Saturday, 2 May 2009
Universal Healthcare -or- Reduced Quality For All
So at the moment I'm $900 out of pocket for medical/dental expenses, with much more to come on the dental side, and hopefully nothing for medical. About $100 of that is getting reimbursed to me from Medicare. Had the doctors and xray techs I'd gone to bulk billed, they would be getting reimbursed, not me, which would be preferable. I've save upwards of $300 on my dental bills with my private hospital & extras cover, which I pay $60 a month for, but that only covers a maximum of $500 total on major dental, and even that is a 12 month wait period, so if I end up needing root canals etc that's all on me. Had this occured in the US, I would have paid $20 total, which was the co-payment for seeing my doctor. My health insurance cost me about $60 per month through work, and my dental $4 per month, again through work. Had I racked up $10,000 in services from the dentist, do you know how much I would have paid? $0, nada! That type of dental insurance doesn't exist in Australia. I had some chest pain and was coughing up blood the other day, so the doctor told me I could wait and see, or go for a chest xray. I chose the latter of course, which turned out fine, and it seems all is well with the chest, both on the xray and physical symptoms, although there is still a need to take it very easy for a week or so, with no strong physical exertion. A doctor in the US would have sent me for some extra tests I'm sure, and maybe even given me some antibiotics to prevent any chest infections. Anyway, this whole rant brings me to the conclusion that if you haven't experience universal healthcare/socialised medicine, don't say you want it just because it gives you a nice, warm and fuzzy feeling to think to everyone being entitled to healthcare. What it means is that yes, everyone gets some coverage, but it will be reduced coverage and less quality care. I agree that children should have coverage regardless, and insurance companies shouldn't be able to discriminate against people with pre-existing conditions, and that coverage should be reasonably priced for all, but it shouldn't be universal, unless you want mediocre care for all to replace good care for many.