Hi American Italkers,
I've always wondered how the american healthcare system works, an american collegue told me it is pretty expensive for regular workers and...you know...my other source of information is the tv serie Breaking bad :) so I am really in need for some natives' opinion.
ps. if you see some mistake in my writing feel free to correct me!!! Thanks.
On the other hand, there are lots of ways to help students pay: there are government grants where the government gives you money just for going to college, and there are also scholarships, where (typically) a private donor gives money to a student with the best or very good grades. There are tons of scholarships, but also tons of students who apply for these scholarships. Some students get scholarships to play sports at a specific college, and other get scholarships for grades. Scholarships can also be paid by colleges as well. For example, John is a very good basketball player in high school and wants to go to Cornell University. Cornell University might offer John a scholarship to attend Cornell and play basketball for them.
Sorry for getting off topic, but it's something that is very relevant to my life, since I am 20 and am deciding not to go to finish my schooling at a 4 year college, for now.
The American government still has a lot of things to work out! It is still a relatively young government as compared to many other countries.
The American health care system is crazy. I don't know the statistics off-hand, but I know we're about 39th in the world or somewhere around there. It's not as good as some Americans like to think it is. There are still thousands of homeless people living on the streets without any health care, even after Obamacare was passed. However, I believe it is a step in the right direction. As an American, I believe the biggest downfall for the government is the two main, opposing political parties, the democrats vs the republicans. They are rarely ever able to work together and rarely compromise. After Obama(democrat) has finished his presidency, if a republican president is elected, he/she will likely try to undo policies that Obama has started. And the political TV channels are ridiculous - the shows spend their time talking about how the other party is wrong.
Don't get me started on college tuition! I'm 20, and I just finished a degree at a two-year community college, and the debt at a community college is managable. I'm fortunate that my parents were able to pay for my tuition, which was about $2,000 per semester. Overall, the cost of attending my two-year school was about $8,000-$10,000. That is very managable for someone who needed to pay it for themselves. My girlfriend will be finishing her degree from a four-year university this June. She has to start making payments at the end of the summer, that's only a three month period. In September, she starts paying off her $132,000 loan. AND she has commuted an hour to school (one way) every day. If she had lived in the dorms at school, her loan would be around $190,000. It's completely ridiculous.
You can't discuss US healthcare without also discussing the US legal system. The reason for this is that doctor's are often sued for malpractice. (You've probably heard stories about such things as a surgeon leaving a bandage inside someone, or something similar.) So, doctor's have to buy "malpractice insurance" which is very expensive for them. They pass this cost on to the consumer by figuring it into the cost of their procedures. This is one of the major reasons that US healthcare is so expensive.
In an attempt to rein in costs such as these, there have been attempts to limit the amount of money someone can receive for suing someone else for personal injury. (Google = tort reform)
If you are paying out-of-pocket, meaning you have no health insurance, it is extremely expensive. If you have insurance, it is better, but can still be quite expensive depending on what type of insurance plan you have, what it covers, how high your deductible is and whether you get a group policy through your job, or have to pay for an individual policy on your own.
to answer your question the American health care system is in the process of being reformed the new system is called Obamacare and has been a very controversial issue I'd advise looking it up and what it might mean for foreign exchange students if not you could by travel insurance for your time in the states