Tuesday, 24 July 2012

Sticking Plaster for the Mind

One hot subject at the moment is Obamacare. From what I can gather, it's like Marmite; people either love or hate it. It's a subject which fascinates not only myself but a lot of other Brits as well. Coming from a country which has nationalised healthcare ( the NHS I know it's the Wikipedia page but it'll do for now), it's a subject we're desperately trying to wrap our heads around and not quite understanding. From what I can gather, Obamacare means that you buy private health insurance and then pay extra taxes on top of that for those who can't afford it. And if you don't have both then you're screwed and you get a fine on top of it.

I know this is a controversial subject and I'm not looking to start a fight with anyone. I come from good engineering blood so I like knowing how everything works. It makes me tick.

So what happens if you get sick and your insurance runs out? Are you left to die? What happens now if you can't afford insurance? (I know a little about Medicare but that's it, it's just a little) What happens if you turn up at a hospital without insurance? Do they just put you on the street?

It's something I'm really interested in. Feel free to use the comments section to fill in my very patchy knowledge!


  1. okay... as a Canadian who grew up with national health care as well, and who has spent the past 17 years in the USA during which time I mostly did not have insurance, I am hoping with everything I have that Obama manages to do what Clinton tried and could not: make sure the people in this country are insured. So, what I gather is that his plan will force employers to offer health insurance to their employees. This is a GREAT thing. I have worked for many companies in this country and only 1 offered me insurance! The other part of it is the plan will make it easier and cheaper for individuals to buy their own insurance as well. Right now, my employer does not offer it to me, and I cannot afford to buy it myself. If I end up in the hospital right now they won't turn me away, no, but I will not be able to afford to pay the hospital bill. The fines you mention I'm not sure about, but apparently, if you do not have any insurance you will be fined. That is why he is trying to make it so that we can afford insurance. It's a good thing, but the Republicans hate it. ;)

  2. I have heard about people in US being forced to sell their houses because they could not pay hospital bills for cancer treatment and so on...

    1. I've heard the same. Michael Moore's "Capitalism: A Love Story" is a great example of what happens when the normal person goes bust.

    2. Absolutely. I know someone who had to file bankruptcy when his twins were born because his boss had secretly cancelled the health insurance... hospitals and doctors charge outrageous fees, pharmaceutical companies charge outrageous prices, and even when you do have some sort of insurance they sometimes refuse to pay these high prices and fees. The system definitely needs an over-haul, it's just that nobody can agree on what is better and what is worse.