Being an American.

  lisa02 22:01 18 Jan 2007

OK, there was a discussion today at work about health care, social security and the likes in the US and UK. I basically listened to what was said.

I have several questions as I feel those co-workers today hadn't got a clue what they where talking about.

1. What do they do for the unemployed, low income families and all?
2. Do they provide free health care similar to the NHS?
3. They said if you turn up at a hospital and can't pay you'll be turned away, that can't be true can it?

Apparently one of their cousins moved to America, I've never been and know little about the country.

Please keep to facts and stick within the rules of the forum, I'd rather this didn't get locked. 22:16 18 Jan 2007

my brothers lived in the states for 22 years. and what you've said is true.
but he pays less tax than me, his insurance premium for health insurance is a little higher than what i last paid for national insurance, when he stays here he wonders how any one can afford to live here!
the cost of living over there is nothing, food, fuel houses, cars, everything is so much cheaper!

  Kate B 22:27 18 Jan 2007

Health insurance is very expensive in the US - for many it's part of their employment package. Also, if you don't have insurance in the US, there isn't really a fallback position: no NHS willing to lavish money and time on you to get you better. Health insurance is a luxury in the UK - it's vital in the US. Which means many low-income people find it very difficult if not impossible to get healthcare in the US.

  spuds 22:39 18 Jan 2007

Good old Google click here 22:39 18 Jan 2007

i think its all relevant, my mother is 74 and i have just paid to have her knee repaced (sorry if that makes her sound like a classic car!) it was done in an nhs hospital at her request, there were 5 other people in there of similar age, all had paid privately, i've paid into bupa since i was 22, and if i became sick without my bupa i would be deeply worried about what would happen to my care!
in many ways we follow the usa with shopping malls drive throughs etc, give it 10 years and the health care may go the same way! i also have a private pension, private densist, so wonder what all my national insurance is being spent on?

  Kate B 22:45 18 Jan 2007

"my" national insurance is a misconception. It goes into the pot mostly providing pensions for today's pensioners - it's not buying you anything specific, such as either a pension or a certain amount of healthcare. It's money you pay into a general pot and it gives you the right (at the moment) to a state pension and access to the NHS. 22:49 18 Jan 2007

i agree very much and so do many people who have worked for their money and are now living overseas, its for this reason i can see us following in the footsteps of the states, im not saying i agree with that im just saying the system seems to be struggling to cope with the duties it was set up for because circumstances have changed!

  robgf 02:18 19 Jan 2007

My brother moved to Seattle years ago and likes living there a lot.
But he always says that the USA is a great place to live if you have a good income, but the UK is much better if you are on a low income.
If you are very poor, or jobless you wont starve to death in the USA, there are charities that provide food.
But free health care is strictly on a first come, first served basis and only the better off people can afford gleaming smiles we see on television.
Mind you, with the price my dentist charges since going private, my smile could become gappy before long. :)

  Forum Editor 13:27 19 Jan 2007

becomes the first female president of America (and I sincerely hope she does), she will try to expand the existing government-funded Medicaire and Medicaid systems for older people and those on low incomes. Like all developed natons in the western world, America has an ageing population, and pressure on the health industry is growing.

Incidentally, it's illegal for an American hospital to turn a sick patient away because of an inability to pay.

  Kate B 14:33 19 Jan 2007

Hillary for president! She's committed, tough and able, as well as being possessed of a sense of fairness.

  laurie53 20:49 19 Jan 2007

Er - isn't that partisan politics?!!!


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