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Old 06-21-2005, 06:46 AM   #1
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sick of dealing

So maybe this is more of a ZC rant, but I'm just wondering how many others out there are frustrated beyond belief at the way the US handles education and health care. I'm not even going to get into the quality of such....but seriously, I'm 20 years old and I can barely focus at work and school b/c all I'm thinking about is paying off this loan, or paying off that month's interest bills, or finding health insurance that I as a full time student can actually afford. God, it's literally making me sick. I'm still flaming b/c yesterday I spent the entire day trying to consolidate three of my federal loans before the interest rate jumps on July 1st b/c the gov ed website is so fucking slow it took 4 tries just to load the app. Going into my 4th year of college, I have accumulated $38,000 of principle debt (not sure how much interested I've accumulated already...don't care to think about that at the moment). That includes four Stafford loans, two Perkins loans, and five non-gov't loans. The cheapest health insurance I can get is through school and was about $625/year, but that covers the bare minimums. Tuition has increased AGAIN and is now around $20,000/year (way more if you live on-campus) and doesn't include the estimated cost of $730 for books. I'm working a full 40 hrs a week and doing extra jobs on the side (house sitting, individual computer jobs) and taking a class..not to mention I'm getting paid twice as much as most of the people my age where I work but I STILL feel like I'm drowning in debt and paperwork....

My head is spinning! I'm only 20 and feel like I need to hire a personal accountant just to begin to understand all this shit!

Isn't education and health care free in Europe? That's the deal?
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Old 06-21-2005, 07:09 AM   #2
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i just graduated from university and i feel your pain. luckily i've only got around $20,000 to pay off, but it is still a daunting task. the healthcare thing sucks too...i can't afford any right now. i guess i probably should've majored in something where i could have gotten a nice paying job right after college, but i don't think i would've been too happy with myself.

anyway, the thing about europe is that their tax rates are astronomical compared to ours. the wealthiest in some countries are taxes well into 50%, if not more. the thing is, is that over there the general population actually seems to benefit - with eduction and healthcare. sometimes i wonder where our taxes go over here.

anyway, keep your nose to the grindstone and good luck. i wish you the best.
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Old 06-21-2005, 07:15 AM   #3
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You are not alone in your views by no means!

I know every system has its good and bad...but I feel that our healthcare and educational system has alot to be desired.When a senior citizen has to chose between eating or buying their medicine,there is something wrong...When a child can only get a decent education because their parents have the means to pay for it there is something wrong...If a person has to work at least two jobs so they can have decent healthcare there is something wrong.....

Health Insurance and Pharmaceutical companies are the ones that benefit and get rich from our health care system in MPO.
They are talking about puting a new sports arena in my hometown,now sports are great but why doesnt my local government put that money into our school system?Our teachers are underpaid and overworked and our children suffer because of it

I have lived in the UK and yes there are alot of flaws in the NHS,but I still think that its a much better system than what we have here in the US.
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Old 06-21-2005, 07:16 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally posted by Se7en

anyway, the thing about europe is that their tax rates are astronomical compared to ours. the wealthiest in some countries are taxes well into 50%, if not more. the thing is, is that over there the general population actually seems to benefit - with eduction and healthcare. sometimes i wonder where our taxes go over here.

Yeah...but still, I'm paying WAY more than 50% of my income for education and health care. I wish we could make that work over here...probably not...
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Old 06-21-2005, 07:19 AM   #5
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Originally posted by LivLuvAndBootlegMusic


Yeah...but still, I'm paying WAY more than 50% of my income for education and health care. I wish we could make that work over here...probably not...
i totally agree with you, but not many other people will. it seems to me we'd all be a lot better off if access to higher education and proper healthcare was available to everyone.
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Old 06-21-2005, 07:28 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally posted by Se7en


i totally agree with you, but not many other people will. it seems to me we'd all be a lot better off if access to higher education and proper healthcare was available to everyone.
I agree on both counts. I'm really looking for opinions or similar experiences from people in our age group...but it seems like there's a majority that don't go to college and another majority that do go but their parents pay for everything. Sometimes I wonder where I went wrong thinking it was normal for me to move away from home and have to deal with all this shit myself.

Yes, there are public schools in my area but they are horrible. Most kids can barely read at a 5th grade level when they graduate from high school. Their grading scale is like out of 6.0 whereas the "objective" grading scale for everyone is supposed to be out of 4.0. You make Honors if you get only like 90%....you come out completely unprepared for college, even a shitty college, or real life.
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Old 06-21-2005, 07:33 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally posted by LivLuvAndBootlegMusic


I agree on both counts. I'm really looking for opinions or similar experiences from people in our age group...but it seems like there's a majority that don't go to college and another majority that do go but their parents pay for everything. Sometimes I wonder where I went wrong thinking it was normal for me to move away from home and have to deal with all this shit myself.
well i'll have to admit that i managed to go to school away from home and only rack up $20,000 in debt because my parents were able to help me pay for most everything else. i will be eternally grateful to them and all of their support, even now as i continue to receive it. trust me though, i definitely haven't been feeling too great about not being self-sufficient yet.

but i know a lot of people don't have that "luxury." i had friends at school who had well over $30,000 to pay off. and what about the kids who want to go to grad school? or medical school? or law school? i can't even imagine. by the time i graduated our tuition was almost to $30,000 a year - i mean seriously that's a shit lot of money for one year of school. granted it was a good school and they did offer plenty of scholarship opportunities but the cost of learning is just becoming outlandish. i can't imagine what i'm going to have to pay if i ever have kids.
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Old 06-21-2005, 08:46 AM   #8
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Yeah, my parents are offering to help me out, too...and the nice thing about the college here in my town is that the tuition is free for kids who live here. So that's a big help.

But I do know many people who've had the same problems you do. It sucks...kids are already going broke and they're just starting out on their own! The cost for college stuff is definitely insane in some places nowadays. It shouldn't cost an arm and a leg to get a good learning experience, especially since not everyone is able to afford that kind of thing. And my parents constantly complain about the high cost of health care things, too.

Angela
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Old 06-21-2005, 09:06 AM   #9
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i have never been able to afford medical insurance. these last two years in the Peace Corps have been the first time since I was a kid that I have been covered. good thing I'm pretty healthy, but it is like gambling...hoping that nothing big and bad will happen to you.

Health care in the States is a joke. It needs to be fixed and soon. there is no reason why in the richest country in the world we can't manage to take care of a basic need of our population.

I don't even want to get into the education issue...still paying off loans and will be for the next century.
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Old 06-21-2005, 09:20 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally posted by sulawesigirl4
good thing I'm pretty healthy, but it is like gambling...hoping that nothing big and bad will happen to you.
Tell me about it...my dad had his heart problems a few years back, and my sister had broken her wrist. Needless to say, the cost of all that stuff together was...um...well, there were lots of numbers involved. Mmhm.

Angela
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Old 06-21-2005, 09:24 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally posted by sulawesigirl4
i have never been able to afford medical insurance. these last two years in the Peace Corps have been the first time since I was a kid that I have been covered. good thing I'm pretty healthy, but it is like gambling...hoping that nothing big and bad will happen to you.
See and I can't even take the gamble because school won't admit you without a current policy.

My boyfriend went w/o insurance between when he graduated and when his current job became full time. It cost him over $300 just for simple antibiotics for bronchitis!

On the CNN ticket the other day I read that w/ a professional midwife it's just as safe to have a baby at home than at the hospital. This reminded me of my mom's best friend who had all five of her kids at home b/c hospitals are so damn expensive. This wasn't the "olden days" either, her kids are my age and younger.
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Old 06-21-2005, 09:30 AM   #12
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If you all set up income-sensitive repayment on your student loans, the fine print says that after 25 years, if it is still not paid, the remaining balance will be forgiven. That is, of course, assuming you're doing it through the U.S. Dept. of Education, which I think is the only place worth consolidating the loans. Something to keep in mind.

And yeah...health care in the U.S. is a big, big joke. But for those who do get severely ill, the good news is that the third world is catching up with health care quality. Considering that all of our doctors are either Indian or Asian anyway, why not go to the source? There's two hospitals (one in Thailand, the other in India) getting a lot of attention for having Western-style care at a fraction of the cost. So now that surgery that would have sent you bankrupt now only costs $20,000 maybe instead of $200,000.

The biggest trouble with American health care, all along, is that it is the antithesis of true capitalism. It's a bloated system that operates off of private-sector welfare and the entire medical establishment lives with a huge sense of entitlement with no incentive to work more efficiently and cost-effectively. As I see it, we have two options:

1) Regulate health care costs.
2) Ban health insurance.

The latter would effectively gut our bloated medical establishment, as they discover that nobody can afford their bloat and entitlement anymore. But hey...that's supply and demand, folks.

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Old 06-21-2005, 09:33 AM   #13
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I think that the US has the highest paid medical consultants in the world? Of course they are highly paid in Europe as well but there appears to be more public subsidy of health in Europe which reduces the hit on the 'consumer'/patient.
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Old 06-21-2005, 09:56 AM   #14
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In the past 20 years I've only had health insurance for about 6 or 7 years (and the past nine have been insurance free). I'm almost joking when I say if I get sick or injured it better be either minor or fatal, because I can't afford anything else.

At least I didn't have major debt when I got out of college...20-25 years ago grants played a big role in enabling me to get an education. I'm not quite sure how young people do it now.
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Old 06-21-2005, 10:00 AM   #15
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it is curious how american's can regard themselves as being among the top nations in the world, and that is replicating the statements of most modestly, and still not guarantee the basics of life for even a majority.
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