Qb001
Topic Author
Posts: 1923
Joined: Fri Apr 28, 2000 12:42 am

US Patients Are Getting A Lousy Deal

Sun Aug 24, 2003 8:59 pm

Excerpts from a Toronto Star article (2003/08/24)
http://www.thestar.com/NASApp/cs/ContentServer?pagename=thestar/Layout/Article_Type1&c=Article&cid=1061547584545&call_pageid=968256290204&col=968350116795

For years, the United States has spent more than twice as much per capita on health care as Canada and other leading industrial countries.

A new report helps shed light on why this is so.

A study published by the New England Journal of Medicine this past week reports that 31 cents of every dollar spent on health care in the United States goes to pay administrative costs.

The report found the U.S. spent a whopping $300 billion, or $1,059 for each American, on the salaries of health plan, hospital and physician-office billing specialists; compensating doctors for time spent handling paperwork instead of seeing patients; and funding marketing campaigns for hospitals and insurance companies.

By comparison, paperwork in Canada's publicly funded health-care system was a relatively lean $307 (U.S.) per person.

Paper-shuffling costs tell only part of the story. The report doesn't include how much of the U.S. health care dollar is handed over as profit to the private-sector companies that dominate the system. Using conservative estimates, profit would take another 10 to 15 cents out of each health-care dollar.

All in all, a lot of money in the system is diverted from spending on actual patient care. And still, 41 million Americans are medically uninsured.

Our friends south of the border are getting a lousy deal.
Never let the facts get in the way of a good theory.
 
L-188
Posts: 29881
Joined: Wed Jul 07, 1999 11:27 am

RE: US Patients Are Getting A Lousy Deal

Sun Aug 24, 2003 10:10 pm

Another Flame bait post about the US health care system

At least we don't have to wait months to get needed operations or to get schedualed for MRI's because there are only 150 odd machines in country.
OBAMA-WORST PRESIDENT EVER....Even SKOORB would be better.
 
VonRichtofen
Posts: 4260
Joined: Sun Nov 05, 2000 3:10 am

RE: US Patients Are Getting A Lousy Deal

Sun Aug 24, 2003 10:20 pm

L-188, that's only for minor surgery. When my younger cousin's doctor suspected she had a tumor, she had an MRI within days and when the tumor was discovered she was on the operating table within days.

Stop acting like people are dropping like flies because they can't get urgent help for serious ailments.

Again, if the Canadian system is so bad, why is it ranked way higher than the US system?
 
Alpha 1
Posts: 12343
Joined: Sat Feb 03, 2001 12:12 am

RE: US Patients Are Getting A Lousy Deal

Sun Aug 24, 2003 10:23 pm

Qb001, give up your fixation with the U.S. Health Care system. It isn't perfect, God knows, but it works just fine for the overwhelming majority of us. Stop beating a dead horse.
 
johnboy
Posts: 2557
Joined: Wed Aug 18, 1999 9:09 pm

RE: US Patients Are Getting A Lousy Deal

Sun Aug 24, 2003 10:35 pm

This is funny (not ha-ha, either). A colleague of mine found a suspicious growth on her nose, but couldn't get an appointment with her physician for several months, unless she changed primary physicians.

After she had done so, he recommended a dermatologist....you guessed it, no appointments until November! And she told them it was for suspected skin cancer.

Who says Canadians have to wait longer than us 'merkins?

 
Qb001
Topic Author
Posts: 1923
Joined: Fri Apr 28, 2000 12:42 am

RE: US Patients Are Getting A Lousy Deal

Sun Aug 24, 2003 10:56 pm

Last time I checked, the US healthcare system was not off-topic in the non-aviation forum.

My opinions are backed by sources, to which I provide links (this time, an indirect source from the very prestigious New England Journal of Medicine).

I think they might be valuable and appreciated by some a.net members. If you don't fall into this category then, please remember that nobody forces you to read or comment on a thread you don't like.

I believe this is expressed in a civilized manner.
Never let the facts get in the way of a good theory.
 
Alpha 1
Posts: 12343
Joined: Sat Feb 03, 2001 12:12 am

RE: US Patients Are Getting A Lousy Deal

Sun Aug 24, 2003 11:00 pm

It's beating a dead horse. We discussed this to death under that last thread, which went well over 100 posts. Was that not enough for you?

We get it-you don't like our health care system. Get over it.
 
galaxy5
Posts: 1952
Joined: Sat Mar 18, 2000 10:09 pm

RE: US Patients Are Getting A Lousy Deal

Sun Aug 24, 2003 11:11 pm

: Alpha 1
From United States
Posted Sun Aug 24 2003 15:23:57
Qb001, give up your fixation with the U.S. Health Care system. It isn't perfect, God knows, but it works just fine for the overwhelming majority of us. Stop beating a dead horse. It's beating a dead horse. We discussed this to death under that last thread, which went well over 100 posts. Was that not enough for you?

We get it-you don't like our health care system. Get over it.


Kind of like Alpha1's infatuation with everything bush.


"damn, I didnt know prince could Ball like that" - Charlie Murphy
 
L-188
Posts: 29881
Joined: Wed Jul 07, 1999 11:27 am

RE: US Patients Are Getting A Lousy Deal

Sun Aug 24, 2003 11:26 pm

L-188, that's only for minor surgery

Then why does my Grandmother, born and raised in Alberta have relatives that come south for treatments they can't get in a timely manner there?



OBAMA-WORST PRESIDENT EVER....Even SKOORB would be better.
 
Alpha 1
Posts: 12343
Joined: Sat Feb 03, 2001 12:12 am

RE: US Patients Are Getting A Lousy Deal

Sun Aug 24, 2003 11:27 pm

Kind of like Alpha1's infatuation with everything bush.

As an American, Galaxy5, I have every right to either praise or to critisize MY president, as I see fit, because it affect me. Our honorable friend starting these posts isn't from the U.S.: he doesn't use the U.S. healthcare system, nor does it affect him directly. Apples and oranges, my friend.
 
Qb001
Topic Author
Posts: 1923
Joined: Fri Apr 28, 2000 12:42 am

RE: US Patients Are Getting A Lousy Deal

Sun Aug 24, 2003 11:43 pm

Is there a rule here saying that, say, non-French cannot criticize what's going in France?

It's a forum Alpha, as long as it's done in a civilized manner, we are free to talk about everything we want. You better accept it. And, as I said earlier, you don't have to get into this discussion if you don't feel like it.

And BTW, if there is something you'd like to express about Canada, please feel free to do so and start a thread of your own. As long as it supported and expressed in a civilized manner, I, for one, am not afraid to talk about anything whatsoever about Canada.
Never let the facts get in the way of a good theory.
 
Alpha 1
Posts: 12343
Joined: Sat Feb 03, 2001 12:12 am

RE: US Patients Are Getting A Lousy Deal

Sun Aug 24, 2003 11:50 pm

Qb001, this isn't a thread about Canada, is it? I'm not here to exchange brickbats with you over our country of origin. I think you're looking to pick fights over something that really doesn't affect you.

Again, the healthcare system needs improving, but we don't need to go to socialized healthcare, that will do nothing but increase inefficiency, increase waits and increase costs. That's not for us. I don't suppose to have all the answers, and I never will, but I know that I don't agree with your beating this dead horse.
 
LSTC
Posts: 277
Joined: Sun Jun 01, 2003 11:45 am

RE: US Patients Are Getting A Lousy Deal

Mon Aug 25, 2003 12:14 am

Again, the healthcare system needs improving, but we don't need to go to socialized healthcare, that will do nothing but increase inefficiency, increase waits and increase costs. That's not for us. I don't suppose to have all the answers, and I never will, but I know that I don't agree with your beating this dead horse.

QB001,

You're wasting your time. You're discussing this with people who are sitting in a house/apartment on the computer. These are not the people who suffer from lack of healthcare.

You won't hear from the 40 million that don't have access to healthcare. They are the homeless, the poor and other disadvantaged people who have no hope of ever advancing in the "land o' plenty" to the south of us.

The US has successfully developed a society where select groups of “undesirables” are kept down while other "desirables" wallow in the wealth. In my opinion its one of the most oppressive societies in the world. Its mirrors the cast system used in India except instead of separating blood lines, they distinguish levels primarily by skin color and other physical traits.

Of course the inefficiencies of the VA hospitals have been discussed, without acknowledging that Americans consider veterans not worthy of health care.

By the way, the “waiting list” myth seems to linger on for ever. If you have an urgent need for diagnostic tools, you get it right away. If you need less urgent attention, you wait. I am sick of reading about some guy dying while on a waiting list. Chances are very good that there were other factors that led to the death. And….at least that person had access to the system. I’ve also read about many Americans dying because they were refused by certain hospitals or that they didn’t have insurance. “Access denied”.
 
delta-flyer
Posts: 2631
Joined: Mon Jul 30, 2001 9:47 am

RE: US Patients Are Getting A Lousy Deal

Mon Aug 25, 2003 12:20 am

The high cost of medical care is balanced by relative abundance of capacity, at least for those who can pay (or have insurance that can pay). I have a good job, a good plan, and have always been satisfied with the medical care that I and my family has received.

By contrast, when I lived in Canada, I had one major surgery when I was in my 20's at the Vancouver General Hospital, for a kidney stone. This was in the late 70's. Since the doc could not schedule me for months, and I needed to have it in weeks, the decision was that I will hang tough until certain symptoms apppeared, at which time I would enter via the emergency room -- which I ultimately did, about 3 or 4 weeks later. After the surgery, I lived in a corridor for a couple of days, after which I was moved into a ward with 25 other patients.

On other occasions, I visited the VGH emergency room for a cracked rib , torn cartilege and other minor problems. Each visit took the better part of a day. More recently, I had occasion to take my father to an emergency room in Toronto (Northwestern Hospital) and again it was similarly overcrowded.

Similar crowding occurs here in the US, too, but that is generally for free service; people who can pay get better treatment. In Canada, everyone seems to get uniformly slow treatment.

So, what's my final opinion? As long as I can pay, the US is better.

Pete
"In God we trust, everyone else bring data"
 
N79969
Posts: 6605
Joined: Tue Jan 29, 2002 1:43 am

RE: US Patients Are Getting A Lousy Deal

Mon Aug 25, 2003 12:36 am

The link is broken. Reading the italicized material, it seems that some editorial material was mixed with quoted material. That ain't right.

While high administrative costs are a genuine problem for our system, the post goes off the deep end and headlong into this socialist diatribe:

"The report doesn't include how much of the U.S. health care dollar is handed over as profit to the private-sector companies that dominate the system. Using conservative estimates, profit would take another 10 to 15 cents out of each health-care dollar"

This statement (I don't know who wrote it) belies a massive misunderstanding of economics. There is not a fixed amount of wealth in the world. Wealth (and profit) are created by the efficient use of resources. The wording "handed over" implies an insidious "hand out" revealing the hard-core socialist bent of the writer. Actually it is payment for services rendered. Of course hand outs (the real kind) are perfectly okay in the minds of such folks so long as they are handed out to legitimate goldbrickers.

If private entitities are earning an above-market-rate of return, the answer is not socialism but more competition. There should be a gold rush into medical insurance business if they are generating 10-15% returns annually...I'm calling a broker first thing tomorrow.

Lstc,

That's right...the only compassion for down and out Americans comes from you self-proclaimed enlightened folk north of the border and from Americans that do not own or have access to computers...


**********************
Note to Canadians:

How about you guys cut back on dispensing health policy advice and concentrate hard on sending down more Molson Golden and more Pamela Lee our way. Keep the medical system.
 
jcs17
Posts: 7376
Joined: Mon Jun 18, 2001 11:13 am

RE: US Patients Are Getting A Lousy Deal

Mon Aug 25, 2003 12:47 am

Canada has a better healthcare system than America? Please. According to which organization? The Center For Waiting Three Months For Surgery? Or would it be the Socialist Party? I dont hear of any Americans hoping to head to Montreal or Toronto for their major surgeries, in fact, its the exact opposite.

America has the best healthcare system in the world because it is privatized. I will gladly pay for my healthcare because it is prompt, efficient, and for the most part doctor's care about their patients. No bureaucrat is making decisions about your health and your condition. And yes, I would much rather have my HMO make decisions about my health than someone in the government. If I get in a car accident and my life is on the line, its no longer about money, just let me see the best hospital with the best doctors.
America's chickens are coming home to rooooost!
 
Guest

RE: US Patients Are Getting A Lousy Deal

Mon Aug 25, 2003 1:32 am

LSTC and Qb001 are so obsessed with the notion that they are more enlightened than everyone else because they happen to live Canada where their ideology reigns supreme. That doesn’t make anyone better, in my opinion, but they seem to think it does. I don’t know, obviously they are “perfect” individuals, completely devoid of fault. :- Yeah right.

As for LTSC’s notion that you won’t hear from “uninsured” individuals because they’re all “poor”, I was uninsured for a brief time and I’m far from being poor. After I lost my last job, I chose to forgo the COBRA benefits for a few months because I didn’t really see the point of paying that much money. I opted to wait and search for a better and more affordable plan. It was my decision to remain uninsured for a brief time. But according to our Canadian “experts” on American society, it doesn’t happen.

N79969:

You’re right about those two. They seem to be almost gleeful with their smug boasts of superiority. Hardly compassionate; really as malicious as the people they think they’re better than. It would be funny because their views are so asinine, but it's somewhat scary that they honestly think this way. They obviously have little knowledge of the word “oppressed” and what it means. Now, I don’t know these two and I probably wouldn’t want to, but if they’ve done a fair bit of overseas traveling, then they’d know what the true definition of “oppressed”. Go visit Asia or Latin America – complete eye openers of societies.
 
Guest

RE: US Patients Are Getting A Lousy Deal

Mon Aug 25, 2003 1:34 am

And anyone who takes the "Red" Star seriously needs to get their head examined.

[Edited 2003-08-24 18:34:55]
 
Guest

RE: US Patients Are Getting A Lousy Deal

Mon Aug 25, 2003 1:45 am

Again, if the Canadian system is so bad, why is it ranked way higher than the US system?

It's ranked 30th; the US is ranked 37th according to the WHO. Neither one is ranked that high and the Canadian system is not WAAAAAY higher. Both systems are in serious need of repair, in my opinion, and I don't think that either method will work in both countries.

As for waiting lists, my friend's grandfather in Vancouver went to Seattle to have his hip replaced because he didn't want to be on the waiting list for months. My uncle, who is a doctor at St. Michaels in Toronto, also had some surgery done in the US because he didn't want to be on the waiting list. And he's a doctor in Canada! That says a lot about the confidence he has in the system. They're not the only examples I know of personally.

Point is, anyone who thinks that the waiting list problem is a "myth" is in a mental state bordering fantasy. If it wasn't a problem, why is their so much debate over fixing the system in Canada?

[Edited 2003-08-24 18:46:53]
 
Schoenorama
Posts: 2305
Joined: Tue Apr 17, 2001 5:15 am

RE: US Patients Are Getting A Lousy Deal

Mon Aug 25, 2003 2:02 am

Jcs17:

"America has the best healthcare system in the world because it is privatized."

You obviously missed the other discussion on this topic. Because US healthcare is privatized, the US Infant Mortality Rate is higher than countries such as Taiwan, Greece, Czech Republic and even Slovenia.

"I will gladly pay for my healthcare..."

....and you don't mind a company is making a profit out of your healthcare? You don't mind a company raising your health-care premium as you get older and/or become more of a burden to your healthcare company? You don't mind your healthcare-company cancelling your healthcare-insurance because you've presented to many claims? You don't mind your healthcare-provider not paying your $ 5,000,- hospital-bill claiming your health-insurance doesn't cover plastic-surgery? You don't mind having no healthcare at all because you simply cannot afford it any longer, either because you have no income or the premiums have increased too much?

Healthcare should be available and affordable for everybody, regardless their age, income or health-condition. With privatized health-care, run by profit-based companies, this is simply impossible in todays US.
Utinam logica falsa tuam philosophiam totam suffodiant!
 
Guest

RE: US Patients Are Getting A Lousy Deal

Mon Aug 25, 2003 2:14 am

You obviously missed the other discussion on this topic. Because US healthcare is privatized, the US Infant Mortality Rate is higher than countries such as Taiwan, Greece, Czech Republic and even Slovenia.

Well, Saudi, the UAE and Oman have excellent public, universal healthcare systems, but they have fairly high infant mortaliy rates. And yes, I know you said cultural differences last time. Maybe they play a bigger role that the nature of healthcare spending?
 
Qb001
Topic Author
Posts: 1923
Joined: Fri Apr 28, 2000 12:42 am

RE: US Patients Are Getting A Lousy Deal

Mon Aug 25, 2003 2:28 am

Note to N79969,

The link is not broken. But because it's a very long link, the a.net text editor cuts it so that it fits in the screen, adding a (br) command, where the "(" and ")" are really "<" and ">". Look for it in the address bar and remove it; the link will work just fine.

The portion I cut basically says that the US healthcare system is not an example for Canada to follow. Read it by yourself if you don't trust me. Unlike many people here, at least I supply sources to support my facts.

Also, for those interested, the WHO ranks Canada 30th, the US 37th and Cuba 39th...
Never let the facts get in the way of a good theory.
 
LSTC
Posts: 277
Joined: Sun Jun 01, 2003 11:45 am

RE: US Patients Are Getting A Lousy Deal

Mon Aug 25, 2003 2:30 am

Personally, I really don't care if the US adopts an universally accessible health care system. But I do notice when frustration causes some to lash out. Can't handle the truth eh Captain?

If our health care is so bad, why do we live longer? Why do we have fewer infant deaths? The answer is that among the rich in the US, health is generally good...better than good. Best in the world. But among the poor, its bad. Close to the worst in the world when it comes to access. Somewhere in the middle is the average we come to see in statistics. That paired with a ridiculous firearm policy and violence...but heck that's another post. But maybe its not! If I was poor I might just be pushed to a life of crime...

 
N79969
Posts: 6605
Joined: Tue Jan 29, 2002 1:43 am

RE: US Patients Are Getting A Lousy Deal

Mon Aug 25, 2003 2:34 am

There is nothing inherently incompatible about for profit enterprises providing health care. Profit is treated as a bad word. Profits are good for society. Profits are only generated when resources are used efficiently. The profit motive causes people to devise the best products in the most efficient manner.

To understand health care, you have detach all the hysterics and hyperbole that surround the issue. In terms of resources, it is just like any other service in most regards and health care can be made more efficient and can be improved in terms of quality. They are not necessarily mutually exclusive.

Naturally there are special ethical and moral considerations that are attendant to the delivery of health care. However that does not translate into a prescription for socialization of medicine.

Something else that seems lost on people is that some Americans can afford health insurance and simply elect not to buy it.

Don't some wealthy Canadians go to Cuba for some of that 39th-worldwide-quality health care that is available on demand with hard currency?

[Edited 2003-08-24 19:36:49]
 
Guest

RE: US Patients Are Getting A Lousy Deal

Mon Aug 25, 2003 2:52 am

Frustration? Naaah...you give yourself too much credit. No need to, really. There’s nothing to lash out at, just an honest observation. But tell me, if you really don't care what the US adopts or what happens here, then why bother commenting on it?

And you tell me, if the Canadian system was so good, then why are there so many Canadians going south of the border to have their operations done in the US? Truth is that the system is not handling their needs. Who cares if they're rich and can afford treatment in the US. Does that make them less Canadian?

[Edited 2003-08-24 19:53:58]
 
LSTC
Posts: 277
Joined: Sun Jun 01, 2003 11:45 am

RE: US Patients Are Getting A Lousy Deal

Mon Aug 25, 2003 2:59 am

Nope,

If a Canadian can afford it, and seeks world class care, more power to him/her. As long as they don't stop paying their taxes.

Tell me, how many poor Canadians do you see heading south of the border? None I bet....

We keep coming back to the needs and desires of rich people and ignore the needs and desires of the poor.

If you're rich and don't buy health insurance, more power to you. You have a choice at least.
 
JAL777
Posts: 2453
Joined: Wed Jun 04, 2003 10:13 pm

RE: US Patients Are Getting A Lousy Deal

Mon Aug 25, 2003 3:00 am

I have no responsibility to meet the needs and desires of the poor. Sorry.
 
Guest

RE: US Patients Are Getting A Lousy Deal

Mon Aug 25, 2003 5:09 am

Tell me, how many poor Canadians do you see heading south of the border? None I bet....

Now, I have no idea about Cedric Knight's or Bernice Schuster's financial situation, but this article gives no indication that they are indeed rich. They *could* be poor for all I know, but they might not be. The point is that these two Canadian patients are receiving US medical treatment at the Ontario taxpayer’s expense. These are not rich people trying to skip the queue; they're desperate for quick care because they need the treatment immediately and they cannot get it at home.

So, there are at least two possibly poor (and not necessarily rich) Canadians who heading south of the border.

[Edited 2003-08-24 22:15:15]
 
Scorpio
Posts: 4794
Joined: Thu Oct 04, 2001 3:48 am

RE: US Patients Are Getting A Lousy Deal

Mon Aug 25, 2003 6:16 am

After following these discussions for some time now, I believe I can come to this conclusion about the differences in opinion:

-In Europe, and most other countries except the US, we consider it our moral obligation to provide health care to every person, rich or poor, because we treat health care as a basic human right. We generally consider the notion of denying people health care because they can't pay for it inexcusable and sickening. Even if this should mean we'd have to pay more (which is not the case, BTW) we would still wholeheartedly choose this path over privatised health care with access for only those rich enough. You see, the concept of solidarity is deeply rooted into our society, and this is expressed in the health care and other social security programs in these countries.

-In the US, health care seems to be seen as a luxury, and not a right, at least by those who can afford it. The reason for this is as follows (IMO): as deeply rooted as the concept of solidarity is in many other countries, so deeply rooted is the concept of selfishness in the US: it all seems to come down to 'me, me, me'. A blind eye is turned to those people who can't afford health care, for whatever reason, by calling them lazy, or whatever comes to mind at the time. For the rest, it's considered a case of 'I didn't see it, so it didn't happen': choosing not to take a situation seriously, in the hope it'll just go away.

I know which attitude I prefer...
 
B747forlife
Posts: 386
Joined: Tue Nov 20, 2001 9:36 am

RE: US Patients Are Getting A Lousy Deal

Mon Aug 25, 2003 6:44 am

It seems some people here have missed the point that no hospital can deny urgent care based on the ability to pay in the US.

If your appendix is about to rupture (which is fatal AFAIK) you get the treatment whether you can pay or not.

To give another example about our health care:

On Real World Chicago, that girl Tonya had some weird kidney disease that made her have to go the hospital for a long time a few times. She had like $12,000 of debt I think, and the hospital ended up waiving it. I forget which episode it was though...

You people so pro-socialized health care make it out to be people are dying on the streets because healthcare is unattainable to them. That is wrong, its just they do not seek care out, because as is widely known (and widely ignored by certain individuals on this board), hospitals cannot deny care based on ability to pay.

-Nick
 
Schoenorama
Posts: 2305
Joined: Tue Apr 17, 2001 5:15 am

RE: US Patients Are Getting A Lousy Deal

Mon Aug 25, 2003 6:53 am

CaptainStabbin:

" Well, Saudi, the UAE and Oman have excellent public, universal healthcare systems, but they have fairly high infant mortaliy rates. And yes, I know you said cultural differences last time. Maybe they play a bigger role that the nature of healthcare spending?"

Cultural differences, many times emphasized by religion, do have an effect on healthcare in general. That is, IMO, the reason why the infant mortality rates in the countries you mentioned are (still) very high, although significant improvements have been made over the last decades. The fact that these are all 'rich' countries with universal healthcare systems, does not mean that automatically upon implementation of such a universal system, the infant mortality rate drops to zero.

Regarding your comment on why Canadians head south of the border to get treatment, the following.


Although I don't know the Canadian health system, I do know that some European countries with universal health-care have similar problems (Holland, for example). Of course, this is a bad situation, but the fact that these Canadians go to the States for their treatment doesn't mean that the US health-care is better, it is just more accessible because it is profit-based.

Below are a few interesting facts I found in a study titled "AMERICAN HEALTH CARE: WHY SO COSTLY?" by 'The Commomwealth Fund' (and which can be found here: http://www.cmwf.org/programs/quality/davis_senatecommitteetestimony_654.pdf:

- Health insurance premiums are rising 10 to 15 percent a year. Insurance companies are increasing profits and reserves and recouping losses incurred in the mid-1990s.
- In 2001, the U.S. spent more than $1.4 trillion for health care, or 14.1 percent of the gross domestic product (GDP)—a major jump from 13.3 percent of GDP in 2000.
-Administrative expenses are increasing 11.2 percent a year. Currently at $111 billion, they are projected to rise to $223 billion in 2012. Administrative expenses for private insurance are two-and-one-half times as high as for public programs.
- The U.S. spent $4,631 per capita on health care in 2000, 69 percent more than in Germany, 83 percent more than in Canada, and 134 percent more than the average of all industrialized nations.
- Health care spending in the U.S. is higher because we pay higher prices for the same services, have higher administrative costs, and perform more complex specialized procedures.
- Sick adults in the U.S. report higher rates of medical errors, are more likely to go for duplicate tests, and are less likely to have their medical records available when they go for care compared with similar adults in other major English- speaking countries.
Utinam logica falsa tuam philosophiam totam suffodiant!
 
N79969
Posts: 6605
Joined: Tue Jan 29, 2002 1:43 am

RE: US Patients Are Getting A Lousy Deal

Mon Aug 25, 2003 7:04 am

Note to all pontificators, please distinguish between health care and health insurance. There is a big difference.

Carry on...

Scorpio,

Universal coverage in Europe cannot be characterized as compassionate because it is provided by using compulsion of law. In other words, a Belgian that does not share your views cannot simply opt out of the system and not pay. Either he pays or presumably faces some legal penalty.

Despite the "me, me, me- selfishness" myths about our country that seem to abound in the European "intellectual" (I use the term loosely) circles, our country is far more altruistic than you believe. That "me, me, me" mentality is actually a sense of personal responsibility and independence from the government.
 
Scorpio
Posts: 4794
Joined: Thu Oct 04, 2001 3:48 am

RE: US Patients Are Getting A Lousy Deal

Mon Aug 25, 2003 7:17 am

Universal coverage in Europe cannot be characterized as compassionate because it is provided by using compulsion of law.

The system was put into place because the population demanded it.

In other words, a Belgian that does not share your views cannot simply opt out of the system and not pay.

It's called solidarity, and a very large majority of the people here support it. You can't opt out of not paying your taxes, can you? Same thing.

Despite the "me, me, me- selfishness" myths about our country that seem to abound in the European "intellectual" (I use the term loosely) circles, our country is far more altruistic than you believe.

Oh puh-lease! Just take a look at why the Americans on here don't want socialised healthcare: selfishness. ('It's not MY problem someone else can't pay', 'There's no way I am going to pay for someone elses healthcare',...)

That "me, me, me" mentality is actually a sense of personal responsibility and independence from the government.

Great euphemism.

Anyway, tell that to the guy who just lost his job because his company went bust, and who can't find another job because he's too old. But hey, that's not your problem, right?
 
N79969
Posts: 6605
Joined: Tue Jan 29, 2002 1:43 am

RE: US Patients Are Getting A Lousy Deal

Mon Aug 25, 2003 10:25 am

Scorpio,

"It's called solidarity, and a very large majority of the people here support it. You can't opt out of not paying your taxes, can you? Same thing."

You got it exactly right. Your health care system is financed the same way as garbage collection and road construction. Paying for universal coverage is not "compassion" it is your legal obligation under the law like paying for having trash removed. Your moral choice has been removed and made for you. There is nothing high-minded about this approach.

Americans do not want socialized medicine because socialism will not work. The idea that it is pure selfishness is a European myth that makes you and compatriots feel better about yourselves. For a Belgian, you claim to know more about the American mindset than I would think possible.

In terms of altruism, Americans are among the most generous with their time and money. According to a Canadian study, Americans are more generous with their giving than our neighbors.

http://www.fraserinstitute.ca/admin/books/chapterfiles/The%202002%20Generosity%20Index~~%20Comparing%20Charitable%20Giving%20in%20Canada%20and%20the%20US-genindex.pdf#

The Economist published something a few years ago showing that Americans also were leaders in terms of volunteering.

[Edited 2003-08-25 03:28:43]
 
LSTC
Posts: 277
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RE: US Patients Are Getting A Lousy Deal

Mon Aug 25, 2003 10:52 am

I have no responsibility to meet the needs and desires of the poor. Sorry.


Typical American response. Is it right or wrong? Complex issue that can't be summed in a single sentence, but it is typical.

 
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yyz717
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RE: US Patients Are Getting A Lousy Deal

Mon Aug 25, 2003 10:57 am

Typical American response. Is it right or wrong? Complex issue that can't be summed in a single sentence, but it is typical.

What a ridiculous statement. Labelling ANYTHING as "typical American response" is nonsense. It smacks of arrogance, racism, anger and socialism.




I dumped at the gybe mark in strong winds when I looked up at a Porter Q400 on finals. Can't stop spotting.
 
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RE: US Patients Are Getting A Lousy Deal

Mon Aug 25, 2003 11:03 am

It's also a generalization, YYZ717. And who is usually guilty of blaming others for that?
 
JAL777
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RE: US Patients Are Getting A Lousy Deal

Mon Aug 25, 2003 11:15 am

Maybe you should go back and reread what I wrote. I said I had no RESPONSIBILITY to meet their needs and especially for their desires. Doesn't mean I don't help out. I am a very active member of Habitat for Humanity and have help build over 40 homes in the past few years.

The "typical American response" is that people should assume responsibility for themselves. Those that cannot are not entitled to anything but always have the option to ask as we have the option to give.
 
LSTC
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RE: US Patients Are Getting A Lousy Deal

Mon Aug 25, 2003 11:29 am

Racism and socialism???? Hate and arrogance? Explain it to me YYZ. Might I add that your response is a typical Toronto response.....blame it all on socialism!

 Smile
 
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yyz717
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RE: US Patients Are Getting A Lousy Deal

Mon Aug 25, 2003 12:17 pm

Nice one LSTC. In one thread you've stereotyped all Americans and Torontonians.....gee whiz that's about 300M people altogether.

It must be amazing to be so single-minded.  Insane



[Edited 2003-08-25 05:19:05]
I dumped at the gybe mark in strong winds when I looked up at a Porter Q400 on finals. Can't stop spotting.
 
delta-flyer
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RE: US Patients Are Getting A Lousy Deal

Mon Aug 25, 2003 1:04 pm

If a Canadian can afford it, and seeks world class care, more power to him/her.

Interesting .... so the US health care is so bad it is "world class"?

Just a few random observations.....

One of the reasons US healthcare costs are rising rapidly is that doctors and hospitals treat an ever increasing number of patients for free - as someone mentioned, no hospital can or will turn away an emergency patient. Another is the tremendous amount of new technologies being introduced.

There is also Medicare and Medicaid, covering retirees and poor people. The latter covers fairly basic care, and in my opinion is comparable to the universal healthcare in Canada. My wife's aunt's nursing home bill, about $3000 / month, was covered by Medicare and Medicaid, for example.

That is not to say that there is no difference between the haves and the have nots. People who pay (or have insurance) get better treatment; but those who can't pay still get treatment that is comparable to the best in many other countries.

I think in principle a profit-driven industry will deliver healthcare in the most efficient manner. People who can afford it pay, those who can't get it from the government and settle for the budget version.

As far as insurance companies dropping people, that can happen but is not common, as most people are covered as part of a group - either through an employer or, in the case of self-employed people, through their professional association. Groups cannot drop individuals once they are signed on, ever, and the group rates remain the same for all group members.

Much of the criticism of the US healthcare systeme simply does not exist. To be sure, there are problems, but we have almost 300 million fiercely independent people living here, more diverse than any population on earth. It's not easy to steer such a huge ship!

Pete
"In God we trust, everyone else bring data"
 
N79969
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RE: US Patients Are Getting A Lousy Deal

Mon Aug 25, 2003 1:37 pm

Let's make another distinction in discussion in addition to health care v. health insurance.

I suggest that people differentiate between civic responsibility versus moral obligation.

In my view, civic responsibility is doing your share to keep up the commons: paying taxes, keeping your sidewalk clear, and voting. These obligations stem from one's participation in society. In economic terms, it means paying your share for public goods. There is government coercion involved here.

I view moral obligation as personal-- generally speaking. I believe that helping the less fortunate is a moral obligation incumbent on people who can afford to do so. Ultimately though the choice remains with the individual. For examples, JAL777's participation in HfH is his way of what he perceives as his moral obligation to society. But if he skips a project, he does not go to jail.

I think many Americans share my view on the distinction I am making. In Europe and Canada, people have lumped universal health insurance former as a public good. However, I do not believe that universal health insurance is a public good in a way that small pox or measels immunizations are.




 
LSTC
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RE: US Patients Are Getting A Lousy Deal

Tue Aug 26, 2003 1:00 am

Interesting .... so the US health care is so bad it is "world class"?

The issue was never whether or not the US had excellent facilities, personnel or diagnostic tools. The issue is access.

The US posesses world class health care facilities and world class specialists. It's just too bad they don't make these available universally.

So..yes. If a Canadian, or anyone else for that matter has the money to seek the best care in the world whether it be in the US or any other country, more power to them as long as it doesn't jeopardize the right of all Canadians to healthcare.

Here's the unfathomable part of all this though. The US spends more money per capita on the health care system than Canada, but access is limited. Everyone seems to be on the hook to pay income tax (if they have an income) and other types of tax every time they purchase something, but only those who can afford service get it. How does the tax money feed into this? If you consider the tax money AND the fees Americans pay for healthcare, you guys really are getting hosed!

YYZ, if you can't detect a tongue in cheek remark, you really shouldn't be reading posts in this forum. Most Torontonians can take a joke...you've certainly elected enough of them...

 Smile



 
Guest

RE: US Patients Are Getting A Lousy Deal

Tue Aug 26, 2003 4:09 am

Schoenorama wrote:

"Because US healthcare is privatized, the US Infant Mortality Rate is higher than countries such as Taiwan, Greece, Czech Republic and even Slovenia."


Excuse me? "Even" Slovenia? Slovenia's standard of living is higher than the Czech Republic's, comparable to that of Taiwan, and not much lower than Greece's, so that "even" is totally out of place.

[Edited 2003-08-25 21:35:03]
 
delta-flyer
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RE: US Patients Are Getting A Lousy Deal

Tue Aug 26, 2003 1:41 pm

The US spends more money per capita on the health care system than Canada, but access is limited.

I just explained in my previous posts that access is NOT limited, regardless of what you or anyone says. Everyone gets medical service, but people with money get better service. Why do you refuse to believe that? Because you don't want to?

I live in the poorest state in the USA and I have never heard of anyone needing medical attention and unable to receive it.

Pete
"In God we trust, everyone else bring data"
 
LSTC
Posts: 277
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RE: US Patients Are Getting A Lousy Deal

Tue Aug 26, 2003 10:38 pm

Everyone gets medical service, but people with money get better service.

Ohhhhhh...so the US healthcare system is the same as Canada's then...

 Smile

I've seen documentaries about Americans who were forced into bankruptcy just because they needed emergency care or some type of surgery. Following bankruptcy, they lose their insurance and then when they need emergency attention again, they get denied access to certain hospitals and die on the way to an appropriate hospital. All this after the government spends more per capita on a health care system that isn't universally accessable, and that still charges fees! Incredible....
 
Qb001
Topic Author
Posts: 1923
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RE: US Patients Are Getting A Lousy Deal

Wed Aug 27, 2003 12:49 am

Hey Lstc,

What can you do? The OECD says Canada enjoys a better healthcare system, so does the WHO. The outcomes are better (better life expectancy, lower infant mortality rate) and it costs way much less.

I've argued my fair share, with substantiated facts, but some keep arguing back with totally disconnected, esoteric, unsubstantiated theories, and sometimes even with totally false arguments. Even if we keep writing CAT, some people will pathetically keep reading DOG, if so they choose. As we say in French, there is no worst deaf than the man who does not want to listen.

A wise men knows when it's time to give up.

[Edited 2003-08-26 17:52:56]
Never let the facts get in the way of a good theory.
 
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yyz717
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RE: US Patients Are Getting A Lousy Deal

Wed Aug 27, 2003 12:59 am

I just explained in my previous posts that access is NOT limited, regardless of what you or anyone says. Everyone gets medical service, but people with money get better service. Why do you refuse to believe that? Because you don't want to?

Delta-flyer...you're wasting your time arguring with LSTC/Airplay. He is renowned among Cdn anet users as the quintessential anti-American. He will not yield any ground on superior US health care.

There are aspects of both Cdn and US systems that are better....each system could be improved by tweaking the mix with what works better in the other country. Canada should drop its opposition to private health care...this will provide relief to the public system and provide a good benchmark for public system performance.



I dumped at the gybe mark in strong winds when I looked up at a Porter Q400 on finals. Can't stop spotting.
 
N79969
Posts: 6605
Joined: Tue Jan 29, 2002 1:43 am

RE: US Patients Are Getting A Lousy Deal

Wed Aug 27, 2003 1:06 am

"I've argued my fair share, with substantiated facts, but some keep arguing back with totally disconnected, esoteric, unsubstantiated theories, and sometimes even with totally false arguments. "

It's funny that their is a Nobel Prize for what you call "totally disconnected, esoteric, unsubstantiated theories, and sometimes even with totally false arguments." Those crazy Swedes.


I agree with you Yyz717.
 
Guest

RE: US Patients Are Getting A Lousy Deal

Wed Aug 27, 2003 1:06 am

By Qb001's logic then, because the WHO has ranked Ireland's healthcare system higher than the US's and Canada's they should have a better "better outcomes" (higher life expectancy, infant mortality rate, etc.) than both countries. But this is not the case. Maybe he could explain that one?

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