Has Hillary's Universal Health Care has set bells ringing in Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger's Calfornia ?
Health care for all in California?
By David Willis
BBC News, in Los Angeles
The issue of universal health care looks set to become a key topic in the run up to next year's US presidential election.
With Congress stalled on enacting a nationwide plan, individual states are starting to take matters into their own hands.
In California, Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger has just won approval from legislators for a major health-care reform which will expand coverage to most of the state's uninsured.
It took nearly a year of sometimes fractious haggling, but legislators in America's most populous state have done what many predicted they could not
They have approved a bill to extend health insurance to virtually everyone in the nation's most populous state - all 36 million of them.
True, the measure has still to be approved by the state Senate and ratified in a popular vote, but it is nonetheless a considerable achievement.
A national template?
A jubilant Arnold Schwarzenegger emerged to hail the vote a "giant step forward".
He believes the un-glamorously titled Health Care Security and Cost Reduction Act could eventually provide a template for the entire nation.
But ironically, the greatest opposition to his plan comes from members of his own party.
Republican lawmakers point to California's $14bn (£7bn) deficit as evidence that the so-called Golden State cannot afford such an ambitious measure.
Other opponents argue that it will lead to tax increases - from a governor who previously vowed not to raise taxes.
The governor's plan would require all Californians to obtain health insurance by 1 July 2010 - providing subsidies for those who would otherwise have struggled to pay the premiums.
It would promote preventive care and also compel insurance companies to spend 85% of those premiums on patients - which is music to the ears of people like Maria Watanabe.
I thought that when you had insurance you had access to any treatment that you needed Maria Watanabe, patient
A few years ago crippling headaches prevented her from performing the most simple of tasks.
Ms Watanabe - who moved to Los Angeles from the Philippines - was denied a brain scan by her insurance company despite repeated requests from her doctor
- The PatriotLv 71 decade agoFavorite Answer
Sounds like it. Mind you, although taxes would have to increase to pay for national (or in this case state) healthcare, those who have it will still be better off as not only should insurance costs come down (and the money they save will be more than the amount they will have to pay in taxes) but they will not have to worry if the insurance company will fund treatment or not.
I live in the UK and work in the NHS (our universal health care system). It has problems, but not as many as the US healthcare system has. Despite spending much more per head of population than other developed countries, the US has worse health outcomes. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Health_care#Economics Life expectancy and infant mortality figures in the US are higher than in other developed countries, despite more money being spent (and wasted) in the USA.
In the UK there are waiting lists for routine problems. Problems that can not wait are treated as emergencies. Also, in the UK, people can also have private health care.
I can understand Americans being proud of living in the richest and most powerful country in the world. What I can not understand is why Amercians settle for an expensive healthcare system where babies die that would have a better chance of life if born in another developed country.
- Anonymous1 decade ago
tax increases are worth it if spread fairly instead of forcing the middle class to pay for everyones health care through outragous insurance premiums
it would be a big break to the middle class, plus the working poor will finnaly get preventative care instead of clogging up the emergency rooms every time they get a cold
i just read last nite that the #1 thing emergency departments now treat is the common cold for people with no insurance, how messed up is that?
- geisterLv 44 years ago
I truthfully have been in California for each and all the Awnold years different than one. He has appeared to be particularly ineffective and individuals blame him for each and all the subject concerns interior the state yet on the genuine, he can no longer do something because of the fact the Democrats block genuinely each thing that he tries to do and if he helps any bill, the individuals vote the different; out of spite in simple terms because of the fact he's a Republican. i grow to be going to college whilst he grow to be initially working. I inform you...each and each professor have been telling the youngsters to vote for him, in simple terms like Mr. B. Hussein Obama. I voted McClintock in any case.
- 1 decade ago
I agree with Heyteach, its a important thing to improvise on a practical solution when it comes to health care and it is a concern for each one of us to ensure that it is implemented with care to eventually make it a Success!
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- heyteachLv 61 decade ago
IF it passes, it will not work, because universal health care does NOT work anywhere.
One of the FATAL flaws in the plan is the demand that people "get" insurance by a set date. WHAT ABOUT THE UNINSURABLE? People keep ignoring them--that is people who CAN NOT GET A POLICY WRITTEN, not a question just of funds, but NO ONE will write them a policy.
Going to have to have the state design a plan specifically for them OR, as SHOULD happen, the state will be sued to total bankruptcy by the uninsurable who will have a legitimate claim of discrimination.
State health care ALWAYS costs more. It will be rationed--check out Oregon where they're at least honest about it:
"The story began last fall when doctors told Brandy, who lives with her single mother in a weather-beaten farmhouse about an hour south of Portland, Ore., that she was likely to die within a year unless she got a simultaneous lung-liver transplant, an operation that has been performed fewer than a dozen times in the United States.
Under Oregon's unique Medicaid system, which openly rations healthcare in order to provide basic care to as broad a population as possible, Brandy was eligible for a liver transplant or a lung transplant, but not both. In January, and again after a review in May, the state-run health plan said no. There wasn't enough data to show the $250,000 procedure was worthwhile, the health plan's administrators said, and the plan didn't cover experiments.
But Brandy wouldn't take no for an answer. A tough, determined young woman who had managed to work part-time at a photo studio, baby-sit her boss's children, coach the high school football team and maintain a 3.2 grade point average between numerous and prolonged bouts in the hospital, Brandy wasn't about to give up her life without a fight. She sued the state of Oregon, charging that it was making a flawed moral choice in refusing to save her life. Since then her caustic, articulate criticisms of the Oregon system have given a vivid sense of the obstacles any universal healthcare plan for the nation would face.
"They'll pay for an alcoholic to get a liver transplant because they've been drinking all their life," she says, sitting with her mother at a rickety picnic table under a cherry tree by her front door. "They'll pay for a heroin addict to get cured, to help someone kick the cigarette habit. Those are things people do to themselves. If you put it to a vote the people would say pay for some girl's operation instead of some alcoholic's liver transplant or some crack head's needles. I just think it isn't very fair.'" http://archive.salon.com/health/feature/2000/07/07...
Texas is pretty clear on this too:
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April 27, 2006, 2:06 p.m.
Death by Ethics Committee
Refusing to treat lives deemed unworthy of living.
By Wesley J. Smith
The bioethics committee at St. Luke's Hospital in Houston, Texas has decreed that Andrea Clarke should die. Indeed, after a closed-door hearing, it ordered all further medical efforts to sustain her life while at St. Luke's to cease. As a consequence, Clarke's life support, required because of a heart condition and bleeding on the brain, is to be removed unilaterally even though she is not unconscious and her family wants treatment to continue.
Andrea Clarke may become an early victim of one of the biggest agendas in bioethics: Futile-care theory, a.k.a., medical futility. The idea behind futile-care theory goes something like this: In order to honor personal autonomy, if a patient refuses life-sustaining treatment, that wish is sacrosanct. But if a patient signed an advance medical directive instructing care to continue — indeed, even if the patient can communicate that he or she wants life-sustaining treatment — it can be withheld anyway if the doctors and/or the ethics committee believes that the quality of the patient's life renders it not worth living,
Contrary to how it sounds, medical futility is not a matter of refusing treatment that will not provide the medical benefit the patient seeks. Refusals of requests for such "physiologically futile care" would be proper and professional. For example, if a patient demanded that a doctor provide chemotherapy for an ulcer, the doctor should refuse, since chemo will do nothing to treat the ulcer.
But Clarke's case involves value judgments rather than medical determinations. In such "qualitative futility" cases, treatment is stopped in spite of a patient's or family's objections — the intervention is necessary not because the treatment doesn't work, but because it does. In essence then, it is the patient's life that is deemed futile and, hence, not worthy of being preserved.
We should also note that the Clarke controversy isn't anything like the Terri Schiavo case. Schiavo's tube-supplied food and fluids were ordered withdrawn (supposedly) to carry out her wishes. But Clarke apparently wants to live and her family all agree that she should continue to be sustained. In other words, it is as if Michael Schiavo and Terri's parents, Bob and Mary Schindler, agreed to maintain Terri's feeding tube but a hospital ethics committee overruled their decisions and doctors removed the tube anyway.
Hospitals around the country — nobody knows how many — have been quietly promulgating internal rules to permit patients like Andrea Clarke to be denied wanted treatment to maintain their lives. But the legality of internal ethics committees acting as quasi courts to order unilateral treatment refusal remains uncertain in most states.
Texas, however, has become ground zero for futile-care theory thanks to a draconian state law passed in 1999 — of dubious constitutionality, some believe — that explicitly permits a hospital ethics committee to refuse wanted life-sustaining care. Under the Texas Health and Safety Code, if the physician disagrees with a patient's decision to receive treatment, he or she can take it to the hospital ethics committee. A committee hearing is then scheduled, all interested parties explain their positions, and the members deliberate in private.
If the committee decides to refuse treatment, the patient and family receive a written notice. At that point, the patient/family has a mere ten days to find another hospital willing to provide the care, after which, according to the statute, "the physician and health care facility are not obligated to provide life-sustaining treatment."
Since the patients threatened with death by ethics committee are often the most expensive to care for, it will often be difficult for families to find other institutions willing to accept a transfer. But the futility deck may be especially stacked against Houston patients. Many city hospitals participate in the "Houston City-Wide Guidelines on Medical Futility," raising the suspicion that participating hospitals will not contradict each other's futility decrees.
If so, this would mean that patients seeking refuge from forced treatment termination will have to be transported to distant cities, as has already occurred in a few futile-care cases, perhaps even out of state. Illustrating the level of hardball some hospitals play against patients and families, the Clarke family's lawyer Jerri Ward told me that St. Luke's agreed to pay the $14,806 transportation costs to transfer Clarke to a hospital in Illinois — more than 1,000 miles away — if the decision to transfer is made on Thursday (4/27). If the family doesn't decide until Friday, the hospital will pay only one-half of the cost of transportation. Thereafter, it would pay nothing."
People need to wake up already. The government CAN NOT and WILL NOT provide. We need a true free market AND charity for those in need.