Is socialized healthcare the answer?

Discussion in 'Health and Lifestyle' started by Angel Heart, Dec 15, 2008.

  1. Angel Heart
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    Angel Heart Conservative Hippie

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  2. Angel Heart
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    Angel Heart Conservative Hippie

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    I don't want waiting lists...
     
  3. RetiredGySgt
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    RetiredGySgt Platinum Member

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    The Government can not do much efficiently or cheaply. Get the Government involved and it will bankrupt the Country and we will get crappy service. Further it will ensure that procedures are limited and rationed.

    We will get things like fat people can not get treated, smokers can not get treated, name a condition that might involve choice and it will get cut or limited. Waiting lists, long lines, poor service, bad doctors, bad nurses, ruined research into new drugs, the list can go on and on.
     
  4. Skull Pilot
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    Skull Pilot Platinum Member

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    Why don't we get the fucking government out of our wallets first.

    If we weren't paying nearly the first 4 month's income every year in taxes, we could ALL afford our own insurance.
     
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  5. tigerbob
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    tigerbob Increasingly jaded.

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    That's an interesting video.

    I mean who wants to spend hours, possibly days, waiting for a bed in ICU to become free after you've had a heart attack?

    Who wants to stand in a line with hundreds of other people to see a dentist?

    Who wants to spend months on a waiting list for potentially life saving treatment?

    After having watched the video, the question they are asking seems to be quite clearly a rhetorical one - the answer must be 'no', right?

    Sure, it would be if so much of the video wasn't bullshit. Cleverly edited isolated incidents are stitched together in such a way as to make it appear that they are the norm, thereby supporting the point the producers seem bound and determined to make: Socialized healthcare would ruin America, taxes would go through the roof but service would fall.

    As with all things generally, the answer is not actually quite as cut and dried as that. So let's have a quick look at the differences between the US and the UK. I won't attempt to discuss the healthcare systems of other countries since these 2 are quite enough for comparison purposes and I'm sure (I'm sure) there is an expert on these boards who knows everything about healthcare everywhere in the world,

    First, let's take a look at the good points about Britain's NHS.

    • It is broadly free at the point of delivery
    • Everyone has access to a doctor
    • Emergency treatment is provided immediately

    How about the no so good?

    • There are waiting lists, often stretching over manay months, for certain procedures (like hip replacements)
    • The NHS is "all or nothing'.
    • As with all things, when the government gets involved in something, money is wasted
    • The standard of healthcase does vary from very good in some cases to arguably poor in a small number
    • Because NHS performance is a stick with which to beat government, performance measures are routinely manipulated for political expediency

    When I lived in Britain, I had private healthcare insurance funded by my company. So do many other professionals in the UK. Let's say you discover you have a lump under your arm. You go to see your family doctor, he or she refers you to see a specialist and you then contact your insurance company if you want to skip a waiting list. The waiting list for this will generally not be very long, but for many people something like this is worrying and they would not want to wait more than a week. If you don't have private insurance, you get a letter from the hospital advising you when to come in to see a specialist. I'm guessing the waiting time would be less than a month.

    From that point on everything is paid for by the NHS. While that is great in some ways, there are drawbacks too. In comparison to private treatment, the NHS will mean...

    • Surgery if needed would take longer to arrange and perform.
    • There are many drugs that are not covered by the NHS.
    • Investigative procedures are not used as exhaustively as they could be.
    • You cannot augment NHS treatment with private treatment. If you try to, you will have to pick up the entire NHS bill privately.

    In the US, provided you have adequate coverage, healthcare is the best anywhere in the world. But let me ask a few questions about this way of working.

    • Does anyone feel their healthcare costs are cripplingly high?
    • Does anyone think that when they see a doctor, the doctor just seems to throw drugs at them irrespective of whether some of them may in all honesty be needed?
    • Does anyone find that after treatment they have to be the facilitator between the hospital asking for payment and the insurance company who are not paying the bills?
    • Does anyone find that the first reaction of insurance companies is to deny almost any claim, in many cases forcing you to take them to court?
    • Has anyone noticed that there are almost no commercial breaks on TV that do not have a spot for a drug in them?
    • Has anyone noticed that even in this lousy economy, one of the few industries still growing is healthcare?

    The answer is that neither system is perfect, but then again what system is?

    Under the NHS you get free treatment but that treatment can in some cases take a bit longer and quality, while still generally high, can be impacted by budget constraints. This can really suck and I have personal experience of the NHS not performing to the levels of quality one would like to be able to expect in a first world country.

    Under the US system, quality and access are both excellent if you can afford the insurance. Under current conditions, less people will be able to, and more people will be losing their jobs and, along with it, their healthcare. I'm guessing that most of those people would love to have a safety net like the NHS ready to catch them if 'shit happens'.
     
  6. editec
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    editec Mr. Forgot-it-All

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    Sadly (and I say that understanding EVERYONE'S objections) yes, it is.

    Currently the USA is devoting 17% of the GDP to health care.

    That's far too high a percentage of any nation's GDP devoted to HC.

    If, as our liberal chums want, we initiated single payer universal health coverage, the percentage of the GDP that we will spend on HC will continue to climb and eventually the amount of HC we get will begin to diminsh despite the fact that we devote more and more money to it.

    Only a fully sociaized system can keep HC cost down to something that makes sense.

    What that means is that MD will not be making 50 times as much as the average worker, and I have no problem with that because, to be perfectly frank, they not worth that much to us, and the drugs that we overpay for are not worth as much as we pay and on and on and on.

    HC costs are ridiculously inflated in price and no hybrid socialized payments into and capitalist HC marketplace will stop that from happening.

    A fully nationalized health care system is the ONLY way that this society can begin bring the costs down if we want to providing HC to everyone.

    And no, it will not be perfect; and yes, people will be queued; and yes, people will die because of it; and no there is no better solution to this problem than n nationalized HC because there is no satiation point for health care demand like there is for most things people want.

    I think HC needs to be fully socialized in much the same way our military is fully socialized.
     
  7. Skull Pilot
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    Skull Pilot Platinum Member

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    Run health care like the military.

    Cool, we all know how good the military is at killing people. Let's give government run health care a shot. Give the military some competition
     
  8. NOBama
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    NOBama Senior Member

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    Ed, I think people's income statement will become more important than the medical services required if the government ever takes full control of health care. That's not to say that they'll deny anybody services but, it may have an impact on how quickly the less fortunate get service. I can see it now... a God czar.

    Of course they'll never tells us that but, lets face it - the government ALWAYS drills down to the bottom line.
     
  9. RetiredGySgt
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    RetiredGySgt Platinum Member

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    Claiming that the Government can run health care cheaper and better has got to be the biggest moronic statement I have EVER seen.

    By the way, what he means when he says COMPLETE is that the Government would run and control EVERY aspect. Not just prices, not just insurance, he advocates the Government, in effect hire ALL the doctors, Nationalize ALL the Hospitals, Clinics and programs. Nationalize the Drug Companies, Hire all the researchers and run all the facilities. Nationalize EVERY single aspect that has anything at all to do with medical. Drugs, Doctors, medical supplies, research, nurses, hospitals, testing facilities, companies to write medical transcripts, Medical programs at all Colleges, etc etc.

    Not only a bad idea, an ignorant one.
     
  10. editec
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    editec Mr. Forgot-it-All

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    Of course there will be absues of power, no less than there are today.

    I am not advocating a fully socialized system because I think it will be perfect, I merely advocate it because what we have now, and what the liberals think will work, are both leading us to disasterous amounts of our GDP being spent on HC.

    Statistically though, I expect that not only will we get more bang for our buck in a fully socialized system, but the morbity and motality stats will actually get better, too.

    We will ALL hate the system, yet it will be able to provide the most HC to the most people at the least cost.

    IF it is done honestly, of course, but that cavet can be directed at every solution to every problem, can't it?

    The military HC system, FYI, worked damned well I was in. There's a good model we can at least look at to see what works well, and what won't work in a civilian setting.

    Dollar for dollar it was more efficient than any private system you can point to, too.
     

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