    Craig the Aussie New Member

    May 21, 2002
    Sydney, Australia
    The way it works here is that we pay a Medicare Levy on top of our Federal income tax (about 1.5%). This goes into the big pool, and the Federal government makes grants to the States which are in charge of running the public hospital systems. The Feds also subsidise GP's and opticians.

    If you go to a GP they have the option of just charging you the prescribed government fee (about $24) in which case it is free, or they can charge more in which case you pay the difference (eg mine charges about $33). Usually only the elderly get free GP visits, but its up to the doctor. Also, immunisation for children is free, as are optical consultations.

    Public hospitals provide free emergency, maternity and critical care - but you can't pick the doctor you want or get a private room unless you register as a private patient - then you or your insurer pay the extra.

    If you want 'elective' surgery - eg. a knee ligament repaired, cosmetic surgery etc you can either go to a private hospital or into a public hospital as a private patient.

    If you want coverage for dental, optical appliances, physiotherapy etc you need private insurance, or will have to pay.

    The Federal Government gives a grant to private insurance companies to keep the cost down, but this reduces with age. Therefore if you join a private health fund at age 30 you will always pay less than someone who joins one at age 50.

    Private health insurance is held by about 35% of the population and is almost never provided by employers.

    So, basically it is a hybrid system.
     

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