PanAm747
Topic Author
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Health Care In The USA

Mon Feb 04, 2002 10:57 am

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?
Pan Am:The World's Most Experienced Airline - P(oor) S(ailor's) A(irline): San Diego's Hometown Airline-Catch Our Smile!
 
kc10boom
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RE: Health Care In The USA

Mon Feb 04, 2002 11:00 am

My thoughts are it's a terrible idea. Look at Canada. Long waiting lines, outdated technology. Canadians who have the chance go to the US for medical treatment. Socialized medicine is not the answer.


Mike
Why is it my best contacts are when no one else is looking!
 
Guest

RE: Health Care In The USA

Mon Feb 04, 2002 1:02 pm

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.

 
bombstar
Posts: 684
Joined: Tue Aug 08, 2000 9:37 am

RE: Health Care In The USA

Mon Feb 04, 2002 1:22 pm

Socialized healthcare is the perfect answer.
The provincial governments just have a habit of always cutting back funding.
 
PanAm747
Topic Author
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RE: Health Care In The USA

Mon Feb 04, 2002 1:23 pm

I agree maybe health education should be stepped up.

Many types of cancer can be controlled or even cured if it is caught in time.
Pan Am:The World's Most Experienced Airline - P(oor) S(ailor's) A(irline): San Diego's Hometown Airline-Catch Our Smile!
 
bombstar
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RE: Health Care In The USA

Mon Feb 04, 2002 1:33 pm

if the NDP (New Democratic Party) in Canada were in power, we'd have the best health care system in the world.
 
sccutler
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RE: Health Care In The USA

Mon Feb 04, 2002 1:58 pm

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
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Joined: Fri Aug 11, 2000 8:22 am

RE: Health Care In The USA

Mon Feb 04, 2002 7:43 pm

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
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Joined: Thu May 11, 2000 8:01 am

RE: Health Care In The USA

Mon Feb 04, 2002 8:10 pm

Hepkat:
It turns out that California has a very good health system, and are forbidden from turning ANYONE away.

Not true.
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 Big grin), 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.  Smokin cool



Bring back the Concorde
 
L-188
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RE: Health Care In The USA

Mon Feb 04, 2002 8:16 pm

My grandparents have had to many relatives stay with them while they where having surgury in the states to believe Canada has a good health care system.

I don't want to get into the stories that I read about people who fail to get care up there. There have been more then a couple.

Lack of bed space is a big issue.
OBAMA-WORST PRESIDENT EVER....Even SKOORB would be better.
 
Superfly
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RE: Health Care In The USA

Mon Feb 04, 2002 8:27 pm

L-188:
Lack of bed space is a big issue.

I am having that problem right now as we speak!
Time for me and my girlfriends to get a king size for the three of us!  Laugh out loud
Bring back the Concorde
 
L-188
Posts: 29881
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RE: Health Care In The USA

Mon Feb 04, 2002 9:25 pm

Ummmm.....wasn't quite what I ment.

Read through a couple of Canadian News sites.

Having stories about health care screw-ups is pretty common. At least one every couple of weeks.
OBAMA-WORST PRESIDENT EVER....Even SKOORB would be better.
 
Hepkat
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RE: Health Care In The USA

Mon Feb 04, 2002 10:11 pm

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.
 
Guest

RE: Health Care In The USA

Tue Feb 05, 2002 12:22 am

Some interesting comparative numbers:


Lowest infant mortality rates - 10 best countries

Sweden 3.47
Finland 3.79
Japan 3.88
Norway 3.94
Austria 4.44
France 4.46
Switzld. 4.48
Belgium 4.7
Germany 4.71
Spain 4.92

Longest average life expectancies - 10 best countires

Japan - 80.8
Australia - 79.87
Switzerland - 79.73
Sweden - 79.71
Canada - 79.56
Italy - 79.14
Spain - 78.93
France - 78.9
Norway - 78.79
Israel - 78.71

 
AerLingus
Posts: 2280
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RE: Health Care In The USA

Tue Feb 05, 2002 12:40 am

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?
Get your patchouli stink outta my store!
 
sccutler
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RE: Health Care In The USA

Tue Feb 05, 2002 1:08 am

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  Wink/being sarcastic.

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...
 
PHLflyer
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RE: Health Care In The USA

Tue Feb 05, 2002 12:24 pm

I know at least a dozen people who are Canadian or have been subject to the Canadian Health Care System and none of them speak highly of it.
 
N400QX
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RE: Health Care In The USA

Tue Feb 05, 2002 1:22 pm

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.

 
Guest

RE: Health Care In The USA

Tue Feb 05, 2002 1:42 pm

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.

 
N400QX
Posts: 1981
Joined: Sun May 06, 2001 9:51 am

RE: Health Care In The USA

Tue Feb 05, 2002 1:46 pm

I would assume diet. Its safe to assume its not lifestyle, nor second-rate subsidized health care.

Keep in mind America has a higher ratio of obese people... that'll lead to heart disease, etc etc etc
 
Guest

RE: Health Care In The USA

Tue Feb 05, 2002 2:24 pm

Sccutler

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.

N400QX

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.
 
CPDC10-30
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RE: KC10Boom

Tue Feb 05, 2002 3:47 pm

Where the fark did you come up with that? True our system isn't perfect but it does create three advantages over yours:

1. Everyone is covered/no health elistism
2. Lower total cost
3. Longer life expectancy

I'll take those any day.
 
kc10boom
Posts: 80
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RE: CPDC-10-30

Tue Feb 05, 2002 4:15 pm

First off,

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.

Mike
Why is it my best contacts are when no one else is looking!
 
Guest

RE: Health Care In The USA

Tue Feb 05, 2002 11:14 pm

KC10Boom

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.
 
Guest

RE: Health Care In The USA

Tue Feb 05, 2002 11:19 pm

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.

 
kc10boom
Posts: 80
Joined: Sun May 09, 2004 5:38 pm

RE: Health Care In The USA

Wed Feb 06, 2002 12:17 am

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 primavera will help with that tumor.' When someone says 'health care' you don't think of spaghetti, you think of hospitals. I get the point your making, but I think your in the wrong topic.

Aviatsiya: I had no idea the main strength of the US hospitals was bullet removal. Contrary to what some people may think, most people in the US do not belong to gangs or other criminal organizations. Apart from the democratic party, but that's another topic  Smile Your right though, no health care system is perfect, but overall, I think the American system is the best one.


Mike

Why is it my best contacts are when no one else is looking!
 
Guest

RE: Health Care In The USA

Wed Feb 06, 2002 1:34 am

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 care in North America has become focused on treating people who are already sick instead of preventing them from getting to that point.

I haven't heard of presciptions for eight-minute miles or for pasta, but one local doctor did make waves when he gave his patients a controversial prescription, posted on his office door: quit smoking by March 1st, or don't bother coming back. He justified his decision to the media by saying that his job as a doctor is to help people take care of their own health, not just offer remedies for illnesses caused by making bad choices.

 
Guest

RE: Health Care In The USA

Wed Feb 06, 2002 1:51 am

KC10Boom

McDouglas echoes my thoughts exactly, and his thoughts are in exactly the RIGHT topic. Western health care is all about treating people who are sick. The mentality is: Don't worry if you get sick or develop cancer (or whatever) because we will have a drug to fix it. Just look at all these weight loss pills out there on the market today. Or putting kids on highly addictive drugs for ADD (ADD was never a term until the drug companies invented it to sell their drugs).

In privatised "western" health care, especially the industry in America, it is a well known fact that the medical insurers are in kahoots with the pharmateutical companies.

The "west" needs to look deeply and finely at alternative medicines, especially those from the Orient, and also from indigenous cultures, which concentrate on staying healthy, instead of "get-sick-we-give-you-drugs". The "western" mentality towards health care is She'll be right mate. This is not the way to go.
 
kc10boom
Posts: 80
Joined: Sun May 09, 2004 5:38 pm

RE: Health Care In The USA

Wed Feb 06, 2002 2:11 am

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 do the 2d, but as for the 1st....is beer a food group?) that I'll never get cancer? I'll never get the flu, measles, chickenpox? Now I totally agree with you on say, smoking, and binge drinking. But there are alot of diseases out there that you can't prevent. You can only treat it.

On another note, what is with these idiots out there that sued tobacco companies for them getting cancer? You didn't think before you started that maybe it's a bad idea to inhale smoke every hour? And don't anybody pull that BS about how they said it was safe back then. My mom told me santa clause was real when I was a kid, that doesn't mean that I believed her. Think for yourselves for crying out loud. Although I don't really care for the companies, you gotta take some responsibility for your actions. Same thing goes for these fat losers who've got this class action lawsuit going against fast food companies because they ate there all the time (probably ate til they were stuffed too, not a great idea), and never exercise, and now they weigh 400 pounds! No one forced them to smoke that cigarette or stuff another big mac in their mouths!

So now they just totally absolve themselves from any responsibility and blame others for their mistakes. And for those of you out there who say your fat because of gland problems and then help yourself to a 3rd helping at the dinner table. Yeah, some of that may be true. But eating all that junk food won't exactly gonna help out your body.

If this is what you guys were talking about, then I have to agree with you in part.


Mike
Why is it my best contacts are when no one else is looking!
 
CPDC10-30
Posts: 4681
Joined: Wed Feb 02, 2000 4:30 pm

RE: Health Care In The USA

Wed Feb 06, 2002 6:26 am

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 provincial governments, not the Canadian government. Second, the cancer exports to the US were a temporary stop-gap measure until enough technicians could be trained to meet demand. It is no longer in place.

Its all well and good to say we have "long lines and month long waits" from a distance, but I've never seen it myself, and I live here.
 
kc10boom
Posts: 80
Joined: Sun May 09, 2004 5:38 pm

RE: Health Care In The USA

Wed Feb 06, 2002 9:10 am

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 fact is the canadian health system is regulated by the federal government, and taxed accordingly. NOT by the provinces.

And I haven't heard anything saying the contract with american hospitals and health care providers is now void.

As far as long waiting lines, just because you haven't seen it doesn't mean it doesn't happen. I've never personally seen a tsunami, but I know they exist.

Mike
Why is it my best contacts are when no one else is looking!
 
sccutler
Posts: 5568
Joined: Thu Jan 27, 2000 12:16 pm

RE: Health Care In The USA

Wed Feb 06, 2002 9:22 am

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 is not perfect.

4. Preventive medicine is vitally important.

5. Health education is vitally important.

I regard the biggest challenge for healthcare in the USofA to be in the arena of persuading those whom I will call the "dependent sector" (ie, those who do not have medical insurance through employment or other sources) to visit physicians for preventive and routine care, rather than waiting to visit the ER when they become critical. Waiting ends up, inevitably, costing the taxpayers (whose confiscated funds are paying for the care) much more than the preventive care which could have prevented the acute condition. This is not theory; it is (logical) fact.

For those (and they are out there) who claim that government should not fund such clinics, well, pay a little now or a lot later. Laissez faire is all well and good, but as a matter of compassion and decency, we simply are not going to foreclose treatment for those who are critically ill... and prevention costs less. Thus, the increase in commitment to, and funding for, walk in clinics.
...three miles from BRONS, clear for the ILS one five approach...
 
kc10boom
Posts: 80
Joined: Sun May 09, 2004 5:38 pm

RE: Health Care In The USA

Wed Feb 06, 2002 9:56 am

Summed up perfectly. Although I wish the govt would pay alot less in taxes, you win some, you lose some.


Mike
Why is it my best contacts are when no one else is looking!
 
ctbarnes
Posts: 3269
Joined: Thu Mar 30, 2000 2:20 pm

RE: Health Care In The USA

Wed Feb 06, 2002 11:00 am

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 Medicine is locked into a mentality that we have to cure everything, otherwise we have failed. We pour millions of dollars into treatments that really do little good and prolong life and usually cause the patient unnecessary suffering in the process.

While we should indeed cure when cure is possible, we also need to to espouse an ethic of care particularly toward those who have chronic or terminal illnesses. We need to recognize that death is a normal part of human life and not an admission of failure. And most of all we need to inject some justice in the US healthcare system. It is quite increadible that we spend more per head on healthcare than anyone in the world and yet we also have upwards 45 million who have trouble obtaining healthcare.

While it is true the US has one of the best healthcare systems in the world, we also have the most expensive, the most inefficient and also the most wasteful.

Charles, SJ
The customer isn't a moron, she is your wife -David Ogilvy
 
LH423
Posts: 5868
Joined: Sun Jul 11, 1999 6:27 am

RE: Health Care In The USA

Wed Feb 06, 2002 11:12 am

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? What I mean is, why not have government subsidized health-care for all, however, those who wish to pay extra can get better health care? I mean, I don't think there should be one American who must go without health care. I think it's vital that everyone have access to doctors and hospitals, and medicines. However, American's with means spend billions of dollars every year on health care, while the poor go without. Why not create a nationalized system in which everyone has basic health care needs met, and then those who can afford it are encouraged (but not forced) to pay an additional charge for increased service. This doesn't mean that someone with a cut will receive priority over someone with a stab wound in an emergency room because he pays the additional charge, but priority can be given to things such as medicine and will have access to better facilities, etc. I know this sounds bad, but if my parents (and soon myself) are going to be paying billions of dollars on private health care, why not continue to do so, but instead of private organizations, it's going to the government who can use it to operate a national system to ensure that no one must go without.

This is just a rough plan, and I realize that it has imperfections, but it is something to consider.

LH423
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