A Healthcare Conversation

I was speaking with a friend the other day who spent some time in Rome recently.  He struck up a conversation with a “local” who had on a Texas Rangers baseball cap.  The “hat” man was a very successful professional whose business brought him to the states several times a year.

They spoke for quite awhile.  The “hat” man commented that it must be great in America right now, since everyone was finally going to get universal healthcare and would no longer have to go without it.  The “hat” man commented on how great their system was.

My friend said that we already have universal healthcare, and that in fact we already have laws in place that require hospitals to treat anyone who comes in with an illness.  This comment stunned the “hat” man.  He was basically under the impression that sick people without money were just out of luck in the United States.

My friend asked the “hat” man how the government-provided healthcare was working for him.  He said he didn’t use it because he had private insurance instead.  Now they were both stunned!

Funny how the media and governments of two different countries speak the same mistruths.  I thought everyone in Europe got “free” healthcare and there was no need for private insurance.  I mean, why would you need private insurance if the “free,” government-provided healthcare is so great?  And, of course, the fact that many Europeans believe that millions of Americans are just dying on the hospital steps because they can’t afford treatment.

Could the real answer be that governments understand that the more people who depend on them for their needs, and the more money they get because more people depend on them for their needs, just solidifies their position of power?  Hmmmm.

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10 Comments on “A Healthcare Conversation”


  1. […] Original post by Tom Ziglar […]

  2. Billy Says:

    Isn’t that interesting how the majority seem to misunderstand that a universal healthcare system will raise taxes and further lower the middle class standard of living. Those who can afford will always choose private insurance over universal. The fact remains that all Americans have affordable healthcare options. Many choose to avoid seeking insurance, not because they can’t afford it, but because they would rather keep the money in their pockets. The stories we hear about pre-existing condition denial is due to the fact that someone waited until they were ill to seek coverage.

    Great post!

    • Sally Williams Says:

      How is it my self-employed husband’s fault that he has Systemic Lupus and cannot obtain health insurance in the private sector other than via an employer and even then, there are waiting periods before coverage? He had insurance under my employer at the time of diagnosis, but when I was downsized out of a job, we could not purchase private insurance and the premiums for COBRA were more than my unemployment benefits per month!

      I get so tired of hearing that it is the poorer persons fault they have health problems or no insurance, etc, etc, etc.


  3. […] This post was Twitted by JanetMorris […]

  4. anita Says:

    what a great story! Thanks, Tom.

  5. jacksmith Says:

    AMERICA’S NATIONAL HEALTHCARE EMERGENCY!

    It’s official. America and the World are now in a GLOBAL PANDEMIC. A World EPIDEMIC with potential catastrophic consequences for ALL of the American people. The first PANDEMIC in 41 years. And WE THE PEOPLE OF THE UNITED STATES will have to face this PANDEMIC with the 37th worst quality of healthcare in the developed World.

    STAND READY AMERICA TO SEIZE CONTROL OF YOUR NATIONAL HEALTHCARE SYSTEM.

    We spend over twice as much of our GDP on healthcare as any other country in the World. And Individual American spend about ten times as much out of pocket on healthcare as any other people in the World. All because of GREED! And the PRIVATE FOR PROFIT healthcare system in America.

    And while all this is going on, some members of congress seem mostly concern about how to protect the corporate PROFITS! of our GREED DRIVEN, PRIVATE FOR PROFIT NATIONAL DISGRACE. A PRIVATE FOR PROFIT DISGRACE that is in fact, totally valueless to the public health. And a detriment to national security, public safety, and the public health.

    Progressive democrats the Tri-Caucus and others should stand firm in their demand for a robust public option for all Americans, with all of the minimum requirements progressive democrats demanded. If congress can not pass a robust public option with at least 51 votes and all robust minimum requirements, congress should immediately move to scrap healthcare reform and request that President Obama declare a state of NATIONAL HEALTHCARE EMERGENCY! Seizing and replacing all PRIVATE FOR PROFIT health insurance plans with the immediate implementation of National Healthcare for all Americans under the provisions of HR676 (A Single-payer National Healthcare Plan For All).

    Coverage can begin immediately through our current medicare system. With immediate expansion through recruitment of displaced workers from the canceled private sector insurance industry. Funding can also begin immediately by substitution of payroll deductions for private insurance plans with payroll deductions for the national healthcare plan. This is what the vast majority of the American people want. And this is what all objective experts unanimously agree would be the best, and most cost effective for the American people and our economy.

    In Mexico on average people who received medical care for A-H1N1 (Swine Flu) with in 3 days survived. People who did not receive medical care until 7 days or more died. This has been the same results in the US. But 50 million Americans don’t even have any healthcare coverage. And at least 200 million of you with insurance could not get in to see your private insurance plans doctors in 2 or 3 days, even if your life depended on it. WHICH IT DOES!

    If President Obama has to declare a NATIONAL STATE OF EMERGENCY to rescue the American people from our healthcare crisis, he will need all the sustained support you can give him. STICK WITH HIM! He’s doing a brilliant job.

    THIS IS THE BIG ONE!

    THE BATTLE OF GOOD Vs EVIL!

    Join the fight.

    Contact congress and your representatives NOW! AND SPREAD THE WORD!

    God Bless You

    Jacksmith – WORKING CLASS

  6. Tony Halvarsson(Stockholm, Sweden) Says:

    Hi Tom,

    I hope everything is great.

    Some reflections on your article:

    I have heard on different media in the US the great fear of becoming Sweden (They even mention it on Comedy Centrals “Daily Show with Jon Stewart”). I am always astonished by the fact that they think we are a controlled by the government to a ridicules level. The fact is that Sweden has top healthcare included in the tax and insurance is not need for that. However some people have insurance for income loss if they get sick for a long time. But that cost around 10 dollars a month, so is not biggie. If I lose my work I get 85 % of my salary in 300 days due to the insurance. I am proud of the Healthcare in Sweden and I know my parents will have great treatment when they get really old.
    Also I have 3 kids, so the system has really good benefits for families.
    My daughter is now 6 months, my wife is actually going to be home with the baby for 1 year, the government pays this and it cost the job place nothing. The also have this for fathers; I will be home with my daughter from December 2009 – Mars 2010.
    A pay 100 dollars a month for childcare (3 kid, 8 hours a day) and it works perfectly because childcare is connected with school everywhere.

    This is the situation in Sweden, there is a lot of Government involvement, so is not complete untrue.
    This does not mean, that the government tells me what I should read, eat, work, sleep and who to hang out and party with. We are as free as you guys in US in all those areas. In some areas even more so and in other area less free.

    I have been traveling to the US for almost 20 years now. I have meet so many smart people over there and I truly love your country. What I like as people are often very interested in Sweden (not always for the blond girls), but they wonder how everyday life is.
    They are amazed that the living standard are as high in Sweden as in the US, sometimes even more hi tech and developed (and of course the opposite in many cases).

    When I first travel to the state I got the feeling, that everyone has been taught in school that they should be proud of being a US citizen and think of the poor people in other countries who suffer and is less fortuned. I think that attitude got thrown in my face when I arrived the first time (1989) and during my whole visit.
    But when I visit the states last year it is complete different, it seems like people are more aware of worldwide politics right now. Thanks to the Internet I think knowledge is getting better and also understanding between countries. We in Sweden sometime refer US as one place, but there is so different from state to state, that is almost like several countries. The same in Europe and there is a lot of different for example between Italy and Sweden. We in Sweden do not think millions of Americans are just dying on the hospital because they can’t afford treatment. In matter of fact a lot of Swedish follow US politics with great interested.

    The lack of knowledge about Sweden is sometimes even greater in Italy than US :-).

  7. Dave Filkins Says:

    Tom,

    Thanks for this well written article.

    Part of our problem is what we call “health care” insurance is really “sickness” care insurance. It rewards people for making bad choices. The human body is a magnificent design that can defend and repair itself, when given the right nutritional input, sufficient water, and sufficient rest and exercise. But, we don’t teach that to students in high school, nor do we teach it to doctors, nor do we teach the public at large.

    We could dramatically decrease the cost of sickness if we would teach what foods, supplements and actions would reward a person with a life of great health. By taking responsibility for our health, we would also see an improvement in productivity.

    I am self employed and have no sickness insurance. I believe a “universal” health care system would just encourage individuals to take less responsibility for their health. That would be a disservice to the individual.

  8. Mimi Long Says:

    “Life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness”…
    Pursuit does not mean free, you must always do the work.

    Not many free rides are worth taking.

  9. Sally Williams Says:

    While that legal requirement to treat will get you in the door of an emergency room, it won’t get you much further unless you are in dire straits.

    A few years ago we were without any medical coverage and my husband had an incident that looked much like an impending stroke. He was immediately whisked back to a bed & full court press was going on. His blood pressure was extremely high & medication given. A few hours later we were asked about insurance I responded we had none. Within short order he was pronounced fine to leave. When I asked if a prescription was needed for the blood pressure being so high, we were brusquely advised to seek further medical treatment with a private physician and only come back if there was a life-threatening event occurring. This was late on a Friday evening and obviously no way to see a private physician until a Monday, at the earliest.

    Our bill for all of this, which we received within days was over $3,000.00. Yup, that’s good universal health care.


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