General Question

JLeslie's avatar

Can the people who are against universal healthcare explain to me specifically why they are against it, and what they think is the best solution for health care in America?

Asked by JLeslie (47553 points ) July 4th, 2009

I grew up in military health care and I think it was way better than what I experience in the private sector. Typically I am a free market, capitalist, type of girl, but on health care I have moved to the side of wanting socialized medicine. Unfortunately, it seems, that even if we get universal coverage, it will not be done like the military, but still involve billing and insurance companies. From all of the discussions I have heard, even if the government was running the whole show, they would do it like medicare with billing, and I don’t want that. What I want is not even on the table.

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58 Answers

gooch's avatar

I was in the military also and it was okay but it is not the same as my local charity hospital. I fear that place. I would sell stuff to be able to go to a private hospital before that place. I don’t know the answer but universal healthcare is not it either.

JLeslie's avatar

@gooch so you think universal will wind up being like a charity hospital?

gooch's avatar

yep I do. Charity is government funded so….

AstroChuck's avatar

This is the model that the US should be looking at.

alive's avatar

hahahaha, gooood luck with this question.

what i KNOW will work isn’t on the table either.

i lived in SCARY SOCIALIZED-HEALTH-CARE Denmark on a student visa, so i was permitted the same health care treatment as a danish citizen.

literally i made an appointment a few days in advance, walked in, had to fill out ZERO paper work (because everyone has this little card they swipe, kinda like a credit card that has your info on it) waited about 15 minutes saw the doctor (not the nurse), M.D., walked out. they called me with the results a day or 2 later.

ALL FREE! NOOOOOO TROUBLE WHAT-SO-EVER! No head ache, no worrying… ALLLLLL FREEEEE.

Oh ya, and prescriptions are actually affordable too! WOW what a CONCEPT!

The problem in America, (and obama said this the other day during that town hall when someone asked why single payer isnt even an option) is that it will be “too disruptive” in other words shitty insurance cmpanies who spend most of their time and money trying to NOT give health care coverage, would go out of business. yes, i can see how that is slightly disruptive, maybe even a couple thousand jobs are at stake. but why waste all this time in congress if they are not even going to FIX the real problems???

there should be no health care “plan” to chose from. the “plan” is everyone gets health care.

alive's avatar

anyway. i think people are afraid of what they dont know. and i think people are afraid that the gov will fuck them over (the latter is a legit fear)

Response moderated
JLeslie's avatar

@alive so were the docs in Denmark salaried? Or, did the docs bill the government for each patient, procedures, etc.

alive's avatar

it is my understanding that they “bill” the gov. it is all paid for by taxes. (but just to be safe don’t quote me on that)

ru2bz46's avatar

If you think health care is expensive now, just wait until it’s free.

The Government can’t run anything efficiently. I believe it will cost more dollars (from wherever they come) to run a health care system that is managed by the Government.

The President’s plans are estimated at around $125 billion/year. They cannot get all of that money from taxing the top 5% of wage earners. One of the solutions on the table is to treat a portion of health benefits that companies give their employees as taxable income. Apparently, they can get about $226 billion/year that way. My health package costs around $1200/month to cover my wife and me. I pay $200 (pre-tax), and my employer pays $1000. Treating part of that package as income in my tax bracket will cost me an extra $70/month or so, depending on the size of the portion they want to tax.—Hmmm…I make far below $250k, but it looks like I’ll be getting a tax increase. Go figure.

You see, @alive, universal health care is not “ALL FREE! NOOOOOO TROUBLE WHAT-SO-EVER! No head ache, no worrying… ALLLLLL FREEEEE.” People with jobs will be paying for it. Where do you think taxes come from, anyway?
—————————————————-
One thing that can help make health insurance more affordable, is to stop all the frivolous malpractice suits. I know doctors who have changed careers because the malpractice insurance costs were too prohibitive.

Right now, some idiot can go in and have a procedure done and end up with a complication, then turn around and sue the doctor (even if it was not the fault of the doctor). The malpractice insurance pays, then raises the doctor’s/hospital’s rates to cover the loss. To cover the higher rates, the medical fees go up. Since it costs more to do a procedure, the health insurance provider raises its rates to the poor wage earner or their employer. Eventually, health insurance is too expensive and 50+ million Americans are without coverage, so the Government wants to charge the remaining workers with benefits to pay for those without.

The winners? Lawyers.
The losers? Everybody else.

Tele's avatar

Universal health care would mean a hefty amount of taxes on the heads of many of us who already have a reliable health care plan. My mother works for an insurance company securely and gains health benefits because of it. There is no need for us to be going broke over healthcare for everyone else. We can barely afford the things we need off of three salaries these days. And that, my friend, is why many people are against universal health care. It isn’t greed. Most people can’t handle the extra 1–1.5k a year that it would cost, and it is very upsetting.

ubersiren's avatar

Hmmmm… do I want government cheese or my local deli’s special order Havarti? I’ll take the Havarti.

A national health care system would fix one problem: getting health care to those who can’t afford it. This is all well and good. I am a believer that we must look out for our fellow man.

BUT-

It’s just a welfare system is all it is. Only instead of just covering the poor, you’re paying for all of America. What’s wrong with America’s welfare system that will likely happen with a national health care program? Leaches. Folks taking advantage of the system. People who are fully capable of working and pulling their weight will find ways to get around paying into the system and only reap the benefits. It happens now with the welfare system. There are those who will continue getting food stamps, rent assistance, all sorts of monetary help, while not paying a dime into the pot. Adding one more of these programs weakens the community, weakens the system, weakens the government’s credibility, weakens the middle class’ wallets… the only thing it strengthens is people’s will to be lazy. I don’t want my children growing up thinking that they can get away with as little contribution to society as possible and still be taken care of. That is bullshit.

The middle class and upper class are paying for the lower class to live better. This makes the lower class happy, of course. The upper class doesn’t feel that crunch from the paycheck because most likely, it’s being paid for from their disposable income. Still not fair to the upper class, possibly, but it’s not hurting them. Being in the lower-middle class, myself, I can’t really afford to pay for someone else’s medical bills. I don’t have that disposable income. So it hurts us the most.

Here are 2 points that demonstrate part of why I am totally against national health care.

1. I saw Obama on The View maybe a year ago talking about his health care plan. Someone asked him something like, “What if we want to keep our current health coverage?” His response was that we would all have the choice whether or not to take this national coverage, of course, he wasn’t pushing it on anyone. HOWEVER- even if we didn’t use the coverage, we will still be paying for it with the increase of taxes taken from us. Thanks. Thanks a lot.

2. Here is an example of why it fails. In an effort to streamline and control everything, the human factor is erased. Not that this exact problem would occur here in the US, but given our government’s handling of all things, you can bet your ass there will be similar situations. It’s all whether you want the good cheese or the mass produced processed cheese food.

I can’t believe how much faith we have in the government to protect us, save us, and give us better quality of life.

ru2bz46's avatar

@ubersiren Thanks for the article link. I was tired last night, so I didn’t even touch on the “quality of service” issues, which are sure to happen.

Jeruba's avatar

Some cheese is better than no cheese.

If your health care is dependent on your job and your job is not secure (and whose is?), you can find yourself without access to affordable care just when you suddenly have no more income. Sure, if you can afford the Havarti, I think you should get it. But if your pockets are light, should pricey Havarti be your only option when a Kraft slice will keep you going long enough to improve your situation?

ubersiren's avatar

We’d be missing a lot of things if our jobs went under. Should we have food insurance? Clothing and diaper insurance? Pet food insurance? All insurance does is mess with the free market. It wouldn’t cost us $2k to get our wisdom teeth out if we didn’t have insurance companies. They create the problem, then make us dependent on them. We could shop around for the best “cheese” at the best prices if we didn’t have insurance. We could afford medical procedures like anything else if insurance companies didn’t make the prices sky high. There are actually doctors who don’t take insurace at all. They set their own prices, or charge a yearly fee for their patients to be seen at a moment’s notice. $200 fee per year to see my doctor whenever I need to, or $500 taken from our paychecks automatically, then an additional $20 copay for each visit?

AstroChuck's avatar

@ru2bz46- You really think Americans pay less by not having a universal healthplan?
Look out here and here.

JLeslie's avatar

I really appreciate these points-of-view so far. I actually do agree with some of the fears related to universal health care, but I feel the need to share to personal stories…

First story: About 10 years ago I had an ectopic pregnancy, I needed a medication or my life was in jeopardy, I went to the hospital to get it and the woman at the front worked on calling my insurance to get it approved before administering it. They would NOT approve it. Remember, either I get this drug or later I probably become an emergency, possibly bleeding to death, at minimum wind up rushing into surgery. The drug was around $450. She tried talking to a few different people at my insurance company. Finally I said, “can we just do this and I will fight after the fact.” She called the pharmacy, and said the magic words, “it’s a patient of Dr Maxsom’s (my doctor was associated with the hospital and his office was in the hospital building). The pharmacist said, “oh, Maxsom’s patients we charge $50 if she can go up to his office and have the injection administered there. RIP OFF! Ripping off my insurance company to a ridiculous unscrupulous amount. Not only are they charging a ridiculous amount to my insurance company, but my insurance company was not approving a drug that was VERY necessary for me…if I had needed surgery it would have been thousands, oh and risk to my life.

Another story: I had some discomfort near my breast two years ago. I went to get it evaluated and they tried to charge me several hundred dollars. If it is coded as a regular preventative mammogram it is free, if it is to evaluate a possible problem it is NOT covered. They recoded it for me, because it was time for me to have a scheduled one anyway. This is an OUTRAGE. If I might be sick and dying I am not covered. Everything was fine by the way.

I feel 100% sure niether of those situations would happen under socialized medicine. I agree that there will still be medical mistakes, and other problems under socialized medicine, just like we see now, but these are not medical mistakes, it is just outright stupidity.

The people who might abuse the system and are would not be paying in (basically we are talking about lower income) already get free healthcare with medicaid, so that is even steven I think? Maybe I am wrong, I do not know much about medicaid.

Another point made was that people who want to keep their other insurance would be paying taxes still for everyone else to get health care. That is what happens with education now…I pay property taxes that pay for edcuation in my state and I don’t have any kids, but I think it is good for society.

I prefer to trust my government with the goal of healthcare for our country, then a corporation with the goal of making money. I think intention matters.

Here is where I will agree with the opposition…I do not think the government is a fair competitor (right now the dems are trying to present it that way) to me if we can’t get real socialized medicine maybe the compromise is to have more regulation from the government?? Someone overseeing the med insurance industry.

Also, I think Obama’s desire to make the med system more efficient are very good goals. Tests are repeated all of the time that are unnecessary, I just personally had a prescription mistake. All sorts of problems that should be worked on and overcome.

JLeslie's avatar

@AstroChuck thank you for those links.

AstroChuck's avatar

The best link of all is to go out to Blockbuster and rent Sicko.

ru2bz46's avatar

@AstroChuck Those links compare the US with other nations. Sure, we spend a crapload on medical expenses because the system is screwed up. In my “solution” section, I suggested that the malpractice lawsuits could be a significant chunk of that.

I’m not comparing our system to other nations, but our private system to a potential system run by our government. Our government has a poor track record of doing things more cost-effevtively than our free market system. Get the leeches (lawyers) out of the system, and costs will come down.

ubersiren's avatar

I actually thought Sicko reinforced why we should not have national health care. It also points out why insurance companies are terrible.

JLeslie's avatar

@ru2bz46 I agree that there is problems with the law suits, but there needs to be the ability to use the law for injuries to patients that are from outright incompetence. I think it is just out of control at this point and needs to be reigned in.

Docs are complaining about insurance costs (which as I write this maybe THOSE insurance companies are making too much money???) but I also question how much doctors make. Some specialities make modest salaries, but some doctors make a ridiculous amount of money. I have an uncle who made close to a million dollars several years in a row when he was working full time. He could have made a little less I think on procedures.

ru2bz46's avatar

@JLeslie I agree on all points.

However, why do certain specialists charge so much? They need to in order to cover the costs of insurance and the potential to cover suits that are not absorbed by insurance companies.

Also, supply and demand. If only a few individuals can do a given task, don’t they have a right to be compensated for their unique talents? As a software engineer, I earn more than the help desk technician who fields calls about my software. Why? Because I have the expertise that (s)he does not. I wrote the software while they only know how to use the software. I’ve worked hard and sacrificed to get that expertise and write the software, so I am entitled to the higher paycheck. I see no difference with any other profession.

JLeslie's avatar

@ru2bz46 Of course I agree that if you have a specialized talent you make more money—supply and demand as you say, but there is a line that sometimes is crossed because people are at your mercy. Using the example above my uncle could have made $700K and still have been living very well. The amount stated was not his revenue, it was the money he made that year in income.

AstroChuck's avatar

@ubersiren- I’m completely perplexed as to how you could come to that conclusion from watching that documentary.

ru2bz46's avatar

@JLeslie Yes, sometimes it does seem that some are way overcompensated, but the demand was obviously there, and he supplied the service. Most likely, he was paid so much without challenge because of the problems with the insurance companies. It’s true that service providers will often charge more for a service when it is being paid by insurance, as opposed to an individual. That practice makes me ill, and I see it all the time, even when getting an estimate to fix my car after a crash.

JLeslie's avatar

@ru2bz46 Makes me ill too, not sure if you read my example of my ectopic pregnancy, but that is exactly what happened my insurance company was being overcharged—literally ripped off.

ubersiren's avatar

Everything in the film demonstrates how poorly our government has handled health issues so far. Why would we want them to have total control over it? This part for example. It’s the part that talks about all the hoops the 9/11 workers must jump through in order to get the benefits. That’s why they were all on the boat to Guantanamo, right? Some were there because their insurance companies screwed them over, and some of the 9/11 workers were there for better services than the government set up fund was giving them. I personally don’t want that situation magnified.

kenmc's avatar

GIVE ME HEALTH CARE OR GIVE ME DEATH!

I am one of the so many million Americans without health care because of having no insurance.

I don’t care in which manner folks like me end up getting health care. Comparing affordable to universal is a tomayto tomahtoe situation. With one, we wouldn’t need the other.

When asked the question, “Would you prefer universal to affordable?” My answer is: Yes, please.

ubersiren's avatar

@boots : See, you don’t care, but I sure do! I don’t want to pay for your health care. I’m having a hard enough time paying for my own needs. If nobody had insurance, we could all afford health services more easily.

kenmc's avatar

@ubersiren I’m personally willing to put a couple pennies in to help my fellow man, despite the fact that I makea very meager salary. And I know that’s a very simplified version of looking at it, but the concept remains.

JLeslie's avatar

@ubersiren you being up an interesting point. Part of me would argue that under a true free market system prices would come down, but with the insurance companies it is almost like having a bunch of mini, sometimes not so mini, governments controlling the costs. I think if we can’t have a true free market might as well take it out of the hands of companies that do business for profit.

Also, I am assuming you have insurance through your company? What if one day you are laid off? Do you want resaonable coverage to be available? COBRA is not available when a company shuts down, I know I lived it.

ubersiren's avatar

@boots : I’m willing to do that as well. I have no problems donating my spare change where I see fit. I do this often. But having large chunks of my paycheck taken without any control or say where it will be spent is just not up my alley.

@JLeslie : I want reasonable prices for medical procedures to be available. I’d prefer not having insurance at all, driving the prices down, rather than depending on them to be there to cover me as the prices go up. If my husband loses his job, there are lots of things I wouldn’t be able to pay for. Food, clothing, heat, water, etc.

JLeslie's avatar

@ubersiren I understnad your point with the food, clothing, etc. but you can go without new clothes for months maybe years, food might be $200 a month, but if you have a major medical event it can be $40,000 dollars in one hit. Plus if you are sick you probably can’t work. When my company closed a friend of mine from the same company developed a heart condition that needed surgery. She had purchased some insurance that was not group insurance, because she was no longer part of a group…anyway, she wound up owing about $10K, luckily she had bought that other insurance.

Not to mention that in our country we do treat people who don’t have insurance who never pay, and we people who do pay wind up with higher prices to balance out the non-paying people so the hospitals don’t go under…so either way you are paying for people you don’t want to pay for.

ubersiren's avatar

Without insurance companies, that $40,000 would be much more affordable. That’s what I’m saying. And I can’t go years without food.

dannyc's avatar

Although the Canadian system has its flaws, it is still way better than what you have. I can go to any hospital, any time, and get solid care, no questions asked. Sure there may occasionally be a wait for certain procedures, but that is rare. Yes our taxes are higher, but I believe it is a fundamental right i am willing to pay my fair share to have social stability for the good of all. But also, if Americans are to have their version, I agree with AstroChuck, that other countries may do it better. Take the best from all, and develop your own system..the debate is healthy. Listen to those opposed as they will spur you to a better result too. On this one, I agree with Obama..just hold him accountable and make him give full disclosure of the costs..then decide in the next election once the recession is over and America, as I am sure it will, rebounds strongly and have the funds to take on this challenge.

JLeslie's avatar

@ubersiren I am saying that if you have some savings, you can afford food for a while while you collect unemployment and look for a job. I agree that the mdical service would probably be less if it was not for insurance companies (I think Obama and Hillary would say that too), and greed for that matter, but how do you fix that? Are you proposing get rid of all insurance and government interference? You might be able to talk me into that if it seemed at all in any way possible, but that will never happen. Big business won’t let it.

alive's avatar

taxes will always fluctuate, but people will always need health care. so might as well put money into the “pot” now, instead of later.

studies have shown that people are human, and humans get sick (and sometimes humans get shot or hit by a car).

people who have health insurance usually end up paying a lot out of pocket anyway, so it will even out to pay into the pot instead of out of pocket.

think about it. you might have enough to pay for your kid’s ear ache or fever. but what if there is a school shooting? what if he or she is diagnosed with leukemia? do you want that kid to be taken care of, or should the parents be paying for it for the rest of their lives?

I mean i just really cannot think of any reason for the richest country in the world to not have health care for it people, when every other industrial country does. (even if you don’t believe health care is a human right, it should be a provided if possible, and it IS possible).

and let’s face it. the insurance companies have had their chance! health insurance as we know it has been around since like what WWII? all they have done is fuck people over for 60+ years. We would be having this discussion if they were doing what they should be doing: PROVIDING HEATH CARE.

(just an interesting quote from wiki : For 2008 insurance was the 8th among industries in political contributions to members of Congress, giving $28,654,121, of which 51% was given to Democrats and 49% to Republicans, with the top recipient of insurance industry contributions being Senator John McCain (R-AZ).[42] The leading contributor from the insurance industry — as measured by total political contributions — was AFLAC, Inc., which contributed $907,150 in 2007.[43])

augustlan's avatar

I don’t see why it’s not possible to provide both universal healthcare (government cheese) and premium healthcare (havarti). Look at it like schools. Public education is available to everyone, but private schools are also an option for those that prefer it and can afford it.

As @ubersiren pointed out up there ^, there are already doctors that opt out of the whole insurance thing and charge a yearly premium to patients. In essence, it’s like a mini, self contained insurance program. Why couldn’t they continue to do so in a universal health situation?

alive's avatar

re: sicko

that “gov” plan they set up was not a form of universal health care, not even close. the guy who is the spokes man for it talking to the media is going out of his way to be clear that the health care is not a “hand out” because you have to “prove” that you spent a certain amount of time at ground zero, and you have to “prove” all of this other stuff. (what if you were only there for one day, but touched something hot and got burned, or something fell on you!!??) for universal health care you do not have to prove anything (maybe you have to prove citizenship). there are no questions asked (as dannyc mentioned)

alive's avatar

just another thought. kids in school cannot play sports without proof of health insurance. (my brother’s friend wants to play soccer,ut they will not let him work out with the team until he gets the proper “paper work” i.e. coverage). kids involved in sports and after school programs are more likely to stay in school and succeed later in life…

JLeslie's avatar

@alive I had no idea.

El_Cadejo's avatar

sicko made me want to leave America for Europe.

mass_pike4's avatar

Here is why I am against it…

If the government guarantees health care to people, costs have to skyrocket. When someone else is footing the bill for health-care costs, consumers demand medical services without having to consider their real price. The artificially inflated demand this creates sends expenditures soaring out of control. It is irrelevant whether the government finances this spending spree directly, as it does with traditional Medicare, or indirectly, as with Medicare Advantage. In the end, the results are the same.

Democrat proposals are going to cost much more than they will admit. Haven’t we seen this somewhere before? Medicare costs are much higher than published with a debt of $38 trillion and fiscal collapse looming by 2018. Now, President Obama wants to add another entitlement program…

mass_pike4's avatar

Conversely, it is free market solutions that will fix the problem.

In a free-market system, competition and one’s own personal stake motivate people to do their best. In this process, the winners create wealth, jobs and new investment, while others go back to the drawing board better prepared to try again

mass_pike4's avatar

In addition, government run health care will impose below market reimbursement rates for doctors, decreasing the supply of doctors and medical care. Doctors, not government insurance, provide medical care. Government run health care will involve severe rationaing of health care. The government will decide who gets and who does not get health care.

funkdaddy's avatar

@mass_pike4 You’re seeing medical care as an optional product people will decide to purchase or not based on their financial situation… it’s not.

The options for someone without the money to pay are not 1) save my life and I’ll pay you or 2) I’ll keep my money and die. The option lies with the providers who will provide the care regardless of the ability to pay, right now they are simply doing it at a substantial loss. The huge bill you see when getting medical care is inflated because that bill is rarely paid. Insurance companies pay much lower rates to providers because they aren’t being asked to subsidize for those who can’t pay. If everyone has insurance then no one needs a subsidy.

We’re already paying for everyone’s healthcare, right now it’s in the form of higher insurance premiums and higher bills. Universal healthcare would simply put this in the open and apparently that gets people all fired up.

Who doesn’t need medical care at some point in their lives?

JLeslie's avatar

@mass_pike4 I agree with much of what funkdaddy said, but I am not asking this to be combative, rather for more information…you speak of the free market. How will we get a free market in healthcare? The insurance companies basically control pricing and what they will cover. The average consumer has little power.

alive's avatar

@mass_pike4 the free market is what we have had since medical insurance began… you said it will fix itself. the point is it has not fixed itself, it has only gotten worse.

you also said you are worried about the price. but think about how much the war has cost us. that money is going to be spent somewhere and i would prefer it be spent on the american people’s health and well being.

as for your last point about doctors. the American Medical Association endorses the obama proposal. it is the insurance companies who are fighting it. so if doctors like it (and i would guess doctors would know better than the average citizen), why don’t you?

woodcutter's avatar

or we can do it the way I do. That is to use the socialized system that is already in place. I don’t have access to health care but i do remember what it’s like. I have noticed that when I am uninsured I seem to need to see a doctor rarely. Could be just good luck so far, but luck cannot be depended on indefinitely. However I do know right where the county hospital is if I do need to see a doctor bad enough to get some help. Currently my health care provider is whoever is on duty at the ER. Works for me. It will no doubt cost a lot of money when they are done with me and there will be pretty much no chance I will be able to pay, so why bother. Takes everything we make just to get by so fuck it. Let those, who are hysterically wringing their hands over how bad a universal care system will be, pay my bill. See what they think of me now. Signed: one of the 50 million G.O.M.E.R.S. in the USA.

JLeslie's avatar

@woodcutter Are you being serious or sarcastic?

JLeslie's avatar

@woodcutter That you are ok with utilizing a service and not paying anything for it?

woodcutter's avatar

@JLeslie OK has nothing to do with it. It is what it is. Would I like to pay off these charges? Sure. But with the speed that the charges rack up there is just no way. It would be like shoveling shit into the tide for eternity. We are not in debt like most Americans are we have zero credit cards and no investment portfolio and no retirement accounts. This may look horrid to many but the one positive thing about this situ is we didn’t get raped by the economic crash experienced by the world. It’s medical bills that blight us. Because of that we will never qualify for a loan of any kind…medical bills ? Yes medical bills. it’s a damn shame that in the land of opportunity a person will be denied home ownership or even a new car when the old beater is worn out because of bad luck with their health. Lookit, people don’t shoot for this. They don’t wake up one day and decide to get into medical debt for kicks…..ok, there are probably some who do but that is a topic for a different thread. Bottom line is that I could send in a hundred bucks a month for the rest of my life and die still owing thats if I don’t rack up any more charges between now and then. I’m 50 btw. Or I could just live life the best way I can and try my damnedest to keep healthy and not go to hosp any more. I used to feel bad about this but I discovered it doesn’t help any. We are not bad people….so if those out there who want to leave things the way they are now win, then I’m not going to kick myself if they help me out with my bills from time to time. It’s people like me that are part of this health system implosion that will cause something, anything to be done, hopefully in a constructive way. People like us get sick more and longer in duration and live shorter lives than our potential would allow. That’s why We have the “fuck it” attitude. Hope this helps explain. With all these facts of life steering our lives I am not bitter in spite of it all. After all, bitterness causes health problems. :) WC

JLeslie's avatar

@woodcutter Thanks for explaining. Sorry to hear about your health problems, I empathasize with the mental and physical toll it takes on a person, being sick and also not having coverage or a realistic way to pay mounting bills. So, because the bills are overwhelming you will just pay nothing, because either way you are screwed? It will still be that you did not pay in full. Is that right? I can understand why you might get to that point. I’m not judging, just clarifying. Did you try to negotiate with teh doctors and hospital? I haven’t been on this thread in a while so I don’t remember all that was said above. I too am disgusted at the costs of healthcare…we and the insurance companies are ripped off every day in my opinion.

Sounds like your health is better now :).

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woodcutter's avatar

@JLeslie Sorry about the lag in replying. Our town suffered a blackout as I was about to answer and lost the whole reply. Power came back sometime this morning. The deal with trying to pay back these giant hosp charges is not so much I will never get to the bottom of the pile in my lifetime no, it’s just the fact of life here that something always comes first like the car is broken and has to be fixed, for example. There are other reasons also but you get the idea. Consequently there is no way to save for emergencies when life is done this way. The money is all called for with not much left for anything else. Since the wife became disabled last year we have really cut down on discretionary spending. She was the main money maker with me bringing in money from my work as a self employed contractor. I used to be in construction but the stenosis in my spine got to too bothersome to work full time. It would take a pretty understanding company to put up with me needing to stay home from time to time because of the pain. So I do a lot of what I did before only at a much slower pace tailored to my abilities working for myself. I could have packed it in and applied for some kind of disability through Social Security but I didn’t want that. I think I still have something to offer in my trade as long as I don’t get in over my head. It helped me to present myself and talk to people effectively to sell myself, something I really never had to do when I was just an employee. In this situation there is no workman’s comp insurance to cover me if I get hurt on the job. It makes a person consider things when doing the work to try to stay injury free, which is what we all want. Does it make me 100% injury free? Hell no but I am used to working hurt as are most other workers here in the US. No workie…No money.
My wife and I still see our family doc we had back when we were in the system and we do make payments to her when we can. We have to continue with the scheduled visits in order to keep receiving the scrips although the visits are much further apart. Most of our charges are in relation to the workers comp related visits the wife incurred because the insurance co. for her employer would not cover treatments. It sucks that we had to use our personal insurance to deal with a work injury but I’m sure it happens all the time, it’s just wrong. Hopefully when this all gets hammered out in the W.C, hearing our doc will get re-embersed for her time. Well that’s a long winded reply so I’m going to finish up here. Thanks for not judging I really appreciate that. WC

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