Today I’m insurance-less. My ear has been hurting however I’m still trying to pay off the bill from the last time I went in for an ear infection. My foot that had received a surgery to save me from permanent nerve damage never healed well and every now and again I cannot hide my limp, nor can I go to a doctor. I need to refill a prescription but it costs the same as my electric bill these are my anti-anxiety meds that keep me from panic attacks and the depression that can come along after such attacks. To someone like me, and I believe there are more of of than would admit it out of pride and fear of looking unpatriotic, we would welcome a public option. So I look to our sister nations, such as Europe and Canada. ‘Socialist’ systems that put people and their health first. First I am not sure Americans today even understand the term socialist, nor the fundamental differences in socialism and communism. I digress, is the US doing something terribly wrong to it’s people? We burden the shrinking middle class and poor with taxes and let the top 20% of the people live like kings. We tell ourselves it’s because they worked hard and they deserve it. Do they? How many of those people got rich by defrauding the US? Banking CEOs crooked politicians, trust fund kids like Paris Hilton, the current Johnson and Johnson generation? Did they work hard for their wealth? No, you say? They inherited every penny or they lied cheated and stole from the US public and those crooked politicians? They passed laws that allow them to cheat and steal from us. This isn’t about who actually can afford proper health care . The simple fact is no matter how poor you are or how horrible of a person you are EVERYONE deserves access to health care. This access should not be hampered by fears of who can and will pay those bills. This is an ethical dilemma, but not the one that the politicians debate about. Now lets look at those countries the conservatives and Republican right wing-nuts would have you think were so evil.
In Europe they are happier, healthier and take more vacations. Canadians barely know how to lock their doors. Crime rates are so low in northern Europe that they have been closing prisons. The poor and the elderly don’t have to worry as much as our poor and elderly, their health care is 100% covered and the most that they would have to pay for a prescription about be around $16.
According to CBS, who reports: Americans love to poke fun at the English for having bad teeth and bland food. But when it comes to good health, Britons may have the last laugh.
Compared with Brits, Americans have higher rates of many chronic medical problems, including heart disease, diabetes, and asthma, a new study shows. What’s more, obesity and high cholesterol are less common in England than in the U.S., according to the study of nearly 40,000 Americans and 70,000 Brits, published in the March issue of the American Journal of Epidemiology.
Among young men, heart attacks are more common in the U.S. than in England, the study showed. And American women of all ages have higher blood pressure and more heart attacks and strokes than their counterparts in England.
How did British docs react to the news? The study’s lead author relayed their blunt assessment.
“They were saying, ‘The U.S. must be doing really bad because they’re worse than us, and we’re worse than the rest of the European countries,’”Dr. Melissa Martinson, a research associate at Princeton University, told HealthDay.
Martinson said it wasn’t clear why the blokes across the pond are so much healthier than Yanks.”Why health status differs so dramatically in these two countries, which share much in terms of history and culture, is an unresolved puzzle,” she wrote in the study.
Ironically, the very socialized healthcare system many Americans deplore might be responsible for Brits’ better health. Although the U.S. spends more on health-care and has more high-tech medicine than any other country, Americans see primary-care doctors less frequently than English people do, the BBC reported.
Health experts agree that one key to improving health in the U.S. will be eating more healthfully and reforming our couch potato ways. The Obama administration is pushing the better-lifestyle agenda with the First Lady’s Let’s Move campaign.
But bringing Americans’ health in line with Britons’? That may be a long, difficult struggle.
Call it the American Revolution, Part Two? Read more: http://www.cbsnews.com/8301-504763_162-20041802-10391704.html#ixzz1OHI0tTuZ
Where I sit it’s American Pride that is actually killing the middle class and poor. We fought hard for our independence from England and want nothing to do with them. We’re Americans dammit! If you’re looking at it from an elitist point of view you would say, “Damn straight, democracy is a helluva lot better than what those pansy ass brits got going!” However, when you take a look around and all the other factors and the actual global big picture; they are doing something right. This is something hugely right. Everything that the conservative right and Republicans say about economy and taxation (all together now) ARE WRONG. Higher taxes and support of unions do not, let me repeat, DO NOT force jobs and corporations our of the country. Caring for THE PEOPLE in the country does not lead directly in to socialism and communism. However all you hear about when a politician talks about private options or universal health care there is an uproar of it being communist rhetoric and fear mongering. How dare we want to make sure that money doesn’t get in the way of a right to live in our country?
Vermont actually is one of those states that are drawing a line in the sand for reform. Vermont became the first state to enact a single payer health care system for its citizens. It’s not exactly surprising that one of the country’s most liberal states has become the first state to legislate a fundamental right to health care for all of its citizens. And, should the federal government allow them to proceed, it is only a few years until Vermont surpasses Massachusetts in the percentage of its population that has access to health care.
The New York Times ran a story about the campaign to pass this law. The article focused mostly on one of the main advocates for the law, though it did briefly quote one of the main opponents, a former Republican state senator. For once we weren’t subjected to the same tired old excuses, that government has no place in the health care market, meant to protect the health care industry. The argument, also used during the fight over national health care reform, was that the new health care law, specifically the new taxes that would be necessary to enact it, would drive businesses from Vermont. This is an argument that of course makes little sense; Vermont will be replacing its current health care system with a cheaper one. Businesses that currently provide health care to their employees will almost certainly see a fall in their expenditures on health care. Yes, businesses that do not provide health care to their employees will be negatively impacted, but only time will tell to what degree.
With that being said, the practical arguments are all rather beside the point. The question of health care policy is a question of ethics: our citizens’ lives and livelihoods are at stake. I believe it is a moral failure to ignore that fact, yet we so often do so.
In response to the former state senator’s claim that the health care law would drive businesses from Vermont, I have one very simple question, one that has never been answered by opponents of increasing access to health care: how many jobs is one human life worth?
We know without a doubt that tens of thousands of Americans die every year for lack of access to adequate health care. We also know that untold numbers more are far sicker than they need to be due to a health care system designed with little interest in actually improving health. So when an argument is presented in opposition to increasing access to health care, it must be weighed against the lives lost and ruined under the current system. In this case, the opponents of reform have placed the potential loss of jobs on the scale. So a rephrasing of my question: what number of dead and sickly citizens of Vermont balances the scale against the jobs that might be lost due to this law?
This debate should remind us that the opponents of health care reform, both on the state and national levels, in their crusade to protect the liberty of corporations, have engaged in an endless assault on individual liberty. The two do not have to be mutually exclusive; unfortunately, the defenders of corporations have forced our nation to decide between the two. I for one am glad to see that at least one state has decided that the two are compatible and has enacted a law that both respects human dignity and improves the financial condition of businesses.
The British are considering a 140-pound weekly per person, flat-rate pension available at age 66 to almost all residents of the UK – you wouldn’t even have to be a citizen. It would replace a much more complicated retirement system that required 30 years of contributions and very unpopular means testing.
If you convert 140 pounds to equivalent dollars, it means that a single person would get $227 per week and a married couple would get twice that. Annually, that translates into $11,804 per person or $23,608 for a couple. By comparison, this amount is a little less than the average monthly Social Security payment, which is $1,179.50 per month or $14,154 annually. But it is more than the average payment for a worker plus the average payment for a spouse, which is $582. Together they total $21,144 annually.
In the proposed British system, there is no question how much money each person will get — everybody would get the same thing no matter how much they had earned during their working lives. The government estimates that this change would cut administrative costs by 75 percent, but otherwise it would be cost neutral because women who took time out of the workforce to raise children would earn more, as would wage earners. Other savings would come from the elimination of a complex system of additional payments for people who didn’t qualify for full pensions under the old system because they didn’t work long enough.
Comments appended to an article in the London Daily Mail reflected anger from people who said they had paid more into the system and should get more out of it. But a poll accompanying the story said that 79 percent of readers approved of the proposal.
The proposed British system makes no pretense of being an insurance system like Social Security does. It is socially equitable, but it doesn’t reward work and achievement. It is simply an entitlement that prevents the elderly from indigence. Do you think this the direction in which the U.S. should head? Does it make retirement planning sense to you?