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  1. #21  
    One factor we're missing in this discussion is the unhealthy (sedimentary, fast-food-laden, super-sized) lifestyle in the US. We spend more on health care pe capita, in part, because our culture encourages illness.
  2. #22  
    Chuck:

    You don't think health insurance companies ration your healthcare? Go read the list of exclusions and limits in your policy. Your limits are certainly higher than others, but your care is rationed whether you choose to believe it or not. (Just try to get your insurance plan to pay for Viagra, for example--almost none will.)
    Bob Meyer
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  3. #23  
    Quote Originally Posted by shopharim
    One factor we're missing in this discussion is the unhealthy (sedimentary, fast-food-laden, super-sized) lifestyle in the US. We spend more on health care pe capita, in part, because our culture encourages illness.
    Great point. Along those same lines, we need to consider that when we make these comparisons many times we're comparing largely homogeneous European populations with the United States which is decidedly not homogeneous. When talking about health care we need to factor in that there are many different diseases and hereditary illnesses as well as cultural attitudes and practices that are brought into the US population from other countries.
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    #24  
    Quote Originally Posted by meyerweb
    Chuck:

    You don't think health insurance companies ration your healthcare? Go read the list of exclusions and limits in your policy. Your limits are certainly higher than others, but your care is rationed whether you choose to believe it or not. (Just try to get your insurance plan to pay for Viagra, for example--almost none will.)
    While this may be true, the issue that started this thread was for a drug to fight cancer, not Viagra. Are we really going to try to use that as support for the argument?
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  5. #25  
    Quote Originally Posted by shopharim
    One factor we're missing in this discussion is the unhealthy (sedimentary, fast-food-laden, super-sized) lifestyle in the US. We spend more on health care pe capita, in part, because our culture encourages illness.
    I agree with that. One of the reasons may be the competing interests. Money is to be made on so many sides. Money is made on 'healthy' living, money is made for 'eating on the go', money is made on health care advances, etc. They are not all interested in the same goal of people living longer, healthier lives.
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  6. #26  
    Just so you're all aware, private healthcare is widely available in the UK, and I for example qualify through my company. However the main benefits are seen as quicker access to treatment and more comfortable surroundings, not a better standard of care. Given the choice I would rather use (and have used) public healthcare because of the excellent standards, I don't trust private healthcare in the same way. The NHS is not a single organisation, it consists of different local 'trusts' which decide the spending priorities in their local area. The local trust for the woman in the original post have decided to concentrate their resources elsewhere, but they have the same amount of money per capita as trusts elsewhere in the country - it's not a case of one trust being richer than another. It is the case that in a richer area of the country people don't have the same levels of heart disease and smoking related illness etc. and therefore the trust can concentrate on diseases like breast cancer, that's the main cause of the 'postcode lottery'. In other words: inequalities in health lead to inequalities in healthcare. The inequalities are, however, minor compared to the equalities.
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  7. #27  
    Quote Originally Posted by PeterBrown
    Just so you're all aware, private healthcare is widely available in the UK, and I for example qualify through my company. However the main benefits are seen as quicker access to treatment and more comfortable surroundings, not a better standard of care. Given the choice I would rather use (and have used) public healthcare because of the excellent standards, I don't trust private healthcare in the same way. The NHS is not a single organisation, it consists of different local 'trusts' which decide the spending priorities in their local area. The local trust for the woman in the original post have decided to concentrate their resources elsewhere, but they have the same amount of money per capita as trusts elsewhere in the country - it's not a case of one trust being richer than another. It is the case that in a richer area of the country people don't have the same levels of heart disease and smoking related illness etc. and therefore the trust can concentrate on diseases like breast cancer, that's the main cause of the 'postcode lottery'. In other words: inequalities in health lead to inequalities in healthcare. The inequalities are, however, minor compared to the equalities.
    Excellent observation.
  8. #28  
    Quote Originally Posted by hoovs
    Is there somewhere I can see the statistics upon which you're basing your claims?
    I don't have sources at my fingertips, but the information on the money spent vs. outcomes has been documented and reported in numerous places, including newspapers and news magazines like Time or Newsweek. Google news searches should find specifics.

    If you're asking about my cost figures, like 1 heart transplant vs. x thousand of some other procedure, those numbers are for illustration only. I make no claim that they are precise. Except that I knew someone who had a heart transplant, and the cost of the procedure, the hospitalization, and the followup care and drugs was astromical. Certainly more than a million dollars. That was 15 or more years ago, and it might be cheaper now, but it's still got to be very expensive.
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  9. #29  
    Quote Originally Posted by cardio
    While this may be true, the issue that started this thread was for a drug to fight cancer, not Viagra. Are we really going to try to use that as support for the argument?
    It's an example, man. The POINT is that private health insurance companies make choices as to what drugs you can get paid for just like the British Government does. Some insurance companies will not longer cover drugs like Nexium because a similar drug, Prilosec, is available over the counter. Most insurance companies refuse to cover some of the new cancer treatments because they are "experimental."

    The POINT is that paying for health insurance doesn't guarantee you the right to whatever medical care you want. At best, it guarantees you the right to whatever health care the insurance company is willing to pay for. Just like the British system.

    If you don't like the British system because it makes your choices for you, and "rations" care, then you ought to be questioning our health insurance system, too. The only way YOU really get to choose exactly the health care you want is to pay for it out of your pocket. Any other way, and someone else is making at least some of those decisions for you.

    Get the point now?
    Bob Meyer
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  10. #30  
    Quote Originally Posted by 1911sforever
    LONDON, Feb. 15 — When her local health service refused to treat her breast cancer with the drug Herceptin, 54-year-old Ann Marie Rogers sued. But on Wednesday, a High Court judge ruled against her.

    In his decision the judge, David Bean, said that although he sympathized with Ms. Rogers's predicament, the health service in Swindon, where she lives, had been justified in withholding the drug.

    "The question for me is whether Swindon's policy is irrational and thus unlawful," Justice Bean wrote. "I cannot say it is."

    The ruling has potentially serious implications for patients across the taxpayer-financed National Health Service.

    Despite health officials' contention that decisions about treatment are based solely on clinical effectiveness, critics contend that with drugs growing ever more expensive, cost has become an increasingly important factor. They also say patients are at the mercy of the so-called postcode lottery, in which treatments are available in some postal zones but not others.

    "This drug could save the lives of 1,000 women a year," Jeremy Hughes, chief executive of the lobbying group Breakthrough Breast Cancer, said of Herceptin. "It is unfair and cruel for women like Ann Marie Rogers to know that it is money and their postcode that stands between them and this potentially life-saving treatment."

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    http://www.nytimes.com/glogin?URI=ht...JKyOQ20tQ5BQ24

    This is JUST what the Democrat "plan" that DA touts has in store for us.
    You must be joking - or have no idea at all about the results of your healthcare system in comparison to others (or the absence thereof). Which indicator are you interested in? Total costs for healthcare, costs per capita? For both, the US is the worldwide leader - the most expensive system ever. So whats the result of all that money? How about the beginning of life: One of the highest infant mortality rates among all industrialised countries (http://www.redflagsdaily.com/yazbak/2005_apr24_2.html). How about the end of life: one of the lowest life expectancies of all industrialised countries (rank 48 among all countries, just behind Puerto Rico, but still three ranks in front of Cuba, congrats (http://www.nationmaster.com/graph-T/...at_bir_tot_pop).

    Great Britain beats you on all counts when it comes to healthcare, even if there are still better systems then theirs...
    “Reality is that which, when you stop believing in it, doesn't go away.” (Philip K. ****)
  11. #31  
    Quote Originally Posted by cardio
    While this may be true, the issue that started this thread was for a drug to fight cancer, not Viagra. Are we really going to try to use that as support for the argument?
    My health insurance routinely rejects drugs like Celebrex, even though I get stomach problems with other NSAIDS like Aleve and ibuprofen.
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  12. NRG
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    #32  
    Point is socialized medicine will work. It has just got a dirty word in front of it, 'Socialized'. If the right to lifers where really where their mouth is, they would get behind such a system. Period.
  13. NRG
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    #33  
    Quote Originally Posted by aprasad
    My health insurance routinely rejects drugs like Celebrex, even though I get stomach problems with other NSAIDS like Aleve and ibuprofen.
    Correct, a point I made earlier. Although, I was thinking more along the lines of heart meds and such, Cardio you are in drug sales, right?
  14. #34  
    Quote Originally Posted by NRG
    Point is socialized medicine will work. It has just got a dirty word in front of it, 'Socialized'. If the right to lifers where really where their mouth is, they would get behind such a system. Period.
    First, what system can we look at to see a socialized system that works as well as ours for a population as diverse as ours? Second, what does RTL have to do with socialized medicine?
  15. #35  
    Quote Originally Posted by hoovs
    First, what system can we look at to see a socialized system that works as well as ours for a population as diverse as ours? Second, what does RTL have to do with socialized medicine?
    The system in the US is seriously broken. 45 million uninsured constitutes 15% of our total population. Under a universal system, everyone would receive a basic level of healthcare.
    One problem with some of the RTL people is their fixation on the fetus and insistance on carrying every baby to term. They say nothing about preventing unwanted pregnancies or how to care for the babies once they are born.
  16. #36  
    Quote Originally Posted by zvandiver
    The system in the US is seriously broken. 45 million uninsured constitutes 15% of our total population. Under a universal system, everyone would receive a basic level of healthcare.
    I've heard the criticisms and seen the same inflated numbers. But I haven't heard any kind of a feasible alternative.

    Quote Originally Posted by zvandiver
    One problem with some of the RTL people is their fixation on the fetus and insistance on carrying every baby to term. They say nothing about preventing unwanted pregnancies or how to care for the babies once they are born.
    That's altogether untrue. A great many RTL activists also work in counseling and adoption services, etc. These people just don't make the news. At any rate, how does this relate to socialized medicine?
  17. #37  
    There is "socialized" medicine in US that is VERY popular and no Republican or Conservative, neo or not, is even considering abolishing: Medicare (not Medicaid .. that is whole different thing). No one complains of service provided by Medicare, which controls costs very well. In fact, so well that when Bush decided to add drug coverage, the drug industry lobbied him to dis-allow negotiations on drug costs.

    My point is: there is a "Govt run" insurance program in the US. But you have to be old to make use of it.

    My choice would be to extend Medicare to all and allow the rich to add to the coverage through private insurance.
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  18. #38  
    Quote Originally Posted by aprasad
    My choice would be to extend Medicare to all and allow the rich to add to the coverage through private insurance.
    I like the idea but Im concerned about who bears the cost.
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  19. #39  
    It will have to be spread out over everybody, probably progressively. We (working people) already pay Medicare tax. Compare how much small that is compared to the total we pay for health insurance (our share and the employers share). And Medicare is running supluses !!

    My guess (and hope) is that the savings in overhead alone will be significant.

    Macroscopically speaking, when the 30% (or whatever that is) of the population that is currently un-insured gets folded-in into the system and get coverage, that is bound to increase the overall cost. It will have to come from either a) increased revenue and/or b) re-allocation of current expenses. Maybe fewer pork-barrel projects and 1 or 2 less B-12 bombers?

    The actuaries will have to do the numbers, but it is in-humane to deny health care to fellow humans in this modern (and rich) society.
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  20. #40  
    Quote Originally Posted by aprasad
    The actuaries will have to do the numbers, but it is in-humane to deny health care to fellow humans in this modern (and rich) society.
    I do agree and I think we could pay for it if we switched priorities.

    I understand the argument on denying someone health care but the flip side of the coin is that the uninsured wont pay for it even if it was cheaper. We as a society are very short sighted and only think in the short term. A perfect example of that is the average amount that people put aside and save compared to other countries of comparable size and economics. I am always concerned when we have to have the government hold us by the hand to have us do what is 'right' or what is 'good' for us.

    Think about all the people who do nothing in preparation for retirement other than hold onto the dream of SS being their only option.
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