Unheralded facts about American health care


  • 2018 2017 '16 '11 Moderator

    Taken from Scott Atlas, Reporter the Washington Times (2/23/09)

    a) Americans have better survival rates from both common and rare cancers than Europeans. (Sources: Lancet Oncology, 7, No. 2 (Feb 2006): 132-40; Verdecchia et al., “Recent Cancer Survival in europe: A 2000-02 Period Analysis of EUROCARE-4 Data,” Lancef Oncology, No. 8 (2007): 784-96.)

    b) Americans have significantly better survival rates from cancer than Canadians. (Sources: United States Cancer Statistics, National Program of Cancer Registries, Centers for Disease Control; Canadian Cancer Society - National Cancer Institute of Canada; O’Neill and Dave M. O’Neill, “Health Status, Health Care and Inequality: Canada vs. the US”, National Bureau of Economic Research, NBER Working paper 13429, September 2007 (Available at http://www.nber.org/papers/w13429.))

    c) Americans have better access to preventive screening for major cancers than canadians. (Source: O’Neill and O’Neal, “Health Status, health Care and Inequality: Canada vs. the US.” table 😎

    d) Americans have better access to treatment for chronic diseases than Canadians. (Source: O’Neill and o’Neill, “Health Status, Health Care and Inequality: Canada vs. the US.”)

    e) A marker for inequality of access and quality of health systems, the “health-income gradient” (ie that higher incomes achieve better health and lower incomes mean worse health) for adults 16-64 years old reveals a more severe disparity in Canada than in the United States. (Source: O’Neill and O’Neill, “Health Status, Health Care and Inequality: Canada vs the US.”)

    f) In the United Kingdom and Canada, patients wait far longer than Americans (about twice as long, sometimes even more than a year) to see a specialist, have elective surgery like hip replacements or cataracts, or get radiation treatment for cancer. (Sources: “Waiting Your Turn, (17th edition) Hospital Waiting Lists in Canada”; Critical Issues Bulletin 2007; N. Esmail, Michael A. Walker MA, and M. Bank, Studies in Health Care Policy, August 2008; N. Esmail and D. Wrona “Medical Technology in Canada,” Fraser Institute; Sharon Willcox et al., “Measuring and Reducing Waiting Times: A Cross-National Comparison of Strategies,” Health Affairs 26, No. 4 (July/August 2007): 1078-87; O’Neill and O’Neill, “Health Status, Health Care and Inequality: Canada vs the US.” M.V. Williams et al., “Radiotherapy Dose Fractionation, Access and Waiting Times in the Countries of the U. K. in 2005,” Royal College of Radiologists, Clincal Oncology 19, No. 5 (June 2007, 273-286)

    g) Sixty percent of Western Europeans say their health systems need “urgent” reform. (Source: H. Disney et al., “Impatient for Change: European Attitudes to Health-Care Reform”; The Stockholm Network, 2004.)

    h) More than 70 percent of Germans, Canadians, Australians, New Zealanders and UK Adults (all countries in the survey except the Netherlands with “only” 58 percent) say their health systems need either “fundamental change” or “complete rebuilding.” (Source: C. Schoen, R. Osborn, MM Doty, M. Bushop, J. Peugh and N. Murukutla, “Toward Higher-Performance Health Systems: Adults’ Health Care Experiences in Seven Countries, 2007” Health Affairs 26, No. 6 (2007): w717-w734)

    i) Although much maligned by economists and targeted by policymakers, an overwhelming majority of America’s leading physicians themselves recently listed the computerized tomography (CT) scan and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) as the most important medical innovations in improving patient care in the previous decade. (Scource: VR Fucks and HC Sox Jr. “Physicians’ Views of the Relative Importance of 30 medical Innovations,” health Affairs 20, No. 5 (2001): 30-42)

    j) By any measure, the vast majority of all the innocations in health care in the world comes out of the US health-care system. (Sources: “The US Health Car System as an Engine of Innocations,” in the 2008 Economic Report of the President, Chapter 4, Economic Research from the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis, Federal Reserve Archival Service for Economic Research; T. Cowen, New York Times, Oct. 5, 2006; Boburn et al., Heritage Lecture No. 1030, April 2007; T. Boehm, Journal of Medical Marketing 5, No. 2 (2005): 158-66; US Department of Health and Human Services, July 2002.)


    I guess all those alleged health care “experts” on the television telling us that we have really bad health care and we need to change to something else is kinda bunk, huh?  Considering that it seems the rest of the world is either trying to make their health-care systems as good as our or shelling out buku bucks to come to America for medical treatment, perhaps we should leave what we have alone.

    As Dr. Fred Ettner (NW Community Hospital, Evanston, IL) has said numerous times:

    If it is not broken, DO NOT FIX IT!

    let me just add, not only should it not be fixed, but we definitely should not try to fix it by making it more like Canada and England/Europe!  Not given this data and all the other data showing our system is currently better than their system!


    Note:  This is not a political rant.  This is a discussion about health care, not politics.  Feel free to mention Sicko by Michael Moore or data from real sources like the ones listed above but please refrain from terms like HillaryCare or Universal Healthcare. (UHC could be referred too as something non-politically charged like Single Source Healthcare since “Single Source” does not necessarily mean the United States Government, it could be Blue Cross/Blue Shield or United Health Care or even Tri-Care for that matter.)


  • 2017 '16 '15 Organizer '14 Customizer '13 '12 '11 '10

    Feel free to mention Sicko by Michael Moore or data from real sources like the ones listed above but please refrain from terms like HillaryCare or Universal Healthcare.

    No. doing that would make it political. lets not spiral down that path this time.



  • I would be the first to agree that the health care in the US is first rate.  The current “crisis” doesn’t have anything to do with the quality of such care.  It’s all in the costs.  Since 2000, health care costs have risen 58% while earnings have only increased 3% (Source: Kaiser Family Foundation / Bureau of Labor Statistics).


  • 2018 2017 '16 '11 Moderator

    Is the increase in cost realistic?

    For instance, if medical malpractice insurance went up 60% then you might justify increased costs to the patients to recover that money and maintain an equilibrium in doctor pay.

    or, if companies developing drugs have new fees and certification costs that increase their costs, you would expect them to increase the costs of their medical products to make up for those increased costs.

    BTW, Michael Moore is not political, he’s just a very, VERY bad comedian who cannot even figure out how to do the most basic research. heh.

    Anyway, back on topic, it seems to me that the best health care system that mankind knows of is already being implemented domestically.  Instead of trying to move to a system that has a track record far worse than the one we currently have, perhaps we should look to improving what we have?

    For instance, you say that costs have risen too fast.  Perhaps that means we need to make it harder to sue insurance companies that insure doctors and hospitals?  Or perhaps we need to reduce the fees and regulatory costs on drug manufacturers so they can lower their costs?

    In other words, perhaps the problems we perceive in the American method of Health Care (for lack of a better term) is not a problem with the health care itself, but with the ancillary costs of things related to health care?



  • I am soooo glad I already have the VA, so honestly I could care less what changes are made to the US health care system.

    A Porsche may be the best car in the world but if you cant afford it and that is all there is you will be walking.


  • 2017 '16 '15 Organizer '14 Customizer '13 '12 '11 '10

    Moore is definatly political. Thats all he is.

    also Porsche:

    Piece
    Of
    Rotten
    Sh*t
    Crummy
    Horrible
    Engine

    I had the worst time driving one of those crappy SUV’s

    nothing but hundreds of stupid .5 inch buttons located in strange places with absolutely no freeking orientation of what they do, and the next thing that happens is all sorts of assorted noises warning you of a whole host of incidentals you don’t want to nor need to know. Porsche should stick you making tank barrels again. I hate it when a car company refuses to keep the standard automotive ergonomic traditions thinking they are somehow smarter for doing it completely different when in reality its stupid and frustrating.



  • Well honestly, IL when they stopped making air-cooled Porsches they stopped making REAL Porsches.


  • 2017 '16 '15 Organizer '14 Customizer '13 '12 '11 '10

    yea you mean those VW 914’s?

    I always loved to mention that model to the (pronounced “Porch”) people. It was the most popular model because it defeated the “fancy car” mystique and make the car into a populist, economical toy two seater. But it moved about as fast as a snail, and the whole car took the massive nosedive in prestige. If you didn’t keep moving the car you might blow a head gasket. The car kinda reminds me of france actually.



  • No I was thinking more in line of the 911s.


  • 2007 AAR League

    @Cmdr:

    b) Americans have significantly better survival rates from cancer than Canadians.

    No, they don’t.

    I read the paper and it said, “mortality/incidence ratios for various cancers tend to be higher in Canada.” Nowhere does it say significantly higher. You’re twisting the paper’s message around, here.

    The only place it uses the word “significantly” is when it says “a significantly higher percentage of U.S. women and men are screened for major forms of cancer”. I would say that there is a very large difference between being screened for cancer and actually dying from it.

    g) Sixty percent of Western Europeans say their health systems need “urgent” reform.

    h) More than 70 percent of Germans, Canadians, Australians, New Zealanders and UK Adults (all countries in the survey except the Netherlands with “only” 58 percent) say their health systems need either “fundamental change” or “complete rebuilding.”

    What does this have to do with our system needing or not needing reform?

    An analogy of your statements:

    The Commander and her neighbor both have broken down cars.

    Her neighbor says, “My car is broken down and needs to be fixed”.

    The Commander says, “My car is not broken down because my neighbor says his car needs to be fixed”.

    i) Although much maligned by economists and targeted by policymakers, an overwhelming majority of America’s leading physicians themselves recently listed the computerized tomography (CT) scan and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) as the most important medical innovations in improving patient care in the previous decade.

    j) By any measure, the vast majority of all the innovations in health care in the world comes out of the US health-care system.

    These two statements have even less to do with our health care system needing or not needing reform than the previous statement.

    Most doctors like the CT and MRI. And most medical research breakthroughs happen here. So what?

    What do those two things have to do with how long John Doe has to wait in the waiting room, how much he has to pay out of pocket, or if his doctor ordered unneccesary procedures?

    I guess all those alleged health care “experts” on the television telling us that we have really bad health care and we need to change to something else is kinda bunk, huh?  Considering that it seems the rest of the world is either trying to make their health-care systems as good as our or shelling out buku bucks to come to America for medical treatment, perhaps we should leave what we have alone.

    As Dr. Fred Ettner (NW Community Hospital, Evanston, IL) has said numerous times:

    If it is not broken, DO NOT FIX IT!

    let me just add, not only should it not be fixed, but we definitely should not try to fix it by making it more like Canada and England/Europe!  Not given this data and all the other data showing our system is currently better than their system!

    You say our system needs no reform because:

    A) Our system compares favorably to Canada’s(not every country, just Canada) with regard to cancer treatment, chronic diseases, waiting times, and screening tests.

    B) Some(not all) of the countries in Europe(including Canada, New Zealand, and Australia but not the rest of the world) don’t like their own system.

    C) Medical research in this country is good and doctors like it.

    Since we are the richest country in the world, this is the question we should be answering to determine if our health care system needs reform:

    Is our system the very best in the world in ALL categories? (I’ll accept being in the top 3)

    If you can answer “yes” to this question, with proof, then our system doesn’t need reform. But, if you answered “no” then the next question should be:

    If not, why not? And can we learn anything from the better systems?

    And just so we are clear, you should make a distinction between the “quality” of care and the “cost+insured/not insured” portions of the health care systems because you seem to be lumping them together. The fact that 30+ million people, in this country, don’t have health insurance has nothing to do with whether or not cancer treatment is better here than elsewhere.


    @Cmdr:

    Is the increase in cost realistic?

    For instance, if medical malpractice insurance went up 60% then you might justify increased costs to the patients to recover that money and maintain an equilibrium in doctor pay.

    or, if companies developing drugs have new fees and certification costs that increase their costs, you would expect them to increase the costs of their medical products to make up for those increased costs.

    That all depends on how much profit is realized in the increase in cost. You may end up paying for things like failed research in the costs of your medications but, don’t forget, the pharmaceutical companies are a special case. They are among the largest companies in the world and once they patent a drug, they are capable of charging any price they want until the patent runs out because they legally have no competition which seems almost anti-free market and ripe for abuse.

    Compare the oil companies to the pharmaceutical companies and you may be surprised. Many people have complained that the oil companies have been milking the public, and deservingly so, because they have been. But nobody seems to care that the drug companies are worse.

    Many of the oil companies are realizing profits of around 10% or their revenue. For example, Exxon Mobile had a 2008 revenue of almost $500 billion and a profit of about $45 billion. Now, compare that to, for example, Pfizer which had a 2007 revenue of $48 billion and a profit of $8 billion. That’s almost 17%. And many of the drug companies are pushing 20% profits on a regular basis.

    Perhaps that means we need to make it harder to sue insurance companies that insure doctors and hospitals?

    You might feel differently if you or someone you cared about went into the hospital to, say, have a bad kidney removed and they took out the good one by accident.

    Or perhaps we need to reduce the fees and regulatory costs on drug manufacturers so they can lower their costs?

    As I have said before, the drug companies are making ungodly amounts of profit and can easily afford to reduce their costs without hurting themselves financially. They just choose not to. In addition, despite the rigorous requirements imposed by the FDA, there are still drugs that make it into the public that end up being recalled for having unsuitable side effects.

    In other words, perhaps the problems we perceive in the American method of Health Care (for lack of a better term) is not a problem with the health care itself, but with the ancillary costs of things related to health care?

    This is one of the thought-provoking and insightful things you have ever said. Although, I think it is a combination of both.



  • Well, as Spanish, I must say that our health system is pretty good. I have not to fear of being ill and having to pay tons of money for it, it’s better paying a thiny bit each year (I have a work and I pay my taxes) and being safe. Of course, sometimes you have to wait much for a specialist (unless the illness is urgent, then you’ll get your doctor in no time), but this is not matter of the system itself, it’s a matter of that our so-called socialist government (and any past Spanish goverment by the way) doesn’t spent enough on health (and too much in royal crown  :-P, but I’m getting political). And even so, the doctors are pretty good.

    In resume: I prefer keeping Spanish health system as is now, but give it more money and use it wisely so it can work as designed!



  • In Norway the health system is pretty good, but the health care system is run by people, and not all people are pretty smart…

    Some politicians and health care executives think and act like it’s their hospitals and like the doctors are there employees. No system is better than the people at the top making decisions which affect both health care workers and patients. To less money is definitely the biggest problem, not the system by itself, and Norway spends less on health care than the US, in % relative to the GNP.

    Some years ago people started complaining, because  patients in Germany didn’t have to wait several months to get a surgical treatment.


  • 2018 2017 '16 '11 Moderator

    Let me clarify, the items denoted by letters a through j are direct quotes from Scott Atlas.  If he distorted something that is his issue, I am not distorting anything, I am just putting down what he wrote and then at the bottom, delineated by a horizontal rule, my comments.


    I think there are bigger issues today than universal or centrally controlled health care for everyone.

    However, I do believe that the best method of health care for our citizenry is the one we currently have because the alternative - at least the one we know about - is far worse, as demonstrated in Scott Atlas’ report.  Just about every nation that is currently employing a centrally organized health care plan (regardless of who the central controlling agency is) has a worse plan than what we currently have.

    So the thought comes to mind, if I had a Corvette, brand new, with a full warranty and someone offered me a Stock Delorean with 250,000 miles on it, no warranty in trade for the Corvette, why in the world would I make the trade?  The Corvette’s still in perfectly working order and is functioning way better than the delorean could possibly be performing!


    U-505:

    I do not believe that America is the “richest country in the world.”  I believe China might have that honor now.

    America is the most technologically and medically advanced country in the world and I believe this is due in great part to the fact that our doctors, hospitals and medical equipment manufacturers need to be the best in order to get the money.  If we took away the need for them to be the best and instead, evened the playing field so even the worst doctor got the same income as the best doctor - like in systems run by central controlling agencies - then our technological and medical edge would dissolve and some nation that is currently using competition to produce the best would have the best instead of us.

    Also, your car analogy is off.

    More Realistic:

    My neighbor has a Volvo and I have a Prius.

    Yes, the Volvo will get you to work and back just like the Prius, but why would I give up the technology, the comfort and the fuel efficiency of the Prius and get forced to drive a Volvo?

    Why should I give up the comfort, efficiency and technology of the American health care system and get forced to use a worse system that may result in my untimely death like the ones in Europe and Canada when I have something better?  Sure, if I don’t have anything better than what Canada or Europe has, then it’d be great to have what they have, but if I have better, why should I downgrade?


    Anyway, A44bigdog, what state are you in that the VA is actually doing a decent job for you?

    I’m 6 weeks into a 24 week waiting period to get an MRI, my VA facility is over 40 miles from my house, there is no VA provided transportation nor reimbursement on travel expenses to get there, I do not have any control over what quack they assign to my case (and it changes on a semi-annual basis), when i get there I have to wait 4 hours, even when I am early and the machine is antiquated technology.

    Honestly, the worst thing in the world is the VA system, I bet it’s even worse than the Canadian or European system!  Hell, if it were not for the piles of aspirin in their pharmacy, it’d be worse than the Cuban system!  I’ve actually contemplated if it would be worth it or not to cut off my breast instead of going to the Illinois VA, Centralized Universal Health Care facility - since with my breast removed I could legitimately go to a real hospital (like Alexian Brothers which is in walking distance, or Northwest Community which is world renowned) and be allowed to “miss” my appointment without jeopardizing my service connected disability payments. (Lousy arsed gov’t is always trying to short change us War Vets with War Wounds.  Sure, frazzin good for nothing gang bangers get their welfare checks, but may the gods forbid those of us who stood up and took a bullet for our nation get our pay without jumping through 40 billion hoops then explaining why we were able to get through the hoops!)



  • @Cmdr:

    However, I do believe that the best method of health care for our citizenry is the one we currently have because the alternative - at least the one we know about - is far worse, as demonstrated in Scott Atlas’ report.  Just about every nation that is currently employing a centrally organized health care plan (regardless of who the central controlling agency is) has a worse plan than what we currently have.

    I can’t fathom saying that our system is the best one, especially when ever-greater numbers of people are forced to go without health care and more companies are forced to exclude health insurance from their benefits just because of the costs (There are some good statistics over at the NCHC)

    Not every nation that has nationalized health care is having problems with their system.  There are several countries in the Far East that have systems that appear to work well.  Take Japan, for instance.  It works because of the culture there.  Ultimately, health care will work if it addresses the culture of the nation it is being implemented into.  There are a myriad of ways to implement it, so to think of nationalized health care as a single static entity isn’t quite correct since there are many flavors around the world.

    @Cmdr:

    I do not believe that America is the “richest country in the world.”  I believe China might have that honor now.

    Nope.  Not even close.  According to the CIA World Factbook, GDP for 2008:

    USA - 14,330,000,000,000
    China - 4,222,000,000,000

    No other single country even approaches the GDP of the US.  Only the European Union as a whole has a greater GDP.


  • 2018 2017 '16 '11 Moderator

    Not really looking at GDP.  China owns the United States by owning our debt.  So how can we possibly be richer than they are?

    Anyway, not saying our system is the best system possible, but it is better than the systems that are centrally controlled by an agency without competition. (Whether that is a government, a company or another single controlling agency)



  • @Cmdr:

    Not really looking at GDP.  China owns the United States by owning our debt.  So how can we possibly be richer than they are?

    GDP sure seems to me like an adequate measure of national wealth.  You’re also blowing our debt owned by China way out of proportion.  As of 11/08, China only owns 22% of our debt, or $682 billion.  How is 682 > 14,330???

    @Cmdr:

    Anyway, not saying our system is the best system possible, but it is better than the systems that are centrally controlled by an agency without competition. (Whether that is a government, a company or another single controlling agency)

    Define “better”.



  • A system that leaves about 10-15 % of population (not sure about the exact percent but anyway is enough great) without health care is not the better system. In Spain, 100 % of population gets health care (even inmigrants have the right of using it), and waiting times issues could be solved by proper use of the money and human resources (and we could get that with better politicians, a thing we cannot have while we stick to crappy two-parties-closed-lists system  :-P, but that’s another issue )



  • Revise what I posted.  China owns 22% of the debt owned by foreign nations.  This translates to only ~6% of our total debt.


  • 2018 2017 '16 '11 Moderator

    How does your chart stack compared to total US Debt (including citizens) to domestics and foreigners?

    Just curious.

    Anyway, you asked for my definition of “better.”

    Better:  To be a better health care system it must have superior technology, superior medical knowledge, superior medicine, superior infant and elderly survival rates and/or superior disease and injury survival rates.

    Obviously, a system does not have to be superior in all aspects to be better than another system.  Being superior in significantly more aspects than the other system would allow the system to be called better.

    For instance, if the Nation of Ik had a universal health care system but had no aspirin or other drugs to treat illnesses and injuries, the doctors were trained witch doctors with no university level medical training, but everyone had equal access to medical treatments, it would not be “better” than the system in a Nation of Ugtir where every medical professional has to graduate in the top 50% of their class to get a medical license, drugs and medical technology is plentiful and available, but people had to chose between hospital and doctor A vs hospital and doctor B where A may be more or less expensive and qualified than B is.

    In the above example, with two made up, non-existent nations as examples, it is obvious that the health care system in Ugtir is far superior, and thus better, than system in Ik.

    Given that Ugtir has a far superior system, one which is not perfect, one where some people just plain out cannot afford the absolute best medicine available for their needs, but one where the medicine needed at least exists to be bought, why would they voluntarily hamstring themselves and move to the system employed by Ik?



  • @Cmdr:

    For instance, if the Nation of Ik had a universal health care system but had no aspirin or other drugs to treat illnesses and injuries, the doctors were trained witch doctors with no university level medical training, but everyone had equal access to medical treatments, it would not be “better” than the system in a Nation of Ugtir where every medical professional has to graduate in the top 50% of their class to get a medical license, drugs and medical technology is plentiful and available, but people had to chose between hospital and doctor A vs hospital and doctor B where A may be more or less expensive and qualified than B is.

    European Union countries have aspirin, other drugs and pretty good well doctors with pretty good academical knowledge and, in the mine, they have to pass 6 years of university and 2 years of MIR (google that one) AND we have a universal health care system AND we can choose hospital and doctor, a bunch of things that many poor people in a private healthcare system cannot do


  • 2018 2017 '16 '11 Moderator

    I did not say that European Nations did not have that.  I created two fictional nations on purpose to show a dichotomy in an effort to explain the way I am using the term “better”.

    I can say that the current incarnation of universal health care in the United States (the VA system) is an abysmal failure.  There are long waiting lists for the most basic of treatments, your case manager does not even know what you look like, you’re just a number on a form, you cannot establish a re pore with your physician since you never see the same guy more than two or three times before being assigned to a new doctor and if that was not bad enough, the technology is pretty antiquated compared to the stuff available to private doctors and hospitals.

    Since this is the current incarnation of universal health care in the United States, it only stands to reason that this would be the model used by the United States if it were to adopt a universal health care for every citizen instead of the poor schmucks who got injured fighting this nation’s wars.

    Keep in mind, the current system is designed for American Heroes.  I can well imagine a system far worse for the average citizen if this is how the heroes are treated. (Hero being a war veteran who was injured in the line of duty defending this nation against a perceived threat, regardless of if you approve or disapprove that the the other nation was a threat or that the war should or should not have been fought.)



  • @Cmdr:

    How does your chart stack compared to total US Debt (including citizens) to domestics and foreigners?

    Just curious.

    The pie chart, as a whole, accounts for ~$3.1 trillion.  Our total Federal debt as of Feb. 2009 is ~$10.8 trillion.  The Federal public debt is ~$6.5 trillion.  Public debt is all federal debt held by states, corporations, individuals, and foreign governments, but does not include intragovernmental debt obligations or debt held in the Social Security Trust Fund.

    @Cmdr:

    Anyway, you asked for my definition of “better.”

    Better:  To be a better health care system it must have superior technology, superior medical knowledge, superior medicine, superior infant and elderly survival rates and/or superior disease and injury survival rates.

    Obviously, a system does not have to be superior in all aspects to be better than another system.  Being superior in significantly more aspects than the other system would allow the system to be called better.

    For instance, if the Nation of Ik had a universal health care system but had no aspirin or other drugs to treat illnesses and injuries, the doctors were trained witch doctors with no university level medical training, but everyone had equal access to medical treatments, it would not be “better” than the system in a Nation of Ugtir where every medical professional has to graduate in the top 50% of their class to get a medical license, drugs and medical technology is plentiful and available, but people had to chose between hospital and doctor A vs hospital and doctor B where A may be more or less expensive and qualified than B is.

    In the above example, with two made up, non-existent nations as examples, it is obvious that the health care system in Ugtir is far superior, and thus better, than system in Ik.

    Given that Ugtir has a far superior system, one which is not perfect, one where some people just plain out cannot afford the absolute best medicine available for their needs, but one where the medicine needed at least exists to be bought, why would they voluntarily hamstring themselves and move to the system employed by Ik?

    I agree that, by your definition, our health care system is better (than most at any rate).  Somebody else’s definition may also include the ability to keep costs down so that everybody can afford it.  But that is a semantic argument, which will get us nowhere fast.  What you seem to be assuming, though, is that the quality of care will necessarily decrease as an effect of nationalization.  How did you reach this assumption?

    EDIT - Your last post pretty much answers my question.  Commentary to follow…


  • 2018 2017 '16 '11 Moderator

    It seems to be historically accurate that whenever a monopoly is created, the value of the services or goods decreases.

    For instance, domestically in the United States, we have:

    Universal Health Care for Disabled American Soldiers - Care?  Abysmal.  Worse than abysmal.  It’s a crime really.

    vs

    Publicly Traded Health Care - Short waiting lists for services needed, easy access to drugs (needed or not!), good samaritan laws requiring physicians to perform life saving, limb saving or sight saving services on patients regardless of ability to pay for services rendered or reimburse for supplies used or not. (Life, Limb or Eye Sight is guaranteed no matter what, if a physician or hospital refuses those services, they can be sued and shut down.)

    We could look at the post office:

    Government program: Postal employees might get your mail delivered within a week, as long as it is within the contiguous 48 states and there is not some obscure holiday that they get off.

    vs

    Private System: Fedex, UPS and DHL not only get the same mail delivered 700% faster (next day, not next week) but can do so with tracking information, guarantee of delivery by specific times and minimal cost.

    Outside of the military, I honestly do not think any system that is based on a monopoly can function as well or as efficiently as a system based on competition for goods and services.  It just seems no matter what you look at throughout history, capitalism seems to do it better than central planning/monopolies do, regardless of who is in control of the monopoly or central planning system.

    (Of course, I also grew up under the reign of the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics, so I’ve seen just how tyrannical central authorities can be once the people are enslaved to their will.)



  • @Cmdr:

    Universal Health Care for Disabled American Soldiers - Care?  Abysmal.  Worse than abysmal.  It’s a crime really.

    That’s because its funding had been cut, and more soldiers were needing the assistance due to two engagements.  I can tell you who to blame, but you can figure it out.

    Publicly Traded Health Care - Short waiting lists for services needed, easy access to drugs (needed or not!), good samaritan laws requiring physicians to perform life saving, limb saving or sight saving services on patients regardless of ability to pay for services rendered or reimburse for supplies used or not. (Life, Limb or Eye Sight is guaranteed no matter what, if a physician or hospital refuses those services, they can be sued and shut down.)

    Assuming you have insurance, and assuming you are covered by said insurance.  It’s not always the case.

    Government program: Postal employees might get your mail delivered within a week, as long as it is within the contiguous 48 states and there is not some obscure holiday that they get off.

    Postal service works fine for me.  It probably works better with competition, but I think it’s a necessary service for a country.

    Private System: Fedex, UPS and DHL not only get the same mail delivered 700% faster (next day, not next week) but can do so with tracking information, guarantee of delivery by specific times and minimal cost.

    Not exactly correct.  You pay extra for next day shipping, which the USPS also offers.  You can also track shipment with the USPS.

    Outside of the military, I honestly do not think any system that is based on a monopoly can function as well or as efficiently as a system based on competition for goods and services.  It just seems no matter what you look at throughout history, capitalism seems to do it better than central planning/monopolies do, regardless of who is in control of the monopoly or central planning system.

    The military is historically highly reactive…I wouldn’t necessarily call them efficient.  There may be a variety of reasons for this, but as an institution they must adapt like all others.

    Capitalism has its own pitfalls.  I’m a firm believer that an amalgamation of all theories is probably the best.


  • 2018 2017 '16 '11 Moderator

    I agree, capitalism is not perfect.  It’s a far cry better than monarchy, dictatorship, communism and socialism, but probably not as good as small tribal leaders like the North American Forest Indians had for governments.

    As for the USPS, yes, you may purchase the same services from them as you can get from the other private companies, but it seems to be more expensive.  Maybe my area just have really good sales right now in the private sector, but the costs at the USPS seem unusually high for a government agency.

    I could see ways to reduce that cost, however.  If we ended USPS to the door delivery without charging an additional cost, we could cut the labor expenses of the USPS greatly and reduce postage rates to a point where it would be more efficient to use the USPS than another carrier.  But right now, things like tracking and over night delivery at places like FedEx are cheaper than delivery in a week without tracking at the USPS. (Right now it costs me 37 cents to have FedEx over night a letter within the same geographical area and I don’t need an envelope since I can use one of their recyclable envelopes (the ones where you pull out the address slip and put a new one in and reuse the same envelope.))  Until May, the USPS is charging me an Envelope + 42 Cents for delivery in the next 10 business days within the same geographical area, in May that price increases again (unless you stock piled forever stamps and can use those for a while!)

    As for assuming people have insurance, basically, if you are breathing in this country, you can get health insurance.  People without are either too cheap to get it or too uninformed to find it.  Neither of which is the problem of the average citizen.  However, even those without insurance are guaranteed medical services which they don’t even really need to pay for if they can prove they cannot afford it.

    BTW, when it comes to the military, don’t we want it to be reactive, not proactive?  I’d hate to turn on the news and hear a report that General Smith decided to take the 3rd Infantry division and invade Mexico preemptively and without congressional authority.  Much better for congress to give them the go ahead to react to a situation, IMHO.

    And finally, in regards to slashing VA benefits, I don’t think any president has done so in living memory.  They might not have increased it, but they didn’t slash it.  I do think we need to quintuple the funding to VA programs and increase VA disability compensation 5 fold as well.  But that’s not really an unbiased opinion on my part.


    PS:  If you wanted a real stimulus package, why not hire escort services to teach “sex ed” to all married couples in the United States?  At least it would be stimulating!


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