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Author Topic: I may have just become a believer in universal healthcare  (Read 35565 times)
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Autistic Angel
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« Reply #40 on: April 11, 2009, 08:49:54 PM »

Quote from: brettmcd on April 11, 2009, 06:54:20 PM

How will nationalized health care change any of that?   People who have insurance now dont go to the Dr for small ailments, or preventative care, how will a flawed nationalized system change that in any way?

Yes, I assume there are people who behave as you describe.  Others don't.  As far as I can tell, the people I know fall into the latter category.

Quote from: brettmcd on April 11, 2009, 06:54:20 PM

The only people who will gain is the employers who will no longer have to provide health care, and people who dont work or contribute taxes at all.    The people who already work and have health insurance will see worse health coverage and a smaller paycheck.

I have a friend with IBS who had to give up a job he absolutely loved to take an entry-level corporate position he hates just to get an insurance plan.

I have another friend who's owned an operated a small business for over fifteen years.  His health insurance was covered by his wife's employer when they started trying to get pregnant, but they didn't discover their success until two weeks after she lost her job.  I'd have to check with them before citing the exact insurance costs they were being quoted when they went shopping around, but the word "astronomical" springs to mind.

I have a third friend with a rare form of epilepsy.  He's perfectly healthy when he receives the proper treatment, but that's only after a ten-day hospital stay to try and map his irregular seizures and *months* of experimenting with different drug dosages to find the cocktail that would alleviate his symptoms.  If he had not been young enough to be covered under his parents' insurance policies when it started, that journey would have left him tens of thousands of dollars in debt.  He's only able to afford his medication today because of the insurance he gets through his job, and that'll be gone this coming June.  Yes, he'll have about 18-months of COBRA coverage after that, but in a job market this depressed, that's an uncomfortably thin barrier from crippling lifelong debt.

I buy my own individual insurance which I can afford because there's nothing wrong with me.  I do 30-minutes of Yourself! Fitness 6-days a week.  I eat right.  I can run a mile in under six minutes.  Yet my monthly payments continue to rise, and if a routine check were to diagnose me with cancer, or MS, or Parkinson's Disease, my financial security would wither up and blow away.

My friends and I work hard, pay our taxes, and would benefit tremendously from a nationalized healthcare plan that allowed us to live our lives without being hamstrung by the threat of catastrophic bankruptcy.

Perhaps, instead of maligning anyone who supports universal healthcare as some sort of a shiftless parasitic mooch, you should spend that time thanking God that your own health is so impeccable, you'll never ever need to test the outward bounds of your own insurance policy.  How blissful for you.

-Autistic Angel
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« Reply #41 on: April 11, 2009, 09:48:16 PM »

Quote from: brettmcd on April 11, 2009, 06:54:20 PM

Quote from: Blackadar on April 11, 2009, 06:08:49 PM

Quote from: Ironrod on April 11, 2009, 04:32:11 PM

We lost our health, dental, and vision insurance when my wife was laid off. Massachusetts law requires us to have health insurance. And, if your coverage ever lapses for more than 90 days, future insurers do not have to cover any of your pre-existing conditions. By the time you're in your 50s you have amassed a pretty impressive record of "pre-existing conditions" (virtually everything you've ever sought treatment for). So, going without insurance is not an option.

We aren't poor enough to qualify for the state-subsidized Commonwealth Care plans, which are just the barest coverage anyway. That leaves us with COBRA. COBRA lets us buy our old insurance at the group rate for up to 18 months. That brought us a brand-new $850/month bill at the same time that our primary income went away.

Obama's recovery package includes a 65% COBRA subsidy for nine months. That kicks in next week, and will be retroactive to February. This means that we'll get a couple of months for "free" as retroactive federal subsidy money is applied. Then we'll pay only 35% of the $850 premium for a few more months, until the subsidy runs out. Then we'll have to pay the full $850 again until COBRA expires. If she's still unemployed after 18 months, we'll certainly be poor enough for the state insurance plan.

It looks to me like providing health insurance through employers is the basic flaw in our system. The system needs to somehow decouple insurance from employment. Losing one's job is traumatic enough as it is.

Yep, I've been there before and I feel for you.  I had to drop coverage for my family at one point after working for a couple of crooks who took the money and ran.  I agree that health coverage needs to be uncoupled from employment.  What's really stupid is that without coverage, you'd probably not seek medical help for a small ailment because of the expense.  But if it turned into something really big, you'd get it treated at a huge cost that you couldn't afford.  In essence, anyone who is insured is already paying a premium to cover the cost of those who aren't. 

How will nationalized health care change any of that?   People who have insurance now dont go to the Dr for small ailments, or preventative care, how will a flawed nationalized system change that in any way?   I also dont see how a huge decrease in income that the massive taxes needed to pay for this system will be a good thing either.    The only people who will gain is the employers who will no longer have to provide health care, and people who dont work or contribute taxes at all.    The people who already work and have health insurance will see worse health coverage and a smaller paycheck.   Sorry if I dont want to endorse that plan.

"Nationalized healthcare" is a strawman. I have not heard anything out of Washington that doesn't preserve for-profit medicine and private providers.
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brettmcd
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« Reply #42 on: April 12, 2009, 01:27:52 AM »

Quote from: Autistic Angel on April 11, 2009, 08:49:54 PM

Quote from: brettmcd on April 11, 2009, 06:54:20 PM

How will nationalized health care change any of that?   People who have insurance now dont go to the Dr for small ailments, or preventative care, how will a flawed nationalized system change that in any way?

Yes, I assume there are people who behave as you describe.  Others don't.  As far as I can tell, the people I know fall into the latter category.

Quote from: brettmcd on April 11, 2009, 06:54:20 PM

The only people who will gain is the employers who will no longer have to provide health care, and people who dont work or contribute taxes at all.    The people who already work and have health insurance will see worse health coverage and a smaller paycheck.

I have a friend with IBS who had to give up a job he absolutely loved to take an entry-level corporate position he hates just to get an insurance plan.

I have another friend who's owned an operated a small business for over fifteen years.  His health insurance was covered by his wife's employer when they started trying to get pregnant, but they didn't discover their success until two weeks after she lost her job.  I'd have to check with them before citing the exact insurance costs they were being quoted when they went shopping around, but the word "astronomical" springs to mind.

I have a third friend with a rare form of epilepsy.  He's perfectly healthy when he receives the proper treatment, but that's only after a ten-day hospital stay to try and map his irregular seizures and *months* of experimenting with different drug dosages to find the cocktail that would alleviate his symptoms.  If he had not been young enough to be covered under his parents' insurance policies when it started, that journey would have left him tens of thousands of dollars in debt.  He's only able to afford his medication today because of the insurance he gets through his job, and that'll be gone this coming June.  Yes, he'll have about 18-months of COBRA coverage after that, but in a job market this depressed, that's an uncomfortably thin barrier from crippling lifelong debt.

I buy my own individual insurance which I can afford because there's nothing wrong with me.  I do 30-minutes of Yourself! Fitness 6-days a week.  I eat right.  I can run a mile in under six minutes.  Yet my monthly payments continue to rise, and if a routine check were to diagnose me with cancer, or MS, or Parkinson's Disease, my financial security would wither up and blow away.

My friends and I work hard, pay our taxes, and would benefit tremendously from a nationalized healthcare plan that allowed us to live our lives without being hamstrung by the threat of catastrophic bankruptcy.

Perhaps, instead of maligning anyone who supports universal healthcare as some sort of a shiftless parasitic mooch, you should spend that time thanking God that your own health is so impeccable, you'll never ever need to test the outward bounds of your own insurance policy.  How blissful for you.

-Autistic Angel

Who the hell ever said my health is impeccable?!?!?    Quit imagining and making up things you have absolutely no idea about.    I have diabetes, and with that I STILL oppose nationalize health insurance as something that will waste insane amounts of money and give me less health care then I currently have.   I currently have excellent health care at an affordable premium.   To give that up for less coverage and my taxes skyrocketing to pay for it all is again a bad deal, and not one I will ever support.
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brettmcd
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« Reply #43 on: April 12, 2009, 01:28:19 AM »

Quote from: Ironrod on April 11, 2009, 09:48:16 PM

Quote from: brettmcd on April 11, 2009, 06:54:20 PM

Quote from: Blackadar on April 11, 2009, 06:08:49 PM

Quote from: Ironrod on April 11, 2009, 04:32:11 PM

We lost our health, dental, and vision insurance when my wife was laid off. Massachusetts law requires us to have health insurance. And, if your coverage ever lapses for more than 90 days, future insurers do not have to cover any of your pre-existing conditions. By the time you're in your 50s you have amassed a pretty impressive record of "pre-existing conditions" (virtually everything you've ever sought treatment for). So, going without insurance is not an option.

We aren't poor enough to qualify for the state-subsidized Commonwealth Care plans, which are just the barest coverage anyway. That leaves us with COBRA. COBRA lets us buy our old insurance at the group rate for up to 18 months. That brought us a brand-new $850/month bill at the same time that our primary income went away.

Obama's recovery package includes a 65% COBRA subsidy for nine months. That kicks in next week, and will be retroactive to February. This means that we'll get a couple of months for "free" as retroactive federal subsidy money is applied. Then we'll pay only 35% of the $850 premium for a few more months, until the subsidy runs out. Then we'll have to pay the full $850 again until COBRA expires. If she's still unemployed after 18 months, we'll certainly be poor enough for the state insurance plan.

It looks to me like providing health insurance through employers is the basic flaw in our system. The system needs to somehow decouple insurance from employment. Losing one's job is traumatic enough as it is.

Yep, I've been there before and I feel for you.  I had to drop coverage for my family at one point after working for a couple of crooks who took the money and ran.  I agree that health coverage needs to be uncoupled from employment.  What's really stupid is that without coverage, you'd probably not seek medical help for a small ailment because of the expense.  But if it turned into something really big, you'd get it treated at a huge cost that you couldn't afford.  In essence, anyone who is insured is already paying a premium to cover the cost of those who aren't. 

How will nationalized health care change any of that?   People who have insurance now dont go to the Dr for small ailments, or preventative care, how will a flawed nationalized system change that in any way?   I also dont see how a huge decrease in income that the massive taxes needed to pay for this system will be a good thing either.    The only people who will gain is the employers who will no longer have to provide health care, and people who dont work or contribute taxes at all.    The people who already work and have health insurance will see worse health coverage and a smaller paycheck.   Sorry if I dont want to endorse that plan.

"Nationalized healthcare" is a strawman. I have not heard anything out of Washington that doesn't preserve for-profit medicine and private providers.

Sorry Nationalized health insurance, which is pretty much the same thing.
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« Reply #44 on: April 12, 2009, 02:16:26 AM »

See, the thing is I live where we have national healthcare (Canada), and there are problems that need to be fixed, but it's us worried about a few leaks in the hull whilst you are partying on the deck of the Titanic.

The one thing is though that all the critical shit? that's covered. If you need to take an ambulance you will get charged for it, but you'll not be paying 8bux an Ibuprofit. Hospitals are charitable organizations and some hold contests etc where the prizes are good, the chances are 1 in 12 of winning, and the tickets are anywhere from 50-200 bux. They can still make money, but there is no PROFIT. They don't see the next patient as a sucker who's going to be paying for headlight fluid. The billing goes through the provincial government and is paid out of taxpayers pockets. There are stringent measures in place to reduce false claims etc. Instead of insurance as being a way for someone to make money off our fears, it instead is used to pay for the reality of tragedy.

Anyone who can't see the fundamental difference between those two ideologies is either full of shit or hoping against hope that the straw walls will hold the wolf at bay.

Spoiler for Hiden:
Just to keep track, I've referenced the Titanic, crooked auto-repair shops and the Three Little Pigs. biggrin
« Last Edit: April 12, 2009, 02:19:22 AM by Purge » Logged

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« Reply #45 on: April 12, 2009, 03:11:50 AM »

Quote from: Purge on April 12, 2009, 02:16:26 AM

They can still make money, but there is no PROFIT.
Might that have something to do with why 19,000 Canadian-educated physicians have left Canada to work in the United States in the past 30 years? (source)

Edit - And apparently it's because the US has better post-graduate training as well. (source)
« Last Edit: April 12, 2009, 03:14:39 AM by cheeba » Logged
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« Reply #46 on: April 12, 2009, 05:11:58 AM »

Quote from: brettmcd on April 12, 2009, 01:28:19 AM

Quote from: Ironrod on April 11, 2009, 09:48:16 PM

Quote from: brettmcd on April 11, 2009, 06:54:20 PM

Quote from: Blackadar on April 11, 2009, 06:08:49 PM

Quote from: Ironrod on April 11, 2009, 04:32:11 PM

We lost our health, dental, and vision insurance when my wife was laid off. Massachusetts law requires us to have health insurance. And, if your coverage ever lapses for more than 90 days, future insurers do not have to cover any of your pre-existing conditions. By the time you're in your 50s you have amassed a pretty impressive record of "pre-existing conditions" (virtually everything you've ever sought treatment for). So, going without insurance is not an option.

We aren't poor enough to qualify for the state-subsidized Commonwealth Care plans, which are just the barest coverage anyway. That leaves us with COBRA. COBRA lets us buy our old insurance at the group rate for up to 18 months. That brought us a brand-new $850/month bill at the same time that our primary income went away.

Obama's recovery package includes a 65% COBRA subsidy for nine months. That kicks in next week, and will be retroactive to February. This means that we'll get a couple of months for "free" as retroactive federal subsidy money is applied. Then we'll pay only 35% of the $850 premium for a few more months, until the subsidy runs out. Then we'll have to pay the full $850 again until COBRA expires. If she's still unemployed after 18 months, we'll certainly be poor enough for the state insurance plan.

It looks to me like providing health insurance through employers is the basic flaw in our system. The system needs to somehow decouple insurance from employment. Losing one's job is traumatic enough as it is.

Yep, I've been there before and I feel for you.  I had to drop coverage for my family at one point after working for a couple of crooks who took the money and ran.  I agree that health coverage needs to be uncoupled from employment.  What's really stupid is that without coverage, you'd probably not seek medical help for a small ailment because of the expense.  But if it turned into something really big, you'd get it treated at a huge cost that you couldn't afford.  In essence, anyone who is insured is already paying a premium to cover the cost of those who aren't. 

How will nationalized health care change any of that?   People who have insurance now dont go to the Dr for small ailments, or preventative care, how will a flawed nationalized system change that in any way?   I also dont see how a huge decrease in income that the massive taxes needed to pay for this system will be a good thing either.    The only people who will gain is the employers who will no longer have to provide health care, and people who dont work or contribute taxes at all.    The people who already work and have health insurance will see worse health coverage and a smaller paycheck.   Sorry if I dont want to endorse that plan.

"Nationalized healthcare" is a strawman. I have not heard anything out of Washington that doesn't preserve for-profit medicine and private providers.

Sorry Nationalized health insurance, which is pretty much the same thing.

How is universal insurance coverage the same thing as nationalized medicine? Under the Mass. model, companies with more than 6 employees have to either subsidize health insurance or pay the state to do it. Everyone gets their insurance from a private, for-profit company and the main cost burden remains on business. There are no massive tax increases.   

It's not a great solution -- insurance still depends on employment, and any cost savings from universal coverage will take years to appear. A lot of small businesses will not grow beyond six employees so that they can avoid the requirement. But it's really got nothing to do with the socialized-medicine bugbear that you're invoking.
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« Reply #47 on: April 12, 2009, 08:09:28 AM »

Quote from: cheeba on April 12, 2009, 03:11:50 AM

Quote from: Purge on April 12, 2009, 02:16:26 AM

They can still make money, but there is no PROFIT.
Might that have something to do with why 19,000 Canadian-educated physicians have left Canada to work in the United States in the past 30 years? (source)

Edit - And apparently it's because the US has better post-graduate training as well. (source)
aye, people are greedy bastards thats a fact, but what has this got to do with anything other than my penis is bigger than yours?

The canadian model seems the same as the danish one, and while its pretty damn good, I'd agree the one thing that is difficult about this is that doctors and/or nurses can become scarce due to the pay being somewhat mediocore. In denmark private hospitals have popped up, but they are still paid by the government who contracts work out to them, and it actually works pretty damn well so far. Now, all we need is to get queues for treatment of longer lasting illness down... 3-6 months for surgery isnt uncommon I'm afraid
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« Reply #48 on: April 12, 2009, 01:42:21 PM »

I live in Norway and love our nationalized healthcare. About a month ago I had an accident while downhill skiing that led to me completely tearing off two major ligaments in my right knee. This happened outside my hometown.

So far I've been in an ambulance twice, I've had four checkups, I've been bandaged twice, I'm wearing a device to support my knee while walking, I have my own crutches, a taxi drove me to my hometown in the middle of the night, I've gone through three packs of painkillers, I take a taxi to and from work every day, I've gone through an MR scan... It's all gone pretty damn smooth considering the seriousness of the injury, and all at a total cost to me of about $1000 (of which most was for taxi services) over the last month due to me not being quick enough at filling out the requisite forms. Even so, I'll get about $800 of those back as soon as I make a few calls. smile

I have a regular doctor to visit who knows who I am and has all my medical journals. Everyone in Norway is required to have a doctor in this way. Up to 4 times a year I can freely pick another doctor from a large list who will from then on become my new regular doctor. This costs me nothing.

For reference, if I need to have surgery for my knee it will cost me about $30 and I shouldn't have to wait more than a month at the most. As for quality, my late encounters with Norway's healtcare has been a pleasant experience.

I pity those of you who have to get insurance. Hopefully you can find a system in the end that will work out better for you.
« Last Edit: April 12, 2009, 01:44:36 PM by TiLT » Logged
Crux
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« Reply #49 on: April 12, 2009, 02:26:54 PM »

Quote from: cheeba on April 12, 2009, 03:11:50 AM

Quote from: Purge on April 12, 2009, 02:16:26 AM

They can still make money, but there is no PROFIT.
Might that have something to do with why 19,000 Canadian-educated physicians have left Canada to work in the United States in the past 30 years? (source)

Edit - And apparently it's because the US has better post-graduate training as well. (source)

19,000 in 30 years. That's about 630 per year. What's the immigration rate for other professionals from Canada to the US? How many doctors went from the US to Canada in the same period?
« Last Edit: April 12, 2009, 02:28:35 PM by Crux » Logged
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« Reply #50 on: April 12, 2009, 03:50:25 PM »

Quote from: Razgon on April 12, 2009, 08:09:28 AM

aye, people are greedy bastards thats a fact, but what has this got to do with anything other than my penis is bigger than yours?
That is not it at all. It is meant to show one of the significant challenges in the Canadian healthcare system vs. the US health system.

Edit - And our dick is bigger than theirs. I mean come on, they got significant shrinkage up there.

Quote from: Crux on April 12, 2009, 02:26:54 PM

19,000 in 30 years. That's about 630 per year. What's the immigration rate for other professionals from Canada to the US? How many doctors went from the US to Canada in the same period?
Uh, probably not many. And 630 doctors a year is significant. From the CBC:
Quote
While they admit the exodus has abated a bit in the past couple of years, the authors say the impact is as if two average-sized medical schools in Canada were doing nothing but training doctors for the United States.

There are only 17 medical schools in this country.
Quote
Canadian-educated specialists practising in the U.S. in 2006 represented nearly 20 per cent of the Canadian specialist workforce.
« Last Edit: April 12, 2009, 05:11:18 PM by cheeba » Logged
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« Reply #51 on: April 12, 2009, 09:06:59 PM »

I get that it is significant, Cheeba. But it still doesn't put it in real context. What's the export rate on Canadian engineers, lawyers, etc etc? (although admittedly I imagine not many lawyers would flee south). The other question is, what is the doctor shortage like in Canada compared to the US?

From all the doctors my wife and I know, some of these Canadian doctors are just filling gaps left by US physicians who are quitting because of the state of the health care system here in the US slywink And that is only partly tongue in cheek - a lot of them truly are.
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« Reply #52 on: April 12, 2009, 09:26:09 PM »

Quote from: TiLT on April 12, 2009, 01:42:21 PM

I live in Norway and love our nationalized healthcare. About a month ago I had an accident while downhill skiing that led to me completely tearing off two major ligaments in my right knee. This happened outside my hometown.

So far I've been in an ambulance twice, I've had four checkups, I've been bandaged twice, I'm wearing a device to support my knee while walking, I have my own crutches, a taxi drove me to my hometown in the middle of the night, I've gone through three packs of painkillers, I take a taxi to and from work every day, I've gone through an MR scan... It's all gone pretty damn smooth considering the seriousness of the injury, and all at a total cost to me of about $1000 (of which most was for taxi services) over the last month due to me not being quick enough at filling out the requisite forms. Even so, I'll get about $800 of those back as soon as I make a few calls. smile

I have a regular doctor to visit who knows who I am and has all my medical journals. Everyone in Norway is required to have a doctor in this way. Up to 4 times a year I can freely pick another doctor from a large list who will from then on become my new regular doctor. This costs me nothing.

For reference, if I need to have surgery for my knee it will cost me about $30 and I shouldn't have to wait more than a month at the most. As for quality, my late encounters with Norway's healtcare has been a pleasant experience.

I pity those of you who have to get insurance. Hopefully you can find a system in the end that will work out better for you.

What's your tax rate, again?
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« Reply #53 on: April 12, 2009, 10:14:54 PM »

Quote from: TiLT on April 12, 2009, 01:42:21 PM

I live in Norway and love our nationalized healthcare. About a month ago I had an accident while downhill skiing that led to me completely tearing off two major ligaments in my right knee. This happened outside my hometown.
Ouch, I know how that goes. Hope you have a speedy recovery.

To put your injury in context though... I have had 3 knee surgeries over the years all due to various sports injuries. One of them required an ambulance ride. I've had many checkups, physical therapy, drugs, all that good stuff. I've paid probably about $50 total due to my drug copay. Just over a year ago I severed the ligament in my thumb. I had surgery which cost around $10 grand, of which I paid $0. Again, I paid some for drugs - I think that was $10. I also had to pay for transferring my X-rays, and that cost like $35. I have required 2 ER visits, one for my knee and one for the thumb. The knee was pretty major trauma (it was dislocated) and I was seen right away. The thumb was about a 10 minute wait. I saw very highly trained specialists for each injury.

There are certainly horror stories out there in any system. There are stores of great success in our system as well. I need no pity, trust me smile.
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« Reply #54 on: April 13, 2009, 12:27:00 AM »

Quote from: cheeba on April 12, 2009, 10:14:54 PM

There are certainly horror stories out there in any system. There are stores of great success in our system as well.

The issue is see is that the "horror stories" in Canada seem to be about wait times that are longer than those in the United States.  Here, they're about people who get crushed beneath a quarter million dollars of medical bills when the heel on their shoe breaks and they injure their neck in a fall down the stairs.  I don't doubt that first one is a hassle, but that second one ruins lives.

-Autistic Angel
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« Reply #55 on: April 13, 2009, 01:07:13 AM »

Quote from: Autistic Angel on April 13, 2009, 12:27:00 AM

The issue is see is that the "horror stories" in Canada seem to be about wait times that are longer than those in the United States.  Here, they're about people who get crushed beneath a quarter million dollars of medical bills when the heel on their shoe breaks and they injure their neck in a fall down the stairs.  I don't doubt that first one is a hassle, but that second one ruins lives.
Then perhaps you should introduce yourself to Google and educate yourself. What "seems" is often not the case.
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« Reply #56 on: April 13, 2009, 01:19:22 AM »

Quote from: cheeba on April 13, 2009, 01:07:13 AM

Then perhaps you should introduce yourself to Google and educate yourself. What "seems" is often not the case.

Perhaps you should introduce yourself to a statistics class - what's the percentage of uninsured citizens in Canada?
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« Reply #57 on: April 13, 2009, 01:37:57 AM »

Quote from: Brendan on April 13, 2009, 01:19:22 AM

Quote from: cheeba on April 13, 2009, 01:07:13 AM

Then perhaps you should introduce yourself to Google and educate yourself. What "seems" is often not the case.

Perhaps you should introduce yourself to a statistics class - what's the percentage of uninsured citizens in Canada?

You should reread what cheeba wrote, he wasnt talking about uninsured people in Canada, he was saying there are more to horror stories about canadas medical system then just long wait times.    Not sure how the hell you got what you posted out of it.
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« Reply #58 on: April 13, 2009, 02:03:47 AM »

Quote from: cheeba on April 13, 2009, 01:07:13 AM

Quote from: Autistic Angel on April 13, 2009, 12:27:00 AM

The issue is see is that the "horror stories" in Canada seem to be about wait times that are longer than those in the United States.  Here, they're about people who get crushed beneath a quarter million dollars of medical bills when the heel on their shoe breaks and they injure their neck in a fall down the stairs.  I don't doubt that first one is a hassle, but that second one ruins lives.
Then perhaps you should introduce yourself to Google and educate yourself. What "seems" is often not the case.

Okay, cheeba, why don't you run some Google searches so you can educated us all on the "horrors" of Canada's healthcare system.

Once you come up with a representative list of all the terrible things that happen north of the border, perhaps you can explain why it is that 41% of Canadians report feeling dissatisfied with the availability of affordable medical care, compared to a whopping 72% of people in the United States, while remaining equally happy with the overall quality.  If things are so awful, why do the people who actually live there seem so content?

-Autistic Angel
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« Reply #59 on: April 13, 2009, 03:25:55 AM »

Quote from: brettmcd on April 13, 2009, 01:37:57 AM

You should reread what cheeba wrote, he wasnt talking about uninsured people in Canada, he was saying there are more to horror stories about canadas medical system then just long wait times.   Not sure how the hell you got what you posted out of it.

Perhaps you can follow this logic:

Close to 50 million Americans are uninsured.
Exactly 0 Canadians are uninsured.

Cheeba can't possibly find enough anecdotal "horror stories" about the Canadian health care system to counterbalance that very obvious discrepancy in availability of care.  Besides Autistic Angel's satisfaction citation, we know that Canadians have a longer life expectancy than Americans - by 2.5 years - and at around 50% of the expenditure per person.
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« Reply #60 on: April 13, 2009, 03:46:01 AM »

Quote from: Brendan on April 13, 2009, 03:25:55 AM

Cheeba can't possibly find enough anecdotal "horror stories" about the Canadian health care system to counterbalance that very obvious discrepancy in availability of care.  Besides Autistic Angel's satisfaction citation, we know that Canadians have a longer life expectancy than Americans - by 2.5 years - and at around 50% of the expenditure per person.
Every uninsured American has access to medical care. And if you knew anything about statistics you would know that making a comparison between a population of 30 million and 300 million isn't the best idea.
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« Reply #61 on: April 13, 2009, 03:53:47 AM »

Quote from: Autistic Angel on April 13, 2009, 02:03:47 AM

Quote from: cheeba on April 13, 2009, 01:07:13 AM

Then perhaps you should introduce yourself to Google and educate yourself. What "seems" is often not the case.

Okay, cheeba, why don't you run some Google searches so you can educated us all on the "horrors" of Canada's healthcare system.
Google it for yourself. Shouldn't be a difficult thing to do. Here's a link for you. You said the difference in horror stories seems like one side sometimes has long waits while the other side is much worse. So get off your lazy ass and look it up and see if those horror stories in Canada are truly limited to twiddling their thumbs waiting.
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If things are so awful, why do the people who actually live there seem so content?
Who said things were so awful? Why have you still not learned to not put words in my mouth? Read only what I say and nothing else. You seem to get these little words floating in your mushy little mind that you like to insert into my posts. Stop it. Just read what I say and don't assume there are any inferences, implications, or anything but white space between the lines.
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« Reply #62 on: April 13, 2009, 03:54:49 AM »

Quote from: cheeba on April 13, 2009, 03:46:01 AM

Every uninsured American has access to medical care.

This probably only ranks as the third most ridiculous thing you've said here.  The only thing that uninsured Americans can be assured of is access to urgent care.  Emergency rooms don't address cancer or chronic back injuries.

Quote from: cheeba
And if you knew anything about statistics you would know that making a comparison between a population of 30 million and 300 million isn't the best idea.

Are you arguing that 30 million is too small a sample size to be statistically relevant, or is it that you need help calculating percentages? 

0% of Canadians are uninsured.  Nearly 20% of Americans are uninsured.  If you attempt to claim that there's some scale problem where the Canadian system couldn't possibly grow to support 10x the current system, you'll need to explain in detail.
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« Reply #63 on: April 13, 2009, 03:59:37 AM »

Quote from: cheeba on April 13, 2009, 03:53:47 AM

So get off your lazy ass and look it up and see if those horror stories in Canada are truly limited to twiddling their thumbs waiting.

Given Autistic Angel's citations, it's clear that Canadians are much much more satisfied than Americans about the availability of healthcare, and somewhat more satisfied about the quality of care.  Consequently, the burden of proof here is not on him, it's on you.  You just have your typical rhetorical tricks here, punctuated by bile and spittle.

Quote from: cheeba
Just read what I say and don't assume there are any inferences, implications, or anything but white space between the lines.

The white space between the lines is more readable.
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« Reply #64 on: April 13, 2009, 04:04:18 AM »

I'm not sure why we're begging the question at this point, but I don't really understand what 'availability' means in this context.  It seems to me that Canadians satisfaction numbers should be even higher than that, given that health care is not 'unavailable' to any of them.
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« Reply #65 on: April 13, 2009, 04:08:49 AM »

Quote from: RuperT on April 13, 2009, 04:04:18 AM

I'm not sure why we're begging the question at this point, but I don't really understand what 'availability' means in this context.  It seems to me that Canadians satisfaction numbers should be even higher than that, given that health care is not 'unavailable' to any of them.

You may have noticed that people opposed to nationalized health insurance frequently cite "waiting lists" as one of the supposedly unavoidable consequences of government intervention.  Even if health care were free, but waiting periods were so long to render that help meaningless, one might be dissatisfied with availability.
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« Reply #66 on: April 13, 2009, 04:16:57 AM »

Quote from: Brendan on April 13, 2009, 03:54:49 AM

Are you arguing that 30 million is too small a sample size to be statistically relevant, or is it that you need help calculating percentages?
I don't think you understand what you're talking about here. There is no sample of 30 million. Every single person in Canada has not been polled.

We are comparing national health care. In making such a comparison it is best to find two similar countries. The best analysis would be done by comparing US health care with another industrialized nation with a population similar to that of the US. Comparing two countries with a difference in population of 1,000% is less than ideal.
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« Reply #67 on: April 13, 2009, 04:19:49 AM »

Quote from: Brendan on April 13, 2009, 03:59:37 AM

You just have your typical rhetorical tricks here, punctuated by bile and spittle.
Quote
The white space between the lines is more readable.
Wait, was that bile and spittle? Hypocrite.
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« Reply #68 on: April 13, 2009, 04:22:05 AM »

Quote from: RuperT on April 13, 2009, 04:04:18 AM

I'm not sure why we're begging the question at this point, but I don't really understand what 'availability' means in this context.  It seems to me that Canadians satisfaction numbers should be even higher than that, given that health care is not 'unavailable' to any of them.

You ask someone who have 6 figure salary and he/she can still think that the salary is still too low. You ask someone who get full medical care and he is still not satisfy because the care doesn't include a handjob from a nurse. It is hard to be satisfy with things.

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« Reply #69 on: April 13, 2009, 01:47:03 PM »

Quote from: cheeba on April 13, 2009, 04:16:57 AM

Quote from: Brendan on April 13, 2009, 03:54:49 AM

Are you arguing that 30 million is too small a sample size to be statistically relevant, or is it that you need help calculating percentages?
I don't think you understand what you're talking about here. There is no sample of 30 million. Every single person in Canada has not been polled.

Duh.  You're the one complaining that we can't make a "comparison between" the two populations, which will be a surprise to many many professional analysts.

Quote from: cheeba
We are comparing national health care. In making such a comparison it is best to find two similar countries. The best analysis would be done by comparing US health care with another industrialized nation with a population similar to that of the US. Comparing two countries with a difference in population of 1,000% is less than ideal.

Canada and the United States are similar countries by any reasonable person's metrics: economically, socially, and demographically, there's not a country in the world that matches the United States as closely.  You remain uninterested in pursuing an honest discussion of policy issues given your propensity to argue by anecdote and ignore facts that are inconvenient to your assertions, but let's play along with your dubious claim.

Hey look - a new study on workforce health comparing the US with England, France, Canada, China, Brazil, India, Germany, and Japan.  All industrialized, some of which are much bigger than us, and some of which don't even provide universal healthcare.

How're we doing?

"They confirm what prior studies have shown: while spending much more than either basket of competitors, the United States does not attain the best workforce health. G-5 employers and employees spend about 63% of what the U.S. spends on health care, but U.S. workforce health trails the G-5 by about 10%. The United States compares more favorably with BIC countries on workforce health measures, lagging by 5%. However, the BIC countries spend only 15% of what the United States is spending. The fact that the U.S. has a lower health score than the three BIC countries reflects two factors: (1) the limited number of workforce health measures on which to compare the United States with developing countries; and (2) the drastic degree by which the United States underperforms the BIC group on the obesity measure (prevalence of BMI >=25 kg/m2)."

Who're the BIC countries?  Brazil, India, and China.  So yes, in the measure of "workforce health", we lag behind India, in large part due to the huge number of morbidly obese Americans who pick up plenty of ailments like type 2 diabetes, heart disease, gout, etc.  I'll go the extra mile and point out that those issues aren't handled at an emergency room.

Are we on an upward trend?

"The annual change scores of The Business Roundtable Healthcare Value Comparability Study for the United States vs. the G-5 group are -0.55% from 2004 to 2005 and -0.28% from 2005 to 2006. This indicates that the contribution of the U.S. health care system to the global competitiveness of employers and workers relative to G-5 countries is declining, though at a decreasing rate. This trend is primarily due to U.S. spending figures increasing in comparison to G-5 spending, without corresponding increases in workforce health."

So, we're spending more and more, but with no corresponding health benefit.  Perfect!  Let's keep up the good work!

Oh, and all of this from a study paid for by groups who are amenable to continuing the employer-based system we have now.
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« Reply #70 on: April 13, 2009, 01:57:39 PM »

Quote from: cheeba on April 12, 2009, 10:14:54 PM

There are certainly horror stories out there in any system. There are stores of great success in our system as well.

Quote from: Autistic Angel on April 13, 2009, 12:27:00 AM

The issue is see is that the "horror stories" in Canada seem to be about wait times that are longer than those in the United States.  Here, they're about people who get crushed beneath a quarter million dollars of medical bills when the heel on their shoe breaks and they injure their neck in a fall down the stairs.  I don't doubt that first one is a hassle, but that second one ruins lives.

Quote from: cheeba on April 13, 2009, 01:07:13 AM

Then perhaps you should introduce yourself to Google and educate yourself. What "seems" is often not the case.

Quote from: Autistic Angel on April 13, 2009, 02:03:47 AM

Okay, cheeba, why don't you run some Google searches so you can educated us all on the "horrors" of Canada's healthcare system.

Once you come up with a representative list of all the terrible things that happen north of the border, perhaps you can explain why it is that 41% of Canadians report feeling dissatisfied with the availability of affordable medical care, compared to a whopping 72% of people in the United States, while remaining equally happy with the overall quality.  If things are so awful, why do the people who actually live there seem so content?

Quote from: cheeba on April 13, 2009, 03:53:47 AM

Google it for yourself. Shouldn't be a difficult thing to do. Here's a link for you. You said the difference in horror stories seems like one side sometimes has long waits while the other side is much worse. So get off your lazy ass and look it up and see if those horror stories in Canada are truly limited to twiddling their thumbs waiting.

Who said things were so awful? Why have you still not learned to not put words in my mouth? Read only what I say and nothing else. You seem to get these little words floating in your mushy little mind that you like to insert into my posts. Stop it. Just read what I say and don't assume there are any inferences, implications, or anything but white space between the lines.

This is why debating an issue with cheeba is a waste of time: he makes a comment about "horror stories in any system" to insinuate dark flaws with Canada's healthcare, and rather than providing convincing examples or even responding to countervailing evidence, he will quibble *endlessly* over some vagary about being technically correct.

You win, cheeba!  After doing some research, I discovered that every episode of Stephen King's 2004 horror series Kingdom Hospital was filmed in Vancouver, British Columbia, and they occasionally consulted with employees of Richmond Hospital.  That means that at least thirteen "horror stories" have come out of the Canadian healthcare system, making your comment technically correct.  The best kind of correct!

For everyone else: I don't doubt that there are some drawbacks to the Canadian healthcare system, but I simply know too many people who would benefit from a system that doesn't punish patients with steep debts for conditions beyond their control.

-Autistic Angel

-Autistic Angel
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« Reply #71 on: April 13, 2009, 02:00:38 PM »

I don't see where anyone advocated the Canadian system as the right plan, so listing the drawbacks of the Canadian health care system as an argument against universal health care coverage in the US isn't going to fly.  There are a couple of dozen universal health care plans throughout the western hemisphere.  I'd like to think that any reaonable plan would have studied each of these to learn lessons on what works and what doesn't.  

My wife is pregnant.  I don't know if we're covered or not.  We had some good (i.e., very expensive) coverage, but Blue Cross had some sort of pregnancy rider that they were supposed to present to us and never did.  So we never knew that somehow pregnancy wasn't covered - it simply wasn't mentioned one way or another in any of the literature we received from them.  Franly, we found their literature bewildering - I couldn't tell you if something as a simple broken leg was covered.  It appeared pregnancy was covered - there was nothing in there about some optional rider.  And no, I'm not a doctor and I don't have the knowledge or time to ask on every single thing if something is covered or not.  Fault me for assuming it was if you want, but beyond a few basic things, do you really know what's covered in your plan?  I doubt it.

After getting the bureaucratic run-around about her pregnancy and finding out that the huge premiums we paid weren't covering her pregnancy, I changed her coverage to my work coverage (where pregnancy is covered).  I don't know if they'll cover her or see it as a pre-existing condition and refuse (as they should).  Of course, that assumes that my employer doesn't lay me off between now and then so he can buy yet another beach house.  If that happens, I have no idea what we'll do.  

I do know one thing - she's having the baby (and this does dovetail into the abortion debate).  And if no one wants to cover it - even though I've been paying about $1000/month in health insurance premiums - we'll do what we can to pay the bills.  But if it gets outrageous and the hospital won't work with us, we'll walk away from the debt and deal with the consequences.  Now when someone is trying to do the right thing, paid into the system and still faces the possible choice of abortion or bankruptcy, there's something extremely wrong with our current system.  That's why I favor a complete overhaul of the system.  To me, it's simply broken.  
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« Reply #72 on: April 13, 2009, 02:02:09 PM »

Quote from: Autistic Angel on April 13, 2009, 01:57:39 PM

After doing some research, I discovered that every episode of Stephen King's 2004 horror series Kingdom Hospital was filmed in Vancouver, British Columbia, and they occasionally consulted with employees of Richmond Hospital.  That means that at least thirteen "horror stories" have come out of the Canadian healthcare system, making your comment technically correct.  The best kind of correct!

This is a great point - and, in fact, implicates Denmark's system as well, although it would be nice to get confirmation from Razgon.  I imagine he must have a system for dealing with all of the ghosts.
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« Reply #73 on: April 13, 2009, 02:10:49 PM »

Quote from: cheeba on April 13, 2009, 03:46:01 AM

Every uninsured American has access to medical care.

Really? Tell that to the cartilage missing in my right temperomandibular joint. Back in college I was injured in karate (simple mistake in class on the part of my sparring partner) which ended up popping the cartilage disc out of place. All I needed was a simple outpatient surgery to put the disc back into place. My family and I couldn't afford it. Unfortunately, that's time-sensitive, and the cartilage was gone before I ever got my own decent health care plan.

Now I've got a permanent, chronic health problem thanks to that medical care that every uninsured American apparently has access to. In a nationalized health care system, I wouldn't have had to wait four years to get employed with a health plan that would cover this. Oh, and wait an additional year for "pre-existing conditions" to be covered.

By then it was way, way too late.
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« Reply #74 on: April 13, 2009, 02:16:28 PM »

Quote from: Brendan on April 13, 2009, 01:47:03 PM

Duh.  You're the one complaining that we can't make a "comparison between" the two populations, which will be a surprise to many many professional analysts.
Again with putting words in my mouth. I swear you and Autistic argue 99% of the time against shit you make up yourselves. Where did I say you can't make a comparison? I said that it's less ideal to compare countries with a 1,000% difference in population and that it is better to compare countries more similar.
Quote
Hey look - a new study on workforce health comparing the US with England, France, Canada, China, Brazil, India, Germany, and Japan.  All industrialized, some of which are much bigger than us, and some of which don't even provide universal healthcare.
Exactly! See you totally don't understand anything about statistics, apparently. Because making a simple comparison between Canada and the United States is less than ideal, they've added more data to make comparisons.
Quote
How're we doing?
I'm super, thanks for asking. How are you?
Quote
"They confirm what prior studies have shown: while spending much more than either basket of competitors, the United States does not attain the best workforce health. G-5 employers and employees spend about 63% of what the U.S. spends on health care, but U.S. workforce health trails the G-5 by about 10%. The United States compares more favorably with BIC countries on workforce health measures, lagging by 5%. However, the BIC countries spend only 15% of what the United States is spending. The fact that the U.S. has a lower health score than the three BIC countries reflects two factors: (1) the limited number of workforce health measures on which to compare the United States with developing countries; and (2) the drastic degree by which the United States underperforms the BIC group on the obesity measure (prevalence of BMI >=25 kg/m2)."
Wow, the US needs some improvement. Shocker. Note that they mention how difficult the comparison is, as well, btw?

Listen closely, or read closely: I will readily admit the United States healthcare needs improvement and has problems. Are these problems big enough to require the government to take over? I don't think so. Are there problems with nationalized healthcare that we would also have to overcome, such as Canada's problems with doctors leaving? Absolutely.
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« Reply #75 on: April 13, 2009, 02:28:25 PM »

Quote from: cheeba on April 13, 2009, 02:16:28 PM

Quote from: Brendan
Duh.  You're the one complaining that we can't make a "comparison between" the two populations, which will be a surprise to many many professional analysts.
Again with putting words in my mouth. I swear you and Autistic argue 99% of the time against shit you make up yourselves. Where did I say you can't make a comparison? I said that it's less ideal to compare countries with a 1,000% difference in population and that it is better to compare countries more similar.

Oh, I don't know.  Perhaps when you said "And if you knew anything about statistics you would know that making a comparison between a population of 30 million and 300 million isn't the best idea."


Quote from: cheeba
Exactly! See you totally don't understand anything about statistics, apparently. Because making a simple comparison between Canada and the United States is less than ideal, they've added more data to make comparisons.

This statement is complete nonsense - I have no idea what you're articulating here.

Quote
Wow, the US needs some improvement. Shocker.

Ah, yes - "some improvement."  That's the conclusion you draw when you learn that India spends 15% of what we do, but we lag them by 5% in health metrics?  Seriously?  "Some improvement"?   I guess we can't afford any setbacks to the immensely successful system we have today.

Quote
I will readily admit the United States healthcare needs improvement and has problems. Are these problems big enough to require the government to take over? I don't think so.

Is this what you think Obama's proposal argues for?  A government takeover*?  Hahaha.  Stop putting up strawmen, Cheeba.  Obama's plan is hardly a single-payer system with government doctors - in truth, it's mostly just an expansion of the existing private system:

  • Require insurance companies to cover pre-existing conditions so all Americans regardless of their health status or history can get comprehensive benefits at fair and stable premiums.
  • Create a new Small Business Health Tax Credit to help small businesses provide affordable health insurance to their employees.
  • Lower costs for businesses by covering a portion of the catastrophic health costs they pay in return for lower premiums for employees.
  • Prevent insurers from overcharging doctors for their malpractice insurance and invest in proven strategies to reduce preventable medical errors.
  • Make employer contributions more fair by requiring large employers that do not offer coverage or make a meaningful contribution to the cost of quality health coverage for their employees to contribute a percentage of payroll toward the costs of their employees health care.
  • Establish a National Health Insurance Exchange with a range of private insurance options as well as a new public plan based on benefits available to members of Congress that will allow individuals and small businesses to buy affordable health coverage.
  • Ensure everyone who needs it will receive a tax credit for their premiums.

Which of these things, precisely, do you have an issue with?  Key word:  precisely.

*Of course, Cheeba's next trick (or, rather, the repetition of his one trick) is to claim that by using the loaded yet imprecise term "takeover", he specifically meant "any government intervention in the free market", or, perhaps, "only government mandated single-payer coverage", or whatever will allow him to play contrarian for ten more posts by asserting that I didn't understand his vague wording.  As always, Cheeba doesn't provide any data or specificity in his posts.  The utility of this tactic should be clear.

an additional edit just for brettmcd:

"Under the plan, if you like your current health insurance, nothing changes, except your costs will go down by as much as $2,500 per year."
« Last Edit: April 13, 2009, 02:30:51 PM by Brendan » Logged
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« Reply #76 on: April 13, 2009, 02:33:03 PM »

Quote from: Brendan on April 13, 2009, 02:28:25 PM

Oh, I don't know.  Perhaps when you said "And if you knew anything about statistics you would know that making a comparison between a population of 30 million and 300 million isn't the best idea."
And somehow that gets twisted in your head to read that you can't do it? You *can* do it, it's just much, much better to compare similar data sets. Adding additional countries into the comparison is a good (probably the only and best) way of doing that.
Quote
I have no idea what you're articulating here.
Finally you're understanding your own lack of statistical comprehension. It's ok, few understand statistics, and if you work with statistics PhD's like I do every day, you understand why. Freaky ass people.
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« Reply #77 on: April 13, 2009, 02:35:57 PM »

Quote from: cheeba on April 13, 2009, 02:33:03 PM

And somehow that gets twisted in your head to read that you can't do it? You *can* do it, it's just much, much better to compare similar data sets. Adding additional countries into the comparison is a good (probably the only and best) way of doing that.

I see - so all of these statistical studies comparing the United States and Canada - just junk, huh?  You're hilarious.

I'm still waiting to see your substantive response; should I hold my breath?
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« Reply #78 on: April 13, 2009, 02:46:45 PM »

It's important to realize that I almost never go to the doctor anymore.  I hate it.  I went 10 years without a checkup until about 6 months ago.  Stuff like the story below doesn't help.

My previous checkup (in 1997) was one of those normal, run-of-the-mill checkups that help reduce overall health care costs.  I had an in-plan doctor, so there shouldn't have been a problem.  Now since diabetes runs in my family, the doctor thought it prudent to draw blood to check my sugar levels.  Ok, no problem - that's pretty normal anyway.  So he does and I go on my merry way.

About 4 weeks later, I get a bill for the tests - $300 or so - that the insurance company doesn't want to pay.  The reason?  The lab that the doctor sent the blood to wasn't in-plan.  Huh?  How am I supposed to know that?  Isn't the doctor in-plan?  Their response is that somehow I should have known and drawing blood isn't "normal".  In the long run, they wouldn't pay, so I ended up eating the $300 bill for going to an in-plan doctor for a normal checkup.  It wasn't a big amount, but my experiences with health care in the USA have been so poor in the last 20 years that I'm entirely convinced that we need a complete overhaul.  
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« Reply #79 on: April 13, 2009, 03:47:55 PM »

Quote from: Brendan on April 13, 2009, 02:35:57 PM

should I hold my breath?
Yes, please. Until I say stop.

As for substantive analysis of the healthcare of Canada in comparison with the healthcare system of the United States? Uh, yeah, I don't think anyone here is qualified to make that analysis. I'm certainly not. What I am concerned with is knowing the facts so that I can make a judgement when it comes time to vote for politicians and issues. Looking at what "seems" to be involved in a different system isn't good enough for me, personally. I like to be more educated than that.
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