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Some Thoughts on the Health (Long)

  1. Jun 10, 2008 #1

    JasonRox

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    Note: Please read the entire opening posts.

    As some of you may know, I moved to Quebec City about a month ago. I found the place I live in just a week before I moved here. I just jumped on the boat and came here. Family, friends, and colleagues thought this was crazy, and amazing. (I'll get back to this later.)

    I had no idea who my roommate is and might be. He could have been pulling a fraud for all I know. It turns out that my roommate is Morrocan, and immigrated to Canada about 4 years ago. He's also spending the summer in Quebec City. He always talks about how amazing it would be to move to California where the good life is. I laughed, and I asked why. He explained how you have beautiful weather, women, and money. The money I explained is a fantasy he has. The other two reasons I can accept, but not necessarily agree with because I haven't been to California before making conclusions. I decided to ask him if he's been to California, and he said no. His only knowledge of California is from movies and watching OC. I wouldn't consider movies and especially the OC to be an accurate portrayal of California. And I laughed some more. I like to laugh at the level of irrationallity some people have, and sometimes I have. (*smile*)

    Then I explained to him that Canada would be a much better place. He said then asked me why. I answered: "Life is easy. Life is great. Life is beautiful here." He then asked me how so. I explained that in Canada we have no worries like Health Care, and insane school debts. (The rest of the reasons are subjective, so I exclude them.) How is life easy in Canada? Well, I can work anywhere I want in the country, quit when I want, move when I want, live where I want in Canada and have health coverage.

    How important is health coverage? Without the health system here, I would have not been able to move to Quebec City like I did, and experience this beautiful city in the way that I am. I would have to stay home and keep my job there, and try to maintain health coverage in some way (however, it might work). The jobs that I have are certainly not jobs that would offer health insurance. I'm happy with them because they pay enough to allow me to live here. I have pink eye like two weeks ago, and I just walked in the hospital here in Quebec, and got my care. Just like that. One little application because I'm from Ontario. It doesn't ask about medical history at all. You just fill in your standard personal information and write when you came to Quebec. The doctor came to see me shortly (not a 3 hour wait) in about maybe 5-10 minutes. I got the diagnosis, and even the drugs for free. I even got a prescription for a drug for my ears for free in case I get an infection. The doctor understands that I can't delay my ear infections, and I asked to make sure they were clean while I was there. Again, free. I work two part-time jobs with no benefits.

    How about my roommate? He's already been to the hospital twice in Quebec City, and he also had no problems. I laughed and said "Good luck doing that working at a pizza place in California when you start your life there." He didn't like that because he knows it's a real threat to destroying his dream to living and residing in the US. In Morroco, health coverage is also covered by the government. He's never lived in a country when a similiar system as the US.

    Anyways, how do Americans cope with it? I wanted to apply for a VISA and just go work in New York until I realized I would have to worry about health care. I would definitely get rejected because of the conditions of my ears. I had more surgeries than two hands can count.

    Note: I have some stories to tell about the health system. I'll leave them out until I see comments.

    Thoughts?
     
  2. jcsd
  3. Jun 10, 2008 #2

    Astronuc

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    Avoid getting seriously ill.

    I try to see the doctor maybe once a year for a checkup. Other than that, I try to avoid becoming ill.

    I saw my doctor 15 months ago when I had walking pneumonia, and then about a year ago for my annual physical which actually occurs on an 18 - 24 mo cycle.
     
  4. Jun 10, 2008 #3

    JasonRox

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    When I say "Life is easy.", I don't mean you can do nothing and you'll be taken care of. That isn't necessarily true here. It is not the meaning of what I mean from "Life is easy." I don't want to read posts about "Yeah, life is easy for some crack addict and we pay for him through taxes." IT IS NOT THE IMPLICATION OF THE MEANING. What is the implication? You'd have to live here to know that, and my roommate knows it as he lived here for 4 years. Hence, why I said that to him and quoted what I said in the OP.

    Also, the discussion isn't about Canadians who work paying for those who don't, which is another reason it should not be brought up. I want to keep the conversation about the health system in the US and how they manage to do what they want, like work anywhere. I feel as though you can't work anywhere because the second you quit, you have no coverage and the coverage at the other job might not start until 3 months later. Also, you can't just work at McDonald's in New York City just so you live there for 3 months and leave (similar to what I'm doing in Quebec City).
     
    Last edited: Jun 10, 2008
  5. Jun 10, 2008 #4

    JasonRox

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    We all do that though.

    My illness occured through an innocent swim in a lake. I'm not sure how you rationally avoid getting ill besides eating healthy and living actively.
     
    Last edited: Jun 10, 2008
  6. Jun 10, 2008 #5

    Astronuc

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    Our family uses medical insurance through my wife's job, and my company covers us for the rest like co-pays/deductibles and expenses not covered by insurance.
     
  7. Jun 10, 2008 #6

    JasonRox

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    It is conceivable that someone gets cancer, and you go broke?
     
  8. Jun 10, 2008 #7

    Evo

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    If you don't have insurance and have a catastrophic illness, then yes, you may have to file bankruptcy to get rid of the debt. But as has been previously discussed, many hospitals work with charities and accept government medical funding to pay off some or even all of your major medical expenses.

    http://www.nyc.gov/html/hhc/html/access/paying.shtml
     
  9. Jun 10, 2008 #8

    FredGarvin

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    Don't think along the lines of getting ill. How about needing an MRI because you tore an MCL playing a recreational sport. You are in for a wait. A long wait in most cases. For every drawback you can think of for the US systems, I can think of a plus. That's jut the nature of the beast. Neither system is even close to perfect.
     
  10. Jun 10, 2008 #9

    lisab

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    Many colleges offer medical services to their students for a nominal fee. I went to the University of Alaska for one year, and had some minor medical problems. The campus medical facility was great. I don't remember how much it was then, but it's $110 a year now - that's cheap.
     
  11. Jun 10, 2008 #10

    Moonbear

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    All I know is that health care insurance, whether through private coverage in the US or through tax-funded coverage in Canada, costs more than my actual health care. I haven't had an illness or injury that has required a visit to the doctor in 15+ years, and when I did need treatment back then, I didn't have insurance, and it didn't cost anywhere near what I'm paying in insurance premiums, even with my employer covering the bulk of the cost. When I think about what a hospital stay would cost, and how that would break down in payments if it were, say, a loan for a luxury car, it would still cost less than my insurance premiums, and probably less than would be taken out for taxes if I was in Canada, especially if you factor that in over a lifetime of payments. Sometimes I think simply having low interest loans available, similar to how many people finance their educations, to cover major medical expenses would be much cheaper than paying for insurance. The only time insurance really pays off is if your injury or illness is so severe that you are permanently disabled and unable to return to work afterward to pay off the debts.
     
  12. Jun 10, 2008 #11

    JasonRox

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    My surgeries would have tallied atleast $1 million. I have no idea how you expect me to get low interest loans to pay that.

    You're solution, no offense, is not practical.
     
  13. Jun 10, 2008 #12
    I guess I have a distorted view, as I have full health coverage through my mom's work as a teacher. And it always amazes me to see who doesn't have coverage, even people who are very well off.
     
  14. Jun 10, 2008 #13
    Your solution, no offense, is not ethical.

    According to what ethical theory is it justified to use more resources from society than you can ever contribute back?
     
  15. Jun 10, 2008 #14
    When you are in legitimate need of the resources.
     
  16. Jun 10, 2008 #15

    JasonRox

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    Is money the measure and value of ressources within society? Um... no.
     
  17. Jun 10, 2008 #16

    Tsu

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    There are many in the US who have health insurance (usually through their employer) but those policies will only cover so much each year and/or during one's lifetime. So you can experience a catastrophic illness or injury and still go backrupt after the insurance cuts you off. It happens WAY too often.
     
  18. Jun 10, 2008 #17
    Last edited by a moderator: Jun 10, 2008
  19. Jun 11, 2008 #18

    JasonRox

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    How can you guys live with that?

    If you get cancer, you're either dead physically or if you live, you're dead financially.

    Also, if the government foots the bill for medical care goes up, then taxes go up of course. But to save money on health the government has an actual reason to try and maintain the best environment for its citizens to avoid serious illness.

    In a country like the US, the government doesn't care if the environment induces serious illnesses onto people. They aren't paying for it. It's either the citizen as an invidual or the insurance company (but usually the citizen).

    It makes no sense.
     
  20. Jun 11, 2008 #19
    If you watch the video I posted above, you'll understand why it makes perfect sense. (Premium per month from customers) - (money given for injuries) = profit. The less money you give to the sick (especially the ones who really need it like cancer patients, but rack up a lot of money in medical bills), the more profit you make! And who doesn't like profit?

    For instance, I know a guy who had a sister with cancer - her total cost for treatment was 4 million dollars, and 400,000 dollars out of the family's pocket. She passed away, but because she was left without insurance for a month racked up that $400,000 bill.
     
  21. Jun 11, 2008 #20

    russ_watters

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    Actually, that's exactly what it is, especially when comparing money to money. Your intangeable value to society isn't what matters in this case, it is specifically the money you pay to the government in exchange for the goods and services the government provides for you that determine who is getting the better deal. But in this case, we only care about one of those goods/services: the monetary value of the medical care vs the money you paid to the government for it.

    You are basically a lottery winner, Jason, though this is a lottery you don't really want to win. It is exceedingly rare for a person of your age to acrue $1 million in medical expenses.

    I pay my own medical insurance, but have the associated co-pays and deductables. I would estimate that over the past 5 years (since I got out of the Navy), I've paid about $10,000 for $3,000 worth of care. How much you've actually paid, I don't know, but I suspect it is comparable. In any case, that's the way insurance works (whether it is through the government or a private firm is irrelevant) you don't need it until you need it, and you buy your lottery tickets every month hoping not to win. And in this case, 99 other people have had to pay their $10,000 and not get sick in order for the government to be able to afford to pay you that $1,000,000.
     
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