Friday, October 30, 2009

Healthcare...or the Lack Thereof

I have enough and make enough to pay my bills, keep my old car running, keep groceries stocked, and keep a roof over our heads. What I do not have is healthcare. There's just not enough extra money left for this luxury.

Luckily, besides dental problems so far, I have been fairly healthy. I would love to get a check-up just in case but finances haven't caught up yet. The last time I saw a doctor was 1990. Why so long? When you are poor and pregnant you get free medical care through medicaid. The working poor receive no such benefits.

I've read scathing articles by angry individuals who are upset by the way government benefits are set up. Many believe it is unfair to reward people for having children while young or while poor. I feel it doesn't matter. I see the need to protect the children from complete poverty. However, I don't understand how we can ignore those who are 18 to 64. Why not give everyone the same healthcare? Who is it going to hurt?

People should receive healthcare because they are human. You shouldn't have to die earlier if you are poor. Why does it cost so much in the first place? If you knew first aid and came across a wounded person in the park would you stop to help or would you first demand payment?

I think the whole thing could be simplified. Make all drug companies non-profit. Pay all doctores $40,000 to start, cap them at $90,000. Cap CEO's and hospital administrators at $125,000. Create non-profit healthcare facilities.

What if we completely revolutionize the system? The current model isn't working. Let's try something completely different. Bring together a large group from all backgrounds and income, including the very poor and brainstorm to come up with a new model.

What are your ideas?


  1. It would never be effective to have doctors' salaries be so low, no one would go through the time and expense of medical school.

  2. There's not a great deal of difference in terms of the length of time it takes to complete a medical degree as opposed to any other one - in the UK anyway. Similarly with the expense incurred. I think capping salaries - at a decent level in relation to other professional posts - is a good idea. I don't think think there will ever be a shortage of candidates given the 'prestige' element.

  3. Patricia, I was imagining a different sort of world, a utopian society possibly, where education was affordable and people chose the healing professions because they cared and not because they worshipped money.

    Judy, I just think it is time to try something different. I would hope that people would enter this profession not for prestige or money but because they wanted to help others and were interested in the healing arts.

  4. Hi!
    I just came across your blog and really like it. I am so glad someone is out there, describing what it is like for those who may not know. I am also one of those "working poor" who did not have health care for most of my childhood (my parents were working poor too) and adult life until I began studying at a university when I was 25. I married a European man and now live in Finland of all places where everyone receives health care, including me. I just wanted to say that Americans don't have to look far for ideas on how to create a just and workable system, Canada, Northern Europe, the UK, France, Germany, Switzerland and Austria all have universal health care that is not only in many cases better than US health care but in all cases CHEAPER!
    And, by the way, doctor's salaries are much lower in other countries than they are in the US and still, they have no shortage of qualified doctors. In fact my mother-in-laws doctor worked for a few years in the US and made an enormous salary yet he quickly returned to Finland for less pay because the system here sickened him. He got tired of delaying and denying much-needed surgeries because of insurance issues.
    And remember due to very little government regulation of the industry, even those who have insurance are pushed around, made to wait and denied coverage by the insurance companies. It stinks.
    Sorry for the long post!