What the Left Isn't Telling You About US Healthcare

Discussion in 'Healthcare/Insurance/Govt Healthcare' started by Cecilie1200, Aug 2, 2009.

  1. Cecilie1200
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    Cecilie1200 Gold Member

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    Okay, let's discuss health care in industrialized nations, shall we? Let's cut through some of the liberal smoke and mirrors and get down to brass tacks.

    The left tells us in horrified tones that the United States spends far more on health care than any other country, whether measured as a percentage of gross domestic product (GDP) or by expenditure per capita. This is quite true. the United States now spends close to 16 percent of GDP on health care, nearly 6.1 percent more than the average for other industrialized countries.

    What is not true is that health care spending is automatically bad. To a large degree, America spends money on health care because it is a wealthy nation and chooses to do so. Economists consider health care a “normal good,” meaning that spending is positively correlated with income. As incomes rise, people want more of that good. Because we are a wealthy nation, we can and do demand more health care.

    The left also tells us that health insurance premiums are rising faster than wages are, and this is also true. What they forget to tell you is that government health care programs, particularly Medicare and Medicaid, are piling up enormous burdens of debt for future generations. Medicare’s unfunded liabilities now top $50 trillion. Unchecked, Medicaid spending will increase fourfold as a percentage of federal outlays over the next century. In other words, what we already have in the direction they want to go isn't doing any better in the "holding down costs" arena. None of this indicates that what's needed is a huge new bureaucracy . . . of ANY type.

    The left loves to cite a 2000 World Health Organization study that ranks the U.S. health care system 37th in the world, “slightly better than Slovenia.” What they don't bother to tell you (and often don't know themselves) is that this study bases its conclusions on such highly subjective measures as “fairness” and criteria that are not strictly related to a country’s health care system, such as “tobacco control.” For example, the WHO report penalizes the United States for not having a sufficiently progressive tax system, not providing all citizens with health insurance, and having a general paucity of social welfare programs. Indeed, much of the poor performance of the United States is due to its ranking of 54th in the category of fairness. The United States is actually penalized for adopting Health Savings Accounts and because, according to the WHO, patients pay too much out of pocket. Such judgments clearly reflect a particular political point of view, rather than a neutral measure of health care quality. They also neglect to mention that the WHO report ranks the United States number one in the world in responsiveness to patients’ needs in choice of provider, dignity, autonomy, timely care, and confidentiality. Whoops!

    The left likes to point out how much higher other countries' life expectancy and infant mortality rates are compared to ours. What they don't tell you is that life expectancies are affected by exogenous factors such as violent crime, poverty, obesity, tobacco and drug use, and other issues unrelated to health care. In fact, a study by Robert Ohsfeldt and John Schneider for the American Enterprise Institute found that those exogenous factors are so distorting that if you correct for homicides and accidents, the United States rises to the top of the list for life expectancy.

    Likewise, infant mortality is highly problematic. In the United States, very low birth-weight infants have a much greater chance of being brought to term with the latest medical technologies. Some of those low birthweight babies die soon after birth, which boosts our infant mortality rate, but in many other Western countries, those high-risk, low birth-weight infants are not included when infant mortality is calculated. In addition, many countries use abortion to eliminate problem pregnancies. For example, Michael Moore cites low infant mortality rates in Cuba, yet that country has one of the world’s highest abortion rates, meaning that many babies with health problems that could lead to early deaths are never brought to term.

    When you compare the outcomes for specific diseases, the United States clearly outperforms the rest of the world. Whether the disease is cancer, pneumonia, heart disease, or AIDS, the chances of a patient surviving are far higher in the United States than in other countries. Notably, when former Italian prime minister Silvio Berlusconi needed heart surgery last year, he didn’t go to a French, Canadian, Cuban, or even Italian hospital—he went to the Cleveland Clinic in Ohio. Likewise, Canadian MP Belinda Stronach had surgery for her breast cancer at a California hospital.

    The United States drives much of the innovation and research on health care worldwide. Eighteen of the last 25 winners of the Nobel Prize in Medicine are either U.S. citizens or individuals working here. U.S. companies have developed half of all new major medicines introduced worldwide over the past 20 years. In fact, Americans played a key role in 80 percent of the most important medical advances of the past 30 years. Advanced medical technology is far more available in the United States than in nearly any other country.

    The same is true for prescription drugs. For example, 44 percent of Americans who could benefit from statins, lipid-lowering medication that reduces cholesterol and protects against heart disease, take the drug. That number seems low until compared with the 26 percent of Germans, 23 percent of Britons, and 17 percent of Italians who could both benefit from the drug and receive it. Similarly, 60 percent of Americans taking anti-psychotic medication for the treatment of schizophrenia or other mental illnesses are taking the most recent generation of drugs, which have fewer side effects. But just 20 percent of Spanish patients and 10 percent of Germans receive the most recent drugs.

    (Thanks to the Cato Institute for this info.)
     
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  2. Chris
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    Chris Gold Member

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    47 million people in America don't have health insurance.

    60% of all bankruptcies are caused by medical bills.

    The U.S. is the ONLY industrialized country that doesn't have a single payer healthcare system. Every Western democracy has a single payer system, and they pay HALF per person what we pay for healthcare.

    In America the rich get great healthcare, the poor get none until they are at death's door.

    What a fucked up society we have!
     
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  3. Oddball
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    Oddball BANNED Supporting Member

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    The brain dead left is already telling those things, ad nauseum, dickweed.
     
  4. Cecilie1200
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    Cecilie1200 Gold Member

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    I think Chris has a macro that automatically posts the same old canards in every new thread about healthcare, in an attempt to kill them before anyone has a chance to have any sort of free, open, thoughtful discussion of the topic.
     
  5. Oddball
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    Oddball BANNED Supporting Member

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    Chris is a room temperature IQ fucking nitwit, who only knows canards, slogans and worn out false dichotomy questions that beg the answers he wants.

    He wouldn't know an analytical thought if it fell on him.
     
  6. Cecilie1200
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    Cecilie1200 Gold Member

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    It's true. If an original thought ever entered his coconut, it would probably implode.

    But back to the topic of the truth about US healthcare. None of this is to say that the US system is perfect, because it isn't. It's just to point out that what's wrong with our system isn't what the left tells us it is, and the solution DEFINITELY isn't what they tell us.
     
  7. Oddball
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    Oddball BANNED Supporting Member

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    Perfection cannot be an option.

    The problem with health care is that there's too much interference in the market, not too little.
     
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  8. Chris
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    Chris Gold Member

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    When faced with inconvienent truths, the right wing does two things...

    Hurls insults.

    Or changes the subject.

    Your insults don't change the fact that our system sucks.

    It punishes the sick and the poor.
     
  9. elvis
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    elvis BANNED Supporting Member

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    it rewards those that prepare and punishes those that do not. Some day it will punish you.
     
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  10. Cecilie1200
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    Cecilie1200 Gold Member

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    Perfection is never an option as long as humans are involved. Still, there are lots of ways the US system could be improved. And you're correct. They all involve less government interference.
     

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