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  #1  
Old 06-20-2008, 03:49 PM
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Default They Weren't Kidding About Those Wait Times

More good stuff from Captain Capitalism!

http://captaincapitalism.blogspot.co...se-weight.html

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Friday, June 20, 2008

They Weren't Kidding About Those Wait Times


So when Obama gets elected on the backs of ignorant youth who think it cool to wear a Che Guevera t-shirt (and I don't care if I spelled his name wrong), he no doubt will start embarking on nationalized health care.

And one of those common mantra arguments you hear from the right is "do you know how long the wait times are for these countries with universal health care???" And although hypocritical, I'm more inclined to believe these arguments without confirming them as over the years of my life, the "right wing" arguments tend to prove true and leftist arguments tend to prove false. It's why I will take a capitalist or libertarian at their word and confirm what they claim at my leisure, and will listen to a socialist with an eyebrow raised, believing nothing they say until I can confirm it.

Regardless, thanks to a friendly Canadian, he pointed me in the direction of the Fraser Institute where they conducted a study on wait times in Canada. And it seems not only were they not joking about wait times being horribly long in Canada and other countries, but they're getting worse. Here are just two charts from the report (but the report is just full of charty goodness);






Now only if the OECD or some outfit had "wait times" as a measure we could compare different countries against.

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Old 06-20-2008, 04:16 PM
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Default Re: They Weren't Kidding About Those Wait Times

Great post ! Those that believe that a "free "health care service Is a panacea should read Your post .
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Old 06-20-2008, 04:28 PM
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Default Re: They Weren't Kidding About Those Wait Times

"free" is just a lie.

We all know that it means higher taxes, so it is just paid for via a forced payroll deduction. Unfortunately there a many uninformed people who simply don't realize they will pay every week, via those payroll deductions, for their 'free' health care.

We need more information like these graphs brought to light so we can slap the idiots upside the head with facts.
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Old 06-21-2008, 06:35 AM
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Default Re: They Weren't Kidding About Those Wait Times

I love this topic.

Related Readings
Graphs: U.S. Health Stats Compared to Other Countries
Health Care Systems -- The Four Basic Models
United Kingdom
An interview with an expert on the UK's system +Percentage of Gross Domestic Product (GDP) spent on health care: 8.3

Average family premium: None; funded by taxation.

Co-payments: None for most services; some co-pays for dental care, eyeglasses and 5 percent of prescriptions. Young people and the elderly are exempt from all drug co-pays.

What is it? The British system is "socialized medicine" because the government both provides and pays for health care. Britons pay taxes for health care, and the government-run National Health Service (NHS) distributes those funds to health care providers. Hospital doctors are paid salaries. General practitioners (GPs), who run private practices, are paid based on the number of patients they see. A small number of specialists work outside the NHS and see private-pay patients.

How does it work? Because the system is funded through taxes, administrative costs are low; there are no bills to collect or claims to review. Patients have a "medical home" in their GP, who also serves as a gatekeeper to the rest of the system; patients must see their GP before going to a specialist. GPs, who are paid extra for keeping their patients healthy, are instrumental in preventive care, an area in which Britain is a world leader.

What are the concerns? The stereotype of socialized medicine -- long waits and limited choice -- still has some truth. In response, the British government has instituted reforms to help make care more competitive and give patients more choice. Hospitals now compete for NHS funds distributed by local Primary Care Trusts, and starting in April 2008 patients are able to choose where they want to be treated for many procedures.

Japan

An interview with an expert on Japan's system +Percentage of GDP spent on health care: 8

Average family premium: $280 per month, with employers paying more than half.

Co-payments: 30 percent of the cost of a procedure, but the total amount paid in a month is capped according to income.

What is it? Japan uses a "social insurance" system in which all citizens are required to have health insurance, either through their work or purchased from a nonprofit, community-based plan. Those who can't afford the premiums receive public assistance. Most health insurance is private; doctors and almost all hospitals are in the private sector.

How does it work? Japan boasts some of the best health statistics in the world, no doubt due in part to the Japanese diet and lifestyle. Unlike the U.K., there are no gatekeepers; the Japanese can go to any specialist when and as often as they like. Every two years the Ministry of Health negotiates with physicians to set the price for every procedure. This helps keeps costs down.

What are the concerns? In fact, Japan has been so successful at keeping costs down that Japan now spends too little on health care; half of the hospitals in Japan are operating in the red. Having no gatekeepers means there's no check on how often the Japanese use health care, and patients may lack a medical home.

Germany

An interview with an expert on Germany's system +Percentage of GDP spent on health care: 10.7

Average family premium: $750 per month; premiums are pegged to patients' income.

Co-payments: 10 euros ($15) every three months; some patients, like pregnant women, are exempt.

What is it? Germany, like Japan, uses a social insurance model. In fact, Germany is the birthplace of social insurance, which dates back to Chancellor Otto von Bismarck. But unlike the Japanese, who get insurance from work or are assigned to a community fund, Germans are free to buy their insurance from one of more than 200 private, nonprofit "sickness funds." As in Japan, the poor receive public assistance to pay their premiums.

How does it work? Sickness funds are nonprofit and cannot deny coverage based on preexisting conditions; they compete with each other for members, and fund managers are paid based on the size of their enrollments. Like Japan, Germany is a single-payment system, but instead of the government negotiating the prices, the sickness funds bargain with doctors as a group. Germans can go straight to a specialist without first seeing a gatekeeper doctor, but they may pay a higher co-pay if they do.

What are the concerns? The single-payment system leaves some German doctors feeling underpaid. A family doctor in Germany makes about two-thirds as much as he or she would in America. (Then again, German doctors pay much less for malpractice insurance, and many attend medical school for free.) Germany also lets the richest 10 percent opt out of the sickness funds in favor of U.S.-style for-profit insurance. These patients are generally seen more quickly by doctors, because the for-profit insurers pay doctors more than the sickness funds.

Taiwan

An interview with an expert on Taiwan's system +Percentage GDP spent on health care: 6.3

Average family premium: $650 per year for a family for four.

Co-payments: 20 percent of the cost of drugs, up to $6.50; up to $7 for outpatient care; $1.80 for dental and traditional Chinese medicine. There are exemptions for major diseases, childbirth, preventive services, and for the poor, veterans, and children.

What is it? Taiwan adopted a "National Health Insurance" model in 1995 after studying other countries' systems. Like Japan and Germany, all citizens must have insurance, but there is only one, government-run insurer. Working people pay premiums split with their employers; others pay flat rates with government help; and some groups, like the poor and veterans, are fully subsidized. The resulting system is similar to Canada's -- and the U.S. Medicare program.

How does it work? Taiwan's new health system extended insurance to the 40 percent of the population that lacked it while actually decreasing the growth of health care spending. The Taiwanese can see any doctor without a referral. Every citizen has a smart card, which is used to store his or her medical history and bill the national insurer. The system also helps public health officials monitor standards and effect policy changes nationwide. Thanks to this use of technology and the country's single insurer, Taiwan's health care system has the lowest administrative costs in the world.

What are the concerns? Like Japan, Taiwan's system is not taking in enough money to cover the medical care it provides. The problem is compounded by politics, because it is up to Taiwan's parliament to approve an increase in insurance premiums, which it has only done once since the program was enacted.

Switzerland

An interview with an expert on Switzerland's system +Percentage of GDP spent on health care: 11.6

Average monthly family premium: $750, paid entirely by consumers; there are government subsidies for low-income citizens.

Co-payments: 10 percent of the cost of services, up to $420 per year.

What is it? The Swiss system is social insurance like in Japan and Germany, voted in by a national referendum in 1994. Switzerland didn't have far to go to achieve universal coverage; 95 percent of the population already had voluntary insurance when the law was passed. All citizens are required to have coverage; those not covered were automatically assigned to a company. The government provides assistance to those who can't afford the premiums.

How does it work? The Swiss example shows that universal coverage is possible, even in a highly capitalist nation with powerful insurance and pharmaceutical industries. Insurance companies are not allowed to make a profit on basic care and are prohibited from cherry-picking only young and healthy applicants. They can make money on supplemental insurance, however. As in Germany, the insurers negotiate with providers to set standard prices for services, but drug prices are set by the government.

What are the concerns? The Swiss system is the second most expensive in the world -- but it's still far cheaper than U.S. health care. Drug prices are still slightly higher than in other European nations, and even then the discounts may be subsidized by the more expensive U.S. market, where some Swiss drug companies make one-third of their profits. In general, the Swiss do not have gatekeeper doctors, although some insurance plans require them or give a discount to consumers who use them.

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posted april 15, 2008

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Old 06-21-2008, 06:52 AM
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Default Re: They Weren't Kidding About Those Wait Times

Also, if you really look into the variables that are measured, the and the ones US excels in, all are profit centers. I just cannot understand how so many people are fans of the US health care system. It is the worse of all worlds. And please do not tell me you have private pay today. Everyone in American can get health care, just in the least efficient way possible with the insurance companies, doctors, drug companies, and hospitals making mega bucks in the process.


Also please take a look at this.
http://www.cihi.ca/cihiweb/en/downlo...it_times_e.pdf

Last edited by mak2; 06-21-2008 at 07:08 AM.
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Old 06-21-2008, 07:18 AM
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Default Re: They Weren't Kidding About Those Wait Times

Why not just train everyone in medicine so they can treat themselves.
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Old 06-21-2008, 07:29 AM
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Default Re: They Weren't Kidding About Those Wait Times

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Why not just train everyone in medicine so they can treat themselves.

actually, prevention is a very important part of UHC, but there is no profit in it so it is not stressed here in the US. Eat those quarter pounders, the US has the shortest wait times for open hearts (arguable point). But the profit is in the open heart surgery.
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Old 06-21-2008, 07:50 AM
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Default Re: They Weren't Kidding About Those Wait Times

There maybe someone listening!

http://search.japantimes.co.jp/cgi-b...0070529cc.html

Tuesday, May 29, 2007

World's 'best' health care fatally flawed


By CESAR CHELALA
NEW YORK One of the most contentious issues of the U.S. presidential campaign will be how to fix what many agree is a malfunctioning health-care system. Adding fuel to the fire is a recent study detailing the shortcomings of the U.S. health-care system compared with those of Australia, Canada, Germany, New Zealand and Britain.
The study, entitled "Mirror, Mirror on the Wall: An International Update on the Comparative Performance of American Health Care," released by the Commonwealth Fund in New York, finds that not only is the U.S. health-care system the most expensive in the world (double that of the next most costly, Canada) but that it comes in dead last in most measures of performance.

Although U.S. political leaders are fond of stating that we have the best health-care system in the world, they fail to add an important caveat: It is the best for those who can afford it. For the rest of the population, disadvantages far outweigh the merits.
This new study not only confirms the findings of previous Commonwealth Fund studies but also that of a World Health Organization analysis in 2000: that the overall performance of the U.S. health-care system ranks 37th among all countries included in the analysis.
Presidential candidates will be asked to justify the costs (15 percent of GDP and estimated to reach 19.6 percent by 2016) of such a disadvantageous system that also fails to insure a sizable portion of the population. The most notable way in which the United States differs from other developed countries is in the absence of universal coverage. But it is also last in terms of access, patient safety, efficiency and equity.
The other five countries considered spend considerably less on health care per capita and as a percentage of GDP. The U.S. spends more than $ 6,000 per person annually on health care, almost double that of Australia, Canada and Germany, all of which achieve better results on health status indicators. This suggests that the U.S. health-care system can and must do much more with its substantial investment in health.
Americans' average life expectancy of 78 ranks 45th in the world behind Greece, Bosnia and Jordan. Also, according to the CIA's World Fact Book, the U.S. infant mortality rate deaths of newborns (under age 1) per 1,000 live births is 6.50, higher than most developed nations. Even Cuba's IMR is 6.33.
The U.S. lags behind all industrialized nations in health insurance coverage. The most recent data available from the U.S. Census Bureau indicate that 46.6 million Americans (about 15.9 percent of the population) had no health insurance coverage during 2005, an increase of 1.3 million over the previous year. It is no wonder that medical bills, overwhelmingly, are the most common reason for personal bankruptcy in the U.S.
According to the Children's Health Fund, 9 million children are completely uninsured in the U.S., while another 23.7 million nearly 30 percent of the nation's children lack regular access to health care.
Compared with the other countries studied, the U.S. lags behind in the adoption of information technology and other national policies that promote quality improvement. Real-time information systems in countries such as New Zealand, Germany and Britain enhance physicians' ability to monitor chronic conditions and the use of medication, including that prescribed by other physicians. In other countries, experienced nurses monitor chronic conditions, thus easing the physicians' burden.
The U.S. also shows poor performance with regard to national health expenditures and administrative costs. Americans with below-average income are more reluctant to visit a physician when sick, get a recommended test, fill a prescription, undergo necessary treatment, or receive a proper followup.
These rankings are based on national mortality data and the perceptions and experiences of physicians and patients; they do not include information from medical records or other administrative data. Yet they paint a disturbing picture of the most expensive health-care system in the world.
Only structural reform can solve the U.S. health-care system's deep problems. All people must be adequately insured and everyone must have access to good care. At the same time, the U.S. must incorporate the advantages of modern health information technology to develop an integrated medical record and information system. Lessons from other countries should be applied in the U.S.
In a recent article in the Journal of the American Medical Association, Dr. Ezekiel J. Emanuel, of the Department of Clinical Bioethics at the National Institutes of Health, stated, "The U.S. health-care system is considered a dysfunctional mess." Is this an understatement?
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Old 06-21-2008, 10:00 AM
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Default Re: They Weren't Kidding About Those Wait Times

Mak - it's interesting that someone that works in healthcare would be so oblivious to the downside of socialized healthcare - you would get paid less and be expected to work more and in worse conditions.

We discussed that Frontline commie love piece here:

http://www.forumsforums.com/3_9/show...ine+healthcare

The other systems appear great but they have only been in place a short time. They are all essentially going bankrupt basically because you can't give away something for free without the general population abusing it.

If you watch that episode you will see that Japan's hospitals are all going bankrupt, Germany's doctors are all under-paid and no new Doctor's are being trained, and the facilities in many of these countries would never be deemed "acceptable" by even those poor unfortunate Americans that already get free healthcare (those on welfare, any kids under the age of 19, veterans, disabled, seniors).

No system is perfect, but givining away something for free is a utopian concept that invariably leads to the destruction of high quality healthcare.
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Old 06-21-2008, 10:09 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by daedong View Post
The U.S. lags behind all industrialized nations in health insurance coverage. The most recent data available from the U.S. Census Bureau indicate that 46.6 million Americans (about 15.9 percent of the population) had no health insurance coverage during 2005, an increase of 1.3 million over the previous year. It is no wonder that medical bills, overwhelmingly, are the most common reason for personal bankruptcy in the U.S.
According to the Children's Health Fund, 9 million children are completely uninsured in the U.S., while another 23.7 million nearly 30 percent of the nation's children lack regular access to health care.
Compared with the other countries studied, the U.S. lags behind in the adoption of information technology and other national policies that promote quality improvement. Real-time information systems in countries such as New Zealand, Germany and Britain enhance physicians' ability to monitor chronic conditions and the use of medication, including that prescribed by other physicians. In other countries, experienced nurses monitor chronic conditions, thus easing the physicians' burden.
The U.S. also shows poor performance with regard to national health expenditures and administrative costs. Americans with below-average income are more reluctant to visit a physician when sick, get a recommended test, fill a prescription, undergo necessary treatment, or receive a proper followup.
These rankings are based on national mortality data and the perceptions and experiences of physicians and patients; they do not include information from medical records or other administrative data. Yet they paint a disturbing picture of the most expensive health-care system in the world.
Only structural reform can solve the U.S. health-care system's deep problems. All people must be adequately insured and everyone must have access to good care. At the same time, the U.S. must incorporate the advantages of modern health information technology to develop an integrated medical record and information system. Lessons from other countries should be applied in the U.S.
In a recent article in the Journal of the American Medical Association, Dr. Ezekiel J. Emanuel, of the Department of Clinical Bioethics at the National Institutes of Health, stated, "The U.S. health-care system is considered a dysfunctional mess." Is this an understatement?
They didn't do their research. There are federal and state programs that provide free healthcare coverage to any child under the age of 19. The only reason someone may not be getting these is because they haven't looked or asked.

The rest of that article is all about the costs of healthcare but does not address the quality of healthcare issue. The fact is that the quality of healthcare under socialized medicine is much lower.

As I have pointed out before, I have lived under both systems so I'm speaking from experience. Be careful what you ask for - you just might get it.
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Old 06-21-2008, 10:11 AM
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actually, prevention is a very important part of UHC, but there is no profit in it so it is not stressed here in the US. Eat those quarter pounders, the US has the shortest wait times for open hearts (arguable point). But the profit is in the open heart surgery.
Sorry Mak, but the obesity rates in Australia are higher than in the US. I don't remember getting much "prevention" education in Canada - at least not any more or less than I see in the US.

You have a utopian view that appears unable to see the reality.
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Old 06-21-2008, 10:13 AM
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Everyone in American can get health care, just in the least efficient way possible with the insurance companies, doctors, drug companies, and hospitals making mega bucks in the process.
I agree on this and will add that there are many people in this country that do not have insurance, or even the ability to get insurance as the insurance companies do not want and will not take on the people with potential health problems. They want to be large profit centers only by taking the healthy. Something has to be done for the ones at risk, those unable to pay for basic health care and others at risk of not getting the necessary preventive health care to be less burden on the tax payers who support the system now.

It appears that Japan and a couple others may have a decent working system of taking care of their citizens. Canada is used often as a model but the Canadian system is not working and other models are available that are more suited to a free enterprise economy. Let us look at the best and try to make ours even better. It is just a matter of time before both political parties must and will decide some type of socialized health and medical program must be done for the ones not covered by the existing health system of our country.

Rep points to Mak2 for taking a different approach and stand on this issue that is against the grain of many on FFF.
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Old 06-21-2008, 10:22 AM
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I agree on this and will add that there are many people in this country that do not have insurance, or even the ability to get insurance as the insurance companies do not want and will not take on the people with potential health problems. They want to be large profit centers only by taking the healthy. Something has to be done for the ones at risk, those unable to pay for basic health care and others at risk of not getting the necessary preventive health care to be less burden on the tax payers who support the system now.

It appears that Japan and a couple others may have a decent working system of taking care of their citizens. Canada is used often as a model but the Canadian system is not working and other models are available that are more suited to a free enterprise economy. Let us look at the best and try to make ours even better. It is just a matter of time before both political parties must and will decide some type of socialized health and medical program must be done for the ones not covered by the existing health system of our country.

Rep points to Mak2 for taking a different approach and stand on this issue that is against the grain of many on FFF.
You guys need to watch that Frontline Episode but with some truly skeptical glasses on. After the doofus reporter salivates all over Japan they do quickly gloss over the fact that Japan's hospitals are all going bankrupt. The government off-loaded the burden of the expenses onto the hospitals by capping their fees. No new hospitals are getting built and the exisitng ones are just going to get older and older until they close.
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Old 06-21-2008, 10:40 AM
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Default Re: They Weren't Kidding About Those Wait Times

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Mak - it's interesting that someone that works in healthcare would be so oblivious to the downside of socialized healthcare - you would get paid less and be expected to work more and in worse conditions.

We discussed that Frontline commie love piece here:

http://www.forumsforums.com/3_9/show...ine+healthcare

The other systems appear great but they have only been in place a short time. They are all essentially going bankrupt basically because you can't give away something for free without the general population abusing it.

If you watch that episode you will see that Japan's hospitals are all going bankrupt, Germany's doctors are all under-paid and no new Doctor's are being trained, and the facilities in many of these countries would never be deemed "acceptable" by even those poor unfortunate Americans that already get free healthcare (those on welfare, any kids under the age of 19, veterans, disabled, seniors).

No system is perfect, but givining away something for free is a utopian concept that invariably leads to the destruction of high quality healthcare.
"Oblivious", I find most people who cannot field an argument immediately start with the personal attacks. Again I am not dissappointed.

There are downsides to UHL, of course. But lets review a few of the problems with the greatest healthcare system in the world.

I know I am oblivious to the many facts you understnad but I have worked big city ER's. Our ER's are jammed on a daily basis with people who do not need to be there or would not have been there had there been a clinic they could get into before their cold developed into pnuemonia. But clinics are not high profit areas. ERs are. Oh you say these people dont pay anyway, and you are right. you know who does? YOu do. Thats right, instead of charging 5 bucks for the liter of normal saline the hospital chages $20 to the next smucks insurace policy. The insurance companies occassionally squack to make it sound like they are trying to keep cost down, but in the end they just raise out premiums and tack on a little more to their profits, so they can build more giant buildings and issue more executive bonuses.

The free thing you guys refer to is a strawman used to make someone who disagrees with you sound stupid so I wont even address that.

Right now you really do have universal healthcare in the US. Just the most ineffieient system possible. Not only do those of us who have insurnance premiums taken out of our checks monthly so it hurts less when the big bill comes (sound like taxes?) pay for our own, we pay for every one else too. Plus all the profit that go to drug comanies, hospitals, doctors and insurance companies. I live in Indy, some of the richest peole in town work for anthem, huge building, lots of exec's running around. Oh yea, and Lilys.

Thanks for the enlightment PBinWA. I do work in healthcare and the reason I think like I do about it is becasue I see it every day. Try to think about something besides that party line once in a while.
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Old 06-21-2008, 10:54 AM
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Default Re: They Weren't Kidding About Those Wait Times

Here are some of our problems with our healthcare system as I see it:

1. An entitlement mentality of insurance policy holders. Americans tend to figure if they are insured, they can just go to the doctor anytime for anything, including justifying sick days at work for non-illnesses. People figure they are insured and go to the doctor for every sniffle.

2. An entitlement mentality by the uninsured, and those who understand the American welfare system. It is common knowledge that it is illegal to turn anyone away from an emergency room. So, people without insurance, and in many cases, no intention of paying for the services they recieve, head to the local emergency room for treatment. This creates major staffing and safety issues in large, metropolitan hospitals because of the increased triage workload. The fact is we already have free healthcare here and it is being taken advantage of daily.

3. Overcharging insurance policy holders by doctors and health care facilities. Fact: Uninsured individuals get 40% and better discounts when paying cash. I know this because I have done it. We are paying up to 60% more for our healthcare because of the costs involved with the insurance campany and government bureaucracy.

4. The government. Our laws prevent freedom of choice when consumers purchase insurance policies. Insurance companies are required to provide maternity and mental health coverage for all policies, for example. Consumers are not allowed to taylor and purchase their own coverage; they have to buy what is legally mandated, which drives the cost up for everyone.

The most economical health insurance model for most families would be to hold a major medical policy for catostrophic illness and injury, and to pay cash for routine doctor visits. This would force doctors to compete for the cash, which would drive costs down. It would also eliminate much of the insurance company and government bureaucracy, which would reduce costs by as much as 60%. However, this healthcare model is not in the best interest of government politicians, so they make laws preventing it from happening.
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Old 06-21-2008, 10:59 AM
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Default Re: They Weren't Kidding About Those Wait Times

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Originally Posted by mak2 View Post
Thanks for the enlightment PBinWA. I do work in healthcare and the reason I think like I do about it is becasue I see it every day. Try to think about something besides that party line once in a while.
No party line here - just experience. Everyone I know that has lived and worked on both sides of the coin will pick the US system over Canada's any day.

The grass is not greener on the other side. I lived there for 30 years.

Sure the US system's financial end is not great but the problems with the US system are largely the result of the legal system as much as it is corporate greed.

There are ways to improve any system but don't ever expect me to support the utopian view that "free" is going to solve the problems.

Someone has to pay the price and it needs to be the consumer and it needs to be visible. Hiding the costs behind higher taxes and layers of bureaucracy will only allow the quality of the care to deteriorate.

Doctors need to get paid and paid well. They go through one of the hardest educational programs and commitments from a life perspective. They deserve to be paid well - very well.

Drug companies deserve to make money and to be able to sell their product at a fair market value. Otherwise, you will reduce their incentive to create new products.

Why not create a system where if the government wants to supply services then it can operate like a business. Let the government open hospitals and fund them with special bond measures based on locations. Then let those hospitals operate as non-profits. See how long they operate successfully without additional tax-payer funding.

Everything takes money to produce, if people are given something for free then they will keep taking for ever. That Frontline episode shows that in Japan - people go to the doctor way too often over there.

Like I stated before, how would you like it if I decided you were paid too much and that you should take a 20-50% pay cut and still work just as hard because that is all I "want" to pay you? How long would you stick around in your job?
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Old 06-21-2008, 11:03 AM
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Default Re: They Weren't Kidding About Those Wait Times

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Originally Posted by PBinWA View Post
You guys need to watch that Frontline Episode but with some truly skeptical glasses on. After the doofus reporter salivates all over Japan they do quickly gloss over the fact that Japan's hospitals are all going bankrupt. The government off-loaded the burden of the expenses onto the hospitals by capping their fees. No new hospitals are getting built and the exisitng ones are just going to get older and older until they close.
I usually dont discuss anecdotal (sp) evidence and perfer to look at the studies but if you guys dont mind just the one exception and I wont do it again. A friend of mine is married to a Japanese national. He makes enough to send his wife to any doctor he wants and he has great insurance. Her family is silly rich. She got pregnant and went home just for the healthcare. He says she thinks she gets better care there, she had her first one here and was not at all happy. My buddy says it did not cost a dime. Must not be too bad or she would not have insisted on going home. Her family did not pay a dime out of pocket for her care (except taxes).
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Old 06-21-2008, 11:06 AM
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Default Re: They Weren't Kidding About Those Wait Times

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Sorry Mak, but the obesity rates in Australia are higher than in the US. I don't remember getting much "prevention" education in Canada - at least not any more or less than I see in the US.

You have a utopian view that appears unable to see the reality.
OK I am sorry how does fat aussies make the US health care system the best in the world? Just kidding, I see your point and I read a study on that very thing but I think it was in Canada. The study tried to say were it not for healthcare education it would be worse. The study seemed really weak.

Utopian is another strawman, no health care system is free or perfect, just not as bad as what we have now.
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Old 06-21-2008, 11:25 AM
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Default Re: They Weren't Kidding About Those Wait Times

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Originally Posted by PBinWA View Post
No party line here - just experience. Everyone I know that has lived and worked on both sides of the coin will pick the US system over Canada's any day.

The grass is not greener on the other side. I lived there for 30 years.

Sure the US system's financial end is not great but the problems with the US system are largely the result of the legal system as much as it is corporate greed.

There are ways to improve any system but don't ever expect me to support the utopian view that "free" is going to solve the problems.

Someone has to pay the price and it needs to be the consumer and it needs to be visible. Hiding the costs behind higher taxes and layers of bureaucracy will only allow the quality of the care to deteriorate.

Doctors need to get paid and paid well. They go through one of the hardest educational programs and commitments from a life perspective. They deserve to be paid well - very well.

Drug companies deserve to make money and to be able to sell their product at a fair market value. Otherwise, you will reduce their incentive to create new products.

Why not create a system where if the government wants to supply services then it can operate like a business. Let the government open hospitals and fund them with special bond measures based on locations. Then let those hospitals operate as non-profits. See how long they operate successfully without additional tax-payer funding.

Everything takes money to produce, if people are given something for free then they will keep taking for ever. That Frontline episode shows that in Japan - people go to the doctor way too often over there.

Like I stated before, how would you like it if I decided you were paid too much and that you should take a 20-50% pay cut and still work just as hard because that is all I "want" to pay you? How long would you stick around in your job?
Wow I did not realize everyone you know picks US healthcare everytime. The grass here is not that green, really. the Lawyers also hate UHC, that is another good argument for it. I wish you would quit saying utopian and free, I swear those are talking points from Rush Limbaugh or something. No one, that thinks, thinks it will be free or utopian, jsut not as terrible as it is right now. What is it you dont understand about we are paying now? just we aer making a few corporations and industries rich, which money could spent on healthcare. I read a lot of studies the last few years from Great Britian from the doctors point of view and the big thing they complaind about was medicine being ran by evidence based practice. To make that simpler it means there has to be science behind procedures, not jsut tradition and profit. That is a good thing by the way. Nurses in the civilian sector here are paid the minimum the market will bear, that is why there has been a shortage now nad for the last several years, I know seveal Canadian nurses who came down here for the bucks and went home becasue there really wasnt that much difference. I dunno, i jsut know what I have seen, I work in it everyday. If you ever read studies look at who wrote them. Most are funded directly or indeirectly by some part of the industry. Most of the guys i know that do research are honest good guys but if you know where the grants come from it has to taint the structure of the study.

Are you calling our system private pay? Just wondering?
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Old 06-21-2008, 11:30 AM
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Default Re: They Weren't Kidding About Those Wait Times

Hey Mak & PB....how about a comment to my post? No liberal or conservative talking points here, just the facts as I have experienced them. I KNOW we can do a better job here than we are currently doing, and it is far simpler than the politicians on both sides would lead us to believe.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Cityboy View Post
Here are some of our problems with our healthcare system as I see it:

1. An entitlement mentality of insurance policy holders. Americans tend to figure if they are insured, they can just go to the doctor anytime for anything, including justifying sick days at work for non-illnesses. People figure they are insured and go to the doctor for every sniffle.

2. An entitlement mentality by the uninsured, and those who understand the American welfare system. It is common knowledge that it is illegal to turn anyone away from an emergency room. So, people without insurance, and in many cases, no intention of paying for the services they recieve, head to the local emergency room for treatment. This creates major staffing and safety issues in large, metropolitan hospitals because of the increased triage workload. The fact is we already have free healthcare here and it is being taken advantage of daily.

3. Overcharging insurance policy holders by doctors and health care facilities. Fact: Uninsured individuals get 40% and better discounts when paying cash. I know this because I have done it. We are paying up to 60% more for our healthcare because of the costs involved with the insurance campany and government bureaucracy.

4. The government. Our laws prevent freedom of choice when consumers purchase insurance policies. Insurance companies are required to provide maternity and mental health coverage for all policies, for example. Consumers are not allowed to taylor and purchase their own coverage; they have to buy what is legally mandated, which drives the cost up for everyone.

The most economical health insurance model for most families would be to hold a major medical policy for catostrophic illness and injury, and to pay cash for routine doctor visits. This would force doctors to compete for the cash, which would drive costs down. It would also eliminate much of the insurance company and government bureaucracy, which would reduce costs by as much as 60%. However, this healthcare model is not in the best interest of government politicians, so they make laws preventing it from happening.
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