Time--2017 A to Z Theme

My theme for the 2017 Blogging from A to Z April Challenge was "Time". The posts are of a more philosophical, contemplative, and even autobiographical bent. No time management tips in this theme, but stuff intended to make you think.

Always a work in progress--welcome to my blog...

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Wednesday, September 27, 2017

Why Healthcare Is a Right and Not a Privilege


         Actually let me reword the title statement into a question:  Why is healthcare a right and not a privilege?  Or better yet:  Why do many people think that healthcare is a right and not a privilege?  It would be nice to have all healthcare provided with convenience with no co-pays or prescription costs.  We all deserve to live healthy high quality lives, don't we?  Healthcare is a right!

        But why stop there?  Isn't housing a right that we all deserve?   If government provided a basic standard housing allowance then no one would be homeless.  Those who wanted to work a little harder could add their own funds to upgrade, but everyone would have an adequate place to live no matter what their situation.

         Since we all have a right to life then shouldn't we be guaranteed food?   We have to have food to survive.  Government should probably make free food available to everyone and I mean beyond all of the free food programs that are now available. 

          Transportation is an essential need in today's world so that must be included as a right.  Every person in the country should be given a car or whatever allowance they needed to get them places.  Also computers and internet.  Television is a right so everyone should be given their own TV sets.  Phones too.  Sounds fair to me.  Then add to all of these a basic income--maybe $10,000 per year for example--that the government provided to everyone in the U.S.   You could live quite well without even working.

          We could surely list many more products and services that each citizen of the great United States should have courtesy of the government.  This should probably also include illegal entrants to the country who have been living here for more than a few days.  The government has so much money to do all of these great things.

          The money is there isn't it?   Well, they can always make more when they need it, right?



       

29 comments:

  1. Here in the UK we don't pay for our health care.....unless one prefers to go private.
    But I personally am being neglected by the "Health Service" regarding my Epilepsy, one doctor claimed I was never diagnosed with it. I provided the proof to another doctor who believed me but still am not getting the proper medication hence have had to stop travelling around.
    Very interesting subject Lee.
    Yvonne.

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    1. Yvonne, yours is similar to the stories we often hear related about socialized medicine. But no matter what system they are in, doctors can misdiagnose or not see what we feel. Hope you get what you need.

      Lee

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  2. You nailed it, Lee. That's right, everyone deserves to have everything - just who will pay for it all though? It does get ridiculous when you break it down like that.

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    1. Alex, I hear so many people crying out for things they need for the government to provide. Someone has got to pay for these things.

      Lee

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  3. Some systems don't always live up to supporting those rights. It's really sort of a slogan.

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    1. Pop Tart, our politics has become so filled with meaningless or vague undefined slogans, catch phrases, and pipe dreams that we often don't know what the politicians are actually offering. They need to make things more clear to the voters.

      Lee

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  4. In other words, don't get sick. If you must get sick, die quickly.

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    1. Liz A, I'm finding that it's getting too expensive to keep on going. As the years go by I think I'm going to be in trouble as are a good many Americans.

      Lee

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  5. One of the best things, one of many, that Canadians have over the States is health care. We don't wait 5 years either to have something done, that is, how shall I say it, oh yes...Fake news. My husband was able to get a shoulder replacement done...and done well, without cost. My cousin, who has insurance still has to come up with 20% of the cost which is not cheap. For a first world country, it is disgusting that people do not have health care. You will not convince me otherwise. It is sad

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    1. Birgit, nothing in this life is without some cost to someone somewhere. We should be able to get healthcare when we need it, but then again when costs for some get so high that others have to pay when they even have a difficult time affording it then we have to look more closely at the system and figure better ways to do things. The Canadian system would likely not be as sustainable in the United States because we have a much larger population and probably more low or no income people in this country.

      Lee

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  6. You overlook an important point, Lee. Every household adjusts its food, housing, transport, and other necessary expenses to its income, one way or another. Sometimes, they have to go thru a bankruptcy to learn that but a successful life in the U.S. or anywhere else demands that adherence.

    Unfortunately, you can't choose your disease or disability. Victims are constantly presented with tremendous costs, especially in this age of new discoveries and out-of-sight medications and procedures. Health costs can be more expensive than a disastrous fire to one's home, and we have insurance against this. We need health insurance even more than fire insurance, especially now that we are living longer.

    It is ridiculous that we provide this insurance only to the elderly thru Medicare. If we applied that reasoning to fire insurance, we would only provide such insurance to people in the brush-covered hills and not to the people living in the much less fire-prone flat lands. Premiums from younger people would make a universal Medicare less necessary to need government supplementation.

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    1. Jack, I didn't totally overlook the variances since I kind of hid them in my presentation. And you are correct about health issues differing from person to person.

      I think the reason for the medicare provision is that many elderly are no longer capable of sustaining one's income. Medicare and social security are a somewhat deceptive safety net that many of us don't totally understand or don't pay attention to until it's too late.

      My real point is that I think a good many people don't realize that certain things that might seem "free" really aren't--somebody has to pay and those costs continue to rise. Charity is one thing, but entitlements might be good to question and reevaluate.

      Lee

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  7. But whatever you choose, choose something that doesn't cost a part-time worker at Wal-Mart about 2 months pay just to be in compliance. THAT is the crap that isn't fair, people.

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    1. CW, I'm not sure what the best solution to inequity and disparity is, but I don't see us heading in that direction and socialism might not be the best answer.

      Lee

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  8. Tricky one -.here in South Africa we're aiming for a national health insurance for all but sadly too many of the public hospitals are really not good. So - nothing in life is free. The taxes here in SA are paid by only a small percentage of the population-the govt & civil servant population is of the highest in the world - o well let me not go on-

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    1. Susan S, "nothing in life is free" is my point exactly. For a few to support the masses doesn't seem fair, but this might be the way the world is heading.

      Lee

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  9. There's always more money, we just have to print it. haha I remember when I thought that.

    When I was hit with my health issues, we learned a very valuable lesson, we couldn't live like we still had two full-time incomes anymore. It's still a struggle, but we find ways to make it work.

    Enjoy the rest of your week!
    Elsie

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    1. Elsie, in reality most of us who are not super wealthy must find ways to financially adapt to meeting the challenges of paying for unexpected expenses. I think when we put our minds to it, most of us find a way to pay for our needs as well as our wants.

      Lee

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  10. And if all of that was covered, no one would have any money as we'd be taxed to death to pay for it. But you know what has really driven health care costs through the roof? Malpractice insurance.

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    1. L.Diane, the U.S. desperately needs tort reform so we can bring down those insurance costs as well as the unnecessary costs that legal fees and penalties bring to providers and companies. I'm not going to be very upset if lawyers lose a big amount of income that ultimately comes from the consumer.

      Lee

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  11. It would sort of be like when we were kids and our mommy and daddy took care of all our needs but also controlled our lives.

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    1. Patricia, great analogy. Many in the upcoming generations see the government just like that and may regret it if they get what they think they want.

      Lee

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  12. Clear and to the point, Arlee. Sadly, healthcare is complicated. I have two chronic diseases - multiple sclerosis and blood caner - diseases that can strike people much younger and before they can build up funds to contribute in any way. I was lucky - privileged in some ways - I grew up in a country with socialised medicine, the UK. I benefited and contributed, and until the NHS was undermined by the moves towards privatisation, the system worked. Before I left, I went from being a contributor to a 'scrounger' to be shelved. Since being in the US - where I can't receive any benefits - I've been impressed with the medical profession but not with the jacked up costs of drugs. Defence seems to get far more funding with ease - the recent $700 billion defence budget. Surely a healthy workforce is the basis of a stronger society? As President Eisenhower said in 1953, "Every gun that is made, every warship launched, every rocket fired signifies, in the final sense, a theft from those who hunger and are not fed, those who are cold and are not clothed..." Keep on writing, Arlee.

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    1. Roland, I like Ike's saying--so true! Something needs to be done about U.S. drug costs as they can get absurd. I guess staying alive and healthy is difficult to attach a price to, but still I can't help but think a lot of things could be much more affordable.

      Thanks for the encouragement.

      Lee

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  13. Decided to go there eh? lol Well, since I've worked in health care finance for 34 years, and last 16 as a consultant, I'll tackle it. :-)

    When compared to everything else you mentioned, health care is the most critical. Let's take a look at the issues.

    There are multiple problems. One, drug costs, which you mentioned. Two, supply costs, which you didn't mention.

    Three, insurance companies, not just premiums but actually paying claims. The ACA actually forced the industry to pay at least 80% of the premiums they collect. From a hospital perspective this was critical because, believe it or not, insurance companies often deny claims the first couple of times around for stuff that's not always the hospital or physician's fault.

    Fourth, technology. When I first got into health care, a knee operation meant a 4 or 5 day hospital stay; now you can get a knee replacement and be home before dinner. Need a pacemaker? How about discs in your back? All outpatient now. Costs have been shifted from inpatient to outpatient, but insurances pays less for outpatient services. It explains why so many hospitals have closed in the last 10 years and why so many hospitals are merging. If you don't have insurance, unless it's life threatening, you can be turned down for any of these services. Not quite on the level of TV or driving.

    Fifth, pre-existing conditions. This is critical, but it hasn't been explained properly. Most people think it means if you're born with something that's pre-existing. It actually can go further than that. If you're not feeling well and you go see a doctor, and that doctor says you have cancer, an insurance company can call that a pre-existing condition because if you'd been getting regular physicals that cancer might have been found earlier and would have cost less to treat. However, only 26% of the population regularly gets physicals, and of course those without insurance don't go because they can't afford it. True, there's Medicaid, but it's not available for people like you and I.

    Sixth, around 63% of people who file for bankruptcy have a health care bill that's more than $10,000 listed in their debts. Many services are expensive; without some form of health care for all, if you don't have insurance it's pretty much a painful death sentence.

    Seventh, the one thing almost all people in this country have at their disposal is the emergency room where, by law, if the hospital participates in both the Medicare and Medicaid system (can't be in one without the other) you have to be evaluated and taken care of. Every hospital in America (except for profit hospitals that don't participate) loses money on emergency room care... some enough money that they lose money every year; scary stuff.

    This is much longer than expected so I'll wrap it up. There's only two ways to get health care costs under control.

    One, everyone has coverage covered by the government, the one entity that can force price controls over pharmaceutical and supply companies and fund research into technology that makes critical patient care more efficient. You won't have another Shkreli raising the price of a drug thousands of percent at a whim.

    Two, everyone pays for their coverage or not, which means allowing corporations to decide not to cover health care costs whatsoever. Now it becomes survival of the fittest or the richest, as most people will die sooner, which immediately reduces costs since they're larger when people are older. Without the risk pool, most insurance companies die out, those left will try to find ways to fund plans that more people can join on their own, and it becomes a numbers game. Most people still won't be able to pay for insurance unless they're working a pretty nice job, but without companies having to pay for insurance maybe they'll pay people more... probably not though.

    I'm done! lol

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  14. Mitch, you get no dispute from me since I know you know what you're talking about. What I think though is that most Americans don't look at what's going on with their healthcare and often don't think much about it as long as they are relatively young and healthy. My suspicion is that a good many people hear about the ongoing healthcare debate and are thinking "free healthcare" or some program where government will be taking care of them.

    I got a bit ludicrous in my additional examples, but that was done intentionally to hopefully make readers think a bit.

    Thanks for the excellent reply. Very informative.

    Lee

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  15. Lee,

    I couldn't agree with you more on your thoughts here. I meant to come by last week but time got away from me. Anywho, we live in a society that thinks they are "entitled" to everything. Well...I think you gotta work for it to earn it. Nothing is ever free in life and just because you breathe doesn't mean you everything should be handed to you. The healthcare thingy is a means for the political correct or incorrect to catapult their careers with and nothing more.

    What drives me insane is how people buy into the whole Uncle Sam's helping hands. Do they not understand (probably do but do not care) they are giving up their ability to choose to live life the way they want? No, thank you. I do not want anyone to make decisions for me. I want to work for affordable health care, food on my table, shelter over my head, and clothes for my back. I want to drive my SUV (if I had one) or a bicycle to work. I want to be a doctor, a scholar, a janitor, a policewoman, or housewife.

    Yeah, I'm a little off track. The mention of some of your points and how people fail to understand many of the benefits we enjoy are a privilege and we can't expect government to step in to give us these privileges without expecting to give up something in return like....our freedom. I think pushing the examples is needed because people do not think for themselves anymore. Good job!

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    1. Cathy, thanks! I think you're right on track with what I was expressing. I'm not against healthcare or other government funded services, but I also think we need to be realistic about the extent of what they can do and how much the taxpayer should be responsible for. Nothing is really free and when it's cheap or seemingly free it makes a difference as to why that is.

      Lee

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Lee