AEE 1358: Health in America Part 1: Why Do Some Americans Want Medicare for All?

Are you satisfied with your healthcare plan?

What do you think about insurance in the US? 

It can be a very confusing topic, and it can bring about a wide range of emotions.

It’s often hard to get answers if you do have health insurance, and if you don’t then you feel completely unprotected.

We’re going to look at healthcare in the US, why it can be so controversial, and how you can talk about it.

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We have a question about healthcare in the US which can be a really great way to lead into this sometimes confusing topic.

Hi Lindsay,

I love your show, and I found your episode about when you went to the rodeo to be very interesting!

Would you consider doing an episode about healthcare in the USA? As a Western European it boggles my mind how the richest country in the world cannot take care of its citizens. I was reading an article about Bernie Sanders in the NYT which said that he might be hindered by his “radical” (for the US) views on healthcare, because those who can afford it are afraid a universal care would make them worse off.

Do you agree with this? Would you rather keep the present system? Also, how do average Americans plan their lives in such a system? I’d be so stressed that I could barely function if I were in such a predicament.

Thanks again for a marvelous podcast! I’m looking forward to the Android app and the course on business English.

Ciao!

Riccardo

Looking At Some Background

This is a great question with a lot of backtround to it.

This can be tough at times because it can be so controversial.

We’re going to take a crack at it, which means we’re going to do our best to help.

Bernie Sanders is known for saying that healthcare is a human right and not a privilege.

This seems like it makes sense on the surface, doesn’t it?

Every human being should have access to healthcare, and yet in the US this is not necessarily the case.

Bernie Sanders wants to fix this problem, and he has a huge following because his views are shared by so many people.

The problem comes from other political parties having issues with how such a healthcare system would be paid for.

This would definitely be an expense, but a good one.

This would offer everyone in the US healthcare at a time when it is needed.

Many people feel that the US, one of the richest countries in the world, isn’t doing enough to offer their citizens basic healthcare.

This is true, though the debate will rage on because it comes down to money and power.

So while Bernie Sanders has some amazing ideas, the healthcare system in the US and how we pay for it will likely continue to be debated.

This is a political hot button and you will hear about it in debates and in the media because it’s such a current topic.

Keywords On This Topic

Since you are going to hear a lot about the healthcare system in the US in this election year, you want to know how to talk about it.

You want to know what some of the most common keywords are related to healthcare.

This will help you with any conversations that you may have, as it’s bound to come up often.

These terms will also help you as you navigate the healthcare system in the US yourself.

As you are trying to get reputable healthcare coverage or talk about it, these are the keywords that will help you tremendously.

  • Copays: This is what you have to pay when you are seen by a doctor or have a medical visit. You have to pay a certain amount out of pocket for things like doctors visits or trips to the emergency room. This is usually a smaller amount, but it’s often spelled out for you exactly what you will have to pay when you have such a visit.
  • Deductibles: This is the total amount that you have to meet in a calendar year before full insurance kicks in. So for example if you are having a medical procedure done, you will often have to pay out a certain amount or percentage out of pocket. You have to reach your annual deductible and then insurance will kick in typically around 80% or more. The deductible is a substantial amount and you may not necessarily reach it in a year unless you have bigger medical expenses. That means that you will end up paying a significant amount of pocket to cover your medical expenses in a given year.
  • Prescription drugs: These are the medications that you need a prescription from a doctor to get. They can be any medications that you may need for medical conditions that you have. Some prescription drugs are almost entirely covered and may be inexpensive such as some antibiotics. There are however many prescription drugs that are unrealistically expensive and therefore some people can’t afford them even if they need them. This is a hotly debated topic within healthcare because the cost of prescription drugs shouldn’t prohibit people from taking them when they need them.
  • In network: When you get insurance, you have to look at which doctors or medical services are offered within your network. If you choose providers that are in network, then their services are usually offered at a reduced or reasonable cost. These are the doctors and providers that you want to focus on and use because you get a better discount.
  • Out of network: If you find that a doctor that you see is out of network, you can expect a lot of unforeseen costs. You may pay a huge chunk out of your own pocket because they are not within your insurance network. This becomes a problem if you have a doctor that you have been seeing and suddenly your insurance changes and your network changes. You have to really do your homework on this to ensure that you try to stay in network as much as possible. Otherwise you can expect a lot of expenses coming from providers out of network.

There are many terms that you want to learn when it comes to the healthcare discussion.

These are just a few of the most common ones that you will hear, and that you can use in your conversations.

Understanding A Radical View Point

Bernie Sanders is looked at as radical because it would be a huge change, and that doesn’t always go over well.

This would also be an issue because it would not leave Americans with a choice, and that’s something we are not used to.

Some candidates were willing to do Medicare for those who want it, but this is not an option.

So it is a radical idea in nature and that’s where the problem comes in.

This is why it is so hotly debated and why it is such a big political issue.

This also sounds “too good to be true” and this leaves a lot of people feeling skeptical.

If it sounds too good to be true, then how could this ever become reality.

How will he pay for it?  

This is one of the most important questions that people have about this sort of plan.

This is why the topic is so hotly debated, because people want to know how this will all be funded.

You will continue to hear much about Bernie Sanders and his radical ideas.

You will continue to hear about the idea of healthcare for everyone, which in theory is a good thing.

This will be a very controversial topic throughout the election year, and so it’s important to know how to talk about it.

Now you know some of the keywords which can help you to be a part of this conversation.

Takeaway

This can be a very complicated and controversial topic.

People have very different points of view, and it becomes a debated political issue very quickly.

Whatever your opinion or take on this is, you will always find an opposing point of view.

You want to focus on the right words to use so you can be a part of the conversation.

Prepare yourself for some debate, and know that a certain degree of that is normal.

Everyone has a different point of view and there is so much to cover when it comes to healthcare in America.

We’re going to cover more of this in our next episode, but this gets the conversation started.

If you have any questions, please leave them below in the comments section.

We’ll get back to you when we can.

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