This is in reaction to one of the posts on the US elections - I decided to put it in a separate thread so as not to “thread-jack”… — ahahah Wrote: ------------------------------------------------------- > drs Wrote: > -------------------------------------------------- > ----- > > I would throw in the plans that the Dems have > to > > implement a socialist healthcare system > > > I would probably vote Democrat if it wasn’t for > this issue… Question to non-US posters in developed countries with national health care systems (which I think means all other developed countries): Do you think your “socialist healthcare systems” should be dismantled and replaced with an american-style one? I think it’s easy for young healthy people in the US to think that it’s better to pay for one’s own health care, rather than pay taxes for it. (I’m still young, and healthy) But remember that most of us also have parents, most of whom will eventually fall ill, and we will ourselves one day. We may well be stuck paying for our parents’ illnesses, or they will eat into our inheritances too. I’ve heard the argument that national health care is actually a competitive advantage for companies in other countries, in part because companies don’t need to pay for health care expenses of their employees, because the population may be healthier as a whole and less morbid on the job, and because the labor market is more flexible (you can leave your job without worrying about your insurability and pre-existing conditions, etc.). I’d be interested in hearing if people in socialized health care systems wish they could get out of that system, avoid being taxed, have “improved health care choices” that we all get here in the US.
Canadian and wouldn’t trade socialized health care at all. No question about it. It is great knowing that if i get sick, not matter what it is, i can go to a hospital, get it taken care of and be done with it. I’d hate to have to choose how much to spend on getting myself better when i’m sick and i’d certainly hate to have to budget in how much my parents or wife’s health is worth…
I certainly understand the merits of it, I just don’t think we can afford it. Under different circumstances, I’d like it, but I personally think it would run us into the ground.
From Capmag.com - might be a bit biased, but has some good points nonetheless The failure of Canada’s experiment with socialist medicine is readily apparent: long waiting lists and wait times for specialized services, conveyor-belt treatment for routine services, chronic shortages of family doctors and hospital beds, gross inefficiencies, slow innovation, stifling and wasteful bureaucracies, warring “special-interest” groups, and the exodus of good doctors to greener, freer pastures. It’s still illegal in Canada for private healthcare providers to compete with the government monopoly. Only North Korea and Cuba—two impoverished, brutal, communist dictatorships—still retain such restrictions. And there have been increasing accounts of Canadians suffering severe pain and even dying while waiting months or years for treatments that are readily available in countries that allow private healthcare. So when the Canadian election was called several months ago, one might have thought that at least one political party was willing to promise, if elected, to de-monopolize healthcare to some extent at least. However, none of the five significant parties—not even Stephen Harper’s “right-wing” Conservative Party—would dare make such a promise. Why not? Because despite how impractical the Canadian healthcare system is, many Canadians regard it as moral. It’s a classic case of accepting a moral code that clashes with reality and harms people. The moral code underlying Canada’s healthcare system can be inferred from how it is practiced. Everyone has free and equal access to healthcare providers (which naturally generates a lot of demand). Providers bill the government for services rendered. Government pays providers with the money it extorts via highly progressive taxation. Government has the power to restrict healthcare spending (which logically leads to long waiting lists and wait times). The basic moral principle is egalitarianism—the belief that everyone must be given equal rewards regardless of performance or behavior. Everyone gets equal access to healthcare regardless of what they pay in taxes. And what one pays is independent of how much one uses the system. Egalitarianism is a species of altruism—the moral code which advocates self-sacrifice to others. (The opposite code is rational self-interest or rational egoism whereby each individual pursues their own well being and happiness—neither sacrificing oneself to others nor others to oneself—and social interaction is voluntary, not coerced.) For healthcare consumers, the egalitarian message is obvious. Don’t bother working hard to achieve success for you will only be condemned as “the haves,” taxed of your “excess,” prevented from securing better healthcare, and told to go to the back of the line. Don’t bother being responsible regarding your health because it won’t affect what you pay in taxes or what services you get “for free.” Imagine the impact on a hard-working teenager if his parents seized his earnings from a part-time job and distributed it—in the name of equality—among his ambitionless siblings. As for health-care providers, the egalitarian message is also obvious. Study hard for years; work long and grueling hours; develop life-saving skills, but government will dictate your employer and compensation. The public demands high-quality services regardless of the extent to which your freedom and interests are being sacrificed to the “public good”—to hell with individual rights. Form this one can extract the egalitarian notion of justice: Punish those who are creative, productive and responsible in order to reward those who (for whatever reason) are not. But if justice is the policy of granting to each person what he or she deserves, then egalitarianism is unjust. The champions of egalitarianism seem oblivious to what makes wealth and medical technology possible. They want us to believe that they can punish and enslave achievers and still have piles of money to seize and distribute—that high-quality services and technological advances are possible in a society where those who are ambitious and productive are sacrificed in the name of helping those who are not. Given this moral code of egalitarianism, it’s not surprising that Canada’s healthcare system is so impractical. Now consider today’s wonderful trend of being offered higher quality computer products and services at ever lower prices, and what would happen if governments seized control and established a government-controlled monopoly offering free computing to all. What would happen to the computer innovators, product/service quality, real costs and government debt? Pretty much what has happened with the Canadian healthcare system. Why is it immoral to personally benefit from one’s own success? Surely, someone’s computer innovation or breakthrough medical discovery is not stolen from those who didn’t innovate. The aspirations and abilities of people vary immensely, and they expect to be, and should be, rewarded accordingly for their efforts and achievements. An opposite policy—an egalitarian policy—destroys the motivation to innovate and succeed. Or consider socialist medicine from a somewhat different angle. When government has the power to extort money from people to pay for government services such as healthcare, the providers become directly responsible to bureaucrats, politicians and “special-interest” groups—not to patients. When the patient retains the power to financially reward providers for good service, providers will compete for the money by offering better quality at lower prices, which is what we get in the relatively unregulated computer industry. There is no rational argument in favor of socialist medicine. It persists in Canada primarily because the majority of Canadians have accepted an irrational and impractical moral code—egalitarianism—which remains virtually unchallenged. Only when this moral code is widely challenged and debunked, will Canadians experience a significant improvement in healthcare. Americans should be wary when politicians such as Hillary Clinton and Ted Kennedy try to glorify the Canadian healthcare system.
Canadian and I think you need a system in between: Your system is denying millions of people health care and making millions of other broke as they pay for health care. Ours is making our governments (provincial, feds have more or less pulled out of health care funding up here) broke and we have fell behind in terms of level of service (long wait times and probably even poor technology) We both need a system wherby people are more or less encouraged to stay healthier and be more accountable for their health care costs through a personal savings program of some form (like RRSP’s and EI here) and visit the ER less instead and go to walkin clinics or just not even go as much for minor crap (colds for 20 year olds lets say). Just my 2
yes wait times suck and sometimes people don’t get taken care of (there are always exceptions) but when you’re in the states and an insurance company gets to decide if you deserve treatment or not, that’s a whole nother story of bias. Those insurance providers are interested in shareholders, not an individuals health. So i’ll take my chances with long lines if necessary rather than with insurance providers. I disagree with much of what the above posted ‘article’ says. there is far to much bias and it lacks a real argument against the actual realities of socialist health care. Watch Michael Moores Sicko documentary. That’s biased as well, but i agree with the reactions of people from Canada and England and gernally how the system works. Socialist health care needs tweaking but, again, the amount of money or faith you have to place in an insurance company to get health care in the states would scare the sh*t out of me.
“Socialist” healthcare is a red herring intended to evoke an emotional response. Socialist health care would be something where the government owns the hospitals and the doctors are government employees. That is not what any of the Democrats are proposing at all. Basically, they are proposing Medicare for all–which means government insurance, subsidies for low income folks, but private delivery of healthcare services. It would greatly increase the efficiency of the labor market. Many people stay in jobs solely b/c of their healthcare. Keep in mind too that Medicare operates with 3% administrative/total costs compared to private health insurance companies that operate with 15% administrative costs. They need that level of administration because they make money by collecting premiums and exerting a lot of effort to deny claims, which requires lots of research and paperwork. Again, not efficient, not to mention there is probably a moral argument here.
strikershank Wrote: ------------------------------------------------------- > yes wait times suck and sometimes people don’t get > taken care of (there are always exceptions) but > when you’re in the states and an insurance company > gets to decide if you deserve treatment or not, > that’s a whole nother story of bias. Those > insurance providers are interested in > shareholders, not an individuals health. > > So i’ll take my chances with long lines if > necessary rather than with insurance providers. > > I disagree with much of what the above posted > ‘article’ says. there is far to much bias and it > lacks a real argument against the actual realities > of socialist health care. > > Watch Michael Moores Sicko documentary. That’s > biased as well, but i agree with the reactions of > people from Canada and England and gernally how > the system works. Socialist health care needs > tweaking but, again, the amount of money or faith > you have to place in an insurance company to get > health care in the states would scare the sh*t out > of me. Thats true, but striker you have to see that our system up here is not sustainable in the long run when the baby boomers start getting sick in say 20 years. Here in Nova Scotia health care sucks up something like 40% of our budget and it will be like 70% in 20 years I believe. After that and debt servicing, and paying gov bureacrats I’d say we’re broke. No money for schools, roads etc. The system is not sustainable, similar to the US social security system without a Bush like reform which was shoot down.
As a Canadian I would not give up our socialised medical system but believe that it needs significant reform in order to be viable in the future. At present the government payer/government provided healthcare system is pretty much on the verge of collapse in many provinces with waits for basic proceducs such as MRI’s, joint replacement exceeding 18month in some provinces for “emergency” cases. The provinces (Alberta, BC) that have a better functioning system are those that have begun (albeit slowly) to shift to a govenment insurer/private provison model in which any citizen can go to a private Clinic, MRI etc and be reimburesed at a set rate that covers the procedures performed. The private practioners make the money less from that procures but from extras such as private rooms, renting tv’s etc and providing after hours procedures to people who can pay from other provinces. (e.g. a friend’s uncles had a stroke, 18month wait time in ONT for and MRI at the time, flew to Calgary had the procedure 8pm at night after gettign off the plane at 7pm) This model will ultimatly be the furture but their is a lot of ingrained resistance to any private role in health care on the center and left of the polical spectrum here ( our spectrum is much more left skewed, Guliani would be on the extream right of electable in Canada). In addition, for some reason many in the populated provinces have grasped onto our failing system as a national icon and part of our identity. Socalised medicine in terms of single payer provider is a dismal failure but there is a great lesson th be learned from the single payer multiple provider model emerging in the west ( and to a cerain extent Qubec).
CFA Halifax - i agree there needs to be more accountability - no question. somewhere in between would be nice. but as long as that somewhere erred towards socialist healthcare. I think tax breaks to those who don’t use the system would be a good thing (since you have to swipe or have your health card for every visit, they can collect and then reimburse based on that data) woudl be a step in the right direction. Just enough to motivate people with colds to not show up.
strikershank Wrote: ------------------------------------------------------- > CFA Halifax - i agree there needs to be more > accountability - no question. somewhere in between > would be nice. but as long as that somewhere erred > towards socialist healthcare. > > > I think tax breaks to those who don’t use the > system would be a good thing (since you have to > swipe or have your health card for every visit, > they can collect and then reimburse based on that > data) woudl be a step in the right direction. > > Just enough to motivate people with colds to not > show up. Yeah, and I agree with more private delivery, gov’t paying for it. That way we could perhaps shake out the militant unions and cut costs in other ways plus add more incentive for doctors to work longer. We also need more doctors period which means more med students I think. I’m not saying because I don’t use the system now that I neccessarily deserve reward, but perhaps those that do excessively perhaps need penalty. I’m not sure, it’s a carrot and stick I guess.
CFA halifax, Positive rewards are better motivators than negative consequences. If we reward those for only showing up when they have to (defining that would be interesting) instead of penalizing those that do show up it would have better results. this has been proven (positive rewards vs. negative ones) over the years. And is a little management tip that can go a long way. anyways, we’re on the same page with healthcare here. should be fun to watch the system develop (or digress) in the coming years.
The author of this capmag.com article clearly has no idea what they are talking about. It’s just an emotional rant. I’m a Canadian but I work in the US. The Canadian healthcare system is certainly far from perfect and there are some problems that need to be worked on, however, what healthcare system is flawless? Just from the tone of this guy’s article, you can tell he’s one of those people that no matter how justified your argument is, they will never refuse to believe they are anything but bang on.
Another from Capmag… Michael Moore’s comedy-drama Sicko presented a great deal of misinformation—too much to summarize in a short column. Besides, if anyone in the audience really believed that all Cubans receive superb health care when Mr. Moore’s cameras are not running, there is not much I can say to help them. However, those who saw the film should at least be aware of some of the information that was left out. After bemoaning the amount of money that Americans spend on health care, Mr. Moore castigated the “greed” of an insurance company for not providing routine and immediate approval of a medical procedure in the 1980s that might have saved a patient’s life at a cost of half a million dollars. He did not mention whether there should be an upper limit on any procedure, no matter how experimental or expensive, and what that would do to health care costs. $1 million? $10 million? That would surely provide incentives for a lot of medical experiments. When Mr. Moore described Health Maintenance Organizations (HMOs) as the creation of a dark and evil conspiracy by Richard Nixon, for some reason he forgot to mention that Nixon’s enthusiastic partner in pushing the HMO Act of 1973 through a Democratic-controlled Congress was Senator Edward Kennedy. He also forgot to mention that the Clinton Administration’s health care proposals in 1994 would have forced most Americans into HMOs. Longer lifespans in Canada were cited as proof that Canada has a superior health care system. Mr. Moore forgot to mention how many Canadians die in traffic accidents, are shot by criminals, are killed in combat, are addicted to illegal drugs, have diseases primarily afflicting racial minorities, or are obese, compared with Americans. He also forgot to establish whether Canadians started living longer only after they nationalized their health care system, or whether they always lived longer than Americans. He did not mention that if they do live two years longer, they need to—because that is how long they often have to wait for surgery. When Mr. Moore filmed two of his relatives buying health insurance in fear before they traveled to America, he forgot to mention that many Canadians travel to America for the express purpose of spending their own money for more than $1 billion in American health care each year. Mr. Moore interviewed a physician in the British National Health Service (NHS) about how wonderful free health care is in Britain, and how satisfied the physicians are in the NHS. He forgot to mention that more than one third of physicians working for the NHS buy private insurance so they don’t have to rely on the “free” care, and that more than 6 million British citizens also buy private insurance for the same reason. He did not mention that this year the health minister admitted that one in eight British patients still wait for more than a year for treatment. He neglected to say that Britain has had to import more than 20,000 physicians in the last three years—chiefly from Middle Eastern and Asian countries—because so few of the British want to enter or stay in the profession after sixty years of experience with the NHS. While praising the superiority of French medical care and the fact that French doctors make house calls—almost as an aside to praising the superiority of every element of French society compared with America’s—Mr. Moore forgot to mention that 13,000 Frenchmen died of heat prostration and dehydration during a heat wave in the summer of 2003, when most French physicians were on summer vacation and did not show up in emergency rooms, let alone make house calls. Michael Moore forgot to mention why he jammed seriously ill patients into a small boat to take them to Cuba, in order to film a stunt attempting to prove the superiority of Cuban health care-when, for much less money, he could have written them a check for care in America. It must have been compassion. Most importantly, when Mr. Moore mentioned that “every industrial country” except the United States has adopted medical socialism, he did not mention why that means that we should. Many of those countries still have monarchies. Should the United States? Many of those countries have established state religions. Should the United States? Many of those countries have long waiting lists and severe rationing of health care. Should the United States? Michael Moore forgot to mention what the United States does have that other countries do not: A Declaration of Independence. A Constitution. A Bill of Rights. The concepts of individual rights, personal choice, free markets, private investment that develops most of the world’s new medications, and the benefit of a private relationship between physicians and their patients without third-party interference. In his hymn to every other nation’s superiority to America—in proportion to their commitment to collectivism—Michael Moore forgot to mention any American values at all.
And one more… Universal Health Scare by Michael J. Hurd (December 1, 2007) An increasingly popular argument in favor of socialized medicine goes like this: “If universal health care works for the elderly under Medicare, then why not for the rest of us?” If that’s true, then the Democratic nominee for President should definitely work this one into his or her acceptance speech, starting now. But there’s a tragic flaw in that argument. Universal care-socialized medicine-for the elderly does NOT “work,” even on its own terms. Many services, such as my own (psychotherapy and mental health care), are only partially covered, if at all, under Medicare. It has to be this way; otherwise the program would be slated for bankruptcy even sooner than it already is. Why do you think Medicare “supplemental insurance” is commonplace, if not essential? Because “universal coverage” guaranteed by political funding is a myth. And if you think it’s a myth now, wait until the baby boomers come of age and Medicare faces certain bankruptcy. And if “universal coverage for all” passes, then the price tag for the U.S. Treasury goes into the billions or trillions of dollars. And you thought the Iraq war was expensive. None of these dollars-and-cents concerns address the deeper problem with socialized medicine: What it does to the doctor. Although politicians may applaud themselves for “giving” everyone health insurance for free, doctors pay the biggest price by being at the mercy of the bureaucracy and injustice created by this monolithic system. Also, once the private insurance sector (or what’s left of it) is completely out of business, which will be inevitable if not outright mandatory, doctors will have no choice but to follow government dictates. As it stands now, medical reimbursement rates for doctors are spiraling downward, even as tax rates go up. The Governor of California even has the audacity to try and make doctors foot some of the bill for socialized medicine in that state. Doctors, under universal coverage, won’t enjoy the freedom to charge patients fee-for-service, and patients likewise will not enjoy the freedom of paying their doctors fee-for-service to get better quality care. This is what “universal coverage” truly means, whether it’s written into the legislation or not. And the reason is simple: Socialized medicine, no matter what you call it, makes the private practice of medicine obsolete, just as it has severely undercut the practice of medicine under Medicare. Does anyone know an elderly person who is actually happy with his or her doctors, by and large, under Medicare? Are any of you who already are elderly happy with the treatment you receive under Medicare? As doctors get increasingly frustrated, and the lines and the waiting times get longer, and the paperwork piles higher and the visits get shorter, doctors will no longer work directly for the patient. Many will see no need to strive for excellence, because under these programs they get patients whether they’re good doctors or not. It’s the only game in town. “Universal Care” will drive a permanent wedge between the patient and the doctor. Imagine if the government took control over YOUR chosen profession, career or job and dictated your every move, including exactly what you could earn in that job-whether you do it well or not. Remember that Medicare is only a slice of socialized medicine. Calls for universal coverage are the real thing. Under what’s being proposed now, we 're going to get more of the same-only a LOT more of it. The person who claims that “universal care worked for the elderly, so why not the rest of us?” had better check out the facts. The Government pays about fifty percent of all medical expenses today. It pays more every year. People are less and less happy with their doctors and the whole financial aspect of medicine. Gee, do you think maybe government is creating more problems rather than solving them?
sounds like the choice is whether you want your doctor patient relationship dominated by the government or by insurance companies.
strikershank Wrote: ------------------------------------------------------- > CFA halifax, > > Positive rewards are better motivators than > negative consequences. If we reward those for only > showing up when they have to (defining that would > be interesting) instead of penalizing those that > do show up it would have better results. > > this has been proven (positive rewards vs. > negative ones) over the years. And is a little > management tip that can go a long way. > > anyways, we’re on the same page with healthcare > here. should be fun to watch the system develop > (or digress) in the coming years. Good point. I guess I just wouldn’t want to see poor old ladies not going to the doctor to try and save a buck for their heating oil LOL. I concur, neither is perfect. Something in between is needed. Hence governement paid, privately delivered.
Can national healthcare have an exemption for self inflicted health problems? I don’t mind paying taxes to help pay for the care of average joe’s daughter, who is born with a heart problem and needs treatment. I do have a problem paying for open heart surgery on the guy that stuffed his arteries shut with french fries.
http://news.yahoo.com/s/afp/20080108/lf_afp/ushealthfrancemortality_080108191353 France is healthcare leader, US comes dead last: study Tue Jan 8, 4:45 PM ET WASHINGTON (AFP) - France is tops, and the United States dead last, in providing timely and effective healthcare to its citizens, according to a survey Tuesday of preventable deaths in 19 industrialized countries. The study by the Commonwealth Fund and published in the January/February issue of the journal Health Affairs measured developed countries’ effectiveness at providing timely and effective healthcare. The study, entitled “Measuring the Health of Nations: Updating an Earlier Analysis,” was written by researchers from the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine. It looked at death rates in subjects younger than 75 that could have been prevented by timely and effective medical care. The researchers found that while most countries surveyed saw preventable deaths decline by an average of 16 percent, the United States saw only a four percent dip. The non-profit Commonwealth Fund, which financed the study, expressed alarm at the findings. “It is startling to see the US falling even farther behind on this crucial indicator of health system performance,” said Commonwealth Fund Senior Vice President Cathy Schoen, who noted that “other countries are reducing these preventable deaths more rapidly, yet spending far less.” The 19 countries, in order of best to worst, were: France, Japan, Australia, Austria, Canada, Denmark, Finland, Germany, Greece, Ireland, Italy, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Portugal, Spain, Sweden, the United Kingdom and the United States. Some countries showed dramatic improvement in the periods studied – 1997 and 1998 and again between 2002 and 2003 – outpacing the United States, which showed only slight improvement. White the United States ranked 15th of 19 between 1997-98, by 2002-03 it had fallen to last place. “It is notable that all countries have improved substantially except the US,” said Ellen Nolte, lead author of the study. Had the United States performed as well as any of the top three industrialized countries, there would have been 101,000 fewer deaths per year, the researchers said.
Does anyone think that the US is even close to being able to afford this right now as we slide into recession?