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Michael Martin

American Healthcare

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A debate topic with no debates?!? You people need to liven it up a little.

 

Now, I was wondering what others think about the American Healthcare sYstem and what they think should be done with it. Currently, there's a huge mess going on in the American government about how best to deal with rising healthcare costs and rising numbers of uninsured.

 

My opinion on this is that healthcare costs are the main reason why wages are stagnant. Employers are not offering raises because all that money is going to pay for your healthcare premiums. Remember, employers pay alot more than we do. I also know, having been uninsured for a few months, that not having insurance really is dangerous. I think about it often. I'm extra careful when I'm cutting a bagel because I don't want to have to pay for stitches. Stuff like that.

 

From my experience, the people who are uninsured are not the poor. The poor get great healthcare in the US under Medicaid. It's the people who work every day but end up losing their jobs or they get sick and lose their insurance. Those are the people who need help and any one of us in the US could be in that situation one day.

 

For people from other countries, how does your country do healthcare? Is the healthcare in the UK and Canada really as scary as the insurance companies in the US try to convince us it is. Is your healthcare "rationed"?

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For people from other countries, how does your country do healthcare? Is the healthcare in the UK and Canada really as scary as the insurance companies in the US try to convince us it is. Is your healthcare "rationed"?

I usually debate this on Spacebattles.com, so if I start sounding angry, I must beg forgiveness. That's just how it always goes over there. :(

 

Anyway, I live in the UK, and no, it's not as bad as your insurance companies try to convince you. If you look at the WHO statistcs, in fact, we do better than the US system in almost every indicator, at about half the cost, and with less overhead (0.4 'support' workers to 'frontline' workers, as compared to 0.8 for the US, something that's mindboggling considering how bloated and inefficient the NHS is :o ). This is despite the fact that everybody is covered. You most certainly can find headlines containing examples where people didn't get treatment, but the major difference between the UK and US there is that such cases pretty much always make national, front page news, whereas people being denied care due to insurance refusing to pay for it in the US is, I'm told, common enough that it isn't newsworthy in most cases.

 

As for rationing? Yes, it's rationed. So is yours. Ours is rationed on who needs it most, yours is rationed on who can pay. Therefore, we notice our rationing, because we're always operating at full or near full capacity, while you can exclude a percentage of your population and thus have spare capacity available some of the time. Even so, waiting lists now are much shorter than they were fifteen years ago, something I must give Labour credit for. They're set to get shorter as well, since the NHS has finally realised that sticking people who need hip replacements (for example) on waiting lists when the capacity to treat them sooner exists or could be created is a false economy. They've already eliminated the MRI waiting lists in the Trust that my father helped manage until a year or so ago by simply keeping the relevent department open 24 hours a day.

 

So, yeah, cheaper, better and more widespread care, without causing a massive number of bankruptcies. In return, we sometimes have to wait a bit for not-critical procedures so that people with heart failure can go in front of us. I'm happy enough to accept that deal. Plus, you can buy private insurance if you want it and skip the wait, although the vast majority of people son't, which should tell you something.

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^ One of the most coherent replies I've seen on this side of the debate. Absolutely what he said. I believe the UK's healthcare system is as fair and effective a system as possible, almost.

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I'm from Malaysia.

 

We have public and private hospitals here. If you can afford it or if you have insurance coverage, you go to private hospitals which are more costly but they have better treatment.

 

If you don't have insurance and you're poor, you go to the public hospitals which charge you cheaply. For example, you can go to public hospitals for dental treatments. They charge you a dollar for most treatments and they basically charge half the price or less for braces. However, for braces or more serious ops such as kidney transplants, they put you on a waiting list.

 

My friend who's going for braces had to wait a year but its worth waiting cuz its much more cheaper.

 

The doctors in public hospital are normally fresh graduates as the government made it mandatory for all new medical graduates to work 2-3 years in the govt' hospitals.

 

I am not calling it a perfect system, but so far, no one has complained about it. So, there you go.

 

PS: Insurance here is cheap. You can choose to pay your premiums annually or semi annually. There's also insurance provided by the government whereby your employer deducts a very small part of your pay for it. There's also insurance provided by the Central Bank which is also very cheap.

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^ One of the most coherent replies I've seen on this side of the debate. Absolutely what he said. I believe the UK's healthcare system is as fair and effective a system as possible, almost.

Why, thank you very much. I guess practice makes perfect.

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LIES! HEAR ME SPEAK!!! He's going to pull the plug on grandma!

 

This isn't the America I grew up in! :rolleyes:

 

I'm disappointed that Obama's already willing to give up the Public Option. Without it there's no reform, it's just an attempt to regulate the health industry while handing them a whole new load of costomers.

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There's a movie about this called Sicko. My wife is uninsured, and got a bad ear infection when she finally went to the doctor it was a little over $300 for the doctor and then another $200 for the hospital, rediculous! I am also uninsured, but more recently. The UK and Canada have it right, no system working as we speak is perfect somebody is always going to fall through the cracks. Maybe we should aspire to be more like the world in the book Looking Backwards by Edward Bellamy rather than fearing the it will become 1984 Like Orwell predicted.

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Well, I knew this was going to happen when Congress went on recess. Insurance companies have actually been hiring people to go to Town Hall meetings and scream at their representatives or senators and just basically cause a scene. As an American, one of the things that AMAZES me is the American ability to screw ourselves. We believe the crap that we're told. We're completely suspicious of government but we're trusting of Big Business.

 

The public option seems like it's exactly what we need. Without it, there will be no cost reduction, which was supposed to be the whole point of healthcare reform. We just can't keep letting big business pull our strings by using the "socialism" card. SOME socialism is good. Libraries, parks, medicare and social security. All socialism and all accepted aspects of American life. But we talk about healthcare and suddenly people just stop thinking. Yes, it's going to cost us money. Yes, it's expensive. But could there be a better thing to spend our money on?

 

Yes, I've seen Sicko. It's very informative but I try not to take Michael Moore movies too seriously. He likes to oversimplify things and make connections to things that don't exist. If you want to see Michael Moore be a major tool, watch Bowling for Columbine.

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Actually, it's not going to cost the majority of people anything. What Obama has proposed is slashing unnecessary funing in the medical industry with the added bonus of not having to pay for people without health insurance going to hosiptals like we're currently doing (2/3 of the funing will come from that alone). The remaining 1/3 will, he says, can come from decreasing tax deductions from people making over $250,000 a year.

 

It's really not that social. People are still going to have to pay for insurance, he just wants to give them a little subsity to cover the remaining costs. We just have left over McCarthyism in America which special intrerest groups take advantage of.

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I'm a Canadian with intimate knowledge of the health care systems in Asia, Canada, USA, Mexico, Europe and Africa. I find the current level of "debate" as seen on CNN, Fox and most US networks to be little better than ill-informed fear mongering. The US has some excellent teaching hospitals and great care providers, but it is not a coherent system. As a result, US citizens pay the highest per capita health care costs in the G8, while under-performing the other developed nations on every measure of health outcomes; like life expectancy, infant mortality, and maternal mortality, to name a few. Please, don't take my word for it (or the word of a pompous, fat talk radio host, for that matter). Google the CDC or WHO databases, and decide for yourselves.

 

Health care costs are rising at a rate much faster than inflation (driven by rising capabilities, increased demand, and yes, lawyers) while most other goods and services are deflating. This clearly shows that the unseen hand of the market has failed, when it is held by a de facto insurance monopoly.

 

It amazes me, as an outside observer, that a republican heavy congress (at the time) would bail-out an incompetent insurance giant (AIG) and now want to convince Americans that they can't have single payer, government financed universal health care like my family and I enjoy. I can't believe anyone is buying that crap.

 

Don't get me wrong, on most issues I'm a diehard capitalist, but the numbers don't lie. Health insurance companies exist to make a buck off the patient and in doing so increase the percentage of GDP spent on administration and add almost no value to health services delivery. I think Obama knows this and was honestly elected (handily) on this platform. I wish him and the American people well in tackling this complex issue. It is sad that vested interests are tricking so many gullible people, without much knowledge of the world, with scare tactics that aren't much better than lies.

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We don't need Obama's socialist agenda in America! We don't need Canadian socialized medicine...the Canadians don't even want it, they all come here to get healthcare! Let's just crunch some numbers, shall we:

 

1) 46 million uninsured

2) subtract 6 million illegals

3) subtract those who qualify for SCHIP, but just don't know it

4) subtract those who just don't feel they need health insurance

5) after all is said and done, that leaves 15 million who are TRULY uninsured

 

Now, why should we change a system that clearly works (as evidenced by the fact that both Canadians and Mexicans come here to receive care, to name just 2 groups)...why should we give that up to satisfy less than 1% of the population??

 

Socialized medicine is the liberals dream-child and they want to ram this down our throats by a process known as reconciliation which would avoid any filibuster by passing this outrageous bill with 51 votes (60 votes would break a filibuster, but reconciliation is the "nuclear option" used to force an unpopular bill on the public).

 

Another point of key interest, the Democrats claim that socialized medicine is the way to go...yet they have put in the bill a provision which exempts themselves from having to leave their golden-clad Cadillac plans for socialized medicine. Now, I ask you, if socialized medicine is so great, why don't they do on it too??

 

What say you?

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I say revolution! We must return democracy to America! We must return freedom and liberty to America! We must return America to America!

 

Throw off Communism! Throw off Obama! Give us a good president like President Bush! Praise the Lord, and God Bless America!

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Posted Image

 

Unless this is intended for Lailander's post, I don't think this is quite constructive debate ;P - TankKiller

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Now, I'm at work, so this is going to be brief.

 

All Canadians go to the US for their healthcare?

85.2% of Canadians reported that they were "satisified" or "very satisfied" with the way health care services are provided in their country and an even higher number (89.8%) rated their physician in the same way.

15 million people is 1% of the US's population? Sorry, but the US doesn't have 1.5 billion people. It has ~300 million.

 

Also of interest:

In an international comparative study of the health care systems in six countries (Australia, Canada, Germany, New Zealand and the United States), the British health care system was ranked in first place for quality of care. It also gained first rank position for equity and efficiency and a top place ranking for performance overall.

The WHO has used Disability Adjusted Life Expectancy (the number of years an average person can expect to live in good health) as a measure of a nation's health achievement and has ranked its member nations by this measure. The U.S ranking was 24th, worse than similar industrial countries which have very high public funding of health such as Canada (ranked 5th), the UK (12th), Sweden (4th), France (3rd) and Japan (1st).

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Oh god, the god-fearing, socialism-hating, fear-mongering Admiral Kirk is here...

 

God bless America.

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Now, I ask you, if socialized medicine is so great, why don't they do on it too??

Because they're smart. The US health care system is the best in the world, if you happen to have a lot of money. That's indisputable. It's considerably less than the best if you happen to not have a Scrooge McDuck-esque swimming pool full of coins, though, and doubly so if you happen to have a chronic condition.

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I say revolution! We must return democracy to America! We must return freedom and liberty to America! We must return America to America!

 

Throw off Communism! Throw off Obama! Give us a good president like President Bush! Praise the Lord, and God Bless America!

 

Okay Lail, this is seriously not appropriate. Do I really need to remind you to play nice in the sandbox? I got my head around that idea when I was....3?

Anyway, lets move on...

 

 

Now, I'm not going to debate whether health care run/funded by the government would be better then what we currently have (because, honestly, both sides will crunch the numbers to their advantage). However, I will be debating the point that I believe that it isn't the governments place to run/fund health care. Tell me, why is government paying for health care? Its another service they are attempting to provide (which the government normally doesn't do well, providing services) that is, quiet frankly, out of their area of influence. I don't have much time to type this out as school just started back up for me, but that is the general area I am coming from. If someone could give me some reasons as to how health care is a "right", something government has a legitimate right to intervene in and how, if that is all true, why they haven't done so before now (that is more substantial then "the republicans" wouldn't let the democrats to anything") that would be a great place to start.

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If someone could give me some reasons as to how health care is a "right", something government has a legitimate right to intervene in and how, if that is all true, why they haven't done so before now (that is more substantial then "the republicans" wouldn't let the democrats to anything") that would be a great place to start.

It's not necessarily a right in and of itself, except as a 'you have a right not to be left to die in agony because you're poor' sort of thing. The government is a good choice to organise a healthcare system for the same reasons it's a good choice to organise the military, police and fire brigade; healthcare is a necessary service that it's difficult or impossible for an individual to pay for on their own. It is, of course, possible to try and provide it privately like the US does, and this is better than nothing, but such a system suffers from being profit motivated.

 

Before you scream 'Communist' and stab me through the heart with an American flag, allow me to amplify. ;p

 

Demand for healthcare is inelastic. That is, it is relatively unaffected by price. This should not be surprising; people will pay any price to be treated for cancer or broken bones or appendicitis, until the point where they cannot pay any more. Allowing the market to dictate prices for goods like this is a bad idea, because there's very little relationship between supply and demand. Prices are set at whatever the people running the service think they can get away with. This increases costs, as does the massive bureaucratic overhead of a system like the US one (twice the ratio of pencil pushers to health workers as the UK! :o ). It's therefore a good idea to let the government run it because the government can do it more efficiently- medicare in the US gets more bang for it's buck than most private insurers, which is a sad state of affairs considering how bloated and ill-managed it is.

 

As for why it's not been changed in the US; nobody had the political will to do anything about it, and your current system was working 'well enough'. I'm told that increasing costs only became an issue relatively recently.

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Someone took microeconomics.

 

Why is it mandatory for people to have auto insurance, but not health insurance?

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Do you really want the same government that runs the Post Office, Cash for Clunkers, Social Security, and Medicare to run Socialized Medicine?! Even lord, messiah, most-merciful Obama had to admit that FedEx and UPS are doing better than the government-run post office (for those that don't know FedEx and UPS are run by the private sector).

 

And we all know how 'well' Cash for Clunkers did...the form, made up by lawyers and college professors was something like 35 pages long, and even then Obama's czars couldn't figure out who qualified and didn't qualify! Another point of note, they made you fix your 'clunker' before you traded it in...only to take it and pour acid into the engine making it permanently unusable; they didn't even let the dealers (or even the government re-sell the cars to third-world countries...countries like Mexico and South America, where those countries would have better cars than they have now and we could recoup some of the $4,500 that we gave out). A businessman, or better yet a car dealer, would have understood those most basic, fundamental concepts...but the liberal elitists that the one, Obama, surrounds himself with don't have the brains or know-how to accomplish anything!

 

And finally, no matter how much you liberals kid yourselves, there is no trust fund for Social Security and Medicare...not since Harry Truman (another Democrat...surprise) opened it up to the general fund so Congress could spend it.

 

So, in short, the government has proven time and again just how inefficient it is in so many areas; do we really want inefficiency in the healthcare industry? And don't even get me started on the DMV...

 

Case and Point, "In this present crisis, government is not the solution to our problem, government is the problem!" -- Ronald Reagan

 

Amazing how one can still quote Reagan and see the similarities to today...queue Sarah Palin!!

 

Check this out while your at it...

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I really hate to point out the obvious, AK, but it works. It works here in the UK, it works in Canada, it works in many other countries that have it.

I can tell you as a citizen in a country with "socialized healthcare", it's fantastic. Far better than what you have.

Oh sugar, I didn't just say that a 3rd world country like the UK has something better than the US, did I?

 

Why must one be a "liberal" to consider that something else is better?

We don't even have Republicans or Democrats over here, how can you be associating me with a party that doesn't even exist in my world?

 

PS: I just came off of the "Gay Marriage" debate, so still a bit "lolwut!?!?!" ish.

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Admiral, to quote Reagan "There you go again!"

 

Stop the liberal bashing please.

 

Please don't attempt to compare Ronald Reagan with that nutcase Palin.

 

One was 70 when he took office while the other is what, 50?

 

Reagan was charismatic and he had the unique ability to disarm his opponents with one liners and jokes, Palin can't.

 

Reagan had close to 40 years of political experience before he took office, Palin doesn't.

 

Reagan knew how to deal with Russia, not Palin cuz the only thing she knows abt Russia is that she can be seen from Alaska.

 

Reagan not only revitalised the Republican Party, he revitalised the whole country. Palin has far more detractors than Reagan and she really isn't very good in thinking on the spot, just look how she failed her interviews.

 

Do you really need anymore differences between both of them?

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Admiral, to quote Reagan "There you go again!"

 

Stop the liberal bashing please.

 

Please don't attempt to compare Ronald Reagan with that nutcase Palin.

 

One was 70 when he took office while the other is what, 50?

 

Reagan was charismatic and he had the unique ability to disarm his opponents with one liners and jokes, Palin can't.

 

Reagan had close to 40 years of political experience before he took office, Palin doesn't.

 

Reagan knew how to deal with Russia, not Palin cuz the only thing she knows abt Russia is that she can be seen from Alaska.

 

Reagan not only revitalised the Republican Party, he revitalised the whole country. Palin has far more detractors than Reagan and she really isn't very good in thinking on the spot, just look how she failed her interviews.

 

Do you really need anymore differences between both of them?

 

 

Case in point...you just proved my whole argument, legend! Thank you very much, it made my job that much easier!

 

I'll say it again for those that are slow in understanding:

The Democrats are tipping their hand as to who they are most afraid of...it isn't Mike Huckabee, it isn't Mitt Romney, but they are scared to death of Sarah Palin because she can do what Obama can only dream of; she attracts crowds based on substance, Obama attracts crowds so they can see what an idiot he is!

 

Here is a reinforcement of my position

 

And riddle me this: if Obama is doing such a great job, then why are his approval numbers lower than Bush's at this same time in his presidency? Bear in mind that this same time in Bush's presidency would have been before 9/11...just food for thought

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Oh god, if I see another video of Rush Limbaugh and his liberal thrashing nonsense, I will strangle someone.

 

Dude, if I have the extreme misfortune of being a citizen of the United States of America, I would vote Republican for my governor, senator and congressman/woman. However, if I see Sarah Palin on the ticket for presidency, I will most certainly not vote Republican. I would rather vote for someone who's less popular but at least, has a brain, someone like Ron Paul.

 

My personal moral values align with the Republicans more and I don't really like the guys o'er at the left.

 

Seriously, you cannot compare Obama and Palin. The only reason why Palin attracts huge crowds is because she's relatively new to the national political scene and people also turn up to see how dumb she can get.

 

Obama is YOUR President. At least give him some due respect. I thank god that Sarah Palin was not elected. Joe Biden has more than 20 years of foreign affairs experience, what does our dear Palin has? The nearest thing she has to foreign policy experience is staying opposite Russia. She has not been to anywhere else but Canada and the US. How can such a shallow minded, bimbotic person be elected? Based on what? Looks?

 

If you call Obama's speeches hollow, Palin's just as bad or even worst! Its filled with nonsense and her recent bullshit about death panels is just pathetic. Trying to thwart your President's efforts by churning out false rumors is nothing patriotic!

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If you call Obama's speeches hollow, Palin's just as bad or even worst! Its filled with nonsense and her recent bullshit about death panels is just pathetic. Trying to thwart your President's efforts by churning out false rumors is nothing but patriotic!

 

I'm a little confused by your sentence that I put in bold. So you're using liberal playbook tactics and trying to destroy Sarah Palin, yet you are calling her patriotic?! Don't get me wrong I agree 100% that she is 100 times more patriotic than Mr 'Apology Tour' Obama...its just confusing to see you bash her, then compliment her in the next sentence.

 

And by the way, everyone keeps saying the Republicans need "to moderate or risk becoming the minority party forever"...we ran the ultimate moderate in John McCain and lost 2 to 1 (it would have been worse, like 3 to 1 if not for a strong conservative like Sarah Palin), so I don't want to hear anymore of this liberal bullshit that says "Republicans have to moderate." Of course they want us to moderate, they beat a moderate Republican most of the time...now true conservatives will always win over a liberal (look at Nixon in the '70s, Reagan in the '80s, and God-willing Palin in 2012!)

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