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What's Up Doc?

What's Up Doc?

Date: Oct 27 2006


1. Learn Vocabulary - Learn some new vocabulary before you start the lesson.

2. Read and Prepare - Read the introduction and prepare to hear the audio.

In August 2006, the US Census Bureau reported that 46.6 million Americans have no health insurance. What exactly does this mean?

Around the world, governments have different ways of providing healthcare for their citizens. For example, many countries in Europe have high income tax rates, but provide most health care services in return.

The healthcare system in the United States continues to be a hot topic for debate. Americans need health insurance to help pay doctor and dentist bills, as well as to cover emergency medical costs, like a broken leg or a burst appendix. Without insurance, lower income folks simply cannot afford healthcare, and often go without. The government does cover some costs for the most needy, but many people fall through the cracks.

Kevin and Erin think the healthcare situation in the US is ridiculous. Listen to them rant about it.


1. Listen and Read - Listen to the audio and read the dialog at the same time.

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2. Study - Read the dialog again to see how the vocab words are used.





Kevin:  The situation with the number of people who do not have health insurance in this country is really startling.

Erin:  Yeah. Oh, I’ve gone in and out of having health insurance because…

Kevin:  Isn’t it scary?

Erin:  Well, on some respects, I think it’s… um… it’s sad. I, I actually have a friend up here from Austraila right now, um, who… we were talking about health insurance and how shocked he was that we don’t have socialized medicine yet. And it’s just like, yeah, that kinda seems like a “duh”, you know, I mean, just a given, but we don’t have it. It’s really sad.

Kevin:  Considering we’re the wealthiest nation that’s ever existed, uh, in history, yeah, it’s pathetic. And frankly, in all honesty, the President who stands up in front and says, “Well, we have the best health insurance in the world…” the best health coverage, excuse me, in the world. Yeah, as long as you can afford it. He does.

Erin:  Exactly. You have to be wealthy in order to be healthy here.

Kevin:  Of course.

Erin:  And I didn’t mean to rhyme, but, um…

Kevin:  Good rhyme, though.

Erin:  It, I, I really… I… That’s a huge issue I have with this country actually. I think medicine should be socialized. I think if you’re sick, you should be able to go see a doctor and have it picked up by the government, but it’s almost like the problem is so big, like, the system is so built on this foundation that we’ve already laid that to change it would upheave all this… other problems, but… It’s frustrating.

Kevin:  Yes. I guess the conclusion is: Wealth equals health.



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Healthcare can also be written as two words: health care.

Both Kevin and Erin express frustration with the healthcare system in the US. They both agree that since the US is one of the wealthiest nations, it should be able to provide healthcare to all of its citizens, not just those who can afford it.

When Erin said, “On some respects,” she misspoke. She meant to say “In some respects.”

When Erin uses the expression “duh,” she means that it seems obvious.

What type of healthcare system do you have in your country? Is it expensive to go to the doctor?



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Suzi ,   one of the scariest  things in US is to travel  without a health insurance policy and get sick. Whenever I go there  I make sure to buy a policy , although I know that  in case of a serious  health issue  I could be in trouble, as the cost of any medical treatment   is staggering  and will not be fully covered   by  my insurance provider. I wouldn´t be so lucky as you  that your parents came forward and foot the bill.

09:38 PM Jan 25 2012 |



I have been in a private clinic in the US in 1997 for a few days. My stay there was picked up partly by my travel health insurance, partly by social care organizations and partly by my parents back in Germany. It was quite expensive. If I had stayed in the States for a whole year it would have cost my parents the same as me staying there for three months in highschool and additional 10 days in hospital. Then I had to call off the whole experience of being abroad, was picked up by a doctor who came to the clinic from Germany and accompanied me back to my home country.

09:03 PM Jan 25 2012 |


ola3Super Member!


You know some countries has a so called socialized medicine but it's not perfect at all. I mean yes, all people have an equal access to healthcare which is good, but not all the people contribute the same amount of money for a healthcare ( taxes). Why should I pay for somebody's visit. And we have to wait long in the emergency room -you'll feel better while sitting and waiting for hours but catch something from other patients.

03:52 AM Feb 05 2008 |



I think it was a good lesson which helps dealing with medical issues in our everyday life.

01:11 PM Oct 29 2006 |

german germ


Is that dr house on this picture?

06:27 PM Oct 28 2006 |

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