[quote=“gao_bo_han”][quote=“TainanCowboy”][color=RED]WHERE DOES THE MONEY TO PAY FOR IT COME FROM?[/color]
…can you say…taxes?..sure you can…:beatnik:
How many people elect a politician to raise your taxes?[/quote]
I think it comes to down to priorities. To me, health care is a top priority, second only to defense. Think about it this way, we’re spending hundreds of billions of dollars in Iraq, right? All paid for by taxpayers, right? But to those who believe in the war, like yourself, the astronomical bill is completely irrelevant. It doesn’t matter how much money it costs - it’s a top priority. But to people opposed to the war the cost is a major issue; nobody wants their tax dollars ill-spent (of course there are other reasons people oppose the war, but cost is talked about a lot).
I think that Americans who are well off financially and can comfortably afford private health care, even during periods of unemployment, are a lot less likely to consider universal health care a priority. In fact, they even likely to be opposed to it. Universal health care means that millions of uninsured Americans (I think the current number is 48 million) are going to be flooding clinics and doctors offices. Heck, instead of a ten or twenty minute wait you may have an hour or two hour wait - or God help us, three or four hours. But think about this carefully. Do you consider being opposed to universal health care because lots of poor people are going to cause longer wait times a morally defensible position?
Speaking as a person who has been unemployed and could not afford health insurance, and has had both parents in the same situation (one of whom was sick for a long time), I find the idea that a person who cannot afford health care does not deserve health care to be selfish and disgusting.
By the way TC…do you have Taiwan’s National Health Insurance?[/quote]
I agree with much of what you said, but wanted to clarify a few points. First, this thread is about UHC for California not UHC at a federal level. Since California is disproportionately affected by the illegal immigrant population, it’s a different situation. I do take issue with using state funds to support health insurance for people who come here illegally. Then again, I would like to see a cost analysis that takes into account reduced use of emergency room services and increased use of clinic visits.
Second, I don’t know many families that are financially sound enough to comfortably afford private health insurance during an extended period of unemployment. As an example, even with Cobra (self-paid insurance for up to 18 months after you leave a job where you were insured) I’d be looking at close to $1000 USD/month to insure the family with a basic HMO plan. Still, most people I know in, let’s say, the US$50,000 to $150,000 income braket are at best skeptical of UHC for California. While these people are better off financially than those most likely to get the greatest benefit from UHC, most could not afford to do without employer-subsidised insurance for a prolonged period.
Third, increased wait times might be a problem (and could hurt work-place productivity), but a bigger issue is quality of care. Doctors already have very little time to spend with each patient, and I imagine that cost-cutting measures associated with a UHC plan could limit this time even more. Also, if anecdotes I’ve heard from people in the UK and Canada are true, then wait times for non-emergency surgeries could be greatly lengthened as well.
Fourth, the poorest and sickest people already DO have access to free or discount healthcare through agencies such as MediCal (California) and Medicaid along with free clinics in some areas. The current system is not perfect by any means and, in some cases, encourages people not to work because an increase in wages would disqualify them from such benefits. In California, children of legal low-income residents already have access to free health care, and I agree with this policy. And patients still can’t be refused for emergency care for lack of money. What I’m trying to say is that someone who opposes a UHC plan does not necessarily think that “a person who cannot afford health care does not deserve health care.”
Disclaimer: I work for a for-profit company in the health care sector.