Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Obama of the World

I really admire Obama's eagerness to meet with the world leaders. He doesn't shy away from talking to any of them because they happen to disagree with him, or that he may be uncomfortable with what they have to say. I think this is a great thing for our country to have someone who is open to the possibilities of what others have to offer. For far too long, this country has had the attitude that it's "our way or the high way"... and it's nice to see that we can learn from what other countries are doing.

Imagine this... Germany doesn't feel like they need to do a stimulus because they have so many safety nets for the unemployed, ie "Universal Healthcare" and "Unlimited Unemployment moneys". Think about how universal healthcare could change everything for us. Right now, healthcare is big, black suckhole that takes and takes and gives very little in return. It's so much more cost effective to just give healthcare to everyone and give them the tools to live a healthy life so that they don't need to access the system that much.


Red said...

That's why you have so many folks lining up for a crack at our healthcare because Universal healthcare works so well.NOT.

Jen said...

Red... I don't know where you get your information from because people are afraid to come here for fear that they will get sick/injured and have to pay for healthcare, whereas if they are home they get fixed for free. The insurance/pharmaceutical companies pay ALOT of money for you to believe that people are waiting in lines for treatments, but it's just not true. I've friends from other countries that deny those claims.

cancer mommy said...

There was a great Frontline on last night about the US healthcare system and that we are the only industrialized country now that doesn't have universal coverage for all. There have been several good Frontline's about UH. It should be required watching for ALL Americans, so we all can get on the same page and discuss apples to apples. There is no other industrialized country that allows their citizens to go bankrupt due to medical bills. One in 10 American bankruptcies are due in part to medical bills.

There's alot of chatter about UH in political circles. I just hope something actually happens this time around. I don't know how much longer I can afford to keep the coverage I so desperately need.

Jen said...

Absolutely... the other countries are way ahead of us. No wonder we aren't competitive in the world economy... Why wouldn't companies leave us and go to other countries where they dont' have to worry about the business costs of healthcare... It would make our businesses much more competitive and it would keep them HERE.

Red said...

Stop worshiping other countries over their mythic "free" health care. Sure other countries have lots of free services but have you seen how much they pay in taxes? On top of that, don't pretend that there aren't throngs of people clamoring to come here for medical treatment. For instance, there are middlemen set up in Canada that orchestrate precisely that. "Free" healthcare is a unicorn. There's no such thing. It's just a fact. We have the best health care in the world and I'm glad it's privatized so that the quality of care stays competitive. If you want to target the real offenders, the real barrier to accessible health care, go after the insurance lobby. I'd rather keep my choices open and carry private insurance than depend on some government-run program. When was the last time you heard of a successfully operating government-run program? That's what I thought.

Jen said...

I love how you finish your points with some smart crack instead of engaging in an adult conversation.

Private healthcare industry works if you are privvy enough to have a decent plan. Most people are not.

Other countries universal plans work just fine because they invest in preventative healthcare. If you want good health, it takes a lot on your part to make sure you are eating well and exercising and getting regular checkups. People without ANY insurance forego physicals and life-saving regular exams that can catch problems early and/or prevent them all together. We don't have the set up for that in our country as well as the universal plans do.

The high costs of healthcare are not doing anything good for our businesses. The costs are overwhelming to them. Pretty soon, the people that are lucky enough to have decent coverage won't even be able to get it through their employers b/c it will be too much of a cost for them to bear.

Jen said...

Oh, and I forgot to add... Other countries tax rates aren't all that much higher than ours.

cancer mommy said...

Red, I don't think anyone said anything about "free" healthcare. We are not dumb enough to think that it will be free. Yes, other countries pay taxes, and part of that goes to cover the cost of universal healthcare. We pay taxes too, but our taxes go partially to wars we shouldn't be in, and tax cuts to the wealthy. That makes no sense to me. Unless you're wealthy, then I can understand why you'd want to keep things the way they are.

Healthcare costs are killing American businesses. Most people who have insurance in this country do not realize how much their companies are paying for them to have it, even if they pay a portion of the premium themselves.

I agree with you that insurance companies are part of the problem, but not the only problem. The only way to get costs to come down is to somehow regulate them. The ONLY entity that can do that is the government. Self-regulation does not work, as we've seen with the banking system and Wall Street.

Anyone who will not even discuss tweaking our system to include coverage for all just doesn't understand the position America is in. They do not understand how much healthcare costs in this country, and how low we are on the healthy scale of the world. And they certainly have never had any sort of serious illness. Get sick, and you'll find out real quick what a mess our system has become.

I say, if you're not going to meaningfully contribute to discussions, don't even bother. But it's not my blog, so it's not my place to say. I love having rational, logical discussions about issues, but you have to be open to other sides, not just dismiss things out of hand.

Monkey Girl said...

I've seen that Frontline piece and it's amazing and thorough, you're right one that everyone should see it. I think it just might change people's perception of universal healthcare. It's truly sad that I fear (and many millions of people also) the medical bills that come in the mail. Our health care system here sucks...and every year it gets worse and worse.
Keeping people healthy shouldn't be a for-profit business.
My husband's company pays $1,000/month for health care for a family of four...and they don't want to pay a single penny for preventative care or immunizations...this is a reality. I have to fight with them on a weekly basis to get them to pay a single bill.
And that's considered good healthcare.
It's bullshit.

Baby Connor said...

I am a german living in the US and I must say, I would not want to live in this country without a decent job that allows me and my family affordable health insurance. Yes, taxes are higher in Germany and about 12.5% of your income goes to the health insurance and your employer matches it. Every employee has automatic health insurance and when you happen to lose your job then your health insurance covers your dues. Health insurance in Germany is privatized and there is still lots of competition among the different companies. I feel disgusted when I see people dying in this country because they can't afford health insurance. Families loosing everything due to a sick child and in the end they will loose the child if not a fundraiser kicks in. Is health insurance in Germany or in many other european/scandinavian counries perfect? No! But one thing I do know, everyone receives decent care no matter if you are the homeless of the street or the white collar worker. I don't know why so many people in this country oppose universal health care (in Germany it's not universal like in the Netherland but close. It's obviously working in Europe for many decades and why not in the US.