A step towards "universal health care" run by the government? - page 2

search results - thomas (library of congress):: the text of the bill has not been published yet, but this looks like one more step towards universal health care. what do you think?... Read More

  1. by   augigi
    I agree with the above post's quoted article - I'm in Australia and it's all very simple with universal healthcare (although the government "encourages" people to take out additional private health cover by way of an additional medicare tax if you don't). I am completely baffled by the HMO/PPO/copay/deductible system!
  2. by   outcomesfirst
    Quote from ejm
    you think that state or federal agencies should take the place of private insurers?

    imo, except for national defense, minting money, building highways and running police forces, there isn't anything the government can do better than the free market.
    the empirical data is there. u.s. citizens spent $5,267 per capita for health care in 2002—53 percent more than any other country (gerard f. anderson, peter s. hussey, bianca k. frogner and hugh r. waters, 2005). health spending equaled 14.6 percent of u.s. gdp in 2002. only two other countries, switzerland and germany, spent more than 10 percent of their gdp on health care. international data on quality that exist—life expectancy and infant mortality statistics—place the united states in the bottom quartile of industrialized countries. population surveys have shown that the extra spending is probably not buying better experiences with the health care system, with the exception of shorter waits for non-urgent surgery. (peter s. hussey, gerard f. anderson, robin osborn, colin feek, vivienne mclaughlin, john millar, and arnold epstein 2004) the united states pays much higher prices than other countries for pharmaceuticals, hospital stays, and physician visits – these costs are all ultimately paid for by the tax payer through the cost shifting system developed to - wait for it – pay for care of the uninsured. an unexpected benefit of employer based insurance (a wwii incentive) and medicare (an initiative to help the elderly and the economy) was that health care organizations and physicians now had steady, guaranteed streams of income – and we were off to the races. incomes soared, individuals interested (venture capitalists) in profits began to invest in health care, and being a physician was becoming seriously profitable. universal health care in the us is long overdue to hard working people, basic human decency requires we provide it. using revenues to provide care, rather than a source of income is the imperative now and for the future of the united states. there is nothing wrong with profits or making money –just not at the expense of lives. what we need is basic system that immunizes every child; that anyone who needs an antibiotic gets one; that unclogs ers, that ensures a car accident does not wipe out a middle class family financially and so on. yes, choices will have to be made – do we build a new plastic surgery center or a new primary care office? do we keep patients on ventilators for 2 months, or do we accept terminal illness? hard, but necessary decisions - irrespective of payor source. health care for the masses must become what is necessary – education, prevention and treatment, not what is desired and not as a source of profits. as a nation and as individuals we must find other sources of individual revenue and wealth building. we must support healthcare education for all professions – money must stop being an obstacle to a career as a nurse, physician, or researcher and greed must not be a motivator to enter health professions. if that means an individual must wait 4 weeks for knee surgery – so be it. of course the government must run this program – our ‘government’ is why we live in the greatest country on earth.
    again, i am not sure what this new hr bill is and cannot make a decision about it with out the facts, but surely the available data tells us we must do something. change is incremental, perhaps this will be a first step.
    Last edit by outcomesfirst on Dec 9, '06 : Reason: spelling
  3. by   GardenDove
    i just want to point that the life expectancy in canada is higher than that in the united states. top 10 countries listed below.

    1.andorra 83.52.san marino 81.7 singapore 81.74.japan 81.25.australia 80.5 sweden 80.5 switzerland 80.58.iceland 80.39.canada 80.210.italy 79.8
  4. by   GardenDove
    Here is a complete table, click on the link. The United States does beat Paraquay by 3 years, I'm happy to report. We are on par with Portugal, Spain beats us by 2 years, UK also beats us, in spite of their 'inferior' healthcare system.

    Life Expectancy Country Comparison Table - Yahoo! Education
  5. by   GardenDove
    In nursing these days, we hear so much about 'evidence based' research, etc, ad nauseum. Anyone care to refute the cold hard facts that our Healthcare system is not delivering the goods? It's expensive and inefficient, giving a false sense of personal autonomy that Americans so cherish.
    Last edit by GardenDove on Dec 9, '06 : Reason: spelling
  6. by   jyoung1950
    You say that the Canadian government pays for your health care costs? How do they get that money to pay for your health care.
  7. by   Multicollinearity
    My Canadian relatives are happier with their healthcare compared to my American relatives. I have a large extended family that is in both countries. Anecdotal, I know...but still. They think we are silly and pigheaded for relying upon our employers for health insurance, paying more per person, and having 45 million uninsured. They pay less per person, cover everyone, and have better overall outcomes (life expectancy, infant mortality). It really is screwy if you think about it. Why do we rely upon employers for health insurance? It got started in the mid 1900's when companies wanted tax breaks for offering certain benefits to employees.

    So you think you can go get insurance on your own and pull yourself up by your own bootstraps, government is bad, blah blah blah? Good luck with that. I was a health insurance broker for 10 years. Less than 25% of people who try to get health insurance on their own are able to qualify for policies without exclusions for pre-existing conditions. Many are simply declined coverage altogether. It's not that the health insurance companies are evil, because actually they aren't. It's just that the healthy people out there are going without insurance and it's the ultra-responsible or those with health problems that show up wanting to buy health insurance. It's like towing the car that you just totalled to a State Farm office and saying "I'd like to get insurance now." It doesn't work that way. The entire system of private healthcare funding is broken and wasteful.

    Does anyone know about the system in Switzerland? I'd like to learn more about their system of healthcare funding. They do in fact use private companies to administer it, but it is universal coverage in nature.
    Last edit by Multicollinearity on Dec 9, '06
  8. by   ZASHAGALKA
    I propose that we amend the Internal Revenue Code to eliminate the Internal Revenue Code.

    Socialism is always more inefficient and always costs more. There are more costs issues at play in any system than price.

    Canada's system marginally works in large part because they have the U.S. as an outlet. Where are Americans going to go for that outlet? Mexico?

    Where is the world going to go for the next great drug when socialists manage to shut our production pipelines?

    You can point to life expectancy tables all you want. WHO relies on self reporting. If the U.S. reports every baby that dies as a death, from say 26 weeks on, but other nations only count from say, 38 weeks forward, you have a wonderful statistic that bears no resemblance to reality.

    Besides, Americans eat and exercise much less than several other nations. Those statistics speak much more about our LIFESTYLE choices then they do our HEALTHCARE availability.

    This constant notion of theft by redistribution is a defeated idea, one, as President Reagan so eloquently stated, that is destined for the ash heaps of history.

    It isn't charity, either in name or deed.

    Last edit by ZASHAGALKA on Dec 10, '06
  9. by   pickledpepperRN
  10. by   tgb3rn
    I only have this to say. I work two full time jobs and still can not afford health insurance at the hospital where I work. It costs me $600.00 a month for family coverage. I only make $17hr --rural middle of nowhere pay. This is INSANE!!!!!
    I don't like the government involved in everything but SOMETHING has to change.
  11. by   outcomesfirst
    Great thoughts from everyone - this really is an issue that must be addressed. I encourage everyone to get informed,find the data and read it yourself. Be aware of blanket statements without references, always go to the source and develop your own opinion. The internet has made this so much easier now. Below is a great link for US health data, does anyone know of a site for aggregate international data?
    N C H S - Publications and Information Products - Series 10, Number 221 to Present
    Also - I have found the Australian Health System very interesting - its a hybrid public/private situation. Here is a link Australian Health Care Agreements
    You have to dig around abit, but well worth it.
    Cheers to all, great discussion!
  12. by   Pepper The Cat
    [QUOTE If you want to see what a bad idea socialist healthcare is, go look at Canada's system. People waiting months and months for urgent surgeries. Poor quality doctors, etc.
    Yes, Canada has longer wait times. That's because everyone has equal access - not just rich people.And I don't believe our doctors are any different that those trained in the States.
    Secondly, everyone can get health care. Are there not people in the States who cannot get health care insurance because of pre-existing conditions? And sometimes insurance only covers part of your health care?
    Yes, our taxes are higher because of OHIP - but at least I know that if I get hit by a bus tommorrow, I won't lose my home because of health care bills!
  13. by   talaxandra
    What is it with some of you and the association between socialism and universal health care? Australia, New Zealand, Canada and the UK are not now, nor have they ever been, havens for socialism. However, we do all seem to have the idea that providing an even playing field for the most vulnerable among us helps the population as a whole.

    I don't know how the Canadian system is funded. In Australia all income earners over a certain threshhold pay 1% of their taxable income as a Medicare levy (which is wholly different from the US version of Medicare). Any income earner who grosses more than $AU50,000/pa and who does not have private health insurance pays an extra 1%. So in 2004 (to grab my closest tax return) my levy was $AU1460 - I had substantial pre-gross deductions, and choose not to pay for health insurance I don't need, in favour of contributing to the universal health care I strongly believe in supporting.

    For that money I have any medications I need heavily subsidised under the Pharmaceutical Benefit Scheme (most, but not all, medications are subsidised). If I had a chronic illness and my medical expenses exceeded the maximum payable, all my subsequent medications would be free. I have more than half the cost of every GP visit reimbursed, and the option of going to a bulk-billing facility, which costs me nothing. I have never paid for a blood test, an x-ray or a casualty visit.

    On the two occasions I've had elective surgery (both dental), I chose to go private. The second of these was three years ago. Without insurance, I paid a total of just under three thousand dollars for oral surgery under a GA, with a night in hospital, IV hydration, three scripts on discharge, and a check up ten days later.

    I work in a world class public hospital, with the world's second largest lung transplant unit, the Southern hemisphere's largest hyperbaric unit, and Australia's largest intensive care unit. I never have more than four patients on a day shift, or eight overnight. My patients receive expert, round the clock care, from registered nurses (no patient attendants except as one-to-one carers for at-risk patients), with free rehabilitation if required.

    Despite the fact that Australia's obesity statistics are seond only to the US, I have a current life expectancy of eighty-three, seventy nine if I was male.

    That would shamefully drop to only if I were indigenous). Australia's track record on indigenous health is appalling (life expectancy is fully twenty years lower than for non-indigenous Australians). But if we're reporting an infant mortality rate three times higher in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Island populations, I suspect we're not counting infant deaths differently than the US does. And indigenous Canadians have a life expectancy of 79.2 years, which is close to the general Canadian population.

    In 2004 Australia spent $2,874 per capita, or 9.5% of the GDP, on health care. Canada? $2,989/9.9%. New Zealand spent $1.893 or 8.1%, while the UK spent $2.389 or 8.0% GDP.

    The US spent $5,711, or 15.2%.

    So we spend less, have better outcomes, and fewer cracks for people to fall through. Universal health care isn't charity, and it isn't socialism. It's common sense.