For the Americans Here

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I dont know how many other folks here are American, but I created this thread with the intent to pull the Americans on the forum together for a discussion on where each of us feels our country is going. Personally, I'm very concerned with the future of our country, and with today's (Thursday, 28 Jun 2012) Supreme Court decision upholding the Affordable Care Act (aka Obamacare), I think we are another step further towards redefining who we are as a nation....not in a good way I might add. Anyways before we delve deeply into any one particular topic just let me know what your general assessment is right now and where you think we are headed. Thanks and I look forward to all responses!
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I think if we continue on the current path we will see no manufacturing due to enviromental group concerns,I dont know of any current graduates from schooling that what to work with there hands either. higher taxes to pay for our new healthcare, say goodbye to medicare. look around. we have monitoring cameras on every street lamp/phone pole in my area.( NY/NJ ) Lots of laws to "protect" us citizens from harm. I could go on but them you think im a crazy nut! and this is a airplane forum. feel free to attack my comments. I can take it.
Profile picture for user inkworm

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I fail to see what the problem with everyone having the same right to basic health care is? Might as well say it's ok to let poor people suffer and die because they're poor.
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A hospital in the US can't turn someone away if they require life saving treatment, but this is all they have to do - once they have saved your life then further treatment has to be paid for up front. Frankly, I'm of the opinion that the current 'Obamacare' (I hate that word, but for expediencies sake I will use it) is actually the worst of both worlds in some ways as it relies on the private insurance companies, who do not have their policy holder's interests at heart. Incidentally, Mitt Romney's healthcare reform of Massachusetts was more or less funded in the exact same way - a mandate or tax. The sky will not fall, all the fear mongering about the bill is just that. I don't think the bill will alter patient's relationship with doctors, and it won't stop insurance companies from trying to rip off their customers.
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@inkworm There could be a problem if the govt cannot afford it.
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I understand the English need to prop up the NHS and run down the American system....:diablo: But the question going on here is who will run the system. Currently 80% of Americans have health insurance therough their employer. Senios already have care through the government. In my state, 89% have health insurance. So the question is "how can we help the remaining 10-20% get insurance without messing it up for the other 80%?" There are lot of people in this country that doesn't think the government running things is a good idea. Governments don't have a very good record of spending money efficiently (you end up paying for a lot of bureaucrats and overhead). A couple of other points: Obama in the election campaign promised an open forum on the legislation...instead it was rammed through the Congress with very little discussion. Also, many waivers ahve been given to special interest groups and unions that are Obama supporters. In other words, if he likes you, you don't have to partake in the system. Finally, the bill did not contain a common sense limitation on medical lawsuits that end up costing billions. The fact the the Trial Lawyers Assoc. were major contributors to Obama and the Democratic arty is probably not a coincidence. Yes, lets cobver the people that need it. But let's not mess up a system that works very well for the vast majority of the people. BTW: Yesterday I received a antique car club magazine. In it was an Obit for the former UK chapter president. It seem he needed a new heart valve. He died on the NHS waiting list. A retired neighbor had the same procedure here...he was diagnosed and was operated on within the week.

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There is little else in our otherwise complicated lifestyles that equals the importance of national healthcare paid for by taxation. Why? When we talk about caring for a nation's health, we talk about caring about the health if its people. This is a very logical, very necessary and utterly essential national provision. People are the current and prospective wealth of the nation. If the people aren't well, if, for whatever they experience poor to non existent healthcare, the nation will suffer, that much is obvious. Thr general health of the British during the 1920s, 1930's and 40's was so poor as to be shameful. Mortality among children due to the prevalence of diptheria, measles, mumps and the diseases associated with overcrowding, poor hygiene and ignorance conspired to present a truly lethal picture. Lack of dental care, poor quality food and toxic air pollution produced a people who were stunted in growth, infested with dental caries and among whom tuberculosis was rife. These conditions persisted until the advent of the National Health Service said by many to be the most altrustic State sponsored benefit ever bestowed on a benighted population. Yes, there is a downside. The system gets abused by health migrants, many from North America. There is within the system much duplication and waste. It is too big and needs to be divided into 'bite sized' chunks for ease of administration. But, when all is said and done and I write as a beneficiary, for all its faults, it is the most signal act of unselfishness ever devised. American friends everywhere, grab this opportunity. Grab it and never let go. Enlarge upon it. Build it and operate it as only Americans can with that ever ready sense of 'can do'. John Green

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I'm not American but I can sympathise regarding the loss of industry. When I left school I worked in a Bonded Warehouse in London. Now it's a night club. I then worked for Beefeater Gin in London. Now it's a Tesco. I then worked for the IT arm of the NHS which is now disbanded. Not to mention all the ancillary companies that have also gone. Myself; Outsourced 1994. Insourced 2003. Outsorced 2005. Redundant 2009. Up for Redundancy 2012 but not selected. Problem I have with no manual work to fall back on, and getting on a bit with age, should I be made redundant again I will probably spend the last few years of my working life working hand to mouth doing very low paid jobs. Sad, but that's the UK for you.
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- once they have saved your life then further treatment has to be paid for up front.
That's simply not true. Yiou have to tell them how you expect to pay, but they don't take the money up front. Again, for 80% of the people they presenttheir insurance card. The poor and elderly are covered by various state and federal programs.
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These conditions persisted until the advent of the National Health Service said by many to be the most altrustic State sponsored benefit ever bestowed on a benighted population. John Green
I'm not sure how altrustic it is....you certainly pay for it...the government lets you think they pay for it, but where do you think their money comes from?
American friends everywhere, grab this opportunity. Grab it and never let go. Enlarge upon it. Build it and operate it as only Americans can with that ever ready sense of 'can do'.
I'd like to think America could come up with a good plan and and I'd support a better bill. But the current proposal simly stinks of one-party favoritism, lack of forthought and most importantly, concensus. But deep in the back of my mind, I'm wary of huge government plans...socialism worked out so well for the USSR....and UK industry. :) (as a slightly off topic aside...as a visitor to the UK pre-and post-Thatcher, in my opinion...and I admit I'm an outsider so I might be wrong...something most post by UK people here don't do when they talk about America with "facts" geaned only from the BBC in lieu of actual experience...the UK standard of living took a huge leap after privatization. I'm told private cars were a luxury for the middle class in the socialist 50s...now every other car is a BMW). Remember, the US prosperity and high standard of living was built on capitalism, and the healthcare system has worked fairly well...at least compared to the Dickens-like pre-NHS UK you so vividly describe. Again, why screw it up for the majority there must be a way to help the helpless without going headlong into some bureaucratic nightmare of rationed care and waiting lists? BTW: It's easy for you in the UK to be free with money that's not yours, but remember, we have 12 million illegals here...
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Ink, that's an incredibly simplistic way of looking at the issue and ignores many faults that will ultimately (in my estimation) come about as the years go by. I resent that idea that because I don't agree with this legislation that it somehow makes me a selfish person. I realize you didn't state that specifically, but most of the people who use your very simplistic argument follow up with the opinion that people who don't like the bill are selfish and don't care for others. I don't mean any ill will towards you. Im just saying that for those who would brand me as selfish I think they would be wrong. When it comes to government, from corruption and back room dealings to general inefficiency when it comes to government run programs, I see this as a failure in the making. It is certainly true that everyone has a right to be cared for, but placing what is essentially a large tax on millions of hard working people is not the solution. I don't have a perfect solution to our healthcare issues, but I know without any inkling of doubt that this program will put more people in debt and it will ultimately fail. Most Americans aren't happy with the way the bill was forced into legislation nor are they happy with essentially being told to a purchase a product because Uncle Sam says so. In Europe, the populace may be happy with socialistic policies, but here in the United States many people resent that ideology. It's not the basis on which our nation was founded. I've worked for the government for six years now, and I've seen firsthand just how inefficient it can be on multiple levels. (unfortunately the Air Force I joined thinking all I'd do is fly airplanes for a living doesn't exist....silly me for thinking otherwise :)...in the variety of other duties I've had to do throughout my time in the service I've seen lots of government mandated waste that didn't have to be.) A nationally run healthcare system for over 300 million people is not going to work...at all. It's not just the health care thing that has me concerned. Illegal immigration is a big problem here, and it's being largely ignored by politicians on both the left and right. I would love nothing more than for people of any nationality to come here and make a good life for themselves. We are after all a nation founded by immigrants. There is however a legal way to do it. This process is certainly full of flaws, but nonetheless you are either here legally or you aren't here at all. You must leave and do it the right way. I could go on, but I don't think I'll get many comments from the Americans here as I assume they are a smaller number than I had thought. The rest of you likely don't even care which of course is understandable. Oh well. Hopefully some other Americans will see this and put their two cents in. Thanks to all those who replied thus far.
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Cooper, While not an american, I share your concerns on this. Obamacare is not the way to go. If you discount those who chose not to get health insurance, I wonder what would be the remaining percentage that cannot afford it ? As for illegals: as was shown with the latest supreme court ruling on SB1070, it isn't being ignored. Efforts to enforce the law by local authorities are being hampered by the federal government (it seems). Why? One explanation is that, if this huge mass of population gets citizenship, or the right to vote, guess who they'll choose ? (Hint, it won't be the Tea Party or anyone in that line of thought) As for funding Obamacare in the middle of a recession, that is just plain nuts. It is the kind of things you can do when the country is making huge benefits, not when it is going bankrupt. If this goes on, your 2nd amendment will come in handy. But I'm afraid that will be the next one to go, as for every socialist state (look what happened here).
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Though I started the thread with the intent to hear the voices of other Americans Frank, I am very appreciative of your comments. I must say that I'm quite shocked we agree on these issues. I rather assumed we would be quite different politically speaking. You're from Belgium correct? Thanks again for sharing your thoughts. Oh and let me clarify what I meant regarding illegal aliens. It is indeed the Feds that are hampering state and local officials in their efforts to uphold the law. You couldn't be more correct in your assessment. Many Americans are quite frustrated with the situation, but if you voice concern for it, the left will brand you a racist. It's quite sad the state that we are in as a nation right now...quite sad indeed.
Profile picture for user Moggy C

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I'm a bit wary of ball-park statistics with no explanation. In this case the 80% of Americans have healthcare paid for by their employers. Is that 80% of all Americans including the over-working age, the unemployed, the students and the burger-flippers, or is it 80% of all full-time employed Americans? Those would be two very different situations Moggy

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J.Boyle Anyone on this Forum who reads my scribblings will know that I have almost a pathological detestation of many aspects of socialism. It is among the worst of mankinds philosophies. I loathe its disavowel of excellence. I loathe its espousal of a spurious egalitarianism. I loathe its support for the lowest common denominator. It is a mischievous and detestable refuge for the disaffected. Unfettered capitalism? Much of the same. Greed is its lifeblood; selfishness its creed. The devil take the hindmost ! Much as unfettered socialism can never be the answer to our problems; neither can unfettered capitalism. The British National Health Service, still the envy of the world in spite of its many failings was and is the most signal act of State sponsored altruism - ever. The NHS was comceived and designed to offer without limit, lifetime healthcare to all Bitish citizens. This it has done and continues to do. To the point that sick people from all over the world arrive unheralded on our shores, avail themselves of our care and depart mostly without paying the bill. The NHS was established without the profit motive. No one had to count the cost of bandages or sticking plaster or the latest cardiac surgery. Then the law of unintended consequences reared its intrusive head. What hadn't been foreseen was the rapid development of medical science and the cost attached thereto. Tens of thousands of citizens would now survive who would not otherwise have done so. Babies would survive - infant mortality would be almost a thing of the past. The cost though has risen beyond all conception. So, what is the 'downside' to this apparent Utopia? The downside can be summarised by three or so words: waste, inefficiency and bureaucracy. Waste - inability to count the tools of medical care - how many sticking plasters do we have and do we need more? Inefficiency - how many staff do we have walking around clutching bits of paper doing the same job and are they doing a full days work for a full days pay ? Bureaucracy - how many office staff do we have for a given size of medical establishment and how much paper do they produce? There seems to be some deep misconception among our American readers that the adoption of an American version of the NHS will lead them down to some socialist pit of Hell. Rubbish. Your country needs it. You have poor and neglected and disaffected people who are in urgent need of some level of medical provision, exactly as this country used to be. We do not necessarily believe the Hollywood portrayal of America, we've seen your slums and we know about your immigrant problem, we have one of our own the tackling of which seems to be insuperable. I'm certainly no fan of Obama but, grasp this opportunity, work on it and extend it so that those at the subsistence level of American society have the kind of opportunity that the British now take as their birthright. John Green

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NHS??? John, i think you and i are have much the same idea about this country at this time. The NHS when it was set up sixty odd years ago worked very well. Then it was a good idea, staffed by dedicated Doctors/Matrons/Nurses together with the other vital support staff. They were health care professionals before the term was ever voiced. Not now look at yesterdays report of a young man in hospital forced to dial 999 to get the police as he needed WATER. They visited the ward but were fobbed off by the "carers" who said he was muddled. He died some hours later from dehydration. The NHS today is top heavy with managers, and a large number of Doctors and nurses do not speak English to a proficient level if at all. It is overrun by patients from around the globe who really have no right to treatment here at all. And to cap it all alot of the front line Nurses/Staff are racist, especially if the patient is indigenous. I can say this as i saw it in Stafford hospital not long ago with my ninety year old mother. I sat for several hours with the frail old lady in the next bed calling for help, she was dying. I asked the two women in uniform to help her they said she was delirious and would soon sleep. She did soon afterwards, for good. If they were nurses/carers i am a polititian. Whatever you do in the US cousin dont take the NHS as a model its Bost!!! (Black country speak for badly broken) (The Black country is the previously industrial heart of England)
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Happy July 4th!
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Ink, that's an incredibly simplistic way of looking at the issue and ignores many faults that will ultimately (in my estimation) come about as the years go by. I resent that idea that because I don't agree with this legislation that it somehow makes me a selfish person. I realize you didn't state that specifically
Being this side of the pond we have had little coverage of the whole bill and I apologies if you took it as a slight against your character. I do fully agree that the current state of the NHS is beyond a joke but sadly it has been allowed to evolve along with society into something which encourages greed and financial abuse. My wife for example has had consultants try and charge for a train ticket for their wife when they had to attend a conference and wanted the partner to join them. Same person also asked for envelopes and stamps so they could post back their claim form. Needless to say they were told where to stick it. But it is yet another example of how the NHS has lost its way. It sounds like the US needs a profound shift in view and opinion to be ready to accept a more socialistic approach to health care but while the providers have been making obscene amounts of money out of everyone they will do all they can to stop this approach changing. Look at the tobacco companies or NRA. Whilst it may not work fully in the current form it sounds like the bill is a start, I would be tempted to compare it to Wilson's League of Nations, it didn't exactly work out but did lead to the United Nations which has done a lot of good over the years.