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Shiloh and Adria share their views about private and public healthcare.

Shiloh: So, Adria, what do you think about nationalized healthcare in the United States? I know that most Democrats are for it, and most Republicans are against it. So, what do you think?

Adria: I think it's really necessary. After, you know, hearing a lot about the healthcare system in other countries, and the healthcare system in our country, comparatively, I'd have to say there are a lot of flaws about the healthcare system in the US, and I think it definitely needed some reform. And I think some of the most poignant examples are definitely insurance companies, you know, declining coverage for, you know, children with cancer, because they developed cancer when their parents were unemployed, so they don't have health insurance, but they deny the children health insurance. And I think that's just absurd.

And another, you know, really big issue is that actually being a woman is considered like a pre-existing condition, which in a pre-existing condition, you can be denied healthcare coverage. So, C-sections, for instance, aren't usually covered in having a child; it's considered a pre-existing condition for many health insurance companies. And I think that with nationalized health care, it will allow women to have coverage to have children and then their children to be covered, in case, you know, the parents are unemployed or something happens in the family.

So, I think, in those respects, it's a positive, but maybe the way, you know, the Republicans and the Democrats kind of gave and took and from each other, that may be, in the end, it became something that there are, you know, causes in the healthcare bill in the US that I didn't necessarily agree with. What do you think?

Shiloh: Well, it sounds to me like maybe you are talking more about health insurance reform instead of healthcare reform, because there's a big difference. I think that what you're talking about is less information or less responsibility put on the government, and more on healthcare being responsible, or the insurance being responsible.

And I think that's very important, because I've also been in countries with nationalized healthcare. I spent a lot of time in Japan, which has it. And Japan has a nationalized health insurance program, which is fantastic. If you've got something wrong with you, you can go to the hospital, and it's very cheap. In the United States, we don't have that, and obviously, healthcare in the United States is very expensive.

But I think what we need is health insurance reform. We need to make sure that the insurance companies aren't as powerful as they are, that they do have more liberal rules and guidelines. If you have a pre-existing condition and like you want to have a child, the health insurance company shouldn't be able to say, - No, we're not going to pay for that. They should say, well, yes, that is covered, and we will pay for it.

But I think that healthcare needs to remain privatized, because private healthcare leads to new technology; it leads to better health care practices. If, all of a sudden, the government is paying for all of our doctors and there's no privatization, there's no capitalism, then how are things going to advance? Because competition between company, when competition between companies increases, so does the technology and the level of healthcare that people receive.

Adria: You raised an interesting issue. So, yeah, I agree with the things you said, but don't largely Republicans disagree with socialized medicine or socialized healthcare or insurance, period?

Shiloh: They do. They disagree with the whole thing. They believe that the system right now is okay, although they recognize it as being very expensive. And that's why I'm a little different, because I think that the health insurance system needs to be completely reformed. But I think that privatized healthcare, as it is now, is good, because you're able to get fantastic doctors. You're going to have to pay more for them, but that can be fixed with better insurance programs.

Adria: Hmm, interesting.

Learn Vocabulary from the Lesson



There are a lot of flaws about the healthcare system.

Here, a flaw is a problem with a system that stops it from working correctly. Notice the following:

  1. There are several flaws in the plan.
  2. I believe it to be a flawed policy.



Some of the most poignant examples are definitely insurance companies.

Something that is poignant is very sad. Notice the following:

  1. She spoke of her poignant childhood.
  2. It was a poignant story.

pre-existing condition


It's considered a pre-existing condition for many health insurance companies.

A pre-existing condition is a health problem we have before buying a health insurance policy. Notice the following:

  1. They considered the disease a pre-existing condition.
  2. As a pre-existing condition, it wasn't covered by the policy.



Japan has a nationalized health insurance program, which is fantastic.

A program that is nationalized is run by the government. Notice the following:

  1. The US is slowly moving towards a more nationalized health care system.
  2. Nationalized healthcare has been successful in Canada.



Republicans disagree with socialized medicine or socialized healthcare.

Socialized healthcare is financed by taxes and provided by the government. Notice the following:

  1. Socialized medicine has been seriously debated in the US lately.
  2. I could never support socialized medicine.
Answer the following questions about the interview.



Vocabulary Challenge

Complete the sentences with the words below.
flaw • poignant • pre-existing
nationalized • socialized
  1. He made a point.
  2. Health care is in Canada.
  3. The country made the railway .
  4. He has a in his golf swing.
  5. He has a medical condition.