LJWorld.com weblogs Reality Check w/ Ben Swann...
single payer health vs universal
THEN: So, my old policy in Kansas gave me this:
I had to "buy" my coverage @ 280 smackers a month. Then the normal 'co-pays' per visit, plus the 'co-pays' for medication. most people on average, go to the doctor, what, about 2-4 times a year? so i have just paid an annual total of 3,560 dollars to see the doctor and get medicated four times a year. i am talking about simple visits for the most common issues, flu, earache, etc..
NOW: My new coverage consists of this (after four doctors visits the last month to simply get a Health Check for my immigration status)
On a 600 dollar paycheck, i am taxed 75 dollars (total, not just for healthcare). I was billed $175 dollars for my first visit, 97 dollars for my second (these were chest xrays), $50 for my third, and 80 for my most recent. Now the first two visits, were out of cash expenses as i was not employed at the time. Now, i have been perscribed three medications. Each at a cost of 20 bucks. But the last two visits that total 130 dollars, plus the 60 total in meds..... I get every cent of it back once i go to the medicare office and show them my reciept and card.
So, lets assume, that 75 dollar taxation, times 4(per month) is all for healthcare (in all reality, the actual taxation for medicare is around 23 dollars a week.). now lets assume these are identical doctors visits i would have made in the states.
The total bill is now: Assuming all taxes went to healthcare coverage: 3600 dollars/year The more realistic number of 23/week: 1106 dollars/year
now lets tackle the wait times.
(i cannot comment on wait times other than normal doctors visits as i never encountered a serious enough situation requiring more than a PCP in the states, or here)
that being said... each time i needed an appointment made in the states, it would take on average 4-6 days to see a doctor for the common cold.
here: each appointment made was within four days of initial call.
matter of fact, my last appointment, i overheard a convo. It was a lady that needed a test and referral before she could go to another doctor. they scheduled her to come in within the next three hours.
so all in all, i have just shown, worst case scenario, you pay a lil more a year in taxes than you would on buying a health care plan (remember, every tax paying citizen pays the same rates, so one would surmise the quality is better with all paying in rather than just a handful), but incur no additional medical costs. with no real difference in wait times to get in.
the biggest differences, and you will have to differentiate between these examples and the more serious type doctors visits, is:
you cannot be denied for any preexisting conditions. you are not forced to buy more expensive medications do to patents on meds, therefore lack of generic prescriptions. no wait times for reimbursement of payments. no 'dispute' over what is covered and what isnt.
also, as far as the system here, as i cannot speak for legal/illegal immigrants in the states, when dealing with non covered individuals via medicare (to get a medicare card all you have to do is be granted stay in the country, and have a job so you may be taxed for you participation). They get the exact same coverage, except the rates described above, are paid by the individual with no reimbursement. Point being: if your undocumented here, you pay before you see the doctor, and are not a burden on the taxpaying citizens, but get the same rates as citizens.
my wife has three boys, the oldest being 11, and collectively she states she has paid no more than 3000 dollars over all the years of visits.... this being a more extreme case as not every single visit, nor medication is completely recovered in cost. i know i cannot factor in every circumstance, but this "Myth" about universal coverage, or whatever you term it, is dead wrong.
and for you 'socialism'oholics' out there, if you think universal coverage is socialistic, break down your payroll taxes and see what else you pay for for others. look at your phone bill and see how much YOU pay because OTHERS couldnt keep their phone on. look at how many government run programs YOU already pay to have as you call 'socialized'.
if you dont want socializm, as you would define it, you would have to stop paying taxes ENTIRELY!!
so this is a simple example of how universal coverage benefits all, where single payer systems will never cover 'everyone'
i know i ramble, and go off target, but i wanted others to see the other side... there are better ways than the current and you dont have to be scared about your politicians saying its bad. there are too many disinformationists out there, and your not getting the truth.
no system is perfect, but what the usa uses as health care, is down right abusive towards those that want, but cannot have.
3600 dollars or more a year
or 1100 dollars a year or more
you make your choice