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Health Insurance California Exchange Question & Answers

2015 July 12
by Sarah Fields

Jenny asks…

Do all the Republican Health care ideas offer lower cost in exchange for lower consumer benefit and protection?

describe one that doesn’t have that effect, if so.
Tort reform: reduces awards that can be given to people injured by medical malpractice to help them cope with their injuries.

Cross-state policies: Insurance regulations are at the state level so all would reincorporate under the most lax state law imaginable and become answerable to none.
Why do we want to be protected? What do you think Health Insurance IS?

Sarah Fields answers:

Their proposals all raise costs and cut consumer protection. Their proposals are all geared toward raising revenue for their corporate constituency. Show me one that is not designed to that.

Tort Reform has done nothing to lower health care costs in California. We have had Tort reform for medical malpractice limiting damages to $250,000 since 1979. The result was the Insurance company death squads making the expected financial decisions.

Interstate health insurance kills state sponsored consumer protection while doing exactly what interstate banking does. It will create a few Large companies who will then raise prices. Just like the big banks have done…. Will we get to bail them out in a few years?

Ruth asks…

What do other countries think about Americans?

After years of being hated by other countries (mostly because of president Bush and his administration) does the election of Barack Obama change how we are perceived?

Sarah Fields answers:

If we are to believe the hype, the United States is now universally admired (as opposed to the America of a year or so ago) simply because we elected a black President. Everyone seems to forget that many Americans took to heart a generation or so ago Martin Luther King’s comment that we were to judge others by the content of their character.

Even so, the rest of the world should be cautioned that America is a union of 50 different states. Classifying all Americans the same is about like classifying all Europeans the same, never mind all Brits (the Scots particularly would have a problem with that).

P. S. America’s cultural traditions are newer than Europe’s, but during the last two centuries, the arts in America have added significantly to world culture.

—The United States has developed a significant literary canon, which includes such classic authors as Poe, Twain, Hemingway, Faulkner, Dickerson, but is continuing to grow and encompass many different American cultural strains as evidenced by the writings of Toni Morrison, Gwendolyn Brooks, Maya Angelou, Langston Hughes, Octavia Paz, Laura Esquival, and Sandra Cisneros among many other outstanding authors.

—American artists, such as Mary Cassett, Frederick Remington, Georgia O’Keefe, and Jackson Pollock, have inspired and delighted generations of art lovers worldwide.

—Indigenous American music forms built on the rhythms of Africa as well as the folk songs of Ireland and Scotland have spread throughout the world. America is the home of the blues, jazz, rock, and country western.

—American cuisine properly prepared can compete with fine cooking anywhere. Furthermore, California wines are recognized even in France and Italy for their quality.

—American universities recruit foreign exchange students from around the world.

The American Medical system is in many ways the most advanced in the world; for example, places like the Mayo Clinic and the Texas Medical Center are famed for their innovative surgical techniques. However, at present, the US doesn’t have universal health care like European countries do. The reason that the US has private insurance, which is usually paid for by employers, is that during World War II, when employers were forbidden to raise salaries, they started giving employees health benefits as well. For a long time, this system worked, until medical costs became prohibitive because they were passed on to the patient (thinking that the insurance would cover them). About this time, companies started to find that universal coverage of employees was simply too much of a financial burden, so they started cutting back on giving employees medical coverage. I understand that most countries in Europe also provide their elite with far better and swifter medical treatment than they do their average citizen provided he or she pays extra for it.

Many Americans are very concerned about environmental controls. Admittedly, the US didn’t sign the Kyoto Protocols, but individual American states have made great strides in curbing pollution. Some proposals, such as the use of wind energy by Texan T. Boone Pickens are very imaginative.

Yes, many American states (including mine–Texas) still have the death penalty, but that’s an internal matter to be decided upon and gradually changed from within each state’s criminal justice system. Again, we’re a federal system, so each state is in many ways equivalent of a different country within the European Union.

Rude Americans are stereotypes just like the effete French or the snobbish English. Accuse me of being long-winded perhaps, but my reply, thank you, was unfailingly polite.

Lizzie asks…

where is the best place in america to go to as an exchange student from australia?

i might be going to america as an exchange student and i want to know the best place to go to. i’d prefer somewhere with beaches,or great shopping and lots of things to see and do. and i’d love a place that snows at christmas. :)

Sarah Fields answers:

The USA actually has one of the best if not the best health-care system in the world. What we DON’T have is a >> good << national health-care system for people without insurance. That will not affect you as having medical insurance will be part of your exchange program's requirements.

The other answers are correct and the only US state you can find beaches for summer and snowy mountains nearby for the winter is California. It will still be a drive to the mountains if you live on the coast (or a drive to the coast if you live closer to the mountains).

Most people on an exchange program try to choose somewhere different than home. For example, if you live in northern Australia (where it is warm & tropical) you could consider somewhere like New England (Maine, Vermont, New Hamphshire).

I recommend you research the options, narrow your chioces to perhaps 5, and then post another question about those locations.

Good luck!

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