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Paying more and dying sooner

11/12/07 | by [mail] | Categories: culture/news

Paying more and dying sooner - This brief article shows how little Giuliani knows about health care and then goes on to summarize a recent study comparing the health care of America and several countries with single-payer systems. I recommend reading this quick article and even looking at the study itself if you have time. Here are a few facts:

  1. The United States spends $6,697 per capita annually on health care, according to the survey—more than twice as much as any of the other countries surveyed.
  2. The United States ranks dead last in life expectancy, at 77.9 years, among the countries surveyed.
  3. Respondents in the United States were less likely than those in any of the other countries to say their health care system “works well”—and much more likely to see a need for “fundamental” change or a total overhaul.
  4. According to the survey, 80 percent of Americans have a regular doctor whom they usually see. That sounds pretty good, until you learn that 84 percent of Canadians, 88 percent of Australians, 89 percent of New Zealanders and Britons, 92 percent of Germans and 100 percent of Dutch respondents surveyed said they had regular doctors.

Why are we so afraid of "socialized medicine" when it's working for every other industrialized country in the world? And where do you think the extra $3000 per year per person that we spend ends up? At least some of that goes to insurance companies, which are required by law to maximize shareholder value. They're in business to make money, which mean paying for as little health care as possible. So, if you're afraid of public health care, then stop for a second and think about who is profiting from that fear. Apparently it's not us.



“socialized medicine” [is] working for every other industrialized country in the world

Hmmm … socialized medicine isn’t working in Canada as well as one might think.

I personally know several people that have traveled to the United States for health care, because (a) the wait to obtain care in Canada was too long, (b) the surgery was considered “elective” and not covered or © they decided to actually pick the surgeon that operated on them.

If the health care system in the U.S. is so bad, why are people covered under socialized plans traveling to the U.S. to obtain care?

There are a number of problems with Canada’s socialized care:

1) It’s a government job. This means that there’s a (general) exodus of good Canadian doctors and nurses wishing to work in the U.S. at competitive salaries, rather than at government salaries.

2) Because health care is run by the government, it’s subject to the whim of the current political party in power. In Canada, this has translated into bed shortages, supply problems and long waits when the party in powers decided to “cut spending".

3) Canada’s socialized plan actually outlaws privately-funded purchases of core services! You have to wait too long for services you don’t like? Tough luck pal. You’re stuck with what you got, unless you’re willing to take a trip somewhere that actually allows you to spend your money as you see fit … (the good ole U.S. of A.) ;)

4) You’ve got some rare disease and need a cure? Sorry, you’re out of luck again. Rich, poor or otherwise, the government decides which treatments it will cover and yours may not be on the list.

I’ve been living in Canada now for nearly 8 years. I’ve never felt FURTHER from primary health care in my entire life. (Need to see a doctor? Go stand in line. Everyone with the littlest tiny sniffle is in line before you, because - since everything is covered and there’s budget cuts - the wait line is very long. It’s fine if you’re an underemployed hypochondriac, but awful for regular folks.)

I know the U.S. system isn’t perfect, but neither is Canada’s.

I actually think the U.S. is on a much better path with the HSA (Health Savings Account) offered to small business owners. You obtain a high-deductible health care plan (use it only when you need it), and fund the plan yourself, with tax-deferred money. You’re responsible for covering $1,500-$2k out-of-pocket, but if you REALLY need care … the plan kicks in.

I personally, don’t like the government making decisions for me, ESPECIALLY life-death decisions when it comes to ME!!

I see a two-tier system as being both necessary and beneficial. Poor and indigent get very basic coverage; people who decide to spend money for “the best” care, can.

Socialized medicine is not a panacea, no more than privatization.

Dunno … hate to shoot holes in your goal of a socialized medicine in the U.S., but I have to say … what’s there now is better than what I’ve experienced in Canada.


stk [Visitor]  http://randsco.com11/13/07 @ 14:49
[Member]  http://www.brendoman.com/11/13/07 @ 16:29

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