Previous   Next

Do you think the U.S. is facing a health care crisis?

Asked at Massachusetts Street on June 4, 2007

Browse the archives

Photo of Joe Novak

“Yes, absolutely. More and more people are unable to provide themselves and their families with basic health care, much less emergency or long-term health care.”

Photo of Mary Ann Henry

“Yes, because there are so many people that don’t have any coverage at all. And for those who do, it’s too expensive to get the coverage they need.”

Photo of Doston Jones

“I would say yes. A lot of people don’t have health care, and the cost of health care is getting ridiculous. Those in lower-income brackets are virtually excluded from having any form of health care at all.”

Photo of Jeff Hagman

“Yeah. I think we definitely need to have something that is affordable for the hourly wage workers. We either need to have more corporate responsibility or some kind of national health care system.”


chill78 11 years ago

The Problem is there is not a easy fix to the health care situation, Untell the goverment steps up and makes it mandatory for ALL jobs to provide health care at a reasonable cost. Or health care becomes more reasonable and affordable. But this falls under the lines of the rich get richer and the poor get poorer. only the rich can afford the sky high rates that the private insurance co. ask for.

Godot 11 years ago

The question should be, "What should be done to address the high cost of medical treatment and pharmaceuticals, and the practice of ordering batteries of high cost tests, and the practice of prescribing drugs for every condition?" or, to put it succinctly, what do we do to reduce cost and control utilization?

Kat Christian 11 years ago

I've been preaching socialized medicine care for years. This is what this country is forced to do because of the increase in population, open immigration and low wages. Everything is on the rise except wages for hourly workers. Now medicad has cut back on services so health care is sub-standard. I just believe health should be available to everyone - we pay through our taxes like Sweden. Also the health care industry need to be audited - I think they screw too many people out of hard earned money. They need to lower their prices drastically.

trinity 11 years ago

this whole health care debacle...i think the pharmaceutical (sp?? it's early.) companies should be whipped soundly. anybody else notice how ads for a plethora of drugs have infiltrated telly? my god, you can't go a round of commercials without seeing a new drug for this or that; everything from impotence, to bone health, to sleeplessness, to twitchy leg syndrome. now, i am NOT saying that there aren't people who do totally benefit from this stuff; but, with americans the way we are now, hell-hypochondriacs just salivate when they see a new product advertised&then harangue their doc with symptoms in order to get the latest in sleep aids, depression pills, etc...sigh ok i'm done ranting. is it really gub'mints fault? insurance companies? hospitals? drug companies? or should each individual take a good hard look at themselves?

Flap Doodle 11 years ago

Big complicated issue. If you want top-of-the-line treatments like the gamma knife, they're going to be expensive. If you want socliaized medicine, you may wind up waiting a while to get the care you need. (such as:

Ceallach 11 years ago

Only when I realize that I can never retire. Must continue to work, ad infinitum, just for the insurance coverage (and of course those nifty little lapel pins:)

Grundoon Luna 11 years ago

Hillary did have a great plan. It was good for patients, doctors liked it - Insuance companies and republicans didn't, thought, and they killed it.

Trinity, that's a good, righteous rant. Drug costs have risen to support the cost of advertising and the drug companies sell drugs in the U.S. for a great deal more than they sell them overseas. Can you say, "price gouging?" Criminal!!

Health care should not be a for-profit enterprise, and like education and military it shoudl be seen a vital to the public interest. Health insurance is legalized extortion. There are countries that have been successful with socialized medicine and we need to give go with a successful model. If folks want to have supplemental insurance for extra special services, that could be an option, but basic health care should be available to all.

OTTR, c'mon. You're being inflamatory.

jonas 11 years ago

A board conservative? Inflamatory? Nah.

Anyone who thinks they can give a succinct explanation of what's wrong with health care in America, and proscribe the correct solution, in one blurb post is full of crap. Except for me, of course.

The problem is old people and sick people. Kill all old people and sick people.

Goodnight, all.

sgtwolverine 11 years ago

I concur with jonas' second paragraph. It's complicated.

But I also wonder if insurance hasn't helped make health care more expensive. No, not big bad evil insurance companies, but insurance itself.

Grundoon Luna 11 years ago

What was I thinking? Should I stick with the merely obvious rather than the painfully obvious, jonas?

ms_canada 11 years ago

I do believe the US must do something about the health of the Nation. If you think about it, what is the raison d'etre of any government. Is it not to provide the basics of life to it's people? Infrastructure (highways, roads, electrical grid etc), a clean water supply, safety - laws for all and the implimentation of those laws (police, army and judiciary), affordable education and health care for ALL it's citizens. I believe these are the basics of life. If any one of these is lacking, the quality of the life of the citizenry goes down. For a country whose wealth and status in the world is so high, (so I have heard) it is absolutely appalling that so many of it's citizens must suffer for lack of decent health care. Some have said, no gov. involvement, what then? Your insurance people don't appear to be able to handle the job adequately. Who regulates the cost of tests, hospitals, medication etc.? Our gov. is FULLY involved and it works quite well, thank you. Why don't you send a delegation up here to learn about our system.

Linda Aikins 11 years ago

"contemplate the lot of the nearly extinct soft-shelled whooping chihuahua. By comparison, my life is a bed of roses." - Snap

quote from the weekend.

So left field, it is a homer.

Sagecasey 11 years ago

US Healthcare is nothing but a vicious cycle. 1. Insurance premiums are too high. 2. People can't afford insurance nor out of pocket medical care. 3. They still need medical attention, so go to the doctor. 4. They can't afford to pay their bill. 5. Healthcare facilities raise their prices to cover their costs due to unpaid receivables. 6. Insurance premiums are raised due to the rise in healthcare costs. 7. More people can't afford insurance/medical care.

The cycle starts all over. The government needs to step in and come up with a national healthcare system.

ms_canada 11 years ago

Azure said it right, health care should not be a for profit enterprise. That is exactly what insurance companies are all about, or have I had my head in the sand all these years. And I guess jonas has a point about seniors. They do account for a lot of the public $$$ spent on their health care. In my country, at least that is true . I can attest to that for my recent surgery, hospital, ambulance, emerg. treatment, doctors, all tests etc. I paid not one red (or green) cent. Not even insurance payments. My husband told me that we don't even pay the Blue Cross premiums any more. I don't know, I just think it is the business of the gov. to look after it's people. I guess that is socialism. OK by me.

snoozey 11 years ago

The fix for the health care dilemma is quite simple. Stop the ownership of our politicians by insurance companies, pharmaceutical manufacturers and trial lawyer's associations. That, like free willed and unbiased media, will take a concerned and enlightened public.

Grundoon Luna 11 years ago

If it were up to me, we'd have a contingent on the way to Canada to check your system out Ms. C. Those that think that health care systems run by the government will suffer should think again. My dad had such a hard time with his HMO that he got sick of it and started to go to the VA and said he got better care. The LA VA must be run better than Walter Reed, but his experience was around the time of "mission accomplished" and the system has been strained since then and poorly funded.

Staci Dark Simpson 11 years ago

Yep some solution needs to be found. My hubby works for a small company and their insurance cost is though the roof, as much as my mortgage. So we don't have insurance. I will be paying LMH $50 a month for the rest of my life. The problem is overcharging. My son had to go to the ER because he bit thru his lip. We were charged $500 and all they did was look at his lip and say there was nothing they could do. $500? For that? Its sad to say but next time we won't go to the hospital unless we are nearly dead.

Godot 11 years ago

Isn't it ironic that LMH is completing its transformation into a luxury, destination/resort type of hospital while thousands of Lawrence citizens cannot afford basic health care?

Kat Christian 11 years ago

Offtotheright it is not that people are so much adicted it is because 20 years ago when health insurance as becoming popular people would go for the smallest ailment, becuase #1 didn't have to pay out of pocket for the trip #2 easy way to get a day off of work, and #3 companies REQUIRED you had a doctor excuse if you took a sick day off. So now people have become accustomed to the attention and now it has become the norm. Sad isn't it? Of all the money I've paid into health insurance through the years yet I rarely have to see a doctor. Looks to me insurance companies have been getting over on us for years. It's about time they close down and the government just socialized medicine.

Kat Christian 11 years ago

Trinity YOU ARE SO ON THE MARK HERE.... anybody else notice how ads for a plethora of drugs have infiltrated telly? my god, you can't go a round of commercials without seeing a new drug for this or that; everything from impotence, to bone health, to sleeplessness, to twitchy leg syndrome. now, i am NOT saying that there aren't people who do totally benefit from this stuff; but, with americans the way we are now, hell-hypochondriacs just salivate when they see a new product advertised & then harangue their doc with symptoms in order to get the latest in sleep aids, depression pills, etc:OR SHOULD INDIVIDUALS TAKE A HARD LOOK AT THEMSELVE? And don't forget pills for farting and burping - that's a syndrome too you know.

trinity 11 years ago

lmao, i forgot the farting/burping snake oils! what's really a scream is if you listen to some of the side effects of some of these drugs; they actually sound WORSE than the initial ailment! sigh

Kat Christian 11 years ago

I totally agree with you Azure - health care and education should not be "for profit" it should be a given right for all Americans. Also I wonder, just wondering who would decide what basic health care needs are if we were to socialize medical care? Mmmmmmmmmm

sgtwolverine 11 years ago

Quick thought: yes, health care is expensive. But what is the likelihood of costs actually going down if the government handled it? My guess is that it would end being as expensive, if not more; we just wouldn't notice the hand in our pockets as much.

Kat Christian 11 years ago

But you know the government isn't going to do anything about this until people start dying in numbers. Already a child died from a bad tooth becuase a dentist would not take medicaid. So until more of this happens then the government might take action.

monkeyhawk 11 years ago

Couldn't they find any Lawrence residents downtown? Probably not....

How many illegals are counted among the uninsured? How many billions are spent for free health care given non-residents? Maybe that is something those without coverage should consider when supporting amnesty, along with diseases that are cropping up that were thought to be eradicated in the U.S..

Flap Doodle 11 years ago

If we are going to look at the Canadian model, the question of scaleability has to be considered. A system that works for a set of 32 million people may collapse if it is expanded to cover 300 million.

ms_canada 11 years ago

Hey there snappy fellow - I think you have something there. I have thought about that. Would our system work for a larger population? Perhaps each state would have to run their own. All in all, I think the US has a big problem. Here we have a Canada Health Act passed by our Parliament a long time ago which contains specifics that each province must follow. Each province administers it's own system. I will speak only or Alberta, I know that there are within AB 9 Regional Health Authorities who administer those regions. But all must comply with the Canada Health Act. I am rather busy today so cannot read all the stuff that I see on the websites.
This I did read Alberta Health Care Insurance premiums -- the costs are this single person $44/mth - family of 2 or more $88/mth with subsidies availaable to low income persons. Alberta Blue Cross premiums are single person $61.50/mth family $123/mth. with subsidy also available. Seniors - full coverage with no premiums to pay. This came in Oct. 1, 2004. Medication for seniors, each prescription from Dr. costs a maximum $25 no matter the price. That's all I can say for now as I must go wash my bathroom floor.

Godot 11 years ago

ms_canada, is free health care available to everyone in Canada, including "illegals?"

sunflower_sue 11 years ago

Ack! I don't have time for this today, so... Yes, then: insert rant here

ms_canada 11 years ago

Godot - I don't know about that, but then again we do not have very many illegals. I know that when a person here goes to any health care facility, whether it be a family doctor, hospital or emergency clinic, you are asked to produce your health care card. I don't know what would happen if someone went to ER with no coverage, but I doubt very much if a seriously injured person would be turned out on the street. I know also that once a person has been to a facility and produced a card their number is then on file at that facility and they are not asked for it again. Oh and Godot, our health care is not exactly free, only for seniors. There are small premiums to pay as I wrote above. Once you are in the system you won't be asked to pay for blood tests, Xrays, ECG's etc. Seniors also get help with hearing aids once evey 5 years and also some dental coverage. I would not say that our system is perfect, some people still complain about long wait times, especially for hip and knee surgery. Non life threatening conditions. My wait time for my cholecystectomy was 5 weeks. A lady in my church is having quadruple bypass on Wed. after a 3 week wait which was mostly for tests etc.

Grundoon Luna 11 years ago

Well, Ms_C, your $88 a month is a whole lot better that my nearly $500.00 a month for family coverage + the other several thousand I spend each year on Vision, Rx and OV co-pays, the deductible and dental not covered by Delta (I hate Delta Dental!!!!). I am tempted to "self Insure" and dump a bunch o'cash on my flex-med card, but with my luck one of us will have something bad happen and I will be SOL.

Grundoon Luna 11 years ago

You need to re-read her post, 4th grade. The reason for the wait was for the tests to be completed.

pelliott 11 years ago

The wing nut right blocks the clinton health reform effort and then they don't take the credit. Gives it to hilary. I guess lying is just seen as official policy. First Part of the war on terrorism is to lie second is not to accept responsibility. Bush really has fixed us, just not in a good way. the only people in a health care crisis are the poor, the middle class, the military, even the health care system is alarmed. The only ones ok are the really wealthy and Hal burton, I

jonas 11 years ago


Sounds like a decent battle cry.

Godot 11 years ago

regarding the effect of "illegals" on the healthcare system, note that ms_canada admits that "illegals" accessing the system are not a problem in Canada because they do not have that many "illegals." I wonder why that is.

How can this country simultaneously grant benefits to millions of citizens of others countries, without question, while granting free health care to anyone who sets foot in the country? How is this not a recipe for disaster?

karensisson 11 years ago

Ya think???

These questions get lamer by the day. Wake up, Journal-World! Your readers are not this dumb.

ms_canada 11 years ago

Godot - regarding illegals. You have a long southern border, a leaky border. If we have any leaks in our southern border, ask yourself who is slipping through these leaky spots. We probably have a few illegals, but they sure don't give us any trouble. Some come in legally on visitors visas and then disappear. but not many. They just seem to fade into the system. And as far as health care, I am going to find out if one needs to have proof of citizenship to obtain a healthcare card.

sgtwolverine 11 years ago

Yeah, but ms_c, you have your work cut out for you keeping out all those pesky Alaskans! You know, all four or five of them.

Nick Yoho 11 years ago

I own you ,you own me, were a disfunctional democracy. with congressmen stockholders, and Blackwater soldiers, how can we ever by free?

ms_canada 11 years ago

Godot - as far as I can tell from reading about the Canada Health Act (1984) and the Alberta Health Care Insurance Plan, to obtain registry with AHCIP, one needs only to prove exclusive residency in Alberta and to be a legal resident of Canada. I could not find any reference to said person being a Canadian citizen. Just a legal resident.

And sgt.wolverine - we love those Alaskans, all five of them.

Commenting has been disabled for this item.