Mar 09 2010

Health Care

Published by under Health and Safety

I have been reading a lot recently about the situation of health care in the United States. Lots of people who have been losing their jobs have also been losing their health insurance, or are no longer able to afford health care. I am lucky because I have great insurance. Of course, while it includes me and my family, I pay about $7,600 a year for it. The community college district pays some too. People used to have health insurance as part of their jobs, but the expense in recent years has meant that some employers have stopped offering it.

While there are health plans for people over 65 who qualify for Medicare, or people who qualify for Medicaid, there is a large group of people who don’t have insurance, don’t qualify for Medicare or Medicaid, and can’t afford to buy it. Sometimes they can’t get insurance because of “pre-existing conditions.” (That means they have already been sick, so the insurance company doesn’t want to insure them.) I think it’s not a good idea for people to have to make a choice between seeing the doctor and getting some medicine or feeding their children.

Some people use the emergency room for little problems that aren’t really emergencies because they have nowhere else to go. Other people don’t see the doctor when their problems are small, and instead wait until they get really bad and then they have much bigger trouble. Some people skip routine tests that can find problems before they get big.

In addition to health care, some people are also very concerned with dental care, although it hasn’t been discussed as much recently.

Just as a personal note, I am doing okay. I had my surgery Friday, and now I have a port so they can take out blood and do chemotherapy without sticking me with needles in a lot of places. The only bad thing was that they changed the time of the appointment from 2:00 to 12:30 and forgot to tell me. I got there as soon as I could, and at least I was home by 3:20.

What do you think? Are you concerned about the cost of health care? Are there differences between the health care system in your native country and the health care system in this country? If so, what are they? What do you think is good or bad about the U.S. health care system? Do you think dental care should be included too? Is it included in your native country? Write a paragraph about your ideas about health and dental care. You don’t have to answer all the questions.

12 responses so far

12 Responses to “Health Care”

  1.   Saraon 09 Mar 2010 at 11:01 am

    Hi Lauri,

    I’m glad you’re doing okay.
    I think health insurance is very important. I think it’s bad that you have to pay so much money for it. Because it’s unfair for people with less money and health care shouldn’t be about the money. Everyone should have the same right to health care. In Sweden we don’t have the same system as USA. The government pays for bigger surgeries and other things. Sometimes we have to pay a small fee for a doctor appointment.
    Our dental care is free till you turn 19 and then you can choose to pay a low monthly fee or a higher fee when you go to the dentist. I think the system for health and dental care is good in my home country.


  2.   Leaon 09 Mar 2010 at 11:13 am

    Hey Lauri!

    In Germany it’s different.
    I’m not really sure how it works exactly, because my parents are doing all that stuff for me :-)
    I know that everybody has health insurance; it doesn’t matter if they’ve got a job or not. If you don’t, you get money from the government, to pay your monthly bills, apartment and so on. And you have insurance. To get money from the government, you have to attend some “Workshops”, to show that you are trying to find a job. If you miss this workshop, it can mean that you won’t get any more money, and that means you’re not insured either! We have two kinds of health insurance. The one from the government, that includes all the basics, but way more than the basic insurances here in America. And we have an insurance that’s called “private”. This insurance is for people who work for the government, like teachers or judges. Or you can pay for it by yourself. It’s kind of expensive, but you get better therapies, you don’t have to wait weeks for an appointment at the doctor and so on. In some way, I think it’s unfair, because most of the people can’t afford it. But the “basic” one is enough too! It’s just that you get some “extras” when you’re “private”. My dad has that private insurance from work, because he works for the government. And because of that, his whole family (wife+kids) have private insurance. It’s cool for me, because I have to pay nothing, although I’m not working. When I’m back in Germany, I will start to study, and as long as I study, I have my dad’s insurance.
    I hope you get what I mean, I wrote a lot and I’m not sure about all that.

  3.   xyliaon 09 Mar 2010 at 11:39 am

    I don’t have any insurance in the U.S.A. yet. I really worry about the health care. I’m supposed to apply for Medicaid, but for some reasons, I can’t do it. Now I’m thinking about applying for healthy family insurance, but my income didn’t fit the requested amount yet. I don’t know what to do now, just hoping we won’t get sick before I find the solution.
    In my country, there is a government health insurance for people. I think the price is affordable. We pay about 500RMB per-month and get a bank card, every month the insurance company will put about 100RMB into the card, we could use that money to buy medicine or see the doctor (including dental care). When we need to stay in the hospital, the insurance company will pay about 80% of the bill. But of course there will be an upper limit in there. I don’t know how much it is, but people say it will be enough for most surgery.
    Lauri, we miss you very much. Hoping we could see you soon.

  4.   DeborahLon 09 Mar 2010 at 11:40 am

    I am glad to hear that you’re doing ok.
    I belong to Kaiser. I didn’t have to pay any co-payment for years. Starting this year, $48 co-pay is what I have been paying a month. For my children, who are over 25, I only buy the really basic plan, which is 2-3 office visits a year and $2500 deductible in case of staying in the hospital. I guess I shouldn’t be complaining. Some people have to pay about $600 – $700 a month for themselves alone.

  5.   Laurion 13 Mar 2010 at 7:32 am

    I agree that it sounds like the health and dental care in your country is a good system. I think it’s important for the government to help its citizens with things that are as important as healthcare. I am very lucky to have good insurance, but everyone isn’t as lucky as I am.

  6.   Laurion 13 Mar 2010 at 7:37 am

    Oh I understand your ideas perfectly! It sounds like you have a two-tier system, but your first tier is so much better than ours. My kids can stay on my insurance until they turn 25, but then they have to go off of it even if they are full-time students. I think the new health insurance law they are talking about will raise the age to 26, but we don’t know for sure if it will pass or not, and what will be included.

  7.   Laurion 13 Mar 2010 at 7:42 am

    Thanks for your wishes, Xylia. I hope you can figure out which health insurance you can apply for soon. If you can’t get Medicaid, then Health San Francisco might be a possibility. I don’t know much about it, but I know it’s available to San Francisco Residents who don’t have other health insurance. I think you can find some information about it on the Internet too. It sounds like more health care in your country is covered by the government than here. I hope the health care problem in this country will get solved some time.

  8.   Laurion 13 Mar 2010 at 7:45 am

    I was in Kaiser a very very very long time ago (over 35 years!) but at the time I didn’t like it, so I found a doctor’s group that I liked better. I don’t know if they are the same or better now. I think they may be better. Anyway, my son “aged out” of my insurance (he is over 25 now) so I had to buy the same kind of insurance for him. It is a “catastrophic” insurance. It has a high deductible, and will be important if something happens that is very very expensive, but for regular things, it won’t really pay anything. I think maybe just one doctor visit a year.

  9.   mahaon 15 Mar 2010 at 11:11 am

    Hi Lauri,

    I’m very happy that you are doing OK. We all miss you. I Hope you recover very soon and get back to your classes.

    Thank God that I have health insurance here extended from my husband’s work, because I know that the doctors here are very expensive, more than the doctors we have in my country.

    For example to visit the doctor here you have to pay $100.00 equivalent to 550.00 Egyptian pounds and in Egypt, my country, you can go to the doctor and pay just 100.00 Egyptian pounds.

    We have different health care systems. Some of them cover everything even the dentists but not for the full amount, and others don’t. In the end it depends on the case.
    I hope that the health care system will cover everything some day.

  10.   Laurion 15 Mar 2010 at 11:19 am

    I hope you don’t mind that I fixed some of your mistakes. You are lucky to be covered through your husband’s work. It is so difficult for people without health insurance to pay for their care. I would like to see dental care covered too, but I think that will take a long time.

  11.   ibtisamon 15 Mar 2010 at 12:03 pm

    Dear Lauri,
    First thing I have to thank God and pray to help you to overcome your illness and to be recovered very soon.
    I think the situation of health care in the United States is more helpful than what is in my country, so the citizens there are not lucky about that. As I was working with the government I had health insurance. My husband’s insurance had more benefits than mine because he was working with the U.N. but also it wasn’t useful enough and we had to wait weeks to be able to have surgery or some kinds of treatment.
    Here I feel more comfortable and my physician is very kind and reminds me about the routine tests so I’m so lucky.

  12.   Laurion 15 Mar 2010 at 11:47 pm

    You know, I think having a good doctor is really important. I have been very satisfied with all my doctors. Once you get a good one, they recommend other good ones, and I have been happy with all the recommendations. I am also glad I haven’t had to wait very long for appointments, but sometimes I have to push a little to get an earlier appointment. Patients have to stay alert and be sure to ask questions. The more you know, the better you can advocate for yourself.

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