I just recently had to pull the plug on my father. He suffered a major heart attack that was unrepairable. He went in for a routine operation and two days after, he had the heart attack. He was rushed from one hospital to another and was given the best medical care possible. He was on an external pacemaker, respirator, liquid cooling blanket (high fever from an infection caused by the surgery), and about 30 different IV medications. He was being kept alive by the machines and drugs. The staff at the Cardiac ICU were outstanding, they revived him 12 times! They were compassionate and explained that every time they revived him they were doing more damage and causing him a great deal of pain. They explained that they would continue until the family said to stop. His outlook was bad, he was not going to survive nor recover. As family members arrived, we were granted access against the visitation rules. We were allowed to have him revived so we could say our peace and to pray with him. We also received his blessing on our decision. As a family we made the decision to not prolong his suffering and after discussing the options, the hospital staff advised turning off the external pacemaker and slowly stopping the heart medications while keeping him sedated and comfortable. They continued some drugs that enhanced his breathing. We waited about five hours until he left this world for the next.
The decision should ALWAYS be with the afflicted or the family. In some nationalized healthcare systems the government performs a financial calculation and then refuses payment or even treatment! In America, you decide how far you want to go to extend life. It is a personal decision. It is your FREEDOM! Even if you don't have insurance in America, you will still be treated and you will still receive the best treatment in the world. You just have to pay for it.
Yes, insurance companies negotiate prices with affiliated hospitals and doctors. When you receive an insurance statement it clearly shows what the doctor or hospital charged you and what the insurance company actually pays them as well as what you owe depending on your coverage. If you work for a large company or state or federal government, you will see a better negotiated price because of the sheer number of employees being covered. Insurance companies make money based on the premiums you and your employer pay into the program. They then bet that most people won't get sick. This is how the insurance company makes money. Same goes for fire insurance, etc.
We are all going to die someday. Most of us will get sick and need healthcare at some point in our lives. The government does not owe you free healthcare! The government is not responsible for your health. All insurance does is protect you from losing everything if you get sick or if your home is destroyed or if you cause a fatal car accident, etc.
I do not want the government to have the power to deny me or my family healthcare because it costs too much. I don't want to go on a waiting list because the government does not have the resources to provide care. I don't want the government to tell me I can't have a knee or hip replacement because I am too old or it costs too much. I don't want the government to tell me they can't at least try to save my father's life because it's hopeless. That is my decision and no one else's! I do not want the government to seize more then half my income to pay for those who should be working and buying their own insurance. I don't want to pay for Joe crack heads habit and treatment. One only needs to look at the legal immigrants entering the USA to understand that they see the opportunity this country provides it's citizens to succeed and that through hard work they can make it too! There are countless success stories of immigrants coming here with nothing and in a generation or two making it really big! I know a Polish family that arrived in the 1960's and the husband and wife worked 2-4 jobs for years to make it possible for their son to succeed. The amount of hard work and sacrifice is mind boggling. Back in Poland, they would not have the same opportunity to work hard and succeed there are too many barriers in most countries to success. The son received the best education in the countries best private schools and universities and is now a very successful corporate executive. Yet our own citizens don't want to work and desire a handout...
Government run healthcare is failing in all those countries that have tried it. Why else are the rich and powerful in Canada coming to the USA for surgery? It's because we have the best technology and the best doctors in the world and we don't make you wait! It was America who flew all those Iraqi kids with serious injuries or birth defects back to the USA for special free surgeries and treatment! It's America sending hospital ships to Haiti, Chile, Indonesia, etc.
Want an eye opener? Read the independent report about how bad a hospital in the UK became because of government run healthcare! http://www.midstaffsinquiry.com/ - Volume 2 will turn your stomach as it details the horrid conditions and poor treatment of human beings, all to save money!
I am not saying that US Healthcare is perfect, but it's quite a bit better then the alternatives. Yes, we need reform in the American Healthcare system but we don't need the government to take it over! One of the biggest hurdles to reducing healthcare in the USA is state boundaries setup in various laws that prevent competition. Just one example is Massachusetts car insurance. There are only a handful of companies that will even do business in Massachusetts due to the state management of car insurance. It's just not a good financial market for them. Too much government gets in the way of businesses to compete with each other. This same problem manifests itself in healthcare, it's not limited to car insurance or even Massachusetts.