Healthcare Spending and Life Span

Discussion in 'Health and Lifestyle' started by Toro, Jan 4, 2008.

  1. Toro
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    Toro Diamond Member

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    What's wrong with this picture?

    [​IMG]

    http://ucatlas.ucsc.edu/modules/teach_1.html
    http://ucatlas.ucsc.edu/health/spend/cost_longlife75.gif

    If America's health care system is the best on the planet, why does the US have one of the lowest life expectancies in the industrialized world?

    You'll notice that almost all of the countries that have higher life spans have some form of universal government health care program.

    Of course, there are all sorts of factors that effect life spans, but surely, if America's health care system was truly better than government health programs, then America would at least be in the upper half of that graph.
     
  2. Steerpike
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    Steerpike VIP Member

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    If you look at the graph you'll see you're only talking 3 or 4 years between the U.S. and Japan, which is at the top of the list. Considering that the Americans tend to have among the most unhealthly lifestyles, I expect that explains most of it. I wouldn't chalk any of it up to healthcare systems without specific proof that that's the case.

    Japanese tend to live a much healthier lifestyle than Americans, and even given that you've got a 3-4 year difference? I don't find that to be substantial.

    If nothing else, your own graphs shows that health care spending doesn't correlate much (if any) to lifespan, so it tend to disprove your own thesis. I mean, look at the other countries on the graph apart from the U.S. Spending on health care doesn't correlate to lifespan at any point.
     
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  3. ReillyT
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    ReillyT Senior Member

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    He makes a good point.
     
  4. Toro
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    Toro Diamond Member

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    "Only" four years. That is a large amount in terms of life span. It is over 5%. Why look only at Japan? Canadians don't live much healthier than Americans. The Brits don't live much healthier than Americans. The French have a diet high in fat. And have you ever seen what they eat for breakfast in Germany? :)

    I think the fact that spending doesn't correlate to life span exactly proves my point. Posters have been writing here the horrors of socialized medicine and all the restrictions that go with it. However, government medical insurance doesn't seem to detract where it matters most.
     
  5. Bern80
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    Bern80 Gold Member

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    That graph has nothing to do with socialized medicine. It has nothing to do with quality of care either. It is meant to be a visual representation of life expectancy and health care expenditure. Whoever made said graph is trying to get people to make a correlation where there isn't one. Frankly I can't figure out what they want us to see. I can't even begin to figure out how those two things are linked given all the factors going into how long one will live. Pretty much anyone should be able to see that of all said factors. how much you spend in healthcare isn't gonna be anywhere near the top. yet someone tried to link them anyway.

    Did you even think about this for 2 seconds before you posted it? Did you stop to ask yourself any basic questions? Like, 'what does what we pay in healthcare costs really go toward?' That would be a good start. Hint: most of it doesn't go to paying for actual care. Or how about why do the other countries listed pay so much less? Hint again: It has nothing to do with quality of care. It has to do with how the citizens pay for healthcare.

    You wanna debate the merits and pit falls of UHC, fine. You just chose a really bad starting point.
     
  6. Toro
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    Toro Diamond Member

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    Dude, I'm not sure if you are aware, but you've just given one of the strongest arguments for universal health care.
     
  7. Bern80
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    Bern80 Gold Member

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    From a leftists perspective, yes I did. The lefts solution to most things that don't work the way they want it to is to let government do it.

    Interesting you didn't comment on the first paragraph. How very convenient.
     
  8. Toro
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    Toro Diamond Member

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    Are you seriously saying that you cannot understand how expenditure, life expectancy and a medical system are not linked?

    Socialized medicine is evil. Socialized medicine brings shortages. Socialized medicine lets people die in lines. Blah, blah, blah.

    Yet, socialized medicine is far more ubiquitous in virtually every other industrialized nation on earth, and there is no correlation between the American medical system - supposedly the best one on the planet - and those results.

    Right.
     
  9. Bern80
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    Bern80 Gold Member

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    If you wish to maintain the position that how much money you spend on your health is a predominant factor in how long you will live, so be it. It's simply ridiculous. There inumerable factors that money has no control over where your health and by extension your life expectancy is concerned.

    No. socialized medicine is mediocre medicine. As I've said before it's a very basic supply and demand concept. IF you make something less expensive, more of it will be demanded. No healthcare is not a different animal from other commodities in that regard.

    Again you choose to define 'best' the same as Larkinn. You want the amount of people satisfactorily served to be part of quality of care. Unfortunately that isn't a factor of quality. At the end of the day our system has best technology and the greatest ability to treat most any illness. THAT is what constitutes the best healthcare. If your willing to sacrafice the excellent quality care for 90% of the population for the 10% (whom under the law must be treated if they need treatment) then perhaps you really should ask yourself which system is more evil.
     
  10. Toro
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    Toro Diamond Member

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    It is not ridiculous.

    In business, if your profit margin - your output relative to your input - is well below your competitors, then your business is generally considered poorly run. The input to the American health care system is the amount of dollars consumed by it. The output is - at least in part - how long one lives. Of course there are many factors effecting life spans, but to say that a nation's health system has little effect is a very strange notion considering there is no other tangible metric of health than how long one lives. "They all died before 40, but they were healthy."

    By your definition then, I guess we shouldn't sell cars for less than $100,000, because doing so is a sign of "mediocrity," and pricing cars any lower would just increase demand, and higher demand is terrible.

    I look forward to your arguments on why would should raise taxes to make everything more expensive and lower demand.

    Yes. Absolutely.

    Note the terms "satisfactorily served."

    Of course, the term "bankruptcy" doesn't enter your lexicon when describing the 10% who must be treated if they need it.

    I prefer not to think in terms of "evil." However, many on the political right are more than happy to demonize "socialized medicine," which was sort of the point of this thread. And what's amusing is that almost all of them have absolutely zero experience dealing with another country's medical system.

    Live in another country and you will hear the same demonization, only of the US medical system. America is held up as the example of how inhumanely a for-profit, corporate-driven medical system treats its poorest citizens. The mythology in other countries about the US system, and all the inaccuracies and biases are as amusing and maddening as many of the American myths about "socialzied medicine."

    Frankly, I find the debate stale and boring on both sides of the political spectrum, propagated by people with little experience or understanding about the opposing systems other than pre-conceived notions reinforced by self-selecting anecdotes and politically-driven commentary.
     

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