So the Nhs reform has been passed through Lords! That went down rather quietly, how come nobody protested? Oh wait they did, but somehow nobody was filming nor writing about it! How come that in the year 2012 a huge protest in London with a huge police presence ( which according to some people were armed to the teeth) does not get prime time news coverage? And why was the bbc reporting about the proposed commissioning of a report which would look into part privatization of our roads while they sneakily pushed the Nhs reform bill through the lords?
Come on I can’t have been the only one who immediately thought of diversion tactics when the story about privatization of our roads broke?
Someone asked on twitter the other day what would be so bad about going down the road of premium health care, similar to the American system. Well let’s look at that shall we:
If your not covered you have to have something funky they can make money out of otherwise I fear they’ll turn you away!
You’ll be fine if you can afford the premiums of a comprehensive health insurance and like with most insurances If you can stomach the excess you’ll have to pay you’ll be much better off! But what about the people that can’t afford either the premiums or the excess or both?
Here now follows some insightful words from Mrs W. from California, someone who actually knows what the American health system is like:
The main problem with no social medicine in the U.S. is restricted access for people who cannot afford insurance premiums. When I was growing up each county had a County Hospital where people could receive medical treatment, if they could not afford insurance. County Hospitals would work with patients at arranging some type of payment plan with low monthly payments. Today, these county hospitals no longer exist to receive care you must have medical coverage or pay cash up front as very few hospitals and almost no doctors office will accept payments on a high cost medical bill. The poor (very low-income) can apply to the Social Welfare program for assistance. The rich can afford insurance premiums or pay cash. However, the middle class is stuck in between to high of an income for Welfare, but to low of an income to afford insurance premiums or pay cash.
Compiled Info for Markus On healthcare in the United States.
http://www.startribune.com/opinion/commentaries/143893066.html The affordable heath care act was suppose to improve coverage and provide more access to lower cost insurance for everyone. Pfft did not, I have private health insurance coverage through our company. Since I had surgery in June 2011, which totaled approximately $100,000, monthly insurance premiums have increased to $1700 per month, and all co-pays have increased, with Tier-three medications costing the highest at $85 a month. The Tier-three co-pay forced me to stop taking my medication, and replace it with a different type that has a generic, not as effective, but instead of $85 a month it dropped to $15. Basically private insurance dictates the type of medications a person takes by skyrocketing the co-pay cost per prescription in such a way people are force to stop or change to lower cost medications. Same is true with Doctor visits, hospitals, and treatments. Most often health insurance offers higher coverage amounts if a person chooses to go to a participating provided (in-network), and less coverage with more out-of-pocket if a person goes to a non-participating provider (out-of-network). The surgery I had last year was in-network my out-of-pocket was $4,000 of the $100,000. Had I went out-of-network the out-of-pocket would have been 10,000 to 20,000.
Excellent current news article on problems with health care in the U.S. http://www.huffingtonpost.com/andrew-pavelyev/supreme-court-individual-mandate_b_1368886.html
Bearing in mind what you have just read by Mrs W from California I want to now get personal and tell you about our experience and how that might have changed in a system comparable to the American health care system!
We went for IVF in Feb/March 2011 and were successful. We were rather very successful it turned out to be triplets! So we were fast tracked to have more scans than is usual for a pregnancy, of course a triplet pregnancy is classed as a ‘high risk pregnancy’. In the American system the red flags would go up immediately! we ended up having a scan every 3 weeks. If the scans were payable, finding several hundred pounds every 3 weeks can be difficult!
At the 12 week scan we were informed about the risks involved in a triplet pregnancy and the consultant was talking about a reduction as there was a 15% chance that 1 or all of the triplets could have severe disabilities. In the American system they would have stressed it even more I think. Obviously we didn’t go for the reduction. How do you decide something like that, when all we were told was this 15% chance no other reasons! After all it meant there was an 85% chance they all would be fine!
Long story short our boys were born at 25weeks 6 days, Extremely premature! In the American system they would have either said ‘late miscarriage’ or we’d have to pay an arm & a leg! Even if the Insurance covered it, what about long term, follow ups, etc would they be covered as well??
We lost our first born Richard at 2 days. Edward our second born was fine, but a few weeks later we almost lost Alex, he had to have emergency bowel surgery! Every minute counted. No question about money, insurance or anything like that! He made it through but later we found out that Alex also had a heart problem called ‘pulmonary stenosis’ which means follow up appointments and procedures during most of his childhood. Soon they’ll have to have another surgery, as they both have inguinal hernias. Apart from that they both are on a special prescription formula called ‘Neocate LCP’ and they need several other medicines.
Taking all of this into account and comparing it to what Mrs W said, do you honestly believe any health insurance in the American system would pay for all of this? Either our premiums would be astronomical or our doctors and hospital bills would be astronomical! Either way we’d be so screwed there’d be no way back for us!!
So please explain to me how these reforms will make the NHS better, stronger & fairer? Please tell me how or why an American style system of premium healthcare wouldn’t be that bad?