Health care should be free!

By sazajay Latest Reply 2014-03-07 09:20:38 -0600
Started 2014-03-04 06:03:48 -0600

Im from the UK and i really appreciate that i get my prescriptions and treatment for free. I feel quite sorry for anyone who has to pay for things they NEED to help them stay alive.
I really feel that anyone with a medical condition that needs medication should be free. Its not a choice to have diabetes and therefore it shouldnt affect anyones finances. It gets to me that there are alot of people in different countries from me that have to pay for meds that they need and cant afford them and especially people that dont have medical insurance. Whats everyones opinion?

10 replies

GabbyPA 2014-03-04 16:14:07 -0600 Report

Free is a misnomer. Someone has to pay for the doctors, the facilities, the meds, the research, the labs....that doesn't just happen. Taxes are what pay for medical care in many countries and while I feel upset that there are things I cannot get because I don't have really is my problem. Not my neighbors. Now when doctors won't see be because I pay cash...that makes me mad. I owe this to insurance companies and doctor's not working for themselves, but for a group, because of liabilities. (that's a whole other discussion)

I have said this before, but it bears repeating. We have car insurance to cover our car if it's in an accident. My car insurance doesn't cover general maintenance and repairs. It doesn't cover my gas or my car payment. It only covers my car if it is damaged.

I have home insurance and it is for the times if my house should suffer great damage from nature or man made. It covers me if I am flooded, or my house catches on fire. It doesn't cover my lawn maintenance, or my ac guy to come out twice a year to check the system. It doesn't cover the washer that breaks down mid load.

I believe the only place for insurance is in catastrophic situations. Things like cancer, loss of limbs, chronic debilitating diseases or injuries. I don't believe insurance has a place in everyday medical treatments. This is what runs up the costs and stops doctors from really treating us. They are too worried that the insurance companies won't reimburse them. I've heard such statements directly from doctors. It's very sad.

Until this mindset changes, we will always have this struggle and doctors will work for the insurance companies, not for us, because they are backed into a corner.

haoleboy 2014-03-04 22:36:43 -0600 Report

we (the US government) spend trillions of dollars waging wars on behalf of people that hate us (only one example). wouldn't that money be better spent ensuring our citizens are healthy. for me the choice is easy … how it isn't for every citizen of this once great country is a mystery to me.

- Steve

Blkbear234 2014-03-04 22:06:22 -0600 Report

Interesting from my, Canadian perspective. I have some specific ideas that are part of my prsonal philosophy that capuld be easily misconstrued. I am amazed that people at desks can make a denial of service/payment that will lead to a person's death or bankrupt a family's life savings. It is a job/decision that rubs my morality the wrong way. Don't get me wrong. A doctor or specialist who has studied and laboured for tears deserves to be well paid for all of their knowledge, work and study. Hospitals and research needs to be funded. How this can be accomplished is where we most likely disagree. Exactly what is the best motivation is probably another intense debate.
Basically, I agree with the statement - "health care is a moral enterprise not a business enterprise." That should get the inet wires burning with debate!!

Nick1962 2014-03-04 16:11:20 -0600 Report

There are pros and cons to that, and simply by looking at both the US and UK, some are pretty apparent. Like Lou said, you do pay for your healthcare one way or another in the UK, typically through taxes. The pros of that, as you see, are that everyone gets some coverage. Provided those funds are being distributed honestly, it’s a pretty good system, especially for those with a chronic condition. The cons are, since someone else is in essence spending YOUR money, you have very little say in the care or medications you get, or in some cases whether you get it at all. I know the back surgery I had would have been determined largely on how many years I had left to be able to contribute to society, and less on my individual quality of life. There’s also no incentive for me to try to control my diabetes under your plan, which for those like myself who can, is really an abuse of the system. With my plan, yes I still have to pay, but I pay less the better I manage the things I can like my weight, blood pressure and health in general. You don’t get a tax break for keeping yourself healthy.

Blkbear234 2014-03-06 19:09:25 -0600 Report

Tax break!!!!? Is that all it comes down to?? Incentive is that you live longer and healthier. If you don't you are committing slow suicide. Maintaining health with type 2 is not easy. I admit to falling if the control wagon every ince in a while. I'm a sugar addict, plsin and simple. No 12 step for that. As for health care, there are plus and negatives to both, crooks abound everywhere. Hopefully there are more honest and sincere people than crooks (thats my crazy belief in the inherent goodness in all people). I keep hoping that someone can combine the best and most efficent of the different systems into one well run compassionate and caring system.

Nick1962 2014-03-07 09:20:38 -0600 Report

Unfortunately, there are some I know with the “I have to pay for it, might as well get my money’s worth” mentality. The health care industry calls them “non-compliant”. They’re the ones who could but won’t, and often money is more incentive to them than health. My boss – a raging T2 was one of them.

I agree that improved health and longer life is (or should be) the major incentive; however for a long time I didn’t have the intelligence, education, or tools to make the major changes I have. I thought, and was pretty much resigned to believing my health was what it was and I just needed to learn to live with it. In my case, my diagnosis was the catalyst to get educated and make the changes needed. I have to admit that money has been a huge motivator for me in addition to better health. The nearly $3000/year I’m saving on the meds I no longer need to take, the doctor’s visits, labs, and sick days no longer needed goes to much more pleasurable things. And of course I’m in better condition to enjoy them.

It’s been an incentive that’s worked for me, and I think in large part would for many people. Socialized health care might be the only “moral enterprise” solution to getting everyone cared for, but I think incentivizing (as opposed to penalizing) folks to stop abusing the system would ultimately control costs long-term, and bring the system (at least here in the US) back into what it was intended for, and free up the resources for more care and compassion.

Type1Lou 2014-03-04 12:26:06 -0600 Report

Rather than agree that your health care is "free", I would say that most people in the UK have equal access to healthcare. (Except that can't richer folk with the means to pay to get faster and better care????) The high taxes imposed in the UK pay for your healthcare; it is not "free". In the US we are struggling to provide greater and better access to healthcare but we are definitely not there yet. For a relatively wealthy country, our track record in this area is shameful. I hope we soon find a solution. I am lucky enough to have insurance and haven't had to skip on my meds or testing supplies, even though I have a hefty out-of-pocket expense.

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