Thursday, October 16, 2008

What do you think?

Last night I was glued to the t.v. watching the final the Presidential debate, anxious to hear a discussion on healthcare reform. I was thrilled to hear the candidates talking about the need for healthcare reform and even use key buzz words like “affordable healthcare” and “accessible healthcare”. Like you I am concerned about rising healthcare costs and the challenges many heart disease and stroke patients have affording the medical care they need. It’s time we address the issue and reinvent healthcare in America!

What do you think? Is healthcare reform a priority for the candidates? Are there questions you would have liked them to address? Will Americans demand leadership on healthcare reform from the next President?

Click ‘comment’ below and share your thoughts with me. I can’t wait to hear what you think!

-Clarissa Garcia, AHA Staff

The American Heart Association does not endorse any candidate or health plan. The opinions expressed in the comments section do not reflect the position of the Association.

120 comments:

Ed said...

I favor a single payer plan where we have a national healthcare policy that we all use. Similar to what congress and the Federal government has. I want the government to cover the cost of this program like they do with my basic medicare and that they keep very tight control on pharma costs for both meds and devices. There are models all over the world that work for the citiZens including ALL the children and the elderly. We have been gamed for way too long by the healthcare industry and their lobbyists.

Anonymous said...

I definitely think we need to do an overhaul on the healthcare system. Other countries have better healthcare than us. This is a big priority. The candidates did touch but not as much as I wanted to hear.

Anonymous said...

I don't want a socialist government where they are too involved in our healthcare system. They both realize that something needs to happen and I think McCain has a better sense of what will work.

Anonymous said...

My healthcare costs just went up at work. My company used to cover 100%. Starting Dec 1 they are taking $50.00 a month out of my check.

I think it is important for everyone to have healthcare. Especially after watching the movie "Sicko". Unbelievable that insurance companies are told to deny people in order to save money. How do they sleep at night knowing they are responsible for killing people due to not letting them get the treatment they deserve?!

Anonymous said...

I too would like to hear more than just buzz words like affordable healthcare. What are their success rates on the major bills that have been passed so far in the last few years?

Anonymous said...

Thre is no doubt but that healthcare needs to be improved. In particular, it needs to be healthcare, not only disease care. I think the Obama proposals have some chance of success, while the McCain proposals will only help the rich.

Mamabear said...

(sorry, i first left this on a different comment board)
We need health care that won't penalize you for pre-existing conditions. That's why I don't think a credit for health care is the answer. The insurance companies will just refuse to cover you. We need health care, not a credit!

Anonymous said...

I think quality care comes with a price---should that price be lower in the US? Certainly. But a socialized offering will not encourage quality of care, just quanitity. I agree with McCain that encouraging competition and providing people with some extra funds to find the right fit for them is a better solution than creating a healthcare system that may "cover" everyone, but at a much lower standard. Freedom isn't free and neither is top-rate healthcare.

Anonymous said...

Since I work as a nurse in Quality, I have to deal with CMS all the time. We do not need the government in healthcare any more than we have now.They are looking for more and more ways not to give hospitals payment for quality care. Quality care is important. But the more standardized you make healthcare the more individualized treatment will disappear.

Anonymous said...

Obama's plan is idealm, however the burden of paying for it will go to all of us, and I'm not sure how effective our health coverage will be. Will it include all of the life-saving screenings we all need? I'm leaning toward McCain's plan because we'll still be able to choose the best plan for us.

Anonymous said...

As someone who worked in the health care industry for 11 yrs. I have a lot of comments! However, my main concern is the HMO capitation system under which the majority of doctors are these days; they rather take money from the insurance company rather than give the patient the necessary treatment or diagnostic testing. to sum it all up I think everyone should watch the movie SICKO; it's quite an enlightenment! Don't even get me going with the price of prescription drugs...that's the biggest racket in this country and it's all thanks to the lobbying in Washington, D.C. As for the candidates, it's all blah, blah, blah, they have no clue where to start fixing this situation.

Anonymous said...

I believe our current President, Candidates, representatives, and we have VERY MANY priorities and everyone is doing the best possible job for our country. This is just ONE of many priorities. BV

Anonymous said...

I, too like Clarissa was glued to the TV watching the debate. Yesterday, I also watched Michael Moore's documentary, SICKO. I have to admit, after watching the documentary, I have to question why the United States, the "most powerful country in the world" cannot help its citizen's. Our healthcare system needs to be reformed from top to bottom. However, I realize that is not going to happen. But, I do favor Mr. Obama's program much more than Mr. McCain's. We need to have not only our children and our elderly covered for healthcare, but everyone. I think Mr. Obama's plan of allowing those citizens without healthcare insurance to buy into the government plan is much better than expecting a taxable rebate of $5000 from Mr. McCain.

Michael Moore's documentary showed that National Healthcare can work. It works in Canada. It works in Great Britain. It works in France. I'm not sure it could work here though because we have allowed our healthcare system to run so far out of line for so long, it would probably to be too costly to fix it. And let's not forget the lobbyists would do all they could to stop it.

That's my 2 pennies worth....

Morella said...

The trouble is that the true cure for all diseases and for our healthcare system is PREVENTION. No matter what plan we go with, healthcare costs will continue to rise as we get sicker and sicker as a population. Our traditional medical model is based on treating symptoms and not enough on creating healthy living habits. So the best plan would be one that includes serious planning and delivery of health education, prevention coaching and risk management.

Albert Colone said...

I'm for a universal, single payer, not for profit national health care system; not a national health insurance marketing program.

John Catuira said...

Honestly, there is no easy answer to this. And I'm not going to pretend that I know which one of the candidate's plans are better. One thing that is certain is that change is needed. However, I very much doubt either will follow-up with any fervor once the polls are closed and electoral votes are tallied. And I don't appreciate being pandered to with hot-topic buzzwords and conciliatory doublespeak. I will continue to look at ideas directly from the experts, not political mouthpieces, once the election dust settles. Throwing around pie-in-the-sky ideas right now does little good.

AH said...

The details are not important - encounter with reality changes them anyway. What is critical is a Democratic victory, so that 8 years of the dark ages and anti-scientific attitudes end; and that profoundly stupid and harmful ideas such as objection to research on human embryonic stem cells (isn't this ironic that the sanctimonious people who present themselves as pro-lifers are also pro-death sentence and pro murdering our soldiers in Iraq?) are removed forever from public debate. Is this loud and clear enough?

Desiree said...

I truly beieve that there is a solution to our healthcare. If me removed the interference of the lobbyists, the BIG business (pharmacutical) and focused on the task at hand...there is a solution. I am so tired of the political rhetoric and I truly believe that we need to stop leaving everything thing up to our government...(look where that has gotten us ???????) and WE THE PEOPLE need to take back our power. How do we do this? Stop using all of these wonderful grass root orgs for sounding boards and start taking action!!!!!!!!!! It is not too late...in fact the timing could not be any better!

Be blessed.

Anonymous said...

I do not want bigger government in any way. Government seems to screw up everything they get involved in. National healthcare would be a DISASTER. There is not enough money in this country to cover all of the costs that would result. The quality of healthcare would decline substantially with long wait times. McCain would give each person $5000 to use for the healthcare of YOUR OWN CHOICE. Let the people decide their healthcare, NOT GOVERNMENT.

Anonymous said...

I'm fearful of McCain's Healthcare plan. Currently I am retired and have health care through my former employer at no additional cost to me. I worked for that employer for 42 years and feel that I am entitled to that coverage. However, I am well aware that a goodly number of people in this country are w/o coverage. I am over 65 and $5000 a year would not get me decent coverage or probably not get me any coverage at all. There is no room in my income for any additional expenses.

FEARFUL FOR MY HEALTH

Anonymous said...

As far as I can tell, Obama's plan still gives us competition in the insurance markets because insurance companies will be clamoring for business owners to invest in their healthcare plans offered to their employees. For those that do not receive employer healthcare plans - Obama is just asking that these people receive the same level of benefits that he has received as a Senator. I have not heard or seen any comments that standardize the actual care received. His plan seems to address the biggest concerns of preventive care, pre-existing condition coverage and coverage for all those currently without insurance.

Rajit said...

Being one of the most advanced country, it’s a shame that America cannot provide affordable health care to its citizens. This is basically due to the greed of few influential groups and lobbyist.

Anonymous said...

I agree with "...don't want a socialist government where they are too involved in our healthcare system." However, our seniors do need prescription relief and it should be covered or at least all meds should have a reasonable co-pay such as the V.A. does!

I truly think each candidate is saying what they think we want to hear so I really don't believe either of them, but especially not Obama.

Anonymous said...

Healthcare is a major concern for me. Insurance companies discriminate and will not cover you for pre-existing conditions...which I think should be illegal. McCain is so out of touch with the average american. He just don't care about people who need healthcare based on his proposal of a $5000 tax credit. It is shameful to propose such a plan which will make more people uninsured. Has he ever tried to get insurance on his own without any kind of employer sponsored plan? Get ready to mortgage your house...if you have one...because the medical bills will definitely cause you to go into bankruptcy based on his plan. The ability to choose a plan would be great, but finding one that will accept you will be the challenge if you have any pre-existing conditions.

Anonymous said...

I was thirlled to see Sen. Obama advocate for healthcare for all. Those who have coverage pay more when the ininsured need medical care. I know this because I went from having healthcare and good health, to having no healthcare and progressive heart disease. If it wasn't for Saint Joseph's hospital in Atlanta offering me free healthcare and clinical trials I would be dead. It is time for the richest nation in the world to remember who made it rich. Provide healthcare to all citizens including preventative care. We can change our mortality rates tremendously just by teaching and helping those to live healthier and therefore save everyone money.

Anonymous said...

I believe Obama will make healthcare reform a priority - however, do seriously believe this priority will be compromised because of the economic crises. Within healthcare reform, simple steps that may not 'cost' any money would be: [1] legistlation that requires pre-existing conditions to be eliminated from acceptance into a healthcare program. let's face it, I've worked in insurance (AIG to be exact) and can tell you, the pool of candidates that large healthcare systems have more than ameloriates any incremental expense due to a pre-existing condition. As for myself, tho' I have been diagnosed as hypothyroid and a perfectly healthy heart, there is a high comordity with thyroid disease and heart disease - so therefore my health care monthly expense (since I am not covered by a corporate plan) DOUBLED. I am otherwise perfectly healthy! but because the probability in 15-20 years that I MAY have a heart condition (and there is a strong family history) - I have to pay more NOW versus just choosing to be preventive! A legistlative requirement should be a no brainer. [2] second low or 'no' cost is to drive down healthcare costs, especially prescriptions. This can be done by somehow increasing competition, eliminating price gouging or some other manner. There is absolsutely no reason that Canada - receiving the same pills from the same factories and undergoing the same strict regulations as America - can sell prescriptions at 50-60% less than in the States. If Canada's prescriptions were so dangerous, then surely our US citizens along the border would not be allowed to get their prescriptions over the border. Profits from prescription prices are being used to fund future research and for litigation. If the 'safety cushion', risk management aspect, of these profits were lessened, the Big Pharmas would be less likely to rush drugs to market for the sake of money and focus more so on serving the customer - which ultimatley services the shareholder and stock prices.

Greed is everywhere - not just the finance and consumer markets!

Questions that might be good to address to Obama is HOW - what processes or steps has his team outlined to actually achieve his goals? Specifics, please! McCain - clueless. Give me money to go shop my own policy is only going to keep costs the same - does nothing long term - gives with one hand and takes away with the other - a shell game. What does he care? He's been so removed from the everyday citizen's concerns with his healthcare provided program, he does not get it.

Anonymous said...

Both candidates know the need for a better health care system.
Both state their ideas, but, will they stick to a system that really helps ordinary Americans. At this
point, I don't know if I really believe them or not.
I for one, with diabetes, 3stints in my heart, and, since 4-07, spinal stenosis, I want only the best, as do we all.

Thank you
Joellen

Anonymous said...

what about the children with pre existing health care needs? do they die and not get coverage? and to all those that don't want healthcare for all, what a shame because you may also need it for your child. we all should share and care for others.

justfred1970 said...

As a stroke survivor with no insurance, I would like to see affordable health care and medications. Do I think it will happen? No I do not. Candidates will tell us anything to get elected and once in office generally brush us off & cast us aside.

Anonymous said...

McCain has no clue because it costs more than 5000 to pay for a family healthplan. I spent twice that amount last yr in health coverage for my family. Obama is on the right path to make sure all children, elderly, and in between have the healthcare they need.

Anonymous said...

At present, if someone doesn't have health insurance they are still treated in most emergency rooms. Those of us that have coverage are then charged more to make up for those without coverage.
If everyone had coverage many could be treated in a doctors office or an immediate care facility at a much reduced rate. That alone would reduce healthcare costs by a significant ammount.
By the way how much do our senators and representitaves pay for their coverage and how does it compare with what the average person has?

suzanne said...

As so many of you out there, I have not one, but multiple pre-existing conditions...so McCain's plan is out for me. I'm the healthcare provider in my family. It costs $26/bi-weekly to cover my family under the plan that my employer provides. While the cost is great, the plan is not. There are so many things that are not covered. I have to fight with the insurance company all the time and get nowhere fast. I am worried about losing my job in the coming year, and my husband's policy is much more expensive and covers much less. We need a plan that covers everyone. I don't know if Barak Obama's plan is the right way to go, but I do believe that ordinary people who have to deal with the existing healthcare system day in and day out should be part of the solution. We know what the issues are. We know what does and doesn't work. We have the drive to get it right, and we have everything to lose if it doesn't work.

sdchargers13 said...

I too watched the debate last night...and I don't know what to believe -and how much of what these candidates 'propose' is just hype to win the election. The bottom line for me is 'where is the financing going to come from'? I've heard a ton of promises, but I'd like to know how these plans will be paid for.

Anonymous said...

I am sorry to disagree with some of the people that think that a National Healthcare system is a more favorable system than here. I have relatives that live in Canada and they cannot wait to move back to the US. They HATE the medical nationalized system. Waiting for two weeks to get into see a doctor for a cold. They state that it's so horrible that they have considered just her moving here to get decent healthcare. You see US healthcare is better than waiting two months for an MRI she stated. They also have young children. Don't ever say that you know it works until you have lived in the system. If you love it just pray that you stay healthy. I don't think that either candidates are well informed or care about reforming healthcare. McCain might be since he at least is willing to work with both parties and is getting the age where health will be a concern to him. They need to understand that prescription drugs are a causing some people to die early because they cannot afford them. They are willing to order them from other countries with who knows what is in them. We need to cap the limit that these large drug companies can charge the consumer. That would help quite a lot.

Anonymous said...

I want affordable health care, too. In order for that to happen, we need to reform the cost of becomming a health care provider. An advanced practice nurse can easily spend three years and $100,000 getting their advanced degree. To contain costs,we need to contain the cost of becomming a doctor, nurse, etc. This debate isn't only about affordable access for all in health care; it's also about afforable access for all in education.

Anonymous said...

well in regards to ER visits, yes anyone can be treated and stabilized in an ER but it has nothing to do with treating you for cancer,paying for medications, etc.

my son has had several heart surgeires and health coverage is a must because if there is a gap in coverage then no health plan will accept him. I have had to pay privately and financially it is tough on a family. I now have group health insurance and don't mind paying a little extra if that means another parents child may have health care.

lzaris said...

I think Barak Obama's healthcare plans are what we need & so do the independent analysts, who have said that McCain's plans will cost too much money & not produce the desired results. I am self-insured & get no benefits except hospitalization & a once yearly mammogram....and that's after a $3000 annual premium and a $2500 deductible. I would love to be insured by whomever insures our government employees. I have no pre-existing conditions & am a healthy person and I take good care of myself. Healthcare in this country, currently, is really not healthcare but health emergency care.

Anonymous said...

whatever way we go, national or private, the goal must be to make sure all people have health coverage, not just ones that can afford it. We can bail out bad companies,fund things outside of the US but can't pay for healthcare for people in the US. Hmm

still I think Obama is on the right track


YES indeed about making it affordable to become a DR or Nurse!!!!! They have an extensive amount of debt after school, and not all are making over 250,000.

Anonymous said...

John McCain should opt out of his taxpayer free health insurance and purchase it from the private sector. Good luck, if any insurance company would even insure him due to repeated bouts with cancer! McCain seems to be clueless about the needs of most citizens who are not wealthy like his wife who makes millions from pushing that other drug--alcohol.

Anonymous said...

Helen from Colorado,

I am more for Obama's plan, however, specific details are needed in order to objectively review his entire package. I would like to know how "pre-existing conditions" would be handled as far as coverage and waiting periods; what about coverage for life-long rehab/heart health centers rather than just for 90 days after surgery; how about more research on heart health and medications, including alternative medicine and less invasive surgery.

Anonymous said...

yes, McCain may not get healthcare due to his health problems. His wife has money so she will just pay for it, must be nice. He does not get it.

Anonymous said...

I work for an insurance company. I know both sides of the coin, the charges of both the facilities and the providers are outrageous! Someone with health insurance has almost an 80% savings on someone without. What gives Doctor's the right to charge whatever they want? Somewhere along the the line a cap needs to be put on fees. Go back to "reasonable and customary". I have been traveling to the UK for 10 years. They offer both, National Healthcare and private healthcare. It's your choice of where you want to go. But the care you receive for National Healthcare is impeccable. If they can do it. Why can't we? Why can't we offer both. What happened to doctor's who simply care about being a doctor and not how much they can get out of it.

ndaniels33 said...

I remember the saying "Ambition without knowledge is like a boat on dry land." In this last debate McCain brought up his family's and his running mate's attention to special needs children. This is height of hypocrisy! It really burns me up when McCain talks about diseases (like autism and obesity) and knows next to nothing about President Bush and the GOP's track record on health matters. Legislation like the Data Quality Act are simplistic and deadly because they give the wrong people wide latitude in suppressing science.
Social policy is health policy. Health is tied to the distribution of resources. McCain can't look at who has underwritten America's health education for the last eight years. McDonalds, Coca Cola and every other food company and chemical corporation have used us and our children as crash test dummies to make money.
All diseases are genetic environmental interactions. Autism and obesity don't appear on their own. Chemistry triggers a response in our DNA. Diseases like obesity and autism have been increasing for decades. McCain and Palin can't afford to see epidemics for what they are. They see disease as an accident or an act of God! God didn't create the obesity epidemic or autism. We did! If we elect Obama then we might just stop our epidemic of morbidity but we elect McCain the less I write the better because America doesn't want to understand what it has done to our freedom. We have few freedom and more responsibilty in the form of disease.

Anonymous said...

Affordable healthcare for everyone...who and how are we going to pay for this?? Don't be fooled Obama has all the buzz words to get you excited but no clear plan how to pay for medical insurance or his other great idea, a world class education for every American. This programs cost money and lots of it. Canada's health care systems the pits, ask anybody who lives there. Be careful what you wish for...having the government control the banks, healthcare ..that's socialism. John McCain is the only choice for President he has the experience and wisdom to get this country back on track.

Gina said...

As a healthcare worker for 20 years as well as a consumer I see both sides. I don't think socialized medicine is the answer, and the inusrance companies would never let us get that far anyway...they have too much to lose. Socialized medicine is also a mixed bag: good for some pople, not good for others. Ask anyone you know who lives in Canada or Great Britain and they can tell you that although they have access to care, the wait times and the covered items are not what they need to be. So a plan like Obama's might be the best we can do for right now.

However, as someone mentioned above, there are more issues here. It's the cost of training, the cost of equipment, the cost of medications, and the failure of many people to do even the most minimal self-care that keep out costs up. For example, smokers, motorcycle riders without helmets, recreational drug users, and people having unprotected sex with multiple partners all have higher health care costs eventually which the rest of us help pay for. So education and social pressure, as well as legislation, need to be considered to help encourage healthier lifestyle choices and reduce the costs that those choices bring into the medical budget.

ndaniels33 said...

We will have fewer freedoms and more responsibilty in the form of disease under President McCain. That's why I voted Obama!

CarolynT said...

Health insurance is such a burden on our companies and employees - we need a fix from the top down - a policy restructuring. I hope the new administration takes this issue seriously.

ndaniels33 said...

Gina, this country is BIG trouble. Socialized medicine? What about diseases? America has denied people the health knowledge they need to make wise decisions. This nation is health illiterate. You can't change 30 years of bad judgment overnight and yet we have to because to cost is too high.

Anonymous said...

Does anyone remember how Hillary Clinton was going to fix Health Care? Is this the same promise from Obama? Why is it the government has better coverage than the people they are to represent? WE elected them to represent US or themselves? They are all out for #1, themselves and thier lobbyist. They promise, promise, promise, and deliver a tax writeoff for importing Rum! We need to clean out all parties and start over with real new faces thats the "change" that is needed. Remember the candidates will say whatever you want to hear the hot buzz word "change" wont happen unless we change all of them.

Jodi said...

Both plans lack real substance. Regardless of who becomes the next president, we are a far cry from solving the nations health care crisis with either of these plans! We must stay active and involved to affect any REAL change that will actually be of benefit!

John Catuira said...

Did someone invoke the name of the hack, Michael Moore? Sorry, universal health care in Canada and Great Britain are great.... if you don't mind waiting months at time to see specialists or for simple tests. According to the Canadian Medical Association in a report published at the beginning of this year, the maximum recommended wait for something like an MRI is 30 days. But the real world average wait time for that procedure in Canada is 85 days. The extended wait translates into economic repurcussions as the patient receives benefits while they are not participate in the work force. The same can be said of Great Britain's health system. Do we want to go into how much their income tax is?

Like I said, I don't begrudge anyone for wanting something better. But we'll need to strike a balance somewhere that's realistic.

Anonymous said...

Citizens are in grave need of healthcare in this country. I currently have loved ones struggling to keep medicines available. I do not know what would happen in this country if the issue of healthcare is not resolved. Republicans have ruined the country and didn't care about the people. Only about their lavish lifestyle and vacations, and kill as many soldiers as they could with this ridiculous war, etc. It is the only country where a convicted member of Congress still gets his annual salary and benefits and that's why things are the way they are. Because the people in charge are good for nothing. Is time that someone that understands the people and their struggles takes charge of this situation. A lot of people are dying due to the crisis in the healthcare system and Republicans do not give a damn. I could go on and on, but I have bills to pay just like all the average Americans that work for a living and at the same time take care of lazy bums with our taxes so that they can sit all day, eat and get morbidly obese and then claim social security because they can't work due to health issues that resulted from eating like crazy and not exercising or just because they just want to collect welfare.

ndaniels33 said...

We can't pay for the medical treatment so health promotion is only thing we have left. And that is a fight America can't afford not to have and we have avoid it for 30 years because of the food politics. Our government along with industry got together to promote cheap food at a high price: our health! Common sense will not solve this mess because people don't understand the problem.

Anonymous said...

I believe Obama has a better plan for middle America. The plan to give $5,000 to cover what??? A person can have deductibles per year with that and where is the rest of the money coming from.
I was extremely grateful for Obama wanting preventive care for diabetes, obesity, heart disease. That is where I am coming from as well. At least he was honest about saying that he has good coverage being a public servant and getting great benefits. The rest of America is suffering but I do not want Universal coverage as Canada and rest of UK. I want my own doctor and if I have a heart attack I need the best coverage but I am paying so much for insurance. Obama I believe can help the rest of the US with this problem. He is my guy.

Anonymous said...

Just look at the IRS and the Medicare system to see how a government-run healthcare system would work. Not a pleasant thought. Hillary tried this when she was first lady and it did not succeed then; it will not succeed now. The USA is built on free enterprise and free choice. I have a right to see the physicians I want and I don't want the government mandating my healthcare. The United States has the best healthcare in the world, and healthcare professionals should make the profits they work for. This is not a socialist country, and those who work hard and contribute to our economy cannot be expected to support those who do not.

Anonymous said...

I have very little faith in either of the candidates. I don't think either of them are sure what will work. They are both full of hot air. I do believe that Barack Obama's plan will severely hurt all American's. We (those of us working and paying taxes) will ultimately wind up paying for his plan which will benefit illegal aliens, those on welfare and those who choose not to work. I'm tired of footing the bill for those individuals who live off the government. I don't think my taxes should go to healthcare for those who choose not to work and pay for their own healthcare.

NJWSanders said...

I do not think that the federal government is the end all to solve our problems. I worked for years in a government federal crop insurance run program. It was so complicated that it was difficult for the insured to qualify for reimbursement. I have seen ads by the AMA where they are looking at ways to provide coverage for the uninsured and so are some non-profit organizations. Basically what I see as the way to reduce health insurance costs is to be a healthier nation. We overindulge in everything. I think that, like car insurance where you are charged according to your driving records, age, type of vehicle, etc., individuals should be charged according to their medical history and life style. If you choose to be overweight or smoke, than you should be surcharged for those decisions. I know that the basis of insurance is to spread the risk, but I don’t feel that I should pay for those who choose a risky lifestyle.

I think insurance companies should be encouraged through tax breaks to develop programs that will benefit those that are uninsured because their employer does not offer coverage. Companies could base the cost of such insurance for low income persons on the amount of the employee’s income. A system should be only put in place by the state government (not federal) to assist people who are not employed, for whatever reason. Our local hospitals that receive state funds cannot turn anyone away, so they must treat those that are not insured, including those that are not in this country legally. That cost is passed on to those of us who are insured.

Illegal aliens and those who make money illegally, or make money under the table and do not report the income, put a real drain on our medical system, as they reap the benefits, but do not contribute. For that reason I support the Fair Tax, which forces people who make money illegally or under the table to contribute to the support of the medical and other services provided by our local, state and federal government.

Anonymous said...

I recieve Medicaid, so I do not have to pay a huge amount in medicine bills. But I still shopped around for the best prices. Try it yourself. The differences will amaze you. I was able to reduce the cost of my medication by over $1000.00 per month just by switching pharmacies.
If we were to open the door and allow folks to purchase medicine from Canada, the cost of drugs will plumet across the board. I say:
LESS GREED = MORE HEALTHCARE !

Benjamin said...

Up until last night, I felt as though healthcare (along with education) had received little attention in this year's election. I was pleased to see Senator Obama take command of the issue and speak directly to the American people. Senator McCain's ideas are downright frightening, and although Barack Obama's plan is far from perfect, it is a step in the right direction. I believe his being president along with a Democratic Congress will help propel the United States into a new era not seen since FDR. I don't understand how people refuse to support a government-controlled healthcare system and use the term 'socialism' in a pejorative sense. Hypothetically speaking, if you were assaulted, would you want to have to worry about money before you called the police? This is what Americans face everyday before they can consider going to hospitals. We are the ONLY wealthy, industrialized nation that does not provide universal healthcare. We always talk about how we are the greatest nation in the world; we should start acting like it.

GotTwinBoys said...

Get the congress, lawyers, and pharmaceutical companies out of healthcare. Let us use our own pre-tax money to spend on doctor's visits and let us purchase major medical policies in the open market.

If socialized healthcare is so good, how come only those who don't have it want it and those who have it don't want it?

john said...

For the most part many of the comments are thoughtful - except for the "kool-aid" drinkers, of course.
Following the adage that a camel is a horse designed by committee, I oppose having the government run any aspect of our healthcare. Despite what some may claim, America has the best healthcare in the world - the flocks of people seeking care here testify to that. Ask the Europeans if they are happy with fifty-plus percent income taxes to support their socialist economies.

ceg1934 said...

1) We need health care for all.
2) There s/b "levels" of health care available: "Basic" (provided for a fee by Govt); "Extended" (offered nationwide for fees which vary based upon coverage choices & provided by private carriers)
3) Govt & Private health care must provide jointly a "pool" into which severely health-impaired individuals have health care costs provided
4) Individuals s/b able to opt out of Govt or Private health care plans & get a direct tax credit for any medical expenses which would be covered by a basic govt plan
5) The first 10% of medical care costs s/b a direct tax credit (a "rebate" if this exceeds income); all other medical expenses s/b a tax exemption.
6) Employer-paid "extended" health s/b taxable income to employee
7) Medicare s/b an "annuity-based" program w/an indexed maximum lifetime payout
CEG

Anonymous said...

I'm a heart patient, we need free medical for eveyone in the USA. I had to go thru all the medical expenses, not having any medical insurance to cover my expenses. The same with my husband because he is a heart patient as well. If you don't have any coverage, a human being will lose everything they have worked so hard for, with the blink of an eye, medical expenses will put any body under in a split second. This is the second time for us both since we both are heart patient. I'm for the one that will seek Health Care for the people of the USA.

Anonymous said...

I'm a Health Care Worker. I don't like the current system that one has to be destitute to be qualified for free health care. Canadians have their issues but they don't have to lose their houses to get health care. I'm hoping for Single Payer Health Care system. Mc Cain is more in touch with reality which unfortunately does not appeal to many. People like to hear idealism, truth is tough pill to take. Obama does not have the experience to really know what is going to work, but talk is free, if idealism is what people wants to hear, that's what Obama is selling. The scary part is: a lot of people is buying. The country needs someone that has been around, has a record of voting what he feels is good for the country with out playing politics. What we do NOT need is one who is good at getting the position but did not stay in the job long enough to be evaluated. We have to look at the resume before we hire anybody, especially one who will be running our country.

Janice said...

While John McCain's proposal seems to make sense when you just look at the dollars, it is seriously out of step with reality. The private insurance market is brutal to women, charging considerably higher rates simply because of our reproductive systems! Private insurers also discriminate against anybody with a pre-existing condition, even if that condition is well-controlled and causing no symptoms.

Family coverage is a joke. Pregnancy is not covered in any realistic way, and even those policies that cover it will only pay a small fraction of the cost of a normal uncomplicated delivery.

I know this not from any media hype but because we are paying for private insurance for our two young adult children, a male and a female; I did some research on this subject to find out why our healthy, bright, very successful graduate-student daughter is charged more than double the premium we pay for our son.

While we're at it, let's find some way to insure people like our kids so that my husband and I can actually afford to retire.

Anonymous said...

I one of thousands of self employed people who can't afford health insurance. I do everything I can to live a healthy lifestyle and so far so good. I think putting a ceiling on any and all costs related to healthcare, supplies, legal judgements etc. would be a start.

Anonymous said...

Socialist medicine as Obama appears to want will get us in a bad place. We had that kind of health care before and it lead to the current state of overspending we find ourselves in. Obama is too young to remember.

McCain offers personal responsibility to those who don't have health care to pick what will work for them with the $5000 stipend. And will limit the over the top spending that Obama's plan would certainly cause.

McCain is about personal responsibility and Obama is about OUT OF CONTROL GOVERNMENT SPENDING in the name of healthcare reform. Obama is most like Bush no matter how hard Obama wants to say it isn’t so.

Anonymous said...

Nothing is going to change because the president has little to do with policy. Every thing has to go through congress and those guys are only looking out for themselves. They have the money and don't really care about the little guy.

Anonymous said...

I believe that McCain's plan to grant each individual with $5,000 to put toward health care is unrealistic. Unfortunately, $5,000 will not get the majority of people covered by a respectable insurance. My father is a small business owner and currently, under the Bush administration, he does not have insurance. My father has heart disease and needs to see the doctor regularly. My family is suffering to attempt to pay his bills and, God forbid, he ever take a heart attack or need emergency surgery my family will need to sell our house to begin to pay for it. McCain's administration is not going to alleviate any insurance cost on my father. There will not be any insurance company willing to accept my father for $5,000 per year, it will be much higher than that. Under Obama's plan, we will all be granted to opportunity to be on the same insurance policy as the federal government. This is thrilling to me and my family. Sure, promising this to every individual is going to cost a lot of money up front, but ultimately when people are healthier because they could get regular doctor visits and prescriptions covered, the United States will, eventually, benefit from this plan. Obama will solve a huge crisis for this country, while John McCain will be reiterating what Bush has done. Taken a surplus and created an enormous deficit, making a comfortable living seem nearly unattainable!

Anonymous said...

THe only thing Univeral health care plans remind me of that joke"I'm not prejudiced-I hate everyone." The higher priced services will be rationed and there will be a huge ethics debate over who gets what. If you are too old, too fat, a smoker, you may wait in line for an availability. Woking in a hospital, it amazed me what the device/supply/pharmaceutical industry charges for products. It's like a big shell game. If we could just get reimburesed a fair amount for our costs, it would be so much easier.

Anonymous said...

The U.S. spends twice as much as any industrialized country, as a percentage of gross domestic product, on heath care but has the worst health status indicators (eg premature death rates, low birth weight infants, infant mortality, etc), some comparable to third world nations. Our health care costs are impacting our global competitiveness and resulting in poor quality of life for far too many people. The problem is lack of preventative and primary care for everyone and a fragmented health system that results in a lot of costly tertiary level services, increased disability, high error rates, etc. McCain's plan will just increase the number of uninsured and reflects someone with limited to no understanding of health care economics. Obama's plan is much better and will get us closer to a more cost-effective, efficient system but whether or not it gets implemented will depend on whether the decision makers in the Administration and Congress can stand up to the insurance & drug lobbyists and others who make a lot of money off of the current "system".

Sue said...

I didn't watch the debate last night, but I've been in the Health Care System for 29yrs. and I'll tell you what...it totally stinks there's no patient care it's all about the money, ever since the system started with the HMO's PPO's,POS's ect. the care and everything with it went to crap. It's a very sad situation all around and I don't think it's going to change any time soon.

Mary Kay said...

For a great comparison of the 2 candidates on health care and other issues go to: http://www.patriciaebauer.com/2008/09/15/paul-longmore-open-lette/#more-3205

Anonymous said...

As a longtime health care advocate, I write to express my vociferous objection to the health proposals espoused by both candidates.

Just because we have the potential for being a Member of the Federal Employee Benefits Health Plan getting the same plan as Members of Congress doesn't mean that things are going to benefit the medical consumer.

As someone who had an adverse encounter with the Canadian single payor health plan, I vociferously OPPOSE Single Payor. Single payor will not cover the uninsured. I am reminded of a meeting I attended with a Past President of the American Medical Association and a Past President of the Canadian Medical Association. The Past President of the Canadian Medcial Association asked "why would the U.S. adopt a Canadian, Single Payor Plan when the system has not adequately served and met the needs of its people.

Then there is the waiting list. I am reminded of my family friend who lives in Canada and has to wait 6 to 8 months for hip replacement surgery. She wanted to go to San Francisco to see her son. "What if I leave to see my son and I get called"? Is it even possible once you are on a waiting list, opt to leave the list, and is it possible to get back on the list"

The time has come for policy and legislation to be properly vetted and for medical consumers to have a say in their health and well being.

Anonymous said...

I am hoping that this is not just campaign retortic and that in addition to cost and availability the following items are addressed.
1. Lifetime coverage limits which
are forcing insureds into bancruptcy.
2. Denial of coverage because the patient has to seek medical treatment at a facility which is out of network.

Barb said...

It really isn't as difficult as our political representatives make it out to be. If in fact we as americans want to become a country that cares for their people and then extend that care to the rest of the world, we'll do what has to be done to improve the lives of all americans. We pay taxes to insure our elected officials. Let's use some of those taxes to give the same coverage to every american. Healthy people are happy and productive people.

Barb.

Anonymous said...

The system needs help almost in every area. I did not like McCain's comment on how some medical producers like transplants are a luxury.

mrge66 said...

The issue that is being discussed right now is about access to health care. I have not heard any precise explanation from either candidate about how the "care" part of health care would be carried out. Neither one of them have gotten past the bottom line, the funding. Most people are interested in how they will access health care.

Anonymous said...

I strongly believe that health care is a right of every citizen of this country, and I was very glad to hear that Senator Obama thinks so. I wish Senator Obama plan was more inclusive, but I think that it is the first step in the right direction. We need to have affordable health care for everyone. Our health care system is trailing that of Europe and Japain in terms of cost and access to care. I think Senator McCain wishes to apply to health care the same deregulation principles that were applied to the free market. Also he does not realize that a decent health care plan costs $ 12,000/year. In summary, I think that Senator Obama's health care plan is better than that of Senator McCain

Anonymous said...

The McCain plan is a free market plan and will drive health care costs down. I personally have a Health Savings Account that allows me to purchase affordable catastrophic health insurance with a savings component to pay out of pocket expenses.

I am able to save on health costs by negotiating with the provider as they are paid in cash versus the lenghty process of being reimbursed by a third party payer.

The insurance is portable, another valuable feature. As HSA plan insurance premiums are not tax deductable, the tax credit offered in the McCain plan will be an additional benefit.

The Obama plan will take away the tax deferred savings component, thereby a tax hike.

Anonymous said...

As an electorate, why haven't we learned that government programs do not deliver on their promises and the costs exceed projected costs.

Look what government management has done to social security, medicare and medicade. . .and most recently Fannie & Freddie.

The free market is the best manager of costs. States regulate health insurance programs and manadate covered procedures. This eliminates competition. Insurance should be offered on a menu basis; buy only the components needed and open competition by allowing sales across state lines. . . look at the savings available for auto and property insurance. . Progressive, Geico

mimi said...

Whoever the President will be, it is the Congress

who is the legislative branch of the gov't!

Congress writes, negotiates, refines and defines with

the influential lobby groups and yes, private citizens,

determine the laws of the Land, Not the President!!!!

Healthcare has been and is the largest part of the
GNP since the '80s! This is the most pressing
problem and hasn't been solved because it is so
complex...it is time American people became responsible
for their own health, not the Healthcare system, and not
the gov't....except for the most vulnerable populations,
the youngest, oldest, and poorest in our land or the medically fragile...!

There are no easy answers! That is why the
Presidential candidates dance around this issue:
they don't have the answers. Obama just says what
the people want to hear, but doesn't tell you the
extreme cost to the average tax payer or the
problems with Universal Healthcare coverage for all!

Neither candidate has enough experience or knowledge in the current healthcare system to debate this issue.

The nation needs extremely bright and creative doctors, nurses, scientists, with both Western & Alternative
therapies, and Healers in the broad sense of the word,
with public health policy makers in Washington, DC., to
navigate this issue.

This a complex problem that needs multiple problem
solving techniques.A consortium of experts in healthcare
with public policy experience could be invited to come to DC
and brain-storm this problem!

Mimi, RN!

Frank said...

Why do I need to have my health care benefits taxed by John McCain? Why can't we have a universal health care insurance system?

Anonymous said...

Government-controlled healthcare will make your doctor's office become as horrifying as the DMV or post office.

Anonymous said...

After watching my mother suffer two heart attacks before the age of 50 minus health insurance, I believe that our health care system needs a major overhaul.

I would also like to say that if we are the cure, why do we only get one month out of the year to promote heart disease? We need to be proactive and take as many steps necessary to make sure everyone has adequate access to healthcare in order to prevent the number one killer among woman.

Anonymous said...

All I care about is banning smoking in public everywhere!

Bill said...

It is time for government in part, to nationalize the health insurance carriers.

Money that should be fed into the healthcare system, to support individuals has been for too long siphoned-off into the pockets of executives and stock-holders.

Profits must be capped at 7%. Executive salaries also must be capitated. Stockholders must be bought-out with the same 7% capitated profit.

There is no need for significant tax burdens to Americans or American business with health care costs if the costs are managed at the source; the years of bloated profits by insurance carriers. Obscene bonuses should be recaptured from executives making more than 400,000 thousand a year and stockholder profits from 2005 should be examined carefully for possible recapture.

Dangerous time require powerful solutions. No executive or stockholder should reap obscene profits at the cost of the health of Americans.

Anonymous said...

I have been in countries that have socialized medicine and if you are sick or old you have to wait to be seen.I don't feel that federal insurance is the way to go.

ram4u@msn.com said...

I belong to Kaiser Permanente and cannot say enough great things about Kaiser. They saved my life several times. They provide me with incredible healthcare. The prices are very reasonable. The facilities are modern & state-of-the-art. They have a very low turnover in highly experienced doctors. Cardiac care at Kaiser in Northern Caifornia is among the best in the Bay Area. When I compare my experiences with Kaiser to all of the healthplans I have had throughout my life, there is simply no comparison. Kaiser demonstrates how to do medical care right by offering proactive medical care, education, and lots of choices. When it comes to customer service, they can show any business how to do business right!

I do not anticipate any major changes in healthcare through either presidential candidate right now. It is not a top prioroity in election politics right now, so it is a non-issue. It will take a true leader in either the Senate or the House to come up with solutions that work. It will have to be a plan that goes beyond party lines. A plan that does not spend too much time in the design phase trying to cater to every little cicrcumstance a politician can come up with. That creates gridlock. It also results in massive solutions that are extremely costly, inefficient, and ultimately non-workable. I would use Kaiser as a model and come up with an affordable solution that allows people to pay in for their services. Deductables & costs should be reasonable for all and based on true ability to pay. Furthermore, affordability should be based on geographical location as well. For example, a $50,000 income in Des Moines, Iowa has far greater value than a $50,000 income in San Francisco, California. Perhaps the best people to drive this program would be Senator Ted Kennedy, Senator Arlen Spector, Representative Lois Capps, and Representative Jackie Speier. I name these 4 people as I know all 4 can put partisan politics aside to develop a great healthcare package that works for all and is not strictly favorable to any one party. They could produce a plan that most Americans would approve of and that either McCain or Obama could endorse should either become president.

A nationalized healthcare system like the Veteran's Administration will not work. It would lead to sub-standard healthcare and poor customer service. This is obvious by the type of service one can experience in many government agencies. The employees typically have no incentive to offer good service. You can't fire them. All employees get paid the same whether they do a great job or do nothing at all. I would rather take my chances with the free market system and let competition dictate my choices.

ram4u@msn.com said...

There is an easy way to get the attention of Obama, McCain, and everyone else in Congress. How nervous would these people get if they found out that 500 female American soldiers were killed in Iraq each day and nothing was done to stop it? How nervous would these people get if 500 American women were murdered each day throughout the United States and nothing was done to stop it? How fast would they be throwing money at scientists if 500 American women died each day from some horible disease and nothing was done to stop it? Yet this is exactly what is going on. We do have 500+ women dying each day across the United States from heart disease, more than breast cancer, murder, warfare, car accidents, AIDS, and housefires COMBINED. Yet we continue to allow greater numbers of people to die while money gets poured in to other programs that get more publicity or celebrity endorsements. How fair is it that the life of someone you love may not get saved because they do not have the disease that is currently popular with celebrities? Want to make a real difference in Washington, DC? Want to have a serious impact on reversing the horrible numbers of people dying each day from heart disease? There is a way. WE need to educate. WE need to market our cause. WE need to speak out. WE need to become activists. WE need to create publicity. WE need to be loud. WE need to be seen. WE need to be heard. WE need to be painting all of Washington, DC with the bright red color of the American Heart Association. Every day WE fail to succeed means 1,000 more people have died!

Anonymous said...

I was pleased that both candidates mentioned the need for 'preventive' health care for chronic diseases, like heart disease, rather than waiting until there is a need for surgery or other costly procedures. This offers a unique opportunity to AHA and similar organizations whose focus is education regarding risk factors, warning signs, etc. There was not enough information shared in the brief time allotted during the debate last night to be able to understand the candidades' plans. One thing is for sure, I am NOT in favor of a national healthcare system. My Dad recently received two stents and an ICD. His cardiologist (originally from Russia; trained in England) said that if my Dad had lived in England he would have been 'too old' (at age 76) to receive an ICD; there the 'cut-off' is 65 years of age. The dr. also said that patients in England who are within the age range often wait 4 years to receive an ICD....that is, if they are still alive. This is not the kind of healthcare I want in our country. I wish I had more answers; it's a complicated situation.

Anonymous said...

I have heart disease , I actually had insurance BUT it would not cover pre existing conditions for 1 full year . The premium started out at $235.00 pre month for both my husband and I . He got on medicare , and I was in a bad car wreck , ( Hit by a semi in th rear end ) . his insurance blamed me for being in the wrong place . Anyway , my insurance paid some of my medical expenses and i rest I had to pay . Because they paid some my premium went up for single coverage to $450.pre month . who could afford that , needless to say these insurance companies can do what ever they want with our lives They just want their money !!!

Anonymous said...

It is clear the person who becomes our next president will not have the power to change health care without the support of congress. We must make it known to our legislators in writing that health care and prevention is a priority. It will be important to examine the Massachusetts experience with statewide health care to see if its feasible and economically sound.

Anonymous said...

I am glad that both candidates are concerned about our healthcare system. I think that everyone agrees that change is needed.

We have many people in the US that cut back on medication in order to make it last---they stretch it out as much as possible until their next monthly check comes in. They must also decide if they can have food, heat or medicine. Unfortunately, we have many citizens who cannot have all three. As a country, we don't seem to do a very good job for our elderly citizens when they don't have the basic necessities they need to live.

It is also a problem for many on social security who must spend the majority of their benefits for medication and medical treatment. For many, there is little left over to meet their basic needs for food and heat. I hope that this will change. The quality of life could be improved for many of our people with some healthcare changes.

Anonymous said...

It is time to address the issue of the health care system...before the aging baby boomers put so much pressure on the system it falls apart. There needs to be consideration for healthy people who are not overweight and do not smoke...and incentives for those who do to get in shape. Much more focus on prevention. FSA use for fitness centers and weight watchers. Invest in technology and eliminate the duplication and unnecessary testing that drives up costs.

Anonymous said...

I keep hearing about how bad the healthcare choices are that's being offered by both parties. I think to myself, is some healthcare better than none? I know that no system is perfect but we must start somewhere. We learn from our mistakes and makes things better as time goes on. Think about all of the people who use the emergency room as their healthcare provider. We all know that a Tylenol does not cost $8 but if administered in the emergency room, it will. People need a plan in which they can see a doctor before it turns into thousands of dollars in emergency room visits. No plan is perfect but if we have to choose, I would choose Obama's plan.

Anonymous said...

I think health care reform is definitely needed. But I think we need to educate from birth on that the majority of us have the opportunity to influence our health with our lifestyle choices. And as with any behavior/choice there are consequences,and that if people choose to do the behavior they know the cost. I would like to see youth educated more every year on nutrition & physical activity to lower the need for health care issues that should not be happening until late in life.

Anonymous said...

We also must understand that just because you do not smoke or or are not overweight does not mean that you are healthy. What about people that may have other problems that drive up the cost of healthcare like a heart condition, high cholesterolm,low iron, diabetes. These conditions may not be detected unless they are tested.

Anonymous said...

MCain's plan does NOT cover pre-existing conditions and experts say it will potentially kill employer-based health insurance. It leaves too mny uninsured still. It does nothing to control costs and the $5,000 tax credit goes straight to the INSURANCE companies who will flee to states where health regulations are lax. Why can't all Americans enjoy CHENEY-CARE, the exact federal coverage provided to the damaged heart of the Vice President? That's the kind of health coverage Obama has proposed to those without employer-based insurance.

La Dona said...

I have watched each and every debate and consider it a waste of time. The candidates are too busy reworking their campaign motos, which are empty meaningless statements and will never become real once elections have been completed.
What this country needs is an intelligent health system under which people are cured, without having to bargain, cheat and even sell their soul to the devil. The costs of healthcare, be it medication, hospital, medical is outrageous. No other country in the world charges these kinds of prices...each doctor now owns his lexus or mercedes, paid for by our ailments. When I had surgery recently in a Central American country, I discovered excellent medical support. I was immediately introduced to a nurse, who stayed with me all the way till I left for the recovery hotel. The surgeon, trained overseas, was most personable, not interested in how much he would gouge me, but more interested in the type of surgery he would provide. He was most careful, I felt nothing, I was cared for as a human being, and not as a number, as happens here in the U.S. The hospital has been vetted by the Joint Commission, it meets all the criteria and I highly recommend it as well as its medical support team for all medical problems. I refuse to go to a medical facility here for any major intervention because I will need to obtain a loan which will be difficult to repay. I can return to my original site in C.A. and pay 1/10 with superior and pleasurable medical services, plus a system which cares for the individual.

Is it possible for the U.S. to obtain such a medical support service. Absolutely, it just needs to train medical personnel that money is not the main objective, but rather the health of the individual.

Will our candidates support such a program? Probably not, because the medical lobby which support their campaign refuses to give into this concept. They think to much with their pocketbook!

Will the U.S.have a better medical support system? Probably not, the training is lacking on the part of the administrative personnel and the standing procedures, the insurance companies who prefer to make 700% profit and the fast food companies who continue to feed poor nutritional food to the consumers. It becomes a true merry-go-round and the poor victim is us, the consumer.

Anonymous said...

It's fine for the presidential candidates to talk about their plans but let's not forget that they are the executive branch of the government. It's the legislative branch that will actually be the ones to vote on any changes in health care and if it doesn't go anywhere in the Congress it doesn't get to the President. That's why I'm much more interested in my Senators and Representatives and those races!

Anonymous said...

Why vote for a person running under his own flag, which he proudly had repainted over the USA flag on his jet and is displayed on his campaign banners with Biden.

This is NOT THE USA flag. This is an omen of the promised change for America.

To SEE OBAMA FOR WHO HE IS, GO TO THE LINK www.theobamafile.com

Anonymous said...

I don't want any more taxes on my salary. I do believe our entire healthcare programs need revising and fast. Pharmacuticals charge us for their ads and then take off for taxes, everyone should have coverage who is a citizen of this country and has paid taxes.
Every child should be covered.
With what we hand out to aliens and other nations; we should keep that money here and support our own folks from birth to death.
Now if your company has a plan great, but there are self employed and small businesses w/o any coverage and when they use the hospital and can't pay; those who can get billed. I feel all should be covered one way or another.

Anonymous said...

Most other countries do not have better care than the US. In fact, none of them really do. The Governement model in Canada for instance is much less effective. Everyone will get treatment, if they live long enough to get it. The wait time for elective surgery (ie knee or hip replacement) may be 3 years. Most physicians are salaried through the government plan, which also does not foster any initiative for them to get better at their craft, nor does it entice them to see a higher volume of patients. Most of the issue in the US is the number of folks on free healthcare that abuse and clog up the system. If I go to an ER, I have to pay a Co Pay. So rest assured, I do not go for a runny nose or a sore throat. I work in an ER and see this every day... Those who pay for healthcare only come if they really need it, they question the doctor when he orders tests to make sure they are necessary... Those with the "gold card" come in day after day, test after test and have no idea what it is to have to pay for your healthcare. Also, people bringing suit against doctors and facilities has gotten ridiculous. Doctors, nurses and paramedics are human and do make mistakes, however, if you have a bottle of pain pills and are supposed to take them 1 pill every six hours yet choose to take 6 and a few beers causing an overdose, I think that's your own fault. If you get an infection after running through a plate glass window while enjoying some methamphetamine, how is that the hospitals fault that you now have MRSA? We need to cap the lawsuits, make people prove they need assistance with healthcare insurance, instill a co pay system at some level and make folks take random drug screnings. I have to take one to get my paychecks occasionally, so should people on medicaid. If a parent can afford to by 2 packs of cigarrettes a day, they can buy tylenol at wal mart for their children. Our tax dollars doesn't need to fund free scripts for OTC meds... I don't know if either candidate can do anything to significantly affect healthcare, but throwing money at the problem has only lead to 3rd generation welfare recipients and a sense of entitlement for those who refuse to go to work and help themselves. I know there is a place for SSI and SSDI, and very unfortunate people who need this, but the vast majority of these folks in the US eat up resources and clog up the system with no due regard for how it gets funded. The fix for healthcare costs may be to limit the amount of money spent on healthcare, reduce the law suits, relax some of the FDA regulations on pre testing before clinical use and somehow teach Americans that a free ride is costing the rest of us dearly. So we need change, I think we do, but I would like to see everyone getting healthcare providing effort to combat the cost.

Thanks,Stacy

Anonymous said...

I don't have a television so must get all my information from the papers (yes, I do buy and read more than 1) and from the radio. I don't think either candidate really has a clue what the American people need. We spend more on healthcare than any other country and have more people who are uninsured or have no insurance than many 3rd world countries. The hospital I work at spends millions each year in charity care!! I'm single and have to pay $1500.00 annually before the insurance takes over. I don't go to the doctor or emergency room unless I have no other choice, so I end up paying all my own medical bills everytime. Thankfully I have a job and can pay them. We do need a system that works and covers everyone, don't think that socialized medicine is the answer, but something must work. I agree with Stacy's comments 10/17 5:34pm.

Anonymous said...

I am amazed that 1, any one can get health insurance for a family for $5000 a year.

2, I am a small business owner and currently pay 50% of the premium for our employees we cover 6 and the bill is $5000/month. We could not afford to keep this benefit if they did not pay the 50%.

As a person with CAD - meds are expensive so I am unclear how this will also play out. It does not excite me that as a small business owner I will get a 50% tax break - I will still have to pay put the money - we only have 8 employees - they are also not taking into consideration age variables and pre-exisiting conditions, manadatory maternity care etc..... It is a start though.

The bottom line is that Health Insurance is not a priority to people as the general notion is that the government will take care of you - frankly, I hate that my rates are so high because of this attitude. How will this change.

bydesign001 said...

While both plans leaves a lot to be desired, McCain's plan is clearly the lesser of two evils. When government is involved in everything, there are contraints and repercussions.

In the case of Obama's universal healthcare plan, that constraint is fiscal, i.e., health care rationing.

Re: Obama's plan, See, The Devil is in the Details: A Look at Obama’s Health Care Plan http://www.allamericanblogger.com/3535/the-devil-is-in-the-details-a-look-at-obamas-health-care-

"Barack Obama has a plan for fixing the American health care system. Posted on his website, he has laid his plan out for everyone to review. Only, he has left out a few details....When initially reviewed, the Obama plan seems well thought out, but when closely examined, it doesn’t get into the details on how the plan will be implemented. There are words such as “require” and “force,” which should cause even liberals to stop and consider the power of such terms when wielded by the federal government.

But what it boils down to is huge federal bureaucracies attempting to control the price of health care. And as I have written before, when you have price controls, you will have shortages, followed by rationing.

We already have health care rationing in America, though it is currently limited to one state. With Obama’s plan, it could easily spread across America like a virus."

AND
Barack Obama's Health Care Lies, http://www.spectator.org/archives/2008/10/15/barack-obamas-health-care-lies

"Moreover, the heavy subsidies for the cost of the insurance, and the competitive pressure from the public plan undoubtedly with low deductibles and co-pays would force the private insurers to offer low deductibles and co-pays as well. The same factors would drive consumers to choose the most costly plans offering the most benefits. Yet, where are the incentives in the Obama plan to control costs? There are none....

.....So like all government run, socialized health plans, with no market incentives to control costs, the Obama plan will soon be scrambling for cost control. And the only place to turn for significant cost savings is government rationing of health care."

Thus, with an already pre-existing health condition, I would not put my trust in Barack Obama.

Anonymous said...

Till we rid ourselves of greed,and start with compassion nothing will be resolved.
When taking care of people becomes the priorty we will have taken the first step towards proper health care.
As for how this can be accomplished many prayers and the need to become human again.

Anonymous said...

I don't like either of the proposals of either candidate right now. I think a health care system where each & EVERY business pays a percentage of thier profits AFTER exspenses say 2%? (Not sure if this would be eonugh)to a main insurance bank that would cover EVERY citizen, would be the best. Here is why, there are lots of businesses that have no insurance because it costs too much, so if everyone shared it would cheaper. Also when we spend our money at a business we are supporting thier profit so it isn't like we are trying to take something away from them. Everyone would pick which insurance coverage they wanted, becuase all the companies would be left in place.They would be paid from the main collection bank according to how many people pick them. There would also need to be an incentive for the hosptials to actully cure people & there would be no exclusion for pre-exsisting conditions. I happen to have no insurance & had a heart attack 5 years ago & I am still paying the hospital. When I go to the doctor I tell them I want certain blood work & they have flat refused. Why? I am paying for it not an insurance company? I am ready to find ANOTHER doctor. Not one of them in 5 years has done a liver profile or anything other then cholestorol (which was 127 at the time of the attack & is now at 197). the pills they put me cleary say I need to have blood work every so often. I guess they don't get a kick back If I pay for the test?

Anonymous said...

What we need is insurance reform. I am a nurse and I have some of the WORST insurance. You would think being a healthcare provider it would be top notch. I have to pay out of pocket more than my patients do. So we need to reform insurance companies and make everything cost the same for everyone!

Anonymous said...

I have often wondered why medical insurance companies do not follow automobile insurance companies in their issuance of coverage. When you have auto insurance and have several tickets or wrecks, your insurance climbs until you are denied or start taking responsibility and improve your driving record. Life insurance companies already have higher cost policies or deny policies due to a person's habit. If a person has had a heart attack or lung disease and continues to smoke, why should my rates go up? Only theirs should. If a person has been adivsed to lose weight, been given the proper eduation and diet counseling and conitues to eat more and gain more weight, why shouldn't their insurance go up? Americans spend more on sporting events than we do on our own health care. There in an imbalance in our our values and accountabilities.

Anonymous said...

Everyone needs to have healthcare, the question is who pays? a Plan such as Obama's means we the average working class taxes payers will pay for everyone includeing the illegals and non citizens and unemployed, with higher taxes. Make healthcare coverage more affordable though competion just seem more fair to me.

Anonymous said...

I firmly believe that laws must be changed to better serve American people. People/kids with pre-existing conditions for example, we must make affordable care for them once they reach a certain age. Many of these people will still be responsible, productive members of our society, its not their fault they have a chronic disease or condition! I believe that health care needs to be chosen, I don't want someone telling me where to go!

vmr said...

I favor Medicare-for-all, a not for-profit, high quality system that is simple, covers everyone, stresses preventive health through incentives , charges for care based on ability to pay, with no co-pays, no preconditions, medications from lowest-cost providers, wellness programs, stepped up school activity programs to combat obesity. Physicians and nurses will have to be paid more, and caps will regulate both quality and standard charges.

Anonymous said...

I don't know what to say,but just to share my true story I had a very bad experienced with health care coverage.I worked in one of the hospital in N.J. for 30 years but I was only 56 years old when I had the stroke I had the years of service but not the age 60 the contract said 25 yrs of service age 60 so what happened with the years of service I had put in? Nothing.I was not credited for it.I thought It was very unfair first of all I did not choose to be disabled.After working hard all your life thinking you'll be alright when you get sick it's too disappointing dealing with this kind of problem I had to use my own money paying for cobra and after cobra I had to pay a lot of money for medicap c to supplement medicare I just want to give a wake up call to everybody investigate your health care coverage you might have a big surprise when things like this happen..My pension money is not even enough to cover the insurance I have to pay.

We need to be together to have a better health care system!

Anonymous said...

I listened, but I heard buzz words like "affordable health care". I don't think the candidates have a clue how hard it is to live in "the real world" with a family!
I have just qualified for Medicare, and my insurance premiums dropped from $750.00 per month. I have saved for retirement, but I still feel I am just one serious illness away from bankrupcy. I would like to see the congress pay social security as well as me, and I should be eligible for their health care package. What they vote for themsselves should be available for all americans.

Laura Lee said...

I can't believe that the American People want a SOCIALISTIC SOCIETY...VOTING FOR NATIONAL HEALTHCARE PLAN...
Being an American, you have choices, if you want a SOCIALISTIC SOCIETY, MOVE! There are plenty out there to choose from..Why would you want to have the government telling you what and when you can do something???THINK PEOPLE REAL HARD BEFORE YOU VOTE!

Anonymous said...

I think there is a need for health care reform, but like in education I am concerned about the idea of blanket health care like in Canada driving down the quality in order to get quantity. I must admit I am undereducated in this area, but that is my comment. :)

Anonymous said...

I certainly wish public discussion would address how this affects our children. The current health care system is a nightmare for our families who's children have heart defects and heart disease. Access to appropriate care, pre-existing condition clauses, insurance caps, are all life-long issues for families whose children face multiple complex surgeries, long hospital stays and frequent physician visits. Little Hearts Hold Big Hopes - We need to change the system, so they can afford to have hope!

Anonymous said...

Gimme. Gimme. Gimme. After health care, what's the next government guarantee? Sex?

Only the truly needy should have such a guarantee, and this is already handled through Medicaid and Medi-Cal programs.