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#546968 09/06/09 04:40 PM
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This national debate has become heated and divisive. What are your thoughts? Is Public Option important to you? Do any of you work directly with any of our four patient populations already served by a public option (Medicare, Medicaid, Federal Employee Insurance, or the VA system)? Do you have questions or worries about what changes may occur? Aside from the politics, how do you feel about the economics of it?


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The California Nurses Association has released a position statement about health care reform. They are for a public option, such as Medicare, and also for legislation limiting what private insurance companies can deny.


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From my personal point of view, I'm in Massachusetts. We already have forced global health coverage. That means a few years ago those of us with coverage began paying for "free coverage" for those who could not previously afford it.

The group of women I spend time with are all business owners � we�re a support group for each other. So we�re mostly childless (I do have a son) and most of the women are in their 50s (I�m 40).

From my point of view I rarely need medical care and am only on one prescription so I really don�t have much need for medical treatment. They are much more worried about having �comprehensive coverage�. But all of us have seen huge spikes in our costs since the global coverage went in, since in essence we went from paying for ourselves to subsidizing all the other people who aren�t paying.

You can definitely argue that richer people should pay for poorer people but none of us feel rich, one of us is having trouble paying her mortgage as it is. Of course *someone* has to pay, if we're going to start insuring the people in Mass who were previously not paying for health care. It's nice in theory. In practice, doubling the rates for existing customers is a huge burden for us. We don't live in mansions. I live in a run down colonial. I didn't have a budget for my health care costs to double over 3 years.


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In Australia we've had government health care for many years now, and honestly, I can't see what we would do without it.

You may not know this, Lisa, but over here for travellers the USA is considered "high risk" because there is no government health care, and so there is no reciprocal arrangements for Australians who travel over there. We are warned that we must take out travel insurance with a very massive health component if we intend to go to the US.

I personally don't have private health insurance - I can't afford it. But I know that if I need hospitalisation for anything, then I will be accorded excellent care through the public system.

All Australians pay through the Medicare Levy in our yearly tax assessment.


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But Lisa..weren't you *already* paying for those people, just in less transparent ways. And now, there's a chance they can take their sick kids in,for example, for a much less expensive office visit with a regular doctor rather than to an ER.

Am I totally off base on this? I don't know all the details of the seedy underbelly of health care costs.

Megan.. I had no idea about that (the travel to the US thing). Kind of scary..

Nicki


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Hi Megan
I lived in Australia for two years and my daughter was born there and I thought the Australian healthcare system was excellent. It was still fairly new when we were there and so it seems to me to be the ideal system for the American to copy. There has been universal healthcare in the UK for 60 years so I think the aussie system would be a better and more up-to-date model.
I fully support the NHS (National Health Service) in the UK. Of course, as is always the case with insurance, some people use it a lot and others not much. But the point is we never know when we might need it and spreading the cost, spreads the burden. Private healthcare is still available for those who want it and can afford it. When people are poor, they should not have to worry about getting ill too. Remember poverty breeds violence and, with the honourable exception of Canada, the whole of the American continent is plagued by high levels of poverty and violence. It's high time something was done about it.


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I am not sure all of your statements are factual, however passionate. It is tough when there is so much information and disinformation out there. I think we all want what is best for the country, and economically, the current system is unsustainable.


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