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BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?

DougR 11 Jul 09 - 08:02 PM
Rapparee 11 Jul 09 - 08:06 PM
Peter T. 11 Jul 09 - 08:11 PM
GUEST,Russ 11 Jul 09 - 08:21 PM
McGrath of Harlow 11 Jul 09 - 08:24 PM
pdq 11 Jul 09 - 08:26 PM
Peace 11 Jul 09 - 08:37 PM
Q (Frank Staplin) 11 Jul 09 - 08:45 PM
Peace 11 Jul 09 - 08:47 PM
Art Thieme 11 Jul 09 - 08:49 PM
maple_leaf_boy 11 Jul 09 - 08:51 PM
Peace 11 Jul 09 - 08:55 PM
Q (Frank Staplin) 11 Jul 09 - 08:57 PM
Peace 11 Jul 09 - 08:58 PM
Art Thieme 11 Jul 09 - 09:06 PM
dick greenhaus 11 Jul 09 - 09:09 PM
Peace 11 Jul 09 - 09:09 PM
Peace 11 Jul 09 - 09:11 PM
Ebbie 11 Jul 09 - 09:16 PM
pdq 11 Jul 09 - 09:28 PM
Peace 11 Jul 09 - 09:28 PM
Rapparee 11 Jul 09 - 09:46 PM
Richard Bridge 11 Jul 09 - 09:51 PM
artbrooks 11 Jul 09 - 10:32 PM
DMcG 12 Jul 09 - 03:29 AM
Crow Sister (off with the fairies) 12 Jul 09 - 03:44 AM
Peace 12 Jul 09 - 03:45 AM
DMcG 12 Jul 09 - 03:55 AM
Linda Kelly 12 Jul 09 - 04:16 AM
Peter T. 12 Jul 09 - 06:02 AM
Sandra in Sydney 12 Jul 09 - 06:35 AM
Emma B 12 Jul 09 - 08:28 AM
daylia 12 Jul 09 - 09:35 AM
McGrath of Harlow 12 Jul 09 - 09:48 AM
Stu 12 Jul 09 - 10:10 AM
GUEST,HiLo 12 Jul 09 - 11:15 AM
Ebbie 12 Jul 09 - 11:39 AM
dick greenhaus 12 Jul 09 - 11:51 AM
Bill D 12 Jul 09 - 12:20 PM
pdq 12 Jul 09 - 12:25 PM
McGrath of Harlow 12 Jul 09 - 12:26 PM
Ebbie 12 Jul 09 - 12:40 PM
Alice 12 Jul 09 - 12:41 PM
pdq 12 Jul 09 - 12:50 PM
Emma B 12 Jul 09 - 12:50 PM
Alice 12 Jul 09 - 12:53 PM
Little Hawk 12 Jul 09 - 12:58 PM
McGrath of Harlow 12 Jul 09 - 01:04 PM
Ebbie 12 Jul 09 - 01:29 PM
Q (Frank Staplin) 12 Jul 09 - 01:35 PM
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Subject: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: DougR
Date: 11 Jul 09 - 08:02 PM

Folks across the pond and elsewhere other than the U. S. might be aware that the current administration is really pushing to establish national health care in the United States. The backers of legislation are selling the idea as health care reform, but I think there is little doubt that the ultimate goal is for the government to dominate the health care system

Many of you have experienced such a program for several years. I would really be interested to know: How you would rate your health care system? Excellent? Good? Poor? What do you like best about it? What do you like least about it?

In the U. S., we have two health programs provided to seniors (age 65 up)and part of the cost is deducted from the participant's social security check received each month from the government. The programs are called Medicare, and Medicaid. Private insurance companies also administer the Medicare program on a contract basis (I assume) with the federal government.

I'm perfectly satisfied with the medicare program I have now. In fact, recent polls show a majority of those polled recently are too but there are around 15 million citizens or so that have no coverage at all. The Obama administration wishes to make it possible for everyone to be covered. The major hurdle to doing that is cost. The non-partisan Congressional Budget Office estimates that the program the administration is pushing would cost over a trillion dollars. Democrats in the Congress are trying very hard to bend figures so that the cost is not that high. Whether or not they will be successful is anyone's guess.

I look forward to reading posts, particularly, from Mudcatters who live with a nationalized system.

DougR


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Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: Rapparee
Date: 11 Jul 09 - 08:06 PM

Doug, don't forget that that estimate is (I believe) over a ten year period. I, too, would like to see the answers.


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Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: Peter T.
Date: 11 Jul 09 - 08:11 PM

The Canadian system has its problems, but overall it has two great virtues: (1) you should never have to worry about money when you are sick, you have enough problems; and (2) there's a lot more "health prevention and maintenance" going on. As (1) attests,   people with serious ailments get very expensive care without having to worry. Among the difficulties with it (ironically enough) is the fact that many doctors are unhappy about not making as much money as their counterparts south of the border (and the main reason the AMA is against it, I presume). There is also some minor rationing of services going on. The costs are going up, mostly because of drug costs; but also because so much of hospital care is going on the very elderly. The big drain is not national health care: it is poor care for the elderly.

Some people say the French system is better.

It isn't clear to me that there will be a public competitor in the US. If there isn't, the costs will not drop at all. (I mean that the general increase in costs will not go up, of course). It should be the mark of a civilised society that everyone has health care.

yours,

Peter T.


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Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: GUEST,Russ
Date: 11 Jul 09 - 08:21 PM

I am a yank with health insurance through my employer. How archaic is that?

I have been listening to this conversation for my entire life.

The AMA has sung the same tune now for 60 plus years. They and the NRA deserve some sort of longevity and consistency award.

The message is always "Public Hearthcare BAD!" Their rationale has remained constant and their pitch is always to those who have something to lose. Public healthcare will mean loss of choice, rationed medicine, a two-tiered system, doctor flight, etc.

That message has consistently carried the day. Apparently those who feel they have something to lose have more political clout than those who have nothing to lose no matter what system is in place.

If I had no medical insurance and were not independently wealthy, I might think that just about anything is better than the status quo. But that is just me.

I am curious to see if the balance has now shifted.

Russ (permanent GUEST)


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Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 11 Jul 09 - 08:24 PM

There are two current new threads on this. I suggest they be combined.

Anyway, here's what I've just posted on the other one (BS: The Sick Truth behind 'SICKO' ):

"Who will pay for the doctors, the nurses, the EMT's, the electricity, and so on? "

Ordinary people will, obviously. The same way they already pay for it. Except that in a decent system they'd pay for it collectively, and everybody would get what they need, and it wouldn't get creamed off by the middle men and the profiteers. And they get much better value for their money.

The British NHS isn't perfect - in recent years it's been undermined by various gimmicks inspired by an ideology that sees the market as the answer to everything, and we've allowed the private drug companies to rip us all off. "Socialised medicine" - if only.

But it's still pretty good, and it means that we all get the treatment we need, and that accidents and illnesses aren't turned into financial disasters for our families.

"I don't know why the Americans haven't taken to the streets about it years back."   I find that hard to understand - but if they ever seriously tried to give us the American system here in Britain we really would take to the streets.


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Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: pdq
Date: 11 Jul 09 - 08:26 PM

Last time I saw a poll on this subject, 80% of the American people were quite happy with their health care, be it company-paid or user-paid system.

Fix it for the 20% who are not happy now.

Don't let a few know-it-all bureaucrats bring the whole system down.


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Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: Peace
Date: 11 Jul 09 - 08:37 PM

Peter T has nailed it, IMO.

At the time I needed a hip replacement (because the pain was not fun) I had medical coverage through my employer. However, I will not when I need a new hip, which I just may before I drop dead. The operation would have cost about $7,000. It cost me about $200 in total. Doug, you and I have had many differences over the years, but on this issue you have nothing to fear but fear itself.

I know very few people in Canada of modest income who would ever willingly give up nationalized health.

True story. As a child I was raised for part of my life by a single mom. She made $22 a week as a secretary. I developed an ear infection and stayed home from school. When my mother returned from work that day I was running a high fever and was banging my head against the wall in some sort of attempt to get the pain to stop. She called a doctor who made a house call. He injected me with some sort of antibiotic (I was about eight or nine at the time so that would make it in the late 1950s). The doctor also left a gang of pills, and seeing the somewhat sparse nature of the apartment furnishings and the obvious 'poverty' of the place, he charged he only $5.00. Had he not been a man of compassion, I'm sure the bill would have come to a few week's pay for my mom.

People should not have to make a choice between health, wellness and things like food or shelter. Because we have a socialized medical system, people who would have no choices at all can still receive good care. Yes, you may be in a room with three other people or sometimes seven other people. But you'll be in a room with a nurse tending to you and a doctor making his rounds just like on those TV shows.

People who insist on a private room will have to pay the difference themselves or have a private plan make up the difference. I shared a room with a nice fellow who was getting his knee "replaced'. We had the same doctor. We got along well. Most people in hospitals DO get along well. So that type of thing is not really an issue. Hell, we were so doped up with pain killers that we'd often fall asleep mid sentence.

I don't know necessarily that Canada has the best system of all countries with socialized medicine, but it's pretty much up there with darned good. I know that many people have been able to get excellent retirement benefits. But for those who haven't, it's good to know that that one expense is covered, and able to pay or not, no Canadian will be denied health care--at least not that I'm aware of.


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Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 11 Jul 09 - 08:45 PM

The Canadian system covers all, but plans vary in details from province to province. In Alberta, and some of the others, those who can afford it pay a premium. For some services, those with a certain income level pay over and above a specified amount. There is a small monthly fee for those who can afford it. I am talking about Alberta, I don't know details of plans in other provinces.

The coverage is very good; I have had coverage in Alberta since its inception in Canada some 40 years ago.
(If I were a religious person, I would support Tommy Douglas for sainthood).

Covered is assistance for handicapped; motorized chairs, installations in private vehicles, walk-in bathtubs, chair lifts, some renovations, etc.

Peter T. is correct, care for the elderly and drugs are major costs.


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Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: Peace
Date: 11 Jul 09 - 08:47 PM

"(If I were a religious person, I would support Tommy Douglas for sainthood)."

Me too.


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Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: Art Thieme
Date: 11 Jul 09 - 08:49 PM

I'm just sick of the current Medicaid system in the state of Illinois (where our governors make our license plates.) I've had to fight with it for over a decade. I must be on it to get treatments for my wife---also her expensive medication. I, personally, am on Medicare. She can't qualify for Social Security Disability Insurance because she was too ill to work enough to ever get Social Security--let alone Medicare. The Medicaid spend-down system makes sure we descend to the proper level -- actually being poverty stricken-- MONTH -- before she has any health-care coverage. For every dollar I take in, our spend-down dollar amount goes UP by that exact amount. I give away my recordings ---always have over the last dozen years or so.

The state Medicaid system we are a part of has not paid back health providers in ages. When they have, the amount is minuscule compared to what the doctors and hospitals have charged me. The legislature and current governor have no budget---and there is no sign of them achieving one.

As I said, if I wasn't already sick, fighting this system ensures that I would be sick--and stay that way.   You are hearing my anger, my frustration, my sadness at seeing what these moronic politicians are doing to the last best hope we had here for universal single-payer health coverage. Obama has tossed in the towel from all I can see. The bankers and those that created the dire scenarios in the USA have been given all the billions of dollars ($$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$) from the various stimulus packages.

And the possibility of finally securing a real health care for all system on the coattails of the euphoria over Obamas getting the presidency is receding into the chaos of this historical moment.

A.T.


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Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: maple_leaf_boy
Date: 11 Jul 09 - 08:51 PM

Peter T. mentions the French health care system. I've heard that they
have this Drug Plan in Quebec that I don't believe we have in Nova
Scotia. My doctor practices in both provinces, but didn't say too
much about it. What information can be given on that?

And yes, the health care system we have is easy, because it's covered
by our taxes so we don't have to worry every time. The British also
have this, and they also pay your cab fare home. It is a good system.


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Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: Peace
Date: 11 Jul 09 - 08:55 PM

"Premium payable under the Québec prescription drug insurance plan
If you have a health insurance card issued by the Régie de l'assurance maladie du Québec (RAMQ), you must have basic prescription drug insurance coverage. If you do not have group insurance coverage, you must be covered by the Québec prescription drug insurance plan. Call the RAMQ to register for the plan.

Revenu Québec is in charge of collecting premiums under the Québec prescription drug insurance plan. You must pay the annual premium when you file your income tax return (Schedule K), regardless of whether you purchase prescription drugs. If you are not required to pay the premium, you must indicate this on your return.

You may include the premium paid under the prescription drug insurance plan and your contribution towards prescription drug purchases in the calculation of your medical expenses that give entitlement to a tax credit.

For further information, consult the following publications:

Provisions of the Public Prescription Drug Insurance Plan (IN-113-V)
Guide to the income tax return (TP-1.G-V) (see the instructions for line 447) "


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Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 11 Jul 09 - 08:57 PM

While I was employed, I had coverage from my employer; when Canada initiated universal coverage, the costs became shared. As an annuitant, my employer continues to pay part of drug costs, etc.

I have relatives in the States, most of them are well-enough off to afford good insurance, but one, at least, was unable to obtain some treatment considered necessary by her physician; the insurance had a cap.

To us in Canada, U. S. health services look like they are in total disarray.


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Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: Peace
Date: 11 Jul 09 - 08:58 PM

"In Québec, everyone must be covered by prescription drug insurance. Two types of insurance plans offer this coverage:

private plans (group insurance or employee benefit plans);
the public plan, that is, the one administered by the Régie de l'assurance maladie du Québec.
If you are eligible for a private plan, you must join that plan. Otherwise, you must register for the public plan. We suggest that you check your situation by answering a short questionnaire. By doing so, you'll avoid unpleasant surprises."

http://www.ramq.gouv.qc.ca/en/citoyens/assurancemedicaments/index.shtml

There are two hot links on that site that may be of help, MLB. FYI.


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Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: Art Thieme
Date: 11 Jul 09 - 09:06 PM

That was to say EVERY MONTH.

In order to achieve the point where Medicaid pays her bills, Every Month we must spend ove $500.00 from our small income.

I/we did have purchased private health insurance until the uncovered parts of it took everything I had. Then, we couldn't afford the premiums. That insurance was cancelled. That is why descending into actual poverty, and divesting ourselves oa ALL assets, was the only option open.

If the insurance isn't made available to all...

Oh, to hell with it! I'm through talking about it.

Art


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Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: dick greenhaus
Date: 11 Jul 09 - 09:09 PM

it's odd that (reportedly)"80% of the American people were quite happy with their health care,", when more than 20% don't have any. I'm currently enjoying single-payer nationalized health care and it's jes' fine (they call it Medicare.)

Americans, I'm told, are paying about $8000 per capita per annum for one of the worst health care systems extant. I, for one would rather pay it to the Feds than to the private insurance companies I formerly supported.


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Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: Peace
Date: 11 Jul 09 - 09:09 PM

Art, you got me in tears.


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Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: Peace
Date: 11 Jul 09 - 09:11 PM

I've heard so many stories of people south of the border losing absolutely everything just because of the medical system there. That's why so many of us in Canada really do think Tommy Douglas should be sanctified.


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Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: Ebbie
Date: 11 Jul 09 - 09:16 PM

We should make the point for non-Statians that Medicaid is income-based of whatever age, Medicare on age and need.

DougR notes that "15 million" do not have health insurance. Perhaps that is the figure of older Americans who don't have health insurance because the accepted number of Americans who don't have it is almost 47 million. Sadly, a great many of those are children. True, we have Emergency Room accessibility but that is not like having ongoing health care.

I have Medicare. Of the conditions that Medicare covers (There are conditions and procedures it does NOT cover), it pays approximately 80% of the doctor/hospital-charged amount. The patient pays the remaining 20%. For a couple of years I also carried a "gap" insurance plan through one of the plans that AARP sponsors, for which I paid $84.00 a month.

Then one day I had surgery. And then I discovered that the private insurance that was supposed to fill the gap between what Medicare paid and what the doctors charged paid a grand TOTAL of $8.00 (Eight Dollars).

Not surprisingly, I no longer have that insurance.


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Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: pdq
Date: 11 Jul 09 - 09:28 PM

20% of American residents are not entirely happy with their health care, 80% are. I stand by that statement.

There are 308 million people living in the US. Ebbie's figure of "47 million uninsured" is 15.26% of the population.

"Unhappy" is not exactly the same as "uninsured".

I think DougR meant "15%" uninsured not "15 million people". It's more than that.


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Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: Peace
Date: 11 Jul 09 - 09:28 PM

BUT, that insurance company was more than willing to take your premium payments, right?


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Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: Rapparee
Date: 11 Jul 09 - 09:46 PM

I would like to see:

1. Adequate health care for all citizens of the US: this does NOT mean elective surgery (including "sex change operations" and other such);

2. It DOES mean that you could well be in a room with several others (a ward);

3. It does NOT include television or a telephone or computer access;

4. It DOES mean you get generic drugs instead of "brands" if such are available;

5. It DOES mean that you get physical therapy when it is needed;

6. It DOES include powered chairs and other assistive devices;

7. It DOES include childbirth, but not elective abortions;

8. It DOES include contraceptive medicines and devices;

9. It DOES mean that everyone will pay something more;

10. It DOES include wellness programs, participation in which lowers your share;

11. It DOES not include (except by your physician's prescription) acupuncture, shiatsu, vitamin pills, herbal supplements, chiropractic, and other such;

12. BUT additional private insurance can allow "upgrades".

The program would pay to educate physicians (allopathic and osteopathic) if they agreed to serve a period (at a set wage) in the Health Care System.

I'm basing much of this on the system the US military uses in its hospitals.


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Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: Richard Bridge
Date: 11 Jul 09 - 09:51 PM

Look, there is only one civilised answer, and as usual McGrath is right.


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Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: artbrooks
Date: 11 Jul 09 - 10:32 PM

I have, as a citizen and resident of the US, been on nationally-overseen heath care programs all of my life. Until I was 20, I was covered by my father's federal insurance plan, then called Champus, because he was in the Army. Then I was covered by the same program based on my own military service, or I used military hospitals. After I left active duty, I was a federal employee and had the same coverage as Members of Congress have...which was hardly free but which was entirely adequate for my needs and those of my family. I took that into retirement. When I turned 60, and became eligible for coverage as a retired military reservist, I converted to the same program my father had, now called Tricare. I have also used the coverage provided to veterans by the Department of Veterans Affairs from time to time. I never experienced anything remotely resembling the "rationing" that the scare-mongers say is inevitable in a government-run health care program, never had any significant out-of-pocket expenses other than my premiums (which were never more than $200 per month) and a $20 copayment per doctor's visit.


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Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: DMcG
Date: 12 Jul 09 - 03:29 AM

I would like to know how the US system copes with really long term illnesses, like many mental health issues. My son has received private care under BUPA insurance provided by his company, but now after two years they have stopped funding it and naturally no other insurance would take it on. So what would happen in the US?


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Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: Crow Sister (off with the fairies)
Date: 12 Jul 09 - 03:44 AM

I only have good things to say about the NHS in the UK. Of course there's the usual human error, it happens sometimes. Mistakes in diagnoses and medication occur. And yes, some people have to wait for less serious operations. And no doubt that's frustrating.

But I know people who have had multiple thousands of pounds of treatment over the years. Also people that have been rushed straight into emergency wards and received top notch treatment, within ten minutes of a phone call. No red tape. Just done.

I would NEVER want the UK to screw the NHS in favour of private healthcare.


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Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: Peace
Date: 12 Jul 09 - 03:45 AM

Bravo!


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Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: DMcG
Date: 12 Jul 09 - 03:55 AM

I should have made clear we live in the UK. So, yes, we fully support the NHS (and loathe all the tinkering that is going on that amounts to 'back-door privatisation' of many functions.) In my son's case, the private consultant's notes have been transferred into the NHS system and treatment pretty much continues. What the private insurance gained was mainly speed of access to consultants (in most cases mental health treatment has a LONG waiting list if it is not life-threatening), better rooms, and so on. Except for cutting down the time until he was first seen and the interval between subsequent sessions, I doubt if the medical treatment was any better.


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Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: Linda Kelly
Date: 12 Jul 09 - 04:16 AM

The NHS saved my life-what can I say? Given the complexity and range of its services it does a staggeringly good job. Occassionally individuals within the NHS let it down but that is true of any organisation. A couple of weeks ago my mother fell out of bed during the night. An ambulance arrived within 5 minutes and having checked her out and made sure she as ok, they left, contacted my mother's GP who then phoned the next morning to establish the facts and called around in the afternoon to examine her. I cant ask for more than that. I shopped around for travel insurance recently and because of ongoing health issues could not get any I could afford -I would worry if health insurance was introduced to this country. Long live the NHS!


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Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: Peter T.
Date: 12 Jul 09 - 06:02 AM

The question about costs is fairly overblown. We are citizens (as far as I can tell from the contributors) of civilized countries. Taxes, etc., are designed to pool our resources to do things together that we can't do as well separately. Health care, for a variety of reasons, is one of those things (it is not a commodity, and often not a service one is seeking voluntarily, so standard economics has problems marketising it in the most efficient way).   None of us is getting any younger. So why not spend it on something that we benefit greatly from, i.e. health care? It seems to me to be a good way to spend our money!!

My objection is that the current medical system is doing jobs that should be taken over by a decent public system of care for the elderly. Hospital beds and emergency rooms are being used as eldercare centres -- this is crazy, and shows no signs of stopping. I spend a lot of time in hospitals, and it is a terribly wasteful use of their resources.   

yours,

Peter T.


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Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: Sandra in Sydney
Date: 12 Jul 09 - 06:35 AM

Everyone in Australia is covered by Medicare Australia and almost half of Australians also have private health cover. Private funds say they provide the freedom to choose your own doctor, hospital and time of treatment.

I don't have private cover so when I had my cancer operation in January the only costs I had were a taxi ride to hospital, a bit of decent food from the cafe (public patents don't get enough food as the budget is very low), & several appointments with my Doctor. I was in a 4-bed surgical ward & received excellent attention from the staff. All subsequent appointments with my Surgeon were covered by Medicare. If I had private cover I would have had to pay out a substantial part of the gap between what Doctors & Hospitals charge & what Medicare reimburses and would have still been in the same ward getting the same treatment.

All around Australia we have queues for surgery & overstretched hospitals & emergency departments, & many low income people who can't afford to pay to see a doctor so head to the emergency dept for all treatment.

I'm also heading for cataract operations & my eye specialist expects me to be operated on within 3-6 months of getting on that list.

In Australia the good of National Healthcare far outweighs the bad points.

sandra

Oz Govt site comparing Health Insurance Policies of all Oz Health funds

Private health insurance reaches seven-year high (Feb 09)

Options for reforming Australia's health system A Background Note prepared by staff of parliament House library


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Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: Emma B
Date: 12 Jul 09 - 08:28 AM

The British national pastime is to complain about our (actually very moderate) weather

A close runner up would be to complain about the state of the National Health Service but, scratch the surface of any of these grouses, and few would want to see the American model in the UK

Although it's a rather long document I would recommend reading
What's good about the NHS and why it matters who provides the service

particularly parts 2 & 3 which deal with funding, risk pooling and risk sharing

"The architects of the NHS recognized that equity in health care could only be achieved by sharing the risks and costs of care across the whole of society from the rich to the poor and from healthy to sick........

It was for this reason the architects of the NHS embedded solidarity and collective provision into the structures for the funding and delivery of care"

Of interest is the section on how markets fragment risk pools by dividing the population into 'winners and losers' as profit is maximised where providers can pick the former and reject the latter

The 'losers' are those with chronic disease or disability or just those on low incomes.


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Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: daylia
Date: 12 Jul 09 - 09:35 AM

As a Canadian, I know very well the pros and cons of nationalized health care. The pros can be summed up in one sentence, already stated above -- when you're in desperate need of medical attention, you don't have to go broke to see a doctor, visit emerg, have the recommended surgery etc. And thats more than enough to balance out the cons, I guess, but believe me the cons are frustrating:

Here in Ontario, we have a worrisome shortage of doctors that just gets worse every year. MD's make more money in private systems, so a lot of young doctors just cross the border once they've graduated. My family doctor was killed in a plane crash 10 yrs ago   =[   I've yet to find another who's willing to take a new patient. *tg* I very rarely need a doctor! Because people like me end up waiting in noisy crowded infectious emergency rooms/clinics 8-12 hours or more, for even the simplest thing (ie a cream for bad case of poison ivy). And if I ever needed hospitalization, I'd be "cared for" by different doctors every day, none of whom know me or my medical history from a hole in the ground. Makes for impersonal, sporadic, fractured and sluggish doctoring -- I've watched it happen, with my own family.

Gov't covers visits to clinics, major surgery etc but not essential things like antibiotics, crutches, splints, casts, ambulance. Elective surgery, forget it. Post partum care, forget it (new moms/babies stay in hospital no more than 24-48 hrs these days, unless they pay for private/semi-private rooms and more time)
And the most common reasons to seek medical help -- ie eye exams, glasses, any form of dentistry -- well, forget those too.

All of this is why I've been learning/practicing alternative health care methods for years now. Healthy diet, regular exercise, herbal tonics and remedies, massage/relaxation techniques to counter arthritic tendencies, better ways of managing stress etc -- I don't know what I'd do without em all, at this point. WHich is a good thing, actually. People do best when they take responsibility for their own bodies/health management instead of relying on doctors/gov't to do it for them. Because, sadly enough, many of today's doctors -- espeically those working at free clinics -- are not really "healers" at all. More like legalized drug pushers, the lackies of the chemical/pharmaceutical conglomerates. Barely listen/look at you for more than 30 seconds before scribbling out some prescription and shooing you out the door.

Sheesh, think I better quit now. Can you tell my own experiences have resulted in a general lack of trust in Western medical practices? Just my 2c worth, anyway -- best wishes and take good care now, all.


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Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 12 Jul 09 - 09:48 AM

The bottom is that universal health care, free at the point has to be available. There are various way of organising this, and some are better and some are worse, and there is room for argument about this kind of thing - but the principle is fundamental.

I cannot envisage how any civilised and humane society can fail to deliver this, or how any civilised or humane person can fail to support the principle.


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Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: Stu
Date: 12 Jul 09 - 10:10 AM

Hear hear!


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Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: GUEST,HiLo
Date: 12 Jul 09 - 11:15 AM

Universal health care free to all citizens should be the first priority of any nation. I have no complaints whatever about Government health care in Canada. I was able to choose my own MD. I have access to a local walk in clinic as well as access to emergency facilities when needed. I have always gotten good care and have been well served by dedicated and highly qualified doctors.
However, citizens need to respect the system as well. Emergency rooms often have a long waiting time for those who show up with "minor" problems. Thus a high number of complaints about waiting for hours. We ought to be more mindful of what emergency means and use walk in clinics for lesser ailments. Drs. often complain of the congestion caused in emergency rooms by those who would be better served elsewhere.
   I am forever grateful for our health care, it has served myself and my family very well over the years. If a nation of 32 million can do it..so can others..but they must have the will.


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Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: Ebbie
Date: 12 Jul 09 - 11:39 AM

It's hard to make DougR's statement: …"there are around 15 million citizens or so that have no coverage at all" fit pdq's perception that "I think DougR meant 15%" uninsured not "15 million people".


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Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: dick greenhaus
Date: 12 Jul 09 - 11:51 AM

pdq-
how does your "80% satisfied" figure jibe with the recent large poll that showed that 72% of those polled supported national health care, and were willing to pay increased taxes for it?


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Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: Bill D
Date: 12 Jul 09 - 12:20 PM

There is no single answer to Doug's original question.
Those who believe in "the greatest good for the greatest number"...i.e., Utilitarianism, will say 'good', while those who judge ANY change by the criterion "will it cost ME more, or make ME wait longer, or cut into MY profits?", are likely to say "No".

I assume that, at least at the beginning, *I* will see some things I don't like, as in some longer waits...but I am willing to deal with that in order to see drug prices controlled, medical malpractice insurance reduced, universal accesss to health care, and reduction in bureaucratic paperwork crap.

This, if adopted, will take WORK, as the current system is so entrenched that basic thinking will need to be altered...but we'd better do it now, or in a few years it will go from bad to **horrible**. (In my, and many experts' opinion)


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Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: pdq
Date: 12 Jul 09 - 12:25 PM

Well, 15% (uninsured) of 308 million is about 47 million (uninsured), a figure Ebbie used.

If there are polls/numbers/facts/ let's get them out. It makes for a reasonable discussion. Anectodal evidence and opinion are not enough basis to throw out our entire health care system.

Please give poll data about the "72% want socialised medicine". The wording of the question is absountely vital.

I also heard that "67% of those in U.S. with no health care plan were born in Mexico". Anyone have more on that angle?


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Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 12 Jul 09 - 12:26 PM

I missed out a couple of words in my last post so here goes again:

The bottom line is that universal health care, free at the point of use, has to be made available. There are various way of organising this, and some are better and some are worse, and there is room for argument about this kind of thing - but the principle is fundamental.

I cannot envisage how any civilised and humane society can fail to deliver this, or how any civilised or humane person can fail to support the principle.


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Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: Ebbie
Date: 12 Jul 09 - 12:40 PM

Here is another view:

Scott W. Atlas.
Senior fellow at the Hoover Institution and a professor of radiology and chief of neuroradiology at Stanford University Medical School.

1.Americans have better survival rates than Europeans for common cancers.
2. Americans have lower cancer mortality rates than Canadians.
3. Americans have better access to treatment for chronic diseases than patients in other developed countries.
4. Americans have better access to preventive cancer screening than Canadians.
5. Lower-income Americans are in better health than comparable Canadians.
6. Americans spend less time waiting for care than patients in Canada and the United Kingdom.
7. People in countries with more government control of health care are highly dissatisfied and believe reform is needed.
8. Americans are more satisfied with the care they receive than Canadians.
9. Americans have better access to important new technologies such as medical imaging than do patients in Canada or Britain.
10. Americans are responsible for the vast majority of all health care innovations.

"Despite serious challenges, such as escalating costs and care for the uninsured, the U.S. health care system compares favorably to those in other developed countries. "

Fleshed Out


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Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: Alice
Date: 12 Jul 09 - 12:41 PM

Unfortunately, I don't think I'll see health care free at the point of use in the USA in my lifetime. I don't even get coverage for eyecare through the insurance plan I have to pay for through my employer. I have to spend thousands on health care each year, even though I am on an employer health care plan. This country is crazy - it's a matter of life and death to our citizens to have health care, and the right wing politicians have blocked it all the way.


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Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: pdq
Date: 12 Jul 09 - 12:50 PM

From Ebbie's 12:40 post...


Americans are more satisfied with the care they receive than Canadians."
               ~ Yes, about 80% of us are happy

Americans have better access to important new technologies such as medical imaging than do patients in Canada or Britain.
               ~   Yes, hugely expensive machines but worth every penny. This is part of the "escalating cost" but we expect more in 2009 than we did 50 years ago.

Americans are responsible for the vast majority of all health care innovations.
               ~ Well, France's contribution in the last 50 years was the "morning afer pill". Sorta equals out, er, probably not.


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Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: Emma B
Date: 12 Jul 09 - 12:50 PM

Posted June 16, 2009
Sources: Rasmussen

65: Percentage of voters who believe that every American should have access to quality healthcare
22: Percentage of voters who disagree
12: Percentage of voters who aren't sure
80: Percentage who oppose providing healthcare for illegal immigrants
11: Percentage who support healthcare for illegal immigrants

March 5, 2009

CNN/Opinion Research Corporation survey

Seventy-two percent of those questioned in recent CNN/Opinion Research Corporation survey say they favor increasing the federal government's influence over the country's health care system in an attempt to lower costs and provide health care coverage to more Americans, with 27 percent opposing such a move.

The poll also indicates that health care is tied as the third most important issue for President Obama and Congress to deal with over the next year. Forty-eight percent said dealing with health care was extremely important, tied with education and trailing only the economy and terrorism as the most important issues

March 2, 2007 NY Times CBS poll

More people now see guaranteeing health insurance as important than did so at the end of the Clinton efforts in 1996.
At that time, 56 percent polled said it was the government's responsibility to do so, and 38 percent said it was not. In the current poll, 64 percent said the government should guarantee health insurance for all; 27 percent said it should not.

Moreover, an overwhelming majority in the current poll said the health care system needed fundamental change or total reorganization, just as they did in the early 1990s, when a deep recession and soaring health care costs galvanized the public and spurred the Clinton drive.

The poll also found overwhelming support behind the Children's Health Insurance Program, which covers many low- and moderate-income children and is up for renewal in Congress this year.
Eighty-four percent of those polled said they supported expanding the current program to cover all uninsured children, now estimated at more than eight million. A similar majority said they thought the lack of health insurance for many children was a "very serious" problem for the country.


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Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: Alice
Date: 12 Jul 09 - 12:53 PM

that should be "on an employer health INSURANCE plan"


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Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: Little Hawk
Date: 12 Jul 09 - 12:58 PM

"Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?"

Good. Very good. It's a virtual necessity in any modern society that has any sense of public responsibility, and it is already the choice of most countries in the developed western world. The USA is a glaring exception to that. The USA is being held back by a self-serving bunch of huge drug companies and huge insurance companies who have nothing in mind except protecting their gigantic profits.

They are busy telling lies and bribing Congressmen so that they can maintain the status quo.


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Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 12 Jul 09 - 01:04 PM

No one is suggesting that, if you can get it, the best American health care isn't extremely good. After all, as a nation you spend a far higher proportion of money on it than in most other countries, including the UK.

Americans should be proud of the quality of their health care. But they should be deeply ashamed of the fact that millions of their fellow citizens cannot benefit from it when they need it.


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Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: Ebbie
Date: 12 Jul 09 - 01:29 PM

It may be good (if you can get it, as you say, Kevin) but the fact remains that infant mortality in the US ranks very high, we don't live as long as citizens in many another country even though we spend a great deal more for health care and we work more hours than almost anyone else in the developed nations.

To me, the whole question sounds academic. Despite the far right's opinion, Medicare works- I can't even imagine in what condition the elderly in this country would be if it weren't for Medicare. Just about the best thing that FDR's administration came up with.

One-source health care with the option of private augmentation sounds like a no-brainer to me.


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Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 12 Jul 09 - 01:35 PM

At age 80, my eyes were starting to fail, and I had new lenses implanted by a laser clinic, both eyes, but a month apart.
Five years later, my "new eyes" are doing fine.

The sole cost (Alberta, Canada) was the taxi to the clinic, and taxis for the yearly check-up (eyes are dilated for part of the examination).


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