What’s the worst thing about living in the US?

off-topic conversation unrelated to Jane's Addiction
Post Reply
Message
Author
User avatar
Bandit72
Posts: 2647
Joined: Wed Aug 03, 2011 12:04 am
Location: Birmingham, England

What’s the worst thing about living in the US?

#1 Post by Bandit72 » Mon Jul 16, 2018 12:31 pm

Is it the health service? Or something else?

I’ve visited quite a few times, but never lived there. I’m only asking because I saw one of my friends sisters on Friday, she’s an ex pat living in Columbia, Missouri. She was telling me about the health service, and like she pays I think $600 a month for her and her family, and still has to pay on top of that when people get ill. She was telling me when she broke her wrist the doctor basically offered her a ‘menu’ of anaesthetics and the one she chose cost her a fortune, like $1,500 or something. What happens if you don’t have health insurance, or can’t afford it? Is there an alternative? Is this the same in Canada? Is this how people end up on the streets?

We’re very lucky over here in that respect...

User avatar
Artemis
Posts: 8654
Joined: Tue Aug 02, 2011 7:44 pm
Location: Toronto

Re: What’s the worst thing about living in the US?

#2 Post by Artemis » Mon Jul 16, 2018 4:06 pm

Bandit72 wrote: Is this the same in Canada?
No.

We have the Canada Health Act:
The Canada Health Act (CHA or the Act) is Canada's federal legislation for publicly funded health care insurance.

The Act sets out the primary objective of Canadian health care policy, which is "to protect, promote and restore the physical and mental well-being of residents of Canada and to facilitate reasonable access to health services without financial or other barriers."

The CHA establishes criteria and conditions related to insured health services and extended health care services that the provinces and territories must fulfill to receive the full federal cash contribution under the Canada Health Transfer (CHT).

The aim of the CHA is to ensure that all eligible residents of Canada have reasonable access to insured health services on a prepaid basis, without direct charges at the point of service for such services.
Prescriptions drugs are not included and are paid for out of pocket or through work/company insurance or private plans. For seniors, like my mother, most are free except a small dispensing fee. My mother has 5 different pills she takes daily and the monthly cost to her is about $21(CAD). Not all medications are covered, some cancer drugs or vaccines like the Shingles vaccine.

If I broke my wrist and went to the ER, I wouldn't pay for anything. If I went by ambulance then a $45 fee is charged. That's the fee in Toronto, might be differnt in other cities and provinces. If physio therapy or some other rehab was prescribed by the doctor it would be covered. The length of time for coverage would be based on the physician's assessment. Beyond that, a person would have to pay for the additional therapy. A portion of that might be covered through work insurance or private insurance plan.

My mother has to have knee replacements because she has severe osteoarthritis and the wait time is about 6-8 months for the surgery. She has about 4 months left to wait. If she was assessed as critical, the wait time would be less. There's no cost for the surgery and hospital stay. If a person wants a private room then there is an extra fee to be paid.

So, no extra charges for tests like mammograms, scans, x-rays, blood work, specialists, etc. There are limits to certain services. For example, a full physical can only be done once in 10 months. If I wanted to have one every couple of months, I would have to pay.

Personally, I have not had any negative experiences with the health care system here. Thus far, I'm in good health and do not have any conditions to treat.

Dentists are private and do not fall under the Canada Health Act.

creep
Site Admin
Posts: 9485
Joined: Thu Jul 21, 2011 9:51 am

Re: What’s the worst thing about living in the US?

#3 Post by creep » Mon Jul 16, 2018 4:49 pm

Yeah healthcare here sucks. I pay $440 a month just for myself and it is for the worst plan you can get. I had a small 15 minute procedure done on my finger a few months ago and it cost me $2000.

It also sucks how our country is divided in half politically. Nothing gets done and politicians spend most of their time talking shit about the other side. I wish people could just think for themselves instead of going down the checklist of things their party believes in and blindly supporting everything 100%.

Other that that not a bad place to live. :thumb:

User avatar
guysmiley
Posts: 1350
Joined: Tue Aug 02, 2011 10:46 pm
Location: PDX/Fukuoka Japan

Re: What’s the worst thing about living in the US?

#4 Post by guysmiley » Mon Jul 16, 2018 11:22 pm

I'd say that is the worst part for sure. I do like it there and miss it. But even when I had healthcare for the first time in my life, they didn't cover shit. Still the co-pays were so expensive. My insurance even turned down a bill because the dermatologist wasn't covered by them. News to me. Collection company is still trying to find me for $500. Healthcare here in Japan is great! Kind of makes me scare to try and go back to that. Got another kid on the way and it worries me.

User avatar
kv
Posts: 7320
Joined: Tue Aug 02, 2011 3:08 pm
Location: South Bay, SoCal

Re: What’s the worst thing about living in the US?

#5 Post by kv » Tue Jul 17, 2018 1:21 am

Healthcare

User avatar
Bandit72
Posts: 2647
Joined: Wed Aug 03, 2011 12:04 am
Location: Birmingham, England

Re: What’s the worst thing about living in the US?

#6 Post by Bandit72 » Tue Jul 17, 2018 5:17 am

So what if you simply can't afford it? There must be loads who can't. Maybe you pay less tax than we do? :noclue:

User avatar
SR
Posts: 6719
Joined: Wed Aug 03, 2011 12:56 pm

Re: What’s the worst thing about living in the US?

#7 Post by SR » Tue Jul 17, 2018 5:46 am

The list is long, and complicated.

Economy
-taxes
-wages/wealth disparity/special interest power disparity
Racism
-immigration
-scapegaoting
-police brutality
Gun Control
Helathcare
Education
Environment
Anti truth/intellectualism
Xenophobia/blind and fanatical nationalism

....just to name few. It's rough here right now. Reminds me a bit of this....

"We are
Born like this
Into this
Into these carefully mad wars
Into the sight of broken factory windows of emptiness
Into bars where people no longer speak to each other
Into fist fights that end as shootings and knifings
Born into this
Into hospitals which are so expensive that it's cheaper to die
Into lawyers who charge so much it's cheaper to plead guilty
Into a country where the jails are full and the madhouses closed."

-Charles Bukowski

User avatar
chaos
Posts: 4298
Joined: Tue Aug 02, 2011 7:23 pm
Location: Boston

Re: What’s the worst thing about living in the US?

#8 Post by chaos » Tue Jul 17, 2018 12:44 pm

What’s the worst thing about living in the US?
There are so many things. :lol: For me, the emergence of Sinclair Media is pretty disturbing. https://www.theguardian.com/media/2017/ ... tbart-news However, since you focus primarily healthcare, I'll refrain from ranting about Sinclair.
Bandit72 wrote:So what if you simply can't afford it? There must be loads who can't. Maybe you pay less tax than we do? :noclue:
It is very complicated.

It depends on which state you live in, and then where in each state. We pay federal taxes, state taxes and municipal taxes. State and municipal taxes vary from state to state/town to town, so infrastructure and resources depend on each state's/town's governance and budgets. For example, ( I know I'm digressing away from healthcare per se) Fire Departments are covered under some municipal taxes, while some are covered through fees paid by individuals directly to the Fire Dept. And then there are volunteer Fire Depts which can be paid in a combination of ways.

There was an instance where Tennessee firefighters showed up to a burning house but were not allowed to put out the fire because the owner had not paid his $75 bill.
https://www.npr.org/sections/thetwo-way ... house-burn

They Didn't Pay The Fee: Firefighters Watch Tennessee Family's House Burn
Bandit72 wrote:So what if you simply can't afford it? There must be loads who can't. Maybe you pay less tax than we do? :noclue:
Under federal law, you cannot be turned away from an emergency room if you have a true emergency. Public hospitals are held to higher standard than private hospitals with regard to patient rights. Again it all depends on where you live and the available resources with regard to indigent care. If you have no insurance you may be able to get care, you may get minimal care, or you may get no care (and yes, you will die). Medicare and medicaid may or may not help. As I said, it depends on your location. For example, the Affordable Care Act (Obamacare) was suppose to expand medicare/medicaid funds to help hospitals with the costs associated with the uninsured, but some Governors refused the expansion for their states. I have no idea what is going on now since the ACA is slowly being gutted. Basically the United States has no idea what it is doing when it comes to healthcare: availability of insurance and care varies; premiums and copays vary; and a chunk of people get freaked out by anything resembling socialized medicine.

Here is some info on best/worst states for healthcare: https://www.cbsnews.com/news/best-and-w ... alth-care/
It changes from year to year but states in the south consistently rank low.

There are also HUGE differences culturally speaking among states; one of many examples would be between the six states that comprise New England vs the bible belt south. (And I think Sinclair Media has more of a presence in the south.)

Image

Image

User avatar
Bandit72
Posts: 2647
Joined: Wed Aug 03, 2011 12:04 am
Location: Birmingham, England

Re: What’s the worst thing about living in the US?

#9 Post by Bandit72 » Wed Jul 18, 2018 1:32 am

Thanks Chaos. All very interesting reading, I never really knew much about it.

User avatar
Pandemonium
Posts: 5198
Joined: Tue Aug 02, 2011 3:18 pm

Re: What’s the worst thing about living in the US?

#10 Post by Pandemonium » Wed Jul 18, 2018 1:17 pm

I'll echo what's already been said about the state of healthcare costs here. Especially it seems in the last decade, it's really spiraled out of control. Most people looking for a job with a company rank what kind of health care plans they offer and those costs as highly as what kind of money they'll make.

My wife's company cut provider options last year excluding the Aetna HMO that worked really well for us for over a decade so now we are on a United Health PPO which especially for prescriptions has jacked up costs outrageously this year. Between my wife's chronic asthma meds and my type 2 diabetes, we now pay out about $500 a month for prescriptions. The biggest pain is we no longer pay a flat co-pay for doctor appts (used to be $20 - $40), now we get a bill a couple months later for whatever arbitrary amount the insurance didn't cover which amounts to usually about $200 an appt. It sucks we have no idea what a simple Dr's visit will wind up costing until we get a bill months later. Thanks to all the bullshit tests I had to go through earlier this year for what was thought to be prostrate cancer, I've already blown through about $7k. It's more or less until we reach our family threshold of about $20k annually, we pay about 50-90% of medical costs out of pocket per year and then insurance covers about 100% once we hit that ceiling. But hey, I can see who or whatever doctor or specialist I want and get in pretty fast, so I got that going for me, eh?

About 2 years ago, well before Trump started undermining ObamaCare, I looked into getting our family on some variation of one of those plans and it would have cost me over $2,500 a month just for the coverage for something remotely close to our HMO plan which was under $400 a month, so yeah, not a fan of ObamaCare. You either have to be at the poverty level or pretty well off financially, the middle class gets hammered for medical care costs now.

Other, lesser shit that kind of sucks in this country right now is of course the political and cultural divide and just the general devolving of common courtesy and respect. I think race relations have actually gone backwards in the last 10+ years, it's certainly not something that's taken a dive just since Trump took office. Serious mental health issues among a significantly large percentage of the population has become a real problem reflected in the homeless crisis in most major cities. There's bullshit that's specific to California that sometimes grinds my nuts (the eventual "Big One" earthquake, drought, gas taxes, etc) but it's the kind of first world problems that you forget with a good day at the beach, a concert or even just a few cold beers.

But I'll tell you what, in my admittedly limited firsthand experience in other countries, there's just about no other country I'd rather live and have my son grow up then right here. If you're smart, have ambition, talent and a willingness to make some sacrifices for the long term goal, you can do just about anything here.

User avatar
SR
Posts: 6719
Joined: Wed Aug 03, 2011 12:56 pm

Re: What’s the worst thing about living in the US?

#11 Post by SR » Thu Jul 19, 2018 5:46 am

Pandemonium wrote:I think race relations have actually gone backwards in the last 10+ years, it's certainly not something that's taken a dive just since Trump took office.
True, then not true... hate crimes and bigotry fueled violence rose dramatically during the campaign and continued to spike during his presidency.

User avatar
Hokahey
Site Admin
Posts: 3894
Joined: Tue Aug 02, 2011 3:51 pm

Re: What’s the worst thing about living in the US?

#12 Post by Hokahey » Thu Jul 19, 2018 8:40 am

Bandit72 wrote:Is it the health service? Or something else?

I’ve visited quite a few times, but never lived there. I’m only asking because I saw one of my friends sisters on Friday, she’s an ex pat living in Columbia, Missouri. She was telling me about the health service, and like she pays I think $600 a month for her and her family, and still has to pay on top of that when people get ill. She was telling me when she broke her wrist the doctor basically offered her a ‘menu’ of anaesthetics and the one she chose cost her a fortune, like $1,500 or something. What happens if you don’t have health insurance, or can’t afford it? Is there an alternative? Is this the same in Canada? Is this how people end up on the streets?

We’re very lucky over here in that respect...
Is she going to school there? That's about 90 minutes away from me.

Juana
Posts: 4871
Joined: Thu Aug 04, 2011 11:52 pm

Re: What’s the worst thing about living in the US?

#13 Post by Juana » Thu Jul 19, 2018 10:25 am

I have TriCare until Congress guts that but I will agree that health care is fucked in this country. But I will also say in parts of this country there is too much of a think tank and not enough dialogue and looking for solutions. But its like that else where as well. US is the best country I have lived in and like all countries there are problems.

phenobarb_bambalam
Posts: 165
Joined: Thu Aug 04, 2011 5:09 pm

Re: What’s the worst thing about living in the US?

#14 Post by phenobarb_bambalam » Fri Aug 17, 2018 6:42 pm

Answering that is indeed complicated, as has been said.

I wouldn't argue with anything that's said above, but my take on it is a little different. As a Brit living in the US, the thing I have found increasingly difficult is stacking of the system against Josephine and Joe Public. The utter greed when it comes to the pursuit and power, money, and influence, and the complete lack of checks and balances in place to monitor the above. Lord knows we have many a problem in the UK, but there is still (just about) a sense of decency and shame in place which means the piss can't be taken so liberally and openly. Decency and shame seem to be gone in the US. They went a long time ago, but (I think) it's only started to reveal itself to the point of transparency in recent decades.

So, when I look at the things that trouble me the most about life here (healthcare, politics, guns, etc,), the thing that's the common and overarching theme is money. The healthcare industry is geared to make billions of dollars a year, as individuals die due to lack of care or live in debt as they try to climb their way out of paying for basics. Politics is geared towards preserving the balance of power for the wealthy - the level of corruption has gone from the vile to the absurd, but somehow it's not really called "corruption" as...well...it's America, not South America. Guns, yes, NRA=money - any reasonable pretense of it being about the 2nd amendment and not the gun industry is an insult to intelligence.

All of which may prompt the reader to ask, "why the fuck are you living (t)here?" - I love this country, despite its ills - it feels like a nation held hostage, but I hope that one day it emerges from that. I sincerely hoped and thought that Obama would signify a turning point for the better. It did the opposite.

User avatar
SR
Posts: 6719
Joined: Wed Aug 03, 2011 12:56 pm

Re: What’s the worst thing about living in the US?

#15 Post by SR » Fri Aug 17, 2018 7:13 pm

You should post more

phenobarb_bambalam
Posts: 165
Joined: Thu Aug 04, 2011 5:09 pm

Re: What’s the worst thing about living in the US?

#16 Post by phenobarb_bambalam » Fri Aug 17, 2018 7:58 pm

SR wrote:You should post more
:cheers:

#semidrunkrambling

User avatar
SR
Posts: 6719
Joined: Wed Aug 03, 2011 12:56 pm

Re: What’s the worst thing about living in the US?

#17 Post by SR » Sat Aug 18, 2018 5:14 am

Ha, better you than me :nod:

User avatar
Hype
Posts: 6465
Joined: Tue Aug 02, 2011 7:44 pm

Re: What’s the worst thing about living in the US?

#18 Post by Hype » Thu Nov 22, 2018 2:27 pm

SR wrote:
Thu Jul 19, 2018 5:46 am
Pandemonium wrote:I think race relations have actually gone backwards in the last 10+ years, it's certainly not something that's taken a dive just since Trump took office.
True, then not true... hate crimes and bigotry fueled violence rose dramatically during the campaign and continued to spike during his presidency.
Yeah, it's obviously true that high profile racism against black people went on during the Obama tenure, and started gaining much more media attention. So it may be that it *appears* like there was more of it in the past 10 years. And maybe it's true that simply by having a black president, the extremists and organized racists started plotting more openly as a kind of backlash, or that because smartphones happened to become common in this same time-period, people were more able to record and spread the already existing bad shit. I don't know.

But I do know that antisemitism has increased markedly since Trump started spouting openly antisemitic things. There's a statistically huge increase in reports of Jewish people/kids being threatened, beat up, swastikas marked on things, etc. Facebook was just implicated in intentionally spreading the George Soros shit that fuels "globalist" antisemitic rhetoric.

Race relations are one thing, and may have been getting worse before Trump, but sheer fucking hate is emboldened by him, regardless of whether he's the ultimate cause, or symptom (and why would that even matter? The President of the United States should not be ranting about 'globalists' in the first place...)

User avatar
SR
Posts: 6719
Joined: Wed Aug 03, 2011 12:56 pm

Re: What’s the worst thing about living in the US?

#19 Post by SR » Fri Nov 23, 2018 7:48 am

His allure attracts anyone with real anger. It's an equal opportunity refuge for bigots, racists, misogynists, the perceived deprived, the delusional authoritarian, the fundamentalist Christian...it's a freakshow.

Post Reply