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Health Care Hither and Yon
An Invitation to Scream about Socialism
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Almost all advanced countries, if not all, have national medical care. It is telling that in the debate over Obamacare, few looked at systems in other countries to see how well what worked. The reason seems to have been a mixture of the classic American arrogance and lack of interest in anything beyond the borders. Characteristically, discussion usually turned on the evils of socialism–for some reason, Europe is thought to be socialist–and who was going to make money.

The results are what one would expect. Study after study has shown that American health care is of poor quality compared with that of other First World nations, and way more expensive.

Recently I encountered a casual friend–he was dancing in a local club–whom I had not seen for a while. Where ya been, I asked? In Guadalajara for cardiac surgery, he said, double bypass and valve replacement. The replacement valve was from a pig so we made the mandatory jokes about did he say oink-oink, and parted.

Later, for the hell of it, I asked by email what it had cost. His response, verbatim, except for my conversions to dollars at 17 pesos to the dollar:

“The costs of my surgery were as follows:

330,000 pesos to the surgeon and his surgical team. $19,411

122,000 pesos to the hospital for eight days $7176

15,000 to the blood bank. $882

————-

467,000 total $27,470

The time frame was March 13 to March 21. The exchange rate around this time period was about 17.5 which would make the USD cost app. $27.000.”

Wondering what this would cost in the US, I googled around and found things like this:

“For patients not covered by health insurance, valve replacement surgery typically costs from about $80,000-$200,000 or more with an average, according to an American Heart Association report[1] , of $164,238, not including the doctor fee. A surgeon fee can add $5,000 or more to the final bill.”

This was only for the valve replacement. The price for a simple bypass in the US runs to $50,000 to $70,000 at the lower end. What the bypasses would add to the replacement, I don’t know, and shudder to think.

The huge difference in price between American and other care occurs in almost everything. For example, corneal transplant in the US:

“For patients who are not covered by health insurance, the average cost of surgery can range from $13,000 to $27,000 or more. According to the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality[2] , a corneal transplant typically costs $13,119 when done as an ambulatory procedure and $27,705 when performed as an inpatient surgery.”

In Mexico, about $3000, according to my ophthalmologist, who does them constantly.

Why the prices? Several reasons offer themselves. Advanced countries–Mexico is not one–have less corruption than does the US, and a greater concern for the well-being of their people. In Europe, for example, this is obvious not just in medical care but in unemployment insurance, length of vacations, and public amenities. In Seville, among my favorite cities, sidewalks are very wide, bicycle lanes are actually usable, in intercity buses are clean and comfortable. In the US all of this would be regarded as hippy dippy or socialism or the malevolent workings of the nanny state.

I tell you, boys and girls, America is a collection of self-interested interests concerned with maximizing profits and nothing else. Hospitals are run for profit, with the result–surprise, surprise–that they charge what they can get away with. Compare Japan:

“Hospitals, by law, must be run as non-profit and be managed by physicians. For-profit corporations are not allowed to own or operate hospitals. Clinics must be owned and operated by physicians.”

Anybody want to take bets who gets better care at lower prices?

When national medical care is considered in America, nobody–so far as I am aware, anyway–thinks to look at other countries, see what they are doing, and ask, “Does it work?” To do so would make sense, and so is rejected out of hand, and anyway Americans apparently cannot conceive that other countries might do things well. Instead we hear about this that economic theory, and freedom, and what Adam Smith said about bypass surgery, and tyranny.

Invariably you hear of the pregnant woman in London who couldn’t see a doctor under national health care and had to giver herself a Caesarian with a chainsaw. These nightmares are offered as proof that national care doesn’t work. In fact the medical business lobbies to underfund national care, ensuring that it won’t work well. Then they talk about the evils of socialism.

Suppose we did make comparisons?

Military medical care is the obvious, available, and easily studied alternative to Obamacare. So far as I know, nobody thought of this. In the military you go to the hospital or clinic, show your ID card, get done whatever you need, and leave. Thank you, good day. No paperwork. No paperwork. No insurance forms, deductibles. receipts. No insurance companies trying to pay as little as possible, since that’s how they make money. The doctor doesn’t order a PET scan, three MRIs, and a DNA analysis of your grandmother’s dog to run up the bill.

Canada:

“Canadians strongly support the health system’s public rather than for-profit private basis, and a 2009 poll by Nanos Research found 86.2% of Canadians surveyed supported or strongly supported “public solutions to make our public health care stronger.”[18][19] A Strategic Counsel survey found 91% of Canadians prefer their health care system instead of a U.S. style system.[20][21]

From the taxpayer’s point of view, real national care involves no insurance companies. For this reason Congress, for sale to the highest bidder, will never consider such a system.

ORDER IT NOW

The French health care system i s one of universal health care largely financed by government national health insurance. In its 2000 assessment of world health care systems, the World Health Organization found that France provided the “close to best overall health care” in the world.[1] In 2011, France spent 11.6% of GDP on health care, or US $4,086 per capita,[2] a figure much higher than the average spent by countries in Europe but less than in the US.”

People who have used it–well, the three I know–love it.

The foregoing paragraphs by themselves do not justify a sweeping change of policy–but might they not suggest to our rulers the wisdom of at least looking at what other countries have done?

No.

——————————————————————————————-

Note: In last week’s column I made disparaging remarks about the accuracy of the AR15, and was taken to task by many readers. I should have said what I meant by accuracy, and I guess it isn’t what most people mean. In my days at Soldier of Fortune, we got into exotic stuff, such as sniper rifles, and it probably distorted my ideas of things. Google on “sniper rifles,” and you will find virtually nothing in .223. At Parris Island we fired .762 at 500 meters. And I don’t pretend to understand the photo with the “smoke disk,” which I can’t figure out.

Fred can be reached at jetpossum-readers@yahoo.com. Put the letters “pdq,” quotes not needed, somewhere in the subject line or a filter will heartlessly delete your email.

(Reprinted from Fred on Everything by permission of author or representative)
 
• Category: Ideology • Tags: Health Care, Obamacare 
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  1. It seems that the “advanced countries” that have the quality national health care schemes that you admire, Mr. Reed, are countries for whose defense the American taxpayer has been paying the lion’s share of through, e.g., NATO. It is much easier for a government to fund first rate socialized medicine, long vacations, and “public amenities” when it’s not paying for its own defense on its own Euro, Yen, Won, Canadian dollar, or what have you.

    Read More
    • Replies: @bluedog
    Hell NATO should have been gone long ago for it was little more than a scam for the military/industrial trade, and for that matter still is for we always need an enemy, thus we squander our money for the benefit of the few at the expense of the many always looking for another bogyman to keep the scam going..!!!
    , @exiled off mainstreet
    The "payment for defense" by the yankee imperium is a red herring, since, absent the yankee power structure fomenting wars for European countries to participate in and create the refugees which are causing problems there, there would be no need for such expenditures, which are a total waste of money and divert funds from health care.
    , @TomSchmidt
    You are aware that the German healthcare system, first in the world, was created and maintained for over 60 years, through two crushing losses in two world wars, before NATO ever paid a nickel for that country's "defense," right?
    , @animalogic
    Oh yes, aunty ! Defence from the enemies the US creates - defence for the wars it starts or encourages, & defence which profits the US defence industries. Oh yes, those naughty socialistic, Japanese, Europeans etc !
    Oh...& pity the poor US taxpayer who is the ultimate loser...(excluding all those dead, displaced victims of "defence" in various shitholes here & there)
    , @Clearpoint
    You think you just hit us with some plain spoken Thatcherite wisdom on the economic problems of socialism, don't you. All you did, albeit unwittingly, was give us another example of the unrelenting greed inherent in American style crony capitalism. The military industrial complex doesn't care who pays the bill for defense; only that it gets paid. Foreign aid is merely the platform used to create an obscenely profitable marketplace for the MIC. Crony capitalism American style depends on this indirect form of payment, so that those who eventually pay the bill have no idea how obscenely high the bill is, and are therefore not in a position to say no. U.S. healthcare uses the insurance companies to set the course and mask the insanely high cost of our healthcare, and these insurance companies spend insane amounts of money lobbying government to prevent a better solution from being developed. Hence we get Obama care instead of a system that could actually work. Crony capitalism American style socializes the costs and privatizes the profits. This is the worst of all possible systems, and one that would easily be defeated in the marketplace of ideas if the game weren't rigged by the financial and political elites. This is why EVERY country has a more cost-effective healthcare system than the U.S.
    , @Wizard of Oz
    The United States is much bigger than other First World countrieand richer than all but about three small ones. Still there could be a small element in the idea that other countries lower percentage expenditure on defence was good for their health expenditure and outcomes - if you could be bothered to do the figuring based on fact snd careful calculation. However..... that doesn't explain why US healthcare is such an outlandish proportion of GDP for very poor average results.

    Another sally from the same fortress might suggest that other countries are free riders on American pharmaceutical companies' inventions which cost patients and health insurers much more in the US than in other countries. Maybe but deduct huge advertising expenses only incurred in the US and the bias of American and all purely commercial pharmaceutical research towards drugs which will be taken for a long time rather than cures.
    , @pyrrhus
    Not sure where all this "first rate" national healthcare is hanging out. 5 year survival rate for cancer in the US=66%, in Canada and the UK= 44%...Also, UK NH has few dentists, has advised people to pull their own teeth....
    , @Boris N
    Let's leave emotions and crunch numbers. The USA pay only 16% ($600bn) of the federal budget on the military and 27% ($1,000bn) on Medicare & Health. Total health expenditures of the nation: $3,000bn. Given that $1,000bn are already covered by the federal budget, you need another $2,000bn in the budget. Even if the state would spend zero on the army, it would be $1,400bn short.
    https://www.nationalpriorities.org/budget-basics/federal-budget-101/spending/
    http://www.cdc.gov/nchs/fastats/health-expenditures.htm
    If the state spend 50% less on the military then the required sum would be $1,700bn or $5,300 per capita. Sure you could get that money from the top 1% and the corporations but how can you get at them if the state itself is controlled by those oligarchs and their lobby is the most powerful? Moreover, you have elected one of the oligarchs as your president. Reap what you have sown.
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  2. Certainly there is no perfect health care system in the world and I would submit that crony capitalism has ruined the one in the US. If there were truly market forces in play with insurance of catastrophic events, our system might have some semblance of economic rationality and would likely perform much better. Japan seems to have it right by making physicians the major stakeholders in the medical service industry. When businessmen in the US saw how much money there was in health care, they just had to get some of it and so we now have a system which everyone tries to game and might occasionally give the patient a good outcome after the various players milk as much money out as is possible. There are many complicated schemes proposed for saving money and improving quality, many of which cost a lot and are of unproven benefit. My suggestion, which could be implemented tomorrow at virtually no cost is to limit hospital executive salaries to no more than twice that of a GS-15. Hospitals get 80-90% of their money from Medicare and Medicaid, so they have been socialized for a long time. Since they already are quasi government institutions, we should no longer pay the CEO’s and myriad VPs millions.

    Complete socialization in the US is generally a bad idea. The analogy of the MVA is all too real. Even the military system which was given good reviews in Fred’s article is not what it used to be–they are kicking out many retirees to the Tricare system in order to keep costs down.

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    • Replies: @jacques sheete
    Bingo! Right here:

    When businessmen in the US saw how much money there was in health care, they just had to get some of it
     
    And another:

    we now have a system which everyone tries to game the system
     
    And yet another.

    ..and might occasionally give the patient a good outcome
     
    This next idea may need to be reconsidered because these cats typically are very low class power-hungry junior mafia wannabees and are completely worthless so they need to be given a cardboard box (to live in) and a boot out the door. Same with the insurance racket mugwumps. :

    My suggestion, which could be implemented tomorrow at virtually no cost is to limit hospital executive salaries to no more than twice that of a GS-15.
     
  3. Indeed. The healthcare in the US is so bad, nobody ever comes here.

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    • Replies: @Quartermaster
    Funny you should say that. It has been said, for many years, that the best healthcare in Canada is in the US. Those who can afford it, come south. People have come from the UK, France, Germany and Italy as well, although not as many as from Canada as we aren't quite as handy to the eastern side of the Atlantic pond.
    , @Boris N

    Indeed. The healthcare in the US is so bad, nobody ever comes here.
     
    People simply have no idea about the American healthcare system. They do not think about it. They come to America for a better life and higher wages and they do not think what will happen when they become ill. Many think of free healthcare as a given for a developed country, and they simply suppose America is the same. But is important to notice that most immigrants to America today are the people from Third World countries and for them the American healthcare with all its faults is the best they can get. But for the people from First World countries it must be not that impressive. Europe is no more a major origin for immigrants to America. Why, indeed, would a German or a Swede migrate to America now? Only 80,000 Europeans come to America in 2014 (the majority are from poorer Eastern Europe, I suppose) out of 1 million immigrants. So the only way one can say America is the best is by comparison with the Third World. How low America must have fallen.
  4. @Auntie Analogue
    It seems that the "advanced countries" that have the quality national health care schemes that you admire, Mr. Reed, are countries for whose defense the American taxpayer has been paying the lion's share of through, e.g., NATO. It is much easier for a government to fund first rate socialized medicine, long vacations, and "public amenities" when it's not paying for its own defense on its own Euro, Yen, Won, Canadian dollar, or what have you.

    Hell NATO should have been gone long ago for it was little more than a scam for the military/industrial trade, and for that matter still is for we always need an enemy, thus we squander our money for the benefit of the few at the expense of the many always looking for another bogyman to keep the scam going..!!!

    Read More
    • Replies: @Bill Jones
    I agree.
    The myth the NATO was there to defend rather than loot Europe needs to die.
  5. The health care in the US is arguably the best in the world. The advances in health care developed in the last 30 years is staggering, from heart disease to joint replacement. Pt come from around the world to be treated in our hospitals. The great majority of the advancements
    in health care delivery have come from the huge profits the hospitals, doctors, and drug companies have sought.
    Much of the cost of health care has been incurred with allowing anyone from around the world to get admitted without charge to our hospitals. No one is turned away for lack of paying
    unless you consider the small number of for profit hospitals. Our hospitals are not even allowed
    to keep track of how they spend on noncitizens without violating federal law.
    Although we do spend more than the rest of the world on health care, for the most part it is money well spent in saving lives and curing disease. What better reason is there to spend money other than keeping your family in good health. How come we never hear that the government is spending too much on legal fees? I bet if we nationalized the law industry no one other than the lawyers would mind.

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    • Replies: @Alfred1860
    The USA is 30th in the world in maternal/infant mortality, despite spending almost 50 % more on healthcare (as a percentage of GDP) than the next closest developed country. Life expectancy is 50th in the world, and actually falling (in absolute terms). That's a pretty shitty ROI if you ask me.

    Indisputably, healthcare in the US is the best in the world for millionaires. For the rest, not so much.
  6. I always wondered what happened to the true concept of “mutual insurance” – where the policy owners own the insurance company and therefore earn dividends from its gains. It is in the interests of the policy owners to stay healthy to maximize their own profits.

    Are those around any more – or all gone, except in name?

    Also, maybe we need to have caps on compensation via tort reform.

    Peace.

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    • Replies: @Bill Jones
    There are a number of religion based mutual insurance operation. They specifically were excluded from the Obamacare requirement of buying .
    , @Anonymous

    I always wondered what happened to the true concept of “mutual insurance” – where the policy owners own the insurance company and therefore earn dividends from its gains. It is in the interests of the policy owners to stay healthy to maximize their own profits.

    Are those around any more – or all gone, except in name?
     
    Mutual insurance used to be much more common than it is now. Most of the Blue Cross & Blue Shield companies used to be mutuals. However, many of them have demutualized and switched to being for-profit companies.

    The incentive really isn't that strong because these companies are very large. If you save the company $100,000 by not getting Hepatitis C, that $100,000 gets split among the million members, and you end up with 10 cents.

    The nonprofit Blue Crosses are not significantly cheaper than the for-profit Blue Crosses. The reason is that the for-profit companies do a better job of cutting costs. The CEO has stock options, so he has an incentive to cut the fat. A nonprofit CEO has a much harder time doing this.

    It's the same reason that GEICO is taking market share from State Farm. Because State Farm is a mutual, it ought to have a cost advantage, since it doesn't have to make a profit and GEICO does. However, State Farm squanders its entire cost advantage by using an agent-based structure. GEICO cuts out the fat with its direct sales structure, so it can underprice State Farm and still make a nice profit.
  7. Fred, American medicine’s Iron Pyramid has been successfully blocking any sort of national health scheme since May 1943, when its Council on Medical Service and Public Relations started promoting group health insurance to its Big Business allies.

    Think “10 thousand, 10 million, and 10 trillion”. Ten thousand modern factories that haven’t been built in America, 10 million good jobs lost, and 10 trillion dollars in extraordinary enrichment of group health insurers, medical practitioners, hospitals, medical equipment makers, and Big Pharma over the past half-century, ever since Medicare kick-started medical super-inflation, which only group health insurance beneficiaries could keep up with.

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  8. U.S. medical care was cheaper and better before the federal govt. started to subsidise it in the 1960s. A relative was in the hospital recently. In the next room was an elderly Haitian getting his second pacemaker. Wonder who pays for that? Undoubtedly artificially increased demand raises prices.

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  9. Anon says:     Show CommentNext New Comment

    US subsidizes healthcare in other nations.

    Americans pay high prices for drugs, but these same drug companies sell the drugs real cheap to other nations.

    Also, other nations let old people die. In the US, they are kept alive as long as possible.

    But with growing Diversity in Canada and EU, things will break down.

    Btw, many people support socialized medicine not necessarily due to results but ideology as they were drummed in schools from young age that it is eeeeevil to privatize medicine.
    Even Canadians who don’t like their healthcare system will support socialized medicine cuz they’ve been indoctrinated to virtue-signal that way.

    Another thing. Aren’t food, clothing, and housing more essential than medicine for human survival? Then, why are people allowed to make profit off that stuff?
    We let free markets take care of food, clothes, and housing. And we provide socialism for those who can’t afford those things.
    Well, the same thing should be done with medicine. Try to handle the problem with markets as much as possible, and then offer socialized basic medicine for those who can’t afford doctors.

    The main problem of American health is fattiness. Look at Michael Moore. Fatsos like that cost us dearly. And then you got tons of Negroes shooting one another or using drugs. And white deplorables are also into big drugs.

    Read More
    • Replies: @exiled off mainstreet
    If other countries let old people die, how come all other western countries have a higher life expectancy than the yankee imperium. Meanwhile, the latest figures actually show a drop in the imperium with continued increases elsewhere including in Canada, which has a several years greater life expectancy than south of the border. No wonder such a high figure support the Canadian system, 91% as quoted in the article. As a dual citizen the existence of Medicare (which is the name of the Canadian system) was a key reason for my relocation here once family obligations ended. I can attest that the system is far superior than the dog eat dog corporate yankee system. The failure of the medical system is one of the generalized failures of the yankee system.
    , @E. Rekshun
    US subsidizes healthcare in other nations.

    Americans pay high prices for drugs, but these same drug companies sell the drugs real cheap to other nations.


    You got that right! My Viagra costs $20 per pill at my local CVS pharmacy. It's $2 per pill for generic Viagra from my on-line Canadian pharmacy; but why do the packages come postage stamped from India?
    , @woodNfish

    why are people allowed to make profit off that stuff?
     
    I personally know a number of doctors, and none of them are poor. But it is the insurance companies, big pharma and our criminal government that are driving up healthcare costs.
  10. We have the system we have (an abomination) because our politicians are for sale. I doesn’t help that dumb ass Americans believe single payer is Communism.

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    • Replies: @MarkinLA
    We have the system we have because of WWII and wage controls that were used during the war to hold down costs and keep employees in their place. The only thing the companies could provide in the way of increases was to increase the benefit packages. It just caught on and continued after the war because health care was cheap then and it wasn't very costly. I imagine the corporate execs could probably exaggerate its costs to the employees and pay out far less in wages at bargaining time.
  11. @bluedog
    Hell NATO should have been gone long ago for it was little more than a scam for the military/industrial trade, and for that matter still is for we always need an enemy, thus we squander our money for the benefit of the few at the expense of the many always looking for another bogyman to keep the scam going..!!!

    I agree.
    The myth the NATO was there to defend rather than loot Europe needs to die.

    Read More
    • Replies: @athEIst
    And we're not good at looting, Or (honest question) are we?
  12. @Talha
    I always wondered what happened to the true concept of "mutual insurance" - where the policy owners own the insurance company and therefore earn dividends from its gains. It is in the interests of the policy owners to stay healthy to maximize their own profits.

    Are those around any more - or all gone, except in name?

    Also, maybe we need to have caps on compensation via tort reform.

    Peace.

    There are a number of religion based mutual insurance operation. They specifically were excluded from the Obamacare requirement of buying .

    Read More
    • Replies: @Talha
    Hey Bill,

    Did not know that - thanks!

    Peace.
    , @Anonymous

    There are a number of religion based mutual insurance operation. They specifically were excluded from the Obamacare requirement of buying .
     
    Healthcare sharing ministries are not mutual insurance companies. In fact, they're not even insurance. That's why they needed an exemption in the ACA -- so that their members do not pay the penalty for not having insurance.

    Members pay a fee to access the ministry. If they get sick, they submit the bills to the ministry, which divides it up into pieces and asks other members to pay part of the bill. You literally write a check to a stranger and mail it directly to him. The obligation is religious and not contractual, so you could just decide to skip out on mailing the check. The only thing they can do is to kick you out.

    A mutual insurance company would include all the costs in the premium. You never have to write a check to a stranger. Instead, you pay the insurance company, which is contractually obligated to pay the stranger. If the insurance company refuses to pay, it would be sued.
    , @workforlivn
    I have Medi-Share which is a christian based program. I'm 62 in good health. Through Obamacare my premium is $725 with $7500 deductible. Through Medi-share it is $220 with $10,000 deductible.

    Medi-share excludes negative outcomes that are self-inflicted. Diseases caused by buggery are excluded from coverage. Get in wreck while drunk or get shot robbing a convenience store and your costs are someone else's problem.
  13. @Auntie Analogue
    It seems that the "advanced countries" that have the quality national health care schemes that you admire, Mr. Reed, are countries for whose defense the American taxpayer has been paying the lion's share of through, e.g., NATO. It is much easier for a government to fund first rate socialized medicine, long vacations, and "public amenities" when it's not paying for its own defense on its own Euro, Yen, Won, Canadian dollar, or what have you.

    The “payment for defense” by the yankee imperium is a red herring, since, absent the yankee power structure fomenting wars for European countries to participate in and create the refugees which are causing problems there, there would be no need for such expenditures, which are a total waste of money and divert funds from health care.

    Read More
    • Replies: @The Grate Deign
    I''m not shilling for NATO, but let's be honest. Prior to American domination of Europe, they were not far from continuous war.
    , @RadicalCenter
    Look, I'd like to see NATO reined in or disbanded, and at the least I'd like to see US & NATO stop stirring up conflict in Ukraine and elsewhere.

    But it's willfully naïve to suggest that European countries wouldn't need to spend substantial money for defense if the US government weren't causing / exacerbating such problems.

    Would it be wise to leave your countries defenseless against China, Russia, Iran in perpetuity? Because you "just know" that they'd never forcibly take your land and resources, or subjugate your people, if they knew they could easily do so?

    We (USA) have spent and borrowed far too much for the military-industrial complex and unnecessary non-defensive wars. European countries have pathetic inadequate militaries and refuse to spend what is needed for mere defense and deterrence. Two extremes. Both should be avoided.
  14. @Anon
    US subsidizes healthcare in other nations.

    Americans pay high prices for drugs, but these same drug companies sell the drugs real cheap to other nations.

    Also, other nations let old people die. In the US, they are kept alive as long as possible.

    But with growing Diversity in Canada and EU, things will break down.

    Btw, many people support socialized medicine not necessarily due to results but ideology as they were drummed in schools from young age that it is eeeeevil to privatize medicine.
    Even Canadians who don't like their healthcare system will support socialized medicine cuz they've been indoctrinated to virtue-signal that way.

    Another thing. Aren't food, clothing, and housing more essential than medicine for human survival? Then, why are people allowed to make profit off that stuff?
    We let free markets take care of food, clothes, and housing. And we provide socialism for those who can't afford those things.
    Well, the same thing should be done with medicine. Try to handle the problem with markets as much as possible, and then offer socialized basic medicine for those who can't afford doctors.

    The main problem of American health is fattiness. Look at Michael Moore. Fatsos like that cost us dearly. And then you got tons of Negroes shooting one another or using drugs. And white deplorables are also into big drugs.

    If other countries let old people die, how come all other western countries have a higher life expectancy than the yankee imperium. Meanwhile, the latest figures actually show a drop in the imperium with continued increases elsewhere including in Canada, which has a several years greater life expectancy than south of the border. No wonder such a high figure support the Canadian system, 91% as quoted in the article. As a dual citizen the existence of Medicare (which is the name of the Canadian system) was a key reason for my relocation here once family obligations ended. I can attest that the system is far superior than the dog eat dog corporate yankee system. The failure of the medical system is one of the generalized failures of the yankee system.

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    • Replies: @Anon
    "If other countries let old people die, how come all other western countries have a higher life expectancy than the yankee imperium."

    Other nations don't have gun violence, lots of negroes killing negroes, and etc.

    Also, other nations aren't as fatty as the US.

    Even if a nation does little to keep old people alive, life expectancy will be high if people eat right, walk than always use car, drink red wine, and don't shoot each other like Negroes.

    US medicine spends more to keep old folks alive, but there are too many fatties who die young from gluttony. And too many Negroes killing one another.
    , @Cletus Rothschild
    "If other countries let old people die, how come all other western countries have a higher life expectancy than the yankee imperium."

    Other countries let UNHEALTHY people die, rather than giving them procedures that they cannot afford in order to keep them breathing for a few more years while sitting in chairs and lying in beds.

    This is one of the problems of attributing longer life expectancy to quality of healthcare: people in other countries have a longer life expectancy because they live better lifestyles which allows them to avoid needing healthcare in the first place.
    , @Eric Novak
    Those nations haven't added 70,000,000 gov't dependent Mexicans with Type II Diabetes, in 25 years, to their populations.
  15. @Bill Jones
    There are a number of religion based mutual insurance operation. They specifically were excluded from the Obamacare requirement of buying .

    Hey Bill,

    Did not know that – thanks!

    Peace.

    Read More
  16. Anon says:     Show CommentNext New Comment
    @exiled off mainstreet
    If other countries let old people die, how come all other western countries have a higher life expectancy than the yankee imperium. Meanwhile, the latest figures actually show a drop in the imperium with continued increases elsewhere including in Canada, which has a several years greater life expectancy than south of the border. No wonder such a high figure support the Canadian system, 91% as quoted in the article. As a dual citizen the existence of Medicare (which is the name of the Canadian system) was a key reason for my relocation here once family obligations ended. I can attest that the system is far superior than the dog eat dog corporate yankee system. The failure of the medical system is one of the generalized failures of the yankee system.

    “If other countries let old people die, how come all other western countries have a higher life expectancy than the yankee imperium.”

    Other nations don’t have gun violence, lots of negroes killing negroes, and etc.

    Also, other nations aren’t as fatty as the US.

    Even if a nation does little to keep old people alive, life expectancy will be high if people eat right, walk than always use car, drink red wine, and don’t shoot each other like Negroes.

    US medicine spends more to keep old folks alive, but there are too many fatties who die young from gluttony. And too many Negroes killing one another.

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  17. Freddie, you and your pal are nuts…..letting a couple of Beaners cut on your ticker to save a few bucks. Maybe you could find a couple of Haitians to work on it with an exacto knive for a couple hundred dollars. If you stopped devouring murdered pigs, your arteries wouldn’t resemble a clogged sink trap, and you wouldn’t need to murder more pigs to harvest valves for installation into your diseased sclerotic blood pumpers. Fact: there was almost no incidence of heart disease in Asia…until they adopted the poisonous westernized diet of fat, dead animals, and lots of sugar.

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    • Troll: TWS
    • Replies: @TWS
    Fact, you can't murder a pig or any other damn animal for that matter.
  18. Fred makes some good points, however he’s off the mark by suggesting that comparisons be made with military health care.

    First, the average health profile for military personnel (not damaged physically or mentally by combat/deployment) is far better than that of the general civilian population that includes elderly, substance addicted, fatbodies (although obesity has piggybacked itself into the military to some extent with “diversity” and women) and others who couldn’t survive an induction physical or boot camp.

    Second, Fred conveniently neglected to mention VA health care as a possible comparison metric, which by no means is a simple no paperwork, just git ‘r’ done high quality proposition.

    Third, military doctors pretty much get to skip residency/internship requirements of civilian doctors who attend medical school without the benefit of an ROTC scholarship to boot. Military doctors don’t have student loan debt in other words, much like foreign trained doctors who come here to run their Medicare/Medicaid scams.

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  19. I was working on Capitol Hill when ClintonCare was being considered and there were comparisons, mostly to the U.K. and Canadian systems. The U.K. was generally held out as the worst, with long waits for elective surgery and some procedures simply not done past a certain age. Canada’s system got a better review. Cross-national comparisons are difficult, since the health status of the population differs among countries. The U.S. does seem to pay quite a lot for results that aren’t much better, or actually worse, than other countries. I have limited experience with the U.K. and French systems, which I have found to be relatively good. France does have universal medical coverage (Securité Sociale), but the reimbursement is low and most French people who can afford it buy private insurance (Mutuelle). But the French system is showing strain under the influx of migrants who are low income and qualify for free unlimited care (couverture maladie universel) and who have some fairly exotic diseases. I had a language student whose sister was a medical doctor studying tropical diseases–she planned to practice in Paris–there was that much demand for those services.

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  20. Importing tens of millions of destitute third-worlders will have a deleterious effect on any nation’s health-care system. Meanwhile the USA offers top-notch care to those who can afford it, or who are employed by large organizations such as corporations, institutions, government etc. They include good insurance coverage as part of their compensation packages. If you’re in the individual market, or employed by small business, you may be out of luck.

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    • Replies: @JackOH
    " . . . [G]ood insurance coverage as part of their compensation packages". Kyle, you've hit on probably the #1 reason why American health care debate goes instantly wobbly. Group health insurance enrollees wrongly believe the cost of their insurance is an alternate wage or salary. It's not taxed as a wage or salary. Plus, how can it be compensation for work if the $200 an hour executive enrolled in a single plan costs the employer $7,000 a year, while the $20 an hour janitor with contractually qualifying dependents is enrolled in a so-called family plan at $17,000 a year?

    You almost can't blame the medically insured for not wanting the lid blown off an astounding scheme that's misguided at least, if not downright iniquitous.
  21. Yes, a Canadian, French, or UK-like system would’ve been a huge improvement. But of course the greedy doctors, hospitals, and insurance companies will never let it happen. Also, the pharmaceuticals: the highest prices I’ve seen were in the US and Switzerland.

    Call it “regulatory capture”, or crony capitalism, or whatever – the essence is clear: the government is acting in the interests of the big business (and against its population) to the extent unseen in the ‘developed’ world…

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    • Replies: @JackOH
    " . . .[G]reedy doctors, hospitals, and insurance companies . . .". Yup, Mao, true. If I can generalize from my own observations of our medical associations and local medical societies, medicine is among the cruelest of our professions. Hippocrates warned of intrinsic vulnerabilities in the doctor-patient relationship. America's "exceptionalist" response seems to be to turn over the national checkbook to Big Medicine and tell 'em to use their best judgment. (My hunch is that sulfa and penicillin, plus the successful public health measures of the early 20th century gave the America Medical Association way too much unwarranted prestige and political influence.)

    With health insurance costs approaching the cost of wages and salaries, we may be nearing some crisis that's sufficiently ripe for the President and key Congressional leaders to act. How in the world we'll politically account for the gratuitous deaths of maybe a half-million folks, the needless suffering of many more, and the bankruptcy and impoverishment of millions as a result of health care costs is beyond me. I think there'd be good justice in seeing the medical establishment taken down a few pegs, but I'm not sure how many opinion leaders and decision-makers feel that way.
    , @Rod1963
    Quite true.

    The American medical and pharmaceutical industries are little more than extortion rackets.

    I'll give a couple examples. A bag of Saline costs about $2.00, but if a ambulance gives you a saline drip - the cost of that Saline bag is $800.00.

    Take the pill called Sensipar, it runs over $100 a pill. It's so expensive that medicare part D won't cover it. In India you can find the same medicine albeit under a different name for $3 a pill. This goes on across the board.

    Take Scorpion antivenom, you can get a vial in Mexico for a $100. The same vial in the U.S. costs patients $30.000.

    Epipens which cost around a $150 in Europe or Asia, cost over a $1000.00 in the U.S.

    Daraprim which goes for between $35,000 and $110,000.00 has been synthesized by two Australian teenagers for $3 and change.

    Do you know that by law hospitals are required to post the cost of procedures but they don't, why is that? So they charge the patient according to to their insurance or income level. It's flat out illegal and the doctors and administrators should be in jail for the practice.

    If I go to private surgery clinic as opposed to using a hospital's surgery ward for outpatient surgery, the cost is 1/10th that of the hospital's facility. MRI's clinics are like wise.

    Drive by doctoring. In our hospitals its quite fashionable for doctors to come by for about 30 seconds if that and then charge the patient for a consult that didn't happen. If you look at a breakdown of your hospital stay you'll see a lot of it. Usually it's a quick way for a doctor to make a fast $300-500.

    If I go to a privately run surgery clinic for outpatient surgery vs having the same procedure done in a hospital the cost differential is astounding.
  22. @Kyle McKenna
    Importing tens of millions of destitute third-worlders will have a deleterious effect on any nation's health-care system. Meanwhile the USA offers top-notch care to those who can afford it, or who are employed by large organizations such as corporations, institutions, government etc. They include good insurance coverage as part of their compensation packages. If you're in the individual market, or employed by small business, you may be out of luck.

    ” . . . [G]ood insurance coverage as part of their compensation packages”. Kyle, you’ve hit on probably the #1 reason why American health care debate goes instantly wobbly. Group health insurance enrollees wrongly believe the cost of their insurance is an alternate wage or salary. It’s not taxed as a wage or salary. Plus, how can it be compensation for work if the $200 an hour executive enrolled in a single plan costs the employer $7,000 a year, while the $20 an hour janitor with contractually qualifying dependents is enrolled in a so-called family plan at $17,000 a year?

    You almost can’t blame the medically insured for not wanting the lid blown off an astounding scheme that’s misguided at least, if not downright iniquitous.

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  23. @Auntie Analogue
    It seems that the "advanced countries" that have the quality national health care schemes that you admire, Mr. Reed, are countries for whose defense the American taxpayer has been paying the lion's share of through, e.g., NATO. It is much easier for a government to fund first rate socialized medicine, long vacations, and "public amenities" when it's not paying for its own defense on its own Euro, Yen, Won, Canadian dollar, or what have you.

    You are aware that the German healthcare system, first in the world, was created and maintained for over 60 years, through two crushing losses in two world wars, before NATO ever paid a nickel for that country’s “defense,” right?

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  24. The doctor doesn’t order a PET scan, three MRIs, and a DNA analysis of your grandmother’s dog to run up the bill.

    It is true that some of these elaborate machines, having been purchased, must be used (to pay for them). There is also the ever present shadow of the trial lawyer looming over the doctor. Much of medicine is defensive.

    Enormous amounts of money are spent trying to “save” or prolong the life of people near the end, even of the indigent, and those costs are eaten by the hospitals.

    Much of the high cost of our medical system is rooted in our legal system.

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  25. A couple of months ago there was a report that 45,000+ Canadians had, or chose, to seek care outside the country (most in the US) because of unavailability or waiting times for treatment.

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  26. @Blosky
    Indeed. The healthcare in the US is so bad, nobody ever comes here.

    Funny you should say that. It has been said, for many years, that the best healthcare in Canada is in the US. Those who can afford it, come south. People have come from the UK, France, Germany and Italy as well, although not as many as from Canada as we aren’t quite as handy to the eastern side of the Atlantic pond.

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  27. Fred, didn’t the VA practically blind you while doing a simple suture removal?

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    • Replies: @Jim Christian
    You are correct. Cost him previously sharp eyesight in one eye. I use VA Healthcare in New England, self-touted as the best. I've had good luck with them and true enough, no paperwork. They did a carpal-tunnel surgery that couldn't be beat and their foot-guy was a surgeon who reconstructed the feet of Humvee guys that rolled over IEDs, an incident they found was very hard on the feet. My feet were wrecked in crummy flight deck boots and years up and down the ladders of carriers, many a day, dozens. These guys know bones, I tell ya.

    Eyes, not so much maybe, for Fred anyway, although I get my eye care exams there too. Not sure there's a Model at VA that applies to civilians without you simply declare the country to be on Medicare, all current payments to insurance now a tax to the Feds. The insurance companies are a powerful lot. Not sure how you cut them out without a coup...
  28. It seems that the “advanced countries” that have the quality national health care schemes that you admire, Mr. Reed, are countries for whose defense the American taxpayer has been paying the lion’s share of through, e.g., NATO.

    Canada, France, UK, all spend, on healthcare, less than half for capita than the US. It’s not clear to me how the robbery of the US taxpayer by the military-industrial complex (which I agree, is happening) can serve as a justification for robbing the same US taxpayer by the healthcare industry too…

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    • Agree: Wizard of Oz
    • Replies: @Anonymous

    Canada, France, UK, all spend, on healthcare, less than half for capita than the US. It’s not clear to me how the robbery of the US taxpayer by the military-industrial complex (which I agree, is happening) can serve as a justification for robbing the same US taxpayer by the healthcare industry too…
     
    No attempt is made to "justify" it. The rich, in the majority, exist by means of the military-industrial complex. All other economic factors are irrelevant to them. Thus, the mind-control exerted by the rich-owned MSM emphasizes the absolute need for astronomical costs paid by the working citizen, to maintain an enormous military machine that benefits whom? the rich.
  29. Anonymous says:     Show CommentNext New Comment

    Upper class living in Mexico is affordable on a US middle-class income. Upper class medical care systems in Mexico are superior to middle-class medical care systems in the US.

    Simple facts can be instructive when selective chauvinism does not blind. Pretty much the story of human existence, right there.

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  30. Anonymous says:     Show CommentNext New Comment
    @Mao Cheng Ji

    It seems that the “advanced countries” that have the quality national health care schemes that you admire, Mr. Reed, are countries for whose defense the American taxpayer has been paying the lion’s share of through, e.g., NATO.
     
    Canada, France, UK, all spend, on healthcare, less than half for capita than the US. It's not clear to me how the robbery of the US taxpayer by the military-industrial complex (which I agree, is happening) can serve as a justification for robbing the same US taxpayer by the healthcare industry too...

    Canada, France, UK, all spend, on healthcare, less than half for capita than the US. It’s not clear to me how the robbery of the US taxpayer by the military-industrial complex (which I agree, is happening) can serve as a justification for robbing the same US taxpayer by the healthcare industry too…

    No attempt is made to “justify” it. The rich, in the majority, exist by means of the military-industrial complex. All other economic factors are irrelevant to them. Thus, the mind-control exerted by the rich-owned MSM emphasizes the absolute need for astronomical costs paid by the working citizen, to maintain an enormous military machine that benefits whom? the rich.

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  31. Anon says:     Show CommentNext New Comment

    Junk food industry + poor eating habit due to immature/impulsive culture + rise of shamelessness & fatso-ness + crazy blacks doing violence are the real drag on American Health.

    If the US were to ban junk food, life expectancy will go up by 10 yrs.

    It’s been said Cuba has pretty good health.
    This has little to do with healthcare.

    It’s that (1) Cuba is a police state that keeps blacks under control and without guns (2) Cubans most subsist on rice and beans that are more healthy than ice cream, sodapop, cookies, and too much beer (3) walk a lot than relying on cars.

    The main emphasis should be on American HABITS than HEALTHCARE.

    It’s like US spends lots on education, but some segments of the population learn little because their habits and attitudes(or habittudes) are so rotten.It’s not always about money or organization. It is about the intangible factor of habits.

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    • Replies: @animalogic
    Preventative medicine -- it's a great idea, but where's the profit ? And, god help us, if the government dare suggest, let alone DO something, it's SCREAMS of the Nanny State time.
    I pity US business: health care is an overhead which reduces it's profitability. BUT - it can never countenance a universal medical coverage for ideological reasons: the government, collective action, can NEVER (outside of the military) EVER be allowed to be considered a valid answer to national issues.
    Universal - basic - health coverage is not HARD. A small tax on ALL incomes (say 1.5%) should cover the basics. The rich can further insure themselves for speedier service, face lifts & breast/penis enlargements.
    And perhaps (oh, god no !) governments might encourage (not dictate) healthier living....
    The current US health system has little to do with capitalism & a lot to do with old fashioned rentier economics.... Sure, find fault with universal coverage, but don't kid yourself that you are defending "capitalism".
    , @animalogic
    Yes - it's about habits inculcated by parents within the context of general culture. And just look at that culture ! Parent takes their eyes off kid for a second...well god help them ! A child alone, unsupervised in the degenerate stew that passes for culture now...?
    You could weep tears of blood, much good that would do.
    , @Jim Christian

    sodapop, cookies, and too much beer
     
    Hey! Keep the sweets, lay off my beer! Ha!
    And my cigarettes, red meat, motorcycles, scotch, broads, cigars. I got bored with the skydiving on my own, but that's not a healthcare issue. No chute, no you. There are others, but none that change the general picture..
  32. Mostly absurd analysis. Polls from England and similar places ask people who have never known another healthcare system. Of course they would state approval of the only healthcare system they have and the only type with which they are familiar. It is government influence and intervention that makes American healthcare so expensive. And why do wealthy Canadians come to America for serious, critical treatment? Or come to U.S. from Mexico? Your comments are only relative in an extremely general sense, a surface knowledge of the subject. You are about as deep on this subject as you are on evolution and genetics, that depth of which can be measured in one or two millimeters. Ever hear of epigenetics? I thought not.

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    • Replies: @annamaria
    "Ever hear of epigenetics?"

    Ever heard about the bureaucratic waste and exorbitant salaries of the health insurance CEOs in the US? How these waste and salaries are financed? - The US healthcare system is a racket. This racket includes taxation without representation (the fines for non-enrollement in the racketeering "health insurance" schema). Or as you wrote, "It is government influence and intervention that makes American healthcare so expensive." Correct. It is the US government bought by insurance companies that makes American healthcare overly expensive.
    For instance, citizens of South Korea are not interested in getting healthcare in the US; moreover, people from other countries travel to get medical care in South Korea: https://www.medicalavenuekorea.com/en/south-korea-is-the-new-destination-for-health-tourism/
    Here is the old data (2011), which should be educational (re expenses) for naive defenders (not-directly-profiteering) of the US dysfunctional system:
    "National health insurance in South Korea is currently a single-payer program (that is both publicly and privately financed) that pays for privately provided health care. Universal coverage was achieved in 1989. As a result, the household share of total national health spending fell from 87.8 percent to 54.6 percent during the three decades, and the out-of-pocket share dropped from 87.2 percent to 38.0 percent. Although covered services have gradually expanded, benefits remain relatively low, and public funding is limited, leaving beneficiaries with relatively high copayments. Coupled with the fact that the [South Korean] government manages the schedule of fees paid to providers, the health care share of gross domestic product was a low 6.3 percent in 2007."
    "South Korea has a universal national healthcare system operated by both the Health Insurance Review and Assessment Service (HIRA) and the National Health Insurance Service (NHIS). The NHI system covers over 97 percent of citizens, who pay a premium and have the right to access any physician or medical institution. The remaining 3 percent of the population is covered by a Medical Aid Program for the poor."

    , @Wizard of Oz
    Yes, Fred can get a bit funny on evolution but your accusations of superficiality would be better based if you didn't try to make a point out of Canadians who can afford it coming to the US for critical medical treatment. That the the US has the best of many important activities and institutional functions - including universities and weapons production amongst others - is totally irrelevant to the case against the whole health care system in the US judged by cost and by outcomes.
  33. >Group health insurance enrollees wrongly believe the cost of their insurance is an alternate wage or salary. It’s not taxed as a wage or salary.

    One essential step in restoration of free market in medical services in he U.S. would be to end the tax preference for medical services, as described above.

    Only when the consumer of the services has knowledge of the cost can there be any hope of containing costs. Medical services provided by an employer (or “insurance” to pay for such expenses) should be taxed at the same rate as any other form of compensation.

    The present system dates to WWII, and was an “end run ” around wage and price controls by Henry J.Kaiser to recruit the best workers for his shipyards.

    It needs to disappear, and the sooner the better.

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    • Replies: @JackOH
    turtle, I've publicly offered several times to debate the question of whether group health insurance ought to exist at all. I've also offered to speak to the trustees and administrators at my local Podunk Tech, where I'm an insider-observer, on how group health insurance is destructive of Western values. No takers. One-third the board is made up of medical doctors, a medical insurer is a big underwriter of Podunk Tech sports, etc. You get the picture.

    The big expansion of group health insurance occurred after WWII-era wage and price controls were lifted. So what is group health insurance? Try politically motivated compulsory charity for wage and salary earners, made respectable because so many people believe it to be compensation. I suspect historians will one day make much of the social psychology and behavioral consequences of insured folks who believed they worked for the total cost of their group health insurance enrollment when it was obvious they were employer-subsidized to the tune of 67%, 75% (a common figure), 90%, and, much rarer these days, 100%.
  34. @Timmount
    The health care in the US is arguably the best in the world. The advances in health care developed in the last 30 years is staggering, from heart disease to joint replacement. Pt come from around the world to be treated in our hospitals. The great majority of the advancements
    in health care delivery have come from the huge profits the hospitals, doctors, and drug companies have sought.
    Much of the cost of health care has been incurred with allowing anyone from around the world to get admitted without charge to our hospitals. No one is turned away for lack of paying
    unless you consider the small number of for profit hospitals. Our hospitals are not even allowed
    to keep track of how they spend on noncitizens without violating federal law.
    Although we do spend more than the rest of the world on health care, for the most part it is money well spent in saving lives and curing disease. What better reason is there to spend money other than keeping your family in good health. How come we never hear that the government is spending too much on legal fees? I bet if we nationalized the law industry no one other than the lawyers would mind.

    The USA is 30th in the world in maternal/infant mortality, despite spending almost 50 % more on healthcare (as a percentage of GDP) than the next closest developed country. Life expectancy is 50th in the world, and actually falling (in absolute terms). That’s a pretty shitty ROI if you ask me.

    Indisputably, healthcare in the US is the best in the world for millionaires. For the rest, not so much.

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    • Replies: @Flip
    I keep seeing the US compared to other "developed" countries, but given the demographics of the US these days, that's not really an accurate comparison. We are more like Brazil than Europe.

    I remember the Milton Friedman quote that he was talking to a Scandinavian professor who said that they had no poverty in Scandinavia. Friedman said that was interesting in that among Scandinavians in America, we had no poverty either. Race and culture matter.
    , @woodNfish

    The USA is 30th in the world in maternal/infant mortality
     
    This is a bogus statistic that does not take into consideration that the US does more to save premature babies than other nations, including in-utero surgeries, and that is why we have a higher mortality count.

    These are the same kind of bogus statistics that are used when comparing our education systems against other nations. If you counted only our white students, we do as well as any other advanced country. If you ad in the asian heritage students, we do even better. It is the blacks and latinos that pull down the numbers.
  35. @nsa
    Freddie, you and your pal are nuts.....letting a couple of Beaners cut on your ticker to save a few bucks. Maybe you could find a couple of Haitians to work on it with an exacto knive for a couple hundred dollars. If you stopped devouring murdered pigs, your arteries wouldn't resemble a clogged sink trap, and you wouldn't need to murder more pigs to harvest valves for installation into your diseased sclerotic blood pumpers. Fact: there was almost no incidence of heart disease in Asia...until they adopted the poisonous westernized diet of fat, dead animals, and lots of sugar.

    Fact, you can’t murder a pig or any other damn animal for that matter.

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  36. The life expectancy has more to do with life style than any measure of quality of health care in the USA. Whether you are shot in Chicago at age 17, are involved in an automobile accident results in your demise, or you over dose on narcotics when you are dead there is nothing the health industry
    will do for you.
    As for maternal/infant mortality rates, this is more related to social services provided along with life styles of the mothers, than health care per se.
    Go into the best hospitals in the US, or any community hospital and you will find the people who have just got off the plane from Syria or Ghana getting the exact same care as your coddled millionaire.

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  37. I think we can be certain that when Fred and his unfaithful Jewish wife need a serious medical procedure done, they will be headed north.

    If I remember correctly Fred had his eye surgery done in the states.

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    • Replies: @5371
    There should be a technical term - argumentum ad uxorem - for this rhetorical technique. It is also frequently deployed against John Derbyshire.
  38. Do some google research to confirm that health care in the USA costs more than twice as much as similar developed nations, yet is rated below average.

    The health care racketeers love to speak about free markets, but fought off attempts to require public pricing. It is very difficult to obtain prices from hospitals, even by customers. They bill and you must pay. The #1 reason for bankruptcy in the USA is medical costs!

    So require any provider who accepts Medicare/Medicaid (which is nearly all of them) to post their prices on-line. That is free market, but Congress can’t seem to get this simple idea enacted. If you need a hip replacement, you should be able to go on-line and shop for one.

    On the other hand, Congress should help. Once a hospital reports an illegal alien or any foreigner to the US government, it can then bill Homeland security for care at the Medicaid rate. (It’s a simple fact that people without a valid SSN are not here legally, and they can simply check e-verify to find out) This will compensate hospitals and lower costs for all, while ensuring Homeland Security arrives on discharge to deport these foreigners, some who cost them over a million dollars. Perhaps this will cause the US government to bill foreign nations for this care, like from their aid budgets. Right now, the Border Patrol drops off injured illegals at hospitals for free care and never returns.

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    • Replies: @animalogic
    Just one more reason why the US & the West generally need to take a cold hard look at immigration policy.
  39. if you are uninsured, your prices can go from 10x to 100x as much as it would cost insurance companies.

    single payer system can’t get here fast enough.

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  40. @Auntie Analogue
    It seems that the "advanced countries" that have the quality national health care schemes that you admire, Mr. Reed, are countries for whose defense the American taxpayer has been paying the lion's share of through, e.g., NATO. It is much easier for a government to fund first rate socialized medicine, long vacations, and "public amenities" when it's not paying for its own defense on its own Euro, Yen, Won, Canadian dollar, or what have you.

    Oh yes, aunty ! Defence from the enemies the US creates – defence for the wars it starts or encourages, & defence which profits the US defence industries. Oh yes, those naughty socialistic, Japanese, Europeans etc !
    Oh…& pity the poor US taxpayer who is the ultimate loser…(excluding all those dead, displaced victims of “defence” in various shitholes here & there)

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  41. @Anon
    Junk food industry + poor eating habit due to immature/impulsive culture + rise of shamelessness & fatso-ness + crazy blacks doing violence are the real drag on American Health.

    If the US were to ban junk food, life expectancy will go up by 10 yrs.

    It's been said Cuba has pretty good health.
    This has little to do with healthcare.

    It's that (1) Cuba is a police state that keeps blacks under control and without guns (2) Cubans most subsist on rice and beans that are more healthy than ice cream, sodapop, cookies, and too much beer (3) walk a lot than relying on cars.

    The main emphasis should be on American HABITS than HEALTHCARE.

    It's like US spends lots on education, but some segments of the population learn little because their habits and attitudes(or habittudes) are so rotten.It's not always about money or organization. It is about the intangible factor of habits.

    Preventative medicine — it’s a great idea, but where’s the profit ? And, god help us, if the government dare suggest, let alone DO something, it’s SCREAMS of the Nanny State time.
    I pity US business: health care is an overhead which reduces it’s profitability. BUT – it can never countenance a universal medical coverage for ideological reasons: the government, collective action, can NEVER (outside of the military) EVER be allowed to be considered a valid answer to national issues.
    Universal – basic – health coverage is not HARD. A small tax on ALL incomes (say 1.5%) should cover the basics. The rich can further insure themselves for speedier service, face lifts & breast/penis enlargements.
    And perhaps (oh, god no !) governments might encourage (not dictate) healthier living….
    The current US health system has little to do with capitalism & a lot to do with old fashioned rentier economics…. Sure, find fault with universal coverage, but don’t kid yourself that you are defending “capitalism”.

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    • Replies: @Anon
    "Universal – basic – health coverage is not HARD. A small tax on ALL incomes (say 1.5%) should cover the basics. The rich can further insure themselves for speedier service, face lifts & breast/penis enlargements."

    Right, if it were to cover only the BASICS.

    But what is considered ESSENTIAL by Americans goes way beyond basics.

    Americans have a very spoiled and pampered concept of basic rights. Same in Europe and Canada.

    If single payer system only focused on basic healthcare and essential needs, it'd be doable. But too many Americans get too fat and unhealthy and then go to doctors to demand all kinds of drugs and service and etc.

    Consider all the Americans on this or that medication. Now, I'm not gonna be Tom Cruise about this and denounce all drugs. But drugs should only be used as last resort. For many Americans, it is the first resort, and they want more and more.
    And this stuff is really expensive.

    How did people in the past cope without all these drugs and other stuff? They found meaning in community, church, family, relatives, and culture. All that is gone for many Americans. They just got junk culture, hedonism, youth cult, and etc. And when youth passes, they feel empty like grasshopper of Aesop, and they turn to drugs. Some turn to bad drugs like meth. Some turn to professional soma doled out by Big Pharma that should be called Harma.

    This is why Single Payer system won't work. Too many Americans became accustomed to getting too much from the system.
    Basic Care is no longer enough for a lot of Americans who need their soma, soma, soma.

    Michael Moore is perfect posterboy for what is wrong with America. He is a fatty fatass fatkins who can't control his fatbody appetite. A fat tubaroon like him will have all sorts of health problems, but of course, his ilk want the STATE to take care of it.
    Lardsass mother******.

  42. @Carlton Meyer
    Do some google research to confirm that health care in the USA costs more than twice as much as similar developed nations, yet is rated below average.

    The health care racketeers love to speak about free markets, but fought off attempts to require public pricing. It is very difficult to obtain prices from hospitals, even by customers. They bill and you must pay. The #1 reason for bankruptcy in the USA is medical costs!

    So require any provider who accepts Medicare/Medicaid (which is nearly all of them) to post their prices on-line. That is free market, but Congress can't seem to get this simple idea enacted. If you need a hip replacement, you should be able to go on-line and shop for one.

    On the other hand, Congress should help. Once a hospital reports an illegal alien or any foreigner to the US government, it can then bill Homeland security for care at the Medicaid rate. (It's a simple fact that people without a valid SSN are not here legally, and they can simply check e-verify to find out) This will compensate hospitals and lower costs for all, while ensuring Homeland Security arrives on discharge to deport these foreigners, some who cost them over a million dollars. Perhaps this will cause the US government to bill foreign nations for this care, like from their aid budgets. Right now, the Border Patrol drops off injured illegals at hospitals for free care and never returns.

    Just one more reason why the US & the West generally need to take a cold hard look at immigration policy.

    Read More
  43. How many Mexican nationals seek to have their healthcare in the U.S. ?

    How many U.S. nationals seek to have their healthcare in Mexico?

    These numbers (or reasonable estimates of them) could be found with some research. The results of this research would say something useful about revealed preference, and which system delivers reliably better results. (Much more useful than one anecdote about cardiac surgery in Guadalajara.)

    The U.S. system is inflated primarily because the EMTALA law requirements that all-comers to a hospital E.R. must receive care regardless of ability to pay. This law is used by hospitals to justify inflation of charges overall to cover losses, and therein lies an enormous opportunity for arbitrage.

    Any article on U.S. Healthcare inflation that does not include “EMTALA” and “chargemaster” is missing the problem.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Joe Franklin

    The U.S. system is inflated primarily because the EMTALA law requirements that all-comers to a hospital E.R. must receive care regardless of ability to pay.
     
    You hit the nail on the head regarding the inflationary medical cost effects of EMTALA.

    In addition, federal government laws require that hospitals and doctors be reimbursed the least amount possible for their medical services rendered to Medicaid and Medicare patients.

    The difference between phony government medical pricing and real medical cost is passed on to young and insured middle class people.

    Then there's the numerous illegal aliens that receive free ER medical services, all thanks to the perfidy of Obama and his democrat mafia.
  44. @Mao Cheng Ji
    Yes, a Canadian, French, or UK-like system would've been a huge improvement. But of course the greedy doctors, hospitals, and insurance companies will never let it happen. Also, the pharmaceuticals: the highest prices I've seen were in the US and Switzerland.

    Call it "regulatory capture", or crony capitalism, or whatever - the essence is clear: the government is acting in the interests of the big business (and against its population) to the extent unseen in the 'developed' world...

    ” . . .[G]reedy doctors, hospitals, and insurance companies . . .”. Yup, Mao, true. If I can generalize from my own observations of our medical associations and local medical societies, medicine is among the cruelest of our professions. Hippocrates warned of intrinsic vulnerabilities in the doctor-patient relationship. America’s “exceptionalist” response seems to be to turn over the national checkbook to Big Medicine and tell ‘em to use their best judgment. (My hunch is that sulfa and penicillin, plus the successful public health measures of the early 20th century gave the America Medical Association way too much unwarranted prestige and political influence.)

    With health insurance costs approaching the cost of wages and salaries, we may be nearing some crisis that’s sufficiently ripe for the President and key Congressional leaders to act. How in the world we’ll politically account for the gratuitous deaths of maybe a half-million folks, the needless suffering of many more, and the bankruptcy and impoverishment of millions as a result of health care costs is beyond me. I think there’d be good justice in seeing the medical establishment taken down a few pegs, but I’m not sure how many opinion leaders and decision-makers feel that way.

    Read More
  45. @Anon
    Junk food industry + poor eating habit due to immature/impulsive culture + rise of shamelessness & fatso-ness + crazy blacks doing violence are the real drag on American Health.

    If the US were to ban junk food, life expectancy will go up by 10 yrs.

    It's been said Cuba has pretty good health.
    This has little to do with healthcare.

    It's that (1) Cuba is a police state that keeps blacks under control and without guns (2) Cubans most subsist on rice and beans that are more healthy than ice cream, sodapop, cookies, and too much beer (3) walk a lot than relying on cars.

    The main emphasis should be on American HABITS than HEALTHCARE.

    It's like US spends lots on education, but some segments of the population learn little because their habits and attitudes(or habittudes) are so rotten.It's not always about money or organization. It is about the intangible factor of habits.

    Yes – it’s about habits inculcated by parents within the context of general culture. And just look at that culture ! Parent takes their eyes off kid for a second…well god help them ! A child alone, unsupervised in the degenerate stew that passes for culture now…?
    You could weep tears of blood, much good that would do.

    Read More
  46. @exiled off mainstreet
    The "payment for defense" by the yankee imperium is a red herring, since, absent the yankee power structure fomenting wars for European countries to participate in and create the refugees which are causing problems there, there would be no need for such expenditures, which are a total waste of money and divert funds from health care.

    I”m not shilling for NATO, but let’s be honest. Prior to American domination of Europe, they were not far from continuous war.

    Read More
  47. When ‘Obamacare’ was being debated in the US House, Rep. John Dingell (MI) introduced a 19 page long single-payer bill, but Nana Pelosi killed that bill in the committee, so the 2,100 page long ACA bill would be the only one passed.

    At 2,100 pages long, the Obamacare bill must have so much pork in it that when its squeezed, bacon fat drips out.

    Read More
  48. @Son of Dixie
    I think we can be certain that when Fred and his unfaithful Jewish wife need a serious medical procedure done, they will be headed north.

    If I remember correctly Fred had his eye surgery done in the states.

    There should be a technical term – argumentum ad uxorem – for this rhetorical technique. It is also frequently deployed against John Derbyshire.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Astuteobservor II
    are you talking about using their wife against them in the comments section?

    there is a difference. derb hates china and "chicoms" :) and he is married to a chinese. that 1980s trip with our spies to china did a number on derb :)

    fred's wife have nothing to do with this article. at least in the same sense as the above. dixie is using whatever he thinks hurts the most to attack fred. now, that is just fuck up.

    I can never understand why people need to get personal in comments, especially when it is completely unrelated.

  49. Communist hellhole Cuba has the same life expectancy as the US, according to the UN and CIA. Even after sanctions. Castro-style Communist healthcare would be better than the current system. That’s how bad it is.

    Read More
    • Replies: @RadicalCenter
    Is that why Fidel Castro went abroad to save his own life rather than stick with Cuban healthcare?
  50. @Frederick John
    Mostly absurd analysis. Polls from England and similar places ask people who have never known another healthcare system. Of course they would state approval of the only healthcare system they have and the only type with which they are familiar. It is government influence and intervention that makes American healthcare so expensive. And why do wealthy Canadians come to America for serious, critical treatment? Or come to U.S. from Mexico? Your comments are only relative in an extremely general sense, a surface knowledge of the subject. You are about as deep on this subject as you are on evolution and genetics, that depth of which can be measured in one or two millimeters. Ever hear of epigenetics? I thought not.

    “Ever hear of epigenetics?”

    Ever heard about the bureaucratic waste and exorbitant salaries of the health insurance CEOs in the US? How these waste and salaries are financed? – The US healthcare system is a racket. This racket includes taxation without representation (the fines for non-enrollement in the racketeering “health insurance” schema). Or as you wrote, “It is government influence and intervention that makes American healthcare so expensive.” Correct. It is the US government bought by insurance companies that makes American healthcare overly expensive.
    For instance, citizens of South Korea are not interested in getting healthcare in the US; moreover, people from other countries travel to get medical care in South Korea: https://www.medicalavenuekorea.com/en/south-korea-is-the-new-destination-for-health-tourism/
    Here is the old data (2011), which should be educational (re expenses) for naive defenders (not-directly-profiteering) of the US dysfunctional system:
    “National health insurance in South Korea is currently a single-payer program (that is both publicly and privately financed) that pays for privately provided health care. Universal coverage was achieved in 1989. As a result, the household share of total national health spending fell from 87.8 percent to 54.6 percent during the three decades, and the out-of-pocket share dropped from 87.2 percent to 38.0 percent. Although covered services have gradually expanded, benefits remain relatively low, and public funding is limited, leaving beneficiaries with relatively high copayments. Coupled with the fact that the [South Korean] government manages the schedule of fees paid to providers, the health care share of gross domestic product was a low 6.3 percent in 2007.”
    “South Korea has a universal national healthcare system operated by both the Health Insurance Review and Assessment Service (HIRA) and the National Health Insurance Service (NHIS). The NHI system covers over 97 percent of citizens, who pay a premium and have the right to access any physician or medical institution. The remaining 3 percent of the population is covered by a Medical Aid Program for the poor.”

    Read More
    • Replies: @jacques sheete
    Agreed.

    I once had a procedure done in the Philippines for the equivalent of USD 60. In the US at the time it would have been no less than 1500, and I'm not exaggerating a bit.

    Also, I got the appointment in a few days there whereas in the US it would have taken weeks to schedule.

    The service was top notch, and I was treated with a degree of respect by real humans (be assured, it was mutual) unheard of in the Land of de Fwee.

    I swear that the bedside manner learned by the consistently incompetent and hostile medical professional bureaucratoids in 'Merka must be taught by prison warden or military "intelligence" (tsk, tsk) interrogation burnouts.

    , @Frederick John
    Are u moving to South Korea when you become seriously ill?

    Removing the barriers that confine insurance carriers to only offer policies in specific States, or the various and inconsistent State requirements for insurance provisos will go a long way toward increasing competition and lowering costs. Obamacare's biggest problem is the mandatory coverage of any person with a pre-existing medical condition.

    As to healthcare CEOs. I agree. And the entire American business community has this mindset — all short-term thinking. Stay a CEO sufficiently long to let massive stock option awards vest, company buy-backs of shares to increase the stock price, and machinations with balance sheet accounting guarantee a big payday for the CEO. Who cares what the company will look like in 10 or 15 years. The next quarter's results are that matters. Thus, to survive and to also increase valuation (and stock option values) mergers and acquisitions are the way to go.

    Depending on how the number is calculated, CEO pay in 2015 is anywhere from 220 to 415 times higher than the typical worker or factory floor laborer. This is versus a ratio in 1968 of 30 to 41 times. It's called the elitists (the oligarchs) way of running the country.

    Maybe Trump will stop some of this nonsense, where the elitists just get richer and the gap between wealthy and "just-getting-by" continues to widen. If he stops the completely uncontrolled immigration that will help some, sine the folks immigrating are unskilled, uneducated, do not possess the typical American work ethic and are essentially way down on the scale of intellectual development (IQ, that is). Thus more people poor or simply at a bare sustenance level of earning power and the oligarchs expanding their wealth.
  51. @exiled off mainstreet
    If other countries let old people die, how come all other western countries have a higher life expectancy than the yankee imperium. Meanwhile, the latest figures actually show a drop in the imperium with continued increases elsewhere including in Canada, which has a several years greater life expectancy than south of the border. No wonder such a high figure support the Canadian system, 91% as quoted in the article. As a dual citizen the existence of Medicare (which is the name of the Canadian system) was a key reason for my relocation here once family obligations ended. I can attest that the system is far superior than the dog eat dog corporate yankee system. The failure of the medical system is one of the generalized failures of the yankee system.

    “If other countries let old people die, how come all other western countries have a higher life expectancy than the yankee imperium.”

    Other countries let UNHEALTHY people die, rather than giving them procedures that they cannot afford in order to keep them breathing for a few more years while sitting in chairs and lying in beds.

    This is one of the problems of attributing longer life expectancy to quality of healthcare: people in other countries have a longer life expectancy because they live better lifestyles which allows them to avoid needing healthcare in the first place.

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    • Replies: @Horzabky
    I am French and living in France. My grandmother had a brain stroke at 94. Her brain hardly functioned anymore (she couldn't move, make sentences or even recognize people's faces). The French public health care system kept her alive for four years, until her heart stopped beating, a few days before her 98th birthday.

    My wife just spent the last six days in a hospital with the flu plus a severe case of asthma, due to the pollution peak we have in the Paris region at the moment. She had problems breathing, so she called the medical emergency service (SAMU), and about ten minutes later three firemen showed up. They took her to a hospital. She was in a single room, with color TV. We paid nothing when she left the hospital, six days later, not even the rental of the TV (which I usually have to pay). I have a complementary health insurance for the two of us. It costs me 234€ a month (US$247, at today's exchange rate). I don't know what I would have paid (if anything) if I had no health insurance.

    I consider myself a conservative. But the general consensus here is that since people pay taxes for the police, the armed forces, public education, public health, etc, there's no reason why they would have to pay a second time for public health, whereas they pay nothing for public education or the (relative) safety they get from the police and the armed forces.

    The system isn't perfect, though, and if you go to any French hospital you'll see lots of Third World "tourists" who have come to be treated at the French taxpayer's expense. Their governments are supposed to pay, but they seldom do. The general decay of French social cohesion is also showing, with occasional incidents of "visible minorities" threatening or even beating up medical staff.

    It's true that the US has top-notch surgical facilities, but only for those who can afford them.

    As for the US paying for Europe's defence... Why don't you Americans just stop paying and withdraw your troops? But that's a rhetorical question, since everybody knows that the answer is: because American politicians don't want to.
  52. Note: In last week’s column I made disparaging remarks about the accuracy of the AR15, and was taken to task by many readers. I should have said what I meant by accuracy, and I guess it isn’t what most people mean. In my days at Soldier of Fortune, we got into exotic stuff, such as sniper rifles, and it probably distorted my ideas of things. Google on “sniper rifles,” and you will find virtually nothing in .223. At Parris Island we fired .762 at 500 meters. And I don’t pretend to understand the photo with the “smoke disk,” which I can’t figure out.

    Fred: The reason that “sniper rifles” are not in .223 (5.56 in military parlance) is not because the .223 lacks sufficient accuracy, but because it delivers inadequate energy at ranges between 600 and 1,000 yards.

    Accuracy-wise, the AR-15 has ruled the 600-yard line in Service Rifle competition at the National Matches for about two decades now. Match-grade ARs are used for Designated Marksmen in the Army, whose job is to engage out to 500-600 yards. Snipers, who are expected to score hits between 600 and 1,000 are issued .30 cal weapons.

    The contemporary AR is “not your father’s” Vietnam-era rifle. It’s highly accurate off the shelf and can easily be modified to outshoot a good bolt-action rifle.

    Read More
  53. Fred:

    I appreciate your naivete. You seem to regard the American health care system as a failure because it provides poor care at exorbitant prices, and is out-of-reach to millions of citizens. However, the American health care system is #1 in the world in maximizing profits for pharmaceutical companies, medical device makers, doctors, for-profit hospitals as well as insurance companies. In other words, as a business, American health care companies do an excellent job of using health care problems to extort money out of ordinary Americans. They are without peers in the world.

    Healthcare reform in America means, how can we steal more money from these filthy plebes? They must have some economic blood left somewhere. So it makes perfect sense that discussion of Europe or Asia is verboten, the last thing the MSM and the lobbyists want is Americans waking up to the fact that their health care system is simply a financial scam to skim even more money off the backs of workers. Pay us, or your kid dies from a preventable illness, that is the business of compassion.

    Thank God for all the diversity, because if we weren’t able to pit this group against that one, the peasants might revolt over their conditions.

    Read More
    • Agree: Mao Cheng Ji
    • Replies: @Rurik

    However, the American health care system is #1 in the world in maximizing profits for pharmaceutical companies, medical device makers, doctors, for-profit hospitals as well as insurance companies. In other words, as a business, American health care companies do an excellent job of using health care problems to extort money out of ordinary Americans. They are without peers in the world
     
    also please keep in mind that most of the lucre extorted from everyday Americans reeling from some medical catastrophe is done so at the very end of people's lives, and as such, we must never underestimate the importance of proscribing (with jail time!) any attempt on some misguided people's parts, to allow for what some lunatics call 'humanitarian euthanasia'.

    If a ninety year old man or woman is suffering some excruciating and terminal affliction, this is the time when the 'ching, ching' really kicks in! Assorted surgeons and specialists and myriad hospital personnel and devices and expensive hospital equipment can all be brought to bear at astronomical profits! This is the time in a person's life when the medical establishment really gets their$. It's a God damn gold mine!! It's the Mega-payout at the casino!

    So, the next time you hear some misguided, namby-pamby do-gooder, talking about 'oh, oh' some new drug or something, that allows for terminally ill people at the twilight of their lives, to check out with dignity on their own terms, just remember that they are effectively robbing hospital administrators and surgeons and anesthesiologists and pharmaceutical corporations and the entire AMA- untold billions upon billions of dollars of extorted lucre, that can be used to purchase entire villas on the Italian Mediterranean for a single hospital administrator!

    These euthanasia people are dangerous! And they must be stopped. Thank God that the 'Jesus people' are there to make sure everyone knows that God **wants** those people to suffer at the end of their lives. If He didn't, He would let them check out. So it's not for those people themselves or their relatives to decide when it's time to go. It's for the hospitals and politicians and the Jesus people to decide. We're talking about trillions of dollars that are at stake here. Do we want such decisions to be made by the people who're actually on the gurney? Or the AMA?
    , @jacques sheete
    Oooh! Exquisite! All of it. Good insights, well expressed!
  54. @Auntie Analogue
    It seems that the "advanced countries" that have the quality national health care schemes that you admire, Mr. Reed, are countries for whose defense the American taxpayer has been paying the lion's share of through, e.g., NATO. It is much easier for a government to fund first rate socialized medicine, long vacations, and "public amenities" when it's not paying for its own defense on its own Euro, Yen, Won, Canadian dollar, or what have you.

    You think you just hit us with some plain spoken Thatcherite wisdom on the economic problems of socialism, don’t you. All you did, albeit unwittingly, was give us another example of the unrelenting greed inherent in American style crony capitalism. The military industrial complex doesn’t care who pays the bill for defense; only that it gets paid. Foreign aid is merely the platform used to create an obscenely profitable marketplace for the MIC. Crony capitalism American style depends on this indirect form of payment, so that those who eventually pay the bill have no idea how obscenely high the bill is, and are therefore not in a position to say no. U.S. healthcare uses the insurance companies to set the course and mask the insanely high cost of our healthcare, and these insurance companies spend insane amounts of money lobbying government to prevent a better solution from being developed. Hence we get Obama care instead of a system that could actually work. Crony capitalism American style socializes the costs and privatizes the profits. This is the worst of all possible systems, and one that would easily be defeated in the marketplace of ideas if the game weren’t rigged by the financial and political elites. This is why EVERY country has a more cost-effective healthcare system than the U.S.

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    • Replies: @jacques sheete
    Yours is an excellent comment, except for your first sentence.

    Judging by auntie's past comments, I'd say she was doing what you say she did in sentence two, but I could be wrong .

    As for an example of the high costs (of really low quality... if people only knew...Fwed should...) care in the US see my comment #57.
  55. Anon says:     Show CommentNext New Comment

    fred reed wrote:
    ” It is telling that in the debate over Obamacare, few looked at systems in other countries to see how well what worked. The reason seems to have been a mixture of the classic American arrogance and lack of interest in anything beyond the borders.”

    =============

    wrong…the reason “america” never looked abroad to compare is because our politicians did not look abroad to compare, and the reason the politicians did not look abroad to compare is because our media did not force them to do so. And why did the media not do so? Because the media is funded by ads bought by corporations, and some of those corps make big bucks extorting the public for healthcare, dummy.

    Fred, you are like some sort of cargo cult analyst. Like a WW2 era tribesman who sees airplanes land with cargo, and you cannot understand more than one layer deep.

    In other nations the leading societal institutions are forced to cater to the will of the people. American institutions do not have to do so. When you ask me why that is so, you will have begun your journey of discovery, grasshopper. But I aint gonna hold my breath.

    Read More
    • Replies: @jacques sheete

    Fred, you are like some sort of cargo cult analyst. Like a WW2 era tribesman who sees airplanes land with cargo, and you cannot understand more than one layer deep.
     
    And doesn't even want to. Smashed illusions of greatness and all of that. Rough stuff.

    I'm convinced that he writes that way despite his imaginary and snobbish claims of high "IQ" not only because that's the best he has, but because it resonates with his intended audience, the "tough talkin" yet insecure Trump or Hillary luvvin 'Merkin booboisie, who're on the fast plane to nowhere and always will be.

    Sad stuff.

  56. @5371
    There should be a technical term - argumentum ad uxorem - for this rhetorical technique. It is also frequently deployed against John Derbyshire.

    are you talking about using their wife against them in the comments section?

    there is a difference. derb hates china and “chicoms” :) and he is married to a chinese. that 1980s trip with our spies to china did a number on derb :)

    fred’s wife have nothing to do with this article. at least in the same sense as the above. dixie is using whatever he thinks hurts the most to attack fred. now, that is just fuck up.

    I can never understand why people need to get personal in comments, especially when it is completely unrelated.

    Read More
  57. @annamaria
    "Ever hear of epigenetics?"

    Ever heard about the bureaucratic waste and exorbitant salaries of the health insurance CEOs in the US? How these waste and salaries are financed? - The US healthcare system is a racket. This racket includes taxation without representation (the fines for non-enrollement in the racketeering "health insurance" schema). Or as you wrote, "It is government influence and intervention that makes American healthcare so expensive." Correct. It is the US government bought by insurance companies that makes American healthcare overly expensive.
    For instance, citizens of South Korea are not interested in getting healthcare in the US; moreover, people from other countries travel to get medical care in South Korea: https://www.medicalavenuekorea.com/en/south-korea-is-the-new-destination-for-health-tourism/
    Here is the old data (2011), which should be educational (re expenses) for naive defenders (not-directly-profiteering) of the US dysfunctional system:
    "National health insurance in South Korea is currently a single-payer program (that is both publicly and privately financed) that pays for privately provided health care. Universal coverage was achieved in 1989. As a result, the household share of total national health spending fell from 87.8 percent to 54.6 percent during the three decades, and the out-of-pocket share dropped from 87.2 percent to 38.0 percent. Although covered services have gradually expanded, benefits remain relatively low, and public funding is limited, leaving beneficiaries with relatively high copayments. Coupled with the fact that the [South Korean] government manages the schedule of fees paid to providers, the health care share of gross domestic product was a low 6.3 percent in 2007."
    "South Korea has a universal national healthcare system operated by both the Health Insurance Review and Assessment Service (HIRA) and the National Health Insurance Service (NHIS). The NHI system covers over 97 percent of citizens, who pay a premium and have the right to access any physician or medical institution. The remaining 3 percent of the population is covered by a Medical Aid Program for the poor."

    Agreed.

    I once had a procedure done in the Philippines for the equivalent of USD 60. In the US at the time it would have been no less than 1500, and I’m not exaggerating a bit.

    Also, I got the appointment in a few days there whereas in the US it would have taken weeks to schedule.

    The service was top notch, and I was treated with a degree of respect by real humans (be assured, it was mutual) unheard of in the Land of de Fwee.

    I swear that the bedside manner learned by the consistently incompetent and hostile medical professional bureaucratoids in ‘Merka must be taught by prison warden or military “intelligence” (tsk, tsk) interrogation burnouts.

    Read More
  58. @Anon
    fred reed wrote:
    " It is telling that in the debate over Obamacare, few looked at systems in other countries to see how well what worked. The reason seems to have been a mixture of the classic American arrogance and lack of interest in anything beyond the borders."

    =============

    wrong...the reason "america" never looked abroad to compare is because our politicians did not look abroad to compare, and the reason the politicians did not look abroad to compare is because our media did not force them to do so. And why did the media not do so? Because the media is funded by ads bought by corporations, and some of those corps make big bucks extorting the public for healthcare, dummy.

    Fred, you are like some sort of cargo cult analyst. Like a WW2 era tribesman who sees airplanes land with cargo, and you cannot understand more than one layer deep.

    In other nations the leading societal institutions are forced to cater to the will of the people. American institutions do not have to do so. When you ask me why that is so, you will have begun your journey of discovery, grasshopper. But I aint gonna hold my breath.

    Fred, you are like some sort of cargo cult analyst. Like a WW2 era tribesman who sees airplanes land with cargo, and you cannot understand more than one layer deep.

    And doesn’t even want to. Smashed illusions of greatness and all of that. Rough stuff.

    I’m convinced that he writes that way despite his imaginary and snobbish claims of high “IQ” not only because that’s the best he has, but because it resonates with his intended audience, the “tough talkin” yet insecure Trump or Hillary luvvin ‘Merkin booboisie, who’re on the fast plane to nowhere and always will be.

    Sad stuff.

    Read More
  59. @Tulip
    Fred:

    I appreciate your naivete. You seem to regard the American health care system as a failure because it provides poor care at exorbitant prices, and is out-of-reach to millions of citizens. However, the American health care system is #1 in the world in maximizing profits for pharmaceutical companies, medical device makers, doctors, for-profit hospitals as well as insurance companies. In other words, as a business, American health care companies do an excellent job of using health care problems to extort money out of ordinary Americans. They are without peers in the world.

    Healthcare reform in America means, how can we steal more money from these filthy plebes? They must have some economic blood left somewhere. So it makes perfect sense that discussion of Europe or Asia is verboten, the last thing the MSM and the lobbyists want is Americans waking up to the fact that their health care system is simply a financial scam to skim even more money off the backs of workers. Pay us, or your kid dies from a preventable illness, that is the business of compassion.

    Thank God for all the diversity, because if we weren't able to pit this group against that one, the peasants might revolt over their conditions.

    However, the American health care system is #1 in the world in maximizing profits for pharmaceutical companies, medical device makers, doctors, for-profit hospitals as well as insurance companies. In other words, as a business, American health care companies do an excellent job of using health care problems to extort money out of ordinary Americans. They are without peers in the world

    also please keep in mind that most of the lucre extorted from everyday Americans reeling from some medical catastrophe is done so at the very end of people’s lives, and as such, we must never underestimate the importance of proscribing (with jail time!) any attempt on some misguided people’s parts, to allow for what some lunatics call ‘humanitarian euthanasia’.

    If a ninety year old man or woman is suffering some excruciating and terminal affliction, this is the time when the ‘ching, ching’ really kicks in! Assorted surgeons and specialists and myriad hospital personnel and devices and expensive hospital equipment can all be brought to bear at astronomical profits! This is the time in a person’s life when the medical establishment really gets their$. It’s a God damn gold mine!! It’s the Mega-payout at the casino!

    So, the next time you hear some misguided, namby-pamby do-gooder, talking about ‘oh, oh’ some new drug or something, that allows for terminally ill people at the twilight of their lives, to check out with dignity on their own terms, just remember that they are effectively robbing hospital administrators and surgeons and anesthesiologists and pharmaceutical corporations and the entire AMA- untold billions upon billions of dollars of extorted lucre, that can be used to purchase entire villas on the Italian Mediterranean for a single hospital administrator!

    These euthanasia people are dangerous! And they must be stopped. Thank God that the ‘Jesus people’ are there to make sure everyone knows that God **wants** those people to suffer at the end of their lives. If He didn’t, He would let them check out. So it’s not for those people themselves or their relatives to decide when it’s time to go. It’s for the hospitals and politicians and the Jesus people to decide. We’re talking about trillions of dollars that are at stake here. Do we want such decisions to be made by the people who’re actually on the gurney? Or the AMA?

    Read More
    • Replies: @jacques sheete

    It’s for the hospitals and politicians and the Jesus people to decide.
     
    Speaking of "Jesus" people, the medical "ethicists" also cash in by "pontificating," (or should I say "rabbificating") on the "sanctity" of life while their fellow bureaucrats-in-crime get paid insanely for snuffing the lives of other millions with every wicked means the subhuman mind can conceive.

    Speaking of the AMA, all one can do when examining it's history is to shake one's head in disgust.


    “Flexner was John D. Rockefeller's "stool pigeon" in setting up the takeover of the entire medical school industry by Carnegie Foundation, which was a Rockefeller Foundation subsidiary at that time.......When you say "Carnegie Foundation", you're talking about something that has no substance. It's entirely under the domination of the Rockefellers. .................He (Abraham Flexner) did "The Flexner Report", and this changed the medical schools of the United States from homeopathic, naturopathic medicine, to allopathic medicine -- which was a German school of medicine which depended on the heavy use of drugs, radical surgery, and long hospital stays. That's what we've got today, allopathic medicine."

    -Eustace Mullins.
    www.whale.to/b/flexner_report.html
     

    You think it’s any better today?

    “As head of the AMA (and editor of the Journal of the American Medical Association from 1924-1949), [Morris Fishbein] decided which drugs could be sold to the public based only how much advertising money he could extort from drug manufacturers, whom he required to place expensive ads in the JAMA. There were no drug-testing agencies, only Fishbein. It was irrelevant if the drugs worked.”


    http://rense.com/general19/enemy.htm

     

    I have friends who tell me that in medical school attempts were made to encourage (guilt trip) them into joining the patriotic sounding AMA. No doubt true.
    , @RadicalCenter
    You seem to have some anger issues with regard to Christians -- a very numerous and diverse group. Leave it to the hate-everything-traditional millenial faggots to employ derogatory snark such as "the Jesus people", please -- you're better than that.

    But fair is fair: you make an excellent point about doctors, hospitals, and pharmaceutical companies unnecessarily milking the American taxpayer and insurance ratepayer for VAST sums at the very end of elderly people's lives.

    Other than allowing truly voluntary euthanasia / assisted suicide -- a policy which poses its own grave risks, such relatives or government physicians pressuring an ailing, frightened, depressed old person -- what do you suggest?

  60. @Cletus Rothschild
    "If other countries let old people die, how come all other western countries have a higher life expectancy than the yankee imperium."

    Other countries let UNHEALTHY people die, rather than giving them procedures that they cannot afford in order to keep them breathing for a few more years while sitting in chairs and lying in beds.

    This is one of the problems of attributing longer life expectancy to quality of healthcare: people in other countries have a longer life expectancy because they live better lifestyles which allows them to avoid needing healthcare in the first place.

    I am French and living in France. My grandmother had a brain stroke at 94. Her brain hardly functioned anymore (she couldn’t move, make sentences or even recognize people’s faces). The French public health care system kept her alive for four years, until her heart stopped beating, a few days before her 98th birthday.

    My wife just spent the last six days in a hospital with the flu plus a severe case of asthma, due to the pollution peak we have in the Paris region at the moment. She had problems breathing, so she called the medical emergency service (SAMU), and about ten minutes later three firemen showed up. They took her to a hospital. She was in a single room, with color TV. We paid nothing when she left the hospital, six days later, not even the rental of the TV (which I usually have to pay). I have a complementary health insurance for the two of us. It costs me 234€ a month (US$247, at today’s exchange rate). I don’t know what I would have paid (if anything) if I had no health insurance.

    I consider myself a conservative. But the general consensus here is that since people pay taxes for the police, the armed forces, public education, public health, etc, there’s no reason why they would have to pay a second time for public health, whereas they pay nothing for public education or the (relative) safety they get from the police and the armed forces.

    The system isn’t perfect, though, and if you go to any French hospital you’ll see lots of Third World “tourists” who have come to be treated at the French taxpayer’s expense. Their governments are supposed to pay, but they seldom do. The general decay of French social cohesion is also showing, with occasional incidents of “visible minorities” threatening or even beating up medical staff.

    It’s true that the US has top-notch surgical facilities, but only for those who can afford them.

    As for the US paying for Europe’s defence… Why don’t you Americans just stop paying and withdraw your troops? But that’s a rhetorical question, since everybody knows that the answer is: because American politicians don’t want to.

    Read More
    • Replies: @RadicalCenter
    I'd be happy if the US government would withdraw our troops from Europe and bring them home. The troops can be posted on the Mexican border, where they will actually have a useful and Constitutional function.

    Enjoy Sharia -- we're going to be too busy fighting off the Mexican colonization of our once-beautiful country to help your pathetic and cowardly asses.
  61. @Clearpoint
    You think you just hit us with some plain spoken Thatcherite wisdom on the economic problems of socialism, don't you. All you did, albeit unwittingly, was give us another example of the unrelenting greed inherent in American style crony capitalism. The military industrial complex doesn't care who pays the bill for defense; only that it gets paid. Foreign aid is merely the platform used to create an obscenely profitable marketplace for the MIC. Crony capitalism American style depends on this indirect form of payment, so that those who eventually pay the bill have no idea how obscenely high the bill is, and are therefore not in a position to say no. U.S. healthcare uses the insurance companies to set the course and mask the insanely high cost of our healthcare, and these insurance companies spend insane amounts of money lobbying government to prevent a better solution from being developed. Hence we get Obama care instead of a system that could actually work. Crony capitalism American style socializes the costs and privatizes the profits. This is the worst of all possible systems, and one that would easily be defeated in the marketplace of ideas if the game weren't rigged by the financial and political elites. This is why EVERY country has a more cost-effective healthcare system than the U.S.

    Yours is an excellent comment, except for your first sentence.

    Judging by auntie’s past comments, I’d say she was doing what you say she did in sentence two, but I could be wrong .

    As for an example of the high costs (of really low quality… if people only knew…Fwed should…) care in the US see my comment #57.

    Read More
  62. @Seneca44
    Certainly there is no perfect health care system in the world and I would submit that crony capitalism has ruined the one in the US. If there were truly market forces in play with insurance of catastrophic events, our system might have some semblance of economic rationality and would likely perform much better. Japan seems to have it right by making physicians the major stakeholders in the medical service industry. When businessmen in the US saw how much money there was in health care, they just had to get some of it and so we now have a system which everyone tries to game and might occasionally give the patient a good outcome after the various players milk as much money out as is possible. There are many complicated schemes proposed for saving money and improving quality, many of which cost a lot and are of unproven benefit. My suggestion, which could be implemented tomorrow at virtually no cost is to limit hospital executive salaries to no more than twice that of a GS-15. Hospitals get 80-90% of their money from Medicare and Medicaid, so they have been socialized for a long time. Since they already are quasi government institutions, we should no longer pay the CEO's and myriad VPs millions.

    Complete socialization in the US is generally a bad idea. The analogy of the MVA is all too real. Even the military system which was given good reviews in Fred's article is not what it used to be--they are kicking out many retirees to the Tricare system in order to keep costs down.

    Bingo! Right here:

    When businessmen in the US saw how much money there was in health care, they just had to get some of it

    And another:

    we now have a system which everyone tries to game the system

    And yet another.

    ..and might occasionally give the patient a good outcome

    This next idea may need to be reconsidered because these cats typically are very low class power-hungry junior mafia wannabees and are completely worthless so they need to be given a cardboard box (to live in) and a boot out the door. Same with the insurance racket mugwumps. :

    My suggestion, which could be implemented tomorrow at virtually no cost is to limit hospital executive salaries to no more than twice that of a GS-15.

    Read More
    • Replies: @RadicalCenter
    YES! Any doctor or physician's assistant whose practice or hospital receives more than 50% of its revenues from any taxpayer-funded source -- Medicare, Medicaid, Veterans Administration, state government, county government -- should have his income severely limited below what those crooks are getting now.

    Twice the max for a Grade 15, Step 10, would be just fine -- and still plenty of money (that works out to more than $300,000 - 310,000 in most major cities in the US).
  63. @annamaria
    "Ever hear of epigenetics?"

    Ever heard about the bureaucratic waste and exorbitant salaries of the health insurance CEOs in the US? How these waste and salaries are financed? - The US healthcare system is a racket. This racket includes taxation without representation (the fines for non-enrollement in the racketeering "health insurance" schema). Or as you wrote, "It is government influence and intervention that makes American healthcare so expensive." Correct. It is the US government bought by insurance companies that makes American healthcare overly expensive.
    For instance, citizens of South Korea are not interested in getting healthcare in the US; moreover, people from other countries travel to get medical care in South Korea: https://www.medicalavenuekorea.com/en/south-korea-is-the-new-destination-for-health-tourism/
    Here is the old data (2011), which should be educational (re expenses) for naive defenders (not-directly-profiteering) of the US dysfunctional system:
    "National health insurance in South Korea is currently a single-payer program (that is both publicly and privately financed) that pays for privately provided health care. Universal coverage was achieved in 1989. As a result, the household share of total national health spending fell from 87.8 percent to 54.6 percent during the three decades, and the out-of-pocket share dropped from 87.2 percent to 38.0 percent. Although covered services have gradually expanded, benefits remain relatively low, and public funding is limited, leaving beneficiaries with relatively high copayments. Coupled with the fact that the [South Korean] government manages the schedule of fees paid to providers, the health care share of gross domestic product was a low 6.3 percent in 2007."
    "South Korea has a universal national healthcare system operated by both the Health Insurance Review and Assessment Service (HIRA) and the National Health Insurance Service (NHIS). The NHI system covers over 97 percent of citizens, who pay a premium and have the right to access any physician or medical institution. The remaining 3 percent of the population is covered by a Medical Aid Program for the poor."

    Are u moving to South Korea when you become seriously ill?

    Removing the barriers that confine insurance carriers to only offer policies in specific States, or the various and inconsistent State requirements for insurance provisos will go a long way toward increasing competition and lowering costs. Obamacare’s biggest problem is the mandatory coverage of any person with a pre-existing medical condition.

    As to healthcare CEOs. I agree. And the entire American business community has this mindset — all short-term thinking. Stay a CEO sufficiently long to let massive stock option awards vest, company buy-backs of shares to increase the stock price, and machinations with balance sheet accounting guarantee a big payday for the CEO. Who cares what the company will look like in 10 or 15 years. The next quarter’s results are that matters. Thus, to survive and to also increase valuation (and stock option values) mergers and acquisitions are the way to go.

    Depending on how the number is calculated, CEO pay in 2015 is anywhere from 220 to 415 times higher than the typical worker or factory floor laborer. This is versus a ratio in 1968 of 30 to 41 times. It’s called the elitists (the oligarchs) way of running the country.

    Maybe Trump will stop some of this nonsense, where the elitists just get richer and the gap between wealthy and “just-getting-by” continues to widen. If he stops the completely uncontrolled immigration that will help some, sine the folks immigrating are unskilled, uneducated, do not possess the typical American work ethic and are essentially way down on the scale of intellectual development (IQ, that is). Thus more people poor or simply at a bare sustenance level of earning power and the oligarchs expanding their wealth.

    Read More
    • Replies: @jacques sheete

    Removing the barriers that confine insurance carriers to only offer policies in specific States, or the various and inconsistent State requirements for insurance provisos will go a long way toward increasing competition and lowering costs.
     
    I realize that my proposal seems outrageous to most, but ya wanna lower health care costs?

    Remove insurance companies and all other money grubbing "businessmen" from the health care equation and I bet we'd all be pleasantly surprised at how costs and prices drop.
    , @MarkinLA
    Removing the barriers that confine insurance carriers to only offer policies in specific States, or the various and inconsistent State requirements for insurance provisos will go a long way toward increasing competition and lowering costs. Obamacare’s biggest problem is the mandatory coverage of any person with a pre-existing medical condition.

    This is just unsubstantiated wishful thinking based on economic theory that says competition always makes things better. Well, competition in financial services didn't make things better it just made more people cut more corners leading to our junk bond meltdown in the 80s, the dot com boom and bust of the 90s and the housing bubble of the 00s.

    More competition will likely mean more insurance scams where people pay all their lives into what they think is a solid plan only to find out that they have no real coverage when they really need it.
    , @annamaria
    "Are u moving to South Korea when you become seriously ill?'
    Are the US citizens allowed only to wave flags and chant "USA, USA?"
  64. @Tulip
    Fred:

    I appreciate your naivete. You seem to regard the American health care system as a failure because it provides poor care at exorbitant prices, and is out-of-reach to millions of citizens. However, the American health care system is #1 in the world in maximizing profits for pharmaceutical companies, medical device makers, doctors, for-profit hospitals as well as insurance companies. In other words, as a business, American health care companies do an excellent job of using health care problems to extort money out of ordinary Americans. They are without peers in the world.

    Healthcare reform in America means, how can we steal more money from these filthy plebes? They must have some economic blood left somewhere. So it makes perfect sense that discussion of Europe or Asia is verboten, the last thing the MSM and the lobbyists want is Americans waking up to the fact that their health care system is simply a financial scam to skim even more money off the backs of workers. Pay us, or your kid dies from a preventable illness, that is the business of compassion.

    Thank God for all the diversity, because if we weren't able to pit this group against that one, the peasants might revolt over their conditions.

    Oooh! Exquisite! All of it. Good insights, well expressed!

    Read More
  65. @Rurik

    However, the American health care system is #1 in the world in maximizing profits for pharmaceutical companies, medical device makers, doctors, for-profit hospitals as well as insurance companies. In other words, as a business, American health care companies do an excellent job of using health care problems to extort money out of ordinary Americans. They are without peers in the world
     
    also please keep in mind that most of the lucre extorted from everyday Americans reeling from some medical catastrophe is done so at the very end of people's lives, and as such, we must never underestimate the importance of proscribing (with jail time!) any attempt on some misguided people's parts, to allow for what some lunatics call 'humanitarian euthanasia'.

    If a ninety year old man or woman is suffering some excruciating and terminal affliction, this is the time when the 'ching, ching' really kicks in! Assorted surgeons and specialists and myriad hospital personnel and devices and expensive hospital equipment can all be brought to bear at astronomical profits! This is the time in a person's life when the medical establishment really gets their$. It's a God damn gold mine!! It's the Mega-payout at the casino!

    So, the next time you hear some misguided, namby-pamby do-gooder, talking about 'oh, oh' some new drug or something, that allows for terminally ill people at the twilight of their lives, to check out with dignity on their own terms, just remember that they are effectively robbing hospital administrators and surgeons and anesthesiologists and pharmaceutical corporations and the entire AMA- untold billions upon billions of dollars of extorted lucre, that can be used to purchase entire villas on the Italian Mediterranean for a single hospital administrator!

    These euthanasia people are dangerous! And they must be stopped. Thank God that the 'Jesus people' are there to make sure everyone knows that God **wants** those people to suffer at the end of their lives. If He didn't, He would let them check out. So it's not for those people themselves or their relatives to decide when it's time to go. It's for the hospitals and politicians and the Jesus people to decide. We're talking about trillions of dollars that are at stake here. Do we want such decisions to be made by the people who're actually on the gurney? Or the AMA?

    It’s for the hospitals and politicians and the Jesus people to decide.

    Speaking of “Jesus” people, the medical “ethicists” also cash in by “pontificating,” (or should I say “rabbificating”) on the “sanctity” of life while their fellow bureaucrats-in-crime get paid insanely for snuffing the lives of other millions with every wicked means the subhuman mind can conceive.

    Speaking of the AMA, all one can do when examining it’s history is to shake one’s head in disgust.

    “Flexner was John D. Rockefeller’s “stool pigeon” in setting up the takeover of the entire medical school industry by Carnegie Foundation, which was a Rockefeller Foundation subsidiary at that time…….When you say “Carnegie Foundation”, you’re talking about something that has no substance. It’s entirely under the domination of the Rockefellers. ……………..He (Abraham Flexner) did “The Flexner Report”, and this changed the medical schools of the United States from homeopathic, naturopathic medicine, to allopathic medicine — which was a German school of medicine which depended on the heavy use of drugs, radical surgery, and long hospital stays. That’s what we’ve got today, allopathic medicine.”

    -Eustace Mullins.
    http://www.whale.to/b/flexner_report.html

    You think it’s any better today?

    “As head of the AMA (and editor of the Journal of the American Medical Association from 1924-1949), [Morris Fishbein] decided which drugs could be sold to the public based only how much advertising money he could extort from drug manufacturers, whom he required to place expensive ads in the JAMA. There were no drug-testing agencies, only Fishbein. It was irrelevant if the drugs worked.”

    http://rense.com/general19/enemy.htm

    I have friends who tell me that in medical school attempts were made to encourage (guilt trip) them into joining the patriotic sounding AMA. No doubt true.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Rurik

    Speaking of “Jesus” people, the medical “ethicists” also cash in by “pontificating,” (or should I say “rabbificating”) on the “sanctity” of life while their fellow bureaucrats-in-crime get paid insanely for snuffing the lives of other millions with every wicked means the subhuman mind can conceive.
     
    I always want to be clear that when I speak such of "Jesus people', I'm never referring to the typical Christians, whom are the best people in the world. Rather, I'm talking about the uber-corrupt leadership, for whom no amount of suffering is ever sufficient to satisfy their twisted and profane version of scripture- as long there's shekels to be sucked. The Pope, being the perfect case in point, as he goes around calling people who tell the truth on the Internet 'shit eaters', because they're overturning Satan's Temple of Lies and a century of fake news from the war-mongering lie-machine controlled Kosher media.

    These so-called Christians that form the corrupt core of official Christian leadership- demand that destitute women be denied birth control, that terminally ill patients be forced to suffer as long as there's lucre to be slurped, and also love, love, love wars that slaughter millions of innocents, and get real and good Christians in Syria and elsewhere crucified and their daughters enslaved to sub-human orcs.

    But so long as the leadership is awash in shekels, there's no amount of suffering or misery or horrors that the little people can't endure for the greater glory and exultation of the Christian leaders. The Pope being the most execrable of them all.

    It's a terrible shame that good people are cynically used by immoral charlatans and scoundrels by invoking and twisting the words of the Christ to mean the opposite of His intent, which was all about love and compassion and peace. But the Pope and the other "Christian" leaders have turned His words into war mongering and hatred and lust for Mammon's damnation.

    And it is Mammon that the American medical establishment (and the Vatican) worships, make no mistake about it.
    , @RadicalCenter
    Doctors should stay out of the AMA just like any sensible, freedom-loving lawyer should stay out of the ABA. These are disloyal, untrustworthy, unduly greedy institutions with members who often look down on the rest of us whom they are supposedly "serving" and "representing" and "treating."
  66. Anon says:     Show CommentNext New Comment

    If you really want to see how an efficient medical system world, look no further than that benevolent, highly efficient, family run dictatorship called Singapore.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Healthcare_in_Singapore

    It is not the “kindest” healthcare system in the world but it is the system that is most likely to not eventually bankrupt the country that supplies itas its people live longer and longer.

    Singapore of course also has probably the strictest border controls on the planet so its system might be be presently be duplicatable elsewhere except in a places like Japan or Korea with similarly tight border controls.

    Read More
  67. @Frederick John
    Are u moving to South Korea when you become seriously ill?

    Removing the barriers that confine insurance carriers to only offer policies in specific States, or the various and inconsistent State requirements for insurance provisos will go a long way toward increasing competition and lowering costs. Obamacare's biggest problem is the mandatory coverage of any person with a pre-existing medical condition.

    As to healthcare CEOs. I agree. And the entire American business community has this mindset — all short-term thinking. Stay a CEO sufficiently long to let massive stock option awards vest, company buy-backs of shares to increase the stock price, and machinations with balance sheet accounting guarantee a big payday for the CEO. Who cares what the company will look like in 10 or 15 years. The next quarter's results are that matters. Thus, to survive and to also increase valuation (and stock option values) mergers and acquisitions are the way to go.

    Depending on how the number is calculated, CEO pay in 2015 is anywhere from 220 to 415 times higher than the typical worker or factory floor laborer. This is versus a ratio in 1968 of 30 to 41 times. It's called the elitists (the oligarchs) way of running the country.

    Maybe Trump will stop some of this nonsense, where the elitists just get richer and the gap between wealthy and "just-getting-by" continues to widen. If he stops the completely uncontrolled immigration that will help some, sine the folks immigrating are unskilled, uneducated, do not possess the typical American work ethic and are essentially way down on the scale of intellectual development (IQ, that is). Thus more people poor or simply at a bare sustenance level of earning power and the oligarchs expanding their wealth.

    Removing the barriers that confine insurance carriers to only offer policies in specific States, or the various and inconsistent State requirements for insurance provisos will go a long way toward increasing competition and lowering costs.

    I realize that my proposal seems outrageous to most, but ya wanna lower health care costs?

    Remove insurance companies and all other money grubbing “businessmen” from the health care equation and I bet we’d all be pleasantly surprised at how costs and prices drop.

    Read More
  68. I wanted to get a simple blood test for ferritin, stored iron…In every other country, I would just take a small sample of my blood and mail it to a lab, for maybe $25. In the USA, that is illegal. I had to go to a GP and convince her to order the test. Total cost at least $300….

    Read More
  69. “Remove insurance companies and all other money grubbing “businessmen” from the health care equation and I bet we’d all be pleasantly surprised at how costs and prices drop.”

    Homo Americanus will never see it. Too busy being masturbated by the invisible hand of Adam Smith.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Eric Novak
    I'm thinking removing 30,000,000 bloodsucking illegals from the US and ending the annual admission of 1.5 million legal, broke immigrants will have a an effect on US medical care even more dramatic than the elimination of big business.
  70. @jacques sheete

    It’s for the hospitals and politicians and the Jesus people to decide.
     
    Speaking of "Jesus" people, the medical "ethicists" also cash in by "pontificating," (or should I say "rabbificating") on the "sanctity" of life while their fellow bureaucrats-in-crime get paid insanely for snuffing the lives of other millions with every wicked means the subhuman mind can conceive.

    Speaking of the AMA, all one can do when examining it's history is to shake one's head in disgust.


    “Flexner was John D. Rockefeller's "stool pigeon" in setting up the takeover of the entire medical school industry by Carnegie Foundation, which was a Rockefeller Foundation subsidiary at that time.......When you say "Carnegie Foundation", you're talking about something that has no substance. It's entirely under the domination of the Rockefellers. .................He (Abraham Flexner) did "The Flexner Report", and this changed the medical schools of the United States from homeopathic, naturopathic medicine, to allopathic medicine -- which was a German school of medicine which depended on the heavy use of drugs, radical surgery, and long hospital stays. That's what we've got today, allopathic medicine."

    -Eustace Mullins.
    www.whale.to/b/flexner_report.html
     

    You think it’s any better today?

    “As head of the AMA (and editor of the Journal of the American Medical Association from 1924-1949), [Morris Fishbein] decided which drugs could be sold to the public based only how much advertising money he could extort from drug manufacturers, whom he required to place expensive ads in the JAMA. There were no drug-testing agencies, only Fishbein. It was irrelevant if the drugs worked.”


    http://rense.com/general19/enemy.htm

     

    I have friends who tell me that in medical school attempts were made to encourage (guilt trip) them into joining the patriotic sounding AMA. No doubt true.

    Speaking of “Jesus” people, the medical “ethicists” also cash in by “pontificating,” (or should I say “rabbificating”) on the “sanctity” of life while their fellow bureaucrats-in-crime get paid insanely for snuffing the lives of other millions with every wicked means the subhuman mind can conceive.

    I always want to be clear that when I speak such of “Jesus people’, I’m never referring to the typical Christians, whom are the best people in the world. Rather, I’m talking about the uber-corrupt leadership, for whom no amount of suffering is ever sufficient to satisfy their twisted and profane version of scripture- as long there’s shekels to be sucked. The Pope, being the perfect case in point, as he goes around calling people who tell the truth on the Internet ‘shit eaters’, because they’re overturning Satan’s Temple of Lies and a century of fake news from the war-mongering lie-machine controlled Kosher media.

    These so-called Christians that form the corrupt core of official Christian leadership- demand that destitute women be denied birth control, that terminally ill patients be forced to suffer as long as there’s lucre to be slurped, and also love, love, love wars that slaughter millions of innocents, and get real and good Christians in Syria and elsewhere crucified and their daughters enslaved to sub-human orcs.

    But so long as the leadership is awash in shekels, there’s no amount of suffering or misery or horrors that the little people can’t endure for the greater glory and exultation of the Christian leaders. The Pope being the most execrable of them all.

    It’s a terrible shame that good people are cynically used by immoral charlatans and scoundrels by invoking and twisting the words of the Christ to mean the opposite of His intent, which was all about love and compassion and peace. But the Pope and the other “Christian” leaders have turned His words into war mongering and hatred and lust for Mammon’s damnation.

    And it is Mammon that the American medical establishment (and the Vatican) worships, make no mistake about it.

    Read More
    • Agree: jacques sheete
    • Replies: @jacques sheete
    Thanks for the clarification, not that I even began to suspect that you meant true Christians. I was raised in a supposedly Christian environment and I must say, I have never met one that acted Christ like, including me own self. None I've ever met even came close.

    If a Martian who never heard of Christianity were told what it was and asked to observe people and pick out the Christians by the things they say and do, it'd be a while before he could find one.

    It's as apparent as it is humorous to read the letters of Paul and the effort he expended trying to shepherd the herd. No sooner was Christ tacked to the cross, but the "Christians" apparently but not surprisingly started going astray, just like their Jewish ( if Josephus is credible )predecessors.

    What disgusts me the most is the overwhelming support of the clergy for the State's wars.

    If Democritus were alive now, and should but see the superstition of our age, our [269]religious madness, as [270]Meteran calls it, Religiosam insaniam, so many professed Christians, yet so few imitators of Christ; so much talk of religion, so much science, so little conscience; so much knowledge, so many preachers, so little practice; such variety of sects, such have and hold of all sides, [271]—obvia signis Signa, &c., such absurd and ridiculous traditions and ceremonies:

    -Robert Burton, THE ANATOMY OF MELANCHOLY, first published in 1621 (Project Gutenberg's version):
    http://www.gutenberg.org/files/10800/10800-h/10800-h.htm

     

  71. @penntothal
    How many Mexican nationals seek to have their healthcare in the U.S. ?

    How many U.S. nationals seek to have their healthcare in Mexico?

    These numbers (or reasonable estimates of them) could be found with some research. The results of this research would say something useful about revealed preference, and which system delivers reliably better results. (Much more useful than one anecdote about cardiac surgery in Guadalajara.)

    The U.S. system is inflated primarily because the EMTALA law requirements that all-comers to a hospital E.R. must receive care regardless of ability to pay. This law is used by hospitals to justify inflation of charges overall to cover losses, and therein lies an enormous opportunity for arbitrage.

    Any article on U.S. Healthcare inflation that does not include "EMTALA" and "chargemaster" is missing the problem.

    The U.S. system is inflated primarily because the EMTALA law requirements that all-comers to a hospital E.R. must receive care regardless of ability to pay.

    You hit the nail on the head regarding the inflationary medical cost effects of EMTALA.

    In addition, federal government laws require that hospitals and doctors be reimbursed the least amount possible for their medical services rendered to Medicaid and Medicare patients.

    The difference between phony government medical pricing and real medical cost is passed on to young and insured middle class people.

    Then there’s the numerous illegal aliens that receive free ER medical services, all thanks to the perfidy of Obama and his democrat mafia.

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  72. @Mao Cheng Ji
    Yes, a Canadian, French, or UK-like system would've been a huge improvement. But of course the greedy doctors, hospitals, and insurance companies will never let it happen. Also, the pharmaceuticals: the highest prices I've seen were in the US and Switzerland.

    Call it "regulatory capture", or crony capitalism, or whatever - the essence is clear: the government is acting in the interests of the big business (and against its population) to the extent unseen in the 'developed' world...

    Quite true.

    The American medical and pharmaceutical industries are little more than extortion rackets.

    I’ll give a couple examples. A bag of Saline costs about $2.00, but if a ambulance gives you a saline drip – the cost of that Saline bag is $800.00.

    Take the pill called Sensipar, it runs over $100 a pill. It’s so expensive that medicare part D won’t cover it. In India you can find the same medicine albeit under a different name for $3 a pill. This goes on across the board.

    Take Scorpion antivenom, you can get a vial in Mexico for a $100. The same vial in the U.S. costs patients $30.000.

    Epipens which cost around a $150 in Europe or Asia, cost over a $1000.00 in the U.S.

    Daraprim which goes for between $35,000 and $110,000.00 has been synthesized by two Australian teenagers for $3 and change.

    Do you know that by law hospitals are required to post the cost of procedures but they don’t, why is that? So they charge the patient according to to their insurance or income level. It’s flat out illegal and the doctors and administrators should be in jail for the practice.

    If I go to private surgery clinic as opposed to using a hospital’s surgery ward for outpatient surgery, the cost is 1/10th that of the hospital’s facility. MRI’s clinics are like wise.

    Drive by doctoring. In our hospitals its quite fashionable for doctors to come by for about 30 seconds if that and then charge the patient for a consult that didn’t happen. If you look at a breakdown of your hospital stay you’ll see a lot of it. Usually it’s a quick way for a doctor to make a fast $300-500.

    If I go to a privately run surgery clinic for outpatient surgery vs having the same procedure done in a hospital the cost differential is astounding.

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  73. Health Care.
    One of those all important entities the Americans NEVER get to vote on.

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  74. @Frederick John
    Are u moving to South Korea when you become seriously ill?

    Removing the barriers that confine insurance carriers to only offer policies in specific States, or the various and inconsistent State requirements for insurance provisos will go a long way toward increasing competition and lowering costs. Obamacare's biggest problem is the mandatory coverage of any person with a pre-existing medical condition.

    As to healthcare CEOs. I agree. And the entire American business community has this mindset — all short-term thinking. Stay a CEO sufficiently long to let massive stock option awards vest, company buy-backs of shares to increase the stock price, and machinations with balance sheet accounting guarantee a big payday for the CEO. Who cares what the company will look like in 10 or 15 years. The next quarter's results are that matters. Thus, to survive and to also increase valuation (and stock option values) mergers and acquisitions are the way to go.

    Depending on how the number is calculated, CEO pay in 2015 is anywhere from 220 to 415 times higher than the typical worker or factory floor laborer. This is versus a ratio in 1968 of 30 to 41 times. It's called the elitists (the oligarchs) way of running the country.

    Maybe Trump will stop some of this nonsense, where the elitists just get richer and the gap between wealthy and "just-getting-by" continues to widen. If he stops the completely uncontrolled immigration that will help some, sine the folks immigrating are unskilled, uneducated, do not possess the typical American work ethic and are essentially way down on the scale of intellectual development (IQ, that is). Thus more people poor or simply at a bare sustenance level of earning power and the oligarchs expanding their wealth.

    Removing the barriers that confine insurance carriers to only offer policies in specific States, or the various and inconsistent State requirements for insurance provisos will go a long way toward increasing competition and lowering costs. Obamacare’s biggest problem is the mandatory coverage of any person with a pre-existing medical condition.

    This is just unsubstantiated wishful thinking based on economic theory that says competition always makes things better. Well, competition in financial services didn’t make things better it just made more people cut more corners leading to our junk bond meltdown in the 80s, the dot com boom and bust of the 90s and the housing bubble of the 00s.

    More competition will likely mean more insurance scams where people pay all their lives into what they think is a solid plan only to find out that they have no real coverage when they really need it.

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  75. @WorkingClass
    We have the system we have (an abomination) because our politicians are for sale. I doesn't help that dumb ass Americans believe single payer is Communism.

    We have the system we have because of WWII and wage controls that were used during the war to hold down costs and keep employees in their place. The only thing the companies could provide in the way of increases was to increase the benefit packages. It just caught on and continued after the war because health care was cheap then and it wasn’t very costly. I imagine the corporate execs could probably exaggerate its costs to the employees and pay out far less in wages at bargaining time.

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    • Replies: @jacques sheete

    We have the system we have because of WWII and wage controls that were used during the war to hold down costs and keep employees in their place.
     
    I suspect that part of the benefit of subduing Germany and Japan was to have another relatively cheap labor pool to tap into which would have a similar effect . Plenty of manufacturing jobs could be shipped overseas if the American worker got a little too uppity.

    Interesting note: Toyota motors was producing only a few vehicles per week and was about to go bankrupt when the Korean war started. All of a sudden it was mass producing trucks under contract to the US military and eventually came to be the number 1 vehicle manufacturer in de world by number of units sold.

    Gm was the world leader, I believe but now is number 3 after VW.
  76. @Bill Jones
    I agree.
    The myth the NATO was there to defend rather than loot Europe needs to die.

    And we’re not good at looting, Or (honest question) are we?

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  77. Anon says:     Show CommentNext New Comment
    @animalogic
    Preventative medicine -- it's a great idea, but where's the profit ? And, god help us, if the government dare suggest, let alone DO something, it's SCREAMS of the Nanny State time.
    I pity US business: health care is an overhead which reduces it's profitability. BUT - it can never countenance a universal medical coverage for ideological reasons: the government, collective action, can NEVER (outside of the military) EVER be allowed to be considered a valid answer to national issues.
    Universal - basic - health coverage is not HARD. A small tax on ALL incomes (say 1.5%) should cover the basics. The rich can further insure themselves for speedier service, face lifts & breast/penis enlargements.
    And perhaps (oh, god no !) governments might encourage (not dictate) healthier living....
    The current US health system has little to do with capitalism & a lot to do with old fashioned rentier economics.... Sure, find fault with universal coverage, but don't kid yourself that you are defending "capitalism".

    “Universal – basic – health coverage is not HARD. A small tax on ALL incomes (say 1.5%) should cover the basics. The rich can further insure themselves for speedier service, face lifts & breast/penis enlargements.”

    Right, if it were to cover only the BASICS.

    But what is considered ESSENTIAL by Americans goes way beyond basics.

    Americans have a very spoiled and pampered concept of basic rights. Same in Europe and Canada.

    If single payer system only focused on basic healthcare and essential needs, it’d be doable. But too many Americans get too fat and unhealthy and then go to doctors to demand all kinds of drugs and service and etc.

    Consider all the Americans on this or that medication. Now, I’m not gonna be Tom Cruise about this and denounce all drugs. But drugs should only be used as last resort. For many Americans, it is the first resort, and they want more and more.
    And this stuff is really expensive.

    How did people in the past cope without all these drugs and other stuff? They found meaning in community, church, family, relatives, and culture. All that is gone for many Americans. They just got junk culture, hedonism, youth cult, and etc. And when youth passes, they feel empty like grasshopper of Aesop, and they turn to drugs. Some turn to bad drugs like meth. Some turn to professional soma doled out by Big Pharma that should be called Harma.

    This is why Single Payer system won’t work. Too many Americans became accustomed to getting too much from the system.
    Basic Care is no longer enough for a lot of Americans who need their soma, soma, soma.

    Michael Moore is perfect posterboy for what is wrong with America. He is a fatty fatass fatkins who can’t control his fatbody appetite. A fat tubaroon like him will have all sorts of health problems, but of course, his ilk want the STATE to take care of it.
    Lardsass mother******.

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    • Replies: @pelagic
    Maybe these Americans you speak of deserve the for-profit insurance structure we know so well. Both parties are inherently corrupt and act only in their narrowly selfish interests. To effect change requires a jolt of some kind.

    What could work better and in favor of regular folks is a direct arrangement with doctors and even hospitals for low level, routine visits. All out-patient work would be paid for directly by the consumer and he would carry insurance only for "big stuff" like surgery or expensive level drugs or testing. I believe a basic doctor visit is in the $150-250 range: not impossible for most and likely to incentivize people taking better care of themselves. This is not a new idea but how to explore the possibilities?

    Next time you visit a doctor ask him how much ANY procedure costs in actual dollars. (Very likely he will have no idea). Tell him you are shopping around and plan to go with the lowest cost provider. Middleman (insurance) automatically eliminated. If millions did this the system would adjust costs downward in short order.

    If Democrats focused on this kind of activism the way they focus on demonizing others they might actually accomplish real progress.
  78. @Anon
    US subsidizes healthcare in other nations.

    Americans pay high prices for drugs, but these same drug companies sell the drugs real cheap to other nations.

    Also, other nations let old people die. In the US, they are kept alive as long as possible.

    But with growing Diversity in Canada and EU, things will break down.

    Btw, many people support socialized medicine not necessarily due to results but ideology as they were drummed in schools from young age that it is eeeeevil to privatize medicine.
    Even Canadians who don't like their healthcare system will support socialized medicine cuz they've been indoctrinated to virtue-signal that way.

    Another thing. Aren't food, clothing, and housing more essential than medicine for human survival? Then, why are people allowed to make profit off that stuff?
    We let free markets take care of food, clothes, and housing. And we provide socialism for those who can't afford those things.
    Well, the same thing should be done with medicine. Try to handle the problem with markets as much as possible, and then offer socialized basic medicine for those who can't afford doctors.

    The main problem of American health is fattiness. Look at Michael Moore. Fatsos like that cost us dearly. And then you got tons of Negroes shooting one another or using drugs. And white deplorables are also into big drugs.

    US subsidizes healthcare in other nations.

    Americans pay high prices for drugs, but these same drug companies sell the drugs real cheap to other nations.

    You got that right! My Viagra costs $20 per pill at my local CVS pharmacy. It’s $2 per pill for generic Viagra from my on-line Canadian pharmacy; but why do the packages come postage stamped from India?

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  79. @exiled off mainstreet
    If other countries let old people die, how come all other western countries have a higher life expectancy than the yankee imperium. Meanwhile, the latest figures actually show a drop in the imperium with continued increases elsewhere including in Canada, which has a several years greater life expectancy than south of the border. No wonder such a high figure support the Canadian system, 91% as quoted in the article. As a dual citizen the existence of Medicare (which is the name of the Canadian system) was a key reason for my relocation here once family obligations ended. I can attest that the system is far superior than the dog eat dog corporate yankee system. The failure of the medical system is one of the generalized failures of the yankee system.

    Those nations haven’t added 70,000,000 gov’t dependent Mexicans with Type II Diabetes, in 25 years, to their populations.

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  80. @utu
    "Remove insurance companies and all other money grubbing “businessmen” from the health care equation and I bet we’d all be pleasantly surprised at how costs and prices drop."

    Homo Americanus will never see it. Too busy being masturbated by the invisible hand of Adam Smith.

    I’m thinking removing 30,000,000 bloodsucking illegals from the US and ending the annual admission of 1.5 million legal, broke immigrants will have a an effect on US medical care even more dramatic than the elimination of big business.

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    • Replies: @RadicalCenter
    YES. But how about doing BOTH?

    Deport illegal aliens, stop all taxpayer subsidies to non-citizens (including legal permanent residents), stop requiring hospitals to treat illegal aliens for any reason, secure the borders with troops, AND cut big biz and big pharma out of the loop.

  81. Here. After suffering 5 cases of pneumonia since 1968 to 1977 with the last one giving me nasty complications in form of rheumatism I degree, chorea and the whole bunch of other complication losing control of some of my faculties by the age of 11, I was diagnosed and sent to Soviet hospital at one city. Spent there 2 months. No use. Was transferred to another hospital other republic other city, spent another 2 months there. Greatly improved. Then I was sent into children hospital sanatorium for 3 months where kids also studied to avoid missing a year at school. Hence. in 1979-1980 I spent 7 months at hospital with intensive care and lots of medicines. Continued later treatments at home for another 2 years and was completely healthy by 1982. Considering severity of my case , I was shown to medical students as a rare very severe case… It cost my family nothing at all and the country got healthy kid. That’s socialism for you.

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  82. Complete BS. Good luck to you if you end up in a French ER or are not connected to the inside functioning of the French system. It is VASTLY inferior though much better than Mexico. Much much much better. I won’t go into unnecessary details. Suffice to say that I practiced in both the French and the American health care systems as a physician. I would never get treated in a French hospital unless I knew the physicians in charge. It would never occur to me to got to Cuba or Puerto Rico as just random examples. YES you can be lucky. But you just need one bad experience to die. In Mexico or anywhere else where care is subpar. Very very subpar. After all anybody is free to choose where they want care. As a patient who happens to be physician only the US will do. Did I mention that this would NEVER include a VA hospital ( talk about subpar). Why not try Haiti and give us your experience?

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  83. @Rurik

    Speaking of “Jesus” people, the medical “ethicists” also cash in by “pontificating,” (or should I say “rabbificating”) on the “sanctity” of life while their fellow bureaucrats-in-crime get paid insanely for snuffing the lives of other millions with every wicked means the subhuman mind can conceive.
     
    I always want to be clear that when I speak such of "Jesus people', I'm never referring to the typical Christians, whom are the best people in the world. Rather, I'm talking about the uber-corrupt leadership, for whom no amount of suffering is ever sufficient to satisfy their twisted and profane version of scripture- as long there's shekels to be sucked. The Pope, being the perfect case in point, as he goes around calling people who tell the truth on the Internet 'shit eaters', because they're overturning Satan's Temple of Lies and a century of fake news from the war-mongering lie-machine controlled Kosher media.

    These so-called Christians that form the corrupt core of official Christian leadership- demand that destitute women be denied birth control, that terminally ill patients be forced to suffer as long as there's lucre to be slurped, and also love, love, love wars that slaughter millions of innocents, and get real and good Christians in Syria and elsewhere crucified and their daughters enslaved to sub-human orcs.

    But so long as the leadership is awash in shekels, there's no amount of suffering or misery or horrors that the little people can't endure for the greater glory and exultation of the Christian leaders. The Pope being the most execrable of them all.

    It's a terrible shame that good people are cynically used by immoral charlatans and scoundrels by invoking and twisting the words of the Christ to mean the opposite of His intent, which was all about love and compassion and peace. But the Pope and the other "Christian" leaders have turned His words into war mongering and hatred and lust for Mammon's damnation.

    And it is Mammon that the American medical establishment (and the Vatican) worships, make no mistake about it.

    Thanks for the clarification, not that I even began to suspect that you meant true Christians. I was raised in a supposedly Christian environment and I must say, I have never met one that acted Christ like, including me own self. None I’ve ever met even came close.

    If a Martian who never heard of Christianity were told what it was and asked to observe people and pick out the Christians by the things they say and do, it’d be a while before he could find one.

    It’s as apparent as it is humorous to read the letters of Paul and the effort he expended trying to shepherd the herd. No sooner was Christ tacked to the cross, but the “Christians” apparently but not surprisingly started going astray, just like their Jewish ( if Josephus is credible )predecessors.

    What disgusts me the most is the overwhelming support of the clergy for the State’s wars.

    If Democritus were alive now, and should but see the superstition of our age, our [269]religious madness, as [270]Meteran calls it, Religiosam insaniam, so many professed Christians, yet so few imitators of Christ; so much talk of religion, so much science, so little conscience; so much knowledge, so many preachers, so little practice; such variety of sects, such have and hold of all sides, [271]—obvia signis Signa, &c., such absurd and ridiculous traditions and ceremonies:

    -Robert Burton, THE ANATOMY OF MELANCHOLY, first published in 1621 (Project Gutenberg’s version):

    http://www.gutenberg.org/files/10800/10800-h/10800-h.htm

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    • Replies: @RadicalCenter
    I know many Christians here in the USA who strive and work hard to live life as true Christians, honestly and peaceably and charitably.

    I also know many church-going Christians who oppose our government's cruel and utterly unnecessary non-defensive wars.

    But I'll grant you that they are very likely not the majority of self-professed Christians.

    Who has a better track record, though, when it comes to non-defensive violence, intimidation, dishonesty, and cheating -- Muslims? Jews? Christians are not uniquely or even especially hypocritical from what I have observed, just fallen humans and way short of the standards we say we admire.
  84. My local newspaper reported in detail on a woman who was being treated with Herceptin at a cost of $32,000 per treatment—every three weeks. That’s more than a half-million a year. That astounding cost diminishes wages and shareholder’s equity, and among an untold number of American companies profits become losses because of the burden of group health insurance premiums. We’re just not getting the true skinny on how America’s aggrandizing medical establishment is and has been wrecking the economic prospects for ourselves and our loved ones.

    Cost of Herceptin treatment in the UK? About 15% of this woman’s treatment.

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    • Replies: @nsa
    Socialized medicine in places like Germany, Japan, Canada, Australia amount to a corporate subsidy, transferring employee medical costs from a business to the taxpayer. Eventually, a single payer system (simplified Medicare) providing basic military style medical to the entire population will be installed here in the USA....maybe even by Der Trumpster in his second term. Those insisting on coverage for the fancier treatments (organ transplants, exotic drug therapies, long term nursing care facility, drug and alcohol rehab, psychiatric disorders, etc ) could buy a suitable supplemental plan at their own expense. In this way, medical could be reduced from 18% of GDP to maybe 12% of GDP, and the burden shifted from businesses to the taxpayer. Too sensible?
  85. @MarkinLA
    We have the system we have because of WWII and wage controls that were used during the war to hold down costs and keep employees in their place. The only thing the companies could provide in the way of increases was to increase the benefit packages. It just caught on and continued after the war because health care was cheap then and it wasn't very costly. I imagine the corporate execs could probably exaggerate its costs to the employees and pay out far less in wages at bargaining time.

    We have the system we have because of WWII and wage controls that were used during the war to hold down costs and keep employees in their place.

    I suspect that part of the benefit of subduing Germany and Japan was to have another relatively cheap labor pool to tap into which would have a similar effect . Plenty of manufacturing jobs could be shipped overseas if the American worker got a little too uppity.

    Interesting note: Toyota motors was producing only a few vehicles per week and was about to go bankrupt when the Korean war started. All of a sudden it was mass producing trucks under contract to the US military and eventually came to be the number 1 vehicle manufacturer in de world by number of units sold.

    Gm was the world leader, I believe but now is number 3 after VW.

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  86. @Franco American
    Complete BS. Good luck to you if you end up in a French ER or are not connected to the inside functioning of the French system. It is VASTLY inferior though much better than Mexico. Much much much better. I won't go into unnecessary details. Suffice to say that I practiced in both the French and the American health care systems as a physician. I would never get treated in a French hospital unless I knew the physicians in charge. It would never occur to me to got to Cuba or Puerto Rico as just random examples. YES you can be lucky. But you just need one bad experience to die. In Mexico or anywhere else where care is subpar. Very very subpar. After all anybody is free to choose where they want care. As a patient who happens to be physician only the US will do. Did I mention that this would NEVER include a VA hospital ( talk about subpar). Why not try Haiti and give us your experience?

    You ain’t no physician.

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    • Replies: @RadicalCenter
    Well, you ain't no grammarian, but he may well be a physician ;)
  87. @JackOH
    My local newspaper reported in detail on a woman who was being treated with Herceptin at a cost of $32,000 per treatment---every three weeks. That's more than a half-million a year. That astounding cost diminishes wages and shareholder's equity, and among an untold number of American companies profits become losses because of the burden of group health insurance premiums. We're just not getting the true skinny on how America's aggrandizing medical establishment is and has been wrecking the economic prospects for ourselves and our loved ones.

    Cost of Herceptin treatment in the UK? About 15% of this woman's treatment.

    Socialized medicine in places like Germany, Japan, Canada, Australia amount to a corporate subsidy, transferring employee medical costs from a business to the taxpayer. Eventually, a single payer system (simplified Medicare) providing basic military style medical to the entire population will be installed here in the USA….maybe even by Der Trumpster in his second term. Those insisting on coverage for the fancier treatments (organ transplants, exotic drug therapies, long term nursing care facility, drug and alcohol rehab, psychiatric disorders, etc ) could buy a suitable supplemental plan at their own expense. In this way, medical could be reduced from 18% of GDP to maybe 12% of GDP, and the burden shifted from businesses to the taxpayer. Too sensible?

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    • Replies: @JackOH
    Agree, more or less, which means $1 trillion every year in walking-around money to buy stuff, or build factories, plus America gets to join the ranks of grown-up countries with good health care stats, and a medical establishment that doesn't use its specialized skills and unique authority to politically word-whip a whole nation to get what it wants.

    I'm not sure an American Medicare for All plan means giving up much of anything, or having to "settle". If my memory's okay, the European standard for new drug approval was "better than existing pharmacopoeia" while the American bar was merely "better than placebo", which pretty much means a license for Big Pharma to print money with me-too products. Likewise, I expect we'll find numerous dubious treatment regimes that exist solely because the money is available to pay for them.
    , @Anonymous

    Eventually, a single payer system (simplified Medicare) providing basic military style medical to the entire population will be installed here in the USA….
     
    There's nary a chance of that. The rich own the country (or, more correctly, share it with Israel), and there will never be "health-care" in the US that does not make at least as much money for the rich as does the current system -- if "system" it be.

    America is corrupt throughout, in all government and all financial "institutions". America as we knew it is over and done. Perhaps revolution will one day restore a few elements of America, briefly. Without substantial reduction in population -- 50% at least -- there will never be any "getting better" for any but the 1%.
    , @RadicalCenter
    If we weren't paying for alien peoples -- especially illegal aliens and people who aren't even citizens yet (legal permanent residents) -- and disproportionately hostile, reckless, and frankly stupid people (african-"Americans"), many of us wouldn't object to something like that.
  88. @Frederick John
    Are u moving to South Korea when you become seriously ill?

    Removing the barriers that confine insurance carriers to only offer policies in specific States, or the various and inconsistent State requirements for insurance provisos will go a long way toward increasing competition and lowering costs. Obamacare's biggest problem is the mandatory coverage of any person with a pre-existing medical condition.

    As to healthcare CEOs. I agree. And the entire American business community has this mindset — all short-term thinking. Stay a CEO sufficiently long to let massive stock option awards vest, company buy-backs of shares to increase the stock price, and machinations with balance sheet accounting guarantee a big payday for the CEO. Who cares what the company will look like in 10 or 15 years. The next quarter's results are that matters. Thus, to survive and to also increase valuation (and stock option values) mergers and acquisitions are the way to go.

    Depending on how the number is calculated, CEO pay in 2015 is anywhere from 220 to 415 times higher than the typical worker or factory floor laborer. This is versus a ratio in 1968 of 30 to 41 times. It's called the elitists (the oligarchs) way of running the country.

    Maybe Trump will stop some of this nonsense, where the elitists just get richer and the gap between wealthy and "just-getting-by" continues to widen. If he stops the completely uncontrolled immigration that will help some, sine the folks immigrating are unskilled, uneducated, do not possess the typical American work ethic and are essentially way down on the scale of intellectual development (IQ, that is). Thus more people poor or simply at a bare sustenance level of earning power and the oligarchs expanding their wealth.

    “Are u moving to South Korea when you become seriously ill?’
    Are the US citizens allowed only to wave flags and chant “USA, USA?”

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  89. I like U.S. healthcare. I like the quality and the price I pay. Not sure what y’all are talking about.

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  90. @Auntie Analogue
    It seems that the "advanced countries" that have the quality national health care schemes that you admire, Mr. Reed, are countries for whose defense the American taxpayer has been paying the lion's share of through, e.g., NATO. It is much easier for a government to fund first rate socialized medicine, long vacations, and "public amenities" when it's not paying for its own defense on its own Euro, Yen, Won, Canadian dollar, or what have you.

    The United States is much bigger than other First World countrieand richer than all but about three small ones. Still there could be a small element in the idea that other countries lower percentage expenditure on defence was good for their health expenditure and outcomes – if you could be bothered to do the figuring based on fact snd careful calculation. However….. that doesn’t explain why US healthcare is such an outlandish proportion of GDP for very poor average results.

    Another sally from the same fortress might suggest that other countries are free riders on American pharmaceutical companies’ inventions which cost patients and health insurers much more in the US than in other countries. Maybe but deduct huge advertising expenses only incurred in the US and the bias of American and all purely commercial pharmaceutical research towards drugs which will be taken for a long time rather than cures.

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  91. @Otto
    Fred, didn't the VA practically blind you while doing a simple suture removal?

    You are correct. Cost him previously sharp eyesight in one eye. I use VA Healthcare in New England, self-touted as the best. I’ve had good luck with them and true enough, no paperwork. They did a carpal-tunnel surgery that couldn’t be beat and their foot-guy was a surgeon who reconstructed the feet of Humvee guys that rolled over IEDs, an incident they found was very hard on the feet. My feet were wrecked in crummy flight deck boots and years up and down the ladders of carriers, many a day, dozens. These guys know bones, I tell ya.

    Eyes, not so much maybe, for Fred anyway, although I get my eye care exams there too. Not sure there’s a Model at VA that applies to civilians without you simply declare the country to be on Medicare, all current payments to insurance now a tax to the Feds. The insurance companies are a powerful lot. Not sure how you cut them out without a coup…

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    • Replies: @annamaria
    "Not sure there’s a Model at VA that applies to civilians without you simply declare the country to be on Medicare, all current payments to insurance now a tax to the Feds. The insurance companies are a powerful lot. Not sure how you cut them out without a coup…"

    Thank you for very clear explanation. The overwhelming majority of the US citizenry would pay taxes to have a decent single payer system. These taxes will be significantly lower than the current racketeering fees charged by the parasitoids of US insurance companies. These companies want to continue their fat living on the body of the US citizenry whatever the cost for the society.
  92. @Anon
    Junk food industry + poor eating habit due to immature/impulsive culture + rise of shamelessness & fatso-ness + crazy blacks doing violence are the real drag on American Health.

    If the US were to ban junk food, life expectancy will go up by 10 yrs.

    It's been said Cuba has pretty good health.
    This has little to do with healthcare.

    It's that (1) Cuba is a police state that keeps blacks under control and without guns (2) Cubans most subsist on rice and beans that are more healthy than ice cream, sodapop, cookies, and too much beer (3) walk a lot than relying on cars.

    The main emphasis should be on American HABITS than HEALTHCARE.

    It's like US spends lots on education, but some segments of the population learn little because their habits and attitudes(or habittudes) are so rotten.It's not always about money or organization. It is about the intangible factor of habits.

    sodapop, cookies, and too much beer

    Hey! Keep the sweets, lay off my beer! Ha!
    And my cigarettes, red meat, motorcycles, scotch, broads, cigars. I got bored with the skydiving on my own, but that’s not a healthcare issue. No chute, no you. There are others, but none that change the general picture..

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  93. Anonymous says:     Show CommentNext New Comment
    @Bill Jones
    There are a number of religion based mutual insurance operation. They specifically were excluded from the Obamacare requirement of buying .

    There are a number of religion based mutual insurance operation. They specifically were excluded from the Obamacare requirement of buying .

    Healthcare sharing ministries are not mutual insurance companies. In fact, they’re not even insurance. That’s why they needed an exemption in the ACA — so that their members do not pay the penalty for not having insurance.

    Members pay a fee to access the ministry. If they get sick, they submit the bills to the ministry, which divides it up into pieces and asks other members to pay part of the bill. You literally write a check to a stranger and mail it directly to him. The obligation is religious and not contractual, so you could just decide to skip out on mailing the check. The only thing they can do is to kick you out.

    A mutual insurance company would include all the costs in the premium. You never have to write a check to a stranger. Instead, you pay the insurance company, which is contractually obligated to pay the stranger. If the insurance company refuses to pay, it would be sued.

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  94. @Frederick John
    Mostly absurd analysis. Polls from England and similar places ask people who have never known another healthcare system. Of course they would state approval of the only healthcare system they have and the only type with which they are familiar. It is government influence and intervention that makes American healthcare so expensive. And why do wealthy Canadians come to America for serious, critical treatment? Or come to U.S. from Mexico? Your comments are only relative in an extremely general sense, a surface knowledge of the subject. You are about as deep on this subject as you are on evolution and genetics, that depth of which can be measured in one or two millimeters. Ever hear of epigenetics? I thought not.

    Yes, Fred can get a bit funny on evolution but your accusations of superficiality would be better based if you didn’t try to make a point out of Canadians who can afford it coming to the US for critical medical treatment. That the the US has the best of many important activities and institutional functions – including universities and weapons production amongst others – is totally irrelevant to the case against the whole health care system in the US judged by cost and by outcomes.

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  95. Anonymous says:     Show CommentNext New Comment
    @Talha
    I always wondered what happened to the true concept of "mutual insurance" - where the policy owners own the insurance company and therefore earn dividends from its gains. It is in the interests of the policy owners to stay healthy to maximize their own profits.

    Are those around any more - or all gone, except in name?

    Also, maybe we need to have caps on compensation via tort reform.

    Peace.

    I always wondered what happened to the true concept of “mutual insurance” – where the policy owners own the insurance company and therefore earn dividends from its gains. It is in the interests of the policy owners to stay healthy to maximize their own profits.

    Are those around any more – or all gone, except in name?

    Mutual insurance used to be much more common than it is now. Most of the Blue Cross & Blue Shield companies used to be mutuals. However, many of them have demutualized and switched to being for-profit companies.

    The incentive really isn’t that strong because these companies are very large. If you save the company $100,000 by not getting Hepatitis C, that $100,000 gets split among the million members, and you end up with 10 cents.

    The nonprofit Blue Crosses are not significantly cheaper than the for-profit Blue Crosses. The reason is that the for-profit companies do a better job of cutting costs. The CEO has stock options, so he has an incentive to cut the fat. A nonprofit CEO has a much harder time doing this.

    It’s the same reason that GEICO is taking market share from State Farm. Because State Farm is a mutual, it ought to have a cost advantage, since it doesn’t have to make a profit and GEICO does. However, State Farm squanders its entire cost advantage by using an agent-based structure. GEICO cuts out the fat with its direct sales structure, so it can underprice State Farm and still make a nice profit.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Talha
    Hmmm - very good points to think about - much thanks for the details!

    I remember speaking to my boss about this topic and saying to him that I don't think either a private or public solution will solve our problems. The fact is - apart from a minority of us - we live horrendously unhealthy lives. Any medical system will suffer under the burden of such wide-spread negligence.

    I know a pathologist who trains other pathologists in one of the top universities in Chicago. His assessment is that he will be shocked if we don't see regulations concerning sugar within the next two decades because of the evidence of how bad it is - and it is in practically everything. As far as he is concerned, he has no problems calling it poison.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=B56Gpf1f5_A

    Peace.
  96. @nsa
    Socialized medicine in places like Germany, Japan, Canada, Australia amount to a corporate subsidy, transferring employee medical costs from a business to the taxpayer. Eventually, a single payer system (simplified Medicare) providing basic military style medical to the entire population will be installed here in the USA....maybe even by Der Trumpster in his second term. Those insisting on coverage for the fancier treatments (organ transplants, exotic drug therapies, long term nursing care facility, drug and alcohol rehab, psychiatric disorders, etc ) could buy a suitable supplemental plan at their own expense. In this way, medical could be reduced from 18% of GDP to maybe 12% of GDP, and the burden shifted from businesses to the taxpayer. Too sensible?

    Agree, more or less, which means $1 trillion every year in walking-around money to buy stuff, or build factories, plus America gets to join the ranks of grown-up countries with good health care stats, and a medical establishment that doesn’t use its specialized skills and unique authority to politically word-whip a whole nation to get what it wants.

    I’m not sure an American Medicare for All plan means giving up much of anything, or having to “settle”. If my memory’s okay, the European standard for new drug approval was “better than existing pharmacopoeia” while the American bar was merely “better than placebo”, which pretty much means a license for Big Pharma to print money with me-too products. Likewise, I expect we’ll find numerous dubious treatment regimes that exist solely because the money is available to pay for them.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Wizard of Oz
    There does seem to be a potential category between "better thab placebo" and "better than existing product" - like "better for some patients".
  97. @Alfred1860
    The USA is 30th in the world in maternal/infant mortality, despite spending almost 50 % more on healthcare (as a percentage of GDP) than the next closest developed country. Life expectancy is 50th in the world, and actually falling (in absolute terms). That's a pretty shitty ROI if you ask me.

    Indisputably, healthcare in the US is the best in the world for millionaires. For the rest, not so much.

    I keep seeing the US compared to other “developed” countries, but given the demographics of the US these days, that’s not really an accurate comparison. We are more like Brazil than Europe.

    I remember the Milton Friedman quote that he was talking to a Scandinavian professor who said that they had no poverty in Scandinavia. Friedman said that was interesting in that among Scandinavians in America, we had no poverty either. Race and culture matter.

    Read More
    • Replies: @RadicalCenter
    Thank you.

    How about comparing the health outcomes and patterns of white Americans to those in Europe? There are obviously plenty of willfully reckless white Americans, as measured by morbid obesity, diabetes, gout rates, premature disability and death from smoking, etc., but substantially less bad lifestyles and outcomes (on balance) than African-"americans" and Mexicans.

    (Same for the incidence of violent crime, gun crime, and many other measures on which "the USA" is supposedly so much worse than European countries.)

  98. @Bill Jones
    There are a number of religion based mutual insurance operation. They specifically were excluded from the Obamacare requirement of buying .

    I have Medi-Share which is a christian based program. I’m 62 in good health. Through Obamacare my premium is $725 with $7500 deductible. Through Medi-share it is $220 with $10,000 deductible.

    Medi-share excludes negative outcomes that are self-inflicted. Diseases caused by buggery are excluded from coverage. Get in wreck while drunk or get shot robbing a convenience store and your costs are someone else’s problem.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Talha
    Hey workforlivn,

    That actually sounds pretty cool - they enforce you to live responsibly. What about stuff like diabetes from eating too much sugar and not exercising or stuff like cancer from smoking - is that 'self-inflicted'?

    Much thanks!

    Peace.
  99. @Auntie Analogue
    It seems that the "advanced countries" that have the quality national health care schemes that you admire, Mr. Reed, are countries for whose defense the American taxpayer has been paying the lion's share of through, e.g., NATO. It is much easier for a government to fund first rate socialized medicine, long vacations, and "public amenities" when it's not paying for its own defense on its own Euro, Yen, Won, Canadian dollar, or what have you.

    Not sure where all this “first rate” national healthcare is hanging out. 5 year survival rate for cancer in the US=66%, in Canada and the UK= 44%…Also, UK NH has few dentists, has advised people to pull their own teeth….

    Read More
    • Replies: @pyrrhus
    Updated stats, UK 5 year cancer survival rate--50%, US--70%+
    , @woodNfish
    In is hanging out under the "Statistical Lies" column. See my other comments in the thread.
  100. Anonymous says:     Show CommentNext New Comment
    @nsa
    Socialized medicine in places like Germany, Japan, Canada, Australia amount to a corporate subsidy, transferring employee medical costs from a business to the taxpayer. Eventually, a single payer system (simplified Medicare) providing basic military style medical to the entire population will be installed here in the USA....maybe even by Der Trumpster in his second term. Those insisting on coverage for the fancier treatments (organ transplants, exotic drug therapies, long term nursing care facility, drug and alcohol rehab, psychiatric disorders, etc ) could buy a suitable supplemental plan at their own expense. In this way, medical could be reduced from 18% of GDP to maybe 12% of GDP, and the burden shifted from businesses to the taxpayer. Too sensible?

    Eventually, a single payer system (simplified Medicare) providing basic military style medical to the entire population will be installed here in the USA….

    There’s nary a chance of that. The rich own the country (or, more correctly, share it with Israel), and there will never be “health-care” in the US that does not make at least as much money for the rich as does the current system — if “system” it be.

    America is corrupt throughout, in all government and all financial “institutions”. America as we knew it is over and done. Perhaps revolution will one day restore a few elements of America, briefly. Without substantial reduction in population — 50% at least — there will never be any “getting better” for any but the 1%.

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  101. @pyrrhus
    Not sure where all this "first rate" national healthcare is hanging out. 5 year survival rate for cancer in the US=66%, in Canada and the UK= 44%...Also, UK NH has few dentists, has advised people to pull their own teeth....

    Updated stats, UK 5 year cancer survival rate–50%, US–70%+

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  102. @Jim Christian
    You are correct. Cost him previously sharp eyesight in one eye. I use VA Healthcare in New England, self-touted as the best. I've had good luck with them and true enough, no paperwork. They did a carpal-tunnel surgery that couldn't be beat and their foot-guy was a surgeon who reconstructed the feet of Humvee guys that rolled over IEDs, an incident they found was very hard on the feet. My feet were wrecked in crummy flight deck boots and years up and down the ladders of carriers, many a day, dozens. These guys know bones, I tell ya.

    Eyes, not so much maybe, for Fred anyway, although I get my eye care exams there too. Not sure there's a Model at VA that applies to civilians without you simply declare the country to be on Medicare, all current payments to insurance now a tax to the Feds. The insurance companies are a powerful lot. Not sure how you cut them out without a coup...

    “Not sure there’s a Model at VA that applies to civilians without you simply declare the country to be on Medicare, all current payments to insurance now a tax to the Feds. The insurance companies are a powerful lot. Not sure how you cut them out without a coup…”

    Thank you for very clear explanation. The overwhelming majority of the US citizenry would pay taxes to have a decent single payer system. These taxes will be significantly lower than the current racketeering fees charged by the parasitoids of US insurance companies. These companies want to continue their fat living on the body of the US citizenry whatever the cost for the society.

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  103. @workforlivn
    I have Medi-Share which is a christian based program. I'm 62 in good health. Through Obamacare my premium is $725 with $7500 deductible. Through Medi-share it is $220 with $10,000 deductible.

    Medi-share excludes negative outcomes that are self-inflicted. Diseases caused by buggery are excluded from coverage. Get in wreck while drunk or get shot robbing a convenience store and your costs are someone else's problem.

    Hey workforlivn,

    That actually sounds pretty cool – they enforce you to live responsibly. What about stuff like diabetes from eating too much sugar and not exercising or stuff like cancer from smoking – is that ‘self-inflicted’?

    Much thanks!

    Peace.

    Read More
    • Replies: @RadicalCenter
    Hi Talha, just did a cursory perusal of Medi-Share's website, and they seem to say that an extra fee of $80 per month applies to people who are overweight, or have too high a BMI, or have diabetes.

    Didn't inquire about other conditions that are often largely self-inflicted and (for most people) readily avoidable through sensible diet and lifestyle, such as gout.

    I wonder how costly, and how practical, it would be to require members to undergo an annual or even twice-a-year test that would reveal recent smoking, such as (maybe) a test for level of carbon monoxide or other toxins in the blood.

    Taking a different tack as Christmas approaches, I will wish you the peace and love of God and urge us all -- certainly including me -- to better follow the example of Jesus.

  104. @Anonymous

    I always wondered what happened to the true concept of “mutual insurance” – where the policy owners own the insurance company and therefore earn dividends from its gains. It is in the interests of the policy owners to stay healthy to maximize their own profits.

    Are those around any more – or all gone, except in name?
     
    Mutual insurance used to be much more common than it is now. Most of the Blue Cross & Blue Shield companies used to be mutuals. However, many of them have demutualized and switched to being for-profit companies.

    The incentive really isn't that strong because these companies are very large. If you save the company $100,000 by not getting Hepatitis C, that $100,000 gets split among the million members, and you end up with 10 cents.

    The nonprofit Blue Crosses are not significantly cheaper than the for-profit Blue Crosses. The reason is that the for-profit companies do a better job of cutting costs. The CEO has stock options, so he has an incentive to cut the fat. A nonprofit CEO has a much harder time doing this.

    It's the same reason that GEICO is taking market share from State Farm. Because State Farm is a mutual, it ought to have a cost advantage, since it doesn't have to make a profit and GEICO does. However, State Farm squanders its entire cost advantage by using an agent-based structure. GEICO cuts out the fat with its direct sales structure, so it can underprice State Farm and still make a nice profit.

    Hmmm – very good points to think about – much thanks for the details!

    I remember speaking to my boss about this topic and saying to him that I don’t think either a private or public solution will solve our problems. The fact is – apart from a minority of us – we live horrendously unhealthy lives. Any medical system will suffer under the burden of such wide-spread negligence.

    I know a pathologist who trains other pathologists in one of the top universities in Chicago. His assessment is that he will be shocked if we don’t see regulations concerning sugar within the next two decades because of the evidence of how bad it is – and it is in practically everything. As far as he is concerned, he has no problems calling it poison.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=B56Gpf1f5_A

    Peace.

    Read More
    • Replies: @RadicalCenter
    Agreed on all counts. Important to include "high-fructose corn syrup" in all its permutations as part of "sugar."
  105. @JackOH
    Agree, more or less, which means $1 trillion every year in walking-around money to buy stuff, or build factories, plus America gets to join the ranks of grown-up countries with good health care stats, and a medical establishment that doesn't use its specialized skills and unique authority to politically word-whip a whole nation to get what it wants.

    I'm not sure an American Medicare for All plan means giving up much of anything, or having to "settle". If my memory's okay, the European standard for new drug approval was "better than existing pharmacopoeia" while the American bar was merely "better than placebo", which pretty much means a license for Big Pharma to print money with me-too products. Likewise, I expect we'll find numerous dubious treatment regimes that exist solely because the money is available to pay for them.

    There does seem to be a potential category between “better thab placebo” and “better than existing product” – like “better for some patients”.

    Read More
  106. And FYI:

    https://www.mskcc.org/experience/become-patient/international-patients/private-translation-services

    I deal with these guys on a regular basis (God bless ‘em). Ain’t nobody heading to Ghana for care…

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    • Replies: @Boris N

    Ain’t nobody heading to Ghana for care…
     
    You deliberately lead the discussion to an absurdity to make your silly point. Nobody compare the USA with Africa, where, by the way, only Botswana and Tunisia have genuine free HC. You are speaking about things you do not even bother yourself to check.
    https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Universal_health_care.svg

    But let us compare the USA with other major English-speaking countries (AU, CA, IR, NZ, UK) or the top world countries from G7 or EU-15. How many of them go to the USA for a treatment? I'm not speaking about the millionaires who can easily spend hundreds of thousands of dollars on their health, but about an average person with an average income. How many, average British, Irishmen, Frenchmen, Germans, Italians, Spaniards, Japanese, Canadians, etc. goes to the USA for a treatment? Why would a French bus driver go to the USA, if he can get his treatment at home with little or no cost?
  107. With all this being said, good to know healthcare is free in iSrael for Israeli Jews as I understand it lol. At least, our tax dollars are providing that kind of service for someone in the world even if it’s not us LOL.

    Read More
    • Replies: @annamaria
    Guess that for the US Congress, Israel is thoroughly socialist:
    "Health care in Israel is universal and participation in a medical insurance plan is compulsory. All Israeli citizens are entitled to basic health care as a fundamental right. The Israeli healthcare system is based on the National Health Insurance Law of 1995, which mandates all citizens resident in the country to join one of four official health insurance organizations which are run as not-for-profit organizations, and are prohibited by law from denying any Israeli citizen membership." https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Health_care_in_Israel
  108. As a citizen of a country with (nominally) free universal healthcare, I was really disappointed about the American healthcare system when I was trying to understand it. I thought one could not invent more confusing and anti-people system than that. Crony capitalism at its essence. But after some consideration, I though it might be not so terrible as it sounds.

    First, the majority of Americans are ensured, so they will very unlikely face the high prices listed above. Only 10% of Americans are uninsured (http://kff.org/uninsured/fact-sheet/key-facts-about-the-uninsured-population/). The poor who cannot afford insurance could use Medicaid (thanks to condemned Obama!).

    Second, the average spending on healthcare rarely goes above 10% of a family budget

    https://www.creditloan.com/blog/how-the-average-us-consumer-spends-their-paycheck/

    https://www.valuepenguin.com/average-household-budget

    Here more detailed: http://www.bls.gov/cex/

    So it is not that unaffordable. While in other countries people pay higher taxes, in the USA people pay directly and usually the very same amount of money. So either you pay 10% more on taxes or 10% on the insurance.

    The elderly are covered by Medicare.

    But after all, this discussion is in fact pointless. After Americans have elected Trump and the GOP, it is futile to expect they’ll ever consider a reform and not to say nationalization. The Right have always been against the state involvement into healthcare. Americans have chosen their fate and this very site agitated for Trump very hard. So after you made your choice it’s silly to whine that you had chosen the wrong guy.

    And the insurance lobby will never allow it, either, they even managed to ruin not one politician. that:http://truecostofhealthcare.net/conclusion/

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    • Replies: @annamaria
    "But after some consideration, I though it might be not so terrible as it sounds."

    You have missed an important point of the article: the exorbitant cost of healthcare is the primary cause of bankruptcies in the US. Moreover, the huge numbers of people in their prime years cannot afford comprehensive screening and/or seeing a specialist and thus they are less protected than the poorest citizens that enjoy Medicare and can go to any specialist and receive any procedures and any surgeries. As for the middle class citizens, you should better learn about the deductibles that the hardworking Americans have to pay to the insurance-racket sharks. Meanwhile, the med. doctors are loaded with bureaucratic trash and their work is compromised by the same insurance-racket sharks.
    Overall, it is as terrible as it sounds.

    , @RadicalCenter
    On balance, it was an easy decision to side with the guy who might take action to slow or reverse the Third World colonization of my country, even if I don't agree with him on all major issues.

    Moreover, with our large African population -- which is by far even more reckless and irresponsible in their unhealthy lifestyles than white Americans -- any system of universal taxpayer-funded healthcare will be less affordable/realistic than it might be in countries that do not bear such a heavy burden. The same appears to be true, on average (albeit to a somewhat lesser extent) of our large and rapidly growing Mexican population.

    All of us, of whatever background, need to live healthier rather than continue expecting doctors and drugs to mitigate the predictable results of our self-abuse. That is true under any system of healthcare.
  109. @Mike Johnson
    With all this being said, good to know healthcare is free in iSrael for Israeli Jews as I understand it lol. At least, our tax dollars are providing that kind of service for someone in the world even if it's not us LOL.

    Guess that for the US Congress, Israel is thoroughly socialist:
    “Health care in Israel is universal and participation in a medical insurance plan is compulsory. All Israeli citizens are entitled to basic health care as a fundamental right. The Israeli healthcare system is based on the National Health Insurance Law of 1995, which mandates all citizens resident in the country to join one of four official health insurance organizations which are run as not-for-profit organizations, and are prohibited by law from denying any Israeli citizen membership.” https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Health_care_in_Israel

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  110. @Blosky
    And FYI:



    https://www.mskcc.org/experience/become-patient/international-patients/private-translation-services

    I deal with these guys on a regular basis (God bless 'em). Ain't nobody heading to Ghana for care...

    Ain’t nobody heading to Ghana for care…

    You deliberately lead the discussion to an absurdity to make your silly point. Nobody compare the USA with Africa, where, by the way, only Botswana and Tunisia have genuine free HC. You are speaking about things you do not even bother yourself to check.

    https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Universal_health_care.svg

    But let us compare the USA with other major English-speaking countries (AU, CA, IR, NZ, UK) or the top world countries from G7 or EU-15. How many of them go to the USA for a treatment? I’m not speaking about the millionaires who can easily spend hundreds of thousands of dollars on their health, but about an average person with an average income. How many, average British, Irishmen, Frenchmen, Germans, Italians, Spaniards, Japanese, Canadians, etc. goes to the USA for a treatment? Why would a French bus driver go to the USA, if he can get his treatment at home with little or no cost?

    Read More
  111. @Auntie Analogue
    It seems that the "advanced countries" that have the quality national health care schemes that you admire, Mr. Reed, are countries for whose defense the American taxpayer has been paying the lion's share of through, e.g., NATO. It is much easier for a government to fund first rate socialized medicine, long vacations, and "public amenities" when it's not paying for its own defense on its own Euro, Yen, Won, Canadian dollar, or what have you.

    Let’s leave emotions and crunch numbers. The USA pay only 16% ($600bn) of the federal budget on the military and 27% ($1,000bn) on Medicare & Health. Total health expenditures of the nation: $3,000bn. Given that $1,000bn are already covered by the federal budget, you need another $2,000bn in the budget. Even if the state would spend zero on the army, it would be $1,400bn short.

    https://www.nationalpriorities.org/budget-basics/federal-budget-101/spending/

    http://www.cdc.gov/nchs/fastats/health-expenditures.htm

    If the state spend 50% less on the military then the required sum would be $1,700bn or $5,300 per capita. Sure you could get that money from the top 1% and the corporations but how can you get at them if the state itself is controlled by those oligarchs and their lobby is the most powerful? Moreover, you have elected one of the oligarchs as your president. Reap what you have sown.

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  112. @Blosky
    Indeed. The healthcare in the US is so bad, nobody ever comes here.

    Indeed. The healthcare in the US is so bad, nobody ever comes here.

    People simply have no idea about the American healthcare system. They do not think about it. They come to America for a better life and higher wages and they do not think what will happen when they become ill. Many think of free healthcare as a given for a developed country, and they simply suppose America is the same. But is important to notice that most immigrants to America today are the people from Third World countries and for them the American healthcare with all its faults is the best they can get. But for the people from First World countries it must be not that impressive. Europe is no more a major origin for immigrants to America. Why, indeed, would a German or a Swede migrate to America now? Only 80,000 Europeans come to America in 2014 (the majority are from poorer Eastern Europe, I suppose) out of 1 million immigrants. So the only way one can say America is the best is by comparison with the Third World. How low America must have fallen.

    Read More
    • Replies: @RadicalCenter
    You make some good points, including the observation that relatively few white Europeans immigrate here any more.

    However, with persistent dangerously-low fertility rates among white Europeans in Europe, the fact is that there simply aren't as many Europeans in existence who could immigrate ANYwhere. They have lost all common sense, appreciation for the beauty and rewards of raising children, and their will to survive.

    We aren't that far behind them on the road to subjugation or extinction, but some of us are trying and fighting. We would welcome white European immigrants in any numbers they can muster. (Just drop the self-hatred and compulsion to surrender everything to non-white immigrants. Yes, my German and German-American friends, I'm especially talking to you.)
  113. @Boris N
    As a citizen of a country with (nominally) free universal healthcare, I was really disappointed about the American healthcare system when I was trying to understand it. I thought one could not invent more confusing and anti-people system than that. Crony capitalism at its essence. But after some consideration, I though it might be not so terrible as it sounds.

    First, the majority of Americans are ensured, so they will very unlikely face the high prices listed above. Only 10% of Americans are uninsured (http://kff.org/uninsured/fact-sheet/key-facts-about-the-uninsured-population/). The poor who cannot afford insurance could use Medicaid (thanks to condemned Obama!).

    Second, the average spending on healthcare rarely goes above 10% of a family budget
    https://www.creditloan.com/blog/how-the-average-us-consumer-spends-their-paycheck/
    https://www.valuepenguin.com/average-household-budget
    Here more detailed: http://www.bls.gov/cex/

    So it is not that unaffordable. While in other countries people pay higher taxes, in the USA people pay directly and usually the very same amount of money. So either you pay 10% more on taxes or 10% on the insurance.

    The elderly are covered by Medicare.

    But after all, this discussion is in fact pointless. After Americans have elected Trump and the GOP, it is futile to expect they'll ever consider a reform and not to say nationalization. The Right have always been against the state involvement into healthcare. Americans have chosen their fate and this very site agitated for Trump very hard. So after you made your choice it's silly to whine that you had chosen the wrong guy.

    And the insurance lobby will never allow it, either, they even managed to ruin not one politician. that:http://truecostofhealthcare.net/conclusion/

    “But after some consideration, I though it might be not so terrible as it sounds.”

    You have missed an important point of the article: the exorbitant cost of healthcare is the primary cause of bankruptcies in the US. Moreover, the huge numbers of people in their prime years cannot afford comprehensive screening and/or seeing a specialist and thus they are less protected than the poorest citizens that enjoy Medicare and can go to any specialist and receive any procedures and any surgeries. As for the middle class citizens, you should better learn about the deductibles that the hardworking Americans have to pay to the insurance-racket sharks. Meanwhile, the med. doctors are loaded with bureaucratic trash and their work is compromised by the same insurance-racket sharks.
    Overall, it is as terrible as it sounds.

    Read More
    • Replies: @RadicalCenter
    Our med system is deeply flawed, alright.

    But we shouldn't ignore or downplay the enormous portion of the "need" for medical care that is caused by Americans' reckless & stupid voluntary choices: smoking, over-eating, massive consumption of sugar and corn syrup, (which causes millions of unnecessary cases of diabetes and gout that are readily avoidable for most people through sensible diet and lifestyle), refusal to walk or bike or swim or otherwise exercise even a little bit, etc.

    As for people allegedly being unable to afford deductibles, how much are these same people blowing every month on television, tobacco, marijuana, alcohol, etc.? Often many thousands of dollars each year, even in lower-income households.

    When one factors out self-inflicted avoidable health problems and the cost of those same vices & luxuries, how many people are behaving like rational adults and still can't afford insurance premiums or deductibles? Too many, but not nearly as many as you're making out.

    No system of healthcare will be affordable and sustainable over the long term the way that so many Americans are behaving like idiots and then expecting doctors and drugs to mitigate or reverse the damage.

    , @Boris N

    As for the middle class citizens, you should better learn about the deductibles that the hardworking Americans have to pay to the insurance-racket sharks.
     
    Yes, I studied that and know these things (at least in theory). For example, you pay $500/mo premiums ($6,000/year) but then you may have pay out of pocket from $5000 up to $10,000 and only if you reach that sum you may have got reimbursement from the already paid by you $6,000, but even that not so simple because you anyway always have to copay or co-share. That's a clear racket, I agree. I better save $16,000 a year and after 10 or 20 years I will have a lot of money to cover any expenses if bad things happen.

    Overall, it is as terrible as it sounds.
     
    I hope I'll survive it if I ever happen to live in the USA. That's all I worry about. You all seem to have survived.
  114. @Anon
    "Universal – basic – health coverage is not HARD. A small tax on ALL incomes (say 1.5%) should cover the basics. The rich can further insure themselves for speedier service, face lifts & breast/penis enlargements."

    Right, if it were to cover only the BASICS.

    But what is considered ESSENTIAL by Americans goes way beyond basics.

    Americans have a very spoiled and pampered concept of basic rights. Same in Europe and Canada.

    If single payer system only focused on basic healthcare and essential needs, it'd be doable. But too many Americans get too fat and unhealthy and then go to doctors to demand all kinds of drugs and service and etc.

    Consider all the Americans on this or that medication. Now, I'm not gonna be Tom Cruise about this and denounce all drugs. But drugs should only be used as last resort. For many Americans, it is the first resort, and they want more and more.
    And this stuff is really expensive.

    How did people in the past cope without all these drugs and other stuff? They found meaning in community, church, family, relatives, and culture. All that is gone for many Americans. They just got junk culture, hedonism, youth cult, and etc. And when youth passes, they feel empty like grasshopper of Aesop, and they turn to drugs. Some turn to bad drugs like meth. Some turn to professional soma doled out by Big Pharma that should be called Harma.

    This is why Single Payer system won't work. Too many Americans became accustomed to getting too much from the system.
    Basic Care is no longer enough for a lot of Americans who need their soma, soma, soma.

    Michael Moore is perfect posterboy for what is wrong with America. He is a fatty fatass fatkins who can't control his fatbody appetite. A fat tubaroon like him will have all sorts of health problems, but of course, his ilk want the STATE to take care of it.
    Lardsass mother******.

    Maybe these Americans you speak of deserve the for-profit insurance structure we know so well. Both parties are inherently corrupt and act only in their narrowly selfish interests. To effect change requires a jolt of some kind.

    What could work better and in favor of regular folks is a direct arrangement with doctors and even hospitals for low level, routine visits. All out-patient work would be paid for directly by the consumer and he would carry insurance only for “big stuff” like surgery or expensive level drugs or testing. I believe a basic doctor visit is in the $150-250 range: not impossible for most and likely to incentivize people taking better care of themselves. This is not a new idea but how to explore the possibilities?

    Next time you visit a doctor ask him how much ANY procedure costs in actual dollars. (Very likely he will have no idea). Tell him you are shopping around and plan to go with the lowest cost provider. Middleman (insurance) automatically eliminated. If millions did this the system would adjust costs downward in short order.

    If Democrats focused on this kind of activism the way they focus on demonizing others they might actually accomplish real progress.

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    • Replies: @woodNfish

    Maybe these Americans you speak of deserve the for-profit insurance structure we know so well.
     
    We've never had free competition in the medical industry. It has always been regulated by the states and outsiders (any other state) were kept out. Trump wants to change that so insurance companies can compete for business in multiple states. I expect that competition will be promoted in other areas too.

    No solution is going to be perfect, but it will be better than obdumbass care and what we had before.

    What could work better and in favor of regular folks is a direct arrangement with doctors and even hospitals for low level, routine visits.
     
    Forbe's Magazine has offered this type of program to their employees for years. Not sure if it survived odumbass care, but it was a good program and controlled costs.
  115. Well Fred, first you pose the dilemna:

    Almost all advanced countries, if not all, have national medical care. It is telling that in the debate over Obamacare, few looked at systems in other countries to see how well what worked. The reason seems to have been a mixture of the classic American arrogance and lack of interest in anything beyond the borders.

    And then you answer it:

    I tell you, boys and girls, America is a collection of self-interested interests concerned with maximizing profits and nothing else.

    It is and always has been about the money and who was going to get to line their pockets! And as for amerika being the most corrupt of advanced countries I don’t know if that is true and I doubt you do either. But it is definitely corrupt. The last 8 years under odumbass and the presidential election prove that beyond a doubt, and it isn’t just the government, but the lying LSM presstitutes and their fake news, the criminal democratic party, and corporate amerika which have raped this country in the race for profits.

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  116. @pelagic
    Maybe these Americans you speak of deserve the for-profit insurance structure we know so well. Both parties are inherently corrupt and act only in their narrowly selfish interests. To effect change requires a jolt of some kind.

    What could work better and in favor of regular folks is a direct arrangement with doctors and even hospitals for low level, routine visits. All out-patient work would be paid for directly by the consumer and he would carry insurance only for "big stuff" like surgery or expensive level drugs or testing. I believe a basic doctor visit is in the $150-250 range: not impossible for most and likely to incentivize people taking better care of themselves. This is not a new idea but how to explore the possibilities?

    Next time you visit a doctor ask him how much ANY procedure costs in actual dollars. (Very likely he will have no idea). Tell him you are shopping around and plan to go with the lowest cost provider. Middleman (insurance) automatically eliminated. If millions did this the system would adjust costs downward in short order.

    If Democrats focused on this kind of activism the way they focus on demonizing others they might actually accomplish real progress.

    Maybe these Americans you speak of deserve the for-profit insurance structure we know so well.

    We’ve never had free competition in the medical industry. It has always been regulated by the states and outsiders (any other state) were kept out. Trump wants to change that so insurance companies can compete for business in multiple states. I expect that competition will be promoted in other areas too.

    No solution is going to be perfect, but it will be better than obdumbass care and what we had before.

    What could work better and in favor of regular folks is a direct arrangement with doctors and even hospitals for low level, routine visits.

    Forbe’s Magazine has offered this type of program to their employees for years. Not sure if it survived odumbass care, but it was a good program and controlled costs.

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  117. @Alfred1860
    The USA is 30th in the world in maternal/infant mortality, despite spending almost 50 % more on healthcare (as a percentage of GDP) than the next closest developed country. Life expectancy is 50th in the world, and actually falling (in absolute terms). That's a pretty shitty ROI if you ask me.

    Indisputably, healthcare in the US is the best in the world for millionaires. For the rest, not so much.

    The USA is 30th in the world in maternal/infant mortality

    This is a bogus statistic that does not take into consideration that the US does more to save premature babies than other nations, including in-utero surgeries, and that is why we have a higher mortality count.

    These are the same kind of bogus statistics that are used when comparing our education systems against other nations. If you counted only our white students, we do as well as any other advanced country. If you ad in the asian heritage students, we do even better. It is the blacks and latinos that pull down the numbers.

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  118. @pyrrhus
    Not sure where all this "first rate" national healthcare is hanging out. 5 year survival rate for cancer in the US=66%, in Canada and the UK= 44%...Also, UK NH has few dentists, has advised people to pull their own teeth....

    In is hanging out under the “Statistical Lies” column. See my other comments in the thread.

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  119. @Anon
    US subsidizes healthcare in other nations.

    Americans pay high prices for drugs, but these same drug companies sell the drugs real cheap to other nations.

    Also, other nations let old people die. In the US, they are kept alive as long as possible.

    But with growing Diversity in Canada and EU, things will break down.

    Btw, many people support socialized medicine not necessarily due to results but ideology as they were drummed in schools from young age that it is eeeeevil to privatize medicine.
    Even Canadians who don't like their healthcare system will support socialized medicine cuz they've been indoctrinated to virtue-signal that way.

    Another thing. Aren't food, clothing, and housing more essential than medicine for human survival? Then, why are people allowed to make profit off that stuff?
    We let free markets take care of food, clothes, and housing. And we provide socialism for those who can't afford those things.
    Well, the same thing should be done with medicine. Try to handle the problem with markets as much as possible, and then offer socialized basic medicine for those who can't afford doctors.

    The main problem of American health is fattiness. Look at Michael Moore. Fatsos like that cost us dearly. And then you got tons of Negroes shooting one another or using drugs. And white deplorables are also into big drugs.

    why are people allowed to make profit off that stuff?

    I personally know a number of doctors, and none of them are poor. But it is the insurance companies, big pharma and our criminal government that are driving up healthcare costs.

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  120. The real cost of health care is the huge advances in medical care that has afforded every great benefits. Knee replacements, heart stents, angioplasty, and wonderful drugs that cure otherwise fatals diseases cost huge amounts, but I doubt anyone would say it wasn’t worth it.
    Every other country benefits from the improvement in health care developed in the USA.
    Just like funding the trip to the moon, health care is a great project that the USA has funded with the benefit going to the rest of the world.

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    • Replies: @Mao Cheng Ji

    Knee replacements, heart stents, angioplasty, and wonderful drugs [...] he improvement in health care developed in the USA.
     
    All the techniques you mentioned were developed in Europe. 'Wonderful drugs' are mostly (conceptually) developed by public-sector research institutions.
  121. […] It was pretty major surgery undertaken by a friend of Fred Reed: […]

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  122. @Tim
    The real cost of health care is the huge advances in medical care that has afforded every great benefits. Knee replacements, heart stents, angioplasty, and wonderful drugs that cure otherwise fatals diseases cost huge amounts, but I doubt anyone would say it wasn't worth it.
    Every other country benefits from the improvement in health care developed in the USA.
    Just like funding the trip to the moon, health care is a great project that the USA has funded with the benefit going to the rest of the world.

    Knee replacements, heart stents, angioplasty, and wonderful drugs [...] he improvement in health care developed in the USA.

    All the techniques you mentioned were developed in Europe. ‘Wonderful drugs’ are mostly (conceptually) developed by public-sector research institutions.

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    • Replies: @anon

    All the techniques you mentioned were developed in Europe.
     
    Please explain; that's not the impression I got.
  123. anon says:     Show CommentNext New Comment
    @Mao Cheng Ji

    Knee replacements, heart stents, angioplasty, and wonderful drugs [...] he improvement in health care developed in the USA.
     
    All the techniques you mentioned were developed in Europe. 'Wonderful drugs' are mostly (conceptually) developed by public-sector research institutions.

    All the techniques you mentioned were developed in Europe.

    Please explain; that’s not the impression I got.

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    • Replies: @Mao Cheng Ji
    I just looked it up.
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Themistocles_Gluck
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Andreas_Gruentzig
  124. The angioplasty was first developed in the USA and later advanced by some of the European nations but the vast majority of the development was funded and advanced by US companies and hospitals. Knee replacement as a “routine” procedure was developed here in the US and later exported to the other countries for the “one payer” system.
    One payer, i.e. government, system suppresses innovation and places health care in the hands of the politicians in Washington who subsequently use health care to entice votes.

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    • Replies: @Mao Cheng Ji
    Nah. In reality, it's the opposite: what suppresses innovation is the profit motive. Fundamental science is not a money-making enterprise, which is why a vast majority of scientific and ground-breaking technological advances have been produced by the public sector. Computing, the internet, space exploration, nuclear power, NIH, GPS navigation, you name it.

    The private sector is good at mass-producing and selling identical items (cheap junk, mostly), but that's about it...
  125. @timmount
    The angioplasty was first developed in the USA and later advanced by some of the European nations but the vast majority of the development was funded and advanced by US companies and hospitals. Knee replacement as a "routine" procedure was developed here in the US and later exported to the other countries for the "one payer" system.
    One payer, i.e. government, system suppresses innovation and places health care in the hands of the politicians in Washington who subsequently use health care to entice votes.

    Nah. In reality, it’s the opposite: what suppresses innovation is the profit motive. Fundamental science is not a money-making enterprise, which is why a vast majority of scientific and ground-breaking technological advances have been produced by the public sector. Computing, the internet, space exploration, nuclear power, NIH, GPS navigation, you name it.

    The private sector is good at mass-producing and selling identical items (cheap junk, mostly), but that’s about it…

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  126. The NIH is a money losing proposition and is not in the forefront of bringing new drugs and treatments to the public. Computers were developed by IBM and other for profit companies. Nuclear power is developed by private power companies, GPS was initially a military project but was made available to the public through private enterprise.

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    • Replies: @MarkinLA
    The first electronic computer was designed by Alan Turing to break the Enigma code and was funded by the British military. The US government was probably funding a lot of computer development you never saw. When I worked at Hughes, the US was spending a lot of money through grants to companies like Intel and Vitesse (gallium arsenic) in its radiation hardening and very high speed integrated circuits programs.

    The Manhattan project paid for the first nuclear reactors at Hanford Washington for the main purpose of creating plutonium for the atomic bomb. NIH does conduct basic research that nobody else will fund.

  127. @exiled off mainstreet
    The "payment for defense" by the yankee imperium is a red herring, since, absent the yankee power structure fomenting wars for European countries to participate in and create the refugees which are causing problems there, there would be no need for such expenditures, which are a total waste of money and divert funds from health care.

    Look, I’d like to see NATO reined in or disbanded, and at the least I’d like to see US & NATO stop stirring up conflict in Ukraine and elsewhere.

    But it’s willfully naïve to suggest that European countries wouldn’t need to spend substantial money for defense if the US government weren’t causing / exacerbating such problems.

    Would it be wise to leave your countries defenseless against China, Russia, Iran in perpetuity? Because you “just know” that they’d never forcibly take your land and resources, or subjugate your people, if they knew they could easily do so?

    We (USA) have spent and borrowed far too much for the military-industrial complex and unnecessary non-defensive wars. European countries have pathetic inadequate militaries and refuse to spend what is needed for mere defense and deterrence. Two extremes. Both should be avoided.

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  128. @TelfoedJohn
    Communist hellhole Cuba has the same life expectancy as the US, according to the UN and CIA. Even after sanctions. Castro-style Communist healthcare would be better than the current system. That's how bad it is.

    Is that why Fidel Castro went abroad to save his own life rather than stick with Cuban healthcare?

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  129. @Rurik

    However, the American health care system is #1 in the world in maximizing profits for pharmaceutical companies, medical device makers, doctors, for-profit hospitals as well as insurance companies. In other words, as a business, American health care companies do an excellent job of using health care problems to extort money out of ordinary Americans. They are without peers in the world
     
    also please keep in mind that most of the lucre extorted from everyday Americans reeling from some medical catastrophe is done so at the very end of people's lives, and as such, we must never underestimate the importance of proscribing (with jail time!) any attempt on some misguided people's parts, to allow for what some lunatics call 'humanitarian euthanasia'.

    If a ninety year old man or woman is suffering some excruciating and terminal affliction, this is the time when the 'ching, ching' really kicks in! Assorted surgeons and specialists and myriad hospital personnel and devices and expensive hospital equipment can all be brought to bear at astronomical profits! This is the time in a person's life when the medical establishment really gets their$. It's a God damn gold mine!! It's the Mega-payout at the casino!

    So, the next time you hear some misguided, namby-pamby do-gooder, talking about 'oh, oh' some new drug or something, that allows for terminally ill people at the twilight of their lives, to check out with dignity on their own terms, just remember that they are effectively robbing hospital administrators and surgeons and anesthesiologists and pharmaceutical corporations and the entire AMA- untold billions upon billions of dollars of extorted lucre, that can be used to purchase entire villas on the Italian Mediterranean for a single hospital administrator!

    These euthanasia people are dangerous! And they must be stopped. Thank God that the 'Jesus people' are there to make sure everyone knows that God **wants** those people to suffer at the end of their lives. If He didn't, He would let them check out. So it's not for those people themselves or their relatives to decide when it's time to go. It's for the hospitals and politicians and the Jesus people to decide. We're talking about trillions of dollars that are at stake here. Do we want such decisions to be made by the people who're actually on the gurney? Or the AMA?

    You seem to have some anger issues with regard to Christians — a very numerous and diverse group. Leave it to the hate-everything-traditional millenial faggots to employ derogatory snark such as “the Jesus people”, please — you’re better than that.

    But fair is fair: you make an excellent point about doctors, hospitals, and pharmaceutical companies unnecessarily milking the American taxpayer and insurance ratepayer for VAST sums at the very end of elderly people’s lives.

    Other than allowing truly voluntary euthanasia / assisted suicide — a policy which poses its own grave risks, such relatives or government physicians pressuring an ailing, frightened, depressed old person — what do you suggest?

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  130. @Horzabky
    I am French and living in France. My grandmother had a brain stroke at 94. Her brain hardly functioned anymore (she couldn't move, make sentences or even recognize people's faces). The French public health care system kept her alive for four years, until her heart stopped beating, a few days before her 98th birthday.

    My wife just spent the last six days in a hospital with the flu plus a severe case of asthma, due to the pollution peak we have in the Paris region at the moment. She had problems breathing, so she called the medical emergency service (SAMU), and about ten minutes later three firemen showed up. They took her to a hospital. She was in a single room, with color TV. We paid nothing when she left the hospital, six days later, not even the rental of the TV (which I usually have to pay). I have a complementary health insurance for the two of us. It costs me 234€ a month (US$247, at today's exchange rate). I don't know what I would have paid (if anything) if I had no health insurance.

    I consider myself a conservative. But the general consensus here is that since people pay taxes for the police, the armed forces, public education, public health, etc, there's no reason why they would have to pay a second time for public health, whereas they pay nothing for public education or the (relative) safety they get from the police and the armed forces.

    The system isn't perfect, though, and if you go to any French hospital you'll see lots of Third World "tourists" who have come to be treated at the French taxpayer's expense. Their governments are supposed to pay, but they seldom do. The general decay of French social cohesion is also showing, with occasional incidents of "visible minorities" threatening or even beating up medical staff.

    It's true that the US has top-notch surgical facilities, but only for those who can afford them.

    As for the US paying for Europe's defence... Why don't you Americans just stop paying and withdraw your troops? But that's a rhetorical question, since everybody knows that the answer is: because American politicians don't want to.

    I’d be happy if the US government would withdraw our troops from Europe and bring them home. The troops can be posted on the Mexican border, where they will actually have a useful and Constitutional function.

    Enjoy Sharia — we’re going to be too busy fighting off the Mexican colonization of our once-beautiful country to help your pathetic and cowardly asses.

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  131. @jacques sheete
    Bingo! Right here:

    When businessmen in the US saw how much money there was in health care, they just had to get some of it
     
    And another:

    we now have a system which everyone tries to game the system
     
    And yet another.

    ..and might occasionally give the patient a good outcome
     
    This next idea may need to be reconsidered because these cats typically are very low class power-hungry junior mafia wannabees and are completely worthless so they need to be given a cardboard box (to live in) and a boot out the door. Same with the insurance racket mugwumps. :

    My suggestion, which could be implemented tomorrow at virtually no cost is to limit hospital executive salaries to no more than twice that of a GS-15.
     

    YES! Any doctor or physician’s assistant whose practice or hospital receives more than 50% of its revenues from any taxpayer-funded source — Medicare, Medicaid, Veterans Administration, state government, county government — should have his income severely limited below what those crooks are getting now.

    Twice the max for a Grade 15, Step 10, would be just fine — and still plenty of money (that works out to more than $300,000 – 310,000 in most major cities in the US).

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  132. @jacques sheete

    It’s for the hospitals and politicians and the Jesus people to decide.
     
    Speaking of "Jesus" people, the medical "ethicists" also cash in by "pontificating," (or should I say "rabbificating") on the "sanctity" of life while their fellow bureaucrats-in-crime get paid insanely for snuffing the lives of other millions with every wicked means the subhuman mind can conceive.

    Speaking of the AMA, all one can do when examining it's history is to shake one's head in disgust.


    “Flexner was John D. Rockefeller's "stool pigeon" in setting up the takeover of the entire medical school industry by Carnegie Foundation, which was a Rockefeller Foundation subsidiary at that time.......When you say "Carnegie Foundation", you're talking about something that has no substance. It's entirely under the domination of the Rockefellers. .................He (Abraham Flexner) did "The Flexner Report", and this changed the medical schools of the United States from homeopathic, naturopathic medicine, to allopathic medicine -- which was a German school of medicine which depended on the heavy use of drugs, radical surgery, and long hospital stays. That's what we've got today, allopathic medicine."

    -Eustace Mullins.
    www.whale.to/b/flexner_report.html
     

    You think it’s any better today?

    “As head of the AMA (and editor of the Journal of the American Medical Association from 1924-1949), [Morris Fishbein] decided which drugs could be sold to the public based only how much advertising money he could extort from drug manufacturers, whom he required to place expensive ads in the JAMA. There were no drug-testing agencies, only Fishbein. It was irrelevant if the drugs worked.”


    http://rense.com/general19/enemy.htm

     

    I have friends who tell me that in medical school attempts were made to encourage (guilt trip) them into joining the patriotic sounding AMA. No doubt true.

    Doctors should stay out of the AMA just like any sensible, freedom-loving lawyer should stay out of the ABA. These are disloyal, untrustworthy, unduly greedy institutions with members who often look down on the rest of us whom they are supposedly “serving” and “representing” and “treating.”

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  133. @Eric Novak
    I'm thinking removing 30,000,000 bloodsucking illegals from the US and ending the annual admission of 1.5 million legal, broke immigrants will have a an effect on US medical care even more dramatic than the elimination of big business.

    YES. But how about doing BOTH?

    Deport illegal aliens, stop all taxpayer subsidies to non-citizens (including legal permanent residents), stop requiring hospitals to treat illegal aliens for any reason, secure the borders with troops, AND cut big biz and big pharma out of the loop.

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  134. @jacques sheete
    Thanks for the clarification, not that I even began to suspect that you meant true Christians. I was raised in a supposedly Christian environment and I must say, I have never met one that acted Christ like, including me own self. None I've ever met even came close.

    If a Martian who never heard of Christianity were told what it was and asked to observe people and pick out the Christians by the things they say and do, it'd be a while before he could find one.

    It's as apparent as it is humorous to read the letters of Paul and the effort he expended trying to shepherd the herd. No sooner was Christ tacked to the cross, but the "Christians" apparently but not surprisingly started going astray, just like their Jewish ( if Josephus is credible )predecessors.

    What disgusts me the most is the overwhelming support of the clergy for the State's wars.

    If Democritus were alive now, and should but see the superstition of our age, our [269]religious madness, as [270]Meteran calls it, Religiosam insaniam, so many professed Christians, yet so few imitators of Christ; so much talk of religion, so much science, so little conscience; so much knowledge, so many preachers, so little practice; such variety of sects, such have and hold of all sides, [271]—obvia signis Signa, &c., such absurd and ridiculous traditions and ceremonies:

    -Robert Burton, THE ANATOMY OF MELANCHOLY, first published in 1621 (Project Gutenberg's version):
    http://www.gutenberg.org/files/10800/10800-h/10800-h.htm

     

    I know many Christians here in the USA who strive and work hard to live life as true Christians, honestly and peaceably and charitably.

    I also know many church-going Christians who oppose our government’s cruel and utterly unnecessary non-defensive wars.

    But I’ll grant you that they are very likely not the majority of self-professed Christians.

    Who has a better track record, though, when it comes to non-defensive violence, intimidation, dishonesty, and cheating — Muslims? Jews? Christians are not uniquely or even especially hypocritical from what I have observed, just fallen humans and way short of the standards we say we admire.

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  135. @nsa
    Socialized medicine in places like Germany, Japan, Canada, Australia amount to a corporate subsidy, transferring employee medical costs from a business to the taxpayer. Eventually, a single payer system (simplified Medicare) providing basic military style medical to the entire population will be installed here in the USA....maybe even by Der Trumpster in his second term. Those insisting on coverage for the fancier treatments (organ transplants, exotic drug therapies, long term nursing care facility, drug and alcohol rehab, psychiatric disorders, etc ) could buy a suitable supplemental plan at their own expense. In this way, medical could be reduced from 18% of GDP to maybe 12% of GDP, and the burden shifted from businesses to the taxpayer. Too sensible?

    If we weren’t paying for alien peoples — especially illegal aliens and people who aren’t even citizens yet (legal permanent residents) — and disproportionately hostile, reckless, and frankly stupid people (african-”Americans”), many of us wouldn’t object to something like that.

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  136. @Flip
    I keep seeing the US compared to other "developed" countries, but given the demographics of the US these days, that's not really an accurate comparison. We are more like Brazil than Europe.

    I remember the Milton Friedman quote that he was talking to a Scandinavian professor who said that they had no poverty in Scandinavia. Friedman said that was interesting in that among Scandinavians in America, we had no poverty either. Race and culture matter.

    Thank you.

    How about comparing the health outcomes and patterns of white Americans to those in Europe? There are obviously plenty of willfully reckless white Americans, as measured by morbid obesity, diabetes, gout rates, premature disability and death from smoking, etc., but substantially less bad lifestyles and outcomes (on balance) than African-”americans” and Mexicans.

    (Same for the incidence of violent crime, gun crime, and many other measures on which “the USA” is supposedly so much worse than European countries.)

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  137. @Talha
    Hey workforlivn,

    That actually sounds pretty cool - they enforce you to live responsibly. What about stuff like diabetes from eating too much sugar and not exercising or stuff like cancer from smoking - is that 'self-inflicted'?

    Much thanks!

    Peace.

    Hi Talha, just did a cursory perusal of Medi-Share’s website, and they seem to say that an extra fee of $80 per month applies to people who are overweight, or have too high a BMI, or have diabetes.

    Didn’t inquire about other conditions that are often largely self-inflicted and (for most people) readily avoidable through sensible diet and lifestyle, such as gout.

    I wonder how costly, and how practical, it would be to require members to undergo an annual or even twice-a-year test that would reveal recent smoking, such as (maybe) a test for level of carbon monoxide or other toxins in the blood.

    Taking a different tack as Christmas approaches, I will wish you the peace and love of God and urge us all — certainly including me — to better follow the example of Jesus.

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    • Replies: @Talha
    Hey RC,

    It definitely sounds very interesting to me. Right now, it's a tough thing for me to give it a go since one of my kids has Type1 diabetes and it costs a lot for the monthly medications so it is just too risky. However, it sounds pretty good for a normally healthy and responsible family. And (like anything) the more people that sign up, the better services they will be able to provide at better cost.


    Taking a different tack as Christmas approaches...to better follow the example of Jesus.
     
    Very seriously appreciated! That's what I'm talking about!
    "Then, We sent after them, Our Messengers. And We sent Jesus, the ­ son of Mary, and bestowed on him the Gospel. And We ordained in the hearts of those who followed him, compassion and mercy..." 57:27

    May God preserve you and your family in this season and throughout the year.

  138. @Talha
    Hmmm - very good points to think about - much thanks for the details!

    I remember speaking to my boss about this topic and saying to him that I don't think either a private or public solution will solve our problems. The fact is - apart from a minority of us - we live horrendously unhealthy lives. Any medical system will suffer under the burden of such wide-spread negligence.

    I know a pathologist who trains other pathologists in one of the top universities in Chicago. His assessment is that he will be shocked if we don't see regulations concerning sugar within the next two decades because of the evidence of how bad it is - and it is in practically everything. As far as he is concerned, he has no problems calling it poison.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=B56Gpf1f5_A

    Peace.

    Agreed on all counts. Important to include “high-fructose corn syrup” in all its permutations as part of “sugar.”

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  139. @Boris N
    As a citizen of a country with (nominally) free universal healthcare, I was really disappointed about the American healthcare system when I was trying to understand it. I thought one could not invent more confusing and anti-people system than that. Crony capitalism at its essence. But after some consideration, I though it might be not so terrible as it sounds.

    First, the majority of Americans are ensured, so they will very unlikely face the high prices listed above. Only 10% of Americans are uninsured (http://kff.org/uninsured/fact-sheet/key-facts-about-the-uninsured-population/). The poor who cannot afford insurance could use Medicaid (thanks to condemned Obama!).

    Second, the average spending on healthcare rarely goes above 10% of a family budget
    https://www.creditloan.com/blog/how-the-average-us-consumer-spends-their-paycheck/
    https://www.valuepenguin.com/average-household-budget
    Here more detailed: http://www.bls.gov/cex/

    So it is not that unaffordable. While in other countries people pay higher taxes, in the USA people pay directly and usually the very same amount of money. So either you pay 10% more on taxes or 10% on the insurance.

    The elderly are covered by Medicare.

    But after all, this discussion is in fact pointless. After Americans have elected Trump and the GOP, it is futile to expect they'll ever consider a reform and not to say nationalization. The Right have always been against the state involvement into healthcare. Americans have chosen their fate and this very site agitated for Trump very hard. So after you made your choice it's silly to whine that you had chosen the wrong guy.

    And the insurance lobby will never allow it, either, they even managed to ruin not one politician. that:http://truecostofhealthcare.net/conclusion/

    On balance, it was an easy decision to side with the guy who might take action to slow or reverse the Third World colonization of my country, even if I don’t agree with him on all major issues.

    Moreover, with our large African population — which is by far even more reckless and irresponsible in their unhealthy lifestyles than white Americans — any system of universal taxpayer-funded healthcare will be less affordable/realistic than it might be in countries that do not bear such a heavy burden. The same appears to be true, on average (albeit to a somewhat lesser extent) of our large and rapidly growing Mexican population.

    All of us, of whatever background, need to live healthier rather than continue expecting doctors and drugs to mitigate the predictable results of our self-abuse. That is true under any system of healthcare.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Boris N

    All of us, of whatever background, need to live healthier rather than continue expecting doctors and drugs to mitigate the predictable results of our self-abuse. That is true under any system of healthcare.
     
    But health is not all about the choice. While I myself do not drink and do not smoke, eat healthy and I've always been slim and hence I'm supposedly healthier than many, still I have some health issues I dare not to name as that's a personal matter, some of that may have been indeed my fault but most things obviously not, and I fear to think how I could deal with those my health issues let I happen to live in the USA. Even the corrupt and outdated Russian healthcare system looks more reliable and friendly. There is a less chance I will be left untreated because I have no money or the right insurance. Of course, I won't be left dying in America in an extreme situation but I might have been billed with an immense sum I would have to pay my whole life. In Russia they won't bill me. Though I must admit I have not been long to Russian doctors as I do not need their help right now, but I hope in my distant future they will help me. Though some my elderly relatives have not had an excellent experience with Russian doctors, who often cannot make a right diagnose and hence cannot help, but overall I know many examples of good doctors as well. But all in all it's nothing about money as in America, I never need to worry about that. In America you have to think about money first and only then about your health.
  140. @Boris N

    Indeed. The healthcare in the US is so bad, nobody ever comes here.
     
    People simply have no idea about the American healthcare system. They do not think about it. They come to America for a better life and higher wages and they do not think what will happen when they become ill. Many think of free healthcare as a given for a developed country, and they simply suppose America is the same. But is important to notice that most immigrants to America today are the people from Third World countries and for them the American healthcare with all its faults is the best they can get. But for the people from First World countries it must be not that impressive. Europe is no more a major origin for immigrants to America. Why, indeed, would a German or a Swede migrate to America now? Only 80,000 Europeans come to America in 2014 (the majority are from poorer Eastern Europe, I suppose) out of 1 million immigrants. So the only way one can say America is the best is by comparison with the Third World. How low America must have fallen.

    You make some good points, including the observation that relatively few white Europeans immigrate here any more.

    However, with persistent dangerously-low fertility rates among white Europeans in Europe, the fact is that there simply aren’t as many Europeans in existence who could immigrate ANYwhere. They have lost all common sense, appreciation for the beauty and rewards of raising children, and their will to survive.

    We aren’t that far behind them on the road to subjugation or extinction, but some of us are trying and fighting. We would welcome white European immigrants in any numbers they can muster. (Just drop the self-hatred and compulsion to surrender everything to non-white immigrants. Yes, my German and German-American friends, I’m especially talking to you.)

    Read More
    • Replies: @Boris N
    By some strange twist America is not very friendly for European people. You either must be a relative of a US citizen or have a very in-demand profession (like IT) and a sealed contract to get a visa. No Ellis Island for average working European people no more. But at the same time it is easier to get to America for poor uneducated culturally alien Third Worlders who are flooding America by frightening numbers.

    And that very unfriendly and confusing healthcare system does not make America more attractive for Europeans, either. Not only I, living in a country by no means with the best healthcare, see it confusing and repulsive, but a German, who might want to flee the refugee crisis of the Vaterland, will see it confusing and repulsive for sure, after he's got very accustomed to his native, state of the art, healthcare system.
  141. @annamaria
    "But after some consideration, I though it might be not so terrible as it sounds."

    You have missed an important point of the article: the exorbitant cost of healthcare is the primary cause of bankruptcies in the US. Moreover, the huge numbers of people in their prime years cannot afford comprehensive screening and/or seeing a specialist and thus they are less protected than the poorest citizens that enjoy Medicare and can go to any specialist and receive any procedures and any surgeries. As for the middle class citizens, you should better learn about the deductibles that the hardworking Americans have to pay to the insurance-racket sharks. Meanwhile, the med. doctors are loaded with bureaucratic trash and their work is compromised by the same insurance-racket sharks.
    Overall, it is as terrible as it sounds.

    Our med system is deeply flawed, alright.

    But we shouldn’t ignore or downplay the enormous portion of the “need” for medical care that is caused by Americans’ reckless & stupid voluntary choices: smoking, over-eating, massive consumption of sugar and corn syrup, (which causes millions of unnecessary cases of diabetes and gout that are readily avoidable for most people through sensible diet and lifestyle), refusal to walk or bike or swim or otherwise exercise even a little bit, etc.

    As for people allegedly being unable to afford deductibles, how much are these same people blowing every month on television, tobacco, marijuana, alcohol, etc.? Often many thousands of dollars each year, even in lower-income households.

    When one factors out self-inflicted avoidable health problems and the cost of those same vices & luxuries, how many people are behaving like rational adults and still can’t afford insurance premiums or deductibles? Too many, but not nearly as many as you’re making out.

    No system of healthcare will be affordable and sustainable over the long term the way that so many Americans are behaving like idiots and then expecting doctors and drugs to mitigate or reverse the damage.

    Read More
  142. @timmount
    The NIH is a money losing proposition and is not in the forefront of bringing new drugs and treatments to the public. Computers were developed by IBM and other for profit companies. Nuclear power is developed by private power companies, GPS was initially a military project but was made available to the public through private enterprise.

    The first electronic computer was designed by Alan Turing to break the Enigma code and was funded by the British military. The US government was probably funding a lot of computer development you never saw. When I worked at Hughes, the US was spending a lot of money through grants to companies like Intel and Vitesse (gallium arsenic) in its radiation hardening and very high speed integrated circuits programs.

    The Manhattan project paid for the first nuclear reactors at Hanford Washington for the main purpose of creating plutonium for the atomic bomb. NIH does conduct basic research that nobody else will fund.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Anon

    The first electronic computer
     
    But was that a computer in the modern sense of the word?

    The US gov't, certainly, provided funding for all kinds of things.
  143. Anon says:     Show CommentNext New Comment
    @MarkinLA
    The first electronic computer was designed by Alan Turing to break the Enigma code and was funded by the British military. The US government was probably funding a lot of computer development you never saw. When I worked at Hughes, the US was spending a lot of money through grants to companies like Intel and Vitesse (gallium arsenic) in its radiation hardening and very high speed integrated circuits programs.

    The Manhattan project paid for the first nuclear reactors at Hanford Washington for the main purpose of creating plutonium for the atomic bomb. NIH does conduct basic research that nobody else will fund.

    The first electronic computer

    But was that a computer in the modern sense of the word?

    The US gov’t, certainly, provided funding for all kinds of things.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Mao Cheng Ji

    The US gov’t, certainly, provided funding for all kinds of things.
     
    I don't think this is even controversial. It's a known fact: all fundamental research and conceptually new technology is either financed or directly done by the state. Then it's passed to the private sector for commercialization. Socialization of costs, privatization of profits, the usual.
  144. @RadicalCenter
    Hi Talha, just did a cursory perusal of Medi-Share's website, and they seem to say that an extra fee of $80 per month applies to people who are overweight, or have too high a BMI, or have diabetes.

    Didn't inquire about other conditions that are often largely self-inflicted and (for most people) readily avoidable through sensible diet and lifestyle, such as gout.

    I wonder how costly, and how practical, it would be to require members to undergo an annual or even twice-a-year test that would reveal recent smoking, such as (maybe) a test for level of carbon monoxide or other toxins in the blood.

    Taking a different tack as Christmas approaches, I will wish you the peace and love of God and urge us all -- certainly including me -- to better follow the example of Jesus.

    Hey RC,

    It definitely sounds very interesting to me. Right now, it’s a tough thing for me to give it a go since one of my kids has Type1 diabetes and it costs a lot for the monthly medications so it is just too risky. However, it sounds pretty good for a normally healthy and responsible family. And (like anything) the more people that sign up, the better services they will be able to provide at better cost.

    Taking a different tack as Christmas approaches…to better follow the example of Jesus.

    Very seriously appreciated! That’s what I’m talking about!
    “Then, We sent after them, Our Messengers. And We sent Jesus, the ­ son of Mary, and bestowed on him the Gospel. And We ordained in the hearts of those who followed him, compassion and mercy…” 57:27

    May God preserve you and your family in this season and throughout the year.

    Read More
  145. @RadicalCenter
    On balance, it was an easy decision to side with the guy who might take action to slow or reverse the Third World colonization of my country, even if I don't agree with him on all major issues.

    Moreover, with our large African population -- which is by far even more reckless and irresponsible in their unhealthy lifestyles than white Americans -- any system of universal taxpayer-funded healthcare will be less affordable/realistic than it might be in countries that do not bear such a heavy burden. The same appears to be true, on average (albeit to a somewhat lesser extent) of our large and rapidly growing Mexican population.

    All of us, of whatever background, need to live healthier rather than continue expecting doctors and drugs to mitigate the predictable results of our self-abuse. That is true under any system of healthcare.

    All of us, of whatever background, need to live healthier rather than continue expecting doctors and drugs to mitigate the predictable results of our self-abuse. That is true under any system of healthcare.

    But health is not all about the choice. While I myself do not drink and do not smoke, eat healthy and I’ve always been slim and hence I’m supposedly healthier than many, still I have some health issues I dare not to name as that’s a personal matter, some of that may have been indeed my fault but most things obviously not, and I fear to think how I could deal with those my health issues let I happen to live in the USA. Even the corrupt and outdated Russian healthcare system looks more reliable and friendly. There is a less chance I will be left untreated because I have no money or the right insurance. Of course, I won’t be left dying in America in an extreme situation but I might have been billed with an immense sum I would have to pay my whole life. In Russia they won’t bill me. Though I must admit I have not been long to Russian doctors as I do not need their help right now, but I hope in my distant future they will help me. Though some my elderly relatives have not had an excellent experience with Russian doctors, who often cannot make a right diagnose and hence cannot help, but overall I know many examples of good doctors as well. But all in all it’s nothing about money as in America, I never need to worry about that. In America you have to think about money first and only then about your health.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Talha
    Hey Boris,

    But health is not all about the choice.
     
    Of course not. But I think the point RC (and I) would make is that - that is exactly what a medical system is supposed to be there for. For those things that are out of our control; like my son has Type1 diabetes, which just comes about on its own or childhood leukemia. If that's all we had to worry about, it would be much more manageable, but our system is being crushed under the weight of people's poor habits. For instance, my boss used to eat a pint of ice cream everyday before the doctor told him he tested positive for diabetes. At that he point he made a 180 with his life, but many people don't - they just expect the medicines to do their work for them.

    Like my pathologist acquaintance stated; one can of soda a day and you basically have a 50/50 chance of getting diabetes. How many people do that - it's fairly common.

    Peace.
  146. @Anon

    The first electronic computer
     
    But was that a computer in the modern sense of the word?

    The US gov't, certainly, provided funding for all kinds of things.

    The US gov’t, certainly, provided funding for all kinds of things.

    I don’t think this is even controversial. It’s a known fact: all fundamental research and conceptually new technology is either financed or directly done by the state. Then it’s passed to the private sector for commercialization. Socialization of costs, privatization of profits, the usual.

    Read More
  147. @RadicalCenter
    You make some good points, including the observation that relatively few white Europeans immigrate here any more.

    However, with persistent dangerously-low fertility rates among white Europeans in Europe, the fact is that there simply aren't as many Europeans in existence who could immigrate ANYwhere. They have lost all common sense, appreciation for the beauty and rewards of raising children, and their will to survive.

    We aren't that far behind them on the road to subjugation or extinction, but some of us are trying and fighting. We would welcome white European immigrants in any numbers they can muster. (Just drop the self-hatred and compulsion to surrender everything to non-white immigrants. Yes, my German and German-American friends, I'm especially talking to you.)

    By some strange twist America is not very friendly for European people. You either must be a relative of a US citizen or have a very in-demand profession (like IT) and a sealed contract to get a visa. No Ellis Island for average working European people no more. But at the same time it is easier to get to America for poor uneducated culturally alien Third Worlders who are flooding America by frightening numbers.

    And that very unfriendly and confusing healthcare system does not make America more attractive for Europeans, either. Not only I, living in a country by no means with the best healthcare, see it confusing and repulsive, but a German, who might want to flee the refugee crisis of the Vaterland, will see it confusing and repulsive for sure, after he’s got very accustomed to his native, state of the art, healthcare system.

    Read More
  148. @annamaria
    "But after some consideration, I though it might be not so terrible as it sounds."

    You have missed an important point of the article: the exorbitant cost of healthcare is the primary cause of bankruptcies in the US. Moreover, the huge numbers of people in their prime years cannot afford comprehensive screening and/or seeing a specialist and thus they are less protected than the poorest citizens that enjoy Medicare and can go to any specialist and receive any procedures and any surgeries. As for the middle class citizens, you should better learn about the deductibles that the hardworking Americans have to pay to the insurance-racket sharks. Meanwhile, the med. doctors are loaded with bureaucratic trash and their work is compromised by the same insurance-racket sharks.
    Overall, it is as terrible as it sounds.

    As for the middle class citizens, you should better learn about the deductibles that the hardworking Americans have to pay to the insurance-racket sharks.

    Yes, I studied that and know these things (at least in theory). For example, you pay $500/mo premiums ($6,000/year) but then you may have pay out of pocket from $5000 up to $10,000 and only if you reach that sum you may have got reimbursement from the already paid by you $6,000, but even that not so simple because you anyway always have to copay or co-share. That’s a clear racket, I agree. I better save $16,000 a year and after 10 or 20 years I will have a lot of money to cover any expenses if bad things happen.

    Overall, it is as terrible as it sounds.

    I hope I’ll survive it if I ever happen to live in the USA. That’s all I worry about. You all seem to have survived.

    Read More
    • Replies: @MarkinLA
    I better save $16,000 a year and after 10 or 20 years I will have a lot of money to cover any expenses if bad things happen.

    Won't be enough. The problem is the huge and ridiculous mark-ups on any medical bill. Surviving cancer can easily produce medical bill over 1 milllion dollars even though the insurance may only pay 150,000 of that.
  149. @woodNfish

    The USA is 30th in the world in maternal/infant mortality
     
    This is a bogus statistic that does not take into consideration that the US does more to save premature babies than other nations, including in-utero surgeries, and that is why we have a higher mortality count.

    These are the same kind of bogus statistics that are used when comparing our education systems against other nations. If you counted only our white students, we do as well as any other advanced country. If you ad in the asian heritage students, we do even better. It is the blacks and latinos that pull down the numbers.

    USA! USA! USA! USA! OK, I get it.

    Read More
    • Replies: @woodNfish
    I'm not a flag waiver Alfred, but fake statistics are no better than fake news. Just as with the phony unemployment numbers published by our criminal government, and the crime numbers, you have to look at what is behind the data. Medical care in the US is as good as or better than any other Western country when you compare apples to apples.
    , @Blosky
    Like I said, the US is so bad, nobody wants to be here. And if it wasn't for a certain group of uh, "people" we wouldn't have 1/10 of the problems here in the US of A...
  150. @Alfred1860
    USA! USA! USA! USA! OK, I get it.

    I’m not a flag waiver Alfred, but fake statistics are no better than fake news. Just as with the phony unemployment numbers published by our criminal government, and the crime numbers, you have to look at what is behind the data. Medical care in the US is as good as or better than any other Western country when you compare apples to apples.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Alfred1860
    Thanks for the follow up comment....probably more than I deserved.

    On pure quality, I agree that the USA has one of the better healthcare systems in the world. But why (as someone else pointed out) does a $2 bag of saline solution cost the patient (or their insurance co.) $800? Why does an appendectomy, which these days doesn't even require a overnight stay, come with a average cost of $33,000? If almost every person of average means or below is priced out of the system, it can't be compared "apples to apples" with anywhere that has universal coverage.

    I'm Canadian, and I'm certainly not going to blow my horn over our healthcare system because its in shambles. The costs (to government, thereby to we Canadians indirectly) are out of control because the profit motive still exists, and for-profit corporations still supply our drugs, surgical tools and equipment, diagnostic equipment, etc.

    I don't know if a sustainable universal healthcare model is possible, but we certainly have not even attempted to find one in Canada.
  151. @Alfred1860
    USA! USA! USA! USA! OK, I get it.

    Like I said, the US is so bad, nobody wants to be here. And if it wasn’t for a certain group of uh, “people” we wouldn’t have 1/10 of the problems here in the US of A…

    Read More
  152. @Boris N

    All of us, of whatever background, need to live healthier rather than continue expecting doctors and drugs to mitigate the predictable results of our self-abuse. That is true under any system of healthcare.
     
    But health is not all about the choice. While I myself do not drink and do not smoke, eat healthy and I've always been slim and hence I'm supposedly healthier than many, still I have some health issues I dare not to name as that's a personal matter, some of that may have been indeed my fault but most things obviously not, and I fear to think how I could deal with those my health issues let I happen to live in the USA. Even the corrupt and outdated Russian healthcare system looks more reliable and friendly. There is a less chance I will be left untreated because I have no money or the right insurance. Of course, I won't be left dying in America in an extreme situation but I might have been billed with an immense sum I would have to pay my whole life. In Russia they won't bill me. Though I must admit I have not been long to Russian doctors as I do not need their help right now, but I hope in my distant future they will help me. Though some my elderly relatives have not had an excellent experience with Russian doctors, who often cannot make a right diagnose and hence cannot help, but overall I know many examples of good doctors as well. But all in all it's nothing about money as in America, I never need to worry about that. In America you have to think about money first and only then about your health.

    Hey Boris,

    But health is not all about the choice.

    Of course not. But I think the point RC (and I) would make is that – that is exactly what a medical system is supposed to be there for. For those things that are out of our control; like my son has Type1 diabetes, which just comes about on its own or childhood leukemia. If that’s all we had to worry about, it would be much more manageable, but our system is being crushed under the weight of people’s poor habits. For instance, my boss used to eat a pint of ice cream everyday before the doctor told him he tested positive for diabetes. At that he point he made a 180 with his life, but many people don’t – they just expect the medicines to do their work for them.

    Like my pathologist acquaintance stated; one can of soda a day and you basically have a 50/50 chance of getting diabetes. How many people do that – it’s fairly common.

    Peace.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Boris N
    It is a good thing to motivate people to be healthy through money. But my point is not about that. The problem is that in America you always must think about money even of you have a serious health issue. Before going to the hospital I must think: 1) Have I got an insurance? What if I could not afford it and now have none? 2) Have I paid all the required premiums? 3) Have I got a required sum right now to pay the deductible? What if I have not? Will I be able to pay the bill in the future? 4) What hospitals can I attend? 5) What conditions are covered by my plan? What if my current conditions is not covered, because when I bought my plan I did not expect it to occur? E.g. a sudden acute tooth pain, and you have not bought a dental plan. Etc.

    But in countries like Russia you never think about money. Do not understand me wrong, Russia has no way a perfect healthcare, in many ways it is faulty and ineffective. It has been reformed several times during the past 25 years, still the best solution has not been yet found. You must not expect miracles from it. But everybody can rely up on it. Everybody, whether with a job or not, with money or not, has a universal insurance.

    Once I had an acute unexpected illness. I had no job at that moment hence I did not pay my medical insurance tax (your Russian employer must deduct around 5% from your wage, where it goes to the universal healthcare fund). But when the illness seemed to be more serious than I thought I did not think for a minute, I just called, they came, they drove me to the hospital, where they were giving me antibiotics for a couple of days. I might remain there for legally required 21 days, but I left when I felt I did not need their help any more. I have never been billed. I never thought that the more I lay, the more I would pay.

    I can cite similar cases of the people I know. They got some acute unexpected health issue, they called, then were sent to the hospital, operated or treated, lay in the hospital for 21 days or more and never ever thought if they could afford it. Of course, Russian hospitals are not ideal. For example, the food there is not of a best quality, usually. It is expected that your friends or relatives bring you your own food whatever you want and hospitals do not bother themselves with food preparation. Often you must buy additional medication, but usually it is affordable. Other than that you owe nothing. And remember I'm speaking about Russia, a relatively poor country that has just recovered from one of the worst crises in its history. I cannot imagine how good must be the situation in Germany or Sweden or whatever First World country other than the USA. Never they ever think about money. It is their government who have to think about money, not people. Only in America your money first, your health second. No pay, no way.
  153. @Boris N

    As for the middle class citizens, you should better learn about the deductibles that the hardworking Americans have to pay to the insurance-racket sharks.
     
    Yes, I studied that and know these things (at least in theory). For example, you pay $500/mo premiums ($6,000/year) but then you may have pay out of pocket from $5000 up to $10,000 and only if you reach that sum you may have got reimbursement from the already paid by you $6,000, but even that not so simple because you anyway always have to copay or co-share. That's a clear racket, I agree. I better save $16,000 a year and after 10 or 20 years I will have a lot of money to cover any expenses if bad things happen.

    Overall, it is as terrible as it sounds.
     
    I hope I'll survive it if I ever happen to live in the USA. That's all I worry about. You all seem to have survived.

    I better save $16,000 a year and after 10 or 20 years I will have a lot of money to cover any expenses if bad things happen.

    Won’t be enough. The problem is the huge and ridiculous mark-ups on any medical bill. Surviving cancer can easily produce medical bill over 1 milllion dollars even though the insurance may only pay 150,000 of that.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Boris N

    The problem is the huge and ridiculous mark-ups on any medical bill. Surviving cancer can easily produce medical bill over 1 milllion dollars even though the insurance may only pay 150,000 of that.
     
    But there are limits you must pay, aren't they? And no lifetime or yearly limits either, the ACA prohibits that.
    http://obamacarefacts.com/health-insurance/out-of-pocket-maximum/
    https://www.healthcare.gov/glossary/out-of-pocket-maximum-limit/
  154. Don’t we love Fred’s “research”? If Canadians are so gung-ho about their medicine, why did the NYT run their article in Jan 2000 about them going south because their hospitals were full, with waiting lists out to five years for some procedures? Why is it that waiting times in Scandinavian doctor offices are STILL out 2-4 weeks after 45 years? Why is it that Fred doesn’t also report how the French government with their socialized care is also going broke?

    Fred is haggard enough to remember as I do how much seeing a doctor or a visit to the emergency room cost in this country in the 60s. I had to get glass cleaned out of me and stitched up in a half dozen places from going through a windshield. The emergency room cost was $40 cash–my dad had no insurance. I was able to pay that with only a month’s profit from the paper route I was running. My father was able to cover a doctor’s visit out of pocket in 1968 on a teacher’s salary. No insurance. A year later I was back in the emergency room from another bike accident, and I was able to pay that off in two months on a minimum wage job. No insurance.

    Fred, you dead-head, accounting for the dramatic rise in medical costs imposed by lobbying needs to enter your argument, among a great many other factors.

    Read More
  155. I carried the M-16 when I was in ‘Nam. What a piece of crap bar none. I yearned to use the AK-47 but my unit would not let us use them. I captured a RPD and it was the same story, turn it in. A 75 round drum and weighed about eight pounds less than the pig M-60. It’s a sick feeling when you go out on patrol with a piece-of-crap like the 16.

    Read More
  156. @Talha
    Hey Boris,

    But health is not all about the choice.
     
    Of course not. But I think the point RC (and I) would make is that - that is exactly what a medical system is supposed to be there for. For those things that are out of our control; like my son has Type1 diabetes, which just comes about on its own or childhood leukemia. If that's all we had to worry about, it would be much more manageable, but our system is being crushed under the weight of people's poor habits. For instance, my boss used to eat a pint of ice cream everyday before the doctor told him he tested positive for diabetes. At that he point he made a 180 with his life, but many people don't - they just expect the medicines to do their work for them.

    Like my pathologist acquaintance stated; one can of soda a day and you basically have a 50/50 chance of getting diabetes. How many people do that - it's fairly common.

    Peace.

    It is a good thing to motivate people to be healthy through money. But my point is not about that. The problem is that in America you always must think about money even of you have a serious health issue. Before going to the hospital I must think: 1) Have I got an insurance? What if I could not afford it and now have none? 2) Have I paid all the required premiums? 3) Have I got a required sum right now to pay the deductible? What if I have not? Will I be able to pay the bill in the future? 4) What hospitals can I attend? 5) What conditions are covered by my plan? What if my current conditions is not covered, because when I bought my plan I did not expect it to occur? E.g. a sudden acute tooth pain, and you have not bought a dental plan. Etc.

    But in countries like Russia you never think about money. Do not understand me wrong, Russia has no way a perfect healthcare, in many ways it is faulty and ineffective. It has been reformed several times during the past 25 years, still the best solution has not been yet found. You must not expect miracles from it. But everybody can rely up on it. Everybody, whether with a job or not, with money or not, has a universal insurance.

    Once I had an acute unexpected illness. I had no job at that moment hence I did not pay my medical insurance tax (your Russian employer must deduct around 5% from your wage, where it goes to the universal healthcare fund). But when the illness seemed to be more serious than I thought I did not think for a minute, I just called, they came, they drove me to the hospital, where they were giving me antibiotics for a couple of days. I might remain there for legally required 21 days, but I left when I felt I did not need their help any more. I have never been billed. I never thought that the more I lay, the more I would pay.

    I can cite similar cases of the people I know. They got some acute unexpected health issue, they called, then were sent to the hospital, operated or treated, lay in the hospital for 21 days or more and never ever thought if they could afford it. Of course, Russian hospitals are not ideal. For example, the food there is not of a best quality, usually. It is expected that your friends or relatives bring you your own food whatever you want and hospitals do not bother themselves with food preparation. Often you must buy additional medication, but usually it is affordable. Other than that you owe nothing. And remember I’m speaking about Russia, a relatively poor country that has just recovered from one of the worst crises in its history. I cannot imagine how good must be the situation in Germany or Sweden or whatever First World country other than the USA. Never they ever think about money. It is their government who have to think about money, not people. Only in America your money first, your health second. No pay, no way.

    Read More
  157. @MarkinLA
    I better save $16,000 a year and after 10 or 20 years I will have a lot of money to cover any expenses if bad things happen.

    Won't be enough. The problem is the huge and ridiculous mark-ups on any medical bill. Surviving cancer can easily produce medical bill over 1 milllion dollars even though the insurance may only pay 150,000 of that.

    The problem is the huge and ridiculous mark-ups on any medical bill. Surviving cancer can easily produce medical bill over 1 milllion dollars even though the insurance may only pay 150,000 of that.

    But there are limits you must pay, aren’t they? And no lifetime or yearly limits either, the ACA prohibits that.

    http://obamacarefacts.com/health-insurance/out-of-pocket-maximum/

    https://www.healthcare.gov/glossary/out-of-pocket-maximum-limit/

    Read More
    • Replies: @MarkinLA
    I thought you were talking about not having any insurance and just accumulating money in an account for your later medical needs. If you never have any significant bills you would be better off. However one major health scare and you would be wiped out. If you have a spouse, do you want to leave your spouse destitute - unless you cash in on that .357 policy?
  158. @Boris N

    The problem is the huge and ridiculous mark-ups on any medical bill. Surviving cancer can easily produce medical bill over 1 milllion dollars even though the insurance may only pay 150,000 of that.
     
    But there are limits you must pay, aren't they? And no lifetime or yearly limits either, the ACA prohibits that.
    http://obamacarefacts.com/health-insurance/out-of-pocket-maximum/
    https://www.healthcare.gov/glossary/out-of-pocket-maximum-limit/

    I thought you were talking about not having any insurance and just accumulating money in an account for your later medical needs. If you never have any significant bills you would be better off. However one major health scare and you would be wiped out. If you have a spouse, do you want to leave your spouse destitute – unless you cash in on that .357 policy?

    Read More
    • Replies: @Boris N
    I was rather answering to your second sentence. But you seem to be right, the prices are too high, it might not be farsighted and reasonable to save.

    I've just checked plans at https://www.healthcare.gov/see-plans/ and found out that after all there are many reasonable plans. If you work, you can afford them. If you are poor, you can ask for discounts from the government. I just hope the GOP will not abolish those discounts and out-of-pocket limits. The insurance lobby seems to be very eager to abolish the ACA altogether with the GOP.
  159. @woodNfish
    I'm not a flag waiver Alfred, but fake statistics are no better than fake news. Just as with the phony unemployment numbers published by our criminal government, and the crime numbers, you have to look at what is behind the data. Medical care in the US is as good as or better than any other Western country when you compare apples to apples.

    Thanks for the follow up comment….probably more than I deserved.

    On pure quality, I agree that the USA has one of the better healthcare systems in the world. But why (as someone else pointed out) does a $2 bag of saline solution cost the patient (or their insurance co.) $800? Why does an appendectomy, which these days doesn’t even require a overnight stay, come with a average cost of $33,000? If almost every person of average means or below is priced out of the system, it can’t be compared “apples to apples” with anywhere that has universal coverage.

    I’m Canadian, and I’m certainly not going to blow my horn over our healthcare system because its in shambles. The costs (to government, thereby to we Canadians indirectly) are out of control because the profit motive still exists, and for-profit corporations still supply our drugs, surgical tools and equipment, diagnostic equipment, etc.

    I don’t know if a sustainable universal healthcare model is possible, but we certainly have not even attempted to find one in Canada.

    Read More
  160. I don’t have an answer for the high costs Alfred, but I suspect much of it is caused by government meddling in the market. I know the costs here are high and we subsidize the lower costs in other countries like your Canada.

    I am hoping the market remedies and cross state competition that Trump puts together when he gets rid of odumbass care will help with some of those costs.

    It costs almost a billion dollars to bring a new drug to market because of the federal regulations and after it is brought to market, practicing doctors often find the drugs have uses outside of their prescribed use, but the drug companies cannot legally promote those uses without going through a entire set of new drug trials. That kind of regulation doesn’t help. Many useful drugs are not allowed to be sold because they have too high a mortality rate, but if you are terminal and have a 70% chance of living an additional 6 years with a drug that has a 30% chance of not helping you at or reducing your life to only 3 additional years which choice would you make? I’m sure most people would want the drug. The government won’t allow that drug on the market so the reality is, you would have no choice at all.

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  161. @turtle
    >Group health insurance enrollees wrongly believe the cost of their insurance is an alternate wage or salary. It’s not taxed as a wage or salary.

    One essential step in restoration of free market in medical services in he U.S. would be to end the tax preference for medical services, as described above.

    Only when the consumer of the services has knowledge of the cost can there be any hope of containing costs. Medical services provided by an employer (or "insurance" to pay for such expenses) should be taxed at the same rate as any other form of compensation.

    The present system dates to WWII, and was an "end run " around wage and price controls by Henry J.Kaiser to recruit the best workers for his shipyards.

    It needs to disappear, and the sooner the better.

    turtle, I’ve publicly offered several times to debate the question of whether group health insurance ought to exist at all. I’ve also offered to speak to the trustees and administrators at my local Podunk Tech, where I’m an insider-observer, on how group health insurance is destructive of Western values. No takers. One-third the board is made up of medical doctors, a medical insurer is a big underwriter of Podunk Tech sports, etc. You get the picture.

    The big expansion of group health insurance occurred after WWII-era wage and price controls were lifted. So what is group health insurance? Try politically motivated compulsory charity for wage and salary earners, made respectable because so many people believe it to be compensation. I suspect historians will one day make much of the social psychology and behavioral consequences of insured folks who believed they worked for the total cost of their group health insurance enrollment when it was obvious they were employer-subsidized to the tune of 67%, 75% (a common figure), 90%, and, much rarer these days, 100%.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Mao Cheng Ji
    I agree that insurance is not a very good solution. It should be simply a public service, like the police, libraries, courts, defense, public education, firefighting service, etc. Like the NHS in the UK.

    What it definitely should NOT be, is a for-profit business. It's not something we consume.

    You can decide whether it's worth to you to pay $800 for the latest iPhone or $100 for a cheap Android. But if you need an appendectomy - there is no choice. It's a matter of life and death, you are not calculating the cost/benefit analysis here. The market model doesn't work, and instead it turns into 'your wallet or your life' - a simple robbery.
  162. @JackOH
    turtle, I've publicly offered several times to debate the question of whether group health insurance ought to exist at all. I've also offered to speak to the trustees and administrators at my local Podunk Tech, where I'm an insider-observer, on how group health insurance is destructive of Western values. No takers. One-third the board is made up of medical doctors, a medical insurer is a big underwriter of Podunk Tech sports, etc. You get the picture.

    The big expansion of group health insurance occurred after WWII-era wage and price controls were lifted. So what is group health insurance? Try politically motivated compulsory charity for wage and salary earners, made respectable because so many people believe it to be compensation. I suspect historians will one day make much of the social psychology and behavioral consequences of insured folks who believed they worked for the total cost of their group health insurance enrollment when it was obvious they were employer-subsidized to the tune of 67%, 75% (a common figure), 90%, and, much rarer these days, 100%.

    I agree that insurance is not a very good solution. It should be simply a public service, like the police, libraries, courts, defense, public education, firefighting service, etc. Like the NHS in the UK.

    What it definitely should NOT be, is a for-profit business. It’s not something we consume.

    You can decide whether it’s worth to you to pay $800 for the latest iPhone or $100 for a cheap Android. But if you need an appendectomy – there is no choice. It’s a matter of life and death, you are not calculating the cost/benefit analysis here. The market model doesn’t work, and instead it turns into ‘your wallet or your life’ – a simple robbery.

    Read More
    • Replies: @JackOH
    Mao, agree. BTW-I'm somewhat of a reluctant convert to some sort of a national health scheme. What finally won me over was seeing how America's Big Medicine routinely used extortionate means to squelch debate, inflict some truly rotten ideas on the public, and not give a damn about the consequences. Our doctors and drug company people are wonderful folks, but they're political "runaways" who hold enormous, undue political influence. We'll get some American-style Medicare for All scheme, and probably fairly soon, but it'll be a political force majeure deal, which is too bad.
  163. @Mao Cheng Ji
    I agree that insurance is not a very good solution. It should be simply a public service, like the police, libraries, courts, defense, public education, firefighting service, etc. Like the NHS in the UK.

    What it definitely should NOT be, is a for-profit business. It's not something we consume.

    You can decide whether it's worth to you to pay $800 for the latest iPhone or $100 for a cheap Android. But if you need an appendectomy - there is no choice. It's a matter of life and death, you are not calculating the cost/benefit analysis here. The market model doesn't work, and instead it turns into 'your wallet or your life' - a simple robbery.

    Mao, agree. BTW-I’m somewhat of a reluctant convert to some sort of a national health scheme. What finally won me over was seeing how America’s Big Medicine routinely used extortionate means to squelch debate, inflict some truly rotten ideas on the public, and not give a damn about the consequences. Our doctors and drug company people are wonderful folks, but they’re political “runaways” who hold enormous, undue political influence. We’ll get some American-style Medicare for All scheme, and probably fairly soon, but it’ll be a political force majeure deal, which is too bad.

    Read More
  164. @MarkinLA
    I thought you were talking about not having any insurance and just accumulating money in an account for your later medical needs. If you never have any significant bills you would be better off. However one major health scare and you would be wiped out. If you have a spouse, do you want to leave your spouse destitute - unless you cash in on that .357 policy?

    I was rather answering to your second sentence. But you seem to be right, the prices are too high, it might not be farsighted and reasonable to save.

    I’ve just checked plans at https://www.healthcare.gov/see-plans/ and found out that after all there are many reasonable plans. If you work, you can afford them. If you are poor, you can ask for discounts from the government. I just hope the GOP will not abolish those discounts and out-of-pocket limits. The insurance lobby seems to be very eager to abolish the ACA altogether with the GOP.

    Read More
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