How Do You Do It? - Ogdensburg,NY

Updated on July 18, 2011
S.F. asks from Ogdensburg, NY
28 answers

I want to start by saying that I am asking this question because my heart honestly goes out to those that have to deal with this situation. I live in Canada where healthcare is by no means free but the basics and then some are there as needed. A doctors visit is no charge to you (unless you need drugs) and you can go to the hospital and there is no charge to you when you leave but how on earth do ppl in the USA actually manage when even a simple drs visit can break the bank? I know this is a forever and ongoing situation for ppl in the USA but I am honestly curious as to how ppl get by without insurance

Again I mean no disrespect by this and I apoligize if this question upsets or offends anyone

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answers from Pittsburgh on

Funny-I wonder the same thing about Canada!! How DO you do it-waiting months, possibly a year for a mammogram when you need one?? OR a doctor's appointment for that matter. There are many Canadians quite willing to come to the US for service simply to be SEEN by a doctor.

I am the first to admit that our system is not perfect but I would take it over your system ANY day.

13 moms found this helpful


answers from Colorado Springs on

I think it is fair to say that healthcare in the West is a mess. That goes for the US, Canada, and European countries. I lived in the UK for a few years. I had a horse riding accident and broke my femur (major bone break). Thankfully, I had private insurance from my husband's work. While I was in an NHS hospital, I had the benefit of a private doctor. What I witnessed was appalling to me. First, there was the man who was just recovering from surgery. You see, he had broken his ankle the year before. But, because of the long line of patients before him, they couldn't set his ankle and treat him. Instead, they let it heal as it did, then a year later, when his number was finally called, they re-broke his ankle and set it properly. Then, the man in the bed next to me had had a motorcycle accident the same day as my riding accident. He needed a few surgeries. No doctor came to see him for 2 weeks! The day I was being discharged (16 days after our accidents), he was having his first surgery. When I asked him how long he had to wait for the next one, he had no idea. I heard him asking his doctor later that day when he was making his rounds. And, there are more stories that sound the same. I was shocked.
Socialized medicine is not the answer. Everybody gets something, but nobody gets much. That's the way of socialism in general. We need to run from socialism instead of embracing it like we do.
I believe that the system is corrupt due to greed. Medicines, tests, x-rays, etc cost way more than they should. I think that the hospitals/doctors, etc. charge so much because the insurance companies would always pay it. They have to charge so much to get the % that the ins. will pay. So, everything is inflated astronomically. But, how do we go back to reasonable? People have expanded to the costs, and it would seem crazy to reduce the prices to what they ought to be. Big pharma is a huge contributor to the problem. Greedy executives.
But, socialized healthcare is a worse nightmare than what we currently have. I really don't want daddy government to take care of me. I want to have more freedom than what that would offer me.

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answers from Seattle on

Easy. People die of treatable illnesses and diseases. And people spend years and decades and their entire lives suffering from injuries which are easily fixed with outpatient surgeries.

This past year 2/3s of the terminal cases in my friends clinic (she's a social worker in an elite cancer clinic) were TREATABLE "easy" cancers... but people couldn't afford $800 for a physical, or $350 for an appointment (not including labwork or specialists), so by the time they sought care they were n stage. They're going to die of EASY cancers, that we just didn't used to see deaths from. Not since before surgery and chemo were on the table.

In our country an average of 50,000 people die every year from colds and flus. Every year (something to think about next time next time the news is all up in arms about 2 people dying from e.coli, or 6 people with avian flu, or 30 people with h1n1). FIFTY THOUSAND PEOPLE. The vast majority because they lack basic medical care. The most common cause of death is dehydration. They don't go to the doctor to get IV fluids or antiemetics... 2nd most common is heart attack or seizures...their electrolytes get out of whack and their heart stops or they go into a seizure.

Have you SEEN our STD stats in this country??? A STD panel costs $700 out of pocket on top of a $300 office visit. Treatment is another couple hundred. So millions go around with STDs destroying their organs and infecting others for want of peeing in a cup and a blood draw.

"They" (stupid politicians who want a 'win' in the 'drug war') take away the ONE efficacious OTC decongestant. Don't even talk to me about the hospitalizations this has caused (hundreds of thousands of children and infants hospitalized when they used to be able to be treated at home). Older children and adults can still get pseudoephidrineHcl

Children don't get immunized.

Prenatal care doesn't happen.

Necessary testing isn't done.

People go without eyeglasses.

People go without dental work.

People lose their homes/ college aspirations/ choose between eating that week or seeing the doctor.

Our homeless population quadrupled in 2 years (people who before were able to take their meds -bipolar, schizophrenic, and other incapacitating mental disorders-, when state support was taken away -again, thank you Pres.Bush- and be productive members of society off meds lost their ability to work, which meant lost their homes, and ended up on the street).

Hospitals go bankrupt, because they HAVE* to treat people who have no way to pay. (And a LOVELY law, thankyou President Bush <sarcasm>, which used to categorize medical debt as different from non-necessary debt was changed to allow medical debt to tank credit ratings and for collection agencies to pursue people... means people lose their houses, college funds, and retirement funds to debt collectors if they don't file for bankruptcy. A similar law enacted by President Bush no longer exempts a family from losing their home in bankruptcy, so if you have 500,000 in medical bills and have to file for bankruptcy, you have no choice but to file for Ch13 if you want to keep your home. Which means for 5 years every cent you make beyond your bills and food is taken from your check to pay back as much of that 500k as possible. Which is better than losing everything, but the law was enacted to protect "us" from the less than 1% of people who scam the system). Those bankrupt community hospitals get bought out by insurance companies who NO LONGER HAVE TO TREAT PEOPLE (Only county hospitals are required by law to treat anyone regardless of their ability to pay).

I could go on for several pages more... because this is all just TIP of the iceberg. Half my family works in healthcare. I've worked in healthcare. The people who are the MOST pissed off about the state of our medical system are doctors and nurses. The people who watch their patients die again, and again, and again.

People complain about the IDEA of waiting 6months for a non-emergency procedure (like a mammogram, to borrow from a previous poser). Easy. You make the appt 6mo in advance. If it's an emergency (doctor feels a lump, you get the mammogram right then and there). But for 40,000,000 people in this country you don't wait 6 months. You wait YEARS. And, quite frankly, even if you HAVE health insurance... you may be waiting 6mo for an appointment time to open.

Our military has "socialized" medicine. If you're sick or hurt (or your family is) you get seen. Your family gets seen. I grew up military (and with doctors and nurses in the family). I joined the military. If you're sick you get seen, and you get to stay home and sleep and take care of yourself. The HEALTHIEST population in our country is the military and military familes. Heck, I know several dozen active duty marines who joined because they had sick kids and it was the only way they could assure their children would be taken care of.

Our country is sick. Literally. People can't afford basic health care, much less specialized health care. Then they can't afford to take time off work to get better, so they get everyone else sick. Then people come down with TREATABLE illnesses and diseases and DIE from them. Suffer through YEARS worth of pain.

The entire system is INFURIATING. I absolutely despise it. But who cares about 40 million people? I mean, if 50,000 people were held at bombpoint in a stadium, something would be done. But if they're going to die piecemeal... no one is going to bat an eye. And 50,000 is JUST the number from colds and flus. It's DISGUSTING. ABSOLUTELY APPALLING.

((Now, to be fair: One can apply for help. If you meet income requirements AND are lucky -because there's not enough money for everyone who meets income requirements- you can get state aid. No matter who you are, you can apply for medical scholarships from charity organizations. But between charities and state aid, not even HALF of the people who need help get it.))

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answers from Houston on

I am from the UK, lived there for 30 years. We have the NHS, national health service. It is free, in a way. That means it comes out of your taxes one way or another, but it is not as disgustingly and outrageously expensive as over here. I used to pay 100 pounds, about $150 a month out of my paycheck of $4000 a month, so not much really. If you don't work you don't pay anything, but the healthcare is still free.
There are some downsides, like waiting lists, but if you need emergency care, there is no waiting list.
When I first moved over here, I needed some emergency care, and we had no insurance, thank the Lord I had some savings, or the $3500 it cost would have come from who knows where.
I think it is troubling that people can lose their homes because they are ill. It IS a basic right, this needs to be addressed ASAP.

5 moms found this helpful


answers from New York on

Despite all the problems our system has, this is why I still think we have it better here-
This was written by a Canadian who thought Canada's system was better until he went to medical school, and what he saw made him change his opinion.

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answers from San Antonio on

I am fortunate as my family has always had some type of "heath insurance". I put that in quotes because for many years we only had "major medical" insurance with such a high deductible (the amount you pay out of pocket before the insurance company pays anything) $10,000 per person. During those years right after my son was born every trip to the pediatrician was $172.00 It was always a huge decision to take him or not. You always wanted to err on the side of caution and we made quite a few trips where it was nothing and a couple of trips we thought were nothing but were really something (like a MRSA infection).

During that time my husband and I never went to the doctor that I can remember maybe once I think I had tonsillitis really really bad and needed an antibiotic.

Then I found out I was pregnant with my daughter and we negotiated with my OB for cash payment as pregnancy was not on our policy. So we paid him out of pocket over seven months to cover care and delivery. I had one ultrasound at 20 weeks as standard care to check for issues at $300.00 I prayed that I would not need to go to the hospital until I went into labor. Had to be monitored one afternoon and it was $2000.00

I guess you just make it work because you have too. You weigh each situation carefully and try and make wise decisions.

Now we do have decent coverage through my husband's work, but the premiums are 32% of his paycheck. We still pay co-pays to the doctors and for drugs. Oh and I found out they do not cover MRIs after I had one for my back injury. ($1000.00 out of pocket). I would have shopped around and negotiated a cash price had I known it wasn't covered, but I was in a lot of pain and didn't bother to check with the insurance company first.

I understand why a lot of people do not go to the doctor it is just plain expensive. Most of the time though if you negotiate, the doctor or hospital will work with you to pay the bill off over time with no interest. Our dentist does, thank God, our we would never be able to afford dental care.

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answers from Dallas on

we budget for it the best we can, just as we budget for other things that we need. we have medical insurance(and always have) through my husband's job, but we have a high deductible, then a 20% co-pay, until we meet our out-of-pocket max... as much as i have complained in my lifetime about medical bills(and let me tell you, we paid WELL over $10K in medical last year, and that doesn't include our insurance premiums!), i STILL prefer our healthcare system over any "socialized" medicine program. when i am sick, i can go to a doctor, of my choosing, and get the treatments i do/don't choose to have - i don't want "big brother" dictating my healthcare, my meds, my surgeries, my doctors... i knew a canadian lady that was due with a little girl when i had my last child(feb 2009), she was having horrible pregnancy complications, and wasn't able to get in to see anyone - she ended up losing her baby in her 7th month of pregnancy - i could not BELIEVE what was happening to her. it made me very grateful for what we have here, yeah, there's a price tag that goes with it, but i'm willing to pay it! and i can assure you, i don't feel disrespected or offended by your question - i guess when you get down to it, we are all more comfortable with what we are familiar with :)

4 moms found this helpful


answers from Honolulu on

My Husband is from Europe, and healthcare is like what you are used to.
It is, good.
It is GOOD healthcare.
I even, got treated there by a Doctor, when I went to Europe and had an Asthma attack. The Doctor my Husband took me to, and the pharmacy, was EXCELLENT. Top notch.
And, this was on a Sunday.
The Doctor was open.
Believe it or not.

Many people here do not have healthcare. Thus, even with their children, they do NOT get, any medical care. They cannot afford it.
It is pathetic.

Europe, contrary to what many people think, are not "Socialists." It is not in the same vein, that we Americans think. At all. It is an erroneous perspective, that we Americans have of their system.

Employed people here, can have medical insurance. But you still pay a ton, for it, taken out of your paycheck each month.
For my Husband and I, on his employer medical plan, he is paying about $300 per month. For a basic plan. That is NOT including dental insurance. And, this is a LOT to be taken out of a person's pay check. And this is the Employer's 'group rate.' So it is less expensive, than if an individual had their own individual paid, medical insurance.

But, even for Employers, it is too expensive for them sometimes, to even offer employer based, medical insurance.

Then, there are State funded, medical insurance, for people who are low income. For kids, mostly. Medicare and other types.
In my State, they have this. So, my kids are on this type of medical insurance. Because, we would not be able to afford, to put myself AND our kids, on my Husband's Employer based, medical insurance.
So, our State funded medical insurance, is for our kids. And it is very low cost and/or free, for certain types of medical care.

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answers from Los Angeles on

I'm like Carrie, we budget for insurance premiums monthly and then pay only a little when we need care. I come from Australia, and we have a different health care system. Everyone can access free health care. You can take out insurance also if you want the upmarket care of private rooms in hospitals, private hospitals, choosing your own surgeon etc. Waiting lists are determined by need, and if you need emergency health care, you get it. The top surgeons work for both the public and private systems. We certainly don't need to wait a year for a mammogram as Mallory suggested for Canada. The system is by no means perfect, but it is nice to know that everyone can get the fundamental care they need without worrying about cost. I suppose you just have to work within whatever system you are in.

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answers from Seattle on

For the most part, we do as much self-care as possible. There are advantages and disadvantages to this. Often self-care is more effective and less toxic than whatever the doc would give you. But sometimes not.

Care is delayed or omitted. I know someone who is walking about on crutches because she simply can't afford the $15,000 bill for the knee surgery. I really don't see a whole lot of advantages to this.

For major illnesses like cancer, families often go bankrupt and lose their homes. Some people die waiting for care. The arguments about "rationing care" really annoy me. Both systems ration care. Canada rations it by need. US rations it by income. The net result is a lot of unnecessary suffering and death in the US. But it's not among the powerful and wealthy

The core problem is that the morality of health care in the US and in Canada are almost reversed.

If a millionaire and a homeless man are in the same ward, getting the same surgery, and the same quality of care, Canadians are proud. It shows the system is working as intended.

Americans would be ashamed. This would be outrageous in our culture. The millionaire has worked hard and contributed lots. They should be betting faster, better, superior medical care. They *deserve* it. Excellent medical care is a privilege in the US, not a right.

Until this cultural value changes, we will never have a medical system that matches Canada's.

I'm advocating for a single-payer system for primary and preventative care only. It's cheap, it's effective, and it helps keep "the unworthy" from spreading diseases to "the worthy." This kind of system might pass the US ethical standard...if we could get it past the politics of insurance companies.

But that's a whole different conversation......

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answers from Austin on

That is a very frustrating situation, one we have been in.

For many years, fortunately when we still had kids at home, my husband's job provided very good insurance. Yes, we did pay a monthly amount, but when you look at what it would cost without insurance, it was minor.

In October 2008, he was laid off. For us to purchase the same insurance through COBRA (a program to provide the same insurance, but the individual pays the entire cost) it would have been about $950 a month... his unemployment benefits were only about $1600 a month... seriously... can anyone really afford that?

Well, when President Obama came in, one thing he did was provide COBRA at 35% of the cost, the previous employer had to pay the rest, but they took that out of their payroll taxes. There are a lot of unemployed people out there right now. That helped for several months, but we did spend about half of that time without insurance... fortunately, nothing serious happened.

I had been working as a substitute teacher, which did bring in some money, but there are no benefits with that. Fortunately, last summer, I was hired by the school district as an Aide, so I've had benefits for the last year. (Unfortunately, in October, my hubby ran out of benefits, so we were trying to exist on about $1100 a month...I had insurance, but still couldn't afford to go to the doctor!)

He did find a job in February, but there are no benefits for him, so now I am paying for his insurance, at $350 a month... still pretty expensive! I am also getting some issues taken care of, too.

Yes, something about our health care system DOES need to change... how, I'm not sure... but there are too many people out there without insurance. My daughter (married, working, and going to school) has no insurance. My son, when he finishes this one program he is in, will have no insurance. Yes, it does get very scary at times!

Looking at the appointments/tests I've had since May, it would have cost me well over $3500 if I had to pay it myself. My co-pays have been about $150 so far... and the insurance company has paid about $1400 so far, so the doctors, etc. have just written off the rest (about $2000 so far). If they will accept a smaller amount from an insurance company due to a "contract", why don't they just lower the prices for everyone, and lets get away from what seems to be a racket by the insurance companies? This is what seems really unreal....

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answers from New York on

Someone without insurance has to be treated by law. Then you slowly
pay off. I would take US healthcare any day. If you need an MRI you can
get it within a few days or immediately if necessary, unlike Canada.
I am sure your system works well if you are healthy. However, being in
the medical field we have seen many people come from Canada to the US
for treatment that they cannot get in their own country.
Rile J. You cannot possibly be talking about the U.S. Who has to wait six
months for a mammogram? Years? So this definitely makes me think you
are not talking about the U.S. If you are, where are you getting your info?

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answers from Medford on

We are fortunate that my husband has a job with pretty good benifits and we have a small co-pay for Dr appts and meds. Our son was without insurance for a long time after he aged out of ours, and when he was sick, he went to the ER, and they have to treat him, and then bill him. He made it clear he had no insurance and hardly any income so they tried to not overdo the tests and things. It still cost him $2500 for the trip, but he agreed to make payments and took a long time to pay it off. He has a better job now with benifits so he is much better off. Our daughter was on our insurance as long as she was in school up to age 21. Then she was done with ours and she applied for state aid. In California its called Medi-Cal. A lot of young people dont have any insurance and usually with good health (and some luck)they wont need much, but she has type 1 diabetes and is very expensive medically wise. So she gets the state medical to take care of some of her needs. It is figured out according to her income. Its free to her, but is limited in what it will treat, (no eye or dental care) and she does go thru a lot of paperwork every month to stay on it. If she misses filling out papers, it knocks her off the list and she has to jump thru hoops to be reinstated the next month. We usually end up having to pay for her insulin and syringes if this happens since she would die without it, and we just dont want to make her wait till the first of the month.. Its not a perfect system by far, but sure is better than not having it when you have high cost medical needs such as hers. Her daughter is also covered by medi-cal since M. is low income. Yes she works, and goes to school, but its not enough and they have programs for infants and children up to certain ages. She recieves vouchers, for certain foods, and cash on a card to use on other foods. All the childs medical needs are taken care of as long as its approved by the state, and she goes to the Dr who accepts them. Its our tax dollars at work, and thankyou to any and all of you who pay your taxes so this program can be available to her. We certainly couldnt afford to support them both with our income.

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answers from Chicago on

We get by with only major medical, meaning that if a huge catastrophe happened we'd be covered if the bills are past $2500. We pay for everything else.

Honestly, we get buy on natural remedies. I use Miracle Mineral Supplement for everything, I cured an ear infection in a few hours and the flu in one day. We'd have to go to the hospital for any broken bone or cut, but as far as bodily ills, we take care of them ourselves.

Our child is fully insured through a government program, though. Thank goodness for that! She goes in for her regular school checkups and such. Luckily for us she is rarely sick, maybe one cold a year.

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answers from New York on

America's healthcare system is a source of shame. I have been an RN for 42 years and now teach nursing students. Healthcare in the US has become money-based at the cost of good care, compassion, and integrity. Unfortunately, I cannot see that it's going to change soon, but while it falters, many good people do without what they need. I'm in no way offended by your very reasonable question but I am very offended by the fact that I have no better answer for you than this.

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answers from New York on


You stay well!! I'm 65, treating myself to a colonoscopy for my birthday this year when Medicare kicks in, but I've NEVER had health insurance. I'm into wholistic healing and natural alternatives to Western medicine, and am fortunate to have stayed well all my life. But you have to work at it.

Poor people get on programs and hospitals take the losses, middle class folks see their taxes increased and the rich don't give a damn about anyone else. It's a horrible system with the insurance companies the only profiteers.
I wish we had Europe's system. My daughter lives in Scotland and loves the system she enjoys. We are so regressive in America, ruled by the rich minority and corporations whose lobbyists buy the politicians so only their interests are preserved and we are losing our middle class. It's a terrible situation and President Obama is unable to make much headway because of the opposition on the dole protecting their own families and political interests. Don't get me started! (Ooops, too late. ;)

from the Pocono Mts. of PA

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answers from Savannah on

There are programs at least for children. My bff was married but her idiot left her when their baby was 1 week old. She was stuck and broke! She got the Pell grant to pay for her schooling and she got her degree at the biggest university in the state that way. As her son was growing, medicaid took care of his medical, and wic made sure they ate. Now she's in family law as an attorney (pell paid only for 4 years, but she did grad school with inheritance and a loan), works and pays taxes, and her son has and is thriving (soccer star, honor roll, also plays basketball, indoor soccer, and does cubscouts). She's what those programs were for, and she's done well and is no longer on those things, but paying into them now.
Generally, I hate the charity system and think it needs to be worked out--I don't like it "as is", but she did well, and I'm proud of her, and grateful there was help when she needed it.
On the otherhand, my mother is below the poverty level. We help her as much as we can (and specifically bought a house with 2 master bedrooms thinking she may live with us in her old age, but her house is paid for and she's working so that hasn't happened yet).....she has no insurance b/c her boss dropped was getting too expensive (and he's an idiot). She has gone years without a visit to the doctor, but we found there's a clinic that helps people with no insurance one day a week near her house. There is also the charity hospital, which is a teaching hospital so it has HORRIBLY long waits, but great medical care.
SH, I usually agree with about everything you say! But my FIL died of DEHYDRATION in the hospital in Liverpool in 2009. That's the stupidest thing I've ever heard of! A freaking iv drip would have fixed that. They would give him drinks of water but his hands shook badly and he couldn't drink it. They just took for granted he didn't want it. And didn't pay attention to the water on his shirt. :( Stupid, stupid healthcare. And my mil, when she was in her 70s, had to mop and clean his room when he had surgery (about 10 years ago) because it wasn't clean enough and they didn't feel the need to do "good enough" because there isn't the competition factor we have here. He contracted staph that time, but we took matters into our own hands and he recovered from that. Our medical system isn't perfect, but neither is theirs!

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answers from Allentown on

We budget for high monthly insurance premiums. Visiting a doctor or getting meds is then $20. It's basically the equivalent of paying for a luxury vehicle each month, except it actually does good things for my family instead of just looking pretty.

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answers from Portland on

It's tough. My husband and I run a small non-profit publishing house, doing work that we love and clearly benefits students, teachers and homeschoolers. We earn less between us than the average schoolteacher makes in a year. We have to prioritize very carefully, and live very simply.

We've paid for years for individual health insurance policies – mine costs more than half my monthly income now (used to be "only" about a third). The deductible is $6000 yearly per patient, so all medical care comes out of pocket in addition to the huge monthly premiums. I have been struggling for years with several uncomfortable health problems, and mostly, they go untreated. I go to the doctor every few months (at the doctor's insistence) at $200 a pop, pay for medication or other treatments on top of that. If I refused to go, the doctor could reasonably refuse to renew my prescriptions, and I'd be in real trouble, especially now that I have developed diabetes, and I have had life-long asthma.

As I said, we budget very carefully. I even manage to save a wee bit every month toward future emergencies. Over the past decade we've had savings eaten up by needed repairs to well, roof replacement, hot water heater and refrigerator failures. And saving other family members from their financial crises. It's virtually impossible to build up much of an emergency fund.

We have talked about dropping my insurance plan because I have just over a year to go until I qualify for Medicare. But it seems too risky with my family history of cancer. My medicare policies will probably cost nearly what I'm paying now, based on my husband's rates (he qualified last year), but at least my actual medical needs would be covered.

And I look forward to getting evaluated for pelvic floor damage I received during a forceps-assisted delivery with an extensive episiotomy 40 years ago. I am having a very hard time living with the extremely painful and inconvenient consequences as I get older – the last several years have been pure hell. But "elective" surgery is simply beyond my small budget, so I don't seem to have any alternatives. I'm hoping Medicare will actually pay for, or at least assist in paying for, the surgery I've needed for decades.

There are plenty of US citizens with golden insurance coverage through their own or a spouse's employer, and they just want to keep what they have. I can understand that. But they have no idea how hard that can make life for those of us who don't have that glorious coverage, and I don't think they want to know.

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answers from New York on

Here in NJ we pay $700 every 2 weeks into insurance for the plan that Hubby's job has. This is ONLY medical, there is NO dental, or vision. I have not had new glasses in more then 10 years, I go for my annual OBGYN visit, and nothing more. My kids do go when they need to. CoPays for a visit are $25, Rx coverage is $15 for generic per month, or Rx. Hubby does not bother going to the Dr unless he NEEDS to. It is horrible. That $700 every 2 weeks would be WAY better in my pocket. I am unable to drop the insurance because the kids are required to have some kind of coverage in school, and we dont qualify for Medicade. So we struggle EVERY week to have enough money to pay bills and rent and put food on the table, but the insurance company gets their money.

I have friends that have complained that they are going to have to start paying for their insurance at 1 to 2% of their pay. Then I told them how much we pay. They no longer complain to me. They did say they wonder how we manage. I tell them with 1 car, and NO extras. And shopping for food on sale and with coupons. ALL because of the amount we pay for health insurance.

Also part of the reason healthcare is SO expensive here is the Dr's insurance for malpractice. People in this country are "sue happy" so the Dr's have to pay more, so they charge more. How nice. Gee thanks insurance. You suck.

I would think a better pay insurance would be to pay a % of your pay. But nope.. not if you work for a company in NJ, if you are a teacher you are JUST starting to pay for your insurance at a %, or if you are a state worker etc. Just not fair.

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answers from Dallas on

I get by by not going to the Dr, unless it's an emergency. The only time I've ever had insurance during my lifetime, was during my pregnancy. We purchase insurance for my son, but my husband and I go without. We are both very healthy people, and have been very lucky so far. We use natural medicine often.

I have to get a bunch of dental work done Tuesday, that we've been putting off 3 years until we could afford it. It's just how it is, here.

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answers from Springfield on

Personally, I don't think anyone should have to do it. I think healthcare should be a basic, human right. Yes it would cost taxpayer money, but it's just so much more important that so many other things our tax dollars pay for. If done correctly, it would be so much better for our society.

I agree with April C. I don't always like the way our government programs work and I do see too many abuses, but success stories like the one she mentioned are the reason those programs do exist. It's so important to hear success stories and be reminded that some people work incredibly hard but would not be able to make it without some help. A good friend of mine had to be on govt assistance for a few years, but she was determined and worked really hard to make sure it was temporary. Good to know the govt was able to help her and her kids when they really just needed a little help.

Peg M, you're right. I often don't fully appreciate what I have. My husband is a govt employee with very good insurance and relatively small copays. I'm sorry that I do sometimes take it for granted. That may not have entirely been your point, but I wanted you to know that you really made me think.

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answers from New York on

ppl in the US that do not have insurance, usually have access to free medical care(charity care) for hospital/emergency situations. They also have medicare and medicaid for the young and the old. Everyone else falls into an area where they either don't pay at all and have collections agencies after them and bad credit, or they make arrangements with doctors and hospitals based on what they can pay. Even with health insurance it is sometimes hard to pay medical bills. The insurance premiums are getting high, and the amount that is covered seems to be getting lower, making more of the bill payable by the patient. It is tough all around. Sometimes it is tougher for people who make a decent living, because it seems at times, the less you have the more you get from the government.



answers from New York on

It's not just the people without insurance who have a difficult time. A hospital must treat you regardless of your ability to pay. We have to pay $750 per month for health insurance, no dental coverage except for me (over $10,000 for braces for two kids), copay for a regular doc visit is $30 and a specialist $45. Healthcare is very expensive in the U.S. whether you have insurance or not.


answers from Houston on either get screwed over by your insurance, or you are lucky enough to find a good provider, or you go in debt. If you are rich and get sick america has the best possible care you can get ANYWHERE. If you are poor and get sick and you have no insurance you are basically S.O.L. Most pregnant mothers of a middle or low class income qualify for medicaid, that means cheap or free prenatal visits and a free labor. That baby is then offered medicaid for roughly the first two years.

My husband is a contract laborer so we have no benefits. I often say that my health plan is merely just a plan to stay healthy.

thats not just a joke,I take that pretty seriously, i eat right, work out, and take vitamins,massage, acupuncture, homeopathic, cleanse and herbal routes before i will get worked up by a doc.



answers from New York on

I'm still trying to figure that one out! LOL...Have you ever watched the movie Sick by Michael Moore...really a scary eye-opener....



answers from New York on

My husband is an attorney. I am a teacher. It sounds greatone paper but our salaries combined are too low to cover our expenses. Neither of us receive health benefits. We don't see the dr., dentist, and have not upgraded our precription eye glasses in years. Our two small children, thankfully, qualify for state health insurance. We had to prove that our incomes are below a certain amount. We do not fit the adults' requirements to receive state health insurance because according to the scale, we make too much money...yet we cannot pay our bills. We live very simply. It is frustrating that if we stopped working tomorrow, the state would grant us health insurance for free (including dental & optical) but we would lose our home. It'so difficult living this way!



answers from New York on

You're right, BabyDoos. Some people are lucky enough to have health insurance through their employer or an employee who pays part of the insurance premium. The insurance companies aren't all that innocent either. Insurance companies are picky and will not pay for everything you might need. Some will not pay for neurologists, so forget brain operations. Some will not pay for periodonists, so forget keeping your teeth in the U.S. China has socialist medicine too, but from what I've heard from friends....You don't get good treatment or full treatment unless you pay the doctor under the table.

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