random brain dribbles of a nurse, novelist, and ninja enthusiast

A nurse’s perspective on why I think healthcare should be universally awesome!

As a healthcare provider I feel very strongly about today’s Daily Prompt. Thankfully, I have already blogged about this topic to some degree in an old post on my previous website. Some segments of the mass media attempt to convince the world that subscribing to universal healthcare and certain presidential candidates will immediately turn America, land of freedom, into the former Cold War, Ivan Drago Soviet Union of our worst communist nightmares.

Communist Obama

These are the same people proclaiming how they will flee to Canada to avoid the socialistic rigors of universal health care, because America is “becoming a commie, socialist wasteland” while at the same time fiercely defending social services like medicare and social security (gimme a break guys, it even has the word social in it!). Is everyone making moronically ironic statements such as these, no, but is it common enough to cause concern. Yes! 

Just spend five seconds googling the phrase Obamacare and moving to Canada and you will see what I am talking about. Even Mitt Romney fell victim to this irony when he praised Israel’s healthcare system (like Canada, they have socialist healthcare) while visiting overseas. Before you begin criticizing Romney for making this mistake keep in mind just how easy it is to make.

Most of the industrialized world, especially those countries with the highest rated healthcare, have socialized medicine. If you don’t believe me and you somehow think my references are “too liberal” for you, then check out The World Health Organizations official 2008 report. Fact is, if you go to just about any other industrialized country within the European Union and Asia to praise their much higher ranked healthcare system you will likely fall into the same trap.

Small list of non-communist countries with universal healthcare and higher rated medical care

United Kingdom

France – entirely socialized and currently number 1 for healthcare worldwide

Canada

Israel

Other social services we all freely enjoy:

Libraries

library2

National Parks

National Park

Public Schools

Hey mom! Look at this picture socialism let me draw! Taxes rock!

Hey mom! Look at this picture socialism let me draw! Taxes rock!

No one wants to get rid of any of these things so why do we not care just as much about the most personal thing any of us will ever have to contend with, our own health. Before both of my parents passed, I was their primary caretaker and the constant struggles I have had with their own insurance issues exposed me to how bad our healthcare situation in America really is. Privatizing healthcare is a horrible idea.

Insurance companies and privatized medical companies only care about their own bottom line. They will do whatever it takes to keep from paying something they feel is unnecessary. Despite having both Medicare and Tricare for life through my father’s lifelong service in the military my parents struggled with their medical care coverage. If both of my parents who had Tricare, Medicare, and privately purchased long term care insurance had trouble then how much more does everybody else. A lot!

A close friend of mine is going through similar problems with his own family as they struggle to escape the nightmares of middle class healthcare coverage. They did not have long term care insurance and his father is unable to get medicare, but is severely disabled with an early form of Alzheimer’s disease. He is total care, but they can’t provide the care he needs without putting themselves in bankruptcy.

I know from personal experience that Medicare will only cover 100 days in a skilled nursing facility and you are then responsible for thousands of dollars worth of care each month. Few Americans can even afford thousands of dollars for their own mortgages. How in the world is anyone supposed to afford this without additional insurance. Fact is, they can’t.

Our elderly population is some of the poorest in our nation and this is due largely to the excessive cost of medical care. Every insurance company has a cap and once you pass this the buck is on you. We seem to be treating dollars and not disease. Why has our country come to this? Why do we hesitate to pay for the one thing we all need the most? These are questions we all must answer as we cast political preferences aside and attack this bipartisan problem head on. What are your thoughts? Leave a comment below!

18 Responses to “A nurse’s perspective on why I think healthcare should be universally awesome!”

  1. theloneshewolf

    As someone who lives in Canada I personally love our health care system.

    Currently I am living in a province who just elected a piece of crap premier who single handed spent our entire surplus and threw us into ENORMOUS debt in very little time.

    WHY?? Because that individual has NO idea what they are doing.

    Now there are talks of privatizing the health care.

    Which is a nightmare for us, we live with diseases so health care is needed. Privatizing it will send our whole family into serious debt because we rely on healthcare to keep memebers of our family alive. Or we can just let the otherwise healthy loved ones die.

    Honestly I don’t know how Americans do it and survive. I tip my hat to them though.

    Reply
    • josefkul

      Sorry to hear about your country’s health woes. I do think that universal healthcare could spin out of control if there isn’t a system of balances, but unfortunately this system is often created by those who aren’t working on the front lines in most hospitals.
      There are users and abusers of healthcare and we in the hospital can immediately groan at the latter when they expectantly return to our doorstep after refusing to help themselves. Healthcare should focus on prevention and reimbursement should be made based upon compliance to medical regimens and good health decisions.
      I personally think fatty foods should be taxed and that there should be a firm rules set in place for people who absolutely refuse to get treated for the very things they came in to be treated for. Healthcare should be both a right and a privilege.
      Considering many hardworking Americans with what they had thought was good insurance can get pushed back by someone who is receiving free medical care for the government to allow them to sip our grape juices and hang out in our hospitals for months as they refuse to take any medicine or treatment to improve their condition other than ‘feel good’ meds is quite frankly criminal!
      Hope everything works out in Canada!

      Reply
      • theloneshewolf

        Being the forever optimist and believer in the better good of humanity I often forget about “those who abuse the better good of systems and others.”

        Personally they drive me crazy.

        More like batshit crazy. LOL. I don’t know how you do what you do and keep your sanity in place.

        I totally hear here you are coming from there and I know I am on the same page as you (as I s l o w l y
        come to better understand it)

        With us it is just our one province that is talking of this. mostly as a vehicle to reduce our new debt problem. They are also talking of cutting back education too. Which is kind of funny because that is one area they promised to build on.

        LOL. I’m sure things will work out. Silver linings.

        :S

  2. kristc99

    Well said! The system in the US is a MESS, and only getting worse. Health care providers drown in paperwork and red tape, costs are out of control, and quality of care is going down. In my family if anyone was sick or hurt, the first thought was – how much is this going to cost? Can we manage this without going to the doctor or hospital?

    Yes, we need universal health care! AND dental care. It is NOT OK with me that I have had no options for affordable insurance or access to health care because I couldn’t tolerate a full time job. It is not OK that my friends and neighbors suffer because they can’t afford care.

    I’m an RN, 33 years, first hospital and then home health. I had to work per diem so I could keep my case load manageable, provide the quality of care my patients deserved, and keep my sanity. I am now happily retired in Panama where health care is far better than in the US, and much less likely to bankrupt us. I’m thankful that I’m not a new nurse at the beginning of a career in an industry that feels like it’s headed over a cliff.

    You are right. Private insurance companies don’t want to pay for anything because they are only in it for profits. We expect education, social security, medicare, and a number of other government run programs. Isn’t health care just as basic a need, if not more so? It seems crazy to me to consider anything less than universal health care.

    I could go on and on, as you can imagine! The biggest reason for bankruptcy is medical costs, and the majority of those people had insurance. I am very happy to have left the US. Cost of living was the main factor, and lack of access to affordable quality health care was right behind it.

    Best of luck to you! I hope for you, and all our friends and neighbors in the US, that things change, and soon!

    Reply
    • josefkul

      Well said! Something needs to be done very soon! The fact that people have to go to such extremes just to pay for it is criminal. PS nurses rule!

      Reply
  3. sha'tashari

    I would rather the government not make my medical decisions for me. Paying for medical attention is expensive; however, throwing everything into a single pot is not going to fix this. We need to fix the legal processes that are increasing liability insrance costs, cure the general public of believing that not paying their medical bills hurts no one, and educate the public on preventive care and when to use emergency care.

    Reply
    • josefkul

      Thanks! I actually have close personal friends who still believe he is a socialist with ties to Cuba and all sorts of ridiculous thoughts and ideas. Where are people getting this information?

      Reply
    • josefkul

      Read it! Your model sounds similar to what we would be attempting to achieve some time in the future. Gough Whitlam sounds amazing! I’ll definitely have to study up quite a bit more on him. I actually did an older post about Australia and its interesting and deadly wildlife. You can access it at my old site, but I’m planning on reposting a lot of those older posts here once the baby is born and swallows blogging whole.

      Reply
      • determined34

        Yes when it comes to deadly Australia has it in spades — the world’s deadliest Snake, Box Jelly fish, White Pointer Sharks, Funnel Web Spiders …..As for Gough he is still with us unfortunately his wife Margaret died last year. He was ahead of his time when it came to social policy. He has an institute named after him at our University (no other P.M has that). His sister lives on our town, she was an educator, she is still teaching at the ‘University of the 3rd Age’ (which she helped establish) for people over 50 who still want to learn! She is a dynamo 🙂

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