Is it your own fault if you are in the USA and have no health insurance?

I am in the UK, and the impression I get is that many people in the USA blame the 46 million or so people in the USA who have no insurance for not having any.

Is it your own fault if you have no health insurance?

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16 Responses to “Is it your own fault if you are in the USA and have no health insurance?”

  1. Ryan F said:

    Not necessarily… but I would argue that there are things that many of those 46 million could do to better their situations and be able to afford health insurance… I would also argue that it’s likely that many of those people are in the situation they are in because they have made poor decisions in the past… I will also conceed that there are many who are in the situation they are in through no fault of their own… as a conservative though, I do not think that the Federal Government has the right to take money from some people and give it to people who are in need regardless of WHY they are in need… charity IS NOT the function of the Federal Government… wealth redistribution IS NOT the function of the Federal Government…

    Additionally, as someone below touched on, health insurance is not a right just like owning a car is not a right… where in the Constituation are citizens guaranteed health insurance?… I pay for health insurance and own a car because I can afford too… this is the “gimme gimme” attitude that some people can’t stand, the idea that we are all entitled to things like health insurance and higher education…

  2. Forget War Buy More said:

    No, if you’re a child it’s not your fault.

    Or if you chose to run a small business it should not be your fault. Or if your work drops your insurance it should also not be your fault.

  3. Curtis said:

    Fault or not, it is your responsibility to carry your own health insurance, and not to burden the tax payer with your health care bills.

    But certain politicians want more people to depend on the government for everything.

  4. JMB said:

    There are many reasons that so many are uninsured. It would be unfair to categorize them into any single group. However it will be corrected.

  5. Nick P said:

    You have to pay for it and you can’t get it if you have potentially difficult problems. Friend of mine had rheumatic fever as a child (can lead to heart problems) and he could get no insurance all his life. Died aged 55 of heart attack.

  6. regerugged said:

    Yes. In the US we buy insurance if we choose to do so. Some people claim they cannot afford it. However, health insurance is a political talking point, and therefore believing statistics is unwise. It has been pointed out that about 22 million people have been counted as uninsured, even if they went without insurance for one day in a year. There are as many as 8 million people eligible for government paid Medicaid, and they don’t use it.

  7. surferguy623 said:

    No! Another huge problem is that we are under-insured! The scary thing is that many people in the U.S. want McCain to be president; he will further deregulate health insurance companies, making it even worse! He wants the greedy, fat, AIG-type CEO’s to be in charge of all of MY healthcare decisions!

  8. curious1 said:

    Its no bodys fault. But i take it you think it the governments FAULT?

  9. harry k said:

    That depends.

    A health insurance policy for a 25 year old is about $100 a month. However, most 25 year old’s would rather put that $100 a month towards a car lease so they could get a BMW 3 series instead of VW Golf.

    Also, that “46 million” number also includes people between jobs. If you leave your job in June and join another job in Sept (assuming both jobs have health insurance) you are considered to be without insurance for the year.

    On the other hand, the overweight, 56 year old smoker with diabetes who just got laid off will have a hell of a time getting affordable health insurance.

    All and all there is no straight answer.

    Now I have a question for you, since you are in the UK. Is heath care really that bad in the UK. According to the following, a male with cancer in Scotland has a 40.2% chance of surviving, while that same male in the US has a 66.3%.

    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/uknews/1560849/UK-cancer-survival-rate-lowest-in-Europe.html

  10. Arby said:

    If my husband loses his job – possible in this economy, we will need to get insurance on our own.

    I have had minor elevated cholesterol controlled with diet and exercise, sciatica for about 3 months, a consequence of hours on my feet at my job and an active life, and a clinical depression treated for about a year after the death of 4 relatives, a move, and job change. My husband had moderately high fasting blood sugar level, and one test several years ago that showed high triglycerides, both controlled with diet and exercise.

    If I wanted to get insurance, I probably could, but I would have to pay an exorbitant price that would be beyond the reach of many people with a similar health history. Also, the depression, any illness related to the blood disorders, and any back problems would probably be excluded – in other words, the things that might make me sick would not be covered, even though I was making monthly payments for coverage.

    My sister is 59. She just had surgery. Who do you think will offer her reasonable and affordable insurance?

    Many people with prior health problems have access to health care only through some state run program for the “uninsurable,” and then at a very high cost.

    Is it their own fault? Sometimes, but not always. Some people really do have bad luck. I inherited my father’s cholesterol levels. That isn’t something I can control beyond care and attention to diet and exercise.
    Added as an edit – Juniper, you would not be left to rot. Since your condition disables you, you would get medical care through a government program called Medicade. It is the working poor, like the girl with the Minimum wage job, who gets caught without the means to buy insurance. It’s rotten, of course…she makes too much to qualify for health care, but not enough to afford her own coverage.

  11. who_cut_the_cheeze86 said:

    I am an American with a job that pays $7.00 an hour.. at the end of the week after I am done paying my rent, utilities, and buying groceries I am flat broke, therefore leaving me no money for “fun” stuff, let alone health insurance…

    Now, if I had a GREAT job and was making a decent paycheck at the end of the week, it would be no problem for me to afford health insurance. BUT, getting a great job is part of the “never-ending” cycle. Growing up, and being the first one to graduate from high school my family didn’t have enough money to send me to college, so automatically I went into the work field.

    So the bottom line is..(at least in my own opinion) is.. stay in school.. bust your ass to go to college, so that you can afford health insurance in the long run and don’t have to work for minimum wage. 🙂

    Also.. a lot of companies don’t necessarily provide health insurance for their employees because one, they can’t afford to pay their employees and have great insurance rates for them, and two.. if your company DOESNT provide you with insurance and you try to buy it from an outside company, it is OUTRAGEOUS.

  12. juniper said:

    Im British and this is the impression I get too. If you’re poor, it’s your fault. It’s dog eat dog over there! It’s the only western country today which does not have universal free health-care. Appalling.

    I suffer from ME and have never been able to work. I guess if I was american, I would just be left to rot.

  13. GENE said:

    I am amazed by some of the arrogant answers I have seen on this forum.

    If you are poor and your job doesn’t provide health care it will be almost impossible to live on your meager earnings and provide your own health insurance. I work only part-time and was recently hit by a drunk driver who was driving on the wrong side of the road (I was on a bicycle). There’s no way to plan for emergencies like this one – the drunk had $25,000 worth of liability insurance and my hospital bills were about $150,000. The state victim assistance program may pick up the bill since I was the victim of a crime.

    If health insurance were affordable and within reach of all the population, then it wouldn’t be an issue, would it?

    EDIT: The Astute Anglophile brings up a good point about pre-existing conditions. I have run into this too when my daughter needed medical care. It cost about as much to pay for services out of pocket as it did to drag the insurance company to court – I had enough stress and was wealthy enough to just pay the bills. WE NEED A SYSTEM OF HEALTH CARE THAT HOLDS INSURANCE COMPANIES TO THEIR COMMITMENTS.

  14. The Astute Anglophileâ„¢ said:

    I had a friend who was on her husband insurance, when he divorced her she lost coverage on his insurance and got on the insurance at our work. She had diabetes but since she’d been treated for her diabetes under her husband old insurance her new insurance said it was a preexisting condition and refused to cover her insulin shoots. That meant she now had to pay full price for her insulin shoots. She couldn’t afford to pay for them out of pocket and went into a diabetic coma, she nearly died. Now tell me how is that her fault? What kind of message does that send? That some how the lives of the rich are more valuable then the poor? Insurance companies in America look out for themselves. I have another friend who has a respiratory disease his insurance dropped him because he was wracking up too many bills tell me is that fair? Isn’t that what he was paying into insurance for to take care of him when he was sick? It is absurd to say everyone who doesn’t have health insurance are poorly educated or spending their money on frivolous things. For many those frivolous things are food on the table or the utility bills or clothes on their kids backs. I’m with Gene a lot of posters are just being arrogant. You’ll find most Americans do not blame those without insurance they blame the government.

  15. Northwest OK Guy said:

    Of the 46 million USA residents without Health coverage, there are a large number of them who could actually afford it, but do not elect to have it because they are healthy, and do not see themselves needing medical care. If all of these people purchased health insurance, the risk would be spread over a larger group resulting in reduced premiums for all. This is not the total answer for the cost. With 67% of our population over weight, and 34% of our population considered obese, it is no wonder why there is so much being spent on medical care. True cost is another topic, but cost is the main reason people elect not to purchase the insurance.

    There are many people who make too much to qualify for medicaid and others who are denied for individual coverage for health reason. But there are programs for many of the these folks such as State run High Risk Pools. These however are usually expensive.

    So, for many it is not their fault, but many can go out and work harder, make more money and buy it.

    I know one guy who said he could not afford to buy it for his family, but he had three boats sitting in his driveway, nit to mention a 4 wheel recreation vehicle. Tells you where his priorities are doesn’t it.

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