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 Post subject: [Informer Article] Healthcare At a Glance
PostPosted: September 30th, 2011, 5:30 pm 
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This guest article comes from Trekkie on the forums. We hope you enjoy his contribution. You can find out how to write your own guest article here.

On March 23, 2010, the United States Congress passed a law that will affect every American citizen for the rest of his or her life. The bill was known as the Affordable Care Act, more commonly known as Health Care Reform. This was President Obama's vision of creating a new universal healthcare system for the United States and it is already having an impact on people everywhere, from those who were just born, to the very old. But, what is in the Affordable Care Act and how does this new law affect you?

Before making sense of our health care system, we must look at other health care systems around the world. According to the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), an international organization to promote economic and social well-being of people around the world, there are three main models of universal healthcare.

Bismarck Model

Created by Chancellor Otto von Bismarck of Germany, this system relies on having a mix of private and public hospitals to treat their citizens. A percentage of everybody's payroll goes to their insurance company of their choosing. However, these are nonprofit companies regulated by the government. If a family has a much higher income, they may switch to a for-profit company, which are often lower than their public option. But, if can be very hard to switch back if problems arise. To control cost, state representatives get together with doctors to set a plan to allocate resources that the state will pay for medical expenses. But, many times they will agree to increase out-of-pocket expenses than change the way medical care is provided. Countries that use this model include France, Germany, and Japan.

Beveridge Model

Created after World War 2 by Sir William Beveridge in Britain, citizens pay an income tax for health coverage, which provides coverage for all citizens. Cost for medical services are low compared to many other countries, by focusing on preventative care and patient's involvement with their Primary Care Physicians. Almost all hospitals and clinic are owned by the government which also controls what the doctors do. However, because it is so regulated by the government, doctors are well protected from malpractice lawsuits, and choices for available treatment are often limited. Any new treatment often takes longer to implement in these countries than many others.

Countries that use this model include the United Kingdom, Sweden, Spain, and Italy.

Entrepreneurial Model

The only country that uses this model is the United States. Insurance companies are privately owned, where citizens pay for their own insurance and level of coverage. It creates a very competitive market that forces companies to try and keep cost low to gain new customers. This model does allow for easier access to innovative ideas to cut costs and save lives. However, these companies are not controlled by the government and are profit driven. They can deny coverage to anybody that does not fit their criteria. There is no universal coverage and low or middle class citizens often pay more out-of-pocket than those with insurance and higher incomes. According to the OECD, the 16% of the U.S Gross Domestic Product (GDP) are for health expenditure compared to the OECD's average of just under 10%. President Obama's hope is to reduce our health expenditures, while provide coverage for every citizen in the country.

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Cost of Affordable Care Act

There are over 300 million people living in the United States, and it is estimated that over the next 10 years, the U.S will pay over 1 trillion (yes 1,000,000,000,000) dollars to finance this law. This will be a joint payment system, where income tax and business companies will fund the law. The major funding for this is from the money that would have gone into Medicare. Businesses who are already paying for Medicare taxes, will be expected to pay more. Medicare is being restructured to pay for the Act, while protecting the senior population in the States. The second major source of income is from extra tax revenue from families who make over $200,000. It may also be prudent to comment that only American citizens are allowed to take part of the reform. Illegal immigrates will not be covered and cannot receive support from the health care bill.

Impact on Young Adults

On September 2010, all children can benefit from their parent's insurance plan until they reach 26 years old or they have their own. Insurance companies cannot deny minors because of a pre-existing condition, and under the law, minors have free access to all preventative health screenings such as blood pressure, cancer screenings, flu shots, etc. By 2014, employers must provide all of the employees with health coverage, but those who may be struggling to afford coverage for their employees can request help from the government. Starting in 2015 insurance companies cannot deny anybody coverage regardless of age or health conditions. When many of you reading this are joining the workforce, you must have your own health insurance or you will be forced to pay a fine. If you become unemployed, or having trouble paying for insurance, starting 2014, you or your family may apply for Medicaid. Under Medicaid, the program will cover all or most expenses.

The idea behind the Affordable Care Act is to providing more preventative care for citizens so they have early detection. If they detect a problem, the person may have to pay $7,000 for cancer treatment and is covered by insurance. Rather than paying $25,000 out of pocket because, they are at the final stages because they had no insurance to seek treatment early on.

This is a very small amount of information about the Affordable care Act and more information is available on their website at http://www.healthcare.gov/index.html

This article was originally posted as an Informer Guest Articles article.

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PostPosted: September 30th, 2011, 5:30 pm 
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 Post subject: Re: [Informer Article] Healthcare At a Glance
PostPosted: September 30th, 2011, 6:36 pm 
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It's plainly and simply a bad law. We can't afford it with this many people. People just need to take care of themselves, not depend on the government to do it for them. I could say/rant more, but that's my thoughts in a nutshell.

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 Post subject: Re: [Informer Article] Healthcare At a Glance
PostPosted: October 1st, 2011, 10:08 am 
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Dukes pretty much got it right. People have to look out for themselves and their family, its not the governments job.

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 Post subject: Re: [Informer Article] Healthcare At a Glance
PostPosted: October 1st, 2011, 10:46 am 
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I agree, I can afford it, why can't you? Not working hard enough I bet hahaha.


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 Post subject: Re: [Informer Article] Healthcare At a Glance
PostPosted: October 1st, 2011, 10:58 am 
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I think they should just judge you on your worth when you're born. If you're born into a poor family they should just drown you out right cause you're too much of a burden on those of us that worked hard to be born into a wealthy family.

I don't think education should be free for everyone either. I think you should pay for your own and if you can't afford it you have to repair shoes for the rest of your life instead. Or be drowned.

Also police should ignore the poor. There the ones causing all the crime anyway i bet. Drown them i say.

People need to start taking care of themselves. If you've got the nerve to be born into a ******* life or have a bad hand then the very least you can do is drown yourself and stop being such a burden on the wealthy. It's not right i say.

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 Post subject: Re: [Informer Article] Healthcare At a Glance
PostPosted: October 1st, 2011, 1:04 pm 
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To those that say it's not the governments job do you see anything wrong with the fact that the US is the only country in the G8 that doesn't have universal healthcare? It's not a socialist program, it's a program that many countries have that are not socialist. Put yourself in the shoes of someone who lives in a poor family who has both parents lose their job, would you be fine with just sitting by without healthcare (pretend you don't know your current self)? Honestly, would you?

Before anyone says that it's too expensive look at what else the government has funded in the past, such as the Wall street bail out. Money going to corporations is ok but to people in general isn't? I hope those of you that are against the health care reform package were against the bail out. I hope you feel the same regarding other types of spending towards people too like medicare and medicaid.

I'm the most conservative person I know (in Canada) and even I don't think that a standalone private healthcare system is ideal. The US needs to face facts, they pay more than other countries yet can't deliver the care needed for that money spent. That's worse than redirecting the money to provide care for those that need it. We have a situation here in Alberta where our healthcare system isn't as efficient as it could be yet it's better than what the US has. The reforms that could happen here range from allowing private insurance for elective operations such as hip replacement to modifying the way doctors get paid so that they get paid based on what they do for a patient rather than how many they see. Another more extensive option is to allow the public money to go directly to the people and then they choose which private clinic/doctor/hospital they go to, this encourages competition and better care. That's the limit of private care that I support and as I said I'm one of the most conservative people I know.

The bill is bad in that it costs so much and doesn't provide universal health care. That's the reason I feel it's bad, not because of the reasons most republicans will say. I was hoping for more on that front but with the nature of the US government this is what the result was. As I said the US is the only country without universal healthcare, before you say it's a problem with the other countries maybe it's you guys that are doing healthcare wrong. Maybe that's part of the problem with the US these days? Maybe that's part of the reason the US is on it's path to no longer being a super power, if you can't take care of your people how will you be able to manage your businesses and manufacturing?

Side note: I'm not referring to healthcare in general but the attitude that's present amongst most Americans and the government.

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 Post subject: Re: [Informer Article] Healthcare At a Glance
PostPosted: October 1st, 2011, 2:40 pm 
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CreepyPirate wrote:
I think they should just judge you on your worth when you're born. If you're born into a poor family they should just drown you out right cause you're too much of a burden on those of us that worked hard to be born into a wealthy family.

I don't think education should be free for everyone either. I think you should pay for your own and if you can't afford it you have to repair shoes for the rest of your life instead. Or be drowned.

Also police should ignore the poor. There the ones causing all the crime anyway i bet. Drown them i say.

People need to start taking care of themselves. If you've got the nerve to be born into a ******* life or have a bad hand then the very least you can do is drown yourself and stop being such a burden on the wealthy. It's not right i say.

Heh. I wouldn't go that far, but that's near the ballpark of the realm of possibilities. Rather harsh though. Who could determine a babies worth or potential before they reach it?

Shane wrote:
To those that say it's not the governments job do you see anything wrong with the fact that the US is the only country in the G8 that doesn't have universal healthcare? It's not a socialist program, it's a program that many countries have that are not socialist. Put yourself in the shoes of someone who lives in a poor family who has both parents lose their job, would you be fine with just sitting by without healthcare (pretend you don't know your current self)? Honestly, would you?

Before anyone says that it's too expensive look at what else the government has funded in the past, such as the Wall street bail out. Money going to corporations is ok but to people in general isn't? I hope those of you that are against the health care reform package were against the bail out. I hope you feel the same regarding other types of spending towards people too like medicare and medicaid.

I'm the most conservative person I know (in Canada) and even I don't think that a standalone private healthcare system is ideal. The US needs to face facts, they pay more than other countries yet can't deliver the care needed for that money spent. That's worse than redirecting the money to provide care for those that need it. We have a situation here in Alberta where our healthcare system isn't as efficient as it could be yet it's better than what the US has. The reforms that could happen here range from allowing private insurance for elective operations such as hip replacement to modifying the way doctors get paid so that they get paid based on what they do for a patient rather than how many they see. Another more extensive option is to allow the public money to go directly to the people and then they choose which private clinic/doctor/hospital they go to, this encourages competition and better care. That's the limit of private care that I support and as I said I'm one of the most conservative people I know.

The bill is bad in that it costs so much and doesn't provide universal health care. That's the reason I feel it's bad, not because of the reasons most republicans will say. I was hoping for more on that front but with the nature of the US government this is what the result was. As I said the US is the only country without universal healthcare, before you say it's a problem with the other countries maybe it's you guys that are doing healthcare wrong. Maybe that's part of the problem with the US these days? Maybe that's part of the reason the US is on it's path to no longer being a super power, if you can't take care of your people how will you be able to manage your businesses and manufacturing?

Side note: I'm not referring to healthcare in general but the attitude that's present amongst most Americans and the government.

No, there is nothing wrong with the fact we are the only G8 country not to do it. It is a socialist program. Those countries are "socialist." You are essentially using tax money to pay for a public program. Is not socialism about taking resources from other people and giving it to others that don't necessarily have it? Yes, I would be much more proud and happier if I didn't have healthcare that was supported by other people forcibly. Why do I want other people to be forced to do something for me at their expense? Seems pretty **** selfish. But if those people willingly supported me and gave me care, that would be fine and acceptable.

I am completely against the government using tax payer dollars inefficiently and ineffectively. The bailout was a bad idea in my opinion, even if the economy would have failed. We are just prolonging what is already coming. It's just a matter of when you want it to happen and how bad you want it to be. On the flip side, many of those companies have supposedly paid back the money. It's fine to lend people money if they will pay it back. But to bail out something that isn't going to come back is a failure of wisdom and judgement.

No one is saying the system we have is ideal. It's far from it. I agree there needs to be reform, but the type of reform and the way it is done and through what body of power is an entirely different matter. This reform needs to be done carefully and with insight and wisdom. The people we have now aren't capable of figuring out a good way to do that. As such, it is probably better to not pass a healthcare law until it can be better arrived at.

Universal healthcare is not a right. When Locke said that all men deserve the chance to pursue "life, liberty, and property," it didn't mean that the government was supposed to help you with that. You have a right to live, to be free, and to own property. The government only protects (or should protect) those rights, not help achieve them for you. That's what this country was founded on and that's how it should be. The government protects your rights, but does not take other people's money and use it to your singular benefit. We ought to treat all equally despite our advantages and disadvantages. What does it say about a country like France, England, or any others in the G8 that they support their people because they can't support themselves? Seems like a personal problem, not a governmental one.

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 Post subject: Re: [Informer Article] Healthcare At a Glance
PostPosted: October 1st, 2011, 4:37 pm 
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Several years ago my employer stopped offering healthcare benefits. Even when they had it, I never signed up because the cost was nearly half of my paycheck which would have put us under quick. I've been searching for years for a job that offer's health care, or a high enough pay rate that we could afford our own plan, but there's just nothing out there.

So, both I and my wife currently have no healthcare coverage. We both have medical conditions that need to be dealt with in a doctor’s office on a regular basis. What it basically comes down to is that we end up in an emergency room for things that could have been prevented with doctor visits (has happened to the both of us). It can be quite stressful and depressing walking around wondering when your body is going to fail you next.

I am a Christian and a Conservative on most issues, however I do believe that healthcare is one issue that is so far out of control, that government has to step up and do something. It's not the peoples fault the costs are so out of control that a plan is unaffordable. We should give a helping hand to those who haven’t been as fortunate in life. I'm not talking about free healthcare, just make it a little more affordable for people who are barely hanging on so they could afford at least a basic plan.

I believe that before we send one more dollar overseas to help prop up countries like Pakistan, we should be taking care of our own citizens first. There's no reason why our own people should walk around hungry, sick, or homeless in a country as wealthy as ours. I'm not talking about "robbing the rich" to give it to the poor. Like the old saying goes, "were not asking for a handout, just a hand".

One thing that needs done is to get control of the costs for things that are only making the insurance companies rich, (10 dollars for an aspirin during a hospital say is just stupid). Also, clean up the fraudulent insurance claims, and cut the ties the big drug companies have with Washington.

As for the Obama plan, I'll give him credit for actually doing something about the issue, but, I believe it was rushed through too quickly just to get something passed, resulting in something that is going to do more harm than good.

Instead, I think they should have put together a national panel of tens of thousands of people from all across the country to analyze the current system and come up with solutions. They could have had people from all walks of life contribute ideas. Everyone from doctors and nurses, to your average single mom, all would participate. They could have taken a look at other countries health care systems, see what part's work and what parts don't, and put together something much more efficient.


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 Post subject: Re: [Informer Article] Healthcare At a Glance
PostPosted: October 1st, 2011, 8:29 pm 
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I thought it was "Christian value" to help less fortunate people and stuff like that, not to watch laughing at people struggling to get out of a hole that they cannot get out of that they were put into. And then be like "here like me help you" and thrown some dirt in and being like "loloops". I don't know much though, then again I wouldn't be surprised if there was a widespread following interpreting the bible like that.
I only wonder since you said you were Christian as if that inherently meant you are against healthcare (wondering if there was something like "Thou shall not be healthy if not wealthy"). Also because America tryhards to be a "Christian nation" where the only "CHRISTIAN VALUEZ" I see many trying to emulate is homophobia and stupid stuff like that.

Anyways there are so many people that need and deserve help and then when you look at people lighting bills in their fireplaces while laughing about the size of the inheritance they will be able to give when they've hardly worked harder than anyone else has in their lives that I can hardly care about "stealing from the rich".

Though I don't understand how you can be so fortunate to be where you are to not even care one bit about the people around you. Especially so fortunate and yet you feel no desire to do anything to deserve to live in your community.


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 Post subject: Re: [Informer Article] Healthcare At a Glance
PostPosted: October 2nd, 2011, 1:50 am 
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Warren wrote:
I only wonder since you said you were Christian as if that inherently meant you are against healthcare


Yes I am a true "Christian" and very proud of it. I won't harp on my "Christian Values", as I learned long ago you cannot force your values on others, you can only try to do what you believe is the right thing and set a good example.

That's where I and many other Christian's differ with the standard Conservative stance. I believe we should be taking care of the less fortunate, the sick, the hungry, the homeless. I'm not talking about giving them a free ride, just a helping hand when they are down.


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 Post subject: Re: [Informer Article] Healthcare At a Glance
PostPosted: October 2nd, 2011, 9:07 am 
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No, I didn't. I said you said you were Christian as if it inherently meant you were against healthcare.
Quote:
I am a Christian and a Conservative on most issues, however I do believe that healthcare is one issue that is so far out of control, that government has to step up and do something.

If being Christian (and conservative) was irrelevant to being not in favour of health care, then you wouldn't have bothered saying that you were and then following with an "in spite of that".

As I was wondering if there was something in the Christian religion that would automatically pin literal/strict followers against healthcare.


And I don't think not having to pay money you'll never have for issues that are of no fault of your own is a "free ride". Even then, I have no qualms with reducing someone elses free ride to put someone in a position they deserve more to be in.


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 Post subject: Re: [Informer Article] Healthcare At a Glance
PostPosted: October 2nd, 2011, 2:02 pm 
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The simple reason that I mentioned that I am a Christian and Conservative was that you cannot lump all Conservatives into one bunch and assume they all take a hard line stance on the healthcare issue. Most Christians I know are conservatives, but also have a softer approach to certain social issues, and believe that we should be caring for the less fortunate among us. Now lets please get back on the topic of healthcare.

I mentioned before that I do not have any health care coverage. I would love to pay for a plan if there was anything affordable out there, but then again, when you are hovering around the poverty level, just trying to keep your gas tank filled can be challenging. When you have a condition such as mine, it feels like your constantly living on the edge. The very fact that people like me are living everyday without being able to visit a doctor is making matters worse, because when we hit the emergency room and end up in the hospital, we obviously can't afford to pay the tens of thousands of dollars for that stay, so the hospital has to do a "charity write-off" for the debt, which drives up costs further, snowballing everything. I don't like it, but what can I do?

I'm just grasping for answers, but, Perhaps the answer lies in a low cost healthcare plan for preventative maintenance only, so that at the very least, the people who have nothing at all can perhaps catch a problem before it sends them to the emergency room.

When I was younger, I had an excellent health care package at my job, which included dental and eye care. I never ever used it, thinking that I would never get sick or have problems, which for the most part was true for most of my stint at that job. If you currently do have a good plan at your job, take advantage of it while you can, because you never know when they will drop the plan or if you will lose the job and be stuck with nothing.


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 Post subject: Re: [Informer Article] Healthcare At a Glance
PostPosted: October 2nd, 2011, 2:19 pm 
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Like it or not, you still can't deny the fact they passed it way to quick, and it has way to many flaws. If they don't repeal it completely it should at least be re-structured. I mean come on they passed it so quick most of the congress didn't even read the bill. Why are they passing something into law they didn't read.

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 Post subject: Re: [Informer Article] Healthcare At a Glance
PostPosted: October 2nd, 2011, 10:08 pm 
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As I recall, the republicans were trying to do the "blank piece of paper" which in politics mean, lets drag this for a few more months until we get control of the house.

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 Post subject: Re: [Informer Article] Healthcare At a Glance
PostPosted: October 3rd, 2011, 8:54 pm 
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trekkie wrote:
As I recall, the republicans were trying to do the "blank piece of paper" which in politics mean, lets drag this for a few more months until we get control of the house.

Yes, which would have been better than the Democrats shoving it in at the last minute, rushed and unthoughtout.

To the issue of Christianity and helping others, it is true that Christians should be people for others. But there is a difference between being forced to help others and helping others willingly. To put it in simple terms, if you had $1000 and you were to give it to the poor, would you rather give it straight to the person who needs it, give it to a shelter or mission that works with the poor, or to the government to dole out? I take it most people don't trust the poor and think they'd just use the money for drugs, so the first option is out of the question. The choice falls to the government or private charity. The question then becomes would you rather choose who gets your money or would you trust the government to spend it from your taxes? Given our governments history, I think most people would rather choose a private charity.

What does this have to do with anything? First, people should have the choice how and where to spend their money and in what way. The government should only take those taxes necessary to keeping the government running and doing what it needs to do. Anything beyond that (like Social Security, Welfare, Medicare, Healthcare, Public Education, etc.) is an overreach of government's power and duties to its citizens. In a way, the government should only be a referee, not your mother. A referee makes sure things stay in order and nothing gets too chaotic, but a mother looks to your every needs. The government is not our mother. Why should it act like one? Wouldn't people be better off keeping their tax money and paying for their own services or investing it how they see fit, not how the government thinks it should be spent?

Secondly, forcing people to pay for a system like healthcare is not Christian. Christians willingly give of their own money and time to support the less fortunate. The fundamental flaw with our system resides not in our government, but within society itself. If society had no problem giving money to the poor or paying for the medicare of those who couldn't afford it, then why would the government need to intervene at all.

Thirdly, healthcare is a violation of the constitution. No where does it say that the government can use taxes to pay for healthcare. If you look at the founders' original intention and context, I don't think they would have believed so many people would be reliant on the government for support. There should be no need to support your people. Ensure and protect their rights, but don't act like mommy or daddy to make things ok when they aren't. Providing healthcare does nothing to solve the underlying problems of health in this country, only fix what is sick and diseased. If you really want to see change (and permanent change at that), then it needs to come from the hearts and minds of the people, not through government enforced action which in all honesty is illegal, unnecessary, and tyrannical.

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RSBANDBInformer! Gaming Writer: 08/31/2011-09/30/15
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