Author Topic: Americans begging for money to pay for basic healthcare  (Read 3583 times)

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Offline sonofasailor

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Re: Americans begging for money to pay for basic healthcare
« Reply #105 on: March 22, 2017, 11:22:54 AM »
A lot of food actually costs LESS in the U.K.

I remember thinking you were barmy saying this a while back. But it is apparently true.
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Offline ksand24

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Re: Americans begging for money to pay for basic healthcare
« Reply #106 on: March 22, 2017, 12:59:35 PM »
Most people in the 20% band are likely living paycheck to paycheck and struggle to sufficiently provide all the necessities they need. A lot of people well into the 40% band struggle with more expensive necessities like housing and transportation.

You seem extremely misguided about life in the UK. Have you actually lived here yet? You make it sound like the entire country is in poverty.

You realise that 80% of the UK population is in the 20% band, right?

Are you seriously telling me that 80% of the UK population lives paycheck to paycheck and can't afford necessities? Because that is simply not true.

Pretty much everyone I know is in the 20% band and none of them are struggling to afford to live. My friends with PhDs and and good jobs are in the 20% band... they're doing fine. My friend working in retail is in the 20% band... yep, she's just fine too.

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As to food... US spending on food as a percentage of income is the lowest in the world. Actual item to item price comparison is lower in the US. So, if you believe you'd spend more on food in the US, either you'd be buying dramatically different items/quantities or you're thinking of something like manhattan prices versus somewhere in the North.

I've lived in the US and the UK. Much of the grocery store food in both New Mexico (where I lived) and Arkansas (where my relatives live) is more expensive than in the UK.

From a cost of living calculator comparing Albuquerque, NM (where I used to live) with Lincoln, UK (where I live now), the following are cheaper in Lincoln:
Loaf of bread = 51% cheaper in the UK
Rice = 50% cheaper in the UK
Eggs = 5% cheaper in the UK
Local Cheese = 48% cheaper in the UK
Beef = 24% cheaper in the UK
Apples = 20% cheaper in the UK
Bananas = 21% cheaper in the UK
Oranges = 12% cheaper in the UK
Tomatoes = 27% cheaper in the UK
Potatoes = 43% cheaper in the UK
Onion = 52% cheaper in the UK
Lettuce = 42% cheaper in the UK
Water (1.5 litre bottle) = 24% cheaper in the UK
Bottle of wine = 38% cheaper in the UK
Domestic beer = 31% cheaper in the UK
Imported beer = 55% cheaper in the UK

And the following are more expensive in Lincoln, UK:
Milk = 34% more expensive in the UK
Chicken breasts = 24% more expensive in the UK
Cigarettes = 33% more expensive in the UK

And comparing Albuquerque, NM with Bristol (where I grew up), which has a higher cost of living than Lincoln, the figures are very similar. Going further still, comparing Albuquerque with London... yep, pretty much all the groceries are cheaper in London.

Same for New York and London... in fact, all the groceries on the list except milk are cheaper in London than in New York.

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On the whole though, prices are a lot lower in the US and that's largely due to low cost free trade with the whole of the world. Food isn't the point though. It is all necessities. When there isn't enough to go around and you require contribution towards one thing, then by definition something else has to give.


See above. Prices are not lower in the US.

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And by the way, I didn't attack the UK system. I was talking chiefly about the US system. When you force people struggling to get by to pay for health insurance when they cannot afford both it and other necessities, then either they pay the penalty with even less to go around, or they have to sacrifice something else.

If you're talking about the US system, why do you keep comparing it to the NHS and talking about people in the UK not being able to afford to live because of their so-called 'high taxes' and 'high cost of groceries'?

Offline Albatross

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Re: Americans begging for money to pay for basic healthcare
« Reply #107 on: March 22, 2017, 01:21:18 PM »
If that's socialism, I'll have some more please.

 :)


Offline eatoomey

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Re: Americans begging for money to pay for basic healthcare
« Reply #108 on: March 22, 2017, 02:29:16 PM »
Most people in the 20% band are likely living paycheck to paycheck and struggle to sufficiently provide all the necessities they need. A lot of people well into the 40% band struggle with more expensive necessities like housing and transportation.


You are wrong. Coming from a twenty-percenter, living in a community of twenty-percenters, we are not living paycheck to paycheck. At the lower end of the bracket, it is more difficult, but those in the upper end of the twenty percent bracket live quite comfortably, can buy homes and save for pensions, enjoy some luxuries, etc.

You're just plain wrong.

You seem to also be forgetting the welfare system in place in the UK, which does help fill the gaps between the destitute, who you admit are already cared for (in the best case scenario, anyway) and people who are fully self sufficient: working tax credits, housing benefit, child maintenance, etc.

Where are these people you're talking about, those who aren't poor enough to receive benefit and would rather give up the menial if any tax they pay so that they could use that money for necessary food and are happy going without health care? Where are these people? Who are they?

I feel like you've created an imaginary group of people to suit your own needs in this argument. I simply don't believe they exist, and your whole argument fails to make sense if that is the case.
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Offline ksand24

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Re: Americans begging for money to pay for basic healthcare
« Reply #109 on: March 22, 2017, 02:39:15 PM »
You are wrong. Coming from a twenty-percenter, living in a community of twenty-percenters, we are not living paycheck to paycheck. At the lower end of the bracket, it is more difficult, but those in the upper end of the twenty percent bracket live quite comfortably, can buy homes and save for pensions, enjoy some luxuries, etc.

You're just plain wrong.

Exactly.

I'm  20%-er, in the middle of the bracket and I live very comfortably (though part of that is due to deploying overseas 3-5 months a year, where I get overtime and allowances, and can save most of my money).

I'm single, I own a 3-bedroom house, I own a car, I'm steadily paying off my student loan (about £8,000 left to go), I contribute to a company pension each month, I don't have to budget for food (and therefore spend more than I need to), and I can basically afford as many holidays as I want: In 2016, I took holidays to Italy, Germany, Luxembourg and the US. In 2017, I'm taking holidays to Italy, Germany, Japan, Hong Kong, Macau and Thailand... plus I have 2 weeks of leave in July and I'm still deciding which country to go to for it.

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Where are these people you're talking about, those who aren't poor enough to receive benefit and would rather give up the menial if any tax they pay so that they could use that money for necessary food and are happy going without health care? Where are these people? Who are they?

Yeah, I was born and raised in the UK and I've never met any of these people.

Offline lyonaria

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Re: Americans begging for money to pay for basic healthcare
« Reply #110 on: March 22, 2017, 08:00:20 PM »
I remember thinking you were barmy saying this a while back. But it is apparently true.

It's so true.

Everything but the soda and the imported American products I buy is cheaper here, from pistachios to frozen pizzas.
The usual. American girl meets British guy. They fall into like, then into love. Then there was the big decision. The American traveled across the pond to join the Brit. And life was never the same again.

Offline Gwen666

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Re: Americans begging for money to pay for basic healthcare
« Reply #111 on: March 22, 2017, 10:58:25 PM »
We were 20 percenters and we managed to send our kids to private school, save, and take a few nice holidays a year. Most of my friends do the same -- not all, but the overwhelming majority. I know plenty of overstretched 40 percenters, by comparison, living check to check.

One thing I've lamented since moving back is the fact that our grocery bill is proportionally a MUCH larger piece of our monthly budget in the US.


Online AV

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Re: Americans begging for money to pay for basic healthcare
« Reply #112 on: April 28, 2017, 09:48:47 PM »
Groceries, cars, internet, and car insurance are absolutely NOTHING in the UK, compared to the US. I'm very frugal with my grocery shopping, and I pay more to feed myself in one week than my wife pays for her entire family. I could get two top-of-the-line cars with all the latest bells and whistles for what I paid for my 10-year-old car (with 10-year-old prices). Cell phone bills in the UK are a laugh compared to what I pay here.

This was a shock to me, as I'd always assumed the standard of living was higher in the UK than in the US. My wife was appalled when she visited the US for our wedding. My monthly budget (rent, car insurance, food, utilities, etc.) for one person in a modest living space is roughly equal to her monthly budget for a house for an entire family.

Lest you think I dine on champagne and caviar, rest assured that I buy generic everything, shop with coupons and buy in bulk, and severely limit what I purchase. A "treat" for me is perhaps an $8 meal out. (That's one place where the UK seems more expensive--restaurant meals. Oh, and parking. Absolutely outrageous!)

Not that my wife would ever consider living in the US, but healthcare alone dictates that we have to live in the UK. Under current insurance availability, I would have to pay around $2400 a year for extremely basic health insurance (catastrophes only) with a $10K deductible. My Republican state dictates that childless adults can't get Medicaid, no matter how low income might be. I've paid Social Security and FICA and all of the other taxes all of my working life, but to US minds that doesn't matter. Just being poor, in and of itself, means I am undeserving, lazy, and probably quite stupid to boot.

I'm not saying the UK health system is perfect (seems especially overstretched with physical therapy and mental health), but at the very least my wife and stepkids aren't pushed into medically unnecessary but extremely expensive test and procedures for the sake of profit. When a doctor recommends something, it's because it's medically necessary. Take mammograms, for example. Are they really necessary every year beginning at age 40? Or is that part of a profit-driven push? How much of it is based on fear of litigation in case someone gets breast cancer later?

Maybe the NHS errs on the side of not offering enough services frequently/early enough, but taking the profit incentive away means less medical waste--which means reduced costs for everyone.
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Offline ksand24

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Re: Americans begging for money to pay for basic healthcare
« Reply #113 on: April 28, 2017, 10:14:02 PM »
Maybe the NHS errs on the side of not offering enough services frequently/early enough, but taking the profit incentive away means less medical waste--which means reduced costs for everyone.

Exactly.

When I was on holiday last week, I somehow managed to come back with a skin reaction to something - I think from something in Thailand... it started as just a itch on my wrist last Thursday morning, like an insect bite, and by the evening it was all up my arms, down my face and on my back. At first I thought it was bedbugs or something, but when I developed about another 50 'bites' along my side and down my legs in the next 2 days, even during the flight back home, I got worried it was something more serious.

So on Saturday evening after I landed at Heathrow, I visited a pharmacist and then at her suggestion, called 111 for advice. On Sunday, on their advice, I booked an Out of Hours GP appointment at the hospital. It wasn't deemed serious but I was told to go to my GP if anything changed. I was still developing more 'bites', so yesterday I went to my GP, who determined it was an eczema-type allergic reaction to something. She prescribed a tub of emollient cream, two large tubes of steroid cream and 2 packs of prescription antihistamines.

Total out of pocket cost for both appointments, the phone calls and the prescriptions = £25.80

And apparently even that was considered too much by the dispenser at Boots. This was the exchange I had with her this afternoon when I picked up the prescriptions:

Dispenser: Are you aware of how much this is going to cost?
Me: Yes, I just worked it out [about £25]
Dispenser: It's a lot of money. Do you not have an annual pre-paid certificate to make it cheaper? Or is this just a one-off prescription?
Me: It's okay. It's just a one-off. I don't really need a pre-paid certificate - this is actually more than I've ever spent on prescriptions in a year before.

Online AV

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Re: Americans begging for money to pay for basic healthcare
« Reply #114 on: April 29, 2017, 03:35:54 AM »
Yes, that annual prescription option is amazing!
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Offline x0Kiss0fDeath

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Re: Americans begging for money to pay for basic healthcare
« Reply #115 on: April 29, 2017, 03:57:00 PM »
I definitely think the US is way behind the game with no universal healthcare.  No doubt.


I get frustrated when I see arguments on Facebook about universal healthcare being so horrible etc. etc. (not from my friends but on posts made my news pages or something) and when I ask why people are so against it, the best they can reply is that America isn't communist/etc... I'm like ".....so people should literally have to choose between life in debt (for their kids to eventually pick up) or death....because you don't want to come across as Communist/socialist...?". I'm not saying either system is perfect, but I would rather deal with the flaws of free healthcare (personally) than think there are people that have to choose to die because they cannot afford the treatment or don't want to put their children in debt to pay for it. When I've said this, I've been met with people that straight up deny that people are out there being forced to choose between those options... It's scary to say the least...And when I look at the cost of just delivering a child over there, it makes me completely not even consider moving back there to have a family. Just my personal opinion.

(sorry, late to this thread).

Online AV

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Re: Americans begging for money to pay for basic healthcare
« Reply #116 on: May 02, 2017, 11:21:59 PM »
I get frustrated when I see arguments on Facebook about universal healthcare being so horrible etc. etc. (not from my friends but on posts made my news pages or something) and when I ask why people are so against it, the best they can reply is that America isn't communist/etc... I'm like ".....so people should literally have to choose between life in debt (for their kids to eventually pick up) or death....because you don't want to come across as Communist/socialist...?". I'm not saying either system is perfect, but I would rather deal with the flaws of free healthcare (personally) than think there are people that have to choose to die because they cannot afford the treatment or don't want to put their children in debt to pay for it. When I've said this, I've been met with people that straight up deny that people are out there being forced to choose between those options... It's scary to say the least...And when I look at the cost of just delivering a child over there, it makes me completely not even consider moving back there to have a family. Just my personal opinion.

(sorry, late to this thread).

I haven't lived in the UK long enough to have a sense for this, but my wife says that the UK attitude toward being poor tends to be resignation. As in, you're poor because you were born poor so you'll always be poor. Versus the American attitude of you're poor because you're stupid, slovenly, uneducated, immoral, probably an addict, etc. There's a morality judgment attached to non-poor Americans' viewing of poor Americans.

That morality judgment then affects everything to do with social welfare--poor Americans are undeserving because they're stupid/bad/ignorant, so they deserve their fate. It's one of the least attractive aspects about the US culture, in my opinion.
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Offline x0Kiss0fDeath

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Re: Americans begging for money to pay for basic healthcare
« Reply #117 on: May 03, 2017, 09:39:53 AM »
I would definitely agree with that to a degree. I think in the UK there are still stigmas in certain ways (that I've witness anyways through hearing other peoples comments toward people on benefits - for example) that those who are poor maybe aren't doing enough to help themselves or things of that nature. But I would agree that it's mainly "you're born poor, it's expected more or less that you'll stay within in the same class" where-as in the US it's the attitude of "you're born poor, but don't let that define you because if you work hard enough, you can make a name for yourself!" even if it's not necessarily true. And, as you said, if you're poor there's the idea that you've done it to yourself because you didn't try hard enough/you're a lose/etc. etc.

I think over here, the benefit is that we do want to help each other as a whole (at least from my exposure. In the US, I see far more comments of "why have socialised health care? Why make high education more affordable? etc. It's not MY fault/problem some people can't afford it. Why should I have to help them?!"

Online cjazzy93

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Re: Americans begging for money to pay for basic healthcare
« Reply #118 on: Today at 07:29:49 PM »
Gosh...was coming to read this thread to mention that gofundme in the US is like the new health insurance but it's gotten nasty by this page 8!!!