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xCindyx3
Posted: Friday, July 23, 2010 1:47:22 AM

Rank: Active Ink Slinger

Joined: 8/11/2009
Posts: 25
Location: Canada
Quote:
Yes, anyone going to the US for treatment is doing so in order to get faster treatment, not better. Many of my own patients go to the US for MRIs or CTs because the wait here can be up to months. But if anyone thinks that they will be getting "better" surgery by going south...they are kidding themselves. They are paying for convenience, not better quality.

I think faster and better quality. I really don't have much experience when it comes to these things, but I do know that doctors get better pay in the States. And I do know that the best doctors in Canada go to the States so that they can get better pay. Which means better quality in some sense, but there are still great doctors here.
Swanny
Posted: Friday, July 23, 2010 1:47:59 AM

Rank: Active Ink Slinger

Joined: 7/22/2010
Posts: 12
Location: VA
DamonX wrote:
Jebru wrote:
Swanny wrote:
And now you want to go statistics on me. Should I pull out more specific numbers than "thousands" maybe I can pull out tax percentages for Canada, who is on government healthcare and who isn't. How many of the people that are on government healthcare work for the government. What the tax brackets are.... Lets do percentages and stop being brief about it. I can throw out numbers with the best of them, don't use percentages to try to prove me wrong, use facts.


Well, I'm not sure that I went statistics on you when you were the one who brought up these "thousands" of Canadians who seek US health care. Generally in these debates, when you bring up a number like that, you provide documentation of where you got it, so we can all see it, and not have to take your word for it.

As for how many people in Canada are on government health care, that would be 34 million, as that is how universal health care works. Everyone gets it. The federal government gives money to each of the provinces and territories, and they take care of the specific details on how it works. And yes, that 34 million includes the people who opt to go to the US for treatment. They still pay in to the Canadian system, and are entitled to use it when they need it.


Yes, anyone going to the US for treatment is doing so in order to get faster treatment, not better. Many of my own patients go to the US for MRIs or CTs because the wait here can be up to months. But if anyone thinks that they will be getting "better" surgery by going south...they are kidding themselves. They are paying for convenience, not better quality.


Because treatment is rationed with socialized medicine. If you make money that means you pay taxes, that means you perpetuate the idea that everyone is equal and therefore you help keep the governments boot on your (and everyone else's) neck. Therefore your "worth" is more than someone that pays no taxes. They need their random success story to keep the lie alive, but treatment is faster in the states because the system is...if you can pay the money, you get it faster. That's why people leave the US to have major surgeries, not because it's safer or better, but because their money goes farther. In the words of a 1980's Russian defector "Unless The United States wakes up, the time bomb is ticking, unlike myself you will have nowhere to defect to. This is the last country of freedom and possibility."
xCindyx3
Posted: Friday, July 23, 2010 1:56:25 AM

Rank: Active Ink Slinger

Joined: 8/11/2009
Posts: 25
Location: Canada
Quote:
DamonX wrote:
Health care shouldn't be an issue of making money. It should be a service designed to maintain the health of the populace.

we should remove all apsects of "money making" from the health care industry.


Now, I'm curious- whether you support or oppose the idea of government-administered health care, is there anyone that disagrees with the above feeling?


I don't know how to work the quotes xD
But Idk.. I dont like the idea of government run things. We can't get rid of all "money making" from the health care industry. The money making is what makes it better. The more money they make the better the service they can provide. And we have to pay the Doctors somehow. The more they make, the more they pay their doctors. There always seems to be a demand for doctors. Who would want to be one if the pay wasn't as good as it is?
Rembacher
Posted: Friday, July 23, 2010 1:57:11 AM

Rank: Forum Guru

Joined: 10/16/2008
Posts: 1,106
Jillicious wrote:
Jebru wrote:
That still comes back to my question about why the US has higher health care costs than any other country in the world, including those with stricter government regulations, or even government controlled health care. If regulation was the problem, those countries should have higher costs than the US.

You will pay for it one way or another. Tax me more or pay out of my pocket. I guess whichever gives you warm fuzzies.
The US health care system as it stands now follows neither capitalism or socialism. It is a horrible disfigured mix between the two. Our health care is subsidized by our employers, or even the government. But we still pay a large amount for it. Our health insurance covers everything! Every damn thing you can think of. I sure as hell wish I had grocery insurance like that. I would love to go to the store and pick up any food without thought of cost to me. After all, why would I take ground beef when I can eat steak every night? This is how our health care system currently works. We pay exorbitant amounts of money for health care, blame the rich, and still expect it to be a buffet.

Jebru wrote:
As for Lasik surgery, I would compare say it's more of an economies of scale issue. As the procedure became more popular, more equipment could be made for the procedure, driving down the cost of the procedure. And also more doctors learned how to do the procedure as the demand for it increased. Any new technology follows that progression. Take DVD players. At first they were expensive, but as people decided they were good, the price started to drop, and the technology improved. Lasik would drop whether or not the government regulated it, as more people got comfortable with the fact it wasn't going to blind them.


Thats a nice capitalist example you gave there. So capitalism does work? Supply and Demand? Adam Smith would be proud! Just sayin.


I've heard too many stories about people being denied coverage to believe that your insurance covers everything. As for what you said, I'm not sure how that relates to the cost of healthcare, and how government regulation makes the US so expensive when government regulation, or even total control doesn't have the same affect elsewhere.

And I have no problem with capitalism. I'm a business major. I do have a problem with a company seeing my health as a money making opportunity, rather than a life and death situation. The new technology example would still work in a socialist economy. The opportunity cost of producing the new technology would still be more at the beginning of the product life cycle, and as more people wanted it, it would be easier to produce mass quantities, and also as the technology aged, the imperfections would be corrected.
Swanny
Posted: Friday, July 23, 2010 1:57:35 AM

Rank: Active Ink Slinger

Joined: 7/22/2010
Posts: 12
Location: VA
LadyX wrote:
DamonX wrote:
Health care shouldn't be an issue of making money. It should be a service designed to maintain the health of the populace.

we should remove all apsects of "money making" from the health care industry.




Applause

Now, I'm curious- whether you support or oppose the idea of government-administered health care, is there anyone that disagrees with the above feeling?




I do not disagree, at all. But then how do you pay doctors? How do you pay nurses? Where do the hospitals come from? New drugs, new treatments? Research and development funds? Now I am only speaking for American government, but government is government in my experience, and if any state takes federal funding for a road project the cost AUTOMATICALLY goes up no less than 25%.
LadyX
Posted: Friday, July 23, 2010 2:03:42 AM

Rank: Artistic Tart

Joined: 9/25/2009
Posts: 4,827
Swanny wrote:
LadyX wrote:
DamonX wrote:
Health care shouldn't be an issue of making money. It should be a service designed to maintain the health of the populace.

we should remove all apsects of "money making" from the health care industry.




Applause

Now, I'm curious- whether you support or oppose the idea of government-administered health care, is there anyone that disagrees with the above feeling?




I do not disagree, at all. But then how do you pay doctors? How do you pay nurses? Where do the hospitals come from? New drugs, new treatments? Research and development funds? Now I am only speaking for American government, but government is government in my experience, and if any state takes federal funding for a road project the cost AUTOMATICALLY goes up no less than 25%.


I haven't done much research on other systems- but there is at least one country that has private insurers, and those insurers are non-profit. This country somehow manages to pay doctors, nurses, and run hospitals as well. I'm aware that we need money to make the world go 'round- but the pursuit of money doesn't have to be the dominating factor in order to provide quality health care. I'm learning here reading what all of you have to say, but I still believe that to put profits first puts people way down in distant second, and that seems very wrong at the most basic level.

Just because you're not aiming for quarterly earnings for shareholders doesn't mean there is no revenue and no salaries. It's about the desired end.

Jillicious
Posted: Friday, July 23, 2010 2:05:31 AM

Rank: Forum Guru

Joined: 10/28/2009
Posts: 1,293
LadyX wrote:
DamonX wrote:
Health care shouldn't be an issue of making money. It should be a service designed to maintain the health of the populace.

we should remove all apsects of "money making" from the health care industry.




Applause

Now, I'm curious- whether you support or oppose the idea of government-administered health care, is there anyone that disagrees with the above feeling?


I'll answer your question
Why would we make any medical advancements if there was little reward? Most major advancements are funded by corporations usually to improve a product or come up with a new one. As well most university research is funded by corporations as part of promoting themselves as a good image. Government funded research is rather minor and goes to worthless studies.

It is capitalism that brought you pills which would allow you or your man's erection to be maintained or achieved. Admittedly viagara is a poor example. But you could follow up with many more. Abilify, Allegra, Ativan, Lupron, Lyrica, Naprosyn, ect... The list goes on and on. Drug companies spend millions or in some cases billions on these drugs to help improve our lives. But why would they ever do that if they knew there was nothing to be gained other than my hay fever would be easier to handle, in the case of Allegra.

Capitalism drives innovation. When there is no competition there is no innovation. Thats why a majority of you are still using Internet Explorer, the crap that it is. And it is also why Microsoft did nothing to improve IE 6 for years. It is very similar.

Thousands of user submitted stories removed from the site. You are nothing without your users or their freely submitted stories.
Swanny
Posted: Friday, July 23, 2010 2:08:19 AM

Rank: Active Ink Slinger

Joined: 7/22/2010
Posts: 12
Location: VA
LadyX wrote:
Swanny wrote:
LadyX wrote:
DamonX wrote:
Health care shouldn't be an issue of making money. It should be a service designed to maintain the health of the populace.

we should remove all apsects of "money making" from the health care industry.




Applause

Now, I'm curious- whether you support or oppose the idea of government-administered health care, is there anyone that disagrees with the above feeling?




I do not disagree, at all. But then how do you pay doctors? How do you pay nurses? Where do the hospitals come from? New drugs, new treatments? Research and development funds? Now I am only speaking for American government, but government is government in my experience, and if any state takes federal funding for a road project the cost AUTOMATICALLY goes up no less than 25%.


I haven't done much research on other systems- but there is at least one country that has private insurers, and those insurers are non-profit. This country somehow manages to pay doctors, nurses, and run hospitals as well. I'm aware that we need money to make the world go 'round- but the pursuit of money doesn't have to be the dominating factor in order to provide quality health care. I'm learning here reading what all of you have to say, but I still believe that to put profits first puts people way down in distant second, and that seems very wrong at the most basic level.

Just because you're not aiming for quarterly earnings for shareholders doesn't mean there is no revenue and no salaries. It's about the desired end.



And how do non-profit's get a lot of their money?
Rembacher
Posted: Friday, July 23, 2010 2:08:32 AM

Rank: Forum Guru

Joined: 10/16/2008
Posts: 1,106
Swanny wrote:
LadyX wrote:
DamonX wrote:
Health care shouldn't be an issue of making money. It should be a service designed to maintain the health of the populace.

we should remove all apsects of "money making" from the health care industry.




Applause

Now, I'm curious- whether you support or oppose the idea of government-administered health care, is there anyone that disagrees with the above feeling?




I do not disagree, at all. But then how do you pay doctors? How do you pay nurses? Where do the hospitals come from? New drugs, new treatments? Research and development funds? Now I am only speaking for American government, but government is government in my experience, and if any state takes federal funding for a road project the cost AUTOMATICALLY goes up no less than 25%.


Yes, you keep mentioning that government makes things more expensive, but you don't respond to my question of why the countries with more government involvement in their healthcare systems compared to the US, have lower healthcare costs for similar service. Obviously there is something else at play too.

Who would pay the doctors? If it was government run, the government would. Last time I checked, the starting wage for an Ontario doctor straight out of med school was in the neighbourhood of $100,000. They do still get paid without the government trying to make money on health care. If it was covered by non-profit insurance companies, then it would be the same thing. A rate is determined, and people are paid. Without someone looking to get rich off the profit margins.

And for the comment that innovation would not happen without capitalism, I don't think capitalism has anything to do with the millions of dollars the Terry Fox foundation pours in to cancer research every year, or anything to do with the research, and lobbying efforts that Micheal J Fox makes in an effort to find a cure for parkinsons.
DamonX
Posted: Friday, July 23, 2010 2:13:10 AM

Rank: Forum Guru

Joined: 1/25/2009
Posts: 795
xCindyx3 wrote:
Quote:
Yes, anyone going to the US for treatment is doing so in order to get faster treatment, not better. Many of my own patients go to the US for MRIs or CTs because the wait here can be up to months. But if anyone thinks that they will be getting "better" surgery by going south...they are kidding themselves. They are paying for convenience, not better quality.

I think faster and better quality. I really don't have much experience when it comes to these things, but I do know that doctors get better pay in the States. And I do know that the best doctors in Canada go to the States so that they can get better pay. Which means better quality in some sense, but there are still great doctors here.


And how do they determine "best" ? MDs do get better pay in the states. Because private hospitals have the funds to do so. There is a "brain drain" in the medical field when it comes to MDs (as with many other professions). If you go to the Mayo clinic you are most likely getting the most knowledgeable MDs, but in general, there will be very little difference in the skill between Docs in Canada and the US.
LadyX
Posted: Friday, July 23, 2010 2:18:25 AM

Rank: Artistic Tart

Joined: 9/25/2009
Posts: 4,827
Swanny wrote:
LadyX wrote:
Swanny wrote:
LadyX wrote:
DamonX wrote:
Health care shouldn't be an issue of making money. It should be a service designed to maintain the health of the populace.

we should remove all apsects of "money making" from the health care industry.




Applause

Now, I'm curious- whether you support or oppose the idea of government-administered health care, is there anyone that disagrees with the above feeling?




I do not disagree, at all. But then how do you pay doctors? How do you pay nurses? Where do the hospitals come from? New drugs, new treatments? Research and development funds? Now I am only speaking for American government, but government is government in my experience, and if any state takes federal funding for a road project the cost AUTOMATICALLY goes up no less than 25%.


I haven't done much research on other systems- but there is at least one country that has private insurers, and those insurers are non-profit. This country somehow manages to pay doctors, nurses, and run hospitals as well. I'm aware that we need money to make the world go 'round- but the pursuit of money doesn't have to be the dominating factor in order to provide quality health care. I'm learning here reading what all of you have to say, but I still believe that to put profits first puts people way down in distant second, and that seems very wrong at the most basic level.

Just because you're not aiming for quarterly earnings for shareholders doesn't mean there is no revenue and no salaries. It's about the desired end.



And how do non-profit's get a lot of their money?


ah, venturing into territory I'm short specifics on- but this is education for all of us, so I'll take a shot.

I'd say here in the US, most non-profits get funding from government and private donations. In the case of Switzerland, non-profit insurance providers receive their funds from a combination of subscribers and government subsidies- from what I can gather. If US Insurance providers were non-profit, they would get money the same way they do now, only their end-goal would not simply be quarterly earnings.

For yours, and others', point of "well, how do you pay for all other costs associated with health care?": Are you suggesting that private insurance companies are the cash cow that funds all of it? Surely not, and if so, I tip my cap and consider myself educated by this discussion. But if that's not the case, then other parts of this puzzle don't fundamentally change, no?
Swanny
Posted: Friday, July 23, 2010 2:19:05 AM

Rank: Active Ink Slinger

Joined: 7/22/2010
Posts: 12
Location: VA
Jebru wrote:
Swanny wrote:
LadyX wrote:
DamonX wrote:
Health care shouldn't be an issue of making money. It should be a service designed to maintain the health of the populace.

we should remove all apsects of "money making" from the health care industry.




Applause

Now, I'm curious- whether you support or oppose the idea of government-administered health care, is there anyone that disagrees with the above feeling?




I do not disagree, at all. But then how do you pay doctors? How do you pay nurses? Where do the hospitals come from? New drugs, new treatments? Research and development funds? Now I am only speaking for American government, but government is government in my experience, and if any state takes federal funding for a road project the cost AUTOMATICALLY goes up no less than 25%.


Yes, you keep mentioning that government makes things more expensive, but you don't respond to my question of why the countries with more government involvement in their healthcare systems compared to the US, have lower healthcare costs for similar service. Obviously there is something else at play too.

Who would pay the doctors? If it was government run, the government would. Last time I checked, the starting wage for an Ontario doctor straight out of med school was in the neaighbourhood of $100,000. They do still get paid without the government trying to make money on health care. If it was covered by non-profit insurance companies, then it would be the same thing. A rate is determined, and people are paid. Without someone looking to get rich off the profit margins.

And for the comment that innovation would not happen without capitalism, I don't think capitalism has anything to do with the millions of dollars the Terry Fox foundation pours in to cancer research every year, or anything to do with the research, and lobbying efforts that Micheal J Fox makes in an effort to find a cure for parkinsons.


Quite right, something else is at play. YOU pay the doctors. YOU build the hospitals and YOU pay for the R&D of new drugs and treatments, and YOU pay FAR higher taxes than I do. Until Socialized medicine takes full effect here in the states. I stand to go from losing 38% of my my earned income to losing over 50% of my earned income. Regardless of what you are led to believe, there is ALMOST half of the US that actually PAYS taxes. Again, numbers are numbers, you can move them around and make them add up to whatever you want, but in the end when you give government control of something, they will pay for it with YOUR money. Government will never do with less, they will demand that YOU do with less.
Swanny
Posted: Friday, July 23, 2010 2:25:02 AM

Rank: Active Ink Slinger

Joined: 7/22/2010
Posts: 12
Location: VA
LadyX wrote:
Swanny wrote:
LadyX wrote:
Swanny wrote:
LadyX wrote:
DamonX wrote:
Health care shouldn't be an issue of making money. It should be a service designed to maintain the health of the populace.

we should remove all apsects of "money making" from the health care industry.




Applause

Now, I'm curious- whether you support or oppose the idea of government-administered health care, is there anyone that disagrees with the above feeling?




I do not disagree, at all. But then how do you pay doctors? How do you pay nurses? Where do the hospitals come from? New drugs, new treatments? Research and development funds? Now I am only speaking for American government, but government is government in my experience, and if any state takes federal funding for a road project the cost AUTOMATICALLY goes up no less than 25%.


I haven't done much research on other systems- but there is at least one country that has private insurers, and those insurers are non-profit. This country somehow manages to pay doctors, nurses, and run hospitals as well. I'm aware that we need money to make the world go 'round- but the pursuit of money doesn't have to be the dominating factor in order to provide quality health care. I'm learning here reading what all of you have to say, but I still believe that to put profits first puts people way down in distant second, and that seems very wrong at the most basic level.

Just because you're not aiming for quarterly earnings for shareholders doesn't mean there is no revenue and no salaries. It's about the desired end.



And how do non-profit's get a lot of their money?


ah, venturing into territory I'm short specifics on- but this is education for all of us, so I'll take a shot.

I'd say here in the US, most non-profits get funding from government and private donations. In the case of Switzerland, non-profit insurance providers receive their funds from a combination of subscribers and government subsidies- from what I can gather. If US Insurance providers were non-profit, they would get money the same way they do now, only their end-goal would not simply be quarterly earnings.

For yours, and others', point of "well, how do you pay for all other costs associated with health care?": Are you suggesting that private insurance companies are the cash cow that funds all of it? Surely not, and if so, I tip my cap and consider myself educated by this discussion. But if that's not the case, then other parts of this puzzle don't fundamentally change, no?


Not for profits in the states get HUGE tax cuts. Most of their funding comes from donations. I'm not discounting this as an option however, because I have faith in the good will of human beings to freely give their money to causes that protect the health and well being of their fellow man.
DamonX
Posted: Friday, July 23, 2010 2:35:23 AM

Rank: Forum Guru

Joined: 1/25/2009
Posts: 795
Swanny wrote:
Jebru wrote:
Swanny wrote:
LadyX wrote:
DamonX wrote:
Health care shouldn't be an issue of making money. It should be a service designed to maintain the health of the populace.

we should remove all apsects of "money making" from the health care industry.




Applause

Now, I'm curious- whether you support or oppose the idea of government-administered health care, is there anyone that disagrees with the above feeling?




I do not disagree, at all. But then how do you pay doctors? How do you pay nurses? Where do the hospitals come from? New drugs, new treatments? Research and development funds? Now I am only speaking for American government, but government is government in my experience, and if any state takes federal funding for a road project the cost AUTOMATICALLY goes up no less than 25%.


Yes, you keep mentioning that government makes things more expensive, but you don't respond to my question of why the countries with more government involvement in their healthcare systems compared to the US, have lower healthcare costs for similar service. Obviously there is something else at play too.

Who would pay the doctors? If it was government run, the government would. Last time I checked, the starting wage for an Ontario doctor straight out of med school was in the neaighbourhood of $100,000. They do still get paid without the government trying to make money on health care. If it was covered by non-profit insurance companies, then it would be the same thing. A rate is determined, and people are paid. Without someone looking to get rich off the profit margins.

And for the comment that innovation would not happen without capitalism, I don't think capitalism has anything to do with the millions of dollars the Terry Fox foundation pours in to cancer research every year, or anything to do with the research, and lobbying efforts that Micheal J Fox makes in an effort to find a cure for parkinsons.


Quite right, something else is at play. YOU pay the doctors. YOU build the hospitals and YOU pay for the R&D of new drugs and treatments, and YOU pay FAR higher taxes than I do. Until Socialized medicine takes full effect here in the states. I stand to go from losing 38% of my my earned income to losing over 50% of my earned income. Regardless of what you are led to believe, there is ALMOST half of the US that actually PAYS taxes. Again, numbers are numbers, you can move them around and make them add up to whatever you want, but in the end when you give government control of something, they will pay for it with YOUR money. Government will never do with less, they will demand that YOU do with less.


Well....all paranoid anti-govenment ranting aside... I have absolutely no problem paying taxes to support health care. In a way...its the same as buying into an insurance plan. If I get a brain tumor and require a million dollars worth of treatment...I get it. If you got one and your insurance company said "Oops. sorry. You're not covered. You have to get subpar treatment that is only 20% effective," you'd probably change your tune.

'I" am happy to pay for hospitals, doctors and treatments for all citizens. Money well spent. Not only does it contribute to the betterment of society, but it covers my ass if anything should happen. At two thousand bucks a year...seems like a bargain.
rxtales
Posted: Friday, July 23, 2010 4:39:10 AM

Rank: Advanced Wordsmith

Joined: 11/28/2008
Posts: 2,589
Location: Newcastle, United Kingdom
I am originally from the states, but grew up in the UK. I have spent some time in both medical systems.

I practically lived in hospitals in the UK for a couple of years. Both NHS hospitals and private ones. I was fortunate that my parents worked for health insurance companies and as a kid was covered by their policy. This gave me access to private health care in the UK. The doctors are good, but they have to do a certain amount of hours in the NHS, so going private can be quite slow. I have seen doctors that work 6 hours a week. So if you have to have something done quickly, the NHS is best. I had problems breathing, and all of a sudden developed allergies to EVERYTHING, I had horrible stomach pains and couldn't sleep. My GP automatically referred me to a private hospital. It was SLOW. My doctor worked friday mornings and wasn't going to be able to see me for three weeks. That wasn't good enough. So I went through the NHS. Within a couple of hours of arriving at the hospital I was admitted and they started to figure out what was wrong with me, although it took months and months. My point being that the NHS is great if you have an emergency or need crucial care. Yeah it is a bit slow if you need something more cosmetic, or less urgent. In which case it is a bit sucky, especially if you then can't afford to go private.

But I think it's a hell of a lot better than the alternative of having no free health care. When I was in the US, I had several medical problems and ended up getting slammed with medical bills. I had insurance, it just didn't cover everything. It wasn't a matter of being "poor". Okay I was, but that's because I was 18, just out of high school and with my first job. I had no finacial support from my parents or anyone else, so what was I supposed to do when I started having seizures, and a few weeks later developed a blood infection. Because of the seizures I wasn't able to fly back to the UK, and I was a bit stuck. I had to get treatment and therefore had to pay for it.

So I am all for nationalised heath care. Of course there are going to be people who abuse it, but the overall benefits makes it worth having. It's not going to make a country communist - I just find that a silly argument. Sure it may not be as efficient as it could be, but I don't think private health care is much better. It may be quicker, but not necesarilly better quality. Both in the UK and I think Australia as well doctors have to work in both the NHS and choose to work for a bit in the private sector to earn money.

As for the argument of having to pay for the "poor". That's not necessarily the case. If I were to move back the US now, I don't think I would be able to get insurance, let alone pay for it. Is that my fault? I think it should be my right to have free health care. After all, I am a US citizen, I will still be paying taxes. It's not like I am avoiding work and want other people to pay for me. The reason I don't have a lot of money is because I am young.
rxtales
Posted: Friday, July 23, 2010 4:44:32 AM

Rank: Advanced Wordsmith

Joined: 11/28/2008
Posts: 2,589
Location: Newcastle, United Kingdom
Swanny wrote:
LadyX wrote:
DamonX wrote:
Health care shouldn't be an issue of making money. It should be a service designed to maintain the health of the populace.

we should remove all apsects of "money making" from the health care industry.




Applause

Now, I'm curious- whether you support or oppose the idea of government-administered health care, is there anyone that disagrees with the above feeling?




I do not disagree, at all. But then how do you pay doctors? How do you pay nurses? Where do the hospitals come from? New drugs, new treatments? Research and development funds? Now I am only speaking for American government, but government is government in my experience, and if any state takes federal funding for a road project the cost AUTOMATICALLY goes up no less than 25%.


As I said in my previous post - doctors make money by working in the private sector as well. They make a pretty good living through that.
mercianknight
Posted: Friday, July 23, 2010 8:11:31 AM

Rank: Forum Guru

Joined: 8/11/2009
Posts: 2,029
Location: whispering conspiratorially in your ear, Bermuda
Some excellent commentary going on here. I particularly like some of the shared personal experiences.

Now for my tuppence worth.

Nothing is ever for free.

A national health service on the scale proposed for the US has disaster written all over it, not least because of the vested interests involved. I miss the UK NHS and think it is an under appreciated, over extended, and abused miracle. Where I live now has attempted to strike a balance in order to contain health care premiums and the burden on the taxpayers - but it still struggles.

Government, under advice from a Health Council, set a scale of fees that the medical profession can charge for services at the local hospital - from ER care to in-patient surgical care - they then charge a Levy on the adult population (called Hospital Insurance Plan) to pay for it. Akin to a poor mans NHS. You can elect to go to a private and/or overseas hospital, but you'll pay the diffence yourself. Then they allow/encourage the populace to take out Private Health insurance as a top up to the basic care and that allows you to see GP's, dentists, physios etc. The private part comes with all the usual deductables & co-insurance caveats, but works pretty good.

Where the system is straining is rising costs of that care. It has already been mentioned about the costs of mal-practice insurance, frivolous procedures and corruption re claims. Our insurance companies have actually tried to help by clearly stating they do not offer a blank check to the medical profession and warning the insured that, for example, if the GP decides he/she wants to charge you $120 for a 5 minute consult you better remember that you policy only covers the first $80. The best thing ever happened to us was the insurance companies going public with their scale of fees so that we, the premium paying public, could see that the medical profession should shoulder some of the blame.

Is there a system I admire that seems to work? Yes. As I understand it, Sweden has got it right, however, their model could never work in the US. Why? Because in order to enjoy universal free health care you must carry a Swedish ID card to prove you are a tax paying citizen - otherwise you pay. Period.

"Whoa, lady, I only speak two languages, English and bad English." - Korben Dallas, from The Fifth Element

"If history repeats itself, and the unexpected always happens, how incapable must man be of learning from experience?" - George Bernard Shaw
Rembacher
Posted: Friday, July 23, 2010 9:45:11 AM

Rank: Forum Guru

Joined: 10/16/2008
Posts: 1,106
Swanny wrote:
Quite right, something else is at play. YOU pay the doctors. YOU build the hospitals and YOU pay for the R&D of new drugs and treatments, and YOU pay FAR higher taxes than I do. Until Socialized medicine takes full effect here in the states. I stand to go from losing 38% of my my earned income to losing over 50% of my earned income. Regardless of what you are led to believe, there is ALMOST half of the US that actually PAYS taxes. Again, numbers are numbers, you can move them around and make them add up to whatever you want, but in the end when you give government control of something, they will pay for it with YOUR money. Government will never do with less, they will demand that YOU do with less.


Yes, I pay taxes that cover the cost of doctors, and hospitals. Prescription drugs is a little diffferent, but I won't get into that, just for the sake of staying on topic. That is how universal healthcare works. You say the government will never do with less, and yet, I keep going back to the fact that the US, with private insurance companies, and individuals paying the majority of health care costs, has higher costs for medical procedures than any one of the countries with a universal health care system. That still doesn't explain how the government makes your health care more expensive than everyone else's.

And after a little research so I can understand your argument, you are right, http://finance.yahoo.com/news/Nearly-half-of-US-households-apf-1105567323.html?x=0&.v=1 nearly half the US, 47% do not pay federal income taxes. But most of those still file taxes every year, they just don't make enough, or are eligible for enough credits that they don't have to pay. That number is inflated because of the recession. Before the recession, the number was only 38%. Plus, the major problem with that argument, is that while they do not pay federal income taxes, most still pay federal payroll taxes, and those are the taxes which fund Social Security and Medicare in your country.

Do you use health insurance, or do you pay all expenses out of pocket? Because with the health care costs in the US, I bet your insurance premiums cost more than what the average person in Canada pays for our health care through taxes. Yes we have higher taxes than you. But health care is not the only reason for that. So don't go making the argument about taxes before you actually have a clue about where my tax dollars go compared to where yours go.
WellMadeMale
Posted: Friday, July 23, 2010 9:47:23 AM

Rank: Constant Gardener

Joined: 9/30/2009
Posts: 10,289
Location: Cakeland, United States
During the 1980's, I was mostly self employed. I owned and managed a small installation crew of blue collar workers. I could not afford to provide my guys with insurance. So, you could work for me and the only benefit you'd see was a steady paycheck, which in California would be enough to get you started with a roof over your head, groceries on your table and utilities met. Anything else you could save after that, was whatever you wished to do with your money. It was not a job for a man with a family to support and provide for, and I had seven young men working for me, none of whom had children at that time.

At the start of the next decade, I shut down my business, relocated to the middle of America and took employment with the first of several Fortune 1000 to Fortune 500 sized, American corporations.

The first company I toiled for, the pay cut was draconian. I went from a high of $85,000 in 1987 to $12,500 in 1990. The 1988/1989 troubles I endured trying to keep my business and my men afloat forced my hand and I saw abysmal income during that 19 month period, so I was used to living on scraps for a few years before. But, the insurance the first corporate entity I worked for, were out of this world fantastic.

I'd never had insurance, that I had to pay for myself, prior to 1990. As a single, head of household, it was phenomenal and I understood from acquaintances and friends I made during that first four years, that they too had never experienced such fine insurance (low premiums, excellent medical care), themselves.

Switching jobs, I took the next package available to me in Dec 1994. Again the insurance package was only 'fairly good', definitely not as good as the previous corporation (but company #1 primary business was insurance and with 109,000 employees in the states alone, they had the numbers to obtain a very nice package within their own shield of insurance companies). This second corporation primary and sole business was creation of pharmaceuticals and they employed 125,000 worldwide in the R&D, manufacture, sales and distribution of said products.

The next jump to a top 5 sized trucking company in America gave me an insurance option which was so shitty (in comparison to the previous two corporations) that I laughed at what was offered and told them to pack sand. I'd take the risk again, as I had during the 1980's. Number of employees? 45,000 white collar, the rest (some 70,000) were Union drivers and those covered by their union packages.

I've worked for three more Fortune 500 companies since 1997 and none of them offered any insurance packages which could even approach the first one I encountered between 1990 and 1994.

Now you would say that capitalism should provide competition, but what I've seen shows that is horseshit. My pay increased at each corporate jump I took (or I would not have jumped) but the insurance packages offered are basically written to exclude almost anyone with any 'pre-existing condition' and there are apparently a lot of pre-existing conditions.

The companies I've worked for since 1990 (save one) have all had over 80,000 employees, some - global in reach, and their insurance packages have been slashed yearly in terms of what is covered while becoming far more costly in terms of monthly expenses drawn out of paychecks and in terms of premiums you must pay yourself before the insurance actually kicks in to assist.

The smallest company I worked for during this last 20 year period, employed under 200 people, globally, yet they had $200 million revenues (Spam is a moneymaking thing!). With that kind of bread coming in they could afford an insurance package with was nearly on par with that I remembered from 1990-1994. For just over three years, I enjoyed good insurance (for a single man) again.

Now would someone care to tell me how this has happened? Is this capitalism at its finest, Jill?

All those companies I had worked for, had a large base of insurance-hungry and interested employees to offer and attempt to find the most competitive rate(s).

The insurance monopoly in America basically told the people here, to get fucked, imo. We are the only game in town and you will pay us what we need, in order to satisfy our shareholders and our own greedy fucking executives within our own companies, all while we exclude any of you for any multitude of reasons which will help us to avoid ever paying out and actually providing insurance.

If ya can't beat 'em... pay someone to do it for you.
Rembacher
Posted: Friday, July 23, 2010 12:23:06 PM

Rank: Forum Guru

Joined: 10/16/2008
Posts: 1,106
We started out talking about whether universal health care was good, and quickly devolved in to a discussion on one specific market, the US. I found this interesting congressional report on the US health care system as it compares to the rest of the world. http://assets.opencrs.com/rpts/RL34175_20070917.pdf The thing I found most interesting in it was that while the US spends more per capita on health care than any other nation, it is actually below the OECD average for life expectancy at birth. The average was 78.3 years, and the US was calculated at 77.5.

I think most people can agree that the US health care system needs some type of reform. The argument is what that should be. I spent many hours debating this topic with a former lushie on this subject, and the thing we agreed on was that it would be almost impossible to go from the current system, to a completely government run system. There is too much opposition, and too many businesses involved.

The idea of non-profit health insurance providers seems to be the happy medium. Theoretically they could compete now, although I don't know whether they actually do. Limiting the insurance market just to NPOs would be ideal, but the implementation of that plan would be difficult. You can't just tell all insurance companies that they have to be non-profit, and their shareholders' that their shares are useless. You could buy out the shareholders of smaller insurance companies, but larger corporations would not be cost effective to buy out, so you would probably have to grandfather them in, and just say that any new company entering the market would have to be non-profit.

You could even create a non-profit organization that would work toward the eventually conversion of all companies to non-profit. Essentually it would operate like a mutual fund, owning shares of many companies, with the goal of eventually acquiring all the shares of an insurance company and converting it to an NPO. Tax credits could be given to shareholders who wish to donate their insurance stocks to the transition NPO. And people could "put their money where their mouth is" and donate to the fund, to help the non profit movement.

And to clarify, a non-profit insurance company would not need donations to provide service. It would operate just like a for profit insurance company, its services would be financed by paying customers. The difference is that there are no owners of an NPO, so it doesn't exist to make a profit, it exists to provide a service. What this means is that the insurance rates are lower, because the company sets its rates in an attempt to break even, rather than trying to increase profit margins for its shareholders.

I would imagine most NPO insurance companies would set up a fund for people who are unable to pay for any coverage at all. Something like "Ten percent of your premium goes toward the health care costs of underpriviledged families," but that wouldn't have to be the case.
DamonX
Posted: Friday, July 23, 2010 12:44:02 PM

Rank: Forum Guru

Joined: 1/25/2009
Posts: 795
Interesting posts. icon_smile

I've worked in both the public and private sectors of medicine. Abuses occur in both. The difference is that abuses in the public sector occur out of ignorance. In the private...they occur out of greed.

I get irritated everytime a woman brings her child to emergency with the sniffles, since it costs a shitload of money. Walk-in clinics are much cheaper and would suffice for such a situation. Or when a heroin addict comes in to ICU for the third week in a row after overdosing. That's a 10 000 dollar/night hotel room! But these things can be solved with a little education and a bit of policy change.

In the private sector....the practicioners will look at what a person is covered for...and give the person the most expensive treatment in order to maximize their profits, regardless of whether the patient needs it or not. And if they're not covered...well, then they simply go without.

The pursuit of profit makes for a very very poor standard of care when in comes to health care.
Guest
Posted: Friday, July 23, 2010 1:08:17 PM

Rank: Lurker

Joined: 12/1/2006
Posts: 535,133
DamonX wrote:
Or when a heroin addict comes in to ICU for the third week in a row after overdosing. That's a 10 000 dollar/night hotel room! But these things can be solved with a little education and a bit of policy change.


is it wrong to get to the point to say.."no more for you. we will not treat you any more unless you comply with the directives to keep yourself healthy. be personally responsible for for your own health or you dont get treatment."

dear god, did i say personal responsibility again? sheesh! lol
xCindyx3
Posted: Friday, July 23, 2010 1:45:50 PM

Rank: Active Ink Slinger

Joined: 8/11/2009
Posts: 25
Location: Canada
DamonX wrote:
xCindyx3 wrote:
Quote:
Yes, anyone going to the US for treatment is doing so in order to get faster treatment, not better. Many of my own patients go to the US for MRIs or CTs because the wait here can be up to months. But if anyone thinks that they will be getting "better" surgery by going south...they are kidding themselves. They are paying for convenience, not better quality.

I think faster and better quality. I really don't have much experience when it comes to these things, but I do know that doctors get better pay in the States. And I do know that the best doctors in Canada go to the States so that they can get better pay. Which means better quality in some sense, but there are still great doctors here.


And how do they determine "best" ? MDs do get better pay in the states. Because private hospitals have the funds to do so. There is a "brain drain" in the medical field when it comes to MDs (as with many other professions). If you go to the Mayo clinic you are most likely getting the most knowledgeable MDs, but in general, there will be very little difference in the skill between Docs in Canada and the US.


Yes. It probably doesn't make that much of a differance with the doctors. But when it comes to quality of service, government run hospitals have less funding then private owned hospitals. I've noticed that hosptials in the States always look much better. Kind of like some kids will go to a private school because parents feel that they will get a better education. This may not be true, but don't some people get sent to the United States that can't be treated in Canada?
Rembacher
Posted: Friday, July 23, 2010 2:06:54 PM

Rank: Forum Guru

Joined: 10/16/2008
Posts: 1,106
xCindyx3 wrote:
Yes. It probably doesn't make that much of a differance with the doctors. But when it comes to quality of service, government run hospitals have less funding then private owned hospitals. I've noticed that hosptials in the States always look much better. Kind of like some kids will go to a private school because parents feel that they will get a better education. This may not be true, but don't some people get sent to the United States that can't be treated in Canada?


If you make your way into Toronto, check out the hospital for sick children. I haven't been there in 15 years, but I think you will be hard pressed to find any hospital that looks nicer than that. Even as a 12 year old child, it annoyed me how much money they spent on the lobby area. I would have much rather seen a plain, simple entrance, with the money being spent on the less visible, but more crucial, medical services and equipment.

If you are a for profit hospital, you have to advertise, and part of advertising, is the packaging. So more money will be spent on appearance.
Dancing_Doll
Posted: Friday, July 23, 2010 2:21:11 PM

Rank: Alpha Blonde

Joined: 2/17/2010
Posts: 6,274
Location: West Coast
xCindyx3 wrote:
DamonX wrote:
xCindyx3 wrote:
Quote:
Yes, anyone going to the US for treatment is doing so in order to get faster treatment, not better. Many of my own patients go to the US for MRIs or CTs because the wait here can be up to months. But if anyone thinks that they will be getting "better" surgery by going south...they are kidding themselves. They are paying for convenience, not better quality.

I think faster and better quality. I really don't have much experience when it comes to these things, but I do know that doctors get better pay in the States. And I do know that the best doctors in Canada go to the States so that they can get better pay. Which means better quality in some sense, but there are still great doctors here.


And how do they determine "best" ? MDs do get better pay in the states. Because private hospitals have the funds to do so. There is a "brain drain" in the medical field when it comes to MDs (as with many other professions). If you go to the Mayo clinic you are most likely getting the most knowledgeable MDs, but in general, there will be very little difference in the skill between Docs in Canada and the US.


Yes. It probably doesn't make that much of a differance with the doctors. But when it comes to quality of service, government run hospitals have less funding then private owned hospitals. I've noticed that hosptials in the States always look much better. Kind of like some kids will go to a private school because parents feel that they will get a better education. This may not be true, but don't some people get sent to the United States that can't be treated in Canada?


Patients that don't want to deal with the 'wait times' that may be involved in their treatment/surgeries in Canada can go to the USA, provided that they are willing to pay. And sure, if you've got the spare cash to pay $26,000 for a coronary bypass in Buffalo, NY... then rest assured, you're going to get Rolls Royce style treatment. There is no question that if you have insurance in the USA, you will get speedy and excellent treatment there. The reality is that current numbers being quoted are that in 2010, 52 million Americans are uninsured (http://healthaffairs.org/blog/2009/06/02/52-million-uninsured-americans-by-2010). With recession and job losses, anyone could end up in this unfortunate buckets.

If you're Canadian and can prove that the equivalent standard of care is not available in Canada (ie due to prolonged wait times, and you require life saving surgery), then our government will actually reimburse you for money spent for treatment in the US, although you may have to go to court to settle the matter.




Guest
Posted: Friday, July 23, 2010 5:03:47 PM

Rank: Lurker

Joined: 12/1/2006
Posts: 535,133
It's starting to look like Canada vs America =( is The Think Tank going to be cut that short?????? Relax people lol
LadyX
Posted: Friday, July 23, 2010 5:47:53 PM

Rank: Artistic Tart

Joined: 9/25/2009
Posts: 4,827
MissJess wrote:
It's starting to look like Canada vs America =( is The Think Tank going to be cut that short?????? Relax people lol


thanks, Jess.

You guys know the rules- keep it going, but keep it free of Nationalism. Happy Friday/Saturday, everyone!
DamonX
Posted: Friday, July 23, 2010 9:30:03 PM

Rank: Forum Guru

Joined: 1/25/2009
Posts: 795
xCindyx3 wrote:
DamonX wrote:
xCindyx3 wrote:
Quote:
Yes, anyone going to the US for treatment is doing so in order to get faster treatment, not better. Many of my own patients go to the US for MRIs or CTs because the wait here can be up to months. But if anyone thinks that they will be getting "better" surgery by going south...they are kidding themselves. They are paying for convenience, not better quality.

I think faster and better quality. I really don't have much experience when it comes to these things, but I do know that doctors get better pay in the States. And I do know that the best doctors in Canada go to the States so that they can get better pay. Which means better quality in some sense, but there are still great doctors here.


And how do they determine "best" ? MDs do get better pay in the states. Because private hospitals have the funds to do so. There is a "brain drain" in the medical field when it comes to MDs (as with many other professions). If you go to the Mayo clinic you are most likely getting the most knowledgeable MDs, but in general, there will be very little difference in the skill between Docs in Canada and the US.


Yes. It probably doesn't make that much of a differance with the doctors. But when it comes to quality of service, government run hospitals have less funding then private owned hospitals. I've noticed that hosptials in the States always look much better. Kind of like some kids will go to a private school because parents feel that they will get a better education. This may not be true, but don't some people get sent to the United States that can't be treated in Canada?


How many hospitals have you seen? Some hospitals in the US are top of the line. But some are hideous. I was astounded at the poor coditions in St. Luke's-Roosevelt hospital in Manhattan. I never even imagined such awful conditions would exist in a North American hospital.

Everybody can be treated in Canada. DancingDoll was right...People that go to the US for care, do so in order to cut down on wait times for diagnostic imaging and non-life threatening orthopedic surgeries.

Its a fallacy to think that you will get "better" care buy paying an extra 20 000 dollars and going to the states. You'll save some time and probably get a few extra jello cups when you're in recovery. (which, if you read the fine print are probably costing you about ten bucks a piece). icon_smile



And I don't think anyone is spouting any "nationalism." We have merely been comparing two systems of health care. There have been people from both countries on both sides of the debate. I'd like to hear from those in other countries though...What are you experiences with health care in your own nations?
Dancing_Doll
Posted: Friday, July 23, 2010 9:44:41 PM

Rank: Alpha Blonde

Joined: 2/17/2010
Posts: 6,274
Location: West Coast
I don't think as they stand currently that either Canada or the USA have ideal healthcare systems. Both systems have their issues, and require reform. Actually according to the WHO, France was rated has having the best healthcare system in the world. Just for interest's sake, I've posted the basics of how their system works.

Quote: "French citizens have universal health coverage that's provided by the government. Funds come from required contributions from citizens based on income. In return, the country reimburses about 70 percent of most medical bills. The French people are allowed to see any health provider they choose, and about 42 percent can get a same-day appointment. To cover the balance, most citizens have supplemental insurance with either a public or a private plan. This supplemental plan might be provided by an employer, as most U.S. health insurance is. Because those that can afford a private plan often take it, supplemental insurance is something of a tiered system divided by class. In one study of 19 industrialized nations, France had the lowest rate of deaths that could have been prevented with adequate basic health care. France is also renowned for treating the very sick; if you have a serious condition like cancer, all your costs are covered by the government, even expensive and experimental drugs or surgeries."

http://health.howstuffworks.com/medicine/healthcare/insurance/10-health-care-systems.htm


LadyX
Posted: Saturday, July 24, 2010 10:46:41 AM

Rank: Artistic Tart

Joined: 9/25/2009
Posts: 4,827
WHO World Health Care System Rankings

The US is 37th, edging out Slovenia- sorry, She crybaby - and one behind Costa Rica. Canada is 30th, so I would say there isn't that much quality difference all things considered (and I'm sure the World Health Organization takes everything it can into consideration), at least according to the W.H.O. In the top 20, you have European countries, Asian countries, Middle Eastern countries, big ones, tiny ones- I'm curious what it is in general that the best health care systems have, that the systems here in the US and Canada both do not.

DD, the info about France was great- and I was surprised it's not completely government run- I think I'd heard or read wrong about France's system before.

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