Compare with Healthcare of Other countries
Using the subtopic, universal health, in Michael Moore’s documentary Film “Sicko” this paper will compare the healthcare system of America with Canada, England, France, Cuba, and the Bahamas. It will show how social healthcare works in these countries in oppose to insured healthcare in America.
Compare with Healthcare of Other countries
Sixteen point four million poor children are in America; this is a sad fact from a country that rules the world. Since World War II America has aided countries around the world financially and physically in their fights, yet it is unable to provide its citizens with workable healthcare; in his documentary film, Michael Moore says that there are almost fifty-six million uninsured Americans; he agrees that what America needs is socialized healthcare.
Despite its youthful stage America has become the most powerful country in the world; and the American people have fought long and hard for the privileges they now enjoy. However, it took forty-four presidents before the American people would see a bill that provides healthcare for its poor. America spends approximately 3, 433 billion dollars on foreign wars between World War II and September 11, 2001. Unfortunately, America values foreign wars more than its poor citizens. During the reign of President Clinton, he asked his wife, Hillary, to devise a plan for healthcare; and she did. Nonetheless, the Republicans spent one million dollars to defeat this healthcare plan and did not formulate a counter-plan. Almost ten years after this defeat healthcare talks resurfaced with President Obama; he witnessed firsthand the impact of the uninsured as his own mother battled cancer. It is tragic when a country spends so much money to fight other peoples’ war but did not see the necessity to provide healthcare for the fifty million people who are without insurance.
Illness is almost as inevitable as death; and very rare will one meet someone who has never been ill or have never gone to the doctor. While most countries, even communist countries, find it necessary to provide healthcare for their citizens, America; with all its money and eagerness to help other countries; has never had healthcare utmost on its list of priorities. To low income Americans “health insurance” is a dirty phrase. The disabled and the unemployed are fortunate to get Medicaid. To get Medicaid while working, one needs to be earning a certain amount of money, meaning if one earns two hundred ten dollars per week and the qualification for Medicaid is two hundred dollars, this person is not qualified for Medicaid; even though the extra ten dollars is not enough to by most over the counter drugs. I have personally seen people who suffer from heart disease and or diabetic turned away from clinics because they do not have the money to pay the required fees to see a doctor. Getting medication does not fare any better, often time’s patients have to take their medication in lower dosage because they are unable to buy the full dosage, or they sometimes go without. Recently pharmaceuticals companies have made concession to provide discount or free drugs for low income and uninsured patients; thanks to President George W. Bush. Manny Americans have had their lives shortened or their illnesses intensified because of their inability to pay for a doctor’s visit or buy medication.
The healthcare debate has been on and off in America for more than a century; and in 1939 under the regime of President Franklyn Roosevelt “The Wagner Bill, National Health Act of 1939” was proposed but never got passed in Congress. The act “gave general support for a national health program to be funded by federal grants to states and administered by states and localitiesThe movement for national health insurance in the 1930’s ran into the declining fortunes of the New Deal and then WWII” (web 2013). In 1945 President Harry Truman asked Congress to produce a healthcare plan; obviously that request was not honored and it was not until 1960 that healthcare issues rise again by President Kennedy. In his campaign, President Kennedy made this healthcare a major subject; no one knows what would have happened had he lived. In 1965, President Lyndon Johnson successfully passed Medicare for the elderly and Medicaid for the poor. In 1974 President Richard Nixon proposed a healthcare plan that required employers to provide health insurance for their workers; while people who are without insurance and are unable to buy insurance will get federally subsided health. Watergate happened and that was the end of the proposal. In 1986 President Regan introduced a healthcare plan that makes no sense; he allowed workers who have lost their jobs to retain their insurance for eighteen months as long as they are able to pay for it. Who can pay for eighteen months of without a job?
Finally America has a president who has the courage and the tenacity to enact a healthcare plan, The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act was signed into law on March 23, 2010; and is upheld by the Supreme Court on June 28, 2012. This plan will become enforceable on January 1, 2014. The plan allows people who are already insured by their employers to keep their insurance. Low income and middle income people who do not have insurance from their employers will be able to buy insurance on the internet through online exchanges that will be set up by each state and will be regulated federal. None of these exchanges can deny insurance to anyone because he she become ill too often or has a preexisting condition. Anyone who is unable to afford this insurance can get subside help or will be offered Medicare of Medicaid. This is the gist of the long awaited healthcare plan; it is a form of universal healthcare as mentioned in “Sicko”
As certain as death it is a foregone conclusion that no government is ever going to create a healthcare plan that will satisfy every citizen. As expected, when President Obama introduced the new healthcare plan there was opposition. First let us deal with the pros of the new healthcare plan. Millions of Americans have gained access to preventative and wellness services that they would not have had without the “Obamacare” plan. Insurance company must spend eighty percent of their earnings on health and marketing and they can no longer deny insurance to Americans who have preexisting condition or get ill frequently. “Those under 400% of the federal poverty level (Roughly 88k for a family of 4) could save up to 60% on their premiums via tax credits and subsidies on the health insurance exchanges. Small businesses with less than 25 full time employees have this advantage as well.” Workers who do not qualify for Medicaid but do not have enough money to buy insurance will now be covered through Medicaid. Instead of being rewarded for quantity care, doctors and hospitals will be rewarded for quality care. Even though many might not agree with this, one hundred fifty-nine boards are enacted to oversee the plan.
The cons in the “Obamacare” plan are marginal. Astonishingly only point two percent of the American workforce hire more than fifty workers; if these (considered small businesses) do not insure their workers they will be legally fined. This might cause these businesses to hire less workers, cut workers time, and or do not hire new workers; and the consumers may have to pay for these added cost. Twenty-one states that choose not to participate in “Obamacare” will have their healthcare administered by the federal government; therefore subsidies will come from the federal government rather than the states. This is not much of a con because the states are not burdened with the cost of subsidies. There will also be a tax penalty for people who do not buy insurance.
Every change is going to affect someone; but the “Obamacare” affects big conglomerate and the minimal taxes that are required of them, they are well able to afford it. The people who are making a fuss about the new healthcare have never known what it means to have their medication dosage lowered because they cannot afford the full amount. They do not know what it is to acknowledge that they need medical attention but cannot afford to see a doctor. I once made an appointed top see a doctor and when the receptionist realized that I am a new patient and begins to read the number of tests that are done for a physical; I had to tell her to abort the appointment. Half way through the list the fee was four hundred dollars; and that was ten years ago. These people have never tried to buy individual health insurance when the monthly is three hundred, fifty dollars per month with a ten dollars deductible, or having to wait until their illness intensified so badly they have to go to the emergency room because they could not afford to go to their primary care physician, that is if they have one. Americans should stand up and applaud President Obama for setting ablaze the healthcare trail.
Healthcare should be every country’s priority and America is the only country in the developed world that until now did not have social health care for its citizens. About five years ago I visited the Bahamas and toured one of its islands. When the tour guide got to Princess Margret hospital, he pointed it out as a government operated hospital and the cost of a heart by-pass surgery and a band aid is ten dollars. I realized that a group of islands that could fix in the state of California can have social healthcare and America with its pump and it pride is still thinking how to give healthcare to its citizens.
Another example of universal healthcare is our neighbor, Canada. In Canada the healthcare system is run by individual province and territory. Therefore the healthcare plan might differ slightly in different places; some might give dental care with their plan or they may not. In other instances individuals may take out a supplementary plan to cover items like drugs that the government does not cover. For working people their employer pay a small percentage of their healthcare plan and for those who are not working the government pays the complete cost. Put into an international perspective, however, Canada’s system looks to be relatively well liked. A 2011 Gallup Poll found that 57 percent of Canadians felt “satisfied” or “very satisfied” with their access to health care services (in the United States, that number stood at just 25 percent)” (Kliff 2012).
“The public health insurance program in France was established in 1945 and its coverage for its affiliates [sic] have undergone many changes since then. One of the major changes has resulted in the expansion to all legal residents” Seventy-five percent of healthcare is paid by the government, the patient pays part of the remaining twenty-five percent and private insurance companies—complimentary insurance or mutual fund. The healthcare system in France is overseen by the state; it makes sure that the patients get proper care and dictates the degree of care given. In France the state also runs the hospitals and decides the number of bed and the size of the hospital (Medical News Today).
England runs a health system call “The National Health System, NHS, it provides low cost healthcare for working people and free healthcare for non-working people. However, it does not pay for dental, eye tests, or glasses. Free emergency care is provided for visitors to the United Kingdom but they have to pay for medical treatment and hospital stay. People who are from the European Union’s get the same treatment as if they were citizens of England. England also gives free healthcare to New Zealanders and Australians. In England private hospitals are only for the insured; having a NHS number will not get anyone into a private hospital, unless he or she has enough money to pay for treatment.
There are almost fifty countries in Europe that offer national healthcare. Most people would be surprised to know that Cuba offers its citizen national healthcare. Moore says that infant mortality rate and life span is longer than that of Americans; no one can really say that this is a result of national healthcare. Many of the islands in the Caribbean that once belong to England offer national healthcare to their citizens. I have known people who wait until they return to visit their little island of Barbados to go to the doctor because they cannot afford the cost of doctors in the United States.
America is not a group of people who meet on Capitol Hill; it is every citizen in America. One cannot truly blame the government for its lack accomplishments. Since America become a country only two presidents have made healthcare for America a priority, President Bill Clinton and President Barrack Obama. President Clinton set the ball rolling when he gave total healthcare to America’s children. Opposition of the healthcare plan is based on myths. Some say that countries that have national healthcare their patients have to wait too long to get surgery, will not get preventive medicine, elders will be sent to hospice earlier and certain types of preventive surgery will be denied. I would like to say to these people use your energy to find for a valid cause.
The healthcare debate has span more than a century, and every plan that was proposed was beaten down, yet the opposition has never presented a better plan, as a matter of fact they have not even presented a plan. As I see it if one is going to oppose a program then he or she should be able to provide a better plan or a solution
Kliff, Sarah, (2012) “Everything you ever wanted to know about Canadian health care in one post.” Retrieved from http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/wonkblog/wp/2012/07/01/everything-you-ever- wanted-to-know-about-canadian-health-care-in-one-post/
“Healthcare in UK.” Retrieved from http://www.allianzworldwidecare.com/healthcare-in-the-uk
“OBAMACARE FACT dispelling the myths.” (n.d.). Retrieved from http://obamacarefacts.com/obamacare-pros-and-cons.php.
“The French Health Care System.” (2009). Medical News Today. Retrieved from http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/9994.php