Universal Healthcare

Discussion in 'The Refreshment Lounge' started by Blake Bowden, Jul 17, 2009.

  1. Blake Bowden

    Blake Bowden Administrator Staff Member

    Call me crazy, but I support this. Being self employed, I shell out over $6000 per year for healthcare! I have friends who are in college yet refuse to goto the Doctor because they can't afford it. God forbid they need an xray or MRI. The US is ranked 37th on the WHO ranking of Healthcare. Even though my wife and I shelled out $6k a year, it didn't cover maternity. So when my son was born, we had to shell out over $12k on top of the $6k for "health insurance". Do you agree or disagree?
  2. Leomarth

    Leomarth Guest

    We've had a long discussion over this on T3P.

    I don't really support it, but not for reasons of inefficiency. The system can work, it does work in other countries, although I'm concerned about the rising debt associated with it. As odd as this is to hear, and I'm sure it'll be odd for many of you, I oppose it on moral grounds.

    And that statistic of the US being ranked 37th in health care, it's put together with horrible bias. I'll make a new post with the little synopsis I put together about it.
  3. Leomarth

    Leomarth Guest

    The WHO conducts this study using five weighted metrics. Health Level: 25 percent, Health Distribution: 25 percent, Responsiveness: 12.5 percent, Responsiveness Distribution: 12.5 percent, Financial Fairness: 25 percent.

    *Health Level is figured by the countries Disability Adjusted Life Expectancy. This statistic for the purpose of the WHO includes homicide and accidental death. Remove those, and the United States actually has a life expectancy that is higher than countries listed above it on the list. Also many countries will cite babies that are born, but die after attempts to keep them alive, as 'stillborn'. It's common practice in America to list them as death after birth, which skews America's statistic for infant mortality.

    *Responsiveness is figured out by rating things like system features, speed of service, protection of privacy, choice of doctors, happiness with care and quality of amenities. America actually rated fairly higher than most other countries on the happiness statistic.

    *Financial Fairness is determined by the percentage of household income, beyond subsistance, that is spent on health care. This statistic is heavily skewed against any country that does not mandate it's health care. It subjectively determines a percentage of income that is 'acceptable' for each family in a country to spend. For countries that tax everyone, this number appears very low compared to that subjective number because the cost is spread over every family. For countries that rely on patients to pay through insurance of out of pocket, this number appears very high.

    *Distribution Responsiveness refers to the disparity of health care available in a country. This is a misleading statistic also. It is possible for a country to have a majority of it's population to have 'excellent' health care, and a minority to have 'good' health care, and this country will be rated lower than a country that has 'good' health care across it's entire population.

    The study is conducted using random sampling, which gives an uncited margin of error to the WHO studies. It also has as much as 80% uncertainty intervals in it's numbers. This means that on Overall Attainment (OA) of healthcare goals, the United States could be anywhere from 7th to 24th. France could be 3rd to 11th. Canada could be from 4th to 14th.

    The study also ranks countries by the quality of health care received, but only in light of the amount of money spent. When Costa Rica ranks higher than the United States in the OP (Overall Performance) ranking (36 versus 37), that does not mean Costa Ricans get better health care than Americans. If the question is health outcomes alone, without reference to how much has been spent, the more appropriate measure is the OA ranking, where the United States is 15 and Costa Rica is 45.

    The study also heavily weights factors that give preference to government subsidized medical systems. It only takes into account the health care system involved, and not other important factors such as nutrition and exercise habits of the studied populations. An earlier paper laying out the WHO methodological framework asserts, “Problems such as tobacco consumption, diet, and unsafe sexual activity must be included in an assessment of health system performance.” However that methodology was rejected as being irrelevant to a countries health. In other words, the WHO approach holds health systems responsible not just for treating lung cancer, but for preventing smoking in the first place; not just for treating heart disease, but for getting people to exercise and lay off the fatty foods.

    In other words, the WHO studies that people love to quote are constructed using a methodology that favors government subsidized systems. It makes assumptions about what should be happening, and then compares countries systems against that. The study says very little about the actual quality of care received, and more about how people pay, if there is a perceived disparity, features, amenities, choice of who you can see.
    Last edited by a moderator: Jul 17, 2009
  4. owls84

    owls84 Moderator Premium Member

    Pretty good response. Well mine is no where near as educated but I look at the Scottish Rite Hospitals and the Shrine along with St. Jude's and these are FREE hospitals (or was). This shows me it can work with the right intentions and funding. Problem is, with everything, people are greedy. Its like at Halloween if you put a big bowl of candy out, the first few groups will take all they want. So if you put government in charge, as corrupt as they are, they would mis-use the funds.

    There are a lot that I think this adminsitration is doing to the best of thier ability but this is not one of them. I believe the health insurance and pharmacutical (Spelling?) companies need to re-evaluated. When I go to the drug store for my allergy medicine (Zyrtec) and since it was sold over the counter that month they wanted $90. I asked how if I can buy it for $24 right there and pointed to the display. They explained thats how much they charge the insurance and I would have to pay full since it was then OTC. That is wrong. When doctors charge different rates based on your insurance provider, that is wrong. That being said when I went to the doctor for my back they were charged a little over $700 but the insurance said all we will pay is a little over $400. Now, last time I checked I can't go by a watch and tell them I am only going to pay $25 not $75 that it is being sold for. Maybe my doctor is very good and he deserves $700 because he gives a little more personal care but this is not factored in. More and more Dr. offices are becoming cattle shoots, heck I have never seen my new PCP just his PA's. I just think the whole health care system from top to bottom needs to be shaken up.

    Do you guys think it should be ok for medicine companies to take Dr. offices out to lunch EVERY day of the week. My ex-gf worked at a Dr. office and EVERY day for 6 months was booked with diffent drug reps coming a wooing the Dr.'s. Now why in the world is that allowed. The Drs. should be making their judgments on my health not by who brought steak but by what I would benifit from.

    It is just such a screwy deal and we are all feeling the backend of it. I could keep going but I will end it here.

    Note: I just want to say I support the idea but I just can't see how they can do something of this magnitude correctly. I know it COULD work but there are just too many corrupt people that figure out how to take advantage of government programs just like this. I do believe EVERY man, woman, and child should have good healthcare regardless of their social status and pray for a day this happens but just don't know how it will happen.
    Last edited: Jul 17, 2009
  5. js4253

    js4253 Premium Member Premium Member

    I know a guy that will not buy insurance. If he needs a procedure he negotiates the price with the Dr. and hospital and arranges for payments. His annual costs are very low. Blake, at $18,000.00 whether you use the insurance or not, in just a few years you could afford almost any treatment I know it's too risky. Just a thought.

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