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April 1st, 2008, 14:20
And here PJ's been telling us that state-run healthcare is wonderfully efficient and lagtime and long lines are just right-wing propaganda… Perhaps the empty Koolaid glass isn't on my table after all.

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April 1st, 2008, 14:38
Originally Posted by dteowner View Post
And here PJ's been telling us that state-run healthcare is wonderfully efficient and lagtime and long lines are just right-wing propaganda… Perhaps the empty Koolaid glass isn't on my table after all.
We're back to that old talking point. I'm sure all health care systems, and all bureaucracies whether public or private, have their frustrations and drawbacks. Just because "socialized" medicine has these conservative mythologized problems does not mean that the alternative is better. There are millions in this country that don't get the health care they need because the HMO system is more concerned with profit than they are with the health of their "customers".

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April 1st, 2008, 15:10
Originally Posted by dteowner View Post
And here PJ's been telling us that state-run healthcare is wonderfully efficient and lagtime and long lines are just right-wing propaganda… Perhaps the empty Koolaid glass isn't on my table after all.
In PJs defence Finland might do better. Sweden doesnt have the shortest queues nor the most cost efficient system in Europe by a long shot.

The queues are mainly for non-critical specialist healthcare and vary across the country (my old province which has more private subcontractors and allows more patient choice for instance has way higher patient satisfaction, lower taxes, and a better economy, than the dump where I live now). To be fair I think the difference between western countries in term of patient utility is fairly small with respect to quality of treatment for urgent conditions. The differences mainly seem to be:

An American with a good health insurance wont have to wait for as long for non-critical treatment, while here everyone has to wait.
The uninsured take a greater financial hit in the US (as everyone is insured by definition here) and wont be prioritised for non-critical treatments.
Your system is somewhat more expensive relative to GDP.

Clear but IMHO not crucial differences. Personally I lean towards private providers and public funding through some sort of voucher system, which we already have for schools.
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April 1st, 2008, 17:58
We're seriously derailling the thread (perhaps a split-out would be wise, Corwin?), but I'm curious about this whole "private subcontractor" thing that's been mentioned a couple times. How does that work? Do you pay 100% of their fee or a surcharge over and above their regular government billing?

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April 1st, 2008, 18:30
Originally Posted by dteowner View Post
And here PJ's been telling us that state-run healthcare is wonderfully efficient and lagtime and long lines are just right-wing propaganda… Perhaps the empty Koolaid glass isn't on my table after all.
Where, exactly, have I been telling you that?

To set the record straight, I've been pointing out that there are both really well-run and comparatively poorly-run public health systems (e.g. France for the former and the UK for the latter), and that the non-government-run health care system in the USA is the most expensive in the world per capita while only delivering a middle-of-the-road standard of care.

My point being that the conservative case that government-run health care is *inevitably* inefficient, wasteful, and costly, or even *more* inefficient, wasteful, and costly than privately-run health care, doesn't stand up in face of the evidence.
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April 1st, 2008, 18:37
Originally Posted by Zaleukos View Post
In PJs defence Finland might do better. Sweden doesnt have the shortest queues nor the most cost efficient system in Europe by a long shot.
Finland's health care system isn't all that great, actually. Pre- and postnatal health care is world-class, but the rest of it is at best average for an industrialized country — better than the UK but nowhere near France, for example. It's hard to make a direct head-to-head comparison with the US; it's better in some respects and significantly worse in others. Not unlike Sweden's, as a matter of fact.

We do have a parallel private health care system, with the government reimbursing a part of the cost, though, so people with extra health insurance or enough money to pay for it can get elective surgery etc. immediately. I would much prefer to have the standard of care in the public health system raised to the point where this would become unnecessary.
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April 1st, 2008, 19:06
Originally Posted by Prime Junta View Post
I would much prefer to have the standard of care in the public health system raised to the point where this would become unnecessary.
There was a post last week somewhere (can't find it now) about an article from 1968 that looked at 'the world in 2008' … and I bet that if they were to look out on health care and compare it to the sorry state of things pretty much everywhere they would be appalled.

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April 1st, 2008, 19:08
So the system is sufficiently broken that only people with health insurance or huge bank accounts can get timely and/or higher quality care? I thought that was the whole indictment of the US privatized system.

For the record, I think the US system is broken, too, but don't see where getting Uncle Sam involved is going to help much. Our pediatrician (we're not talking a heart surgeon here) up in Indy shared with me several years ago that his malpratice insurance was $14,000 a month and he had a clean history. (I have no way verify that, but I have no reason to doubt his word) Doing a little math, that means that roughly $35 of every office visit goes toward his insurance. That's before you pay for the building, the support staff, the equipment, and (last but not least) yourself. Kinda puts that ridiculous bill in a different light, eh?

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April 1st, 2008, 19:21
Originally Posted by dteowner View Post
So the system is sufficiently broken that only people with health insurance or huge bank accounts can get timely and/or higher quality care? I thought that was the whole indictment of the US privatized system.
Um, no. Not that broken. Just broken enough that, for example, should you fall ill on a Friday evening when the drunk idiots are overloading the system, you might end up waiting ten hours to be served, if the triage nurse determines you're not about to croak during it. Or that you might be waiting for months rather than weeks let alone days to get a hip replacement. Or that hospital food tastes like boiled diapers. Or that the hospital might be crowded enough that you get stuck in a room with someone of the opposite sex. That sort of thing.

FWIW, my sister's husband is permanently wheelchair-bound, after an unfortunate incident involving a beautiful summer night, an empty highway, and big motorcycle. He has a lot of experience with the public health system. About 90% of it is positive. The last 10% is highly annoying — annoying enough that people who can afford the (fairly reasonable) extra cost often take their business to private practices.

For the record, I think the US system is broken, too, but don't see where getting Uncle Sam involved is going to help much. Our pediatrician (we're not talking a heart surgeon here) up in Indy shared with me several years ago that his malpratice insurance was $14,000 a month and he had a clean history. (I have no way verify that, but I have no reason to doubt his word) Doing a little math, that means that roughly $35 of every office visit goes toward his insurance. That's before you pay for the building, the support staff, the equipment, and (last but not least) yourself. Kinda puts that ridiculous bill in a different light, eh?
Yes, it most certainly does (if you weren't aware of it beforehand, that is).
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April 2nd, 2008, 02:27
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April 2nd, 2008, 14:11
Originally Posted by dteowner View Post
We're seriously derailling the thread (perhaps a split-out would be wise, Corwin?), but I'm curious about this whole "private subcontractor" thing that's been mentioned a couple times. How does that work? Do you pay 100% of their fee or a surcharge over and above their regular government billing?
I lived in a small town of 55000, so the private clinics that I have experience of are mainly general practicioners (plus a few nose/ear, urology). For the GPs everyone register with a clinic and doctor of their choice (if there is space) and the clinic is reimbursed at a rate depending on the age and estimated general health status of the patient, as well as with a fixed sum per visit (or treatment for specialists, I am not sure how this is calculated). The patients always pay a small fee when seeing any doctor (about USD 30) to discourage overuse, the rest is covered by the regional (a political body between town and national level mainly responsible for healthcare) budget.

Certain treatments are outside the system, such as cosmetic surgery.
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April 2nd, 2008, 17:49
Originally Posted by Zaleukos View Post
I lived in a small town of 55000
55,000 is not really a 'small town' …

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April 3rd, 2008, 00:28
For awhile, I lived in the largest town in western Queensland; it had a population of 1000!! Brisbane, the capital city of Queensland only has a population of nearly 1 million!!

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April 16th, 2008, 18:33
My husband and I caught this show called Sick Around the World last night on PBS(US non-network publicly funded television). It's a very interesting examination of the health care systems in Britain, Japan, Taiwan, Germany and Switzerland. Frankly, it gave me a completely different perspective on so-called socialized medicine.

The commentator who traveled to these countries interviewed doctors, politicians and the man in the street. One of the questions he asked in each country was "And how many people last year had to declare bankruptcy here because of medical bills?"(In the US the figure is high)

Every single representative of their country said zero. That it couldn't even happen there. Plus lots of other interesting facts and figures. Well worth a watch if it comes your way.

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April 16th, 2008, 18:50
When it comes to treatment that is not urgent and requires a specialist the queues might indeed be long in Sweden.

But we also have stories like Kalle Dejemyr. He is 20 years old and have the deadly disease Hunters Disease. There is a medicine though, but the problem is that it costs 10 million swedish krona per year. But the government pays the treatment. Due to his medication he can now work parttime as a carpenter and basicly he can live a normal life.
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April 16th, 2008, 19:42
Sweden used to have a great health care system, but now it is becoming a very segmented country. For example in China, YES CHINA we are talking about a none wellfare country here! I can go to the doctor the same day I get sick!! My mom has to wait for 3 weeks before she can get a doctor! But on the other hand me who have a high class job will get treatment within the hour from a specialist for free! IT is becoming really unfair! a larger and larger gap
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April 16th, 2008, 23:54
Originally Posted by GothicGothicness View Post
Sweden used to have a great health care system, but now it is becoming a very segmented country. For example in China, YES CHINA we are talking about a none wellfare country here! I can go to the doctor the same day I get sick!! My mom has to wait for 3 weeks before she can get a doctor! But on the other hand me who have a high class job will get treatment within the hour from a specialist for free! IT is becoming really unfair! a larger and larger gap
That specialist is provided as a benefit from your high-class-job company, no?

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April 17th, 2008, 08:49
That specialist is provided as a benefit from your high-class-job company, no?
Yeah, but they can deduct it from the tax, so technically it means the gouverment is still paying most of it.
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April 17th, 2008, 18:54
The bad part with the finnish system is that you might i.e loose functionality of your limbs or fingers (strings are cut and need to be reattached asap) because of the waiting lines.

Also elderly people mgiht get ignored i.e if they have broken arms that need operation. They simply reserve the operating places for younger people.

So its always good to have somkind of insurance just incase you need quick operation. But in most cases the national health care is sufficient. In example when my arm broke and was unhealable they operated it (I carry small metal plate now inside the arm) and now its back to 100% functionality. The total cost was perhaps 50 euros.
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July 1st, 2008, 18:50
This is one of the most disgusting stories I've ever seen—and points out how bad it is to be poor/minority and needing health care in America:
Mental Patient Dies in Waiting Room while Staff Does Nothing

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