Glad you made it this far through the fight man.
I agree, the system could be better, the wait times in the ER are ridiculous, but is to be expected. Its free, people show up with the sniffles and just waste the staffs time being told to go home and rest.
If the american healthcare outcomes were phenomenal, i might listen to some arguments for their system, but as it stands the outcomes indicate that chances of a positive outcome in the US health system are not as good as most developed countries. Thé latest WHO report i could find indicates that they had the highest expenditure per capita and ranked 72 in terms of actual health outcomes.
As a healthcare worker in the US (fire/EMS and RN) I can assure you wait times at most Emergency departments in the states are also horrible. We have the same problem- everyone goes there for the sniffles, GI bug, stitches, etc. Part of the reason is the poorest people (Medicaid, or no insurance) don’t pay so it doesn’t matter. Those with no insurance simply don’t have a doctor if they can’t afford to pay out of pocket, so they have to use the ED for everything.
The other part is most people with insurance can’t get in to see their doctor in a timely manner. If you’ve had a roaring sinus infection for two days you can’t call and get an appointment next day, or even that week you have to go somewhere else to get treatment. We do have Stat Care facilities, which are good for minor illness/injury but for some reason people are still drawn to the ED.
Most anyone with insurance either has a high Co-pay for the ED, up to $500 out of pocket, or they have a high deductible plan. I have the latter- I pay a monthly premium ($160) and I also pay the first $1,900 of any care I need in that calendar year. If I don’t need any care or medicine I only pay the monthly premium. If I need a $5 prescription I pay $5; if I need an $800 prescription I have to pay $800. You keep paying until you meet that $1,900. Then everything is covered 100%. I’m not sure about you, but I’ve been in a position that I needed a prescription that was $500. I had to simply go without. And so do others- we see patients get discharged, can’t afford their medications, get sicker and are re-admitted to the hospital. It’s ridiculous.
It’s a terrible plan for healthy people because you almost never reach the $1,900 so I you pay for everything out of pocket along with the monthly deductible. It’s a great plan for someone who gets diagnosed with a serious illness because your bill might be $50,000 but you’ll only pay $1,900.
I went to the ED for a kidney stone in November, and met my deductible for the year, funny how my total came out to $2,050. The insurance only had to pay out $150 for me last year, yet collected almost $2,000 in premiums from me. I paid the nearly $2,000 in premiums plus the entire $1,900 deductible.
Insurance company: +$1,850
It’s unsustainable for people in the long run. This is one reason why people feel they are being ripped off by insurance companies.
I realize that higher taxes mean less money in your pocket, however you don’t suddenly have to come up with a large sum like you do here. You also don’t have to avoid care, like I am right now, because you can’t afford it. I started having a mild heart arrhythmia the last week of December, I couldn’t get an appointment until January. My deductible is now back at $0 which means I’ll have to pay for any testing, visits, lab work, etc which will most likely be around $1,000 and that’s if they don’t find anything wrong and just tell me to keep an eye on it. I still owe $1,000 from last year! It’s easy to see how quickly you can get in a lot of debt just from being sick.
Here's where I list all my bikes:
'71 Kaw 250 Bison
'81 KZ750 cafe
2014 Yamaha Bolt
In progress: '68 CL350