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October 15, 2008


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Crafty Green Poet

Excellent post, you make the connections very well. However I think universal health care could only mitigate poverty, not remove it, there's still a lot of poverty in the UK which does more or less still have universal healthcare.

Thanks for the link btw


Hi Crafty — Thanks for your perspective. So it sounds like universal health care would be an important part of an equation, but not the whole solution. I'll think on this more.

You're welcome for the link!

Melissa Marsh

Having just returned from a trip to the UK, I can tell you from experience (after talking to two of my friends who are native Brits) that universal healthcare is NOT a fix-all solution. There national healthcare system is far from perfect and they both told me that there are severe problems with it.

I think there is a complicated relationship between insurance and the COST of healthcare. That is what we need to address. I think that we can all pretty much agree that doctors and dentists and other healthcare professionals are among the top paid workers in this country. Now not for a second do I think that they do not deserve to be paid well - but so well that they live in multi-million dollar mansions and drive luxury cars? Apologies if I step on anyone's toes with this, but I have a big problem with that.

My stepson the other day said that he was thinking about going into the healthcare profession because "they make good money." That attitude saddened me greatly. People should not go into the healthcare profession for the cost, but because they want to HELP people get well and stay well. Helping humanity should be the core of why they go into taht profession.

Or am I just being overly optimistic on that point?

Melissa Marsh

Sorry for all the typos - jet lag must still be affecting me!


Hi Melissa — Good points about how in the UK, the NHS is not the perfect solution, and about how rising health care costs really have to be reigned in.

As more people become unemployed during this economic crisis, they will also lose health insurance paid for by their employers. This will add to the growing ranks of the uninsured. Something must be provided for these people along the lines of health care. If one catastrophic illness happens to someone who is unemployed AND without health insurance, how will they pay for it? With no job, how will they even pay their rent or mortgages? How will they even survive?

This problem could get much worse. With costs so high, everyone needs health insurance just to survive. Policy makers really need to look at this issue and make some decisions in the right direction, before millions more are out of work, uninsured, and sick/dying and in debt under medical bills.

No worries about your typos! Jet lag will do that to any writer.

Melissa Marsh

I completely agree that something must be done. I actually lived through such a health crsis last year - my husband had no health insurance and came down with a nasty staph infection. He lost his job because of it (he worked in the construction industry) and was in the hospital for nearly three weeks. The whole ordeal was just massive, and cost us nearly $100K. We were able to get help for the majority of it, but we're still stuck with a $3,000 bill that we're struggling to pay off. The thing is, since we didn't have insurance, they did not bill us at full cost. Now if we HAD had insurance, they would have really socked it to us. How twisted is that?

We barely held on to our house, barely paid the bills, barely survived. More than a year later, we're still feeling the ramifications of it.

It's a very, very big problem and the costs of healthcare and the insurance industry both need to be looked at, IMO.


Melissa — I have read so much about this issue lately because of the NewsTrust news hunt, and you are not alone in your experience! I know people personally who, through once circumstance or another, found themselves uninsured and then hit with thousands of dollars in medical bills. Being faced with this completely took the energy out of their lives; these people are hard-working and conscientious and always pay their bills, yet they were devastated when faced with medical bills, and are still struggling to pay them off, just as you are.

Yes, the whole system needs to be looked at. Having so many uninsured people will continue to drag down so many lives and this will, in turn, affect our entire society as a whole.

I am glad to hear that you survived all of this, but I am sorry to hear that you (and so many millions of others!!!) have had to even be in this situation in the first place.


hello, the bills are changing all the time but at this time i believe that the universal healthcare will not cover people who make less than 133%/150% of poverty level (senate vs house bill) ($16,000yr). I read a lot about the bills but still really have no good idea about whats in them... which is why i do not support them. No law should be 1000+ pages

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