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SquirrelEStuff's avatar

How much control will the government have over us if we have Universal Health Care?

Asked by SquirrelEStuff (6753 points ) January 28th, 2008

If I was paying someone’s bills, I would make sure that they were doing whatever they could to make sure they arent getting sick. Is the govt going to tell us what we can eat, drink, or do if we get UHC? With all the crap we eat, it might not sound like such a bad thing, but Im not for being told what to do.

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13 Answers

jrpowell's avatar

You could always look at other countries that have implemented similar plans. It works.

And hey… Some dorkwad with the same credit card company as me just defaulted on his loan. So lets get rid of credit cards..

prince's avatar

How much control do they have over us with Social Security?

I think the real question is: how much power do the health insurance companies have over us now?

Maverick's avatar

Living in a country that has Universal Healthcare, I’m not aware of any additional control that the government has over us. The only related effect that I can think of is that, here, if a doctor recommends a specific procedure then that is what’s done. My understanding is that is the US the insurance companies are able to override the doctor’s recommendations for various reasons (justified or not).
Another effect, which maybe is what you’re alluding to, is that we do also seem to introduce public policy when there is significant research to prove that it is in the public’s best interest, and that seems to happen faster than it does in the US. I believe we implmented mandatory helmets for motorcyclists, a ban on smoking in confinded spaces, and some nutritional requirements before the US did, for example. I consider those all to be benefits, however.

SquirrelEStuff's avatar

where are you from maverick?

Poser's avatar

UHC may “work.” It may be a good idea. But let us not forget what paves the road to hell.

I for one, am not crazy about paying for other people’s medical care.

SquirrelEStuff's avatar

Me either. 400,000 people a year die from cigarettes. Why should I have to take care of these people? Most of the problems we have in this country is from what people either knowingly or unknowingly do to themselves.

SquirrelEStuff's avatar

And like Maverick said, if a doctor recommends a certain procedure, that is what is done. Im curious to know if that goes for prescriptions too. That scares me. I do not trust majority of these prescription drugs. Look at Vioxx and anti-depressants for example. The pharmaceutical companies will not release certain reports on drugs just to make a buck. Its ridiculous.

I went to my doctor recently bc of back pain. Right away she was trying to give me muscle relaxers and antibiotics. I asked her why she was trying to prescribe me meds instead of finding out the problem. She said the insurance companies like to try the easy way first. I said I have good insurance and want to find the problem, not just take meds. To make a long story short, it was kidney stones and went through the proper procedure to take care of them. If we have universal healthcare, will I have this option?

DeezerQueue's avatar

Universal Health Care will most likely not dictate what you must or must not do, but you will see a decrease in the quality of your health care. Treatment becomes more treadmill-like in the eyes of the physician.

I am an American who lives in the Netherlands. They like to consider it universal health care here, but it’s not really, not when you consider that it’s mandatory, you’re legally obligated to have it, otherwise you face a stiff financial penalty. It removes in fact the choice from the individual.

You see in America how the government runs the national budget, do you want them managing your health care package, too? When was the last time you had a look at the national debt? If there’s an eventual cut somewhere, do you really think it’s going to come from defense spending? Not likely. It’s more likely that it will turn the route of social security programs, seeing a worsening instead of an improvement.

Keep it private, but institute some laws that force the insurers to play by the rules more fairly, that allow different levels of access.

The bottom line lies with corporate responsibility, and the health care providers both developing more mature social consciences.

bea2345's avatar

What we have here in Trinidad, and what a lot of Americans don’t, is access. Fancy not being able to be treated for breast cancer because you don’t have insurance. The care here may not be the latest, but it works enough for the public health nurse to say to a group of us: 40 percent of you will die from another cause.

skadu's avatar

If people don’t feel personal responsibility for their health cost and their choices for care, this UHC will never be a good thing for America. Our health care costs are too high right now because people don’t feel a responsibility for their choices and therefore they don’t keep themselves healthy or they pay too much for their medical care.

bea2345's avatar

@skadu – Your health care costs are high because you let your care providers get away with it. Very few doctors in other developed countries are paid what yours are, and as for the nurses and other support staff, they are immigrating to the US in droves because of the higher salaries (the Ministries of Health in the third world could tell you about that).

The chief advantage of universal health care is not that the care is better (it isn’t) but that it is more accessible. The best care, such as is to be had in the US, is no good to the person who cannot pay for it, and thus will not benefit from it. The irritations of having to wait months for an MRI, to queue up in crowded dispensaries for medications, to spend a whole working day to have a blood test – these are minor compared to the damage caused by untreated hypertension, diabetes, cancer and HIV.

You are quite right, people should take care of their own health. Diabetes is often preventable, smoking-related disease is preventable. But people do not behave rationally. We, or many of us, eat, drink, smoke, drug to excess and when the body can do no more we end up at the clinic or doctor’s office. The mode of delivery of the service is not going to change that. And accidents do happen. A cousin can get Ménière’s disease, a friend be permanently disabled in a car crash. No amount of careful living is going to prevent disease and death. But a health service that is affordable will make our time on earth that much easier to bear. – If only for the reason that it picks up some of the burden represented by our weaker brethren.

skadu's avatar

@bea2345 if people will shop for health care like they do for groceries, prices will be forced down, health care providers will become more conscientious of finding and keeping customers, and care will be more accessible to more people. The private market will naturally balance itself. Some states are successfully implementing programs that are beginning to positively drive the market to the benefit of consumers – we just need to keep going down this road of getting consumers to shop health care services

I don’t have a problem helping a weaker brother than I want to be sure that money is used efficiently to aid the needy. It’s obvious the government is better at wasting my money than using it to truly help the needs – as evidenced by their incredibly wasteful welfare program.

I feel deeply that masses of people throughout this country and the world are in need of assistance and I am doing what I can to help but government obviously is not the answer.

In addition to my wanting to decide where my money goes, I do not agree that

bea2345's avatar

Perhaps you should read Erewhon, by Samuel Butler. The argument, that people should take care of themselves, is very persuasive, but limited. If I can remain in good health, it is not solely because I can pay a doctor (which I can, so far). It is also because of shared services such as communications, utilities, education and public health and safety.

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