Have I missed any major us economy news?

(81 Posts)
3asAbird Mon 30-Sep-13 19:02:58

So many fb statuses saying the broke and about to go bankcrupt? as republicans wont vote the right way?

I know detroit and other cities when bankrupt and they produced a trillion dollar coin which made out quantative easing looks good.

Are they in serious trouble? seen very little on news.

Bowlersarm Mon 30-Sep-13 19:05:01

It's happened before, but not for 17 years I believe.

It basically is coming down to funding, so if they don't agree on something by midnight tonight, the government will shut. They will also (possibly) default on loans, causing another downgrade in their credit rating.

All because some stupid fucking Republicans won't back affordable health care, and want their oil instead. angry

Sorry *the government will shut down.

I.e., all "necessary" workers, border agents and the like will have to work without pay, and those who are deemed unnecessary will go on mandatory unpaid leave.

3asAbird Mon 30-Sep-13 19:21:15

Thanks been doing some googling.

its bit mad did not realise they shut down in 90,s,

That,s lot jobs at stake.

There,s vote on debt ceiling October 17th which could mean further trouble.

Thought issue would get more coverage than tory party conference,

I think the media here is probably not covering it because they don't realise the extent of the stupidity that is the Republican party don't think it will happen, but I'm almost positive it will.

And if you read the American media about it, most papers with even the slightest right-bias are painting this as Obama's fault, which is just the most ridiculous thing ever.

harbinger Mon 30-Sep-13 21:51:08

Shutdown is very likely now. Only six hours to go.....

meditrina Mon 30-Sep-13 22:03:03

BBC News has just said 7 hours to go (wonder if they can't count).

It is going much closer to the wire than I'd expected.

FriskyHenderson Mon 30-Sep-13 22:04:03

It's just like the West Wing. They just need Josh to sort it all out.

harbinger Mon 30-Sep-13 22:09:02

Perhaps I can't count confused

I think it's 4am our time. Not staying up to find out but I will be listening to the news first thing. This could bugger up things for the world economy - again.

meditrina Mon 30-Sep-13 22:16:47

12:01 ET apparently.

It'll up the ante significantly if this deadline passes.

But they can withstand a couple of days of shutdown without great ill-effect. It'll take a couple of weeks for the money to run out to crisis level.

But stock markets are down already.

3asAbird Mon 30-Sep-13 22:52:35

forgot about time zone difference

it does seem bit nuts.

last one in 96 was 21 day shutdown.

find it distasteful how republics are holding obama to ransom over health bill.

I thinking might happen as they couldent be arsed to work a sunday to thrash it out.

just puzzled how little coverage its getting.

not sure how badly uk be affected by default but credit crunch started in usa then spread.

BBC are doom mongers

MurderOfBanshees Mon 30-Sep-13 22:54:13

That's nuts that this is even a possibility. Would something like this ever happen over here, or is it specific to the US?

I think it probably could happen here in theory, but don't think it ever would. I find that the government here is a lot more sensible than the US government!

Think it will definitely affect the markets here, though could absolutely increase the value of the pound if the US stays "closed" for more than a few days.

contortionist Mon 30-Sep-13 23:02:41

It's a US thing; we don't have the sort of separation of powers in the UK that would make it possible.

I was on holiday in Washington DC last time it happened (in 1996) and ended up being locked in the zoo after dark because all the staff had been sent home. It was pretty scary hearing the lions and elephants close by in pitch darkness!

3asAbird Mon 30-Sep-13 23:18:50

The higher house in us is the sentate,

Ours is the lords and the lords cans stop bills from the commons being past and majority of lords is not democratically elected.

Blimey contortionist locked in zoo sounds scary.

saw bit on BBC website and said dont worry animals still be fed.

But due to sheer scale and size of usa its a lot of jobs lost.

just checked sky they still debating.

its very close to the wire.

meditrina Mon 30-Sep-13 23:23:15

Not quite - The Lords can send bills back for revision, but only a limited number of times. They cannot block.

And the Govt spending is set differently - it couldn't all come to a screeching halt even if say the Commons didn't pass the Government's budget.

Here's CBC on what will and what won't keep going if shutdown happens.

There's also the US debt ceiling deadline looming (17 October).

3asAbird Mon 30-Sep-13 23:29:19

Thanks medtrina did nor realise that.

I get impression debt ceiling be more important vote as this could lead to usa defaulting on its debts.

Im baffled how dollars so strong as thought they were no longer aa in credit ratings.

niceguy2 Mon 30-Sep-13 23:41:21

Quite frankly I'm utterly baffled as to why the Republican's are so dead set against 'Obamacare'

Personally it sounds like a small step in the right direction to me. Don't understand the animosity towards it. Especially to the point of pressing the political equivalent of self destruct sequence.

A US colleague of mine is just switching jobs and has found his health insurance will go from $600 to $1200 PER MONTH. And he has no kids...just his wife. WTF!?!? And their politician's still think NHS aka socialised medicine is a bad idea!?!?!

meditrina Mon 30-Sep-13 23:45:01

Well, whatever the rights and wrongs of Obamacare, it strikes me as just plain wrong to attempt to hold the entire budget hostage to a single issue. Especially when that single issue has cleared both Houses.

3asAbird Mon 30-Sep-13 23:53:40


Could cost the reoublicans the next election as some people wont forgive them.

I they dont vote raise debt ceiling then they go bust.

bit of a mess. still have 4 hours gmt to thrash it out not midnight our time.

CheerfulYank Tue 01-Oct-13 06:15:14

I AM American and I don't even really get what's going on. Other than it seems a lot of people in high up positions are acting like toddlers and throwing toys out of the pram rather than working together to hash things out.

I am sick of my entire government to be perfectly honest. Career politicians are beginning to give me the heave. Not an honest one in the bunch.

meditrina Tue 01-Oct-13 06:25:44
PractialJoke Tue 01-Oct-13 07:42:35

So they went and did it. What is the impact on the rest if the world?

Surely the Republicans can't win an election for at least a decade now - or will right wing Americans blame Obama?

They are definitely trying to blame Obama as much as possible... As "he's the one who won't negotiate". hmm

Despite the fact that the Anerican voters chose to vote this bill into law, the republicans still think they know best and that they can block the wishes of the American people. Sadly, I don't think it'll have any effect on the next election, and the republicans stand a very real chance of being elected. confused

Fwiw, it's not even nationalised healthcare that they're trying to implement. It's just making it mandatory to have health insurance and making insurers lower premiums and not reject people based on pre-existing conditions.

Since it costs almost $10,000 to give birth in the US without insurance, not including any prenatal doctors visits, and, as a hospital won't turn a woman in labour away, even if she can't afford that bill, it means higher health care costs are passed on to everyone else, resulting in even more people not being able to afford their bills, etc., etc.

It's a common sense bill and one that is long overdue. Shame on the entire Republican Party for yet again, ignoring what the people want and need in favour of pushing their own agenda through (oil pipeline).

MurderOfBanshees Tue 01-Oct-13 09:02:09

Must be scary for all those not sure when they are working next sad They're just game pieces to those idiots aren't they?

niceguy2 Tue 01-Oct-13 09:04:01

They're being unreasonable and they secretly know it. Just politics come into play and they can't back down now.

Obama won the last election and one of the central planks of his campaign was Obamacare. So with that in mind why should he negotiate? He got a mandate to implement it. And to everyone but the right wing republican's it actually makes sense!

The democrats can't back down now as a commentator at the BBC has said, they'd rather take a stand now rather than in a few weeks and repeat history over the debt ceiling. That would have worse effects on the world.

waikikamookau Tue 01-Oct-13 09:05:08

apparently it wouldn't happen here because we have parliament.
it does seem to be being played down somewhat. although the term shutdown is rather serious.

3asAbird Tue 01-Oct-13 09:07:27

well the problems with republicans these day is they too extreme , very right wing and fragmented by growing tea party vote and the vote depends what state Maybe if their were more charasmatic republicans by regan.

Bush junior wasent his greatest fan but he led america through some dark times and dont think he was thick as he was portrayed.

Obaba had such great hope but not sure how much hes really achieved. hes annoyed me over bp, he annoyed me over syria he has these habit of making the speech we need to do this and we cant as congress or our allies wont support us.

This morning his video blames congress.
Im always shocked when presidents do speeches how they talk always telling everyone they heroes , work hard and we america appreciates you cant see dave saying that to us he thinks most of uk lazy layabouts.

I saw last night that war vets wont get pensions.

Health care was never quite sure how it worked knew it was something employer did but did wonder if unemployed how they get treatment but then on shows like er they seemed to get free healthcare.

Also childbirth seems overly expensive there as they have loads checkups, doctor ew midwives who can take charge of ladies care , high rates c section, low home birth option.

So today 700,00 out of work.
if tourists on holiday they wont be able to see major things

from outside usa looking in it makes usa look like a silly mess.

Every time theres a shooting think why cant they pass decent gun laws.

Its really how the markets react i guess as they bit broke.
I forsee recesson if they dont sort it quick.

niceguy2 Tue 01-Oct-13 09:28:28

Oh the recession is coming. Mark my words. The US keeps avoiding tackling their debt problems and just keep extending the debt ceiling. It's the equivalent of keep extending your overdraft.

Neither side can really do what's necessary to tame their deficit. To do so would involve massive cuts on their military and raising taxes substantially. Neither is politically popular and almost suicidal.

So they just keep kicking the can down the street and hoping someone else gets the blame. Eventually the markets will force them to deal with it but the rest of us will suffer.

3asAbird Tue 01-Oct-13 09:37:46

He did mention on am broadcast before he god blessed everyone and america that the wars are ended and army will be scaled back they one of biggest employers in the USA.

Yes im sure markets will force hand like they have in Europe.

It looks like Hilary clinton be next democrat candidate, not sure on republicans mitt wasent good enough they need a more moderate central republican without extreme views.

Its just exposed their political system as join adequate that the senate is thinking on self interest not doing their job.

Also what shocked me is how much campaigns cost.How they really nasty and slander people in elections.

meditrina Tue 01-Oct-13 09:45:23

Here's another article on what is and what isn't affected.

Veterans' pensions are unaffected for now, but (like quite a few other things) could be in serious difficulty if it goes on for more than a couple of weeks - which is also about the timing for the debt ceiling deadline.

3asAbird Tue 01-Oct-13 10:00:27

sorry sound dense the ones who are being paid-wheres the money coming from to pay them?

edam Tue 01-Oct-13 10:07:12

Shows the Tea Party Republicans are even more nuts than anyone thought... What a bunch of vandals.

3asAbird Tue 01-Oct-13 10:23:24

watching paper reveiw on wright stuff and not even on front page of news papers its still minor news here.

Bowlersarm Tue 01-Oct-13 10:42:56

niceguy I have a very uneasy feeling there will be a huge recession coming. Have you an opinion about the timescale i.e. when would you expect it?

SDhopeful Tue 01-Oct-13 12:19:10

Shockiong the apathy in the UK about it. Too simplistic however to 'blame the reublicans' tho' as the mumsnet/guaradian readers orthodoxy obviously are.

SDhopeful Tue 01-Oct-13 12:20:00

NiceGuy spot on.

niceguy2 Tue 01-Oct-13 12:33:48

Personally (and this is purely my own opinion) I don't think there's a big chance of a recession soon. The US economy is picking up and politician's will raise the debt ceiling until either there's a president strong enough/suicidal enough to sort their problems out. Or the market stops lending them money at the rates they currently enjoy (just like Greece).

Given the size of their economy and the fact they're the world reserve currency I'd say it won't be for a while. I'd say next recession...so within 5-8 years I'd guess.

Let's hope the politician's can avoid this by trimming down their stupidly sized military and raise taxes.

Bowlersarm Tue 01-Oct-13 12:45:43

....I'll carry on trying to get mortgage and debt down in the next five years then, niceguy.

I don't think it'll be any time soon either, there are still ways and means for governments to delay it happening. I do think that they can't put it off forever though, and it seems to be inevitable at some point.

niceguy2 Tue 01-Oct-13 12:49:55

Oh god don't make any decisions based on my guesswork lol

If i knew, i'd be a rich man!

It could all go shit shaped on Oct 17th if they don't agree on raising the debt ceiling. Right now the Democrats (rightly) are not budging cos to budge now invites the tea party nutters to demand more in a couple of weeks time.

The markets are nervously watching to try & predict what will happen on Oct 17th. People are less bothered about the problems today because sending federal employees home won't have any real effect on the world economy.

Not paying their debts...given they have such huge debts...that's a big one!

scaevola Tue 01-Oct-13 12:54:24

I think you can blame the republicans for forcing the shutdown, as that is a direct consequence of the failure to pass a budget.

But I agree that as this heads towards debt ceiling deadline, it's far less a directly partisan issue.

3asAbird Tue 01-Oct-13 13:07:04

Its not all republicans just the are right ones and tea party it seems.

Its bit like poker with no one wanting to show their hand too soon.

I saw on us news channel today as uk news hardly covering it that if went on or a month would wipe 1/4%of us gdp for the year.

The debt ceiling im guessing they wont play hardball over that as dangerous game that could prove suicdal.

I forsee higher unemployment is usa in future years as that cant sustain ther massive defense budget during peacetime and many cuts will have to be made.

The uk media potrays democrats in same was as labour they love spending and the republicans like tories want to prove how conservatie they are and tackling the defecit.

They need to find some middle ground.

niceguy2 Tue 01-Oct-13 13:22:29

In my mind it's not really Labour (Democrats) vs Conservatives (Rep).

It's more akin to Conservatives (Democrats) vs UKIP (Rep). With the tea party being even more right wing. Now that's a scary thought!

Bowlersarm Tue 01-Oct-13 13:33:39

Niceguy - I won't.

Although I scare myself reading articles by/watching interviews with the likes of Nouriel Roubini, Peter Schiff et al. They are dramatists but plausible. Well, I think so. Although even they can't predict when it will all go pear-shaped.

NicholasTeakozy Tue 01-Oct-13 13:49:39

I can't wait for Max Keiser's take on this. Unfortunately I'll have to, his show's not on till Thursday. sad

If they agree a deal they'll be fine, unless Bernanke decides to taper ie suspend QE, as that will send Wall Street into decline. But the problem with QE is he's going to have to print more and more 'money' to have the same effect, and even that will eventually fail. Weimar Republic anyone? Zimbabwe?

I hope the US public remembers what the Teapublicans are putting them through and kick them to the kerb in the mid-terms.

MinnesotaNice Tue 01-Oct-13 13:53:25

Couple of points (and I am by no means an expert on this matter):

Firstly, much like the ongoing teachers' strike currently occurring here in the UK, this shutdown is about TWO sides who are currently not able to reach an agreement--blaming just the Republicans is too simplistic.

Also, contrary to what was posted, Obamacare (aka Affordable Healthcare Act) was NOT voted on by voters. That's not how it works in the US. As a representative government, this legislation was passed by a Democrat-controlled House and Senate back in 2010. However, now the House is controlled by the Republican party and many within the Republican party do not want an American-equivalent of the NHS. The Republican politicians are simply following the wishes of their constituents who are overwhelmingly against this legislation.

Many in the US agree that the healthcare system does need to be reformed. Unfortunately, Obamacare is considered by many to be a badly thought-out piece of legislation that has already been exposed as having numerous issues. Republican aren't even arguing that it should be scrapped, only to wait a year before implementing it since it is so unpopular.

BTW: In response to another post: "A US colleague of mine is just switching jobs and has found his health insurance will go from $600 to $1200 PER MONTH. And he has no kids...just his wife. WTF!?!? And their politician's still think NHS aka socialised medicine is a bad idea!?!?!"

Almost across the board, premiums have risen at an unprecedented rate since the passage of this bill. And, after reading countless threads on this site bemoaning the 3-4 weeks wait for appointments and patients left on gurneys in hospital hallways, honestly, I'd prefer to stick with my private healthcare in the US.

niceguy2 Tue 01-Oct-13 14:11:36

Hi Minnesota

Thanks for posting that. I confess I don't understand the intricacies of US politics but to the rest of the world it does appear pretty bizarre.

With regards to your last point though. The NHS isn't perfect. Neither is the American system. So yes....I can understand why you'd want to stick to your private healthcare system but the difference is here that we don't turn people away based on their ability to pay.

It was very illuminating to me a few weeks back when I was having dinner with a few US colleagues. And they were discussing how much they paid for their insurance. How much their co-pay was for xyz. How when one fell off her horse and was in a coma, her husband didn't know how much it would cost them. It was all done in a very matter of fact way much like we'd talk about the weather in the UK.

To me it was utterly alien. If my wife was injured and in a coma in hospital. Not once...never would it even cross my mind about how much such care would cost.

Don't get me wrong. A lot of brit's have private healthcare too. I have it via my company much like I suspect you have. But i'd never begrudge paying taxes for our NHS so others can benefit from it.

noddyholder Tue 01-Oct-13 14:14:38

minnesota are the republicans blocking it because of what will suffer by redirecting money into obamacare?

MadCap Tue 01-Oct-13 14:30:30

They aren't just trying to postpone it though Minnesota are they? The republicans added all kinds of riders regarding contraceptives and tax breaks for huge corporations. The republicans are becoming a parody of themselves.

MinnesotaNice Tue 01-Oct-13 14:41:01

In the US, it is illegal to turn a patient experiencing a medical emergency based on ability to pay. Not saying it has never happened, however, you can be sure in those instances the hospital is exposing itself to huge (talking muti-million $) lawsuits, not to mention the PR nightmare. So, as a general rule, these instances are extremely rare and just isn't a feasible way for hospitals to operate.

As far as paying for healthcare, yes Americans do have to consider costs. However, keep in mind that in the US both taxes and, in a lot of areas, the cost of living are significantly lower. For example, the last place I lived in the US, my local taxes were only 4.9%.

Additionally, just because you aren't considering costs as your loved one is in the hospital, doesn't mean that someone else is as altruistic. Someone, somewhere in the food chain is taking in to account healthcare costs. I believe that here in the UK, NHS Trusts are managing costs? To be honest, I would rather not have some bean counter deciding what kind of healthcare my loved ones are entitled to receive.

Noddyholder, Republicans are blocking it because that is what the voters they represent have expressed as their preference. IMO, Republicans screwed themselves by not fixing the broken healthcare system years ago when they had control of the House and Senate. It's been an acknowledged issue for ages and by leaving it unaddressed, it left it wide open to being handled by the Democrat party in the manner they saw fit.

3asAbird Tue 01-Oct-13 14:43:10

I get confused with healthcare.

how does candada, oz and new zealand do it better.

Im not sure replicating nhs would work its black hole here and we small country.

think health insurance could work better here.

Locally nhs care been patchy. us hospitals some look more like hotels.

MinnesotaNice Tue 01-Oct-13 14:43:38

MadCap what about the exemptions for all the members of Congress? It's a bit silly to simply blame Republicans when both political parties are being a bit hypocritical.

All I know is that I have an American friend who has become literally bankrupt after her c-section went wrong. she will be forever paying off those bills. Sickness is a frightening thing in their house - they can't afford it.

Absy Tue 01-Oct-13 14:57:11

Canada has huge natural resources and a relatively small population, and thanks to quite clever regulation they didn't have the property bubble that the UK/US had pre-2008 and so didn't have the same sort of crash. Effectively, Canada is more solvent.

France has an excellent healthcare system, more in line with the way the US treats patients (lots of referrals to specialists, rather than more GP focused healthcare) but it isn't sustainable - it's way too expensive.

There's arguments either way for socialised vs private medicine. Socialised medicine means that everyone is entitled to care, regardless of how poor or rich they are, but it has to be funded through taxes (expensive), can be overstretched (so end up with long waiting periods, run down hospitals) and not necessarily the most flexible with few options. Private medicine can mean higher standards, more flexibility, and less expensive for the state but that's because the cost is borne by the user, and by definition it excludes the poorer in society.

The best is a mix of the two.

noddyholder Tue 01-Oct-13 15:13:56

Thanks smile

niceguy2 Tue 01-Oct-13 15:28:37

I would rather not have some bean counter deciding what kind of healthcare my loved ones are entitled to receive.

But you ultimately are not the decision maker. You just think you are. Your insurance company ultimately is and/or the company who is paying for your premiums.

Correct me if I'm wrong but I've heard a lot of stories about situations where insurance companies have decided that xyz treatment isn't covered. Or have weaselled out of paying because of some technicality or small print. Don't they actually have teams of adjusters who are paid on how many claims they can reject?

In reality in the UK the NHS trust doesn't decide the treatment on a day to day basis. The doctor does. And only in extremely unusual or rare cases would the NICE board or the trust get involved based upon the cost.

MinnesotaNice Tue 01-Oct-13 15:55:51

niceguy2 OK, the NHS Trust doesn't get involved with treatment on a daily basis, but I was under the impression that they do set the overarching policies and procedures for those under their management. Surely these policies do affect the treatment that a person is going to receive? (I.e. perform this operation, not that one because it is cheaper even though the more expensive op is less invasive/has faster recovery time.) Somehow, I don't see how doctors in the NHS are simply given free rein to recommend whatever course of treatment, no matter how costly it may be--am I mistaken?

You are correct that in the US treatment can often be determined by one's level of insurance coverage. However, the only stories of insurance companies "weaseling" out of paying I've ever seen is on TV (dramatized for ratings, I'm guessing). Not saying it never happens, but I am inclined to want to hear of actual, first-hand stories. If there is rampant insurance fraud on the side of the insurers, then I would be inclined to favor legislation to stop that--not change the entire structure of the American healthcare system.

Absy Tue 01-Oct-13 16:05:23

On the other side of the insurance thing, I have heard (anecdotally, so it might not be widespread) that insurers can take a while to pay back practitioners, or being very difficult about paying out claims. So, not only can it be a pain for the users, but also for the practitioners.

CheerfulYank Tue 01-Oct-13 16:16:00

MinnesotaNice are you actually from Minnesota? I am smile <waves>

I'm discussing the shutdown/Obamacare with a friend right now. She's a Republican and I'm not so it's all very interesting.

Talkinpeace Tue 01-Oct-13 16:37:01

American health system .....
my sister got her Kidney transplant paid for by medicare
but not the good anti rejection drugs that cost $26,000 a year
but she's poor enough to be on medicare .....
so she gets the weaker ones that leave her too ill to get a job

give me the NHS any day.

lljkk Tue 01-Oct-13 19:52:47

I'm a Kaiser baby. I'm told that's the gold standard for HMOs, and of course they bean count, to some extent. My mother with Kaiser had an op cancelled due to flu epidemic while back, same time as ops were cancelled in UK during flu epidemic. My step-mum said it's weird how some of their friends like to brag how much some of their medical treatment cost, like cost is an indicator of quality.

Of course my folks are old enough to be on Medicare now, which transitioned seamlessly straight over to Kaiser too. My dad says Obama went all about it wrong & should have started by extending Medicare down to age 55+.

It's very weird how Americans don't like clean streets, safe places to live, decent schools, regulation of hazardous chemicals, tests for competency at driving, etc. All the things that governments do.

niceguy2 Tue 01-Oct-13 23:19:39

@Minnesota. To a certain point you are correct. There is a group called NICE who set guidelines on what technology/medicine is appropriate and affordable. But that isn't a group made up of people who are looking at the profitability of the hospital but it's made up of healthcare professionals. But someone somewhere has to set those guidelines in the US system. Be that the insurance company or the hospital. Neither system has a blank cheque.

Otherwise yes...our doctors get to treat the patient based solely on their medical need rather than what they can pay. So a poor homeless person diagnosed with cancer would get the same treatment, same drugs, same timescales as say a rich person.

But the thing that confuses me is why the animosity? America has 50 million people that do not have insurance. That's practically the size of the UK. I cannot imagine what government would say it's perfectly acceptable for 50 MILLION people to not have access to decent healthcare. To say it's acceptable to go bankrupt because they cannot afford the drugs they need or to pay for the operation they needed.

I just don't. And bear in mind that in the UK I'm considered right wing.

I am American.

My mother's cousin - a father of two - died of lung cancer years ago, when his daughter was just a child. There were some treatments coming onto the market that could have perhaps extended his life. However, his private insurance company refused to pay for these treatments as they considered them "experimental", and he therefore went without, because his family could not possibly pay for the costs out-of-pocket. That was a bean counter's decision.

A good friend of mine contracted HPV years ago and needed a procedure to remove the cells on her cervix. Despite this being a fairly common virus for women in their 20s to contract, and despite the procedure to remove pre-cancerous cells on the cervix being a fairly common procedure, my friend's private health insurance refused to subsidize this and billed her hundreds of dollars. Their justification was that they viewed the procedure as "experimental" rather than routine. Bean counter's decision.

My brother finished graduate school on the wrong side of the recession and spent an entire year looking for a job, despite holding an advanced degree. He is asthmatic and manages this condition with regular prescription inhalers, but it has required trips to the hospital before. Despite eventually finding a job in landscaping after a year of searching, he - and my parents - were panicking about his 26th birthday, the day he would no longer be covered by my parents' private health plan. Because although his job in landscaping allowed him to live with my parents rent-free and pay down some student loans, his income certainly did not allow him to buy insurance as a single man on the open market. And the good state of Alabama did not allow him access to Medicaid - he was not considered eligible, because he was young, male and did not have a child.

In the meantime, I have lived in the UK for seven years. In those seven years, I have had access to:

- Seven years of prescription inhalers (I am also asthmatic)
- Antibiotics for several bouts of tonsillitis and an option for surgery if it became chronic
- Cervical smear tests, both routine and on demand when I've panicked about abnormal bleeding
- Birth control pills and options for non-pill longer term birth control like implants or IUDs
- Hospital care
- Evidence-based prenatal appointments including blood tests, ultrasound scans, measurements and antenatal classes on labor, childbirth and breastfeeding
- Midwife-led childbirth in the hospital, with access to doctors and consultants at the same hospital, should the need arise.

And that's just me.

Nearly all of that has been for free - no copay up front, no invoice sent home. Literally nada. During the years Scotland required payment for prescriptions, my inhalers cost £4 (about $7 at the time) per refill. That is the only time I have ever paid for healthcare in the United Kingdom.

Are my taxes higher than in the USA? Absolutely. I pay 20% on my income - and that is a low-tier tax band - and 20% sales tax on just about everything. My husband also pays 20% on his income. We had to pay tax when we purchased a house. We have to pay tax on our cars.

But back in the days when I was in $3,000 of credit card debt, $40,000 of US student loan debt, and making so little per month that the best I could do for housing was share a flat with four other people, I really appreciated not having to worry about how I would pay for my next inhaler, or whether to get that bleeding checked.

And that's not even touching how countries with national health systems are better able to keep the cost per procedure down. There are finally some well-written new articles coming to light about how.

Absy Wed 02-Oct-13 12:40:07

Another e.g., a friend of mine was pregnant, and went for a test just before going back to the States to get family. The result came back while she was in the States, and the doctor said that she had an infection and should have penicillin. She says it cost her around $300 to get penicillin - not a fancy anti HIV drug, or an experimental drug, penicillin.

The issue is, the way the US health insurance market is currently set up encourages price gouging on medical procedures/prescriptions and the denial of coverage to patients. The New York Times has a pretty good series looking into how this could be, starting here.

In order to cut down on this type of fraud, the market itself must be overhauled - the incentives to screw over patients on prices for treatment have to be eliminated. The ACA is the very legislation attempting to do that. The status quo is not good enough.

Marisson546 Thu 03-Oct-13 13:21:42

Message deleted by Mumsnet for breaking our Talk Guidelines. Replies may also be deleted.

CheerfulYank Thu 03-Oct-13 15:07:16

It's not always as black and white as "people don't want others to have health care."

A friend of mine opposes the ACA vehemently because it insists she get health insurance or pay fines. She feels that no one should tell her how to spend her money.

Understandable that many people disagree with that, but not enough people disagree with the ACA to overturn it. Congress passed the law in the first place. When a presidential candidate promised to repeal the law, he lost the election. When Congress held votes to repeal the law again, post-election, those calls for repeal failed. When the law was challenged in the Supreme Court, the Supreme Court decided it was still Constitutional. Of course there are people who don't like ACA, but they are not in the majority.

Funding US government branches and honoring US government debt payments should not be a bargaining chip here. It is incredibly dysfunctional. It's very "do this or I'll...".

The news is saying the shutdown could be ended today. Apparently, there might be just enough moderate House Republicans willing to vote with Democrats and pass a condition-free stop gap spending bill. It seems, however, that House Speaker Boehner is more interested in appeasing the most extreme members of his party. He appears to be unwilling to allow a vote.

An old friend of mine has been furloughed because of this. He is a scientist for NASA. He and his wife had a baby a few months ago, and she is not currently working. I am not entirely up to speed on maternity leave policies in their particular state, but I doubt she is on a maternity leave with full (if any) pay.

Talkinpeace Thu 03-Oct-13 20:53:11

Maternity leave does not exist in the USA in statute

Right, but a lot of people cobble together a maternity leave using short-term disability, vacation and sick time, and unpaid FMLA leave if the company they work for is large enough.

ReviewsOffers Thu 03-Oct-13 21:07:40

Am I understanding it correctly

the new Obamacare bill requires people to take out private health insurance, or a combination of their employer and themselves to have health cover.

Is that kind of the same as the way we on this side of teh Atlantic are required to pay over part of our wages to the state which entitles us to free healthcare?

Except in one case you are paying the state for your health cover and in the other you are paying private companies. But in either case, it's mandatory

Talkinpeace Thu 03-Oct-13 21:11:17

shocking socialist stuff eh?
and to think its worse than lots of people being bankrupted by medical bills
or going to prison to get medical treatment

ReviewsOffers Thu 03-Oct-13 21:14:59

I thought I was misunderstanding it confused
makes sense to me. It even makes sense to Niceguy who is a self confessed right-winger! shock

So what are the objections?

Cheerfulyank's friend opposes it on the grounds that she doesn't want the government telling her how to spend her money. strikes me as a rather libertarian view

Talkinpeace Thu 03-Oct-13 21:24:47

Libertarians are against "socialised medicine"
but have no problem with the government taxing and then spending on
- police
- fire service
- armed forces
- prisons
- schools
- mortgages

can you IMAGINE the uproar in the UK if people could hand back their mortgage arrears and the taxpayer would pick up the shortfall grin
and yet that is deemed not socialist in the USA

ReviewsOffers Thu 03-Oct-13 21:37:39


What would Ayn Rand say?

NicholasTeakozy Fri 04-Oct-13 06:38:40

America is run by financial jihadis according to Max Keiser. The people who caused the crash are still raking in billions while the rest suffer.

PJG at Thu 03-Oct-13 20:51:42 has summarised the situation perfectly.

Absy Fri 04-Oct-13 13:21:00

apparently though (the NYTimes published an article on it here), that even if the Medicaid bill goes through, thanks to a Supreme Court decision that each state can determine whether or not they adopt these measures, a lot of the poorest individuals (which the legislation was drafted to asst) will still miss out, because they live in Republican states.

"A sweeping national effort to extend health coverage to millions of Americans will leave out two-thirds of the poor blacks and single mothers and more than half of the low-wage workers who do not have insurance, the very kinds of people that the program was intended to help"

How freaking depressing.

ReviewsOffers Fri 04-Oct-13 13:32:37

well there you have it

poor blacks & single mothers - the US Right's favourite groupings!

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