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Canada's Socialized Medical System Hits Even More Snags

A few weeks ago, I wrote about the Jepp family who had to be flown from their home in Calgary to Great Falls, Montana, to give birth to their quads because not one neonatal unit in all of Canada could accommodate them at one time. In that post I linked to an article that reported that Canada is flying women who have gone into labor prior to 32 weeks more and more often because the government run Canadian health care system simply doesn't have the money to care for these preemies. Now we are finding out how often that has been happening. From Fox News:

Mothers in British Columbia are having a baby boom, but it's the United States that has to deliver, and that has some proud Canadians blasting their highly touted government healthcare system.

"I'm a born-bred Canadian, as well as my daughter and son, and I'm ashamed," Jill Irvine told FOX News. Irvine's daughter, Carri Ash, is one of at least 40 mothers or their babies who've been airlifted from British Columbia to the U.S. this year because Canadian hospitals didn't have room for the preemies in their neonatal units.

"It's a big number and bigger than the previous capacity of the system to deal with it," said Adrian Dix, a British Columbia legislator, told FOXNews.com. "So when that happens, you can't have a waiting list for a mother having the baby. She just has the baby."

[...]

Canada's socialized health care system, hailed as a model by Michael Moore in his documentary, "Sicko," is hurting, government officials admit, citing not enough money for more equipment and staff to handle high risk births.

Sarah Plank, a spokeswoman for the British Columbia Ministry of Health, said a spike in high risk and premature births coupled with the lack of trained nurses prompted the surge in mothers heading across the border for better care.

"The number of transfers in previous years has been quite low," Plank told FOXNews.com. "Before this recent spike we went for more than a year with no transfers to the U.S., so this is something that is happening in other provinces as well."

Critics say these border crossings highlight the dangers of a government-run health care system.

"The Canadian healthcare system has used the United States as a safety net for years," said Michael Turner of the Cato Institute. "In fact, overall about one out of every seven Canadian physicians sends someone to the United States every year for treatment."

Rudy Giuliani got a few laughs at the Republican debate Tuesday night when he said we can't allow HillaryCare because then the Canadians will have no where to go to get their health care, but his commentary on the benefits of a market driven versus government run health care system was right on target. A market driven health care system will always out-perform a government run system, and more and more Canadians are learning that the hard way.


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Comments (86)

Kim Priestap - just what I ... (Below threshold)
Mycroft:

Kim Priestap - just what I havebeen saying for years. Think it can't happen here? Well guess again.

In 1959, my father was in the US Air Force, so I should have been born at a base hospital. I wasn't. The medical facility at the base hospital PAID to send my mother out to a local hospital because they could not HANDLE the "high-risk" birth that I was.

In 1994, it took American medicine 60 days to diagnose my cancer. Given the propencity of going on waiting lists for tests in Canada, and what the doctors told me about the timelines after I was diagnosed - the waiting times would have killed me then.

So, socialized medicine - a death sentence for me!

The facts are misrepresente... (Below threshold)

The facts are misrepresented here by omission and lack of research.

While it is true there is a shortage of neonatal beds at the time in Canada (as noted in the article below), the Canadian health system actually found the Jepps a US hospital and paid the bills--bad, bad socialized medicine, actually helping Canadian citizens get good health care, even if it had to buy expensive American health care.

http://tinyurl.com/ys333b

In an article about the Jepps:

"Canadian authorities noted that their health insurance program paid for the whole thing, while in the United States millions of people lack health insurance."

From your article:

"In fact, overall about one out of every seven Canadian physicians sends someone to the United States every year for treatment."

What a red herring. What are we to compare this to? Maybe, exactly how many American physicians and hospitals turn away patients each year? Here's some idea:

http://tinyurl.com/3d4mbs

Note: table Exhibit 5

The truth is, as these studies from the journal Health Affairs show,

http://tinyurl.com/3byluf
http://tinyurl.com/2woo3s

Very few Canadians actually seek out medical treatment in the US for PRIMARY CARE issues.

They do, however, come for a lot of elective surgeries, such as Lasik, body sculpting, etc., which are paid for under their system but access is strictly controlled and waiting lists are long.

One also must keep in mind, as the second study reminds,to strip out "snowbirds" who buy insurance coverage for the months they are in the US (or Mexican insurance if they winter in Mexico).

Amazingly, I have to pay for Lasiks out of pocket, too. And if I were living in a foreign country for any length of time at all, I'd buy health coverage or Air Ambulance repatriation coverage, too.

In 1959, my father... (Below threshold)
In 1959, my father was in the US Air Force, so I should have been born at a base hospital.

Old data. Besides, you did get the care and it was free. FWIW, military medicine has progressed considerably since 1959. Even in outposts as isolated as Guam and Keflavik, Iceland, I've found neonate care.

In fact, I have had the premiere US socialized healthcare system for nearly 3 decades, the US military, and it's been superb care. In fact, it wasn't until this last month that I'd ever been referred to any outside care until I needed a podiatrist.

In 1994, it took American medicine 60 days to diagnose my cancer.

I'm sorry for your illness. However, how many American citizens do you suppose don't even get the chance at the care you got?

Not having access to affordable healthcare and insurance is just as much a death sentence for a lot of Americans.

It's easy to point to the specific, but this a question of the entire nation.

OF COURSE they get routine ... (Below threshold)
ODA315:

OF COURSE they get routine medical care in Canada. As much as they're taxed that's the least they could get. It's funny how you focused on Lasik and cosmetic procedures as the care they come to the US for.

Well dipshit rick, you forgot cardiac care, cancer care, and advanced ortho work. Guess what happens in Canada if you need a bypass....you go on a waiting list (seen it happen to a close friend, who DIED from a heart attack before he could be treated).

So where will you go when we have Hillary care and you need that bypass but you have to wait 6 months? Here's a clue Einstein, it ain't gonna be Canada. Maybe Cuba??? Or India??? Either way unless you have the big $ you ain't going anywhere.

Jeeez, how f*cking stupid do you socialists have to be before you "get it"? The Brits and Canadians both know their system is a mess and want to change it. You meatsticks want to drag us where they've already been! All to be led by a woman who's never managed anything (except the trashing of women her husband "did not have sexual relations with") and managed by the same dolts that run FEMA and the Post Office.

I know, you liberals are SO MUCH smarter than us redneck groundlings and the uninformed that run those other countries health systems, it'll be much different.

Good Lord.

>>In 1959, my father was in... (Below threshold)
Mycroft:

>>In 1959, my father was in the US Air Force, so I should have been born at a base hospital.

>Old data. Besides, you did get the care and it was free. FWIW, military medicine has progressed considerably since 1959. Even in outposts as isolated as Guam and Keflavik, Iceland, I've found neonate care.

No, it is just as valid as any other data. The point is that cutting edge medicine can not be found in a socialized health care system. And that was the reason my mother was sent to a local hospital. Any socialized medicine is in the same boat with newer technologies and care.

>In fact, I have had the premiere US socialized healthcare system for nearly 3 decades, the US military, and it's been superb care. In fact, it wasn't until this last month that I'd ever been referred to any outside care until I needed a podiatrist.

MORE BS! It was in the early 80's that I had that SAME health care. I am missing a tooth due directly to their not being premier health care.

>>In 1994, it took American medicine 60 days to diagnose my cancer.

>I'm sorry for your illness. However, how many American citizens do you suppose don't even get the chance at the care you got?

>Not having access to affordable healthcare and insurance is just as much a death sentence for a lot of Americans.

Still don't understand? I was paying out of pocket with the hope of re-imbursement (yea, to the tune of 32K$ myself). The point is that having to wait in line for any of the tests in those days would have taken me that much further into the cancer. I was diagnosed on 10 Nov. The doctors tell me I would have been DEAD by New Years. It took me 10 YEARS to pay off all the debt I ran up.

So, socialized medicine, in and of itself, would have killed me, not once but TWICE already. It is illustrtive of why we need the system to remain as it is, the best care anywhere in the world, and why I will fight any other change tooth and nail.

>It's easy to point to the specific, but this a question of the entire nation.

I am not being specific, but pointing out that with socialized medicine, we all get the worst care any of us now get. I work hard to get decent medical insurance, and when I couldn't get it any other way, pay for it out of my own pocket. I don't expect a free ride, and don't want to pay for everyone else's either.

>3. Posted by rick kennerly | October 11, 2007 12:17 PM | Score: 0 (0 votes cast)

So, do a little more homework before spouting off next time, eh.

So, if this keeps up, how l... (Below threshold)
JSchuler:

So, if this keeps up, how long until Canada is primarily populated by US citizens?

OF COURSE they get... (Below threshold)
OF COURSE they get routine medical care in Canada...Well dipshit rick, you forgot cardiac care, cancer care, and advanced ortho work.

You misquote me. I said Primary care, not routine. Primary care has specific meaning in western healthcare, which includes the things you mentioned.

If you read the studies I posted links too, you will see what they actually come to the US for.

As much as they're taxed that's the least they could get

and do you know exactly how much US healthcare is costing us, whether it's taxed or paid by insurers and insurance masks the cost of healthcare just as well a socialized plan.

(seen it happen to a close friend, who DIED from a heart attack before he could be treated)

And how many people in the US who don't have access to affordable healthcare die because they waited too long to take care of matters before they became severe? Hang around the county ER sometime and ask the docs how much we could save by regular care and preventative care.

I know, you liberals are SO MUCH smarter than us redneck groundlings

I don't know that I'm any smarter, but I did pay attention during my math and statistics classes and I can read the studies to separate out fact from hype.

I notice you are adept at hurling epitaphs but short on any links to studies we could actually discuss. I'm sorry to say, there doesn't seem to be a lot of depth to your thought processes. Been stuck on the AM dial a little too long?

Nor, I note in closing, do you offer any solutions to fixing the American healthcare system, only criticism of those who have ideas about reform. That's not going to work this time, thinking people will be debating the ideas.

I guess I didn't realize tr... (Below threshold)
ODA315:

I guess I didn't realize trying what's already failed elsewhere as being "reform". How "am dial" of me.

Well, keep track of the pro... (Below threshold)
hyperbolist:

Well, keep track of the problems you have with socialized health care, because when Clinton beats Rudy 9/11 Giuliani Mc9/11 (9/11!!!!), you'll get to air out all this laundry again.

As for Canada, their Conservative government could use part of their $14 billion surplus to properly finance their system, but who would expect a right-wing think-tank wanker like Harper to do that? Certainly not his two-tier-supporting political base in Alberta (a.k.a. North Texas)! Socialized health care will continue to be highly problematic north of the border until their leadership prioritizes it ahead of paying down their relatively affordable debt burden. Hell, they could cut income taxes across the board, expand the war effort in Afghanistan, and meet the health care financing targets recommended by the Romanow Report in 2002, without running a deficit.

But hey, ya'll seem to know a whole lot about Canadian health care policy issues, so continue trading anecdotes. The debate is as simple as you seem to think it is: either we continue to have non-universal health care, or V.I. Lenin will be resurrected and eat your babies.

No, it is just as ... (Below threshold)
No, it is just as valid as any other data.

didn't say it was invalid, only old.

The point is that cutting edge medicine can not be found in a socialized health care system.

Any statistical evidence or is this just a gut feeling?

MORE BS! It was in the early 80's that I had that SAME health care. I am missing a tooth due directly to their not being premier health care.

Once again, 20 years ago.

The rest of your post is just subjective blather. It's logically dangerous to make the leap from the specific to the general, which is what you continually do. I will agree, however, that you have had experiences.

I don't expect a free ride, and don't want to pay for everyone else's either.

But you don't mind being taken for a ride, it appears. You miss the point of insurance, don't you? A pool of shared risks and benefits? Except your insurance let your down.

Do you think that you got your money' worth from the most expensive healthcare system in the world from the way you were treated?

Think you couldn't go ahead an pay out of pocket again if you weren't happy with the system?

Do you think that you're not paying the most expensive healthcare plan in the world when your uninsured neighbors are getting their health care in the ER? You're paying for it and through the ass.

Finally, so far everyone (well, the three or four of us reading this string) seems to make the jump from what we've got to socialized medicine pretty quickly.

Are there no efficiencies to be wrung from the system? Are there no hybrid programs to be considered? Are we so dumb as a nation that we can't take the best of all the systems we see around us and give it a try?

It's actually a very long leap of logic from where we are to a state run socialized system.

So, if this keeps ... (Below threshold)
So, if this keeps up, how long until Canada is primarily populated by US citizens?

They've got tighter borders to keep the riffraff home. ;-(

Riffraff? As in parasitic L... (Below threshold)

Riffraff? As in parasitic Leftists who think we should have socialized medicine? We should build a Lib-a-pult to fling these dregs of society and drags on working people over the border. Far over it.

How is everybody else suppo... (Below threshold)
hyperbolist:

How is everybody else supposed to be thankful for their healthy, insured children, rick, if there aren't a sizable number of uninsured children to point and laugh at?

Reforming health care is a winner for Democrats and liberals, because it makes moral and financial sense. Thankfully a majority of Americans see it that way.

"And how many people in the... (Below threshold)
ODA315:

"And how many people in the US who don't have access to affordable healthcare die because they waited too long to take care of matters before they became severe? Hang around the county ER sometime and ask the docs how much we could save by regular care and preventative care".

Maybe you could ask those same docs how many people they turn away and don't treat because they have no insurance. Answer = 0

This isn't about healthcare, even though you libs like to paint it as such. It's about PAYING for YOUR personal healthcare. How about being responsible for yourself? I pay for my own health insurance, why should I pay for yours? Why can't YOU pay for yours? Surely you aren't below the poverty level or you'd get Medicaid or Medicare. You might have to make uncomfortable choices though. No HBO. Quit smoking. Fix the car rather than buying a new one. Many of us do this (this is how I pay for ours). Personal health insurance would be even cheaper if govt. (state insurance commisioners) disappeared and let market forces work.

"and do you know exactly how much US healthcare is costing us, whether it's taxed or paid by insurers and insurance masks the cost of healthcare just as well a socialized plan". Am I supposed to believe your option will be cheaper?????? BBwwhhhaaaaaa Please cite for us ANTHING the US govt has done cheaper.

btw, do you pay for your own health insurance? Would you please pay mine? I'd really like that and you'd feel so good. Thanks


A 14 Billion dollar equipme... (Below threshold)
David:

A 14 Billion dollar equipment dump will not help. The fact is Canada is understaffed.

see http://mdsalaries.blogspot.com/2007/04/canadian-doctors-go-to-usa-for-better.html

I think the unhappy highlight is a quote from the study which says that Canadian tax payers are funding 2 mid-sized medical schools for doctors that go to the US.

Maybe you could as... (Below threshold)
Maybe you could ask those same docs how many people they turn away and don't treat because they have no insurance. Answer = 0

any evidence or just more kneejerk blather?

Reforming health c... (Below threshold)
Reforming health care is a winner for Democrats and liberals, because it makes moral and financial sense. Thankfully a majority of Americans see it that way.

You make half a good point. Healthcare reform is not a liberal or a democratic issue, it's an American issue.

We can't really have it both ways, trying to compete in a world market where a large % of countries have some sort of national healthcare problem and keep the same broken system we have.

There's about $2500 of health care rolled into every GM/Ford product and only $300 worth in your typical Toyota or Hunndai due to state sponsored healthcare programs? It's difficult to be competitive in a world market with that hanging around your corporate neck.

Interestingly, when John L. Lewis organized the UAW workers in the year 19-mumble-mumble part of the agreement was a healthcare pool paid into by the manufacturers but administered by the government. The automakers went ballistic with that and settled for employer based healthcare, which set the pattern of employer supplied healthcare for the nation.

Interestingly, healthcare is now the biggest headache for most employers, large and small, but particularly difficult for small to medium companies. And it's not just liberals and democrats looking for a better solution.

Business America knows there has to be a better way.

The fact remains that Canad... (Below threshold)
LoveAmerica Immigrant:

The fact remains that Canada is simply another example of socialism. Socialism inevitably leads to universal misery except for the few exalted leaders and their party.

The fact remains t... (Below threshold)
The fact remains that Canada is simply another example of socialism.

Jingoism. Canada is a democratic country that manages their healthcare for the good of as many people as possible.

Socialism inevitably leads to universal misery except for the few exalted leaders and their party.

Overstated hyperbole. I think you're confusing the direction of the American healthcare system with a rational plan to manage care.

I think the unhapp... (Below threshold)
I think the unhappy highlight is a quote from the study which says that Canadian tax payers are funding 2 mid-sized medical schools for doctors that go to the US.

Indeed, there is a physician shortage all over the world. By my lights, too greedy a profit margin by insurers, which takes money out of the pool to increase physician pay coupled with an aging population are to blame.

It's not like our system is paying American doctors all that well (as a whole) since the insurance companies took over.

More and more students who would have been doctors are opting for more lucrative professions that will reward their scholastic aptitude and intellectual skills better, which opens to tap to siphon in graduated MDs from other countries.

The underlying question is tough. Decrease insurance profits and give them to the doctors or watch our natural pool of native born doctors dry up.

Hell, my Primary Care Physician is a from the Philippines. Small hands with long fingers, if you get my drift.

>The fact remains that Cana... (Below threshold)
Mycroft:

>The fact remains that Canada is simply another example of socialism.


>>Jingoism. Canada is a democratic country that manages their healthcare for the good of as many people as possible.

I call BS on you once again. When you manage for the good of as many aspossible, you drag down the peopl ewho contribute more, but now get less back. So the people that PAY the frieght get worse care then they currently do.

>Socialism inevitably leads to universal misery except for the few exalted leaders and their party.

>>Overstated hyperbole. I think you're confusing the direction of the American healthcare system with a rational plan to manage care.

How many legislators do you see giving up the care at Walter Reid in favor of socialized medicine in their home town? I think you misunderstand reality Rick. Spend a little time on the side of the workign class instead of spending your time spouting liberal talking points from your ivory tower.

Yeah, LAI, Vancouver, Stock... (Below threshold)
hyperbolist:

Yeah, LAI, Vancouver, Stockholm, Geneva, Tokyo, and Helsinki are terrible places to live and raise a family. Everybody there is "universally miserable". You're funny when you let your ideology do your thinking for you.

David: how to address the exodus of skilled medical professionals? Well, they could use some of that $14 billion and pay them more. That would be the market-based solution, anyway. Otherwise, they could subsidize medical school (like, make tuition free) in exchange for a promise that subsidized graduates will work in Canada for five years wherever they are needed. I expect rural areas experience the worst shortages, as I don't imagine the larger Canadian cities have a hard time attracting skilled professionals (ever been to Montréal? Funnest place EVAR!!!), whereas living above the frost line at a logging camp or native reserve seems to lack appeal.

So, again, government-run health care is not by nature doomed to failure. There are particular things that government could do to improve the status of public health care, but I'm skeptical that their Prime Minister is interested in exploring these options. As such, their system suffers.

Anyway, why does health care have to be dichotomized as what America's got or what Canada has?

If you want a real eye open... (Below threshold)
Gizmo:

If you want a real eye opener, go visit some of the official Provincial "wait time" web sites that were set up in response to legislation aimed at addressing the uproar of wait times. Each Province seems to present their data in a different manner, but one that's pretty straight forward is Nova Scotia's: http://www.gov.ns.ca/health/waittimes/

I suffered a minor heart attack last month and required a heart cath and angioplasty. It was amazing to see how long, per current data, I would have had to wait for these procedures in places like Halifax.

The national Wait Time Alliance's web site is here: http://www.waittimealliance.ca/

A private group used to run... (Below threshold)
jpm100:

A private group used to run a referral service out of my home city in Kanuckistan. There was a group that arranged referrals for heart bypass surgery which had a 4 month waiting period in Canada. They cut a special deal with a Detroit area hospital and helped people get some of the funding back from the Ontario Heath Plan.

Ontario stepped in and killed it by ending the reimburstments completely.

Their rationale? The wait for bypass surgery had grown to 8 months, but had more or less leveled off at 8 months. So they called the wait period stable and saw no need to continue allowing medical service outside the province.

Anyone with a brain in their head realizes why the wait list stops growing if you wait long enough with a life threatening condition.

Anyway, the real reason they stopped the program. It was an embarassment.

Now that this program has gotten the spotlight in the US press, they'll find a way to quietly kill it. There won't be anymore resources made available, but they'll kill it.

When you manage for the ... (Below threshold)
hyperbolist:

When you manage for the good of as many aspossible, you drag down the peopl ewho contribute more, but now get less back. So the people that PAY the frieght get worse care then they currently do.

Are you talking about socialized medicine, or private insurance?

Modern liberalism is simply... (Below threshold)
LoveAmerica Immigrant:

Modern liberalism is simply a modern slogan for "democratic" socialism. Universal health care will lead to universal misery. Canada, France, and Britain are the latest examples.
Canadian system is a clear example of the failure of socialized medicine, even with subsidy from the US.

I love the deal that the Frost family get. This is not the way to "mange" (or control) our health care. Centralized control via any means will lead to ultimate failure.

http://www.rushlimbaugh.com/home/daily/site_101007/content/01125113.guest.html

http://blogs.dailymail.com/donsurber/2007/10/07/3000-square-foot-home-but-cannot-afford-health-insurance/

When you manage fo... (Below threshold)
When you manage for the good of as many aspossible, you drag down the peopl ewho contribute more, but now get less back. So the people that PAY the frieght get worse care then they currently do.

Doesn't have to be that way. BTW, which part of

"We the people of the United States, in order to form a more perfect union, establish justice, insure domestic tranquility, provide for the common defense, promote the general welfare, and secure the blessings of liberty to ourselves and our posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America."

do you not get?

secure the blessings of lib... (Below threshold)
LoveAmerica Immigrant:

secure the blessings of liberty to ourselves and our posterity
------------------------------------
At least it means that we don't want government control of our health care, much less the univeral misery of democratic socialism (ie liberalism). Now the gov will be our parents dictating what we can eat and how much exercise we need to do. Some people may be willing to trade liberty for that. But that 's not what America is about. That 's what socialism is about.

I don't think Kennerly is a... (Below threshold)
BlacquesJacquesShellacques:

I don't think Kennerly is a dipshit. He's just wrong. I am Canadian and I get very tired of liberal Americans telling me how great our lousy system is.

The only reason our system has not had outright revolt and/or collapse is the USA and the safety valve you provide. We have been leeching off you for years.

Bullwinkle, change your signature which comes off as BullwinleBlig. What's a 'blig'? Where is the lib-a-pult to go? Please, no more. You rotten yanks have already sent us your draft dodgers, your hippies, your misfit losers. We send you our best and brightest and have a 'brain drain'. When we get old our wealthy spend their time and money in your warm states. So if you build a lib-a-pult, I'm going to shoot skeet.

Everyone reads the costs issue all wrong. You Americans spend tons of $ on health care because you have it. You are richer than we are. Why? 50 years of socialist crapola from various levels of Canadian government seriously damaged our economy. Good point from one commenter on adopting our failed system just when we are starting to privatize. We went socialist earlier than you, are now coming out of that bad dream, just in time to watch you wander in. Have a nice nightmare.

"In 1994, it took American ... (Below threshold)
Michael:

"In 1994, it took American medicine 60 days to diagnose my cancer.
I'm sorry for your illness. However, how many American citizens do you suppose don't even get the chance at the care you got?"

Hey Ricky boy what makes you think any Americans will get the care he got under some Marxist health system? Especially given the concrete failures of socialized medicine elsewhere? What alternate reality do you live in?

Hey Ricky Boy what about th... (Below threshold)
Michael:

Hey Ricky Boy what about this report on what happened in Great Britain hospitals?...you lefty's really do live in a alternate reality:

"At least 90 patients died from an infectious superbug in three neighbouring hospitals in southern Britain in two years due to lack of basic hygiene, according to an official report published Thursday.
The patients died after being contaminated with Clostridium difficile -- a secondary infection caused by poor hospital care according to the Healthcare Commission, the governmental watchdog agency.

"It's a scandal. It's awful," British Health Secretary Alan Johnson told BBC Radio 4's Today programme.

Symptoms include severe diarrhoea, especially in the aged.

The infection was also a factor in the deaths of 124 other patients and probably figured into the deaths of 55 others in three hospitals in the county of Kent, according to the report.

The report underlines that during four successive waves of infection between April 2004 and September 2006, the hospitals faced a serious lack of personnel.

Nurses did not even have the time to wash their hands nor quickly clean some patients who were soiled by their own excrement, it said.

"To suggest in this particular incident, this reflects what's happening in the National Health Service across the country is absolutely wrong," Johnson said in the interview.

In responding to criticism that British hospitals are more concerned with meeting government waiting-time targets, Johnson replied, "There are nurses and clinicians across the country who have dealt with the targets ... but kept the highest safety standards," he added.

The same hospitals did not detect the first two waves of infection caused by this bacteria, according to the report.

Kent police are looking into the possibility of opening a criminal investigation, their spokesman said Thursday.

Johnson promised to send the damning report to all hospital employees including administration staff to stress what can happen when basic hygiene rules are not respected.

The head of administration for the three hospitals, Rose Gibb, resigned last week.

British Prime Minister Gordon Brown promised to make a great effort to get hospitals to enforce basic hygiene rules when he addressed the issue during a speech at the Labour Party conference in September."

Michael, your last post is ... (Below threshold)
David:

Michael, your last post is pretty interesting, not to say appalling. Here in the US health care facilities are inspected by the government (mostly states). In UK their facilities is inspected by the same ministry that runs them.

Referring to someone named ... (Below threshold)
hyperbolist:

Referring to someone named rick as "Ricky Boy" is a form of linguistic condescension perfected by Rush Limbaugh, Michael. Nicely done, asshole.

The Republic of Korea has "socialized" health care. When I lived there, I waited ten minutes to see a specialist (because the guy available immediately didn't speak English very well). I was prescribed three different things. The visit cost $3, and the medication cost $1.50 including dispensing fee. Wow, the U.S. system sucks pretty hard compared to Korea's "Marxist" version, doesn't it?

Hyperbolist, How c... (Below threshold)
LoveAmerica Immigrant:

Hyperbolist,
How can we send people from America to get the treatment for cancer since it is so cheap in the Republic of Korea? Even including the air-fares, that should be a real bargain. You can make big bucks out of that business now!

Nicely done, asshole.... (Below threshold)
LoveAmerica Immigrant:

Nicely done, asshole.
---------------------------
This is mild compared to the vitriolic hateful MediaLiars democrats.

Yeah, like Hillary's minion... (Below threshold)
ODA315:

Yeah, like Hillary's minions could even approach the efficiency of the ROKs. Oh, btw, where were those docs educated? Where is the research performed that is the foundation for their education? Where is the largest concentration of medical specialists in the world? Where do the people of the world come for treatment after exhausting other avenues?

Korea? lololol Canada? nope UK? riiiight

And you Bozos want to kill it all in the name of feeling good. Thanks but no thanks

I just spent two months up ... (Below threshold)

I just spent two months up in Ontario on business. I have some questions. Why did i hear of several fund raisers in the area I was in (Belleville/Trenton) for kids with cancer to help pay their medical expenses? These were talked about on the local radio station over the course of my stay -- Several different patients. I thought it was all free.

Some of the people I worked with were US Citizens on work permits. They were given access to the Canadian System through our employer but could not find a doctor to take them. Aside from the huge waiting list for Canadians to find a doctor, Canadian Doctors do not want to take Americans as patients. If they do, their malpractice rates skyrocket. My colleagues were faced with finding doctors in the Buffalo, NY area, about a three hour drive (not counting border crossing times) for routine doctor visits.

Doctors are leaving Canada in increasing numbers. They can't make enough to pay their student loans.

Some Canadians are trying to change the system,but the liberal party (that controls Ontario) is dead set against updating their broken system.

VW

Will one of you liberals PL... (Below threshold)
ODA315:

Will one of you liberals PLEEEEAAASE tell me why I should pay for your (or anyone elses) healthcare?

If you are poor, get medicaid or medicare. If not, make the right financial choices.

Here in America, my wife ca... (Below threshold)
David:

Here in America, my wife can be halfway across the US, get sick, see a specialist the same day she called. Get a prescription and get well. 5 bucks. Yes I do have good insurance.

Actually the one that always cracks me up is when she got pregnant EVERYTHING, doctors visits, Ultra-sound, hospital stay, birth, etc.

5 Bucks. Is this a great country or what.

I have a friend on the same plan and when she delivered her baby he was 6 weeks premature.

5 Bucks

Another collegue got breast cancer. The entire treatment accept for drugs.

5 Buck. The drugs cost her 3 Bucks a pop.

The little hint here is you should get a PhD and go to a college with great benefits.

Violence, maybe those docs ... (Below threshold)
ODA315:

Violence, maybe those docs could go to Korea?

Well, Ontario's Liberal par... (Below threshold)
hyperbolist:

Well, Ontario's Liberal party won a massive majority yesterday (although it seems that the fuck up Progressive Conservative candidate lost because he wanted to fund religious schools). The Liberal premier believes this to be a sign that people in Ontario aren't interested in the PC's two-tiered solution. Never mind the fact that people in Ontario already have access to private care in their province...

ODA, you should pay for poor people's health care for the same reason that you pay their share of national defense.

David, your health insurance plan sounds great. How much would it cost to buy that sort of coverage? In Korea, aside from the tiny fees I mentioned, I didn't pay for health care, and my income taxes were lower than they are here (and I made 75% more than the national average there). They have too many doctors, and while many of them studied abroad (UK, USA, Canada), most are trained domestically. If you think Canada is proof that government-run health care doesn't work, I say Korea is proof to the contrary, so let's stop comparing particular examples and start thinking about how good points from superior health care systems can be synthesized into ours so that access to physicians and drugs can be guaranteed regardless of income.

Hey, look to Norway. We hav... (Below threshold)
89:

Hey, look to Norway. We have socialized payment, but a gaggle of private and public hospitals and clinics that do procedures. Waiting times came down from Canada-like nightmares about a decade ago to quite reasonable now. And the patient (in) can choose . We also don't have the idiotic malpractice litigation levels either. So the best of both worlds - but I guess it'll never be perfect.
Also, of course the world relies on a worldwide network of medical researchers, where the US is one of the most important countries - and for very rare diseases we send patients abroad.
The "bad" stuff is that for experimental treatments abroad, you would have to pay for it yourself. But then, if a treatment hasn't been found to work yet it's not our government's job to pay for the cost of what is essentially research that will benefit some foreign patent holder in the future.

(in)should be... (Below threshold)
89:

(in)
should be
in consultation with the patient's personal GP

There is one snag about GPs - in some rural areas, the number of patients is too low to fully staff clinics with full-time GPs.

Hey hyperbole...Ricky Boy d... (Below threshold)
Michael:

Hey hyperbole...Ricky Boy deserves condescension with his silly leftist drivel...how do you like that assclown.

secure the blessin... (Below threshold)
secure the blessings of liberty to ourselves and our posterity

I was thinking about the part you habitually ignore:

"promote the general welfare, "

Socialism inevitab... (Below threshold)
Socialism inevitably leads to universal misery except for the few exalted leaders and their party
How many legislators do you see giving up the care at Walter Reid in favor of socialized medicine in their home town?

Thank you for making my point. The President, Congress and the Military get the finest socialized health care in the nation.

Why shouldn't the rest of the nation have access to the same quality and accessibility?

If you want a real... (Below threshold)
If you want a real eye opener, go visit some of the official Provincial "wait time" web sites that were set up in response to legislation aimed at addressing the uproar of wait times.

As opposed to not being able to get health care at all?

I don't think Kenn... (Below threshold)
I don't think Kennerly is a dipshit. He's just wrong. I am Canadian and I get very tired of liberal Americans telling me how great our lousy system is.

Well, it's your country, make it better.

Besides, my main point is that our system is just as broken but in a different way and needs reform.


89, I actually think that a... (Below threshold)
David:

89, I actually think that a combined system of private and public like Norway makes some sense.

In Korea somebody (ok everybody and bluntly us, we pay them for our troops being their) paid for your care, and I know health care for the average Joe is pretty good in Korea.

However, this post is about Canada and its problems and do we want a system just like them. My Answer to that is no way. Hillary wants a administative nightmare of a health care system. That is just spooky.

Canada is a democr... (Below threshold)
Steve:
Canada is a democratic country that manages their healthcare for the good of as many people as possible.

Good for them and we're a Constitutional Republic. Show me where in our Constitution healthcare is a right that should be paid for by the government. Or retirement accounts. Or education. Or housing. Everything done for "the good of the people" turns into a rotten hell.

And also, what are the taxrates like in Canada rick, to pay for all this "goodness"? That's the one thing all these dullards coming out of the indoctrination factories (ie universities) never EVER seem to want to think about. They say they're open to socialized medicine, but I wonder how much they'll be for it when their taxes shoot through the roof.

Okay, serious question. </... (Below threshold)

Okay, serious question.

Why is there no discussion of anything between

Socialized Medicine

and

Universal Coverage?

Is there any American on the list that actually believes the US system cannot be improved on at all?

KennerlyI've waded t... (Below threshold)

Kennerly
I've waded through the entire thread and finally discovered a good question from you:

Why shouldn't the rest of the nation have access to the same quality and accessibility?

The rest of the nation can and in many cases does access this type of healthcare: They pay for handsomely for it, and willingly. See dave at #39 above.

Quality healthcare comes at a price. If Americans are willing to pay that price then they deserve the level of care incumbent in this system.

Rick, you may have a gift for statistics and math, but you are woefully deficient in private market economics. Take some time off and study the Austrian economists. Your analysis is deficient in the delivery and incentives relevant to private market value versus government funded service value.

The overall trend of government service is moving away from the monolithic one party provider (government) to outsourcing in everything from toll roads to other public infrastructure. This model fits well with the healthcare template. Pressure on state budgets will eventually bring healthcare into the outsourcing menu.

Liberal policy makers know this and want to prempt the change for one reason: political control. Liberal policy on nationalized healthcare has nothing to do with better care or its delivery and everything to do with coerced political control.

You are richer tha... (Below threshold)
You are richer than we are.

Not that much, says the CIA World Fact Book:

GDP - per capita (PPP):
$35,700 (2006 est.)

GDP - per capita (PPP):
$43,800 (2006 est.)

https://www.cia.gov/library/publications/the-world-factbook/print/us.html
https://www.cia.gov/library/publications/the-world-factbook/print/ca.html

Also, get this:

The US spends 16% of GDP on healthcare while Canada only spends 9.7%.

The real question for the US is why aren't we getting more bang for our buck?

see article for references:

"# Health care spending is 4.3 times the amount spent on national defense (4).

# In 2005, the United States spent 16 percent of its gross domestic product (GDP) on health care. It is projected that the percentage will reach 20 percent in the next decade (2).

# Although nearly 47 million Americans are uninsured, the United States spends more on health care than other industrialized nations, and those countries provide health insurance to all their citizens (4).

# Health care spending accounted for 10.9 percent of the GDP in Switzerland, 10.7 percent in Germany, 9.7 percent in Canada and 9.5 percent in France, according to the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (5). "

http://www.nchc.org/facts/cost.shtml

The little hint he... (Below threshold)
The little hint here is you should get a PhD and go to a college with great benefits.

Specious argument. There aren't that many PhDs available in the nation, and besides who'd make the money if everyone was a PhD? Somebody's got to do the work.

Is there any American... (Below threshold)

Is there any American on the list that actually believes the US system cannot be improved on at all?

There's another good question.

1)Tort reform
2)Ease FDA approval timelines and bureaucratic obstacles to bringing new treatments and remedies to the market.
3)Expand Medical Savings Accounts.
4)Take Hillary's outrageous $5,000 bond per newborn and turn it into a medical savings account that supplants Medicare at some pre determined age.
5)Eliminate the corporate income tax.
6)Eliminate the capital gains tax
7)Eliminate the death tax.

Five through seven above will bring a wave of money into healthcare research, which is the backbone of our system in the U S.

Get the vulture trial specialists out of healthcare except for the truly egregious cases of malpractice. Put another way, make suing a doctor as difficult as it is to sue a lawyer.

Make drug trials simpler. Give consumers more input in the trials process.

Encourage citizens to self insure (by raising deductibles)and create an environment of cost competition for providers.

"At least 90 patie... (Below threshold)
"At least 90 patients died from an infectious superbug in three neighbouring hospitals in southern Britain in two years due to lack of basic hygiene, according to an official report published Thursday.

Irrelevant. Every facility in the world is dealing with drug resistant infections.

Hospitals are no place for sick people.

How can we send pe... (Below threshold)
How can we send people from America to get the treatment for cancer since it is so cheap in the Republic of Korea? Even including the air-fares, that should be a real bargain. You can make big bucks out of that business now!

Actually, medical tourism IS a big business. There are Westerner only hospitals in India, Indonesia, Malaysia, Philippines and several other nations. Doctors are western trained and certified, conditions are as good as any western hospital.

Will one of you li... (Below threshold)
Will one of you liberals PLEEEEAAASE tell me why I should pay for your (or anyone elses) healthcare?

(material in quotations mine)

"Internal or private costs of uninsured
(for individuals, families, and firms)

Greater morbidity and premature mortality (taxpayer removed from tax pool)

Developmental losses for children (reduced earnings as a taxpayer of the future)

Family financial uncertainty and stress, depletion of assets (resource and transfer costs)

Lost income of uninsured breadwinner in ill health

Workplace productivity losses (absenteeism, reduced efficiency on the job)

Diminished sense of social equality and self-respect (yeah, I know, but I dont' chop up quoted material)

External or spillover costs

Diminished quality and availability of personal health services (efficiency, making the most of available services)

Diminished public health system capacity

Diminished population health (such as higher rates of vaccine-preventable disease)

Higher taxes, budget cuts, loss of other uses for public revenues diverted to uncompensated care (primarily transfer costs, except for administrative costs)

Higher public program costs connected with worse health (Medicare, disability payments) (primarily transfer costs)

Diminished workforce productivity

Diminished social capital; unfulfilled social norms of caring, equal opportunity, and mutual respect"

http://tinyurl.com/2uw926

From a study in the Journal of Health Affairs

In other words, we're paying for it already. It's time we organize it better. This is really about getting our money's worth.

Call it "socialized medicin... (Below threshold)
Robert:

Call it "socialized medicine" and whine about it all you want.

It's coming.
Corporate america wants to stop providing healthcare to it's employees.

And for those of you who are slow on the uptake (what I like to call "Americans"), corporations run this country and will get what they want.

Hah, hyperbolist gets exerc... (Below threshold)
kim:

Hah, hyperbolist gets exercised because Rick earns a diminutive for his naivete. And check out Robert's rationale for coming national health care. Twisted.
=======

Referring to someo... (Below threshold)
Referring to someone named rick as "Ricky Boy"

Please don't defend me. They're like children who bring a knife to a gunfight. They have no facts, statistics or rational thought to bring to the encounter and must, therefore, resort to epitaphs, misstatement of facts, and linguistic bullying.

Frankly, I suppose you can't expect much from a list group that seems informed by Fox News and Rush; original thought is just not in their meager mental arsenal, products of our failing of our schools, I'm sure.

Five through seven... (Below threshold)
Five through seven above will bring a wave of money into healthcare research, which is the backbone of our system in the U S.

I know that's the Right's cant, but it's just not supported by fact. It's only true if we fund budget shortfalls from real money instead of putting it on the debt. Tax breaks/reductions are incapable of paying for themselves as long as we are borrowing more money than we spend (or in this case, putting it on the national VISA card).

RobertCorporate Amer... (Below threshold)

Robert
Corporate America includes health care in its wage equation. BTW, they do the same thing for corporate taxes. The only one slow on the uptake is you, and that's why liberals like Hillary and Edwards take you for granted...they know they can fool some of the people all of the time.
Here's a quick voter IQ test: who makes more money on the sale of a gallon of gasoline? Big Oil or the Federal Government?

KennerlyI kn... (Below threshold)

Kennerly

I know that's the Right's cant, but it's just not supported by fact. It's only true if we fund budget shortfalls from real money instead of putting it on the debt. Tax breaks/reductions are incapable of paying for themselves as long as we are borrowing more money than we spend (or in this case, putting it on the national VISA card).

That's not cant. Your reply is nonsense. You understand nothing about recent federal receipts and tax policy.
Explain how a reduction in highest marginal rates in 1982 brought about record federal receipts to this day. Also, I'm not interested in a data dump of links. Nor VISA metaphors. Get some experience under your belt and come back later. You are obviously a young one full of vigor and and devoid of informed thought.

technical question. <... (Below threshold)

technical question.

is it the hour or the length of this thread that's causing really slow response time from WB?

Or am I the only one experiencing very long delays on page loads?

kennerly:Amazi... (Below threshold)
marc:

kennerly:

Amazingly, I have to pay for Lasiks out of pocket, too.

And that's a good thing, after all it is an elective procedure in the vast majority of cases.

But here's the real question nitwit; Why is it the cost of lasik surgery has steadily gone down since it was first introduced?

It damn sure isn't because of being propped up with billions of dollars via governmental or insurance industry support.

It's because of market forces and supply and demand.

Also, I'm not inte... (Below threshold)
Also, I'm not interested in a data dump of links. Nor VISA metaphors.

But yet you offer no evidence, only the infallibility of what you believe--or have been told.

You understand nothing about recent federal receipts and tax policy.

Because you say so? Not good enough. Pony up real, verifiable data and let's see where it leads.

FTR, the national debt, unsecured I might add, is at about $340,000 per individual and growing.

I will demonstrate tomorrow that tax cuts do not pay for themselves if they are funded by debt instead of reductions in spending.

However, my response time is so slow on this site that I'm calling it a night.

FTR, the national deb... (Below threshold)

FTR, the national debt, unsecured I might add, is at about $340,000 per individual and growing. ...Kennerly, define the term unsecured national debt. Never heard of it. The national debt is a general obligation of the United States. I didn't know the United States government bifurcated debt specific to a perfected security interest. But hey, maybe you're on to something that about ten thousand government debt credit analysts have missed....after all, you are a math genious.


Because you say so? Not good enough. Pony up real, verifiable data and let's see where it leads....I know where it leads. Donate a couple of hundred bucks to Wizbang and I'll explain it. Otherwhise, look it up yourself. It's been in the Wall Street Journal for, oh, twenty years.

Robert:"It's c... (Below threshold)
marc:

Robert:

"It's coming.
Corporate america wants to stop providing healthcare to it's employees."

True enough, however...

You better take a look at how one of the largest employers in the U.S. settled their recent strike with the UAW.

GM didn't push their costs on to gov. they started a trust fund:

In GM's case, an independent trust will assume the task of providing health coverage to the company's unionized retirees and spouses. GM will put money in the trust -- as much as $35 billion, according to people familiar with the deal -- to get it going. But it's up to the trust to set and manage the benefits.
And you can bet your bottom dollar both Chrysler and Ford will settle this contentious issue in the same way.

This subject is a frequent ... (Below threshold)
OhioVoter:

This subject is a frequent topic on another website I frequent. One (yes, only one) of our Canadian posters there takes every opportunity to exclaim the virtues of their system while simultaneously nit-picking the US system. (An example of "nit-picking"? She once cited a study critical of the US health care because there was not a significant choice between male/female dermatologists is some communities.)

Why only one Canadian on that board speaking out? The other Canadian posters are not located in Toronto as she is. Apparently the outer regions are not as well served by the health care system and they are more than willing to look at some adjustments to their system. No, no one is advocating a full switch to private health care but they certainly don't think it should be illegal to get.

As to the cheerleader ... after, she, with a straight face, declared that closing a man's skull after a catastropic accident was an "elective procedure", I started to look a little closer at how their system does operate.

Are some statistics better? Absolutely. Could some lessons be learned from the US by the US? Absolutely - lessons can be learned in many places.

However, the Canadian system is also about as financially healthy as Social Security. It can be propped up awhile longer with additional taxes and additional cuts in other services, but it cannot meet all its promises now and that will only get worse with time.

There is no magic fix there anymore than there is one here.

marcI would add this... (Below threshold)

marc
I would add this...the last major corporate failure that was concentrated in a few major companies and banks was in fact the banking crisis in Texas in the late 1980's. They used the trust fund approach to separate good assets from bad assets quite successfully. It's a well proven and effective approach to solving the problem.

You are correct: Ford and Chysler already have well researched and rigorous studies to support implementation of this solution. And the unions have, reluctantly, bought in. It's amazing how a near death experience focuses the mind of all.

If MICHEAL MOORE ever gets ... (Below threshold)
Spurwing Plover:

If MICHEAL MOORE ever gets sick then let him go to CANADA and let them treat him like before they have any good ways like CUTTING OFF HIS INJURED LET WITH A SAW AND NO PAIN KILLERS

Kennerly, define t... (Below threshold)
Kennerly, define the term unsecured national debt. Never heard of it. The national debt is a general obligation of the United States. I didn't know the United States government bifurcated debt specific to a perfected security interest.

Really, which states in our union would we liquidate if our debt were called? We'd just print more money or default on the debt and cancel it out.

Otherwhise, look it up yourself. It's been in the Wall Street Journal for, oh, twenty years.

I'm talking actual studies that take the whole federal money picture into account, not just the part they want to rah-rah.

Donate a couple of hundred bucks to Wizbang and I'll explain it.
Oh, I see. The Web 2.0 model, don't actually do any work, just let the user base generate all the material and you just sell the ads on the on their labor.

And what makes you suppose your time is any more valuable than mine?

As for studies that support... (Below threshold)

As for studies that support the fact that tax cuts do not pay for themselves when the costs and inflation are added to the national debt instead of from reductions in spending, I'd suggest:

GAO's Fiscal Stewardship:A Critical Challenge Facing Our Nation
GAO's LONG-TERM BUDGET OUTLOOK: Deficits Matter--Saving Our Future Requires Tough Choices Today
CBO's An Analysis of the President's Budgetary Proposals for Fiscal Year 2008
CBO's The Budget and Economic Outlook: Fiscal Years 2008 to 2017

I'd also recommend the bipartisan work of the Fiscal Wake-Up Tour conducted by:

DAVID M. WALKER, Comptroller General of the United States
ISABEL V. SAWHILL, Senior Fellow, Economic Studies
ALISON ACOSTA FRASER, Director of the Roe Institute for Economic Policy Studies, Alison Acosta Fraser oversees Heritage Foundation
ROBERT L. BIXBY, Executive Director of The Concord Coalition
TOM CAMPBELL, Economist and lawyer, is the Bank of America dean and professor of Business at the Haas School of Business

A sampling, (emphasis mine):

http://tinyurl.com/2o4bau

"Politicians often argue that tax cuts do not increase the deficit because
they pay for themselves through greater economic growth. This alluring
claim is not supported by economic theory or actual experience.

Economic growth has not been unusually strong since the recent tax
cuts were passed. In fact, it has often fallen short of projections. Moreover,
a Treasury Department study in 2006 estimated that positive economic
feedback from extending the tax cuts would offset roughly 10
percent of the revenue loss and then only if matched by spending cuts.

It is true that revenues are at "record" levels if inflation is ignored, but
adjusted for inflation 2007 revenues are roughly equal to 2000 revenues.
Setting a dollar record for revenues is not remarkable -- revenues
almost always set a record every year because they naturally increase
with inflation, economic growth and other factors. What is remarkable
is that revenues did not set a record in the four years after the
tax cuts were passed in 2001. Between 2001 and 2003 revenues actually
declined for three years in a row for the first time since the 1920s.

Measured as a share of the economy revenues are still substantially
lower than before the tax cuts were enacted.

Taxes and spending cannot be considered in isolation from one another.
The revenues lost by extending the expiring tax provisions must be
weighed against the fact that policymakers have not taken action to
prepare for the costs of the baby boomers' retirement and health care
needs which will begin to place a growing strain on the budget in the
years ahead. Ironically, the first baby boomers will qualify for Medicare
and full Social Security retirement benefits at age 65 in 2011 --
the very year when the tax cuts are set to expire."

As well as the work of the Concord Coalition

Of course the real problem is absolutely irresponsible budgeting by the administration and congress. We used to be afraid of "tax and spend" Democrats, unitl we met "borrow and spend" Republicans. At least the Dems had a chance of paying for their policies. Ever since the GOP abandoned the Pay As You Go (PAYGO) discipline imposed during the Gingrich years, we've been headed for a real economic meltdown.

Well, Today I need to go do research for which I actually get paid. Bye.

Final word....no really. <... (Below threshold)

Final word....no really.

If you want to know more about America's looming budget crisis and the work of the bipartisan Fiscal Wake-up Tour, listen to this podcast panel discussion:

http://www.commonwealthclub.org/audio/20070914budget-complete.ram

it's a Real Audio file and quite a fascinating discussion, regardless of which side you are on.

After all, we're all galley slaves in the government's budget boat.

Rick, maybe you should read... (Below threshold)

Rick, maybe you should read that again yourself. "promote the general welfare, "

That says promote, not provide.

Furthermore, your statement; "The President, Congress and the Military get the finest socialized health care in the nation," leads me to wonder why we had such heated arguments in recent months in which we had the whole gaggle of usual suspects here berating (nay, castigating) the right for the horrible state of health care offered to our military.

Not only that, but the President, Congress and the Military constitute a minute portion of the population for which many millions more pay for. How do you think that will affect us when everyone jumps into the pool?

Really, which states ... (Below threshold)

Really, which states in our union would we liquidate if our debt were called? We'd just print more money or default on the debt and cancel it out.

You didn't answer the question. But you served up another inane query which demonstrates well that you know nothing about credit markets and debt instruments.

It is true that revenues are at "record" levels if inflation is ignored, but
adjusted for inflation 2007 revenues are roughly equal to 2000 revenues.
Setting a dollar record for revenues is not remarkable -- revenues
almost always set a record every year because they naturally increase
with inflation, economic growth and other factors. What is remarkable
is that revenues did not set a record in the four years after the
tax cuts were passed in 2001. Between 2001 and 2003 revenues actually
declined for three years in
a row for the first time since the 1920s.

The above paragraph has one key flaw....benchmarking at 2001, just after 9/11. Of course there was a fall off in revenue inflation adjusted numbers between 2001 and 2003. The economy was paralyzed by 9/11. Go back and apply the same criteria to 1982 through 2006.


HughS, thanks for putting R... (Below threshold)
epador:

HughS, thanks for putting RK to task. There's one point he makes early in this thread, about the military medical system and comparing it to a great socialized medicine example.

BS

#1) Military medicine outsources care, especially to dependents, and the current evolving model is to go to contracted care. It doesn't go to Canada, but to the community. Finding a practice that takes TriWest in our community leads to one place only - our FQHC. The private practitioners won't take Medicaid, and they shun TriWest. For a two hour drive you can get to Portland and quality specialty care. For Primary Care, you have one Internist and a handful of mid-level practitioners for all the pediatric and women's health care needs for your military dependents for five uniformed services in our county. Somehow I don't think that's a system I'd champion.

#2) Military Medicine is primarily designed for support of warfighters. Family Care got wedged into the system hard when we went to an all volunteer system. [I got care in the old system as a dependent. I have a great huge scar on my arm from the botched ortho surgery at WRAMC] Its not pretty - the current system or my scar. Folks work hard to try to care for everyone, but its not a great system, hardly one to model universal health care. The system is taxed heavily with the current needs due to conflicts in the middle and not so middle Asian continent, not to mention commitments elsewhere around the globe.

The above paragrap... (Below threshold)
The above paragraph has one key flaw....benchmarking at 2001, just after 9/11. Of course there was a fall off in revenue inflation adjusted numbers between 2001 and 2003. The economy was paralyzed by 9/11. Go back and apply the same criteria to 1982 through 2006.

It has been figured into the statistics of the GAO and CBO figures.

You can't borrow money (put it on the debt), pay interest and figure in inflation and make them pay.

You have yet to provide any statistical references to examine.

Military medicine ... (Below threshold)
Military medicine outsources care, especially to dependents,

But it's still a controlled entry single-payer program with all billing paid by and authorized by centralized military medicine. You can't get a regular or specialist appointment authorized outside the system without a referral from a system physician (emergency visits must be approved as soon as possible).

Of course, I'm talking about TRICARE Prime. TRICARE Standard and TRICARE for Life (for retirees) are somewhat different.

In the case at hand, the Canada story, the Canadian health system found the family

the right for the ... (Below threshold)
the right for the horrible state of health care offered to our military

I believe you're conflating a number of issues, which are quite complex and simplified in the media.

First of all, military medicine did a bad job of gearing up for the number of wounded (a unprecedented 1 wounded : 17 wounded). But the problems you hear about are mostly limited to the choke points for reentry: Bethesda, Walter Reed, and Ft. Sam Houston and some rivalry between the services.

On a day to day level, routine military medicine is reduced in other facilities due to staff shifted to SWA, but demand is being referred out by the TRICARE system, but it's still a single payer controlled access program.

However, there are other issues that leak over and get conflated with the issues and muddy the water.

For example, the length of time it takes to get a medical retirement discharge (when they're kind of in warehouse limbo), disputes over percent of injury (which affects payments and is often difficult to gauge accurately, particularly for traumatic brain injury, for some time), and finally the usual tension between the military and the VA system as the cases transfer from one to the other.

(a unprecedented 1... (Below threshold)
(a unprecedented 1 wounded : 17 wounded)

Ooops, meant 1 killed to 17 wounded.

but its not a grea... (Below threshold)
but its not a great system, hardly one to model universal health care

Actually, it's a pretty good system to benchmark from. Just think, it's supporting a major war while still fulfilling it's mission to dependents and AD personnel not assigned to SWA and yet it still hasn't broken down.

Of course, I'm tal... (Below threshold)
Of course, I'm talking about TRICARE Prime. TRICARE Standard and TRICARE for Life (for retirees) are somewhat different.

Another feature of the system is that you can joim TRICARE Prime (there is monthly primium for dependents but not AD personnel), see system doctors and have zero bills,

OR

you can elect for TRICARE standard, see any doctor you want and and then you make up the difference between what TRICARE pays and the bill itself.

There are also dental plans and eyeplans and Rx are free (if you want to wait in line and even if you bring them in from an outside doctor) or $5 each by mail.

great huge scar on my arm from the botched ortho surgery at WRAMC

Sorry if you believe you suffered from medical error. You can look up the stats nationwide and see that it's much in military hospitals than in the general public.

However, since you were a dependent, you could have sued for damages, just like a regular hospital.

echo chamber.....echo chamb... (Below threshold)

echo chamber.....echo chamber

Well, off to the Solar Deca... (Below threshold)

Well, off to the Solar Decathlon in DC this weekend. You folks play nice.

http://www.solardecathlon.org/

looks like a dead thread anyway. bye, ya'll.




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