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In Sickness And In Hell, Part II

My apologies for the delay in this piece; I was rather delightfully distracted online last night.

So, we've established that our health care system works pretty damned well, but the way we pay for it is seriously bollixed. Just what the hell should we do about it?

Well, I am innately suspicious of any heavy-handed government solution. There's an old saying that "the power to tax is the power to destroy," and the power to regulate and control is not that far removed from the power to tax. I would be very concerned about having the government "fix" the financing end without totally wrecking the important part, the part that works -- the actual health care.

Historically, government regulation and control has been more destructive than beneficial -- especially when it comes to financial matters. Witness the "luxury tax" of the 1990's that utterly devastated the luxury yacht industry, putting a lot of skilled workers out of their jobs.

Also, I find myself philosophically opposed to the government setting price controls on anything. It's not that far removed from turning medical professionals into lifetime indentured servants, controlling just how much money they can make.

It troubles me, too, that the experiments we've seen in regulating the costs of health care around the world have ended up hurting the actual providing of services.

For example, in Massachusetts, they've started really ratcheting down on things. They now require all residents to carry health insurance, and have previously instituted tight controls on the medical field -- all in the name of saving people money.

Not so coincidentally, they find themselves lacking doctors. Not only are established doctors and practices relocating across the border (old blog-friend Giacomo is a great example), but even the Boston Globe has noticed that the state is seriously short of general practitioners.

Gee, Massachusetts institutes a whole bunch of "reforms" that have the end result of limiting how much doctors can make, and is surprised when skilled, experienced, veteran doctors decide to skip across the border. Further, those doctors who don't flee -- seeing that the state is focusing mainly on general practitioners and letting specialists slide a bit more -- are choosing to go into more profitable specialties. Toss in the mention of how the doctor shortage isn't so bad around the teaching hospitals, and you have a simple explanation for it:

Young would-be doctors go to Massachusetts to get the best possible education and experiences, then -- as soon as they can -- move into either fields where they can actually make what they can, or move to states where they can make what they can. Who remains behind? Those who are truly dedicated to their craft beyond economic sensibility, those who can't master the skills to go into a specialty, and those who have other attachments to the state.

OK, that's Massachusetts. It has its problems (obviously), but one element that doesn't scale is the ease with which doctors can "opt out" of it by moving no more than a hundred miles. What would happen if the system was larger? If it was far tougher for doctors to escape the grasp of government control?

Well, you might end up like Canada.

Or France.

Or Cuba.

Or Great Britain.

Horror stories from each abound. Long waits for critical procedures. Rushed exams by doctors who have to meet their "quotas." Botched operations that take forever to correct. And so on. And so on.

The Declaration declares that we are all endowed by our Creator with certain inalienable rights, and cites "life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness" as examples. Some would argue that health care falls under the "life" part.

But there is no right to demand something from someone else for free. And that is the crux of the health care argument -- people want free health care, but they don't want to think about just how that happens:

"Health care" means people providing services and material goods changing hands. All of those have a cost and a value. "Free" just means that "someone else pays for it."

It's a great system, for the recipient. For the provider, not so much.

Right now, we have the greatest providers in the world. Our health care is the gold standard by which all others are measured -- and found lacking.

So whatever we do to fix the problem in financing our health care system, we must be extremely careful not to destroy the most important part, the part that works so damned well.

Or we end up with the ultimate socialist fantasy -- true equality, with everyone being equally miserable.

I'll pass, thanks.

(Title stolen from one of the funnier episodes of "Xena: Warrior Princess.")


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Comments (80)

Jay, I have had to adjust m... (Below threshold)
Candy:

Jay, I have had to adjust my incredibly low opinion of Michael Moore since seeing a recent interview (I think on Leno) regarding "Sicko", his latest movie. He investigated healthcare around the world and mentioned that in England, the doctors are paid based on how much healthier their patients are - I need time to look into this for its accuracy, but it seemed like a sound idea when I heard it. (My second thought was 'if I'm dying, will my British doc drop me like a bad habit to avoid ruining his quota?)

He also mentioned taking a boatload of sick Americans to a Cuban ER, where they received top notch treatment. Furthermore, he told a story of a TV special where he was seeking a winner to the country with the best healthcare. Cuba won, but the network (NBC?) said "Cuba can't win" and made Canada the winner. Is it possible that a communist backwater nation is providing better healthcare to its citizens that we are getting? I'll be PISSED if it's true!

Has anyone seen or investigated the truths in "Sicko"?

I agree that the government can't take over our healthcare system. They can screw up a two-car funeral (if DHHS in Maine is any indication of their skill level).

I usually simplify healthca... (Below threshold)
RPC:

I usually simplify healthcare reform. Everybody wants three things in health care. Fast, Cheap, and Good. The problem is, you can have any two of those three, but not all three. If its Fast and Good, it isn't cheap, if it's fast and cheap, it isn't good, If it's good and cheap, it isn't fast. Simple.
We will likely end up with a two tiered system. Cheap and Good for all, where everyone waits (Canada..sort of) and Fast and Good for those who can pay.
The real problem will come if everyone is shoehorned into the same system as that is when the system starts to slide (again..Canada)
Full Disclosure..I'm a specialist MD who has Canadian partners and takes care of Canadians who cross the border...and yes, I've got lots of horror stories.

Candy;<a href="htt... (Below threshold)
Candy,"if I'm dyin... (Below threshold)
Mike:

Candy,

"if I'm dying, will my British doc drop me like a bad habit to avoid ruining his quota?"

You bet your life. In a cost-controlled system, one of the easiest ways to control costs is to deny medical care to those who are assumed terminally ill. Think about it -- as a person gets older, they require more and more health care. Also, someone with cancer may incur more health care expense in the last year of their life than in the earlier years of their life combined.

"... taking a boatload of sick Americans to a Cuban ER, where they received top notch treatment."

Cuba has very nice hospitals for government officials and foreigners who can afford to pay top dollar (and I believe that US dollars are preferred) for Cuba's finest doctors and the most modern diagnostic equipment that the Cuban government can afford.

It is the common folk, the peasants (read: people like you and me) who end up in hellholes like this one, filthy, understaffed, out of prescription meds, 40 year old lab equipment, and not a CT or MRI machine in sight.

"Historically, governmen... (Below threshold)
P. Bunyan:

"Historically, government regulation and control has been more destructive than beneficial -- especially when it comes to financial matters. "

True, but what government can do that would do much more good than harm would be to get the lawyers under control. It would be the easiest way to save the largest amount of money in our health care system. It might not "fix" everything, but it would be the easiest and largest step in the right direction.

Of course that will never happen-- congress will never act to protect us from the litigious predators-- until there are less than 60 Democrats in the Senate.

The US is beginning to inst... (Below threshold)
taz:

The US is beginning to institute a Pay for Performance system. Doctors and hospitals must meet certain benchmarks or their re-imbursement for services will be cut by 1.5% if they faill to meet said benchmarks. This is a Medicare law.

It is the slippery slope to outcomes pay. Sick patients will not be able to find a physician willing to take an extra cut in pay for the honor of treating them.


Candy, whatever happened with your kidney stone? Are you OK.

DOH! I meant less than 40 ... (Below threshold)
P. Bunyan:

DOH! I meant less than 40 Democrats...

And Candy, there are probab... (Below threshold)
P. Bunyan:

And Candy, there are probably better ones out there, but this site makes some good points.

Hint: if it's from Micheal Moore you can be sure it's full of falsehoods & misleading facts designed to create an overall fabrication of reality. He fools a lot of retarded people though.

Outcomes pay is an evil thi... (Below threshold)
Jay:

Outcomes pay is an evil thing.

For instance, the pure fantasy BMI charts the government creates. If you discount the pay of a doctor who can't get his patients in line with those bugus numbers, that's absurd.

For instance, blood pressure numbers. All the underlying causes are still not understood by any stretch, so we arbitrarily apply meds that may lower the blood pressure numbers without addressing causes. That would be like the goal of prescribing pain meds that make your headache go away, whether the cause is a brain tumor, migraines, infection, whatever. It's artificial and arbitrary, and if your numbers don't respond to meds, if you can't or won't do something lifestyle-wise to meet given numbers, you risk doctors dropping you. That sn you risk further intrusiveness into your life by the government in the name of helping your doctor beat you into "health" as defined by arbitrary numbers.

Jay, I suggest you review t... (Below threshold)
BarneyG2000:

Jay, I suggest you review this report on the state of our healthcare system and ways to improve quality and reduce costs:
http://www.commonwealthfund.org/usr_doc/site_docs/annualreports/2006/msg_pres07.htm

A shorter version is here:
http://www.commonwealthfund.org/publications/publications_show.htm?doc_id=401577

As I stated before we spend way too much for our healthcare (two to three times that of England, Canada or France) and we still don't insure nearly 50-million people.

As far as wait time, this was reported at the Commonwealth Fund as well (from Newsweek):

In a study of five developed counties CF looked at how many adults had to wait six days or more for an appointment. Canada was the worst followed by the US and then the others.

The ulmtimate issue here is... (Below threshold)
Tim in PA:

The ulmtimate issue here is that people want healthcare, the cutting edge healthcare we're used to - which DOES cost a lot (and note the difference between price, cost, and value), but they don't want to actually pay for it.

I don't want to pay for it either... so I don't, not having insurance. My doctor visits, prescriptions, and dental care - a couple times a year - are paid for in cash, out of pocket. I have no long waits, no problems. Being a student in my mid 20's, I can deal with this a couple more years.

I think that the main probl... (Below threshold)

I think that the main problem is that health care is not a free market. When I was in an HMO, or a PPO, I had a copay. I paid the same amount, no matter what my doctor had negotiated with the insurer. There was no downward price pressure on the doctor or the drug companies, because I picked the product or service, and somebody else paid the bill.

High-deductible plans, combined with HSAs, can help solve this. They certainly have for me. The employer, the consumer, and the healthcare providers have to work together, but it can be done. Instead of using up Jay's disk with my diatribe, you can read my explanation at

http://realityblogz.blogspot.com/2007/07/lowering-cost-of-healthcare.html

BarneyG:We pay a l... (Below threshold)
cirby:

BarneyG:

We pay a lot for out healthcare, but a MASSIVE chunk of that is tied up in research and development for the whole planet. Every time you see those "how much does the US pay" studies, they include EVERYTHING. Including basic medical research (about 2/3 of all high-end research in the world), and those insanely expensive drug trials that establish whether or not a drug is safe enough to use (not to mention the initial search for chemicals that might make good drugs).

We also use technology here that most of the rest of the world won't see for five or ten years - after the initial costs have been paid back by US medical services.

Look at MRIs, for example. A few years ago, I was at a conference (I do trade shows for a living), and one of the doctors mentioned that there were (at that time) more MRI machines in Orlando, Florida than there were in all of the UK (the place they were invented). The US healthcare system bought so many MRIs that the price dropped, enough so that other countries started buying them for their "midrange" patients. Even so, it's still bordering on the "exotic" in places like the UK or most of Europe, while it's literally a walk-in diagnostic system here in the US (at $500 a pop for a full-body MRI scan in some markets).

Once you knock R&D out of the equation, US health costs are a LOT cheaper overall.

Looks like I get to post <a... (Below threshold)
C-C-G Author Profile Page:

Looks like I get to post this article again.

The index is deliberately set up to make tax financing look good, direct out of pocket expenditures look bad, inequality of treatment is as important as the actual level of treatment: and then people express surprise that the US system, which violates all of those implicit rules, looks bad?

Just to hammer the point home. On this system of measurement, the actual level of treatment in the US could fall, but the amount tax financed rise: and the US would be declared to have improved its system. Yes, really, a decrease in the absolute level of treatment could mean a rise up the rankings.

Read the whole thing. Especially you, Barney.

Tim, if I might be so bold ... (Below threshold)

Tim, if I might be so bold as to expand upon your initial point, I believe the primary problem here in America is that everyone wants the best of everything, but is not willing to pay the price for it (I am using "everyone" loosely, here, bear with me). We have become too much an entitlement society, as if being alive somehow granted you certain things... as if people should be rewarded for their company and presence alone (even though most of those people of that mindset are individuals I could not be in the same room with for more than five minutes).

And, as Jay said, it does, and our Founding Fathers saw to that, and as long as you can secure it for yourself, you are guaranteed all the life (and associated health care, though, personally, I do not see the latter being inexorably interwoven with the first), liberty, and happiness you can grab. But the second you start demanding something from someone else without proper recompense... that is called "robbery", and any system based upon it is doomed to failure from the start.

The problem with healthcare... (Below threshold)
Oclarki:

The problem with healthcare in America is that people are insulated from the true cost of medicine. When you have insurance through an employer, and it only costs $15 for a doctor visit, you already have an unrealisitic expectation of the costs.
Employers should not be in the business of providing health insurance. It is a throwback to World War II when their were wage controls, so employers started including benefits like healthcare because they couldn't increase wages. The most obvious solution is to use a model everyone is already familiar with, car insurance.
With my car insurance, I am covered if I get into an accident. I don't file a claim to change the oil, replace the tires or other routine maintenance. Medical insurance should work the same way. I pay for checkups, and other routine costs. Medical insurance should be for large unexpected medical events, like cancer, trauma etc.
Require people to carry their own health insurance. Then require insurance companies to insure everyone.

Here's the firat senternce ... (Below threshold)
JFO:

Here's the firat senternce of the second paragraph of CCG's touted "article."

"Admittedly, I've not seen the film and it's most unlikely that I ever will so please feel free to reject it as you wish: perhaps the sour grapes of one who doesn't like the conclusions, perhaps just the witterings of one who knows not of which he speaks"

We should pay attention to an article with that tag line, shouldn't we?

ccg, I read the report. I ... (Below threshold)
BarneyG2000:

ccg, I read the report. I like the part where the author calls Moore a dam lier then admits that he hasn't and won't watch the movie, and then says the movie is mostly accurate? The guy has got a lot of credibility.

He still does not explain why we pay 15.3% of GDP on healthcare that leaves almost 50-million Americans uninsured and about the same or more under insured while France pays 10.7% of GDP on healthcare and covers all their citizens with full coverage and rates higher than the US in healthcare studies, has shorter waiting periods, lower infant mortality rates and higher life expectancies than in the US?

Hey barneygoole how many of... (Below threshold)
jhow66:

Hey barneygoole how many of that 50 million are to lazy to get a job--you know the ones that set around and wait on their welfare checks.

So much for the French syst... (Below threshold)
LoveAmerica Immigrant:

So much for the French system that couldn't even take care of its elderly during a heat wave. Also on infant mortality rate, other countries didn't include the deaths of prematurely born babies. They just let them die (I guess that 's why they advocate "mercy killing" to improve the statistics) and exclude them from the statistics. In the US, we include the deaths of premature babies in the statistics and we spend the money and have the technology to save them. Again, Barney forgot that the rest of the world adopts the parasitical model of riding on the US expense (just like defense for example). About the life expectancy issue, taking out the homocide/accident deaths, the US is the best for health-related life expectancy. The discussion is here


http://wizbangblog.com/content/2007/07/27/canadian-doctor-describes-the-nightmare-of-canadas-health-care-system.php

And if we measure a health care system by how well it serves its sick citizens, American medicine excels. Five-year cancer survival rates bear this out. For leukemia, the American survival rate is almost 50%; the European rate is just 35%. Esophageal carcinoma: 12% in the U.S., 6% in Europe. The survival rate for prostate cancer is 81.2% here, yet 61.7% in France and down to 44.3% in England -- a striking variation.
Anyone can buy catastrophic... (Below threshold)
LoveAmerica Immigrant:

Anyone can buy catastrophic health insurance at a reasonable cost. You pay out of pocket for normal visits. My friends did that when they were out of a job for several months. Again, socialized medicine as socialized economy has been shown to be a failure (esp for the poor).

Barney spews: "He still doe... (Below threshold)
SPQR:

Barney spews: "He still does not explain why we pay 15.3% of GDP on healthcare that leaves almost 50-million Americans uninsured ..."

The amount of GDP spent has no relation to whether or not someone has insurance. The first is a measure of the total amount of the nation's economic output that is health care, the second is a measure of how many people are with the contractual provision of a health insurance company.

Its not even apples and oranges since the two numbers are not even in the same food group.

This is a classic example of Barney's utter ignorance and misuse of statistics.

jhow, how many because they... (Below threshold)
BarneyG2000:

jhow, how many because they are lazy? I do not know but France has a much higher unemployment rate than we do (4% to 10%) and they still cover everyone for less cost.

oclarki,You're abs... (Below threshold)
Mike:

oclarki,

You're absolutely right. Health "insurance" isn't really "insurance" as traditionally offered for your auto or your home or for professional liability, etc. In those kinds of coverages, routine expenses are the responsibility of the insured. The insurance only provides indemnity (financial compensation and/or legal counsel) for catastrophic events such as accident, fire, or lawsuits.

There are at least two, no three problems with structuring health "insurance" in such a manner. First, people are used to having the insurance company pay for everything. Second, what is a "routine expense"? Maybe you could put a dollar amount on it, but you would be stuck in a perpetual battle with those continually seeking to lower that dollar amount or exclude specific medical procedures from the "routine" category.

The third problem is related to the finances of the insured. With home insurance, for example, the insurance company usually compensates you for your loss and then either terminates your coverage or adds a number of exclusions to your coverage that prevents them from covering the same loss again.

How could we do that with health insurance? For example, if someone had a heart attack, should the insurance company simply cut them a check for the cost of hospitalization and the projected cost of future medical care related to the heart attack (maybe $250,000?) and then exclude all future coverage of heart-related maladies?

As it is, health insurance has so altered the financial end of medical care that I'm not sure it can ever be really overhauled.

Employer-funded health insu... (Below threshold)
LoveAmerica Immigrant:

Employer-funded health insurance is a quirky development of FDR's wage and price controls. An alternative would be a health-care system built on individuals and families purchasing their own health coverage. The advantages are numerous:

http://www.nationalreview.com/comment/gratzer200505160830.asp

Here is a discussion about ... (Below threshold)
LoveAmerica Immigrant:

Here is a discussion about the system in Germany and France

But public systems are relatively similar--they simply attempt to ration health care in one way or another. In my travels and in my conversations with colleagues, I have yet to come across any particularly interesting approaches to health care management in the countries you list. It's not that governments have pioneered novel types of primary care or that they have rethought the institutional provision of services. These countries simply use wage and prices controls to temper demand. Sure, the Canadian and British approaches seem particularly problematic, but France has its share of dissatisfaction and problems.


http://www.tnr.com/doc.mhtml?i=w070416&s=cohngratzer041807

From the same Canadian doct... (Below threshold)
LoveAmerica Immigrant:

From the same Canadian doctor who knows socialized medicine.

-----------------------------------
In my book, I talk about ways to insure more uninsured, to increase quality and trim costs. A summary of my core ideas: Make health insurance more like other types of insurance, foster competition, reform Medicaid using welfare reform as a model, revisit Medicare, and address prescription drug costs by addressing the FDA's size and scope.

So, no, I don't look to France for inspiration; I look to the United States.

"The U. S. health system sp... (Below threshold)
BarneyG2000:

"The U. S. health system spends a higher portion of its gross domestic product than any other country but ranks 37 out of 191 countries according to its performance, the report finds. The United Kingdom, which spends just six percent of gross domestic product (GDP) on health services, ranks 18th ."

http://www.who.int/inf-pr-2000/en/pr2000-44.html

Health Care Lie: '47 Millio... (Below threshold)
LoveAmerica Immigrant:

Health Care Lie: '47 Million Uninsured Americans'

http://www.businessandmedia.org/printer/2007/20070718153509.aspx

Looks like they didn't meas... (Below threshold)
LoveAmerica Immigrant:

Looks like they didn't measure this performance at all.

And if we measure a health care system by how well it serves its sick citizens, American medicine excels. Five-year cancer survival rates bear this out. For leukemia, the American survival rate is almost 50%; the European rate is just 35%. Esophageal carcinoma: 12% in the U.S., 6% in Europe. The survival rate for prostate cancer is 81.2% here, yet 61.7% in France and down to 44.3% in England -- a striking variation.

<a href="http://www.medical... (Below threshold)
LoveAmerica Immigrant:

http://www.medicalprogresstoday.com/spotlight/spotlight_indarchive.php?id=1720

Market reforms are catching on in Britain, too. For six decades, its socialist Labour Party scoffed at the very idea of private medicine, dismissing it as "Americanization." Today Labour favors privatization, promising to triple the number of private-sector surgical procedures provided within two years. The Labour government aspires to give patients a choice of four providers for surgeries, at least one of them private, and recently considered the contracting out of some primary-care services--perhaps even to American companies.

Other European countries follow this same path. In Sweden, after the latest privatizations, the government will contract out some 80% of Stockholm's primary care and 40% of total health services, including Stockholm's largest hospital. Beginning before the election of the new conservative chancellor, Germany enhanced insurance competition and turned state enterprises over to the private sector (including the majority of public hospitals). Even in Slovakia, a former Marxist country, privatizations are actively debated.

Under the weight of demographic shifts and strained by the limits of command-and-control economics, government-run health systems have turned out to be less than utopian. The stories are the same: dirty hospitals, poor standards and difficulty accessing modern drugs and tests.

lovie, your facts are just ... (Below threshold)
BarneyG2000:

lovie, your facts are just not true. Here are the facts from the US Government:

http://www.cdc.gov/nchs/data/nhis/earlyrelease/insur200706.pdf

In 2006, 43.6 million persons of all
ages (14.8%) were uninsured at the
time of the interview, 54.5 million
(18.6%) had been uninsured for at
least part of the year prior to the
interview, and 30.7 million (10.5%)
had been uninsured for more than year at the time of the interview.

Barnie Cutie, We kn... (Below threshold)
LoveAmerica Immigrant:

Barnie Cutie,
We know that at least 10million illegals shouldn't be included in that tally for sure. That 's a low estimate for the number of illegals. Also that adds a significant cost to the overall health care cost in any case. Anyone can buy catastrophic health insurance at a reasonable cost if they really want to.

Government stat... (Below threshold)
LoveAmerica Immigrant:

Government statistics also show 45 percent of those without insurance will have insurance again within four months after job transitions.

Accounting for all those factors, one prominent study places the total for the long-term uninsured as low as 8.2 million - a very different reality than the media and national health care advocates claim.

lovie what is your evidence... (Below threshold)
BarneyG2000:

lovie what is your evidence that 10-million illegals were included? The study field manual says to exclude citizens of foreign countries temporarily residing in the US.

Your stat that says that 45% will eventually get insurance does not account for the new persons added without insurance. Every study has shown this number to be increasing, so even if some do get insurance there are more new people without.

Your other study about cancer survival rate is flawed because it only included persons in the US with access to healthcare and not everyone. Everyone in England has access, so everyone would be included. I can also point to a head to head study that when all senior related diseases are taking into account the survival rate is better in England than in the US (again US only includes persons with access and not all sick persons).

Barney Cutie, If m... (Below threshold)
LoveAmerica Immigrant:

Barney Cutie,
If more people are working for Walmat, they would have gotten insurance, right? All those despised Walmart jobs by liberals? Oops, unless you are a homeless working for union. The unemployment rate is very low now. Again, anyone can buy catastrophic health insurance.
It doesn't take much brain to see why the US is the best in treating the sick. Just look at the innovation of new drugs and technology. No matter how you spin, the western world has kind of adopted a parasitical model of riding on the medical innovation in the US. Wonder what will happen to their deterioting health care system if they have to spend their own money for defense. These countries are so cheap that even when the US provide more or less cheap defense for them, they can't even afford to spend more to take better care of their sick and elderly. That 's probably why all these countries are advocating mercy killing to control their health care cost. Is that why the left for mercy killing as well?

The problem with the Massac... (Below threshold)
jim:

The problem with the Massachusets plan is that it's dealing with health insurers. Health insurers are the *biggest part* of the problem with the US health care system. Health insurance companies are straight-up gouging citizens, because they can.

So Massachusets' plan is in fact helping them gouge more people - with predictable results.

As for other countries health care systems vs. ours: the bottom line is that we spend almost twice as much total, but don't get nearly as much on average. We live years shorter, other nations' children are literally growing taller than us because they're better cared for in their developing years, and we have a much higher infant mortality rate - and this without even considering the 45 million or so we **don't** cover.

Not to mention the added burden on small business to provide health insurance, which hurts our competitiveness and even has other large companies like Toyota pick Canada over us, because their costs will be lower.

I'm for results. If private companies can produce them, ok. If government can produce them, ok.

Private companies running all of health care, in particular with the way the health insurance industry is getting paid off at both ends, has brought us this mess. I think as a country that we can do better.

As for Cuba vs. the US, yes... (Below threshold)
jim:

As for Cuba vs. the US, yes of course Cuba is worse.

The scandal is, it's not near as much worse as it should be. We, the wealthiest nation in the world, are 37th in the health care we give our citizens. Cuba, a 3rd world nation that's been embargoed by us for 40 years, is 39th.

This is no doubt because of the shocking lack of care that occurs in OUR system - like people ***bleeding to death*** on ER waiting room floors because they don't have insurance.

And it personally makes me sad and angry is that these volunteers had to go to a country like Cuba to get treatment. They got sick trying to help America out of the goodness of their hearts - and our US health care system just gave them the shaft.

This is no doubt because of... (Below threshold)
LoveAmerica Immigrant:

This is no doubt because of the shocking lack of care that occurs in OUR system - like people ***bleeding to death*** on ER waiting room floors because they don't have insurance.
------------------------------------
This is against the laws of the US. IF you know of such a case, you should report to the authority. By law, the hospitals have to treat people especially in ER even if they don't have insurances. That 's what the illegals do. They go to emergency rooms. These volunteers can go to the emergency rooms and if they are denied care, they can sue!


And after all this discussion, you are still spinning about how bad our system is? Jim cannot be honest about it as usual.

Again, Michael Moore is a known liar and gov run health care is a disaster as have shown.

I'm for results. If private... (Below threshold)
LoveAmerica Immigrant:

I'm for results. If private companies can produce them, ok. If government can produce them, ok.
-------------------------------------
So those people who have been advocating socialized medicine as in Canada, Britain, France etc... don't care about the facts.

So those people who have... (Below threshold)
jim:

So those people who have been advocating socialized medicine as in Canada, Britain, France etc... don't care about the facts.

??

Here's the case I'm referri... (Below threshold)
jim:

Here's the case I'm referring to, LAI:

http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/19251478?GT1=10056

And reporting the facts is not spinning.

Again, Michael Moore is ... (Below threshold)
jim:

Again, Michael Moore is a known liar and gov run health care is a disaster as have shown.

LAI, please show any of Michael Moore's facts in Sicko that are a lie.

Also, please explain how other 1st-world nations are spending less than half what we are, and at the same time are living longer on average with lower infant mortality rates and their children actually growing taller than ours - but their health care systems are a disaster and ours are not.

<a href="http://www.msnbc.m... (Below threshold)
BarneyG2000:

http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/19251478?GT1=10056

Busted lovie, and I am still waiting for you to backup your earlier comments, but as usual, you just spill as much diarrhea on the web as you can without backup or citations.

LAI, please show any of... (Below threshold)
marc:

LAI, please show any of Michael Moore's facts in Sicko that are a lie.

Didn't he make the claim a man died of kidney cancer because insurance company won't pay for bone marrow transplant?

They don't, Canada is an example.

Yup, the city hospitals run... (Below threshold)
LoveAmerica Immigrant:

Yup, the city hospitals run by liberal Dems again are in trouble. Looks like the problems are in the cities run by liberals. So how many hospitals have been closed in Canada and France?
------------------------------------
After the inspection last week, the federal Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services gave the hospital 23 days to correct problems or face a loss of federal funding. That could force it to close.


LAI, please show any of Michael Moore's facts in Sicko that are a lie.
Here is one of them. Wonder why liberals love to defend known despicable propagandists for Castro and Saddam like Michael Moore
http://www.manhattan-institute.org/html/_wsj-whos_really_sicko.htm


Consider, for instance, Mr. Moore's claim that ERs don't overcrowd in Canada. A Canadian government study recently found that only about half of patients are treated in a timely manner, as defined by local medical and hospital associations. "The research merely confirms anecdotal reports of interminable waits," reported a national newspaper. While people in rural areas seem to fare better, Toronto patients receive care in four hours on average; one in 10 patients waits more than a dozen hours.

This problem hit close to home last year: A relative, living in Winnipeg, nearly died of a strangulated bowel while lying on a stretcher for five hours, writhing in pain. To get the needed ultrasound, he was sent by ambulance to another hospital.

In Britain, the Department of Health recently acknowledged that one in eight patients wait more than a year for surgery. Around the time Mr. Moore was putting the finishing touches on his documentary, a hospital in Sutton Coldfield announced its new money-saving linen policy: Housekeeping will no longer change the bed sheets between patients, just turn them over. France's system failed so spectacularly in the summer heat of 2003 that 13,000 people died, largely of dehydration. Hospitals stopped answering the phones and ambulance attendants told people to fend for themselves.


Also, please explain how other 1st-world nations are spending less than half what we are, and at the same time are living longer on average with lower infant mortality rates and their children actually growing taller than ours - but their health care systems are a disaster and ours are not.
You didn't even bother to read before spouting your spin again

-----------------------------------
So much for the French system that couldn't even take care of its elderly during a heat wave. Also on infant mortality rate, other countries didn't include the deaths of prematurely born babies. They just let them die (I guess that 's why they advocate "mercy killing" to improve the statistics) and exclude them from the statistics. In the US, we include the deaths of premature babies in the statistics and we spend the money and have the technology to save them. Again, Barney forgot that the rest of the world adopts the parasitical model of riding on the US expense (just like defense for example). About the life expectancy issue, taking out the homocide/accident deaths, the US is the best for health-related life expectancy. The discussion is here


http://wizbangblog.com/content/2007/07/27/canadian-doctor-describes-the-nightmare-of-canadas-health-care-system.php

And if we measure a health care system by how well it serves its sick citizens, American medicine excels. Five-year cancer survival rates bear this out. For leukemia, the American survival rate is almost 50%; the European rate is just 35%. Esophageal carcinoma: 12% in the U.S., 6% in Europe. The survival rate for prostate cancer is 81.2% here, yet 61.7% in France and down to 44.3% in England -- a striking variation.

am still waiting for you to... (Below threshold)
LoveAmerica Immigrant:

am still waiting for you to backup your earlier comments, but as usual, you just spill as much diarrhea on the web as you can without backup or citations.
------------------------------------
Barney resorts to his cheap distraction ad-hominen tactic again once his cheap liberal spins have been busted. Barney simply spew the garbage from the liberal sewage I guess (using his own standard).

BTW, Jim and Barney just pr... (Below threshold)
LoveAmerica Immigrant:

BTW, Jim and Barney just provided another example of horror stories in the cities and state run by liberal dems. Looks like liberal utopia doesn't work out too well for the poor and elderly in liberal land like LA, CA, Mass, New Orleans, Louisana etc.... That 's why liberals want mercy killing to control health care cost now?

I need to do a better job o... (Below threshold)
LoveAmerica Immigrant:

I need to do a better job of proof-checking my post. Anyway, we shouldn't repeate the widespread failure of the French system mentioned here


http://www.manhattan-institute.org/html/_wsj-whos_really_sicko.htm



Consider, for instance, Mr. Moore's claim that ERs don't overcrowd in Canada. A Canadian government study recently found that only about half of patients are treated in a timely manner, as defined by local medical and hospital associations. "The research merely confirms anecdotal reports of interminable waits," reported a national newspaper. While people in rural areas seem to fare better, Toronto patients receive care in four hours on average; one in 10 patients waits more than a dozen hours.

This problem hit close to home last year: A relative, living in Winnipeg, nearly died of a strangulated bowel while lying on a stretcher for five hours, writhing in pain. To get the needed ultrasound, he was sent by ambulance to another hospital.

In Britain, the Department of Health recently acknowledged that one in eight patients wait more than a year for surgery. Around the time Mr. Moore was putting the finishing touches on his documentary, a hospital in Sutton Coldfield announced its new money-saving linen policy: Housekeeping will no longer change the bed sheets between patients, just turn them over. France's system failed so spectacularly in the summer heat of 2003 that 13,000 people died, largely of dehydration. Hospitals stopped answering the phones and ambulance attendants told people to fend for themselves.

Lovie, what did Moore repor... (Below threshold)
BarneyG2000:

Lovie, what did Moore report in the movie? Was it this (as you think):

"Mr. Moore goes to London, Ontario, where he notes that not a single patient has waited in the hospital emergency room more than 45 minutes."

Where is the direct quote from the movie? It is odd that the author does not provide the quote when he does so in other cases? Did Mike say all visits, or maybe just the most serious?

Here is Moore's supporting documentation:
A recent study of emergency care in Ontario found that overall, "50% of patients triaged as CTAS I [most acute] were seen by a physician within 6 minutes and 86% were seen within 30 minutes of arriving at the [Emergency Department]. In contrast, the 50% of patients triaged as CTAS IV or V who were seen most quickly waited an hour or less, while 1 in 10 waited three hours or more. Understanding Emergency Department Wait Times: How Long Do People Spend in Emergency Departments in Ontario? Canadian Institute for Health Information, January 2007.

http://www.cihi.ca/cihiweb/dispPage.jsp?cw_page=reports_
wait_times_bulletins_e

I really doubt that Moore would contradict his statements on his own website.

Lovie, do you have the exact quote or not?

Barney Cutie, Moore... (Below threshold)
LoveAmerica Immigrant:

Barney Cutie,
Moore is dishonest for not mentioning all the obvious major problems pointed out by Gratzer there. That 's the mark of a propagandist. He lied on behalf of Saddam. Now Moore lied on behalf of Castro.
And Michaeel Moore deserves the company of Jim, yourself, and other liberals. To me, liberals seem to defend and promote known liars like Wilson and Moore.

Barney, Show me the... (Below threshold)
LoveAmerica Immigrant:

Barney,
Show me the links where Moore showed or talked about these big problems with the Canadian, British, and French system. If not, he is a liar and you guys should know better. Anyway, I don't expect much of you in any case.

LAI, you didn't answer this... (Below threshold)
jim:

LAI, you didn't answer this part of my question:

Also, please explain how other 1st-world nations are spending less than half what we are, and at the same time are living longer on average

Please respond to this point.

As for infant mortality rates and the ways that theyr'e counted - when adjusted for the different ways that stillbirths, premature births and regular-term births may be counted, the US is *still* beat by Canada - the overall lowest - as well as Norway, Japan, Iceland, the rather not-that-wealthy Czech Republic, and others.

http://www.who.int/making_pregnancy_safer/publications/neonatal.pdf

Some graphs for you, that come from the above WHO report:

http://i.ixnp.com/images/v2.15.4/theme/silver/bg/bg_343x381_tl.png

http://www.amptoons.com/blog/wp-content/uploads/2006/05/infant_mortrate_2.gif

This is in addition to the fact that these other nations cover **all** their citizens. So they're covering more people, paying less for it, and still getting better results.

I just want the US to do better and be better for our citizens.

Maybe it's **because** these other nations are covering everybody, that they're getting better results.

Yup, the city hospitals ... (Below threshold)
jim:

Yup, the city hospitals run by liberal Dems again are in trouble.

I'm sure it's got **nothing** to do with the fact that it's a for-profit health care system.

I'm sure it's just pure chance that broke people in the inner cities who can't pay, are treated worse than those who can.

It only sounds like sheer heartless barbarity and inhumanity to one's fellow man. It must just be some sort of coincidence.

So how many hospitals have been closed in Canada and France?

I don't know. How is that they're paying less and living longer, and their children are growing up taller? Since their system must be worse than ours, I'm sure you can find a good explanation.

Jim, Here is an exa... (Below threshold)
LoveAmerica Immigrant:

Jim,
Here is an example of how good "universal coverage" will do for you in France for example,


In Britain, the Department of Health recently acknowledged that one in eight patients wait more than a year for surgery. Around the time Mr. Moore was putting the finishing touches on his documentary, a hospital in Sutton Coldfield announced its new money-saving linen policy: Housekeeping will no longer change the bed sheets between patients, just turn them over. France's system failed so spectacularly in the summer heat of 2003 that 13,000 people died, largely of dehydration. Hospitals stopped answering the phones and ambulance attendants told people to fend for themselves.

You didn't read the link I provided at all. But here it is again. The highest infant mortality rate in the US is among the black community, which is usually run by liberal dems (eg. LA, DC etc...). Again this is another example of the failure of liberal policies. Still the US beat out other nations in health-related life expectancy.

http://www.tnr.com/doc.mhtml?i=w070416&s=cohngratzer041607


Let's start with the argument that single-payer systems perform better than American health care. This is a common argument: Comparing crude health outcomes, America lags behind. And life expectancy would seem to be a case in point. You don't cite numbers, but I will. Americans live 75.3 years on average, less than the French (76.6) or the Canadians (77.3) or basically any other Western European nation. But crude health measures reflect a mosaic of factors, such as diet, lifestyle, genetics, homicide rates, and cultural values. Health care--alas, it pains me as a doctor to say this--is just one factor.

Consider that homicide and motor vehicle accident rates in the United States are much higher than other countries (for instance, murder is eight times more common than in France). In their new book, The Business of Health, Robert L. Ohsfeldt and John E. Schneider factor out intentional and unintentional injuries from life expectancy statistics, concluding that this non-injury group of Americans outlive similar groups in other countries.

Or take infant mortality. Rather than looking internationally, let's consider the U.S. picture: According to the National Center for Health Statistics, Mexican American and white babies in the United States have a lower infant mortality rate (about six in 1,000 live births) than Native Americans (nine) or blacks (14). Yet Mexican Americans also have the least access to health insurance of any of these groups. In fact, it's even more complicated: A study in the Journal of the American Medical Association suggests that Mexican-American babies are twice as likely to be born outside a hospital as babies of all other groups.

http://www.captainsquartersblog.com/mt/archives/003632.php


Technological advancements have also played a role, MacDorman notes.

The increased use of assisted reproductive therapies (search), like in-vitro fertilization (search), has been linked with an increase in multiple-birth pregnancies and low birth weight babies. Changes in labor and delivery technologies, and aggressive treatment of premature rupture of membranes, may also be boosting the numbers, MacDorman writes.

Also, advances in neonatal medicine have prompted doctors to alter their perception of a very small infant?s chances of survival. In fact, what might have been reported as a ?fetal death? may now be reported as a ?live birth,? writes MacDorman. ?Because these very high risk infants are likely to succumb within the first few hours or days of life, any significant shift in reporting could result in an increase in the infant mortality rate.?

Infant mortality rate is an... (Below threshold)
LoveAmerica Immigrant:

Infant mortality rate is another example of the failure of liberal policies in the liberal utopia. So we need to nationalize the failures of liberal governance!

http://onthefencefilms.com/commentary/stuart/healthcareliesandvideotape.html


Like New York Times columnist Paul Krugman, who constantly recycles the same health care op-ed column containing the same falsehoods, Ms. Steadman offers lower U.S. life expectancy averages and higher U.S. infant mortality rates as proof that we spend more and get less. However these statistics tell us nothing about our health care system. Washington D.C. has an infant mortality rate twice as high as the national average[1]. Should we conclude that the doctors and hospitals in our nation's capitol are substandard - or that there are other factors that decisively influence infant mortality rates - like culture? Gregory Datillo's and David Racer's fantastic new book Your Health Matters includes a devastating critique of the infant mortality rate argument against our health care system[2]:


The impact of families, and especially two-parent families, is stark when single-parent birth statistics are referenced. During the 1960s, about 17 percent of African-American children were born out of wedlock; today, 22 percent of white children are born out of wedlock. Out-of-wedlock births among African-American woman are, however, an astounding 69 percent.
Correlation, of course, does not prove cause - but it certainly raises concerns.

Compared to white mothers, African-American women suffer twice the rate of infant mortality, have extremely low-weight babies at a rate 15 percent greater, are twice as likely not to receive prenatal care, and more than two-thirds of their children are born out of wedlock.

What does all this say about the U.S. health care system? Nothing.

What does all this say about the U.S. welfare system that began with the Great Society programs of the 1960s at a time when only 17 percent of African-American women gave birth out of wedlock? What does this say about federal welfare programs that transferred the responsibility for fathers to care for their families to the government? Absolutely everything.

Don't bother, I already sho... (Below threshold)
SPQR:

Don't bother, I already showed that infant mortality figures are meaningless for comparing health care systems.

Well, LAI, do I have to go ... (Below threshold)
jim:

Well, LAI, do I have to go story-to-story with you?

I could continue to cite incidents to you, where people are denied surgery they need to live for this or that excuse by US insurance companies, just because they don't want to pay.

But let's cut straight to the bottom line:

- we in the US pay far more, and live shorter lives; and we don't even cover everyone

- in these other countries, they pay far less and live longer; and they cover *everyone*

I think we should make our system better, if we can. Don't you?

You didn't read the link... (Below threshold)
jim:

You didn't read the link I provided at all. But here it is again. The highest infant mortality rate in the US is among the black community, which is usually run by liberal dems (eg. LA, DC etc...).

I answered this point already. #54 . But I'll say it again, more directly:

In a for-profit health care system, poor people will **naturally** be hit the hardest - because they will be less available to afford proper health care.

A higher percentage of black people are poor and have lower-class incomes than white people.

Q.E.D.

Blame it on more black single-families all you want, but that's irrelevant; that just is another **reason** why it's hard for black people to afford proper care for their children.

It doesn't change the fact, that it's the cost of that care in a for-profit system, that's killing their children.

I submit that children don't deserve to die for the crime of having poor parents. I think we have a better nation if children grow up as educated and healthy as possible; don't you?

In a for-profit health c... (Below threshold)
LoveAmerica Immigrant:

In a for-profit health care system, poor people will **naturally** be hit the hardest - because they will be less available to afford proper health care.
------------------------------------
Jim, in your example in LA, the hospital is run by the county gov with federal funding. Just another example of the failure of gov-run healthcare whether it is in the US, Canada, France etc...


I submit that children don't deserve to die for the crime of having poor parents. I think we have a better nation if children grow up as educated and healthy as possible; don't you?
-------------------------------------
I agree with you and I think it is a "crime" for people who advocated socialized medicine that has been shown to be detrimental to the poor and the weak. THat 's why it is a crime to advocate mercy killing as a euphemism.

AGain, the flaws of our health care system can be pointed to the disastrous liberal policies of the last 60 years. More gov run health cares have been shown to be a disaster for the poor and elderly in other countries. Even in the liberal utopia of Holland, the elderly are afraid to go see doctors because of mercy killing. Why lliberal dems haven't been able to improve the health care of the people under their governance for so long?

Also Jim is right. The Cuba... (Below threshold)
LoveAmerica Immigrant:

Also Jim is right. The Cuban system is hell for the poor and the children there. And it is despicable for known liars like Michael Moore to propagandize for such a system. Wonder why liberals still try to defend this guy.

Much of our current cost pr... (Below threshold)
Robert the Original:

Much of our current cost problem is due to lack of competition, particularly in our current single-payer system - Medicare.

I have been in and out of hospitals lots lately with my dad who has many things wrong. Anyway, he is coming home and graduating from a wheelchair to a walker.

The walkers at Wal-Mart and Meijer are the wrong type but they cost about $ 45-55. The hospital supply store has the one I need for about $ 100.

If you get a prescription, they say, Medicare will pay most or all of it at the supply store. This is true also with his diabetic stuff and other medical supplies: get a prescription and Medicare will pay.

So I ask you, how much should a walker cost? Heck, it is just some tubing and a few bolts, what the heck makes it cost so much?

The answer is that Medicare pays for it, free. Don't you think that if people were buying walkers the way they bought everything else, that the market would find a way to get the price down?

Damn straight they would.

This same problem exists for all medical markets as well because insurance pays - there is no mechanism for a market to bring the price down.

I can't tell you how, but I know that if people paid for the routine stuff (physicals, flu, etc.) the market would find a way to bring the cost down. It just would.

Jim, in your example in ... (Below threshold)
jim:

Jim, in your example in LA, the hospital is run by the county gov with federal funding.

And yet, the woman bled to death because she didn't have **insurance**.

You remember that part, right?

I agree with you and I t... (Below threshold)
jim:

I agree with you and I think it is a "crime" for people who advocated socialized medicine that has been shown to be detrimental to the poor and the weak.

Whhhhaaaaat???

OK...Please show how free medical care has been proven detrimental to the poor and the weak.

I can't wait to hear this.

And LAI, by show, I mean wi... (Below threshold)
jim:

And LAI, by show, I mean with some actual studies. And links.

Preferably ones that explain how the US spends almost twice as much, yet we live shorter lives.

Whhhhaaaaat???OK..... (Below threshold)
LoveAmerica Immigrant:

Whhhhaaaaat???

OK...Please show how free medical care has been proven detrimental to the poor and the weak.

I can't wait to hear this.
-------------------------------------
Are you serious? How can you provide "free" health care? Communism is supposed to provide "free" income for the poor, right? How does that work out?

Anyway, if you honestly care about the poor, you would have strongly condemned Michael Moore for propagandizing against the poor in Cuba. THat 's so despicable. Instead of exposing the plight of the poor in Cuba, Moore provided free propaganda for Castro. The left was so outraged about it, right?

IF this is what it means when the left cares about the poor, I shudder to think what it is like when the left doesn't care about the poor.

Much of our current cost... (Below threshold)
jim:

Much of our current cost problem is due to lack of competition, particularly in our current single-payer system - Medicare.

Hm, well as far as I can see, Medicare has zero effect on health insurance payments for other citizens who aren't on it. And health insurance is probably the biggest problem with our system - it's a middle man that adds no value, and just doesn't have to be there at all.

The walkers at Wal-Mart and Meijer are the wrong type but they cost about $ 45-55. The hospital supply store has the one I need for about $ 100...So I ask you, how much should a walker cost? Heck, it is just some tubing and a few bolts, what the heck makes it cost so much?

The answer is that Medicare pays for it, free. Don't you think that if people were buying walkers the way they bought everything else, that the market would find a way to get the price down?

You're absolutely right.

The problem is, when the Bush administration passed their recent Medicare package, they FORBADE Medicare to bargain with pharma, and bring prices down. And if you can't bargain about pills, how can you bargain about walkers?

The one place in Medicare where a free market could bring **Down** prices, the Bush administration forbade it. And really, we all know why; it's a blatant giveaway to the Pharmaceutical lobbyists.

Are you serious? How can... (Below threshold)
jim:

Are you serious? How can you provide "free" health care? Communism is supposed to provide "free" income for the poor, right? How does that work out?

OK, this isn't answering my question to you.

You stated that free medical care is detrimental to the poor and weak. I asked you how.

How did you mean "free" in your original statement? I took "free" as meaning: "available even if you can't afford it".

Of course the money's coming from *somewhere*. Just like the money we all pay goes to our military, to the police, to the fire department, the schools, the highway system...

But if you're poor and can't afford taxes, you still have a right to be defended from invasion; to be trusted justly; to have your home put out if it catches fire; to send your kid to school, etc. etc.

And this makes for a better nation for everyone, even the wealthy who pay more in taxes, because it means our nation as a whole is more stable, secure and healthy.

That's what I mean by free.

So, now: please explain to me how the poor receiving care for their children, even if they can't pay for it themselves, is detrimental to the poor.

You stated that free medica... (Below threshold)
LoveAmerica Immigrant:

You stated that free medical care is detrimental to the poor and weak. I asked you how.
------------------------------------
Again you cannot be honest. There is no FREE health care. I said socialized medicine and gov-run health care. If you think free health care is good for the poor, then free housing, free transportation, free education ... are all good. That 's the communist utopia. How did that work out for the poor?

The rest of your post is simply the same silly distraction at best, esp this

How did you mean "free" in your original statement? I took "free" as meaning: "available even if you can't afford it".
This is communism: each according to his needs even if he can't afford it. So again, you are advocating communism (even though you may not know it).

Despite all your distraction, I am still waiting for your condemnation of Michael Moore on behalf of the Cuban poor.


If you dimwit lefties would... (Below threshold)
C-C-G Author Profile Page:

If you dimwit lefties would read the entire article I linked, instead of stopping after two paragraphs, you'd see that he uses facts and logic.

Those are things no lefty ever wants to come into contact with, I guess.

For instance:

We've got a system of rankings of health care systems. France and Canada are in the top 10, the USA, despite spending more, at number 37. But let's look at how those rankings are composed:
To make the definition of the composite easier to understand, these survey results have been rounded to the nearest one-eighth so that the final weights to be used are 0.25 for health, 0.25 for health inequality, 0.125 for level of responsiveness, 0.125 for distribution of responsiveness and 0.25 for fairness of financial contribution.

Do you see that? Only 25% of the weighting is about the actual health care received. A similar amount is awarded for the equality of care received. So, imagine, say, the Canadian system, everybody waits the same amount of time for a hip replacement, in the American one some get it very quickly, others get it after a long wait: it doesn't matter that everyone in the US waits a shorter period of time than anyone in Canada: the Canadian system would be scored as better here. I'm not saying that those waiting times are actually true, I'm simply pointing to the effects of the weighting: inequality in treatment times is as important here as the actual treatment itself.

Indeed, dependent upon how these numbers are manipulated, it could be that a system where no one has hip replacements would be better rated than one where some do immediately and some wait six months.

Remember that whenever some lefty decries that the US is "only" 37th.

Taz,Thanks for inqui... (Below threshold)
Candy:

Taz,
Thanks for inquiring about my kidney stones. The urologist had me take Magnesium Citrate for a contrast x-ray - which basically caused me to pass most of my insides, a camel, two missing socks and the kidney stones. If any of you ever have kidney stones, I suggest a bottle of Magnesium Citrate. It's $1.09 at Walmart. Now THAT is affordable healthcare!

And thanks to all of you for revealing Michael Moore as a bum. I am glad that I have an open mind, but even happier that I was right about him being a bum :)

If you think free health... (Below threshold)
jim:

If you think free health care is good for the poor, then free housing, free transportation, free education ... are all good. That 's the communist utopia. How did that work out for the poor?

LAI, I already dealt with this sidetrack issue of yours.

I'll repost my response for you, again:

How did you mean "free" in your original statement? I took "free" as meaning: "available even if you can't afford it".

...That's what I mean by free.

Now, if that's not what you meant by free, then state what you mean by free.

We can both agree that full communism doesn't work well. Clearly.

But having a system where those who can't afford it don't have to pay for it, works just fine for our US military, police, fire dep't., etc. etc. As I've explained before, it keeps our nation strong and healthy.

So, now: please explain to me how the poor receiving care for their children, even if they can't pay for it themselves, is detrimental to the poor.

And please answer this separately from your sidetrack argument of giving the poor ***everything*** for free - which is not at all what I'm saying.

Those are things no left... (Below threshold)
jim:

Those are things no lefty ever wants to come into contact with, I guess.

Well that's quite impressive non-emotional, unbiased reasoning there, CCG...

Indeed, dependent upon h... (Below threshold)
jim:

Indeed, dependent upon how these numbers are manipulated, it could be that a system where no one has hip replacements would be better rated than one where some do immediately and some wait six months.

Sure.

Also, dependent on how these numbers are manipulated, it could mean the opposite, and the US is **higher** than it should be.

Therefore, it is not logical to assume that because rounding and weighting occurs, and the US does bad, this must mean the rating is unfair towards the US.

And furthermore, I don't see anyone here taking on what is, to me, the real bottom line here:

-> The US doesn't even cover everyone who is sick, and yet we pay nearly twice as much and still live shorter lives on average, than every other first-world nation

-> Other nations cover everyone, spend less, and live longer lives on average

CCG, you are wasting your t... (Below threshold)
SPQR:

CCG, you are wasting your time when the trolls above are repeating claims that have already been debunked.

SPQR, YOu are right... (Below threshold)
LoveAmerica Immigrant:

SPQR,
YOu are right. I will bookmark this page as an example of the liberal "honesty". And again, Jim has proven himself not worth our time anymore.

I see Jim responds to the f... (Below threshold)
C-C-G Author Profile Page:

I see Jim responds to the fact that the weighting is skewed with his usual response.

An ad hominem attack.

Thus proving that he wants nothing to do with the actual math involved in the ratings.

LAI, I must respectfully disagree.

Jim has never been worth our time.

From <a href="http://www.m-... (Below threshold)
jim:

From http://www.m-w.com/cgi-bin/dictionary?sourceid=Mozilla-search&va=ad+hominem

Main Entry: ad ho·mi·nem Pronunciation: (')ad-'hä-m&-"nem, -n&m Function: adjective Etymology: New Latin, literally, to the person 1 : appealing to feelings or prejudices rather than intellect 2 : marked by or being an attack on an opponent's character rather than by an answer to the contentions made

Interesting.

Is this an ad hominem attack, below?

Those [facts and logic] are things no lefty ever wants to come into contact with, I guess.

I'm curious what you think.

Separarely, I note that I am now posting this the umpteenth time, and no one has taken it on yet:

-> The US doesn't even cover everyone who is sick, and yet we pay nearly twice as much and still live shorter lives on average, than every other first-world nation

-> Other nations cover everyone, spend less, and live longer lives on average

If the US really has the best health care in the world, then how can that be?

jim, it was answered severa... (Below threshold)

jim, it was answered several times, but I'll repeat it explicitly:

You are confusing health CARE with health INSURANCE. By law, NO ONE can be refused treatment because of lack of ability to pay for it. Call your local hospital and ask how much money it writes off every year on unpaid bills. More specifically, ask what percentage of its uninsured patients never pay their bills, and realize that much of that amount is made up by those of us with insurance, or those who do pay their bills -- even over time, with no interest charged.

That means that, by law, health care (at least emergency health care) is a right. FREE health care is not, nor is insurance.

Clear now?

J.

You are confusing health... (Below threshold)
jim:

You are confusing health CARE with health INSURANCE. By law, NO ONE can be refused treatment because of lack of ability to pay for it.

Health insurance is part of our system, right?

So here's how it works, as we all know:

- Patient goes to doctor, and needs a potentially expensive treatment. A hip implant, or cancer therapy, or something else.

- The doctor has to go and call the patient's health insurance company - if he has one.

- The health insurance company then decides if it will pay for the treatment. The more treatments that are refused, the more money the health insurance company keeps.

- If the treament is refused, the patient can still pay for it, sure. All that requires is that the patient is so wealthy, they probably wouldn't need insurance in the first place.

Or maybe the patient is lucky enough to have a home they can mortgage and possibly lose.

Or maybe they can just give up on sending their kids to a good college.

Or maybe they can just keep working past their retirement age.

And mind you, if the patient has insurance, they may **still** end up in the poor house - because they may get denied treatment they need to live, on a simple technicality.

So, yes, technically you're right. People without health insurance can still get treatment. Just like families whose heads have lost their jobs don't have to be homeless - they can just buy a house like anyone else.

That's the conditions in real life, that we're talking about.

It's not like this in other countries. Among many other differences, they don't have health insurance companies smack in the middle of their system.

And the citizens of these countries are paying less for health care, and living longer on average.

Wouldn't it be great to pay less and get more?




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