PanAm747 From United States of America, joined Feb 2004, 4242 posts, RR: 10 Posted (11 years 3 months 2 weeks 4 days 23 hours ago) and read 1143 times:
I hope this does not end up in a flame war...
Even though I have always been a staunch Republican, it does make me wonder about our national health care system.
It makes me feel bad that some kids and adults can't go to the doctor's office as regularly as they need to, or they don't have the information to be as healthy as they should be. This is especially true today, when many companies are slashing their healthcare plans to employees.
I mean, if a lower middle class kid can't see well, how are they going to learn in the classroom? Or, how is that parent going to take care of their family if they have a heart attack?
What are your thoughts about having a national health plan in the USA?
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Mcdougald From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR: Reply 2, posted (11 years 3 months 2 weeks 4 days 21 hours ago) and read 1044 times:
Both the Canadian and American systems have their faults: neither system does much about preventative care, instead only doing things for people after they've developed emphysema, lung cancer, diabetes, heart disease and other problems regularly resulting from bad choices.
That's why both systems have among the highest costs in the first world, and yet there are other countries with lower levels of health care spending, and probably even less high-tech care, that have lower levels of infant mortality, lower death rates due to preventable causes and longer life expectancy -- all fairly basic measures of the quality of public health.
Sccutler From United States of America, joined Jan 2000, 5091 posts, RR: 28 Reply 6, posted (11 years 3 months 2 weeks 4 days 20 hours ago) and read 1023 times:
PanAm, I don't know how it is where you are, but here in Texas, there is health care available for anyone who wants it. There are varying degrees of convenience, but excellent care is available.
Most urban counties have hospital districts which provide care at rates which slide, based upon ability to pay... and it's good care. Parkland Hospital, for example, is a major and well-run facility.
In addition, state law precludes any hospital from turning away patients based upon inability to pay. They don't like to publicize this, but it is the law, and they do give a good portion of care away.
The big challenge (to address things like the infant mortality rate) is to get the populace to address preventive care, instead of just showing up at the emergency rooms (sometimes called the general practitioners for the masses); there is a network of clinincs spread around the county, so people will go there while the need is routine, rather than just showing up at the ER when critical.
Health care is available; and health insurance (including health insurance for children at very low rates) is also available; many who claim that they cannot afford it really mean that they cannot afford the health insurance *and* to spend money on other discretionary spending items like newer cars, nice threads, etc.
My sister and her family live in Australia, which has a pretty darned good healthcare system- nationalized, of course- but still often (not always) involves lengthy waits for routine procedures.
No one's invented the perfect system yet. But don't believe all the propaganda you're fed without making independent inquiry.
...three miles from BRONS, clear for the ILS one five approach...
Hepkat From Austria, joined Aug 2000, 2341 posts, RR: 2 Reply 7, posted (11 years 3 months 2 weeks 4 days 14 hours ago) and read 1013 times:
Well, I don't know about you guys but my home state of NY does have a somewhat good health care system. I've never really had to use it, but we've had friends that have told us they never had to pay anything. I was also in California as a student and sprained my ankle. Guess what? I went to the hospital and never had to pay a cent. It turns out that California has a very good health system, and are forbidden from turning ANYONE away. This was explained to me as being the reason why AIDS patients come from all over the country to live in California, because the treatment is very good and the costs are either very low or non-existence.
I think the biggest difference between health care in the U.S. and say, Europe, is that our system is not federalized, and that's why the Europeans can't understand. I get asked so many times about our terrible system, about what happens if you get sick. To all our European friends out there, our system works in two ways.
Either you have a job that provides private insurance, in which case you're king of the hill. You're able to go to almost any hospital in the U.S. and are afforded top notch care (unless your insurance company decides to override it, which DOES sometimes happen). This system provides much higher care than your government systems in Europe, as it's not limited by the strains of funding or the sheer numbers of insured patients. This is the norm for most people.
Or, you rely on your state. Since our system is not federalized, each state determines what kind of services is available to its citizens, and how much they have to pay for it. You've already heard of some states like Texas, New York and California with very good systems. I'm sure they're some states that would leave you to lay dead in the street too.
My opinion on the whole subject is there are benefits to support both sides of the argument. If we adopt a system of national health care, it would surely provide everyone with just the basic necessities, and in the end would surely bankrupt the treasury. Take a look at any European country's system. Here in Austria they're in a mad rush to modernize the system, as it continues to be one of the most lavish in all of Europe. The biggest advantage is, of course, you end up with a healthy population overall. People would not have to worry about affording health care, and subsequently, you might end up with a more productive citizenry.
Superfly From Thailand, joined May 2000, 38497 posts, RR: 80 Reply 8, posted (11 years 3 months 2 weeks 4 days 14 hours ago) and read 1008 times:
Hepkat: It turns out that California has a very good health system, and are forbidden from turning ANYONE away.
A Catholic hospital in Oakland came under fire when it turned away a man who was stabbed. The blade was still in his abdomen when he was turned away. He bleed to death.
Similar situation in Los Angeles. I saw this with my own eyes! A man was shot and he was turned away with a bullet still lodged in his leg! None of them had health insurance.
PanAm747: maybe health education should be stepped up
I agree with you 100% !
That will never fly here in the US. There is so much money to be made getting people hooked on fast food, content with sitting at a desk for 8hrs+ per day working, surfing the web (A.net ), drinking and smoking.
Too much emphasis on pharmaceutical/drugs to treat life’s ups & downs, cosmetic surgery, etc.
There needs to be more emphasis on education as you stated.
Did you know that Cuba has a higher life expectancy rate than the US despite all of the poverty in their country. They obviously have a national heath care system.
Also, the most conservative leaders of the UK and Canada support their health care system. This is not a left vs. right issue. Right-wing zealots here in the US made it in to one. I think it’s a civilized society vs. caveman mentality issue.
Write your newly elected US Senator Hillary Clinton. I know she is on your side on this issue PanAm747.
Hepkat From Austria, joined Aug 2000, 2341 posts, RR: 2 Reply 12, posted (11 years 3 months 2 weeks 4 days 12 hours ago) and read 992 times:
Superfly, but weren't those private hospitals? I believe private hospitals are allowed, like any private business, to accept or turn away customers. But government institutes, on the other hand, are bound to accept everyone.
AerLingus From China, joined Mar 2000, 2371 posts, RR: 0 Reply 14, posted (11 years 3 months 2 weeks 4 days 9 hours ago) and read 977 times:
I think that it's a matter of demand for healthcare outpacing the availability in the USA. By this, I mean that there are only a handful of health insurance companies in the country, but there are 300 million Americans. This makes it easy for the insurance providers to charge just about anything they damn well want.
The problem is that insurance isn't a money-making business. You have to lose large quantities to make large quantities. So, only those who can really afford to provide medical coverage do so.
If there were more, smaller insurance companies, then there would be a drop in prices to compete with each other.
I challenge someone to name more than ten nationwide health insurance providers.
By the way, my experiences with hospitals have always been that the hospital would accept the patient, then ask questions later. Don't confuse that with the ambulance re-dispatching because of lack of hospital space.
If you want screwed up healthcare, take a look at Taiwan, where you have to run to the bank to get wads of cash when someone you know just had a brain hemmorage (true story, happened to my dad...the going to the bank. He didn't have the hemmorage)...customary payment for service rendered taken to the extreme, eh?
Sccutler From United States of America, joined Jan 2000, 5091 posts, RR: 28 Reply 15, posted (11 years 3 months 2 weeks 4 days 9 hours ago) and read 974 times:
Again, can't comment on California, but in Texas, no hospital (private, non-profit, for-profit, whatever) may turn away a patient based upon ability to pay.
I know nothing about the Catholic hospital which turned away the stabbing victim, but I suspect that no physician got to see the patient, and that the "turn-away" was done by an overzealous administrative or clerical type.
It is imperative that no one be in the position of being denied critical care; but I have seen much not to like about nationalized health care, including the experiences my sister has had with the scheme in Australia, where one often has lengthy waits for surgery for conditions which are not imminently life-threatening.
The "single-payer" model (as favored by Senator Clinton) would be great if you presume that the government is competent to administer such a program. I simply do not think that government could successfully do it, based upon their stellar competence in handling so many other facets of government .
I agree wholeheartedly that health education is vital (as is education in every area of endeavor), along with preventive care- that is why the "walk in clinic" programs being promoted in many places are so successful.
Really, for those who cannot afford (or choose not to purchase, sayeth the cynic/realist) health insurance, the health care system is government-run, and provides care which is (from all of my observations of health care here and in countries with well-respected national systems like Australia) on par with the nationalized systems.
We simply don't force everyone down to the lowest common denominator, the bureaucratic depths represented by all-gov't health care.
...three miles from BRONS, clear for the ILS one five approach...
N400QX From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR: Reply 17, posted (11 years 3 months 2 weeks 3 days 20 hours ago) and read 937 times:
I'd take American health care ANY day of the week. I think its far superior to socialized systems or anything like that.
Funny how the Canadians are always coming down here to Seattle (and other places in the NW) for health care because either (a) they can't do it up there, or (b) there is no room or no nurses or something wrong.
Private systems (for just about anything) are usually superior, and definately when it comes to health care.
Mcdougald From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR: Reply 18, posted (11 years 3 months 2 weeks 3 days 20 hours ago) and read 936 times:
If the above life expectancy and infant mortality figures are any indication, we North Americans can probably learn a thing or two from those countries which made the Top 10 in both categories (an honour both Canada and the U.S. missed out on).
Those countries were Sweden, Japan, Norway, France, Switzerland and, perhaps surprisingly, Spain. (Maybe there's something more to those midday siestas than meets the eye.)
But, whether it be in lifestyle, diet or how health care is handled, obviously these countries are doing something right.
Aviatsiya From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR: Reply 20, posted (11 years 3 months 2 weeks 3 days 19 hours ago) and read 927 times:
What you mention about Aussie health care is somewhat true. If you condition is life threatening, then you are seen to immediately. For elective surgery, there are waiting lists, as cases are handled on an as needed basis.
You know though, there is still the option for private medical insurance, and if your sister wants here elective surgery done now, then she should take out private cover.
It has a lot to do with factors other than diet. Aussies the 2nd longest living people in the world, because of diet? We eat at much junk as you Yanks, yet our outdoors lifestyle (generalising) helps keep us healthy. Also other factors such as heavy industry, smog, and environmental issues also come heavily into play.
And "socialised" health care has nothing wrong with it. Just ask yourself, which system is responsible for the bionic ear? Which system is at the forefront of eye and heart research? Which system is amongst the top of medical research? You got it...the Aussie "second-rate subsidised" health system. Just because a health system is socialised does not mean for one moment that is can't be a revolutionary system, and doesn't mean it can't be a system which can't work for the society.
KC10Boom From United States of America, joined May 2004, 62 posts, RR: 0 Reply 22, posted (11 years 3 months 2 weeks 3 days 18 hours ago) and read 921 times:
1. Everyone is covered, there is no elitism.
Your right technically. Just like everyone in the US would be covered by the state's medical care if no one had health insurance. Do a little research. If your a canadian and want good health care (and your willing to pay for it) you cross the border and go to the US. Tom green didn't have his ball removed at USC medical center because he liked the socal weather. It's one of the best cancer treatment centers in the world. The wait in canada for cancer patients can be from 3 to 6 months. The canadian govt has a contract with american hospitals to treat canadian patients. The canadian health care system used to be #2 in the world, right behind the US, now after 30 years of medicare, it's not even in the top 10. (investor's business daily, july 2000)
2. Lower total costs.
False, by percentage of the GDP, the canadian health care system is more expensive. But look at the product. Long waiting lines, the need to prioritize different degrees of illness'. In the US, you don't have to sign a month long waiting list to see a doctor if it's not urgent! You'll wait a couple of hours, or a day at most. Sally Pipes, the president and CEO of the pacific research institute wrote to investors business daily (august 16, 1999) that she saw billboards on canadian roads saying "magnetic resonance imaging is coming. summer 1999." The US has had MRI's for more than 15 years! The drive for profits has forced companies to invent new technologies and expand research to find new drugs and medications so they'll remain on the cutting edge. It may seem callous, but it works. Govt. doesn't have the same motivation.
3. Longer life expectancy.
Let's see you prove that health care is the only reason that your life expectancy is higher than in the US. Good luck. There are so many factors, that it would be impossible to narrow it down to one or two.
Besides, in the US if you don't have health care insurance, you don't pay, the states pay your fees. Granted it's not the quality that you get with a top notch health insurance program, but it's got all the essentials. In the US, you get what you pay for, and that's pretty damn good! I'll pay for outstanding service and care rather than get a lower standard for free. Health care is not something you want to leave the govt in charge of.
Why is it my best contacts are when no one else is looking!
Aviatsiya From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR: Reply 23, posted (11 years 3 months 2 weeks 3 days 11 hours ago) and read 913 times:
Whilst it may be true about Canada not being the best, don't get it in your mind that America has the best either. Have you even read WHO reports? And remember health care isn't just about getting shot in a gangland shootout and going to the hospital to get the bullet removed, but also include such issues such as suicide, child malnutrition, etc.
Yes, America may have the biggest health care in the system, but it most certainly doesn't make it the best.
But hey, you guys seem to like it...we don't have any problems with our system either. Whatever rocks your socks off.
Mcdougald From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR: Reply 24, posted (11 years 3 months 2 weeks 3 days 11 hours ago) and read 910 times:
What nearly drives me nuts about this debate -- not just here on the Internet, but also in the media -- is that it keeps drifting back to waiting lists and high-tech.
Which only drives home the point that we've forgotten what a health care system is supposed to be about: keeping people healthy now so that they won't need beds and MRIs as much further down the road. Not just passively waiting around for people to get sick and then figuring out what to do with them, which is one of the things I'm most critical of the North American 'sickness care' systems for.
In addition to waiting lists, MRIs and CAT-scans, there are some important issues that are very relevant to health care that are being treated as side issues when they should be front and centre: lack of exercise, over-reliance on overportioned fast food meals, equal over-reliance on automobiles, too many hours spent at a desk with not enough vacation time being taken (see my recent post on vacation time for more on this) and so on.
25 KC10Boom: Since when is good nutrition and exercise part of a country's health care system? Do doctors ever prescribe an 8 minute mile? Or say 'some pasta prima
26 Mcdougald: KC10Boom wrote: "When someone says 'health care' you don't think of spaghetti, you think of hospitals." That's a big problem in a nutshell. Health car
27 Aviatsiya: KC10Boom McDouglas echoes my thoughts exactly, and his thoughts are in exactly the RIGHT topic. Western health care is all about treating people who a
28 KC10Boom: Ok, I see what your saying. But tell me, is there anyway to prevent cancer? Can you tell me that if I eat healthy everyday, and exercise regularly (I
29 CPDC10-30: The canadian govt has a contract with american hospitals to treat canadian patients. False and false. First of all, health policy is set by the provi
30 KC10Boom: If canadian health care was set by the provincial governments, it wouldn't be too much different than state run medical programs in the states. The fa
31 Sccutler: So we can conclude the following: 1. The US' healthcare system is not perfect. 2. Canada's healthcare system is not perfect. 3. Oz's healthcare system
32 KC10Boom: Summed up perfectly. Although I wish the govt would pay alot less in taxes, you win some, you lose some. Mike
33 Ctbarnes: The trouble with healthcare in the USA is not so much one of prevention versus cure (although prevention is very important), the real problem is that
34 LH423: What about tiered health care? I mean, sure it would make a gap between the "haves" and the "have-nots", but what in modern society doesn't cause that