Black People Politics : Why I'm against Obamas' Government run Health care system.

Discussion in 'Black People Politics' started by bigtown, Aug 18, 2009.

  1. bigtown

    bigtown Well-Known Member MEMBER

    Jun 3, 2004
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    1 France
    2 Italy
    3 San Marino
    4 Andorra
    5 Malta
    6 Singapore
    7 Spain
    8 Oman
    9 Austria
    10 Japan
    11 Norway
    12 Portugal
    13 Monaco
    14 Greece
    15 Iceland
    16 Luxembourg
    17 Netherlands
    18 United Kingdom
    19 Ireland
    20 Switzerland
    21 Belgium
    22 Colombia
    23 Sweden
    24 Cyprus
    25 Germany
    26 Saudi Arabia
    27 United Arab Emirates
    28 Israel
    29 Morocco
    30 Canada
    31 Finland
    32 Australia
    33 Chile
    34 Denmark
    35 Dominica
    36 Costa Rica
    37 United States of America
    38 Slovenia
    39 Cuba
    40 Brunei
    41 New Zealand
    42 Bahrain
    43 Croatia
    44 Qatar
    45 Kuwait
    46 Barbados
    47 Thailand
    48 Czech Republic
    49 Malaysia
    50 Poland
    51 Dominican Republic
    52 Tunisia
    53 Jamaica
    54 Venezuela
    55 Albania
    56 Seychelles
    57 Paraguay
    58 South Korea
    59 Senegal
    60 Philippines

    This isn't about the angry rural white people nonsense that's been flooding the propaganda machine lately. It's about another lie we've been indoctrinated into believing. Above is a list of countries ranked by it's standard of health care. They are ranked by cost effectiveness, the number of people actually cured, infant mortality etc. The countries in red have government run Healthcare. It's true that Obama also want's government run health care. The difference is that health care is free to all of it's citizens in the three countries in red. This is what our politicians call "socialized medicine" We as americans pay an arm and a leg for our health care, yet we have slightly better health care than Slovenia, but much worse than than the great country of Oman. The words "free heath care" is never mentioned in Obamas' plan, is it?

  2. LindaChavis

    LindaChavis Well-Known Member MEMBER

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    Did you

    research how they are able to provide free care?
  3. LindaChavis

    LindaChavis Well-Known Member MEMBER

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    This doesnt sound

    like its free to me...
    AUGUST 7, 2009 France Fights Universal Care's High Cost

    When Laure Cuccarolo went into early labor on a recent Sunday night in a village in southern France, her only choice was to ask the local fire brigade to whisk her to a hospital 30 miles away. A closer one had been shuttered by cost cuts in France's universal health system.

    Doctors, trade unions and others have called national protests against French health-care cutbacks this year. One petition signed by prominent physicians said they feared the intent of the reform was to turn health care into a 'lucrative business' rather than a public service.
    Ms. Cuccarolo's little girl was born in a firetruck.

    France claims it long ago achieved much of what today's U.S. health-care overhaul is seeking: It covers everyone, and provides what supporters say is high-quality care. But soaring costs are pushing the system into crisis. The result: As Congress fights over whether America should be more like France, the French government is trying to borrow U.S. tactics.

    In recent months, France imposed American-style "co-pays" on patients to try to throttle back prescription-drug costs and forced state hospitals to crack down on expenses. "A hospital doesn't need to be money-losing to provide good-quality treatment," President Nicolas Sarkozy thundered in a recent speech to doctors.

    And service cuts -- such as the closure of a maternity ward near Ms. Cuccarolo's home -- are prompting complaints from patients, doctors and nurses that care is being rationed. That concern echos worries among some Americans that the U.S. changes could lead to rationing.

    The French system's fragile solvency shows how tough it is to provide universal coverage while controlling costs, the professed twin goals of President Barack Obama's proposed overhaul.

    French taxpayers fund a state health insurer, Assurance Maladie, proportionally to their income, and patients get treatment even if they can't pay for it. France spends 11% of national output on health services, compared with 17% in the U.S., and routinely outranks the U.S. in infant mortality and some other health measures.

    The problem is that Assurance Maladie has been in the red since 1989. This year the annual shortfall is expected to reach €9.4 billion ($13.5 billion), and €15 billion in 2010, or roughly 10% of its budget.

    France's woes provide grist to critics of Mr. Obama and the Democrats' vision of a new public health plan to compete with private health insurers. Republicans argue that tens of millions of Americans would leave their employer-provided coverage for the cheaper, public option, bankrupting the federal government.

    Despite the structural differences between the U.S. and French systems, both face similar root problems: rising drug costs, aging populations and growing unemployment, albeit for slightly different reasons. In the U.S., being unemployed means you might lose your coverage; in France, it means less tax money flowing into Assurance Maladie's coffers.

    France faces a major obstacle to its reforms: French people consider access to health care a societal right, and any effort to cut coverage can lead to a big fight.

    For instance, in France, people with long-term diseases get 100% coverage (similar to, say, Medicare for patients with end-stage kidney diseases). The government proposed trimming coverage not directly related to a patient's primary illness -- a sore throat for someone with diabetes, for example. The proposal created such public outcry that French Health Minister Roselyne Bachelot later said the 100% coverage rule was "set in stone."

    Health Expenditures
    Total expenditure on health in 2007, as a percentage of GDP.

    Australia 8.7%†
    Austria 10.1%
    Belgium 10.2%*
    Canada 10.1%
    Czech Republic 6.8%
    Denmark 9.8%
    Finland 8.2%
    France 11.0%
    Germany 10.4%
    Greece 9.6%
    Hungary 7.4%
    Iceland 9.3%
    Ireland 7.6%
    Italy 8.7%
    Japan 8.1%†
    Korea 6.8%
    Luxembourg 7.3%†*
    Mexico 5.9%
    Netherlands 9.8%*
    New Zealand 9.2%
    Norway 8.9%
    Poland 6.4%
    Portugal 9.9%†
    Slovak Republic 7.7%
    Spain 8.5%
    Sweden 9.1%
    Switzerland 10.8%*
    Turkey 5.7%‡
    United Kingdom 8.4%
    United States 16.0%

    * Estimated

    † For 2006

    ‡ For 2005

    Source: OECD Health Data 2009
    "French people are so attached to their health-insurance system that they almost never support changes," says Frédéric Van Roekeghem, Assurance Maladie's director.

    Both patients and doctors say they feel the effects of Mr. Sarkozy's cuts. They certainly had an impact on Ms. Cuccarolo of the firetruck birth.

    She lives near the medieval town of Figeac, in southern France. The maternity ward of the public hospital there was closed in June as part of a nationwide effort to close smaller, less efficient units. In 2008, fewer than 270 babies were born at the Figeac maternity ward, below the annual minimum required of 300, says Fabien Chanabas, deputy director of the local public hospital.

    "We were providing good-quality obstetric services," he says. "But at a very high cost." Since the maternity closed, he says, the hospital narrowed its deficit and began reallocating resources toward geriatric services, which are in high demand.

    In the Figeac region, however, people feel short-changed. "Until the 1960s, many women delivered their babies at home," says Michel Delpech, mayor of the village where Ms. Cuccarolo lives. "The opening of the Figeac maternity was big progress. Its closure is perceived as a regression."

    For Ms. Cuccarolo, it meant she would have to drive to Cahors, about 30 miles away. "That's fine when you can plan in advance," she says. "But my little girl came a month earlier than expected."

    France launched its first national health-care system in 1945. World War II had left the country in ruins, and private insurers were weak. The idea: Create a single health insurer and make it compulsory for all companies and workers to pay premiums to it based on a percentage of salaries. Patients can choose their own doctors, and -- unlike the U.S., where private health insurers can have a say -- doctors can prescribe any therapy or drug without approval of the national health insurance.

    Private insurers, both for-profit and not-for-profit, continued to exist, providing optional benefits such as prescription sunglasses, orthodontics care or individual hospital rooms.
    At a time when the U.S. is considering ways of providing coverage for its entire population, France's blending of public and private medical structures offers important lessons, says Victor Rodwin, professor of health policy and management at New York University's Wagner School. The French managed to design a universal system incorporating physician choice and a mix of public and private service providers, without it being "a monolithic system of Soviet variety," he says.

    It took decades before the pieces fell into place. Only in 1999 did legislation mandate that anyone with a regular residence permit is entitled to health benefits with no strings attached. Also that year, France clarified rules for illegal residents: Those who can justify more than three months of presence on French territory, and don't have financial resources, can receive full coverage.

    That made the system universal.

    In the U.S., health-overhaul bills don't attempt to cover illegal immigrants. Doing so would increase costs and is considered politically difficult.

    A protest in April in Caen, France.
    Today, Assurance Maladie covers about 88% of France's population of 65 million. The remaining 12%, mainly farmers and shop owners, get coverage through other mandatory insurance plans, some of which are heavily government-subsidized. About 90% of the population subscribes to supplemental private health-care plans.

    Proponents of the private-based U.S. health system argue that competition between insurers helps provide patients with the best possible service. In France, however, Assurance Maladie says its dominant position is its best asset to manage risks and keep doctors in check.

    "Here, we spread health risks on a very large base," says Mr. Van Roekeghem of Assurance Maladie.

    Journal Communitydiscuss“ Even with all its disadvantages, the French national health-care plan is glaringly better and more cost effective than ours. ”
    — David Wayne Osedach The quasi-monopoly of Assurance Maladie makes it the country's largest buyer of medical services. That gives it clout to keep the fees charged by doctors low. About 90% of general practitioners in France have an agreement with Assurance Maladie specifying that they can't charge more than €22 (about $32) for a consultation. For house calls they can add €3.50 to the bill.

    By comparison, under Medicare, doctors are paid $91.97 for a first visit and $124.97 for a moderately complex consultation, according to the American College of Physicians.

    In France, "If you are in medical care for the money, you'd better change jobs," says Marc Lanfranchi, a general practitioner from Nancy, an eastern town. On the other hand, medical school is paid for by the government, and malpractice insurance is much cheaper.

    In 2000, the World Health Organization ranked France first in a one-time study of the health-care services of 191 countries. The U.S. placed 37th.

    Financial pain has long dogged the French plan. As in the U.S., demand for care is growing faster than the economy as people take better care of themselves and new treatments become available.

    Tilting the Balance
    Since France began building up its universal health-care system, in 1945, successive governments have been faced with the challenge of balancing the national health insurance budget without going back on the original promise of taking good care of the entire population. For the past three decades, small reductions in health care coverage and incremental increases in health-care taxes have been the main recipe.

    1976 -- Coverage of ambulance costs is reduced.

    1977 -- Coverage of some medications is reduced. Some hospital beds are closed.

    1982 -- Patients must pay a "moderating fee" of 20 francs (3 euros) out of pocket when they are hospitalized.

    1985 -- Coverage of some paramedical procedures is reduced.

    1986 -- Increase in health-care payroll taxes.

    1987 -- Letters sent to the national health insurance must be stamped.

    1988 -- Creation of a special tax on medication advertising to help fund health care.

    1990 -- Introduction of the CSG, a new tax levied on all types of income to help fund health care.

    1991 -- Increase in health-care taxes levied on payroll.

    1993 -- Increase in CSG rate. Coverage of doctor consultation is reduced.

    1996 -- Increase in health-care taxes. A new health-care tax is levied on private health-care plans.

    1999 -- New tax levied on drug makers when their revenue exceeds a pre-defined level.

    2000 -- Doctors are required to explain to the national health insurance why they granted a worker sick leave.

    2003 -- The "moderating fee," which was increased over time, is raised to 15 euros.

    2004 -- Patients must register with a "preferred" general practitioner who will reroute them toward specialists when necessary, or face lower reimbursement for care.

    2005 -- The national health insurance deducts 1 euro off doctor consultation fees before it starts calculating how much it must reimburse patients.

    2008 -- The national health insurance deducts 50 cents off every pack of medicine before it starts calculating how much it must reimburse patients.

    Source: WSJ research.
    Since the 1970s, almost all successive French health ministers have tried to reduce expenses, but mostly managed to push through only minor cost cuts. For instance, in 1987, patients were required to put a stamp on letters they mailed to the national health insurer. Previously, postage was government-subsidized.

    In 2004, France introduced a system under which patients must select a "preferred" general practitioner who then sends them onward to specialists when necessary. Under that policy -- similar to one used by many private U.S. health-care plans -- France's national health insurance reimburses only 30% of the bill, instead of the standard 70%, if patients consult a doctor other than the one they chose.

    At the start, patients balked, saying it infringed on their right to consult the doctors of their choice. But the system is now credited for helping improve the coordination between primary and specialty care, which remains one of the main weakness in the U.S. health-care system.

    In recent years, Assurance Maladie has focused on reducing high medicine bills. Just like U.S. insurers and pharmacy-benefit managers, France's national health insurer is promoting the use of cheaper generic drugs, penalizing patients when they don't use them by basing reimbursements on generic-drug prices.

    The most important aspect of Mr. Sarkozy's latest health-care legislation, passed this summer, focuses on reducing costs at state hospitals. About two-thirds of France's hospitals are state-run, and they are seen as ripe for efficiency savings. Among other things, Mr. Sarkozy has asked them to hire more business managers and behave more like private companies, for instance, by balancing their budgets.

    The proposals didn't go down well.

    In April, some of France's most famous doctors signed a petition saying they feared Mr. Sarkozy would turn health care into a "lucrative business" rather than a public service.

    In the U.S., hospitals are paid for each individual procedure. This system, called fee-for-service, is suspected of contributing to runaway costs because it doesn't give hospitals an incentive to limit the number of tests or procedures.

    Ironically, France is actually in the midst of shifting to a fee-for-service system for its state-run hospitals. The hope is that it will be easier for the government to track if the money is being spent efficiently, compared with the old system of simply giving hospitals an annual lump-sum payment.

    France's private hospitals are more cost-efficient. But state hospitals say it is unfair to compare the two, because state hospitals often handle complex cases that private hospitals can't.

    "When a private hospital has trouble with a newborn baby, we are here to help, night and day," says Pascal Le Roux, a pediatrician at the state hospital in Le Havre, an industrial city in northern France. "Having people standing by costs money."

    In theory, Assurance Maladie should be able to contain hospital costs the same way it does with doctors: by harnessing its position as the dominant payer in the health-care system. In practice, it doesn't work that way.

    The state hospital of Le Havre, called Groupement Hospitalier du Havre, or GHH, has nearly 2,000 beds and is one of the most financially strapped in France. A 2002 report by France's health-inspection authority found that the hospital had a track record of falsifying accounts in order to obtain more state funds.

    Philippe Paris was hired about two years ago to help fix the hospital's spiraling costs. He is cutting 173 jobs out of the staff of 3,543.

    And he is trying to enforce working hours. "People don't work enough," he said. "If consultations are scheduled to begin at 8 a.m., that means 8 a.m. and not 11 a.m."

    Yet even the smallest budget moves are proving controversial. Local residents are up in arms over a cost-cutting measure that makes patients pay €1.10 an hour to park at the hospital. "It's a scandal," says retired local Communist politician Gérard Eude. "It goes against the very idea of universal health care."

    Write to David Gauthier-Villars at [email protected]
  4. LindaChavis

    LindaChavis Well-Known Member MEMBER

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    Feb 11, 2007
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    UK - Universal, tax-funded system

    Public sector funded by taxation and some national insurance contributions.

    About 11% have private health insurance. Private GP services very small.

    Healthcare free at point of delivery but charges for prescription drugs (except in Wales), ophthalmic services and dental services unless exempt.

    Exemptions include children, elderly, and unemployed. About 85% of prescriptions are exempt.

    Most walk-in care provided by GP practices but also some walk-in clinics and 24-hour NHS telephone helpline. Free ambulance service and access to accident and emergency. In patient care through GP referral and follow contractual arrangements between health authorities, Primary Care Trusts and the hospital.

    Hospitals are semi-autonomous self-governing public trusts.

    France - Social insurance system

    All legal residents covered by public health insurance funded by compulsory social health insurance contributions from employers and employees with no option to opt out.

    Most people have extra private insurance to cover areas that are not eligible for reimbursement by the public health insurance system and many make out of pocket payments to see a doctor.

    Patients pay doctor's bills and are reimbursed by sickness insurance funds.

    Government regulates contribution rates paid to sickness funds, sets global budgets and salaries for public hospitals.

    In-patient care is provided in public and private hospitals (not-for-profit and for-profit). Doctors in public hospitals are salaried whilst those in private hospitals are paid on a fee-for-service basis. Some public hospital doctors are allowed to treat private patients in the hospital. A percentage of the private fee is payable to the hospital.

    Most out-patient care is delivered by doctors, dentists and medical auxiliaries working in their own practices.
  5. LindaChavis

    LindaChavis Well-Known Member MEMBER

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    Canada has issues as well

    Canada is recognized for its effective health care system. Although provincial governments provide its citizens with basic health insurance needs, there are many important health care factors that are overlooked.

    When it comes to health insurance, all provincial governments offer limited coverage. The following is a list of what most governments cover in full:

    One eye examination every 24 months
    Basic ward accommodations in hospital
    Regular physician visits
    It is important to note that this list is not reflective of all the health insurance plans across Canada. Some provinces do not even provide full health insurance coverage for these basic needs, while others provide full coverage for more.

    Many families throughout Canada are left without proper coverage for regular dental care, vision care, prescription drugs, and unforeseen health care emergencies.

    This is the main reason why supplemental health insurance is important to have. For a small price a day, you are providing yourself and your family with the proper health coverage needed to account for many unforeseen expenses that are not covered by the government system.

    Browse through the rest of the site to learn more about supplemental health insurance. Read about dental insurance, drug coverage, and discover the individual government coverage of your own province.
  6. LindaChavis

    LindaChavis Well-Known Member MEMBER

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    From someone who has health care in both

    Mythbusting Canadian Health Care -- Part I
    By Sara Robinson
    Created 02/04/2008 - 5:23pm
    2008 is shaping up to be the election year that we finally get to have the Great American Healthcare Debate again. Harry and Louise are back with a vengeance. Conservatives are rumbling around the talk show circuit bellowing about the socialist threat to the (literal) American body politic. And, as usual, Canada is once again getting dragged into the fracas, shoved around by both sides as either an exemplar or a warning -- and, along the way, getting coated with the obfuscating dust of so many willful misconceptions that the actual facts about How Canada Does It are completely lost in the melee.

    I'm both a health-care-card-carrying Canadian resident and an uninsured American citizen who regularly sees doctors on both sides of the border. As such, I'm in a unique position to address the pros and cons of both systems first-hand. If we're going to have this conversation, it would be great if we could start out (for once) with actual facts, instead of ideological posturing, wishful thinking, hearsay, and random guessing about how things get done up here.

    To that end, here's the first of a two-part series aimed at busting the common myths Americans routinely tell each other about Canadian health care. When the right-wing hysterics drag out these hoary old bogeymen, this time, we need to be armed and ready to blast them into straw. Because, mostly, straw is all they're made of.

    1. Canada's health care system is "socialized medicine."
    False. In socialized medical systems, the doctors work directly for the state. In Canada (and many other countries with universal care), doctors run their own private practices, just like they do in the US. The only difference is that every doctor deals with one insurer, instead of 150. And that insurer is the provincial government, which is accountable to the legislature and the voters if the quality of coverage is allowed to slide.

    The proper term for this is "single-payer insurance." In talking to Americans about it, the better phrase is "Medicare for all."

    2. Doctors are hurt financially by single-payer health care.
    True and False. Doctors in Canada do make less than their US counterparts. But they also have lower overhead, and usually much better working conditions. A few reasons for this:

    First, as noted, they don't have to charge higher fees to cover the salary of a full-time staffer to deal with over a hundred different insurers, all of whom are bent on denying care whenever possible. In fact, most Canadian doctors get by quite nicely with just one assistant, who cheerfully handles the phones, mail, scheduling, patient reception, stocking, filing, and billing all by herself in the course of a standard workday.

    Second, they don't have to spend several hours every day on the phone cajoling insurance company bean counters into doing the right thing by their patients. My doctor in California worked a 70-hour week: 35 hours seeing patients, and another 35 hours on the phone arguing with insurance companies. My Canadian doctor, on the other hand, works a 35-hour week, period. She files her invoices online, and the vast majority are simply paid -- quietly, quickly, and without hassle. There is no runaround. There are no fights. Appointments aren't interrupted by vexing phone calls. Care is seldom denied (because everybody knows the rules). She gets her checks on time, sees her patients on schedule, takes Thursdays off, and gets home in time for dinner.

    One unsurprising side effect of all this is that the doctors I see here are, to a person, more focused, more relaxed, more generous with their time, more up-to-date in their specialties, and overall much less distracted from the real work of doctoring. You don't realize how much stress the American doctor-insurer fights put on the day-to-day quality of care until you see doctors who don't operate under that stress, because they never have to fight those battles at all. Amazingly: they seem to enjoy their jobs.

    Third: The average American medical student graduates $140,000 in hock. The average Canadian doctor's debt is roughly half that.

    Finally, Canadian doctors pay lower malpractice insurance fees. When paying for health care constitutes a one of a family's major expenses, expectations tend to run very high. A doctor's mistake not only damages the body; it may very well throw a middle-class family permanently into the ranks of the working poor, and render the victim uninsurable for life. With so much at stake, it's no wonder people are quick to rush to court for redress.

    Canadians are far less likely to sue in the first place, since they're not having to absorb devastating financial losses in addition to any physical losses when something goes awry. The cost of the damaging treatment will be covered. So will the cost of fixing it. And, no matter what happens, the victim will remain insured for life. When lawsuits do occur, the awards don't have to include coverage for future medical costs, which reduces the insurance company's liability.

    3. Wait times in Canada are horrendous.
    True and False again -- it depends on which province you live in, and what's wrong with you. Canada's health care system runs on federal guidelines that ensure uniform standards of care, but each territory and province administers its own program. Some provinces don't plan their facilities well enough; in those, you can have waits. Some do better. As a general rule, the farther north you live, the harder it is to get to care, simply because the doctors and hospitals are concentrated in the south. But that's just as true in any rural county in the U.S.

    You can hear the bitching about it no matter where you live, though. The percentage of Canadians who'd consider giving up their beloved system consistently languishes in the single digits. A few years ago, a TV show asked Canadians to name the Greatest Canadian in history; and in a broad national consensus, they gave the honor to Tommy Douglas, the Saskatchewan premier who is considered the father of the country's health care system. (And no, it had nothing to do with the fact that he was also Kiefer Sutherland's grandfather.). In spite of that, though, grousing about health care is still unofficially Canada's third national sport after curling and hockey.

    And for the country's newspapers, it's a prime watchdogging opportunity. Any little thing goes sideways at the local hospital, and it's on the front pages the next day. Those kinds of stories sell papers, because everyone is invested in that system and has a personal stake in how well it functions. The American system might benefit from this kind of constant scrutiny, because it's certainly one of the things that keeps the quality high. But it also makes people think it's far worse than it is.

    Critics should be reminded that the American system is not exactly instant-on, either. When I lived in California, I had excellent insurance, and got my care through one of the best university-based systems in the nation. Yet I routinely had to wait anywhere from six to twelve weeks to get in to see a specialist. Non-emergency surgical waits could be anywhere from four weeks to four months. After two years in the BC system, I'm finding the experience to be pretty much comparable, and often better. The notable exception is MRIs, which were easy in California, but can take many months to get here. (It's the number one thing people go over the border for.) Other than that, urban Canadians get care about as fast as urban Americans do.

    4. You have to wait forever to get a family doctor.
    False for the vast majority of Canadians, but True for a few. Again, it all depends on where you live. I live in suburban Vancouver, and there are any number of first-rate GPs in my neighborhood who are taking new patients. If you don't have a working relationship with one, but need to see a doctor now, there are 24-hour urgent care clinics in most neighborhoods that will usually get you in and out on the minor stuff in under an hour.

    It is, absolutely, harder to get to a doctor if you live out in a small town, or up in the territories. But that's just as true in the U.S. -- and in America, the government won't cover the airfare for rural folk to come down to the city for needed treatment, which all the provincial plans do.

    5. You don't get to choose your own doctor.
    Scurrilously False. Somebody, somewhere, is getting paid a lot of money to make this kind of stuff up. The cons love to scare the kids with stories about the government picking your doctor for you, and you don't get a choice. Be afraid! Be very afraid!

    For the record: Canadians pick their own doctors, just like Americans do. And not only that: since it all pays the same, poor Canadians have exactly the same access to the country's top specialists that rich ones do.

    6. Canada's care plan only covers the basics. You're still on your own for any extras, including prescription drugs. And you still have to pay for it.
    True -- but not as big an issue as you might think. The province does charge a small monthly premium (ours is $108/month for a family of four) for the basic coverage. However, most people never even have to write that check: almost all employers pick up the tab for their employees' premiums as part of the standard benefits package; and the province covers it for people on public assistance or disability.

    "The basics" covered by this plan include 100% of all doctor's fees, ambulance fares, tests, and everything that happens in a hospital -- in other words, the really big-ticket items that routinely drive American families into bankruptcy. In BC, it doesn't include "extras" like medical equipment, prescriptions, physical therapy or chiropractic care, dental, vision, and so on; and if you want a private or semi-private room with TV and phone, that costs extra (about what you'd pay for a room in a middling hotel). That other stuff does add up; but it's far easier to afford if you're not having to cover the big expenses, too. Furthermore: you can deduct any out-of-pocket health expenses you do have to pay off your income taxes. And, as every American knows by now, drugs aren't nearly as expensive here, either.

    Filling the gap between the basics and the extras is the job of the country's remaining private health insurers. Since they're off the hook for the ruinously expensive big-ticket items that can put their own profits at risk, the insurance companies make a tidy business out of offering inexpensive policies that cover all those smaller, more predictable expenses. Top-quality add-on policies typically run in the ballpark of $75 per person in a family per month -- about $300 for a family of four -- if you're stuck buying an individual plan. Group plans are cheap enough that even small employers can afford to offer them as a routine benefit. An average working Canadian with employer-paid basic care and supplemental insurance gets free coverage equal to the best policies now only offered at a few of America's largest corporations. And that employer is probably only paying a couple hundred dollars a month to provide that benefit.

    7. Canadian drugs are not the same.
    More preposterious bogosity. They are exactly the same drugs, made by the same pharmaceutical companies, often in the same factories. The Canadian drug distribution system, however, has much tighter oversight; and pharmacies and pharmacists are more closely regulated. If there is a difference in Canadian drugs at all, they're actually likely to be safer.

    Also: pharmacists here dispense what the doctors tell them to dispense, the first time, without moralizing. I know. It's amazing.

    8. Publicly-funded programs will inevitably lead to rationed health care, particularly for the elderly.
    False. And bogglingly so. The papers would have a field day if there was the barest hint that this might be true.

    One of the things that constantly amazes me here is how well-cared-for the elderly and disabled you see on the streets here are. No, these people are not being thrown out on the curb. In fact, they live longer, healthier, and more productive lives because they're getting a constant level of care that ensures small things get treated before they become big problems.

    The health care system also makes it easier on their caregiving adult children, who have more time to look in on Mom and take her on outings because they aren't working 60-hour weeks trying to hold onto a job that gives them insurance.

    9. People won't be responsible for their own health if they're not being forced to pay for the consequences.
    False. The philosophical basis of America's privatized health care system might best be characterized as medical Calvinism. It's fascinating to watch well-educated secularists who recoil at the Protestant obsession with personal virtue, prosperity as a cardinal sign of election by God, and total responsibility for one's own salvation turn into fire-eyed, moralizing True Believers when it comes to the subject of Taking Responsibility For One's Own Health.

    They'll insist that health, like salvation, is entirely in our own hands. If you just have the character and self-discipline to stick to an abstemious regime of careful diet, clean living, and frequent sweat offerings to the Great Treadmill God, you'll never get sick. (Like all good theologies, there's even an unspoken promise of immortality: f you do it really really right, they imply, you might even live forever.) The virtuous Elect can be discerned by their svelte figures and low cholesterol numbers. From here, it's a short leap to the conviction that those who suffer from chronic conditions are victims of their own weaknesses, and simply getting what they deserve. Part of their punishment is being forced to pay for the expensive, heavily marketed pharmaceuticals needed to alleviate these avoidable illnesses. They can't complain. It was their own damned fault; and it's not our responsibility to pay for their sins. In fact, it's recently been suggested that they be shunned, lest they lead the virtuous into sin [1].

    Of course, this is bad theology whether you're applying it to the state of one's soul or one's arteries. The fact is that bad genes, bad luck, and the ravages of age eventually take their toll on all of us -- even the most careful of us. The economics of the Canadian system reflect this very different philosophy: it's built on the belief that maintaining health is not an individual responsibility, but a collective one. Since none of us controls fate, the least we can do is be there for each other as our numbers come up.

    This difference is expressed in a few different ways. First: Canadians tend to think of tending to one's health as one of your duties as a citizen. You do what's right because you don't want to take up space in the system, or put that burden on your fellow taxpayers. Second, "taking care of yourself" has a slightly expanded definition here, which includes a greater emphasis on public health. Canadians are serious about not coming to work if you're contagious, and seeing a doctor ASAP if you need to. Staying healthy includes not only diet and exercise; but also taking care to keep your germs to yourself, avoiding stress, and getting things treated while they're still small and cheap to fix.

    Third, there's a somewhat larger awareness that stress leads to big-ticket illnesses -- and a somewhat lower cultural tolerance for employers who put people in high-stress situations. Nobody wants to pick up the tab for their greed. And finally, there's a generally greater acceptance on the part of both the elderly and their families that end-of-life heroics may be drawing resources away from people who might put them to better use. You can have them if you want them; but reasonable and compassionate people should be able to take the larger view.

    The bottom line: When it comes to getting people to make healthy choices, appealing to their sense of the common good seems to work at least as well as Calvinist moralizing.

    10. This all sounds great -- but the taxes to cover it are just unaffordable. And besides, isn't the system in bad financial shape?
    False. On one hand, our annual Canadian tax bite runs about 10% higher than our U.S. taxes did. On the other, we're not paying out the equivalent of two new car payments every month to keep the family insured here. When you balance out the difference, we're actually money ahead. When you factor in the greatly increased social stability that follows when everybody's getting their necessary health care, the impact on our quality of life becomes even more signficant.

    And True -- but only because this is a universal truth that we need to make our peace with. Yes, the provincial plans are always struggling. So is every single publicly-funded health care system in the world, including the VA and Medicare. There's always tension between what the users of the system want, and what the taxpayers are willing to pay. The balance of power ebbs and flows between them; but no matter where it lies at any given moment, at least one of the pair is always going to be at least somewhat unhappy.

    But, as many of us know all too well, there's also constant tension between what patients want and what private insurers are willing to pay. At least when it's in government hands, we can demand some accountability. And my experience in Canada has convinced me that this accountability is what makes all the difference between the two systems.

    It is true that Canada's system is not the same as the U.S. system. It's designed to deliver a somewhat different product, to a population that has somewhat different expectations. But the end result is that the vast majority of Canadians get the vast majority of what they need the vast majority of the time. It'll be a good day when when Americans can hold their heads high and proudly make that same declaration.

    Next week: More mythbusting on common conservative canards about efficiency, innovation, and competitiveness.

    In the universal health care debate, Canada is once again getting dragged into the fracas, shoved around by both sides as either an exemplar or a warning — and, along the way, getting coated with the obfuscating dust of so many willful misconceptions that the actual facts about How Canada Does It are completely obscured in the melee. As a health-care-card-carrying Canadian resident and an uninsured American citizen who regularly sees doctors on both sides of the border, I'm in a unique position to address the pros and cons of both systems first-hand.
  7. LindaChavis

    LindaChavis Well-Known Member MEMBER

    United States
    Feb 11, 2007
    Likes Received:
    Car Sales Consultant
    Columbus, Ohio
    I found

    what I thought is an interesting article while looking for some articles on the impact health care has on black folks..see what you think:
    # 547 July 2006

    Don't Fall Prey to Propaganda: Life Expectancy and Infant Mortality are Unreliable Measures for Comparing the U.S. Health Care System to Others

    by David Hogberg, Ph.D.

    How does the United States health care system fare when compared to the rest of the industrialized world? This is an important question. Accurately measuring our health care system relative to those of other nations can yield insight into the types of health care policies America should pursue.

    New York Times columnist Paul Krugman has expressed the view that the U.S. health care system is inferior:

    The United States spends far more on health care than other advanced countries. Yet we don't appear to receive more medical services. And we have lower life expectancy and higher infant mortality rates than countries that spend less than half as much per person. How do we do it?1

    Life expectancy and infant mortality are two measures that are widely cited, yet seldom questioned. This is unfortunate, because life expectancy and infant mortality tell us little about the efficacy of a health care system.

    This paper examines the deficiencies of using life expectancy and infant mortality to measure a health care system. It also examines the question: How should we measure a health care system?

    Life Expectancy

    Life expectancy is a poor statistic for determining the efficacy of a health care system because it fails the first criterion of assuming interaction with the health care system. For example, open any newspaper and, chances are, there are stories about people who die "in their sleep," in a car accident or of some medical ailment before an ambulance ever arrives. If an individual dies with no interaction with the health care system, then his death tells us little about the quality of a health care system. Yet all such deaths are computed into the life expectancy statistic.

    Life expectancy also largely violates the second criterion - a health care system has, at most, minimal impact on longevity. One way to see this is to reexamine the table constructed by the Center for Economic and Policy Research. The interpretation that the Center for Economic and Policy Research wants readers to derive from Table 1 is that the United States would be better off with a system of universal health care. However, a careful examination of that table yields a more accurate interpretation: There is no relationship between life expectancy and spending on health care. Greece, the country that spends the least per capita on health care, has higher life expectancy than seven other countries, including Belgium, Denmark, Finland, Germany, Netherlands, the United Kingdom and the United States. Spain, which spends the second least per capita on health care, has higher life expectancy than ten other countries that spend more.

    More robust statistical analysis confirms that health care spending is not related to life expectancy. Studies of multiple countries using regression analysis found no significant relationship between life expectancy and the number of physicians and hospital beds per 100,000 population or health care expenditures as a percentage of GDP. Rather, life expectancy was associated with factors such as sanitation, clean water, income, and literacy rate.8 A recent study examined cross-national data from 1980 to 1998. Although the regression model used initially found an association between health care expenditure and life expectancy, that association was no longer significant when gross domestic product (GDP) per capita was added to the model.9 Indeed, GDP per capita is one of the more consistent predictors of life expectancy.

    Yet the United States has the highest GDP per capita in the world, so why does it have a life expectancy lower than most of the industrialized world? The primary reason is that the U.S. is ethnically a far more diverse nation than most other industrialized nations. Factors associated with different ethnic backgrounds - culture, diet, etc. - can have a substantial impact on life expectancy. Comparisons of distinct ethnic populations in the U.S. with their country of origin find similar rates of life expectancy. For example, Japanese-Americans have an average life expectancy similar to that of Japanese.10

    A good deal of the lower life expectancy rate in the U.S. is accounted for by the difference in life expectancy of African-Americans versus other populations in the United States. Life expectancy for African-Americans is about 72.3 years, while for whites it is about 77.7 years.11 What accounts for the difference? Numerous scholars have investigated this question.12 The most prevalent explanations are differences in income and personal risk factors. One study found that about one-third of the difference between white and African-American life expectancies in the United States was accounted for by income; another third was accounted for by personal risk factors such as obesity, blood pressure, alcohol intake, diabetes, cholesterol concentration, and smoking and the final third was due to unexplained factors.13 Another study found that much of the disparity was due to higher rates of HIV, diabetes and hypertension among African Americans.14 Even studies that suggest the health care system may have some effect on the disparity still emphasize the importance of factors such as income, education, and social environment.15

    A plethora of factors influence life expectancy, including genetics, lifestyle, diet, income and educational levels. A health care system has, at best, minimal impact. Thus, life expectancy is not a statistic that should be used to inform the public policy debate on health care.
  8. Putney Swope

    Putney Swope Well-Known Member MEMBER

    Jun 27, 2009
    Likes Received:
    The single payer system...

    That get's rid of the grand Extortioners; the HMOs,

    is not mentioned either

    fascism has more to do with corporate business partnerships at the expense of the public, more then any ideologies of militarism, which has been the present propaganda.

    The HMOs, (like the banks ) were at the bargaining and policy making table but the masses were not
  9. jamesfrmphilly

    jamesfrmphilly going above and beyond PREMIUM MEMBER

    United States
    Jun 18, 2004
    Likes Received:
    retired computer geek
    north philly ghetto
    i believe that some things would be best funded out of tax moneys.

    health care

    education, including higher education

    urban transportation

    welfare, ADC

    remove private corporations from the health business and let them shed those costs.
    provide education and good health to all regardless of the circumstances of their birth.
    encourage people to use public mass transportation systems thereby reducing pollution and fossil fuel use.
    provide welfare and unemployment compensation to all such that if a corporation fails the workers just go back into a pool until something hew comes along.

    permit corporations that are badly run to fail and redistribute their assets.
    CEO that run bad corporations should be forced to go back into the workers pool like everybody else, no golden parachutes.

  10. Corvo

    Corvo navigator of live MEMBER

    United States
    May 9, 2003
    Likes Received:
    Furniture maker, a sculptor, and fight instructor
    LaLa land

    I co-sign this bill