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Health care, USA vs The rest of civilized society

Discussion in 'Politics' started by medicineman, Nov 16, 2006.


    medicineman New Member

    Maybe we're not the best afterall![​IMG][​IMG][​IMG]Health Care: It's What Ails Us
    by Doug Pibel and Sarah van Gelder
    [​IMG][​IMG][​IMG][​IMG][​IMG][​IMG]For Joel Segal, it was the day he was kicked out of George Washington Hospital, still on an IV after knee surgery, without insurance, and with $100,000 in medical debt. For Kiki Peppard, it was having to postpone needed surgery until she could find a job with insurance -- it took her two years. People all over the United States are waking up to the fact that our system of providing health care is a disaster.
    An estimated 50 million Americans lack medical insurance, and a similar and rapidly growing number are underinsured. The uninsured are excluded from services, charged more for services, and die when medical care could save them—an estimated 18,000 die each year because they lack medical coverage.
    But it’s not only the uninsured who suffer. Of the more than 1.5 million bankruptcies filed in the U.S. each year, about half are a result of medical bills; of those, three-quarters of filers had health insurance.
    Businesses are suffering too. Insurance premiums increased 73 percent between 2000 and 2005, and per capita costs are expected to keep rising. The National Coalition on Health Care (NCHC) estimates that, without reform, national health care spending will double over the next 10 years. The NCHC is not some fringe advocacy group--its co-chairs are Congressmen Robert D. Ray (R-IA) and Paul G. Rogers (D-FL), and it counts General Electric and Verizon among its members.
    Employers who want to offer employee health care benefits can’t compete with low-road employers who offer none. Nor can they compete with companies located in countries that offer national health insurance.
    The shocking facts about health care in the United States are well known. There’s little argument that the system is broken. What’s not well known is that the dialogue about fixing the health care system is just as broken.
    Among politicians and pundits, a universal, publicly funded system is off the table. But Americans in increasing numbers know what their leaders seem not to — that the United States is the only industrialized nation where such stories as Joel’s and Kiki’s can happen.
    [​IMG]And most Americans know why: the United States leaves the health of its citizens at the mercy of an expensive, patchwork system where some get great care while others get none at all.
    The overwhelming majority — 75 percent, according to an October 2005 Harris Poll — want what people in other wealthy countries have: the peace of mind of universal health insurance.
    A wild experiment?
    Which makes the discussion all the stranger. The public debate around universal health care proceeds as if it were a wild, untested experiment -- as if the United States would be doing something never done before.
    Yet universal health care is in place throughout the industrialized world. In most cases, doctors and hospitals operate as private businesses. But government pays the bills, which reduces paperwork costs to a fraction of the American level. It also cuts out expensive insurance corporations and HMO's, with their multimillion-dollar CEO compensation packages, and billions in profit. Small wonder "single payer" systems can cover their entire populations at half the per capita cost. In the United States, people without insurance may live with debilitating disease or pain, with conditions that prevent them from getting jobs or decent pay, putting many on a permanent poverty track. They have more difficulty managing chronic conditions — only two in five have a regular doctor -- leading to poorer health and greater cost.
    The uninsured are far more likely to wait to seek treatment for acute problems until they become severe.
    Even those who have insurance may not find out until it’s too late that exclusions, deductibles, co-payments, and annual limits leave them bankrupt when a family member gets seriously ill.
    In 2005, more than a quarter of insured Americans didn't fill prescriptions, skipped recommended treatment, or didn’t see a doctor when sick, according to the Commonwealth Fund’s 2005 Biennial Health Insurance Survey.
    People stay in jobs they hate — for the insurance. Small business owners are unable to offer insurance coverage for employees or themselves. Large businesses avoid setting up shops in the United States — Toyota just chose to build a plant in Canada to escape the skyrocketing costs of U.S. health care.
    All of this adds up to a less healthy society, more families suffering the double whammy of financial and health crises, and more people forced to go on disability.
    But the public dialogue proceeds as if little can be done beyond a bit of tinkering around the edges. More involvement by government would create an unwieldy bureaucracy, they say, and surely bankrupt us all. The evidence points to the opposite conclusion.
    The United States spends by far the most on health care per person — more than twice as much as Europe, Canada, and Japan which all have some version of national health insurance. Yet we are near the bottom in nearly every measure of our health.
    The World Health Organization (WHO) ranks the U.S. health care system 37th of 190 countries, well below most of Europe, and trailing Chile and Costa Rica. The United States does even worse in the WHO rankings of performance on level of health -- a stunning 72nd. Life expectancy in the U.S. is shorter than in 27 other countries; the U.S. ties with Hungary, Malta, Poland, and Slovakia for infant mortality — ahead of only Latvia among industrialized nations. http://www.yesmagazine.org/article.asp?ID=1498 - 96k - Cached - Similar pages - 96k - Cached - Similar pages

    Doobie006 Well-Known Member

    Med, I think America has proven that it's not the best in allot of things.
    Education is the first thing that comes to mind.
    Students in this country are dumber than most kids in third world countries. (Especially when it comes to math and science).

    The only schools that do good in the US, are universities. And that's only because foreigners come to study here, and make the schools look good.

    Sorry America, if you don't wise up, in a decade or so You'll be the third world country. :-(

    dew-b Well-Known Member

    they could fund a heath care system with the money they spend on the war on drugs.

    Dankdude Well-Known Member

    dew-b Finally a voice of reason.

    Doobie006 Well-Known Member

    I'm with you Dew-b.
    I think with the money that's being wasted on the Drug War, we could probably fund more than just health care. With this much money we would be able to fund education, health care, even end poverty, LOL.

    ViRedd New Member

    Uhhh ... maybe, just maybe, if we ended the WOD, and other phony federal programs, and the taxes they involve, we could fund OUR OWN HEALTH CARE INSURANCE POLICIES????


    medicineman New Member

    Hey, something we agree on, phony federal programs ,like the war on terror, right!

    Doobie006 Well-Known Member

    I'm open to the idea Vi.
    Anyway you look at it, ending the WOD would benefit us all, one way or another.

    Harrekin Well-Known Member

    72nd in the world but spends twice as much as most others...that's a stinger.

    deprave New Member

    The main problem is the insurance companies(and medicaid/medicare), the government being involved too much, and finally big PHARMA having too much power. In short its all of the bureaucracy...

    Reforming the system entirely is the only solution...its not MORE COVERAGE or MORE GOVERNMENT INTERVENTION thats needed, this only compounds the problem..there is NO simple solution..

    In america if you stub your toe and go to the hospital you are:

    1) Treated with only a few select medicines approved and monopolized by the big pharmaceutical companies that is artificially priced with no alternative option.

    2) Treated with equipment produced by one manufacturer that is monopolized with artificial pricing.

    3) Treated for many hours because you stubbed your toe and simply visited the hospital the doctors and nurse must now write a short novel on your case and have it approved and signed off by multiple contracted agencies by the insurance companies.

    4) You are then probably seen by a social worker to make sure that you didn't stub your toe on purpose, she writes another short novel and calls a bunch of contracting agencies. You happen to have children so then she calls in the CPS to make sure you didn't stub your toe because you were abusing your children...more agencies are called, faxes are sent, documents are signed, more contractors brought in.

    Now you have stubbed your toe, it took 1,000's of people to treat you and many man hours, it took a small redwood tree to craft the novel of a chart that was created. The insurance companies, drug companies, and medical equipment manufacturers charge you a price out of thin air..say 10,000$ there ya go ...

    singed sealed and delivered...

    One toe stubbing $16,000 DOLLARS

    Harrekin Well-Known Member

    What's wrong with Government run healthcare tho? I'm know you like small Government, but surely if you leave Government in control of education, healthcare, justice, defence and foreign policy (including trade) only, surely its promoting the welfare of the people, no?

    Your Healthcare spending is 4500 ish per person, ours is only 1700...and we have Universal Healthcare. Is that not a fair trade off just to say the Government run it?

    deprave New Member

    I agree. A lot has to change before that would work. I have never really thought about a solution that would work except for major reform in many areas, it is largely a legal issue and not an area of interest of mine, blame can be placed all over.

    I really don't think it is that bad..it costs a lot but medical debt it sucks but ...its really not that harsh of a thing to go through..and if you can afford they help you out and even remove the bill...and people aren't denied care and dieing and stuff that has to be incredibly rare...we also have free clinics and hospitals, the only thing that is expensive is going to your local ER..We have good charity..

    deprave New Member

    The main thing is big pharma needs to be crushed :)

    we need alternative medicine and electronic records...and less licensing requirements...and more medical equipment manufacturers......and FIX THE DHS/CPS ETC...

    mccumcumber Well-Known Member

    The problem with government run health care? Have you ever been to the dmv, court, etc? Government run programs=giant bureaucracy and extreme inefficiency.

    If our government could actually efficiently run something (haven't seen evidence of this yet) then sure, I would want the government in charge of something that determines whether or not I survive. Fact of the matter is, our government is way too corrupt and fucked up to trust. Why would we want them to be more involved?

    NoDrama Well-Known Member

    this thread is over five years old

    Harrekin Well-Known Member

    It was on the first page when I replied but the post before mine is 2006...how's that work?

    beardo Well-Known Member

    Our problem is to many people are insured...

    NLXSK1 Well-Known Member

    We are 15 trillion dollars in debt and rising quickly. The Euro is teetering on the brink of dissolution due to the welfare states of Spain, Greece and others because of their medical care programs.

    But hey, all we need to do is spend trillions more dollars on a completely new sinkhole in addition to Social Security, Welfare, Medicare and other programs. YES, THAT IS THE ANSWER TO EVERYTHING!!

    Lets rush to be first over the cliff too!!

    Here is a clue Medicine man. If you want quality healthcare, get out of bed every day and WORK for it. And maybe, just maybe you would be able to afford it. America is supposed to guarantee the opportunity to succeed, not guarantee lifetime healthcare for everyone. That is not freedom, it is slavery.

    Warped1 Active Member

    Shhhh it was just getting good
    Zaehet Strife

    Zaehet Strife Well-Known Member

    3 years ago i cut my finger pretty bad at work, went to the ER and signed my name on a piece of paper. went in to a room and talked to a nurse, the nurse went to get the doctor and i decided while she was gone, to get up and leave and that i could take care of it myself. 2 weeks later i got a bill from the hospital for $150. i paid it, because i had to, but in the notes on the check... i wrote "fuck you" which really did make me feel a little better about being taken advantage of because of the fucked up heathcare system we have today.

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