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Author Topic: Health Care in the United States  (Read 11224 times)

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Offline Swedish Steel

Re: Health Care in the United States
« Reply #25 on: June 13, 2006, 03:58:31 PM »
They get compensation in Sweden too. Not from the doctor himself though.
I heard this story. You know if something happens while your on a plane, the captain asks if there's a doctor on the plane? Well, I've heard that several teachers on non-american medical schools recomend their students not to answer that call if you're on a plane to America. Isn't that a bit scary? This guy or girl maybe could have saved a life, but was to affraid to try because if they failed, there might be hell to pay.

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Re: Health Care in the United States
« Reply #26 on: June 13, 2006, 03:59:09 PM »
Having worked in a hospital for 17 years, I can tell you that it isn't the doctor that gets 100,000 for the surgery.

Most likely the doctor bills a couple of thousand dollars, and the insurance companies and the hospital get the rest.

Most of the time, the insurance companies will only pay 40-50%, so the hospital ends up getting way less than they feel they should.

It's just a mess.

I've been fortunate in that I've always had access to good healthcare. However, having worked at a hospital for nearly 2 decades, I can say that I've seen both sides of the issue, and both sides have very valid concerns that need to be addressed.

Offline RubySlippersTopic starter

Re: Health Care in the United States
« Reply #27 on: June 13, 2006, 04:36:24 PM »
Well I plan to put some money aside and if I have to have a major surgery to go to India if I can to a medical tourist hospital a friend of mine went there to have four stents put into his heart and was there two weeks with a private room, a private nurse, physical therapy and it cost him with airfare $7000 US in the States the general quote was almost $40,000 US for a four day stay and that did nopt include the therapy or proper recovery time. And the chief physician was educated in Hong Kong.

Offline Jefepato

Re: Health Care in the United States
« Reply #28 on: June 13, 2006, 05:39:29 PM »
Society is a group of individuals working together for the good of all.

The Oxford dictionary defines it as:

The aggregate of people living together in a more or less ordered community.

A particular community of people living in a country or region, and having shared customs, laws, and organizations.
 

Without help and co-operation there can be no society, my tax is going on paying for society.
It's helping the weak become strong, the poor become richer, the sick to become well.

I am afraid your 'I'm allright Jack' attitude is what is very very wrong in this world.

Oxford doesn't seem to say anything about "for the good of all."  And for good reason -- that isn't part of the definition of society.

I'm happy to pay taxes for things like the military (although I worry that they overspend sometimes), police, fire services, and so forth.  Those are societal problems.  Health care is a purely individual problem.  Should health care be more affordable?  Probably.  Are there problems with the system?  Definitely.  Is taking my money to pay for someone else's problem a valid or moral solution?  Never.

If my attitude is wrong, then "right" is a state of affairs I want no part of.

I'm reading an interesting study. Here, I'll link it for you:

http://www.skl.se/artikeldokument.asp?C=473&A=15823&FileID=74795&NAME=Swedish%5Fhealth%5Fcare.pdf

Those of you who live in the delusion that free healtcare equals baaaaad healthcare should have a look at this. I notice that the US is ranked as 23d in the world. People of other countries flying to the US for medical reasons? Well, maybe the terminaly stupid ones. I trust my healthcare system fine, it isn't perfect, but then nothing is.

That's quite interesting.  It's also quite interesting that all the researchers involved, and pretty much every source they cite, are from Sweden and countries with similar systems to Sweden.

I'm not saying the study is necessarily false, but I've never known a statistician (or any other person) who wasn't biased, and everybody involved in it had a vested interest in making their own countries look better than the U.S.  Even after reading it closely, I don't know exactly what variables were used, and I have no idea how they were weighted.

Are there any studies available where American researchers had some input as well, or where I can at least see where the numbers came from and how the charts were calculated?

Because frankly, I find it improbable that the people who travel to the US from all over the world for treatment are all "terminally stupid."  If they've experienced health care in their own countries and still choose to pay for it here, we must be doing something right.
« Last Edit: June 13, 2006, 05:47:15 PM by Jefepato »

Offline RubySlippersTopic starter

Re: Health Care in the United States
« Reply #29 on: June 13, 2006, 06:15:18 PM »
I take it personally to say health care is a PERSONAL MATTER everyone at some point in their life needs health care services. Almost everyone ends up in a hospital at some point and needs medications and other items that can be very costly. A illness that is contagious that gets loose is going to be worst in the United States because many people will not see a medical professional right away spreading disease more than in a country where they can get care without having to worry about it. Community health is a community concern.

Add to the fact the economic drain of having either companies having to carry health coverage for workers which other countries do not or don't cover workers- sick or chronically ill workers are not efficient workers. Its a drag on our economy and domestic economy.

If I had bird flu unless I was covered or literally coughing up blood I would not see a doctor if not covered- is that good for others I might infect if I sught medical care early?

Offline Swedish Steel

Re: Health Care in the United States
« Reply #30 on: June 14, 2006, 01:58:25 AM »
That's quite interesting.  It's also quite interesting that all the researchers involved, and pretty much every source they cite, are from Sweden and countries with similar systems to Sweden.

I'm not saying the study is necessarily false, but I've never known a statistician (or any other person) who wasn't biased, and everybody involved in it had a vested interest in making their own countries look better than the U.S.  Even after reading it closely, I don't know exactly what variables were used, and I have no idea how they were weighted.

Are there any studies available where American researchers had some input as well, or where I can at least see where the numbers came from and how the charts were calculated?

Because frankly, I find it improbable that the people who travel to the US from all over the world for treatment are all "terminally stupid."  If they've experienced health care in their own countries and still choose to pay for it here, we must be doing something right.
Quote

Hehe, I just knew it. It isn't an American study, so it's not worth a piss, right? We are all trying to make you look bad, to make our countries look better when it comes to healthcare, right? Well, that sure isn't hard, you're doing all the work for us. :)
I find it amusing you are willing to pay taxes for the army, but not for healthcare. I still not get why you don't think healthcare should be covered by society, affraid it will cost you a few more bucks or what? I know where you can get the money. :)
Frankly, if your attitude is right I'm happy to be wrong.

Offline Elvi

Re: Health Care in the United States
« Reply #31 on: June 14, 2006, 02:44:02 AM »
Jefepato......
Swede......

Please watch your tones.

Offline Swedish Steel

Re: Health Care in the United States
« Reply #32 on: June 14, 2006, 02:51:18 AM »
Alrighty, sorry, tone will be watched.

Offline Purple

Re: Health Care in the United States
« Reply #33 on: June 14, 2006, 04:47:43 AM »
I have a slightly different point to make.  Our health care in the United States is top-notch in many ways.  Not necessarily the best, but it is good.  Many people from other countries do fly here for health care.  I know so because my mother works for one of our local hospitals in the middle of the U.S., and we have foreigners in all the time for medical procedures. 

That said, we have some problems.  One major problem is the lack of good ob/gyns.  A lot of them are dropping their ob practices altogether because of skyrocketing malpractice suits.  Many states are suffering a severe shortage.  Yet, there is a political party that shall remain nameless that refuses to allow any legislation to pass that would limit the amount of damages a person may be awarded because of malpractice which would, in turn, keep down these costs.

Another problem: overworked and underpaid nurses.  These hardworking people spend more time with the patients, are responsible for dispensing medicines, and most care to patients in hospitals and at doctor's offices.  We are beginning to suffer a shortage in this area as well because many nurses can only take this for so long before finding better work.  Their responsibility is high, their appreciation and compensation is low.

The real reason medical care is so high:  What most Americans do not realize is that, the American Medical Association (of which all of our doctors are a part) was actually intended to eliminate 'quack' doctors (those who treated with mostly holistic options) and raise the pay and status of 'real' doctors by limiting the amount of medical schools.  These are not assumptions, these are historical facts.  The AMA has a monopoly on the medical profession.  They continue to limit the amount of schools and doctors we have, and since all doctors are bound by this one organization they set the price for health care and we have to pay it.  (Disclaimer: I have nothing against medical doctors, I do not wish that we burn them at the stake for believing their type of medicine is better than the other.  I go to a medical doctor myself.)  The AMA is a classic, textbook monopoly.  The answer is not to create a national medical system or even state medical systems.  The answer is to break up the monopoly and introduce competition.  Then we will only go to good doctors who charge reasonable rates.

And Steel...luv you :) *hugs*  As Americans are really great you socialist you.  :)  hehehe

Offline Swedish Steel

Re: Health Care in the United States
« Reply #34 on: June 14, 2006, 04:53:20 AM »
Well, there are talk of opening a 7th medical school here in Sweden, but the Doctor Union is against it because they say the quality of the education can't be guaranteed if we educate more doctors. This despite there also being a shortage of doctors here in Sweden. I'm not sure their claim is bogus, it sounds pretty reasonable to me, but if it was just a way to keep the doctor shortage and jack up their own pay checks I'd be pissed. :)

Offline Purple

Re: Health Care in the United States
« Reply #35 on: June 14, 2006, 04:55:51 AM »
Seriously hon, look into that.  It's been a wildly successful tactic in the states...why wouldn't other countries try it too.  That is actually a bogus claim if I ever heard one.  Hire one more inspector to keep an eye on that one school.  With all the dues they'll be making from the newly educated doctors they could afford to pay that salary.  But...if it's to keep current doctor's salaries high, and i suspect it is...well, you see what I mean I think.

Offline Swedish Steel

Re: Health Care in the United States
« Reply #36 on: June 14, 2006, 05:03:23 AM »
That isn't really the problem. The problem is that half of the education you spend at the hospital, learning by doing. It seems it is quite difficult to find enough suitable places for the med students at the hospitals as it is. It would be easy to open a new school, but to get them placed as hospitals are more difficult. Or so I'm told.

Offline Purple

Re: Health Care in the United States
« Reply #37 on: June 14, 2006, 05:21:43 AM »
That's because, here at least, they also limit the amount of teaching hospitals.

Offline RubySlippersTopic starter

Re: Health Care in the United States
« Reply #38 on: June 14, 2006, 08:50:17 AM »
I have a slightly different point to make.  Our health care in the United States is top-notch in many ways.  Not necessarily the best, but it is good.  Many people from other countries do fly here for health care.  I know so because my mother works for one of our local hospitals in the middle of the U.S., and we have foreigners in all the time for medical procedures. 

That said, we have some problems.  One major problem is the lack of good ob/gyns.  A lot of them are dropping their ob practices altogether because of skyrocketing malpractice suits.  Many states are suffering a severe shortage.  Yet, there is a political party that shall remain nameless that refuses to allow any legislation to pass that would limit the amount of damages a person may be awarded because of malpractice which would, in turn, keep down these costs.

Another problem: overworked and underpaid nurses.  These hardworking people spend more time with the patients, are responsible for dispensing medicines, and most care to patients in hospitals and at doctor's offices.  We are beginning to suffer a shortage in this area as well because many nurses can only take this for so long before finding better work.  Their responsibility is high, their appreciation and compensation is low.

The real reason medical care is so high:  What most Americans do not realize is that, the American Medical Association (of which all of our doctors are a part) was actually intended to eliminate 'quack' doctors (those who treated with mostly holistic options) and raise the pay and status of 'real' doctors by limiting the amount of medical schools.  These are not assumptions, these are historical facts.  The AMA has a monopoly on the medical profession.  They continue to limit the amount of schools and doctors we have, and since all doctors are bound by this one organization they set the price for health care and we have to pay it.  (Disclaimer: I have nothing against medical doctors, I do not wish that we burn them at the stake for believing their type of medicine is better than the other.  I go to a medical doctor myself.)  The AMA is a classic, textbook monopoly.  The answer is not to create a national medical system or even state medical systems.  The answer is to break up the monopoly and introduce competition.  Then we will only go to good doctors who charge reasonable rates.

And Steel...luv you :) *hugs*  As Americans are really great you socialist you.  :)  hehehe


If our medical services are so popular with foreigners then how come the biggest growth of medical service and care are in India and Thailand? Because the same procedures and better nursing care can be had for a fraction of the costs in the United States. And all the doctors I pointed out earlier and the hospitals in question match o exceed the best hospitals in the United States.

Offline Elvi

Re: Health Care in the United States
« Reply #39 on: June 14, 2006, 09:10:34 AM »
*shrugs*
Many patients come to this country as well, it all depends upon the type of treatment they need and I am sure that foreign patients go to Sweden and many other countries.

I don't think that can be a yard stick as to whether a health service provider is good or not. All it does is to show that there are good surgeons/specialists in a particular field that people will go to IF they have the money to do so.

You cannot judge the standards over overall care fro that countries people by that.
Yes there are absolutely fantastic doctors/surgeons in india, unfortunately many are trained in the Britain, on the understanding that they will spend some time in the UK after their training, only to have some slip back off to their own country, because they know that they can make far more money in private hospitals treating foreigners.
But does that mean that the Indian population is better cared for than in other countries? Does it buggery.......

 

Offline RubySlippersTopic starter

Re: Health Care in the United States
« Reply #40 on: June 14, 2006, 09:15:58 AM »
No yet cost matters in the United States if I have to pay perhaps a third of my earnings or more to get required treatment and can't get insurance coverage something is just wrong with that. At least in my State they can decline me for any reason if i have Type 1 Diabetes that's enough even if I am generally very healthy and take good care of myself.

Offline Elvi

Re: Health Care in the United States
« Reply #41 on: June 14, 2006, 09:18:44 AM »
My point exactly......

Offline Purple

Re: Health Care in the United States
« Reply #42 on: June 14, 2006, 10:07:47 AM »
*shrugs*
Many patients come to this country as well, it all depends upon the type of treatment they need and I am sure that foreign patients go to Sweden and many other countries.

I don't think that can be a yard stick as to whether a health service provider is good or not. All it does is to show that there are good surgeons/specialists in a particular field that people will go to IF they have the money to do so.

You cannot judge the standards over overall care fro that countries people by that.
Yes there are absolutely fantastic doctors/surgeons in india, unfortunately many are trained in the Britain, on the understanding that they will spend some time in the UK after their training, only to have some slip back off to their own country, because they know that they can make far more money in private hospitals treating foreigners.
But does that mean that the Indian population is better cared for than in other countries? Does it buggery.......

 

We too train many of India's doctor under similar agreements.  I think you're right Elvi, people travel to different countries for medical care for different reasons if they can.

For RubySlippers...we have three children and we cannot afford insurance.  We just don't have it.  We have to pay all medical costs out of pocket.  Everything.  Two of the kids have asthma.  All three have small digestive problems.  One has a recurring tumor in her ear.  Another has a minor heart problem.  I have fibromyalgia and ADHD.  I am also in the middle of a cancer scare.  So I do believe I understand the difficulties in obtaining adequate and affordable health care in the U.S.  Still, my problems do not change the fact that:

1) According to the Constitution of the United States of America health care is not a duty of the federal government.  Thus, it would fall to each individual state as to whether or not to offer health care in any way, shape, or form.  Take it up with your state, your vote counts.  You can campaign for your beliefs.

2) Government-provided health care services WILL NOT solve the problem.  There are only two easy ways to do this and neither will work.  The first way is the simple economics I stated earlier.  The government pays the doctors to provide the health care.  But the doctors can raise the prices, and will, and then the government has to raise taxes, which it will.  All bad for the economy which will make it even worse.  The second way is to train their own doctors and administer their own programs...we all know how efficiently the government runs programs.  That will be terribly ineffective and frought with difficulties.  It won't work.  We must eliminate the monopoly.

Offline Elvi

Re: Health Care in the United States
« Reply #43 on: June 14, 2006, 10:28:41 AM »
Well, the government has run our health service and paid/trained our doctors and nurses since it's conception, so in effect it is a monopoly, even private doctors and nurses must be passed by the BMA before they can practice in this country.
But (and as Swede agrees), even though our health service does have problems it also still works.

Offline Purple

Re: Health Care in the United States
« Reply #44 on: June 14, 2006, 10:49:37 AM »
But you have a very different, even though in ways similar government.  In our system of government, under the document that we live by, not only is it very wrong but it would also be inefficient, just like every other government agency we have.  Even the post office has gone downhill, the only we had that actually broke even or made money instead of being incredibly wasteful.  Don't get my wrong, I love our government for what it can and should be, but I recognize that it is imperfect because it is run by people who can't be perfect.

What I am saying is coming from education and research.  I may be graduating soon to be an elementary school teacher, but history, our government, and economics are hobbies of mine.  I am not just throwing stuff out, this is based on careful research, conversations with many good doctors (we obviously have a whole lot of them), and conversations with economists, economics professors, tax advisors, and investors.  I actually had to do a large paper on this very subject once, in regard to monopolies.  As health care is obviously a subject very near to my family, I have made it my business to stay informed.

All I'm saying is that as it is now, that idea will not work in the United States.  Doesn't mean things can't change...

Offline RubySlippersTopic starter

Re: Health Care in the United States
« Reply #45 on: June 14, 2006, 11:49:50 AM »
I agree Purple I want the Federal Government out of the system. I heard an idea to set up a quasi-autonomous agency like the Federal Reserve that will come up with a basic plan to cover everyones basics using existing funds. This would lean to preventative care and consistant life care treatment like in my case. If I get good care serious and musch more costly problems are not likely to occur like Kidney Failure or Blindness. Each State would then find their best way to administer these standards this could include public hospitals, handing the obligation to certain HMO's or the like. After that people could pay for supplimental insurance or get that from employers and there would be a mandate like Medicare that a company must take a customers business.

The importance is to keep the system autonomous and independant of Congress and the President it must be able to stand up to the special interest groups and use common sense.

And this would solve many problems we would not make it a Federal program but more State level where the care is up to the more local authority. Everyone would get good preventative and necessary care and treatment, including high expense things like Cancer Treatment. There would be accountability since the patiant must pay something out of pocket and take responsibility for their health to a fair degree. And private companies can still off Medigap policies just like they do now but extended to the entire population.

And medical professionals and public health experts would set up the system to be as efficeint and comprehensive as possible as it should be if its done correctly.

Offline Purple

Re: Health Care in the United States
« Reply #46 on: June 14, 2006, 02:40:26 PM »
State would be much better, and constitution-approved of course.  The monopoly, however, must be demolished for anything to try work well and efficiently.  :)  I hate monopolies, they kill everyone's economies.

Offline Jefepato

Re: Health Care in the United States
« Reply #47 on: June 14, 2006, 05:46:50 PM »
Hehe, I just knew it. It isn't an American study, so it's not worth a piss, right?

That fails to even resemble what I said.  I wouldn't trust a study that was totally American researchers citing American sources either, because that study would be equally biased; nor would I trust any study at all when I can't see where half the numbers are coming from.

"How to Lie With Statistics" was one of the best lectures I've ever sat for.  Also one of the most depressing.

I find it amusing you are willing to pay taxes for the army, but not for healthcare. I still not get why you don't think healthcare should be covered by society, affraid it will cost you a few more bucks or what?

Afraid it's not my job to pay for other people's problems.

People get sick.  Countries get invaded.  That is why I will pay for the army (because I'm in the country) but not for the healthcare (because I'm not sick).  The possibility of contagion exists, of course -- and if there's an outbreak, I would not argue with the government using my tax money to help deal with that situation.  But the vast majority of health problems are purely invidual isssues.

I know where you can get the money. :)

Well, I can always use money.  Where?

Frankly, if your attitude is right I'm happy to be wrong.

Hmm...apparently we're both happy to be wrong.

That doesn't leave us much to argue about, does it?

Offline RubySlippersTopic starter

Re: Health Care in the United States
« Reply #48 on: June 14, 2006, 08:32:43 PM »
Now I'm a conservative person in many area but that doesn't mean I agree we should not be practical on Health Care. No disrespect to Jefepato but everyone at some point uses health care if a child in the mothers womb to old age and every age in between. Having so many people uninsured eventually costs society much more than if we provided good coverage of a preventative natrue. A fine example is my case. I get regular medical care and a few drugs, careful nutritional instruction and physical fitness training I can live fairly healthy for many years. If not I can get kidney loss of function or failure, blindness, amputation, heart failure and other conditions that will cost dearly later on. Add to this I would likely become disabled and either be on Social Security Disability or Medicaide OR be much less productive as a worker. So which is the better societal investment giving reasonable care now or not doing so and paying for me later when the cost will skyrocket?

Simply put we spend more than any other country on health care and 40 million plus are not insured and a good portion are underinsured perhaps another 40 million or more at least. Bankruptcy for medical debt is climbing and the main reason for doing so. The sstem we have doesn't work that's the fact here.


Offline Zakharra

Re: Health Care in the United States
« Reply #49 on: June 15, 2006, 11:55:20 PM »
 I do not have health insurance. I haven't for  10 years. It's not because I don't need it, it's because I cannot afford it. But I do not think it should be the State's ob ligation to provide it. Mainly because health is a personal issue. And governmental agencies are notoriously ineffecient. Look at FEMA, Soc Sec, HLS, and most other agencies ( including Congress). TRhey simply do not work well.

 The one agency that works quite well is the USPS, United States Postal Service. I work for it as a HCR (highway contract route) The USPS is the only govermental service that gets no money from the government at all. It has to provide it's own funding thru stamp sales. The last stamp increases were because of a law that Congress passed that required the USPS to have $3 billion dollars in a emergency account. If not for that law, stamp prices would be lower at .37.