Medical Care In The U S

35 Replies
BBNo2 - November 14

Hi guys, I just watched the Micheal Moore video "Sicko" and I can't belive the stories about the American health care system. I couldn't imagine choosing to go to the hospital based on money or losing my child because of an insurance company denying a claim. Is it really like that there? I am Canadian and don't mean to offend anyone, I know these films can be one sided so I was just wondering what you guys who live there really think about it?


jennifer_33106 - November 14

I have never heard anything like that. haha Here hospitals have to help you regardless of insurance or not. I have never heard someone losing their child due to an insurance claim. JMO but Micheal Moore is a freak. Wow that sounds like hell but luckily nothing like that has ever happened to me or anyone I know.


tish212 - November 14

jennifer isright as long as its not a private hospital they have to see u no matter what...and then if u have no insurance u can pay the bill off a little at a time. besides that with social services if someone gets really out money wise they offer a__sistance programs...lowered housing costs lowered energy costs fuel no I don't believe any of that is true...micheal moore takes things to the extreme and twists them backwards.....his movies are his opinion only and not based on fact....its sad really....but no things aren't like that here..... ;)


DaBonkElsMe - November 14

I just saw that movie this weekend too, and it really was a bit one-sided, as you say! If you are in an emergency situation, you will be treated by any hospital without questions about insurance, etc. But - like in the movie - if your child does not seem to be in an emergency situation, like just a fever, then a doctor or hospital could tell you that you have to go to whatever place is covered by your insurance. And it is true that we need referals to see specialists. If we have a specific problem that requires a specific doctor, then we have to be referred by our regular doctor or the insurance company won't pay. Of course getting a referal is simple and most doctors give and receive them without hesitation or question. And insurance companies here really do look for ways to NOT pay. That part is true, I have grapple with my insurance companies several times to get them to pay for what should have been covered without question - for example my wisdom teeth removal - it HAD to be doen, and I had to fight to get them to pay, and even then they did not cover it totally!! But I have family in Canada, and they told me that he only showed the bright side of medical care there, and that while it is good and my aunt says she wouldn't give it up for the "American health care" she also said that there are many times when patients are made to wait for hours or even days to see doctors and get medical attention, whereas Michael Moore made it seem like those things never happen! So you have to take it with a grain of salt!


jennifer_33106 - November 14

Wow! I have never seen that movie and never want to. haha We have TriCare because my husband is active duty, so everything is covered no matter what. I guess we are just lucky.


DaBonkElsMe - November 14

Yeha the military is covered 100%. I have a collegue (I'm a teacher) who was in the military and her military coverage is about to end b/c she has not been on active duty for however many years, and so she is trying to get all her annual tests and things done now, mamagrams, bloodwork, whatever, so she won't have to pay the copay we have with our insurance here at work!! But it's actually not bad anyway, I pay $25 per doctor visit.


jennifer_33106 - November 14

yeah thats not bad at all! Before I met Shon I didnt have insurance and it wasnt bad when I had to go to the doctor.


BBNo2 - November 14

Well I am glad to hear that no one has had the same problems as in the movie! I figured it was made to look much worse than reality but I am glad to hear your guys side of it! It is true that we wait in emergency rooms during busy times. The longest I ever had to wait was 7 hours and it was REALLY busy and I wasn't dying. I guess we all do things our own ways and like what we are used to. Thanks for all the responses. Hope everyone stays healthy!


LIN - November 15

Sicko was a typical Michael Moore film in the sense that it was very one-sided. While the motivation behind it was good, it was incredibly exaggerated and made it out as if the rare problems are the norm. He compared the absolute worst case scenario from the American system to the best cases from several other systems. I personally have never had a single problem with health care in the US, and my current HMO has been absolutely wonderful. In fact, the only time I've ever had an insurance company question a condition as possibly being a pre-existing one in order to get out of paying for the treatment was when I was living in Germany on private German health insurance (public was not available to me). In fact, I also had a run-in with a corrupt dentist there who tried to get me to commit insurance fraud. US health coverage is, in general, excellent. The people who get screwed by the system are those with low-paying jobs that don't offer health coverage or those in between jobs, which is why there needs to be some kind of base-level public coverage as there is elsewhere. I don't think that the Canadian or English or German or Australian or any other currently existing system is the answer, though. They've all got their own flaws in places where the American system shines. The answer, I think, is somewhere in between.


docbytch - November 15

Alas...hospitals have to see everyone regardless of ability to pay....BUT there is no guarantee they won't stick you with a whopping bill that those who are either underinsured or uninsured won't be able to pay..........thereby effectively destroying a perfectly honest person's financial future. I hate this country's medical system...and yes I've been victimized by it back in my working poor/uninsured days. We need to be more like other "more enleightened" countries!!! Canada...Germany...Scandinavia...Australia


jennifer_33106 - November 15

Hey Docbytch! I just wanted to say that with most hospitals, if you are unable to pay, then you can claim indigent (sp?) and your hospital stay is covered. And also, If you can not pay and it goes on your credit, most creditors do not look at medical expenses as those were not under your control. Anyways, I really dont think the health care here is horrible and I agree with what LIN has said. haha


tish212 - November 15

I have to say...I have never had to fight my insurance to pay anything...they always cover everything. we have community hospitals here...which by federal law they cannot turn u away if u have no insurance. u are covered and will receive the same care as a covered person. and yes if the bil ends up on ur credit it is usually ignored because half of the US has past due medical balances on their credit. but that's not to say there aren't c___ppy insurance companies out there...cuz there are. they find any reason not to pay. it all just depends on what company ur job has...unemployeed people have it worse especially males b/c they can't get help but a pregnant woman who is unemployeed can get priority partners here (which is an insurance that covers anything) all their prenatal care is stay is covered and they can reapply for it after the baby is born. I have to say the worst thing about insurance here for us (my dh & myself) is dental is really expensive and covers prety much nothing so its mostly pay out of pocket. but I think it all evens out....


jennifer_33106 - November 15

Yeah thats true and also, with our children, they are all covered or should be by the state unless the family has a private insurance company. But their is always medicaid! and our seniors get medicare,


kim00 - November 15

This is such a controversial issue. I haven't seen the movie, but heard of it. One of the insurance companies that is in the movie is Aetna, which is our provider. They are absolutely wonderful, but it got me thinking about major health problems, if we'd be covered. I researched it and all the major health issues, I could think of, would be covered. I don't think a universal healthcare approach is the way to go. Just a question, but I know quite a few people that come from Canada to the US for medical issues, why? I've also heard that the quality of care is not there with a universal system, true or not? Also I've heard that when you are hospitalized you don't get individual rooms, every hospital I've worked at in Idaho has private rooms for patients.


claire83 - November 15

I live in the uk and everyone is covered for all medical costs but you can go private and pay for quicker surgeries treatment etc dentists have just gone private so everyone has to pay


BBNo2 - November 15

Yeah I've heard of people from Canada going to the US for medical treatments. I think it was because they could get it faster there or there are experimental treatments that aren't available in Canada. You can apply to have your medical expenses paid by the goverment for out of country treatments that aren't available in Canada too. I think the U.S has more high end equipment too because there are so many more big hospitals and the public pays for their care so the hospitals have more money to spend. I'm surprised how controversial this subject is and I'm glad I asked because it really puts a different spin on it than the movie did!


KRISTINA - November 15

I agree with LIN, each has benifits and drawbacks. For example, in England anyone is covered by all medical costs, but because of this they pay road tax, t.v tax, they tax anything they can. There used to be a window tax and a doorknob tax, I dont know if there still is though. But can you imagine paying taxes on your TV. It isnt cheap either, its like 100 pounds a year just to have a tv in your house that is hooked up. Thats how they have enough money to provide medical care for everyone, by taxing everyone else. Kinda a communist approach to the system. But on the other hand we in the US have a lot of problems with HMO's and people not getting the care they need if they cannot afford it. Bottom line...america has better equipment and resources, but you need to look out for yourself and make sure you get a good medical plan. Other places the care might not be timely or as advanced, but everyone is treated the same.



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