Fandango’s Provocative Question #48

FPQWelcome once again to Fandango’s Provocative Question. Each week I will pose what I think is a provocative question for your consideration.

By provocative, I don’t mean a question that will cause annoyance or anger. Nor do I mean a question intended to arouse sexual desire or interest.

What I do mean is a question that is likely to get you to think, to be creative, and to provoke a response. Hopefully a positive response.

Today’s provocative question has to do with the government’s role in providing widely available and cost-effective healthcare. The United States is the only western democracy that doesn’t provide fee and universal healthcare for its citizens.0D91D50B-9DBB-4718-A67A-3F54BA1E4998This is a big issue being debated by the more than a dozen individuals who are competing for the Democratic nomination to face off against Donald Trump in the 2020 presidential election.

The chart below shows that almost half of all Americans get their heath insurance through their employers. The other half is covered by a public program (such as Medicare for the elderly or Medicaid for the poor and disabled), has purchased individual health insurance directly from an insurer, or has no health insurance at all.E4F38CCA-57D0-44D2-ACEC-D8A3C335C3DATwo of the contenders, Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren, are supporting a “Medicare for all” (or “single-payer) approach.

Single-payer healthcare is a type of universal healthcare financed by taxes that covers the costs of essential healthcare for all residents, with costs covered by a single public system.

Under a single-payer system, all residents of the U.S. would be covered for all medically necessary services, including doctor, hospital, preventive, long-term care, mental health, reproductive health care, dental, vision, prescription drug, and medical supply costs.

It would eliminate employer-sponsored healthcare plans offered by private, for profit health insurance plans.

Other candidates for the Democratic nomination are proponents of offering a hybrid type approach that allows people to choose between a comprehensive, government-sponsored, Medicare-like program and their employer-provided health plans through private insurance companies.

All this leads me to today’s provocative questions:

Do you believe the government of a country has a responsibility to provide universal, affordable (if not “free”) healthcare for its citizens? If you live in the United States, would you favor a Medicare for all/single-payer health plan? If you live outside of the U.S., does your government provide universal healthcare? If so, how do you feel about it? If not, what kind of healthcare coverage do you have?

If you choose to participate, write a post with your response to the question. Once you are done, tag your post with #FPQ and create a pingback to this post if you are on WordPress. Or you can simply include a link to your post in the comments.

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33 thoughts on “Fandango’s Provocative Question #48

  1. Stroke Survivor UK November 13, 2019 / 3:47 am

    I’ll respond with a proper post later, but straight away, “free” isn’t free. It’s just funded out of taxes as opposed to straight out of your bank account.

    Liked by 3 people

  2. Richmond Road November 13, 2019 / 4:01 am

    Nothing is ‘free’, of course. Is it the government’s responsibility to provide roads? Schools? Police?
    Personally I think that health care should be a responsibility that sits up there towards the top.
    Am I happy that my tax dollars pay for the health care of people less fortunate than myself?
    Shit, yes.
    Am I concerned that the system might be milked a bit and cost me more tax dollars than it really should?
    Yes. A bit.
    But I’ll get over it.

    Liked by 3 people

    • Marilyn Armstrong November 14, 2019 / 9:13 am

      What is interesting is that compared to “paid for” insurance, Medicare is VERY cheap. Much cheaper than any of the “work-related” versions cost. And it’s better insurance.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. marlagro November 13, 2019 / 5:18 am

    We live in USA. We retired before age 65, when Medicare kicks in. We pay $2000 a month to be covered by medical insurance. USA citizens, while working, have money withdrawn from their income to contribute towards Social Security and Medicare. In favor of keeping things the way they are. Great question!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. newepicauthor November 13, 2019 / 5:59 am

    I think that you will get some people riled up with this one today Fandango. I am not going to participate as I am Health Care stupid and I don’t even know the difference between Medicare and Medicaid.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Marilyn Armstrong November 14, 2019 / 9:17 am

      At the risk of becoming Mrs. Obvious, you should learn because you are going to need to know this stuff. It affects everyone at some point. Look it up on the internet. It’s explained clearly for anyone to understand and I don’t have a lot of patience with people who intentionally don’t know what they need to know and then complain that “they didn’t know” later. You are bright and lucid, and this isn’t someone else’s problem It’s EVERYONE’s problem, even yours.

      You aren’t going to participate? What are you going to do when you need a doctor?

      Liked by 1 person

  5. ajeanneinthekitchen November 13, 2019 / 6:33 am

    NO. I am NOT a supporter of Free Health Care for many reasons. I definitely agree that something needs to be done and that our system is flawed, but, all the countries that offer free health care seem to have a lower quality of health care, AND a longer wait period for treatment, if it is even deemed necessary at all BY THE GOVERNMENT. “Free health care” is NOT free either. Our taxes pay for it, and the taxpayers pay heavily for it. It’s great for all those who ARE NOT paying for it, but it is a nightmare for all those who do pay for it. The more things we offer for “free” the more people are going to want those “free” services, and the quality of service will just continue to spiral downwards. Also, more and more people will choose NOT to go into the medical profession because the money just isn’t there for them to invest all those years of training and get nothing in return. So, again, there will be less services and less medical providers with more people wanting/needing services. Another thing to think about is that most of the R & D takes place here in the United States, and that costs $$$$. If no money goes in to R & D then there will be less progress in finding new and better cures and treatments.

    Liked by 3 people

    • Marilyn Armstrong November 14, 2019 / 9:18 am

      Americans say this, but I know a lot of people in other countries who won’t live here BECAUSE WE DON’T PROVIDE MEDICAL CARE. Every system has flaws. That extra money ISN’T going to new cures. All it is doing is lining the pockets of the CEOs of insurance companies.

      Liked by 1 person

  6. rugby843 November 13, 2019 / 9:47 am

    I have Medicare. The problem is they pay 80% only. When I had to have a colonoscopy or other cancer related tests, the 20% adds up in a hurry. Now I need a yearly mammogram, flu shot and a bladder cancer six month visit. I have to piece these out since I have to pay for them. They tout these tests are mandatory but then won’t pay for them. I think the mandatory or preventative checks should be paid in full. I also think birth control and checks for STDs should be free, in other words support for Planned Parenthood and free clinics.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Marilyn Armstrong November 14, 2019 / 9:20 am

      Have you checked out any of the “Advantage Plans” for Medicare? They DO pay for this and we are on one with zero deductible from Social Security. There are dozens of organizations that will, if necessary come to your house and explain it all to you.

      I really have trouble understanding ignorance when information on the subject is so readily available. I just don’t get it.

      Liked by 2 people

      • rugby843 November 14, 2019 / 1:21 pm

        I used to have a supplement that cost $192 a month extra and they handled it. But 200 a month when I don’t use prescriptions or doctors often is too much. I have talked to a helper at the Senior Center. Medicare people are just nuts, they tell you different things depending on who you talk to. I don’t consider myself ignorant on the matter, but thanks for commenting.

        Liked by 2 people

    • Fandango November 14, 2019 / 9:43 am

      I agree with everything you said. I have Medicare and I pay for a Medicare supplement plan to pick up the coinsurance (the 20%) that Medicare doesn’t cover.

      Liked by 1 person

      • rugby843 November 14, 2019 / 1:23 pm

        I got rid of mine since I don’t spend 2400 a year on my own, which is what it cost.

        Liked by 1 person

  7. Marleen November 13, 2019 / 11:56 am

    Government administrators aren’t paid multi-millions per year, plus bonuses and golden parachutes. Private officials are paid these ridiculous amounts even when they mess up, sometimes especially when they “mess” up. This means that we pay more for health simply to make said persons outrageously wealthy, not to improve care. Private companies also have the profit motive as the foundation of existence — which means they want to deny care (in the sense of paying for it) as much as possible (regardless of people paying to be covered). They also usually have high amounts that have to be paid out of pocket anyway, when it comes to actually getting care.

    The concept of having more people waiting for care is related to the fact more people would be getting care or eligible to receive care based on being able to have the price for care paid. There are many developed countries that have better outcomes of care or numbers related to care than we do.

    I read of examples of our image of ourselves not being what we would expect when I was of the age I have having children. Our infant and mother morbidity and mortality rates don’t compare very well to other places.

    I think it’s important for people to have affordable access to coverage which doesn’t itself deter them from seeking care, without needing to be tied to an employer.

    I don’t think this should mean everyone, from billionaire to pauper should pay one to a few thousand dollars per year. And I think the cap/s and loopholes on what rich people pay in general in taxes should be removed.

    {None of my opinion is to be interpreted to mean that I think the likes of boob jobs should be covered. But I think government plays a role in restricting fraud and mealy-mouth misleading and so forth.}

    To the extent there is corruption in government, we should be very stringent about this. With companies, though, the tendency is to say they can so what they want and let the buyer beware. Like… “whatever.” We have come to allow this, to an extent, in government, such as with the Citizens United decision, while still telling ourselves we have a republic.

    Like

    • Marilyn Armstrong November 14, 2019 / 9:35 am

      I personally think Medicare is great. Considering that these people don’t earn giant salaries or have those gold parachutes (oh what I would have given for one of them!), they seem to really care and they are VERY helpful. If anyone of the people who say they “don’t know anything about this” would bother to CALL Medicare, the kindly people would look up all the various plans for that state and tell you where you can get the best help.

      There is an advertisement on TV every minute and a half for organizations who help people find the right plan — and depending on where you live, there can be quite a lot of plans. We had a Medicare agent come here and explain all the plans that would work for us. I wanted one that was cheaper, where we could keep ALL of our doctors (mainly me, because I have oncologists and cardiologists and others. Garry has just his primary and his audiologist. We use a local dentist and THIS year, they are paying for basic dental care (cleaning, some fillings, and x-rays) — PLUS free fitness group and and extra $400 to use for OTC medication — AND they cover all my prescriptions. Co-pays are the same as we are already paying ($20 family, $40 for a specialist) and they fully cover ambulances and ER. The only thing I don’t like is that I’ll need referrals again and I didn’t with Blue Cross.

      I am NOT arguing with you. I’m sort of adding to what you already said. I’m very pleased with Medicare. i used to refer to it as the absolutely BEST medical care you can get but can’t buy.

      When I was 19, I had to have my spine fused. Not good falling off horses. Bad for the back. We had just gotten married. I went into the hospital and we had (it was 1965, so money was worth more!) $30.000. WITH THE UNIVERSITY’S FULL INSURANCE, when I got out, we owed more than $100.000. I asked my husband if we didn’t pay, were they going to break my back again? And if we hadn’t had insurance, i’d be in wheelchair and probably dead. There WAS no Medicare yet … that was a few years off. Thank you, Lyndon Baines Johnson!

      Liked by 1 person

      • Marleen November 14, 2019 / 10:57 am

        Yes, I see you as adding to what I said. I wasn’t saying anything negative about Medicare; I don’t know about it directly, as I haven’t needed it yet. I’m very glad to know the people at Medicare are friendly and helpful. I am happy with my private insurance. But I’ve never had a major or ongoing medical problem (and therefore haven’t tested the limits). What I have is not what is usual to most people, even people with good jobs or careers. One of my sons is soon turning twenty-six and isn’t going to be able to continue with the same great coverage. His company does offer health insurance — but plans are not all crated equal. They can be quite expensive to get not much but sorta just catastrophic hopes (which, again, you’re not sure of until you test it… which, as you’ve noted, isn’t really something one longs to do).

        Yeah, I felt a need to nod to the possibility of corruption in government. But that failing mostly happens when we aren’t watchful, when we give too much laudatory glory to business and privatization. We need to notice the difference between where we can and DO decide on basic values (laws) and where values are decided by people with the top priority of making a buck (understandable but different). Citizens United (court decision) was relatively recent. I know YOU know that; a lot of people might not, so I probably should’ve mentioned that. I should point out that people were falling for being negative about government before that decision, a decision which accelerated corrupt influence. But we’re not goners yet. We can save our republic if we decide to do so, but if we don’t decide… we’ll go downhill.

        Liked by 1 person

  8. ajeanneinthekitchen November 13, 2019 / 12:25 pm

    But sadly, there are WAY to many people who would take advantage of “FREE” healthcare. The medical professionals and healthcare facilities will be overloaded and under staffed. They will run out of necessary medical supplies, with little or no money to replace them as needed. Free healthcare is a disaster waiting to happen, especially if, like ALL of the Democratic Candidates want to extend it to ALL the ILLEGALS too, as well as to anyone else in he world who wants, whether or not they are LEGAL citizens of our country. We simply cannot afford it. If Elizabeth Warren’s or Bernie Sanders “Healthcare for all” plans are implemented, our WHOLE country would be completely bankrupt within 4-6 months, with ALL the money going only towards healthcare, and nothing else, and there would be NO MORE MONEY left for anything else. Again, it comes down to finances and the economic stability of our country. We CANNOT afford to do have Free Healthcare for all.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Marilyn Armstrong November 14, 2019 / 9:43 am

      You know, I have yet to meet ANYONE who took advantage of free medical care. I do know a lot of people who are alive because they could get medical care. Including ME. Does anyone intentionally get a heart condition so they can use free heart surgeons or get a free Pacemaker? Or have their breasts removed because they can get free cancer surgery? What kind of “free” medical care does anyone get? Free tooth cleaning? Free MRIs? Free wheelchairs and crutches? No one gets free medication, but we should and doctors don’t give prescriptions just because you want one.

      People who are sick — wherever they come from — should be taken care of. I don’t care if they are a tourist or a citizen or an illegal alien. No sick person should die for lack of medical care. As for free, you mean like free vaccinations so the rest of us don’t get polio or measles or whooping cough? Or smallpox? Really? Think about what you said and try to imagine who is getting what from “free healthcare” — except a doctor, a bed in a hospital, or antibiotics.

      Is this country so poor that we can’t pay for that? Are we that pathetic?

      And no, it would NOT bankrupt the country. Not even close. It would probably bankrupt a few insurance companies and the golden parachutes might get a little less golden.

      Liked by 1 person

    • Marleen November 13, 2019 / 1:50 pm

      Drats! About George W. Bush in office from 2001. Those people are all about taking advantage of everybody. I used to be fooled by them.

      Liked by 1 person

    • Marilyn Armstrong November 14, 2019 / 9:46 am

      The disability version is better. You get medication for almost nothing whereas the standard version has much more limited medication options. You now, there WAS a time and I was alive then, when there wasn’t ANY free medical care for anyone, so you could die in the hospital lobby or parking lot, but if you didn’t have a job with medical benefits, you were dead. It was terrifying.

      Liked by 1 person

  9. Marilyn Armstrong November 14, 2019 / 9:44 am

    You know, I have yet to meet ANYONE who took advantage of free medical care. I do know a lot of people who are alive because they could get medical care. Including ME. Does anyone intentionally get a heart condition so they can use free heart surgeons or get a free Pacemaker? Or have their breasts removed because they can get free cancer surgery? What kind of “free” medical care does anyone get? Free tooth cleaning? Free MRIs? Free wheelchairs and crutches? No one gets free medication, but we should and doctors don’t give prescriptions just because you want one.

    People who are sick — wherever they come from — should be taken care of. I don’t care if they are a tourist or a citizen or an illegal alien. No sick person should die for lack of medical care. As for free, you mean like free vaccinations so the rest of us don’t get polio or measles or whooping cough? Or smallpox? Really? Think about what you said and try to imagine who is getting what from “free healthcare” — except a doctor, a bed in a hospital, or antibiotics.

    Is this country so poor that we can’t pay for that? Are we that pathetic?

    And no, it would NOT bankrupt the country. Not even close. It would probably bankrupt a few insurance companies and the golden parachutes might get a little less golden.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Marleen November 14, 2019 / 11:18 am

      Yeah, I think leading Republicans (and right-leaning Democrats) take advantage of the large numbers of people who don’t understand their real motives.

      Like

  10. Scotty’s Keep November 14, 2019 / 12:25 pm

    I’ve been told that the Child Labor Act prevents people under the age of 16 from being employed. Therefore, I think all people,16 and younger, should have government funded insurance awarded to them.

    I don’t have any figures to prove anything, but a large number of children became insured under the Affordable Care Act who had no protection prior.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Fandango November 14, 2019 / 9:46 pm

      Most kids 16 and younger are covered under their father’s and/or mother’s employer-sponsored health care plans. But there are still way too many young kids whose parents don’t work or who work for small businesses that provide no, or limited, health coverage.

      Liked by 2 people

  11. Scherezade Ozwulo November 14, 2019 / 8:27 pm

    I’m late to this conversation but…whomever believes that free healthcare for all will create understaffing and the facilities will be overloaded, must not work in the medical industry now. As a healthcare worker, I see this all the time, actually it’s too regular where its expected. So how do hospitals compensate? Specialty hospitals will (by law) accept anyone and anybody hence becoming a third party to a patient’s care. As long as they provide care to make a person comfortable or sustain life until they are able to get them transferred to a proper facility.

    Picture working in a specialty hospital where the majority of new admissions are mentally ill or drug addicted (not all indigent)and have overdosed -can be violent- but you lack the equipment to truly handle their diagnosis? You (the facility) are only allowed to give a violent patient a low dose of tranquilizer that may or may not work due to the patient’s high drug toletance. Or picture a facility who’s majority of patients are dementia diagnosed and total care? 22 people on a unit and 16 could be total care patients.

    Being fought,
    screamed at, kicked, bodily fluids thrown at while trying to tend to other patients who are needing to be changed or turned every two hours without help from upper nursing staff, will cause understaffing. Burnout is evident from all medical staff who does bedside care on a regular basis. So, to think that’s a reason due to free healthcare- I say it’s already happening.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Fandango November 14, 2019 / 11:13 pm

      Good point. With Medicare for all, doctors, other healthcare providers, and hospitals will still get paid for the services they render, but the payment will come from the government, instead of from myriad health insurance companies, all of which have different policies and forms. With Medicare for all, administrative red tape will be significantly reduced and the card patients will receive will be consistent for everyone. In my opinion, a single-payer Medicare for all program would be a vast improvement over the broken and flawed system we have in America today.

      Liked by 1 person

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