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Author Topic: What happens when you are sick in America?  (Read 1236 times)
UBAB
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« on: Mar 29, 2009 10:42 PM »


I was just watching the amazing film from the one nation 2007 site - the UMMA health clinic (Healing Our Community) ...

http://www.linktv.org/onenation2007/films/view/213

And a question popped up - What happens when you are sick in America, and you can't afford to pay for it? Are you denied treatment by the clinic or hospital - what happens if it's something like cancer or heart surgery at 100s of thousand of dollars?

I heard Obama talk about health premiums and the need to bring reel in health care costs so I'm trying to wrap my head around this idea ....

thanks...

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« Reply #1 on: Mar 30, 2009 06:07 AM »

In the US, anyone who shows up at hospital MUST be treated. Regardless of if they can pay or not. This is by law. There were probably some cases where someone wasn't treated and died and sued so now there's this law.  So if you go you are treated, but then you are billed $300 plus for a hospital visit. If you have any type of treatment the price goes up exponentially and if you actually stay in the hospital the price goes up thousands, and of course operations are tens of thousands. If you don't have healthcare you pay for these things out of pocket. 

If you are at poverty level and lower and have no savings you can get something called Medicaid which is health insurance. But if you have any savings or any type of job making even a little over you can't get it. If you are past retirement age and fulfill certain things you can get Medicare which is health insurance for old people. Anyone else........ you get nothing.

Many full time jobs will provide health insurance, but you still pay something from your paycheck and you also pay small amounts for doctors visits/drugs etc.  Part time jobs and many other type of non-professional jobs don't give any health insurance.

To buy health insurance yourself, the price is astronomical, something like $500/month to $1200 for a family. It's very traumatic for people who have some savings and get disqualified or for those whose  job doesn't give them healthcare. The working poor may be making enough money to pay the bills but they can't afford healthcare. That's why it's better in the US to be poor and just get all the benefits you can such as healthcare/welfare.
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« Reply #2 on: Mar 31, 2009 04:58 PM »

So if you are not eligible for any of these programs and your company does not cover it, your on the hook for $ 6000 - 15000 / year of your after tax income to pay for health care?

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« Reply #3 on: Mar 31, 2009 10:32 PM »

 salaam

Yes, that's right, if you don't have insurance you will be required to pay out of pocket. I am a nurse in an ICU and I'd guess prob. about 30-40% of our pts. don't have insurance. You still get treated the same as anyone else you just end up with an outrageous med. bill that you can never pay. People don't pay it, they can't, they just ruin their credit and put themselves in tremendous debt. Problem is, alot of people that don't have health insurance can't affor to go to the Dr, the free clinics are a nightmare, so they use the ER like the Dr's office, or wait until their critically ill before being seen, which further complicates things.
I didn't have health insurance for about 10 years of my life, because I just couldn't afford it. When I became a nurse I finally got decent coverage, but I still pay approx. 500$ a month for my family which is a lot where I live because we're in the midwest where the cost of living is cheap, and so are our wages. I will say, though that my insurance has more than paid for itself since 2 of my kids have had major health problems.
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« Reply #4 on: Mar 31, 2009 10:39 PM »

Also, it's much easier to get your children free coverage through the government or medicare. We had it for a few years for our oldest two when we were first starting out. We weren't super poor or anything, the guidelines are alot less strict to get your children on. The same goes for a pregnant women.

Stephanie
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