Author Topic: Americans begging for money to pay for basic healthcare  (Read 4762 times)

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Offline sonofasailor

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Re: Americans begging for money to pay for basic healthcare
« Reply #15 on: March 02, 2017, 08:51:03 AM »
We don't get a choice in how much we contribute to the NHS - we pay taxes (income tax, sales tax, fuel duty etc.), then the government decides how much funding it gets and uses money from our taxes to pay for it.

Well we elect the government. If we wanted to, we could elect a government pledged to increase spending on the NHS.

When we elect a party pledging to hold down taxes to the detriment of services, we are, as a nation, complicit. 
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Offline sonofasailor

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Re: Americans begging for money to pay for basic healthcare
« Reply #16 on: March 02, 2017, 08:57:39 AM »
people's attitude about the benefits system and people who claim benefits that reveals their opinions on the value of poor people.

Absolutely. There is a lot of talk about class jealousy and class war. What is this that we are doing but violence to the sick and poor by proxy? Is it more morally corrupt to inflict injury on a person directly, or to let the government cut off resources keeping people alive?

And we vote for them.
Build your opponent a golden bridge to retreat across - Sun Tzu

Offline jimbocz

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Re: Americans begging for money to pay for basic healthcare
« Reply #17 on: March 02, 2017, 10:40:57 AM »
The real villains are the insurance companies. They take people's money and then do everything in their considerable power to avoid paying it back. But Americans would rather make insurance executives rich than allow a cent of their tax money to go towards helping poor people. It's a combination of the irrational fear of socialism and the deeply ingrained belief that people are poor due to their own moral failings. After all, America is the land of opportunity! If you're not rich and successful it's because you're not trying hard enough!

The UK has the same belief about the poor, which is why the NHS is underfunded. The US may have state of the art healthcare, but it's funded off the backs of the people who can least afford it and whose insurance won't allow them to take advantage of it. A universal healthcare system that is well-funded by people who believe in the principles of social safety nets strongly enough to be willing to pay to support them is the best healthcare system. But that mythical beast will never exist unless we all let go of the idea that we shouldn't have to give our "hard-earned money" to help people who we perceive to be less hardworking, less worthy, less something than we are.

I agree completely about almost all of this but I think you've got one crucial bit wrong.  Americans do indeed believe that if you are not rich, it is solely because you are lazy and not really trying. 

I think that British people do not believe the same thing, they believe that people who are not rich weren't born to be rich.  There is a class of rich people, they and their children will always be rich, and the rest of us who are poor.  The poor will remain poor because that's who they are.  Prepaid energy meters should be vastly more expensive because they are used by the poor.  Large portions of the population should pay ground rent to the Earl of such-and-such because they are the Earl and how else would they get their money? 


Offline jimbocz

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Re: Americans begging for money to pay for basic healthcare
« Reply #18 on: March 02, 2017, 10:43:33 AM »
Anyway, thanks to all you guys, especially Son of Sailor for responding to my rant with some common sense .  Sometimes it's easy to forget what's actually right when you are surrounded with so much wrong.

Offline Dani1983

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Re: Americans begging for money to pay for basic healthcare
« Reply #19 on: March 04, 2017, 08:24:33 AM »
I frequent another forum that has a lot of Americans and today there was a post from a guy who has advanced throat cancer.  Apparently, he thought he had insurance until the bills started rolling in and it's not enough. His work set up a go fund me page, I guess as an alternative to providing proper insurance.  He was trying to act like he was just posting some news but it was obvious he was scrambling to raise money so he can live.

WTF!  What is wrong with America?  This poor guy was scrabbling around to raise 10k so he can have cancer treatment and not even mentioning his two small kids .   He was already talking about himself in the past tense. 

I can't see how Americans can put up with it.

Hi all, just thought I'd chime in as I'm an American personally experiencing a similar scenario. My son is battling cancer, he was diagnosed at age 3 and is now 6 and still undergoing treatment here in the US. We are now near the end of his treatment and $40k in debt, that's with 80% being covered by our health insurance, a lot of the remainder early on being covered by a private foundation and my husband making good money. We had a gofundme that raised $6k that in the early days of missed work, gone within weeks. With that, we're on our way back to the UK  :)



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Offline larrabee

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Re: Americans begging for money to pay for basic healthcare
« Reply #20 on: March 04, 2017, 10:07:23 AM »
Hi all, just thought I'd chime in as I'm an American personally experiencing a similar scenario. My son is battling cancer, he was diagnosed at age 3 and is now 6 and still undergoing treatment here in the US. We are now near the end of his treatment and $40k in debt, that's with 80% being covered by our health insurance, a lot of the remainder early on being covered by a private foundation and my husband making good money. We had a gofundme that raised $6k that in the early days of missed work, gone within weeks. With that, we're on our way back to the UK  :)

The patient portion is one of the worst things about the insurance in the US, that and their joy in declining anything they possibly can. With the cost of care being so high, the patient portion can be crippling.
Have you tried negotiating with the providers? You can sometimes talk them down or get onto a payment plan or even get out of a bill, particularly if you had a good relationship with the doctor.

I'm glad your little boy is recovering.  :)
March 29th 2013-Moved to UK, husband on spouse visa.Oct 20th 2015-Applied by mail for FLR(M).Feb 1st 2016 FLR(M).

Offline Michali

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Re: Americans begging for money to pay for basic healthcare
« Reply #21 on: March 04, 2017, 02:54:46 PM »
I do hope your little boy is better soon.
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Offline durhamlad

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Re: Americans begging for money to pay for basic healthcare
« Reply #22 on: March 04, 2017, 05:12:07 PM »
I do hope your little boy is better soon.

+1

That is an incredible ordeal you are going through.
Adventure before dementia

Offline Sirius

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Re: Americans begging for money to pay for basic healthcare
« Reply #23 on: March 04, 2017, 06:11:27 PM »
Yes, but the NHS desperately needs more money and where will that come from?

The NHS is based on people paying all their working taxes to the UK, "from cradle to grave".

Plus we now have something like 5 million more people in the UK than we did a decade ago, but have less people working and paying taxes to the UK than we did a decade ago.

And an annual welfare bill that in about 2007/8, for the first time ever, became more than the government receives from income tax.

Considering all that, I think the NHS is still doing a good job.

However, a decade ago Labour tried to introduce a £35 payment for each visit to the GP and this should have been followed through. Most (all?) countries healthcare systems make a charge for a GP visit to inject cash into their healthcare system, by thoise who use it the most.
« Last Edit: March 04, 2017, 06:31:54 PM by Sirius »

Offline lyonaria

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Re: Americans begging for money to pay for basic healthcare
« Reply #24 on: March 04, 2017, 06:27:18 PM »
Considering all that, I think the NHS is still doing a good job. However Labour trying to introduce a £35 payment for each visit to the GP, should have been followed through. Most (all?) countries healthcare systems make a charge for a GP visit.

The only nice thing about that would be there would be less of a wait to actually see a GP. Fewer people would go for little things.
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Offline Sirius

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Re: Americans begging for money to pay for basic healthcare
« Reply #25 on: March 04, 2017, 06:39:24 PM »
The only nice thing about that would be there would be less of a wait to actually see a GP. Fewer people would go for little things.

I think that is the idea behind the fee to see a GP. GPs are saying that too many people are wasting their time.

The same with A&E, which is meant to be for life-threatening emergencies but Fred turns up there because he stubbed his toe. ::)

Visting an A&E department

An A&E department (also known as emergency department or casualty) deals with genuine life-threatening emergencies, such as:

    loss of consciousness
    acute confused state and fits that are not stopping
    persistent, severe chest pain
    breathing difficulties
    severe bleeding that cannot be stopped
    severe allergic reactions
    severe burns or scalds

Less severe injuries can be treated in urgent care centres or minor injuries units (MIUs). An A&E is not an alternative to a GP appointment. If your GP practice is closed you can call NHS 111, which will direct you to the best local service to treat your injury. Alternatively, you can visit an NHS walk-in centre (WIC), which will also treat minor illnesses without an appointment.

http://www.nhs.uk/NHSEngland/AboutNHSservices/Emergencyandurgentcareservices/Pages/AE.aspx
« Last Edit: March 04, 2017, 06:43:11 PM by Sirius »

Offline Sirius

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Re: Americans begging for money to pay for basic healthcare
« Reply #26 on: March 04, 2017, 07:19:40 PM »

It makes me so sad that people have to worry about these things. My first reaction to the campaigns is always: what on earth does the US have against universal healthcare?

I can't understand that either.

I was talking to a US nurse in the waiting room at the vets and she said that the US has one of the best healthcare services in the world - if you can afford it.

On another forum a US citizen was desperately looking at ways to get a visa to the UK to use the NHS because she said that if she stayed in the US then she would die.

Is is just the insurance companies that are making healthcare so expensive in the US? Who is blocking the US from having a national health service?
« Last Edit: March 04, 2017, 07:23:28 PM by Sirius »

Offline vadio

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Re: Americans begging for money to pay for basic healthcare
« Reply #27 on: March 04, 2017, 09:11:44 PM »
What does the US have against universal health care? An EXTREMELY powerful lobby....insurance companies, big pharma.....need I say more?

Sad to say, in the US you can get ill and become bankrupt, with no safety net. Jimmy Carter wanted universal health care, and got opposition from within his own party. He could have pushed in through then - now? Not a chance in hell.

The NHS is not without problems, but it's a wonderful thing. I am thankful to live here and have access. Before we left the US, our insurance premiums were >$12k per year - and I was a 'well person' with a very high deductible. Hubs worked until he was 70 for company paid insurance, as he was essentially uninsurable prior to the ACA. Our co-pays were huge as well.

I could go on and on, but time to get off the soapbox.
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Offline Dani1983

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Re: Americans begging for money to pay for basic healthcare
« Reply #28 on: March 04, 2017, 09:30:22 PM »
The patient portion is one of the worst things about the insurance in the US, that and their joy in declining anything they possibly can. With the cost of care being so high, the patient portion can be crippling.
Have you tried negotiating with the providers? You can sometimes talk them down or get onto a payment plan or even get out of a bill, particularly if you had a good relationship with the doctor.

I'm glad your little boy is recovering.  :)

The entire billing system is just terrible. Beyond what they decide not to pay for, there's the yearly deductible per family member, the various testing he needs (some of these lab tests are insanely expensive and often denied), and a few costly meds. In my attempt to keep up with it, I paid it on credit cards, so now it's credit debt unfortunately. We'll be able to pay it when we sell our house in prep for the move over anyway, but it's painful!

Thanks so much for all the well wishes, he's doing quite well and almost done with chemo for good (May)!
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Offline margo

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Re: Americans begging for money to pay for basic healthcare
« Reply #29 on: March 04, 2017, 09:56:36 PM »
I definitely think the US is way behind the game with no universal healthcare.  No doubt.

BUT, there are numerous campaigns in my area to send people TO the US for treatment they can't get on the NHS.

Basically both systems are flawed and I haven't a clue on how either should be fixed!

Let me add to this. As an American, you often need gofundme's for the same treatments. They're done by specialist providers, usually outside your insurance network, if they even take insurance at all. But the problem is that the UK (and potentially Europe) doesn't have any of those specialists for whatever reason.

I may end up needing a spine surgery where they lift your head and fuse your  skull & C1/C2 and there are no neurosurgeons in the UK who can do that. It's a fairly common complication with my genetic disease, and I see GoFundMe's constantly from people in the UK who need to raise £150k to fly to NYC or Baltimore for the surgery. Canadians also have to do the same, but their healthcare system will offset the cost if it's medically necessary. There was a survey that said crowdsourcing health expenses in the UK went up dramatically last year, but in the US you can't spend a day on social media without a family/friends sharing someone they know personally who is in this situation and need help. Being sick in the US is literally a death sentence at this point because it sends you directly into poverty.  We need universal healthcare!