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The Face Of Single Payer

I've been sitting on this story for some time, just trying to find a way to write about it without completely losing it. And I think I finally can.

In England, a woman was having a very difficult pregnancy. She ended up going into labor 21 weeks and five days after conception. The record for a suriving baby is 21 weeks and six days.

And it still is.

The fetus did not survive.

Oh, it was born alive. Its heart beat, it breathed, it moved. But under the definition of the National Health Service, it was too early. So it was denied any care whatsoever -- and the miscarriage took almost two hours after delivery to recognize that it was not alive.

Fortunately for Sarah Capewell, she was under the care of Britain's universal health coverage system. Had she been in the US, things might have turned out differently.

Under the current US system, the doctors would not have denied her medicines to delay her labor or strengthen her fetus. Had she still delivered, the doctors and nurses would have moved heaven and earth to save the little boy. (Here, he would have been a human being.)

Had her insurance company balked at picking up the tab, the hospital would have continued to provide it and worried about the bill later. And later, if the insurer couldn't be shamed into paying, the community would have rallied to her support. There would be donation cans in every convenience store. There would be web pages where people could make donations. A bank would set up a special account for those who wanted to help her.

The news media would have gone ape over the story. The little boy would be touted as "the youngest baby ever to be born alive." Ms. Capewell would be flooded from offers from reality shows. Diaper makers would race to make the tiny diapers he'd need so they could boast of helping.

And even if all that didn't happen, Ms. Capewell might still be burdened with huge debts. But she'd know that she -- and everyone else -- had done everything they could to save him.

But luckily for her, she's in England. And in England, we see the "single-payer" system in all its glory.

Why did the hospital refuse to care for the fetus? Because the government's rules said it wasn't a baby. It wasn't a human being, and wouldn't be for days.

In the US, when doctors run into such situations, they can choose to ignore the rules and policies and guidelines. The risks they run are pretty much limited to losing their jobs.

But in England, it's different. The government is their boss. If they defy the rules, getting fired is the least of their concerns.

In the US, the doctor can simply go to another hospital, or go into private practice. They are still doctors. But in England, if you're fired by the government, your career is over. There are no other employers of doctors.

Also, your employer's rules have the full force of law behind them. You've not only committed a firing offense, you've broken the law. You can be fined or, possibly, even imprisoned.

Given that, it's remarkably easy to look at a tiny -- oh so tiny -- baby and convince yourself that it's not a real human being, but a simple miscarriage that is still moving and breathing. You can ignore it, secure in the knowledge that without assistance it will soon be as dead as the government has deemed it to be.

(Hat tip to the inestimable Wretchard, one of the best thinkers in the blogosphere today.)

More disturbing words (and a picture) below the fold.

miscarriage.jpg

That is not Jayden Andrew Christopher Capewell.

He was not born on October 3, 2008.

He did not die 99 minutes later.

That is a 22-week miscarriage that was delivered with a beating heart and two breathing lungs, but that was soon corrected by the wisdom of the British National Health Service.


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Comments (52)

a few years ago, the wife o... (Below threshold)

a few years ago, the wife of a friend of mine in Texas gave birth to what was then the earliest premature birth in that State...and 2nd earliest ever in the U.S.

Their son is now just fine, thank you very much. btw...the Brits would have let my friend's son die too.

Just this last week a 6 year old boy was "repreived" from his MANDATORY sentencing to 45 days in Reform School for bringing a camping utensil to school. Relevance? The same morons who originally sentenced this 6 year old without a backward glance are going to be doling out medical care under ObamaCare!

the same morons!

This is also why the infant... (Below threshold)
mpw280:

This is also why the infant mortality rates in the US are higher as well. Because being born that early (or with other problems) in the US and then dying counts as an infant mortality where as in England it is labeled as a miscarriage. They practice something as barbaric as letting a living breathing baby die from neglect and then tout their lower infant mortality rate as something to be proud of. mpw

The left is typically vehem... (Below threshold)
drjohn:

The left is typically vehemently opposed to capital punishment. It has suggested that executions ought to be broadcast to show how vile they are.

I would take that in exchange for broadcasting a late term abortion with the full viewing of the aftermath.

Not surprising. Brits also... (Below threshold)
GarandFan:

Not surprising. Brits also imprisoned an elderly guy who had the timidity to shoot a burglar who broke into his home at 3am. They 'reasoned' that he could have "called" on his neighbors for help. Just forget the fact that the "nearest" neighbor lived over 3 miles away.

Yes, but Obama favors infan... (Below threshold)
jim m:

Yes, but Obama favors infanticide. He fought for it tooth and nail in the Illinois Senate.

Just remember that England's worst serial killer ever was a doctor in the NHS. He went for years unnoticed and uninvestigated. Dr Harold Shipman was convicted of 218 murders and is suspected of at least twice that, making him the WORLD'S worst serial killer.

THAT is what we will get in turn when Obama takes over health care: an uncaring system utterly uninterested in rooting out waste and corruption. A system where saving money and effort is more important than saving lives. Like all government programs, waste and excess will never be cut, but critical services will be eliminated to maintain the privileges of those who run the system.

The thing is that with soci... (Below threshold)
jim m:

The thing is that with socialized medicine facilities that are necessary to treat such an infant are restricted and are probably not available in close enough proximity to cave the baby.

Costs for treating an extremely premature infant run quickly into the 6 figures and will easily cost in excess of half a million dollars. Babies so young require specific advanced life support equipment (things like ECMO-go look it up it's pretty cool) that in a socialized system are not going to be available. So the government restricts lifesaving treatments by reducing the facilities available to deliver it. That helps care givers by giving them the ability to site lack of access to critical services rather than having to deny them outright.

Like Liam Neeson's wife who could have survived if the government would buy a helicopter to transport patients, but it's too expensive in their narrow minds. Far cheaper to let people die

Don't be misled: the goal o... (Below threshold)
iwogisdead:

Don't be misled: the goal of the Dems is not providing healthcare to those who cannot afford it. The goal of the Dems is single payer. And single payer will come about under any of the plans now under consideration, because those plans will ultimately destroy the private insurance industry. It doesn't matter whether there's a government option or not.

At my age, I figure I only have a few years left before I will be just as much of a non-entity under single payer as little Jayden.

The goal is not health care... (Below threshold)
drjohn:

The goal is not health care. The goal of Crap and Trade is not pollution control.

The goal is wealth redistribution.

Period.

Think you missed this JayTe... (Below threshold)
_Mike_:

Think you missed this JayTea:

[Un]Fortunately for Sarah Capewell
or more likely, I missed th... (Below threshold)
_Mike_:

or more likely, I missed the sarcasm.

The goal is wealth redis... (Below threshold)
jim m:

The goal is wealth redistribution.

Exactly!

Not everyone has good health care so everyone should have crappy health care. Not everyone is wealthy so no one should be wealthy and everyone should be poor so we are all equal (except, of course, the political leadership which is more equal than the rest of us).

VIC, SAUD, hypebolist, jp2?... (Below threshold)
epador:

VIC, SAUD, hypebolist, jp2?

Wait I thought Prenatal car... (Below threshold)
hcddbz:

Wait I thought Prenatal care eliminated things kinds of things?

See this is why the sats on healthcare make no sense.
Instead of births and deaths. Let look at the results of treatments. How many premature babies survive in the American health system vs others.


An innocent life must be not burden society with its cost.

Yet it is moral to let murders who preyed on it for years, burden taxpayers for decades rather than sentence them to death.

This one hits really close ... (Below threshold)
Brian The Adequate:

This one hits really close to home.

If my wife had been denied drugs to delay labor, that could have been my eldest daughter. Thanks to the horrible US health care system, that baby is now 13 and is a healthy 8th grade Honor student.

A comment on cap and trade.... (Below threshold)
Zelsdorf Ragshaft III:

A comment on cap and trade. I wonder how, scientifically, they can call CO2 a polutant when every air breathing animal exhales it. and all plant life takes it in. Last, would both houses of Congress have to buy carbon credits (I will sell them some) because in a single session I am sure they produce more CO2 than the average family does in a month?

The U.S. is the richest nat... (Below threshold)
Victory is Ours:

The U.S. is the richest nation in the world and yet the U.S. infant survival rate ranks 29th.

It's a shame that so many Republicans in this country are fighting tooth and nail to prevent that from changing...

Pretending the government will allow babies to die is just another example of that.

Vic

Some day Vic will learn to ... (Below threshold)

Some day Vic will learn to read.

Those numbers are meaningless. The baby in this story didn't count as an infant mortality, but a miscarriage.

And the British government didn't just let him die, they guaranteed it.

That's the British government's government-run single-payer system.

J.

Some facts, as we know, are... (Below threshold)
Victory is Ours:

Some facts, as we know, are 'inconvenient' and therefore unwelcomed.

Japan has single payer and the infant mortality rate in Japan is half what it is in the United States.

And yet some Republicans will say anything and do anything to stop health care reform in the United States.

Shame, that...

Vic

That's because Japan counts... (Below threshold)
iwogisdead:

That's because Japan counts most infants who die within 24 hours of birth as "stillborn" instead of infants who die. That statistic is meaningless, as are a lot of infant mortality rates, because different countries use different definitions.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Infant_mortality

and

http://patrickfucile.wordpress.com/2009/10/03/high-infant-mortality-rate/

Yeah vic, lots of those inf... (Below threshold)
mpw280:

Yeah vic, lots of those infant mortalities are covered up in national health plans as "miscarriages" as they are not given the option of survival. Unlike in the US where even babies with almost no chance of survival are given the best of care until nature takes its course or the baby is brought back from the brink. Now we count that as an infant death even though the baby had no chance, while England counts that as a miscarriage because it was "determined" that the baby wouldn't survive. I hope you don't have to go through that anguish, but if you do you will regret the national health plan that you so desperately defend as better. As has been said of NHS or the Canada system: don't be a baby in need, old or in need of special service cause you aren't going to get it. mpw

Vic, like all libs is willi... (Below threshold)
jim m:

Vic, like all libs is willing to believe anything that cuts down this country. The more it cuts the US down the bigger the lie he is willing to believe.

Next he'll trot out the 2000 WHO ranking of health care by nation which measured health care by how socialist it was. While acknowledging that the US has far and away the highest quality levels it downgraded the US because it wasn't "free" of charge.

You may have been able to w... (Below threshold)
Just Plain Bill:

You may have been able to write this story finally, but I could not finish it.

It is hard to read through my tears.

How cold hearted, uncaring, evil must something be to finally be called out.

Action will change the face... (Below threshold)
Victory is Ours:

Action will change the face of health care in the United States, not emotion:

More facts:

* Number of countries that have higher life expectancies for males than the US: 28

* Number of countries that have higher life expectancies for females than the US: 43

* Infant mortality rate in US per 1,000 babies: 6.9

* Infant mortality rate in Sweden: 3.4

* Overall rank of US on a World Health Organization survey of healthcare systems: 37

* Rank of Costa Rica: 36

* Rank of France, which has a single-payer system: 1

U.S. ranks behind Costa Rica. It's time to fix the health care system in the U.S.

Really, there's no denying that. democrats are working hard to reform health care. Many Republicans are doing all they can to stop that.

The facts speak for themselves. Reform is needed.

Vic

Being an American man can b... (Below threshold)

Being an American man can be hard work, Vic.

I understand if you wouldn't have any knowledge of that.

J.

Also, Vic, why is it you ca... (Below threshold)

Also, Vic, why is it you can't discuss the actual story at hand, but instead have to toss around utterly unsourced (and largely meaningless) statistics?

Oh, yeah, because it lets you avoid admitting you have no argument whatsoever.

Tell us how under ObamaCare, cases like this simply wouldn't happen. Or how it could happen under our current system.

Good lord, you're SO worthless...

J.

As others have noted here a... (Below threshold)
epador:

As others have noted here and before (and blithely ignored by VIC) the statistics VIC quotes are comparing apples to oranges. Hey Vic, what's the ABORTION RATES in these countries?

http://www.johnstonsarchive.net/policy/abortion/wrjp333pd2.html

Note: in socialized medicine countries, the number of pregnancies KNOWN is likely to be more accurate than in other countries where not all folks register their pregnancies, so their rates are likely to be accurate, where in some of the more underdeveloped countries the rate may be lower than stated due to missed pregnancies.

Next he'll trot out the ... (Below threshold)
jim m:

Next he'll trot out the 2000 WHO ranking of health care by nation

Thanks for being so predictable Vic. As I have said above and previously in other discussions the WHO study compared nations on 5 criteria of which only 1 was actual quality. It looked at amount of government subsidies and equality of economic access. It discounted our private insurance system and gave more value to systems where the government paid.

To put it in a simple way so even you might understand it didn't actually measure whether people were able to get good health care but rather if the system that provided it was sufficiently socialist.

If you actually look at outcomes, the US is far ahead in virtually every category. We have higher rates of survival from heart disease. We are number 1 in cancer survival in every disease state. Prostate cancer in the US has a survival rate over 92%. In the UK it is in the 70's. In Canada 80% of colon cancer patients are deemed treatable at time of diagnosis. By he time the waiting period to get treated has passed only 40% of those patients are still treatable.

Nobody is fooled by your BS rankings. People care about how good the quality of health care is that they can get. If 47million people are uninsured then how is it that 92% of prostate cancer patients are surviving? The answer is that even the uninsured can still get effective treatment in our system. That isn't possible is single payer systems.

Oh, and your vaunted single payer system in France...when they had their devastating heat wave that killed thousands, many of those people died in the hospitals where there was no air conditioning because the government thought that it was too expensive.

And Vic, health care in the... (Below threshold)
epador:

And Vic, health care in the US is superior to what you can find anywhere else. It's certainly better than Costa Rica. You been there lately?

The WHO report Vic takes th... (Below threshold)
iwogisdead:

The WHO report Vic takes those statistics from has been thoroughly debunked and his use of it shows how pathetic their argument has become. The majority of the factors used in the rankings in the report have nothing to do with actual health care. Three of the five factors are "Fairness of Financial Contribution," "Distribution of Health in the Populations," and "Distribution of Financing." The only factor that relates to actual healthcare is "Responsiveness," and the report ranks the US number 1 in that category.

The canard about life expectancy is meaningless as well, since that is based on so many factors other than quality of healthcare, including, importantly, life style and genetics.

I'll say this for Vic, though--at least he's honest in saying he wants single payer. Obama and the other Dem leaders have been very deceitful about their real intention to impose single payer horror on us.

Japan's average life expect... (Below threshold)
Victory is Ours:

Japan's average life expectancy is 83 years, compared to 78 for the United States.

Japan has a single payer system.

More:

Nearly seven U.S. babies die out of every 1,000 live births. More than 28,000 American babies die before their first birthday.

In Japan, ranked in third place behind Singapore and Hong Kong, the infant mortality rate is 2.8 per thousand live births -- less than half the U.S. rate.

In one way, the U.S. has improved since 1960. Back then, 26 in 1,000 infants died. That was good enough to land the U.S. in 12th place.

We've advanced since then, but not as fast as many other nations. By 1990, the U.S. had fallen to 23rd place.

"The U.S. infant mortality rate is higher than rates in most other developed countries," note CDC researchers Marian F. MacDorman, PhD, and T.J. Mathews. "The relative position of the United States in comparison to countries with the lowest infant mortality rates appears to be worsening."

Worsening, not improving.

And here I thought many Republicans cared about babies? What's happening to this country when you have political ideologues so dead-set determined to stop health care reform - at the same time they profess their love and concern for children?

President Bush's veto of last year's bipartisan S-CHIP expansion is another glaring example. Obama signed it into law recently, but how many children died in time between Bush's veto and the legislation finally going into effect this year?

How many children died?

Vic

If anything, the article pr... (Below threshold)
Fiscal Sense:

If anything, the article proves that government-run healthcare may actually be administered in a sane fashion, that it won't just be "anyone who decides to call their cell blob a child will receive health care". As a fiscally responsible republican, that's my worry; that we'll wind up with such liberal definitions of what's covered that any overfertile piece of white trash can run up tremendous bills.

This is social and economic Darwinism at work. Childbearing should only be done by the wealthy and overprivileged classes... the ones who can afford it. I can't afford to have kids, why should I pay for yours?

Vic - infant mortality will... (Below threshold)
jim m:

Vic - infant mortality will depress life expectancy rates dumbass.

US life expectancy rate suffer because we have a large amount of immigration from countries where the standard of living and hence general health is poor. We get people who are set up from their early childhood for shorter lives.

US life expectancy is also shorter due to higher homicide rates. If you factor out homicide and accidental deaths our life expectancy goes up significantly. Lastly, there is a genetic component to life expectancy and Japan is a very homogeneous country. Therefore if they are predisposed to living linger it will be more apparent than in the US where a diverse population will tend to skew life expectancy toward the mean.

Our health care system does better than most in terms of prenatal care. It is the fact that we try to save more babies than other countries and we call them deaths instead of stillbirths that makes us look bad.

If you understood anything about the crap statistics you are trying to cite then you would know that what you're saying is stupid.

Jim M or the World Health O... (Below threshold)
Victory is Ours:

Jim M or the World Health Organization (WHO)?

Jim M of the Center for Disease Control (CDC)?

I'll rely on others, Jim, but thanks for you input.

Vic

Vic, you lost this round, a... (Below threshold)
iwogisdead:

Vic, you lost this round, and lost badly. Get back to your corner and see what your cut man can do.

Facts from the Central Inte... (Below threshold)
Victory is Ours:

Facts from the Central Intelligence Association (CIA) as quoted in the CIA Factbook:

This entry gives the number of deaths of infants under one year old in a given year per 1,000 live births in the same year; included is the total death rate, and deaths by sex, male and female. This rate is often used as an indicator of the level of health in a country.

Here are the nations whose Infant Mortality Rate is lower (better) than the United States. The United States ranks 180 - look at how many nations have a lower infant mortality rate than the US according to the CIA.

180 United States 6.26 2009 est.

181 Cuba
5.82 2009 est.

182 European Union
5.72 2009 est.

183 Italy
5.51 2009 est.

184 Isle of Man
5.37 2009 est.

185 Taiwan
5.35 2009 est.

186 San Marino
5.34 2009 est.

187 Greece
5.16 2009 est.

188 Ireland
5.05 2009 est.

189 Canada
5.04 2009 est.

190 Wallis and Futuna
5.02 2009 est.

191 Monaco
5.00 2009 est.

192 New Zealand
4.92 2009 est.

193 United Kingdom
4.85 2009 est.

194 Gibraltar
4.83 2009 est.

195 Portugal
4.78 2009 est.

196 Australia
4.75 2009 est.

197 Jersey
4.73 2009 est.

198 Netherlands
4.73 2009 est.

199 Luxembourg
4.56 2009 est.

200 Guernsey
4.47 2009 est.

201 Belgium
4.44 2009 est.

202 Austria
4.42 2009 est.

203 Denmark
4.34 2009 est.

204 Korea, South
4.26 2009 est.

205 Liechtenstein
4.25 2009 est.

206 Slovenia
4.25 2009 est.

207 Israel
4.22 2009 est.

208 Spain
4.21 2009 est.

209 Switzerland
4.18 2009 est.

210 Germany
3.99 2009 est.

211 Czech Republic
3.79 2009 est.

212 Andorra
3.76 2009 est.

213 Malta
3.75 2009 est.

214 Norway
3.58 2009 est.

215 Anguilla
3.52 2009 est.

216 Finland
3.47 2009 est.

217 France
3.33 2009 est.

218 Iceland
3.23 2009 est.

219 Macau
3.22 2009 est.

220 Hong Kong
2.92 2009 est.

221 Japan
2.79 2009 est.

222 Sweden
2.75 2009 est.

223 Bermuda
2.46 2009 est.

224 Singapore
2.31 2009 est.

It's no wonder so many people try to discount the facts. These figures illustrate just how badly health care reform is needed.

Oh, Miss Vickie, you're so ... (Below threshold)

Oh, Miss Vickie, you're so ADORABLE when you're obtuse.

Not word one on the actual story.

Not word one on how it could NEVER happen under ObamaCare.

Just repeatedly-discredited and debunked and valueless statistics.

What is it about the facts that bothers you so?

J.

Vic - what about "the stati... (Below threshold)
jim m:

Vic - what about "the statistics are compiled differently from nation to nation and do not represent the same thing" do you not understand?

You can keep repeating that as long as you want but everyone understands that the line is not drawn in the same place so there are dramatic differences in what is classified as an infant death and what is a stillbirth.

If you think our health care system has such poor quality I urge you to go to Costa Rica or where ever you choose to get treatment for your problems. You will not get as high quality as you can find here.

My step-daughter works in a... (Below threshold)
epador:

My step-daughter works in a big city NICU. When I visit there, we hear stories that would break your heart. The sick ones they get look a lot like this one. They include a large population of babies addicted to quite a few horrible drugs home made and imported by the Mexican cartels that supply the majority of the marijuana (a big cash crop that keeps them operating as well as develops their transportation and distribution networks) that is consumed in this country. The same cartel that kill thousands of Mexicans in drug wars sponsored by US drug user money every day. The same cartel that supports meth labs destroying our environment as well as our people.

I say that if we really want to help health care in the US, just stop buying pot and smoking it, and contribute the money you'd spend on dope to your local charity health care organization. It might make your comments more intelligible too.

One additional reason why t... (Below threshold)
iwogisdead:

One additional reason why the cited US infant mortality rates are irrelevant to the quality of healthcare is that black people have a disproportionately high infant mortality rate. Why this is so is not known.

http://www.omhrc.gov/templates/content.aspx?ID=3021

http://www.nola.com/health/index.ssf/2009/08/black_infant_mortality_draws_m.html

Vic thinks (does he think? ... (Below threshold)
jim m:

Vic thinks (does he think? I don't know) that infant mortality is a quality of health care issue, when in reality it is a statistical and societal issue.

Again Vic the WHO study acknowledged that the US had far and away the highest quality of health care available anywhere in the world. You still have not addressed how it is that we have a prostate cancer survival rate that exceeds the rates of people who have insurance. You have to assume that not only does everyone who has insurance survive prostate cancer, but that a small proportion of the uninsured do as well.

Facts are hard things. I know it's easier to stick with your misleading and misused statistics that you don't even understand yourself.

Don't think. Obama just wants you to believe.

Iwogisdead -The an... (Below threshold)
jim m:

Iwogisdead -

The answer for that is easy = RACISM!!!!
If the evil conservatives would just stop the discrimination then the infant mortality rates would change tomorrow. It's obvious that doctors are racist. After all, they all wear WHITE coats!!

/sarcasm

vic - "Really, there's ... (Below threshold)
Marc:

vic - "Really, there's no denying that. democrats are working hard to reform health care."

Really? Then cite specifically by section and paragraph from any of the 5 bills being debated will IMPROVE health care.

Lotsa luck with that endeavor.

More cow dung from vic - "Japan's average life expectancy is 83 years, compared to 78 for the United States. Japan has a single payer system."

Parse that out vic, how much is due to the health care system in place and how much is due to lifestyle, i.e. diet and the amount of exercise the Japanese populace practices?
Until you do that your stats, like most of what you post, are meaningless.

Psst... vic you know nothing about the Japanese system, for example:

Japan has very generous health insurance benefits, significant provider choice, and high quality medical technology, but costs are not as high in the U.S. One reason for this is a significant level of cost sharing. The average Japanese household spends $2300 per year on out-of-pocket health care expenses (this figure excludes the payroll taxes used to finance health insurance premiums). Other reasons for lower health care costs is a healthy life-style, a lower incidence of disease and a general Japanese cultural aversion towards invasive procedures.
WHAT, I thought Japan had a "single payer" system vic. What happened?
Waiting times in Japan. Waiting times are a significant problem at the best hospitals. Since the best hospitals can not charge higher prices there will be a queue. Many hospitals have been known to accept "under the table" payment to see patients quicker. Thus, the market may be working, whether or not policy makers want it to do so.
"Under the table" payments to jump the line?

That would never happen under obama's plan - well not much anyway.

Vic,U.S. Doctors g... (Below threshold)
Imhotep:

Vic,

U.S. Doctors go to Costa Rica frequently to provide health care to the Costa Rican natives. I have never heard of Costa Rican Doctors coming to the U.S. to provide the U.S. Natives with health care.

Can you please explain to me why would a country with inferior health care need to go to a country with better health care (by your measures) and provide health care to it's natives?

Hmmm. Can you name one single country that has ever sent a "medical mission" to the U.S.?

Marc asks, "...how much is ... (Below threshold)
Highlander:

Marc asks, "...how much is due to the health care system in place and how much is due to lifestyle, i.e. diet and the amount of exercise the Japanese populace practices?" Actually, quite a bit, as the Japanese generally lack (Sumo wrestling notwithstanding) the lazy redneck fatasses of The South, you know, the kind, often found with a cigarette too. Dumb enough to vote for Bush, they don't take good care of themselves. But in any csee, Marc's own block quote mentions these words which decribe Japan in comparison to the U.S.: "lower health care costs" (that is, for the Japanese).

So, in summary we have:

the Japanese live longer, and
the Japanese pay less for health care.

The Japanese win!!! Likewise, the Canadians win!!! The British win!!! The French win!!! (etc., etc.). The Democrats (will) win!! The Republicans lose, as usual.

highlander - "But in an... (Below threshold)
Marc:

highlander - "But in any csee, Marc's own block quote mentions these words which decribe Japan in comparison to the U.S.: "lower health care costs" (that is, for the Japanese)."

Gee, I think you omitted the most important part, intentionally I suspect, the Japanese pay out of pocket an additional 2,300 dollars plus what the gov pays.

Plus, highlander makes the ... (Below threshold)
iwogisdead:

Plus, highlander makes the point that, if, in fact, Japanese live longer, it is because of lifestyle and NOT quality of healthcare. Highlander makes a point which contradicts what he (or she) is trying to say because he (or she) is a dumbass (or dumbass).

iwogisdead - "Highlande... (Below threshold)
Marc:

iwogisdead - "Highlander makes a point which contradicts what he (or she) is trying to say because he (or she) is a dumbass (or dumbass)."

Um, I vote the later, dumbass.

And to prove the point:

Americans pay $4,271per person.

Japanese pay $2,243 per person.

Now nitwit add the 2,300 they pay out of pocket where does that place the Japanese?

And here's a bonus for you:

From 1990 to 2007 there were 12 countries where health care costs are rising faster than the U.S. and the majority have gov run health care.

From the Lancet:<bloc... (Below threshold)
jim m:

From the Lancet:

August 22, 2007 -- New reports from EUROCARE suggest that cancer care in Europe is improving and that the gaps between countries are narrowing. However, comparisons with US statistics suggest that cancer survival in Europe is still lagging behind the United States....

The age-adjusted 5-year survival rates for all cancers combined was 47.3% for men and 55.8% for women, which is significantly lower than the estimates of 66.3% for men and 62.9% for women from the US Surveillance, Epidemiology, and End Results (SEER) program ( P

Survival was significantly higher in the United States for all solid tumors, except testicular, stomach, and soft-tissue cancer, the authors report. The greatest differences were seen in the major cancer sites: colon and rectum (56.2% in Europe vs 65.5% in the United States), breast (79.0% vs 90.1%), and prostate cancer (77.5% vs 99.3%), and this "probably represents differences in the timeliness of diagnosis," they comment. That in turn stems from the more intensive screening for cancer carried out in the United States, where a reported 70% of women aged 50 to 70 years have undergone a mammogram in the past 2 years, one-third of people have had sigmoidoscopy or colonoscopy in the past 5 years, and more than 80% of men aged 65 years or more have had a prostate-specific antigen (PSA) test. In fact, it is this PSA testing that probably accounts for the very high survival from prostate cancer seen in the United States, the authors comment.

Yeah they are soooooo blessed to have socialized medicine that they can't even get a twenty dollar PSA test. So they die with their 'free' health care.

The Europeans are trying to play catch up with our quality. I am so sick of the liars who continually repeat this BS that we do not have the best health care.

Forget getting through to V... (Below threshold)

Forget getting through to Vic. It is obvious that he, like the NHS, does not consider Jayden human. He probably doesn't consider anyone but himself human and only gives a flying fisk about himself. Who cares about dead babies as long as we can let them die and call them "miscarriages" anyway?

Actually, the biggest probl... (Below threshold)
Kevin White:

Actually, the biggest problem with citing Prostate Cancer "survival" rates is that Prostate Cancer is a VERY slow-growing cancer.

There's a reason why our survival rates are so much higher: we diagnose when people are young, aggressively treat it, and they die beyond the five year period, usually of natural causes. However, because it is slow-growing and often doesn't cause any negative symptoms for years (even decades), many people in European countries don't get tested until they are quite elderly. A huge number of those who don't survive five years AFTER DIAGNOSIS actually die of natural causes unrelated to the cancer, or at an old enough age where it's difficult to say whether aggressive treatment would have benefited them in terms of life expectancy.

That's why, despite the seemingly enormous difference in Survival rates, Mortality rates for prostate cancer are quite similar internationally, and some countries have lower Mortality rates for Cancer (overall) and Prostate Cancer (specifically) than the U.S.

Admittedly, the U.S. should have a tiny bit higher incidence of Prostate Cancer because of the higher prevalence of the disease among blacks, but it would likely be on the order of a 4-6% higher occurrence in the country as a whole, whereas we actually diagnose double or more occurrences than many other countries.

There were actually numerous news articles recentlythat showed that early diagnosis due to PSA tests didn't actually decrease mortality for this exact reason. Moreover, because treatment is expensive and can cause problems like impotence and incontinence, it actually may be an example of a big problem in our system regarding wasteful spending for small gains in outcome.

Because prostate cancer is diagnosed at such a high rate beyond occurrences actually requiring intervention, it is also a big reason why our reported Cancer Survival Rate (overall) appears to jive so strangely with our mediocre Cancer Mortality Rate (overall).

In fact, in actual Cancer mortality rate, we fall around the middle of the developed world. We are well behind Finland, Sweden, Switzerland, etc... but ahead of Ireland, and the Estonia. We are roughly comparable to Italy, Greece and Spain (all Mediterranean, for what it's worth).

Anyways, I'd like to think that it's pretty clear that we receive about the same level of health care as an above-average European country, but because our self-rationing and lower access prevents ideal treatment in many cases, we end up lower than our quality of care would allow. Yes, I do think for-profit insurance for a universally necessary service is insane, and I do think that both a Swiss (regulated, non-profit, government sets costs and subsidizes) or a Canadian system (I'm sure this is well-understood by now....wait, no I'm guessing it's not, anyways) would be preferable to our system in both cost and efficiency.

I think that it's only a legitimate adherence to Social Darwinism and/or generalized ignorance that allows our system to persist. Most arguments stay on the surface, but the deeper you dig, the more the advantages of non-profit universal health care becomes.

Kevin White:<blockqu... (Below threshold)
_Mike_:

Kevin White:

Most arguments stay on the surface, but the deeper you dig, the more the advantages of non-profit universal health care becomes.

I disagree.

However, you are free to start your very own non-profit health insurer... just don't try to force it on me through government. If your product is compelling, I'll vote for it with my dollars, as will others.

Kevin White,While ... (Below threshold)
Imhotep:

Kevin White,

While your analysis is intriguing, it is not accurate.

I am a surgeon that treats prostate cancer, therefore, I know something about prostate cancer.

Europeans do not record "prostate cancer" as a cause of death (specifically Sweden and Norway). No one dies OF prostate cancer in those countries, so their death rates are superb.

Also, earlier diagnosis in the U.S. has NOT statistically provided an increase in prostate cancer disease specific survival. We are still hoping for that outcome, but don't have the data to support that notion at this time. The reason is primarily because 5 year survival data is worthless when it is used to measure prostate cancer outcomes. The 15 year data from early studies is just now being published.

The only benefit that has been statistically proven regarding early detection is a "stage migration" to mostly organ confined prostate cancers. Meaning, less men present to their doctors office with metastatic disease (bone, lymph nodes) than did in the late 80's and early 90's.




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