# US Repubs budget plan: slash and privatize Social Security and Medicare

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The first link shows the US 33rd out of 195 on infant mortality. This does not support the statement "the worst health care".

The second link shows the US 18th out of 135 on maternal mortality. This does not support the statement "the worst health care".

The third link shows the US 38th out of 135 on life expectancy. This does not support the statement "the worst health care".

The fifth link shows the US at 24th out of 191. This does not support the statement "the worst health care".

The sixth link was a PDF that my computer seemed to have trouble with. Perhaps someone can fill me in. I don't know what it is that the fourth or seventh links are supposed to show. They aren't data, they're articles that were not quoted by the poster.

If I have to link my factual statements, so do you. Being politically correct or stating a popular opinion does not excuse you from this responsibility. Make the extra effort, or state it as an opinion. Thanks.

Perhaps he should have qualified it, "Some of the worst care of industrialized nations, despite the high cost"

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I'll also ask you one question in advance. How many people do you know that have died from old age? In the US today, it's none. Even a 108 year old falls under some other than old age cause, lately having smoked cigarettes in the 1940's and died of respiratory problems smoking created.

We outlawed dying of old age. Problem solved.

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Syke; Am I correct in assuming any person, not from Australia, is responsible for paying the full expense of their medical service? In the US, if a Medical Service, wishes to participate in the revenue from our Medicare/Medicaid (1/3rd the total) they MUST attend to any person, walking/ambulanced into (Emergency Room) at no cost if necessary. We are NOT landlocked, with additional access by millions each year for many reason, visiting, work visa or illegally in the Country, all basically covered for attention. Remember near 20 Million are said to be in the US, from many places and can access accordingly, to say nothing of border crossings (legal), for the sole purpose of receiving medical assistance. Mexico has 50+ million folks, Canada another 31 million or so and their are about 22 Million in all of Australia. Texas alone with 25 Million or so people, may have 5 Million in this group and Florida, even today is giving needed health care to thousands from Haiti. All this and much more gets added to the cost per of actual citizens, and for the most part so do there statistical results.

If you reply, I'll go further tomorrow; The cost of labor, medications, diagnostic equipment and all things related to health care facilities, including maintenance, especially through modernizing, additions or new facilities are extremely costly in many places like our Northeastern States, where labor unions are used and/or anyplace permits are very costly for 100 reasons. Another thing, maybe from a biased opinion, much of that service these countries supply at a lessor cost, come from equipment and medication provided from the States. If you were to take, N/S Dakota, Wyoming, Montana, Idaho and through in Utah to get the population near Australia or Canada, there statistics, including cost, life expectancies, infant mortality, may rival any of the highest rates.

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Or to put it in more legible terms for the lazy,

46th of 224 for lowest infant mortality,

116th of 135 for highest maternal death,

38th of 195 for longest life expectancy,

worst out of 19 industrialized, for preventable deaths,

etc...

Factor in the absurd amounts we pay for this, and perhaps you can see why people feel just a little short-changed.

That's just obsene.

npts; If you would like me to demonstrate 'US Government Efficiency' and that of the 'Private Sector', please let me know. There is truly no comparison, in my mind.

Open a thread. I'll gladly accept the challenge -- except it won't be one. Here's the conclusion in advance: examples where government's outperformed business in various goals and projects, examples where business has outperformed government as well in many other goals and projects, and examples where often there simply exists no competition whatsoever in many of history's existing goals and projects -- but often too, cooperation.

The end result?

In any high tech, industrial, and/or widespread economy, government and business needs one another's cooperation/efficiency to function at max productivity -- and neither could exist without the foundation of citizens at their base and core, obviously. So it'd be a good idea to at least maintain some very basic essentials, for a more healthy system.

And if you doubt it, just look at the quote of Mr Skeptic's reply above. That's a real example of government + business healthcare vs. the U.S. system of care.

To make it easier to visualize why, do a simple average. Each citizen in a universal health nation gets a ranking from 1-10 for quality of healthcare. Same for the U.S. except the average will drop immensely from 45 million zeroes without healthcare.

It's simple math.

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Syke; Am I correct in assuming any person, not from Australia, is responsible for paying the full expense of their medical service?

To be honest I don't know much about it, although Australia has reciprocal arrangements with other countries with universal health care to provide basic care to their cizizens in Australia. But I'll assume aside from that that you're right.

In the US, if a Medical Service, wishes to participate in the revenue from our Medicare/Medicaid (1/3rd the total) they MUST attend to any person, walking/ambulanced into (Emergency Room) at no cost if necessary. We are NOT landlocked, with additional access by millions each year for many reason, visiting, work visa or illegally in the Country, all basically covered for attention. Remember near 20 Million are said to be in the US, from many places and can access accordingly, to say nothing of border crossings (legal), for the sole purpose of receiving medical assistance. Mexico has 50+ million folks, Canada another 31 million or so and their are about 22 Million in all of Australia. Texas alone with 25 Million or so people, may have 5 Million in this group and Florida, even today is giving needed health care to thousands from Haiti. All this and much more gets added to the cost per of actual citizens, and for the most part so do there statistical results.

Right, but how much does this cost? 20 million is a lot of people, and would cost a lot of dollars, but it is less than 7% of the US population and they are only getting emergency treatment so the contribution would be some fraction of that. The US apparently spends 132% more a person than Australia on health care, so while I wouldn't completely discount it, it can only play a minor role.

If you reply, I'll go further tomorrow; The cost of labor, medications, diagnostic equipment and all things related to health care facilities, including maintenance, especially through modernizing, additions or new facilities are extremely costly in many places like our Northeastern States, where labor unions are used and/or anyplace permits are very costly for 100 reasons. Another thing, maybe from a biased opinion, much of that service these countries supply at a lessor cost, come from equipment and medication provided from the States. If you were to take, N/S Dakota, Wyoming, Montana, Idaho and through in Utah to get the population near Australia or Canada, there statistics, including cost, life expectancies, infant mortality, may rival any of the highest rates.

I think these are better lines of thought in terms of figuring out where the money is going.

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Skye;

Average wages paid in Alabama average 16.44 per hour (34,200/year), medical practitioners 20.84 (41,600/year) and is a right to work State. In the NYC area the average is 25.37 per hour (52,800/year), medical 35.80 (74,880/year), where Unions are authorized to organize. Using percentages, which I don't like using, medical practitioners alone in NYC cost 175% of what it cost a facility in Alabama.

http://www.bls.gov/ncs/ocs/compub.htm#CA

In Australia the average wage for all workers is around 42,000, compared to the US Average is ALL States of 49,500 per year. This tells me, the cost of this one item is less in Alabama, than in Australia. What's more interesting is the labor cost in other Countries touting a lower cost for medical care in the US, notably Sweden, Germany, Spain nearing 60% of US average wages.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_countries_by_average_wage

My only point in any argument with statistics, showing the higher US cost for Medical Service, could be used for any service, where LABOR is a primary cost. Just to build a 5M$medical facility, in NYC, could be built in Alabama for 3M$ and probably a lot less in most any Country on the planet. I'd suggest 1M$or less in most the 200+ Countries used for these statistical evaluations. As for birth mortality, the US counts this to age one and with 310 Million, verse any other Nation, there are many extenuating circumstances to consider, never done... Open a thread. I'll gladly accept the challenge -- except it won't be one. Here's the conclusion in advance: examples where government's outperformed business in various goals and projects, examples where business has outperformed government as well in many other goals and projects, and examples where often there simply exists no competition whatsoever in many of history's existing goals and projects -- but often too, cooperation. [/Quote] The Bear; Well, there is a pretty good one still active, based on the Federal Social Security System, which most, even here, agree has been a failure. I'll throw in the 'War on Drugs' or the 'War on Poverty' for total disasters...I'd probably argue the Military, could be run much cheaper, NASA or any US Agency, if run under Free Market Capitalist principles. As for starting threads, I rarely do anyplace, since I can't always get back to them in a timely manner. I do good to follow up on post I reply to. Aside from that, my ideology, does NOT exactly conform to this forums general sentiments. I'd love to start a thread on how I feel the Administration' is behind Toyota's problems today, trying to improve the Governments stake in General Motor's, or is it Government Motors??? They ranked 17th in complaints over ten years, now facing massive loses... ##### Link to comment ##### Share on other sites The first link shows the US 33rd out of 195 on infant mortality. This does not support the statement "the worst health care". The second link shows the US 18th out of 135 on maternal mortality. This does not support the statement "the worst health care". The third link shows the US 38th out of 135 on life expectancy. This does not support the statement "the worst health care". The fifth link shows the US at 24th out of 191. This does not support the statement "the worst health care". Not to mention that I don't think anyone has conclusively shown that these stats are caused by our healthcare system. For example, is it the insurance companies' fault that coronory heart disease is the leading cause of death and drastically reduces life span? We can spend millions of public funding to improve treatment marginally or people need to learn to stop being such fat asses. Obviously this argument doesn't work as well for infant mortality, but why are infants dying? Is it because hospitals suck? Insurance isn't covering costs? American babies (just like american adults) aren't being responsible for their own health? If it's the latter, I fail to see how paying for someone's healthcare will make them more responsible for their own health. Look what happened when we took aware incentives for bankers to stay away from subprime loans. ##### Link to comment ##### Share on other sites It is not true that emergency rooms in the U.S. give free health care. They'll treat you before you pay, but they'll certainly make you pay later. Not long ago, my friend cut his foot, went to the ER, waited 3 hours, got 4 stitches, then got a bill for$800. (Yes, he did have insurance, but for some arcane reason it wasn't covered.) It is true that not everyone pays, though - a lot of people just go bankrupt.

And I seriously doubt that if you got wheeled unconscious into an ER in Canada, they would refuse to treat you unless they could prove you were a citizen.

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Not to mention that I don't think anyone has conclusively shown that these stats are caused by our healthcare system.

For example, is it the insurance companies' fault that coronory heart disease is the leading cause of death and drastically reduces life span?

We can spend millions of public funding to improve treatment marginally or people need to learn to stop being such fat asses.

True enough. Violent, reckless fat asses we are. And I think that does probably account for a lot. But still, we're paying far more for comparable quality.

Obviously this argument doesn't work as well for infant mortality, but why are infants dying? Is it because hospitals suck? Insurance isn't covering costs? American babies (just like american adults) aren't being responsible for their own health?

This is a joke, right?

If it's the latter, I fail to see how paying for someone's healthcare will make them more responsible for their own health.

I'll tell you how. Health problems are primarily their own disincentive, whether you can pay for treatment or not. It isn't eliminating risk. What it does, however, is remove the disincentive for preventative medicine, encouraging people to be more responsible for their own health (and, in turn, saving money, since preventative medicine tends to be much cheaper).

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It is not true that emergency rooms in the U.S. give free health care. They'll treat you before you pay, but they'll certainly make you pay later.

How exactly do they make someone pay after said person leaves the hospital and all the information he gave the hospital doesn't match? They can't find the guy and the hospital isn't even sure the man put his real name down on the forms?

How exactly do they make someone pay who doesn't have any money (or at least any they can find since many illegals work and live on a cash-only basis)?

How do they pay when, as you say, the person simply declares bankrupcy?

Not that I am saying do not treat these people, of course they should be medically treated. And I agree that many, possibly most (though I don't have the statistics) people who go to the ER do pay. I'd like to look into the question of how many ER visists aren't paid when I get more time...

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Before anyone takes trip into Canada, think they best read the requirements;

http://www.health.gov.nl.ca/mcp/html/info_ben.htm#elig

However, Insurance can and should be bought before visiting or traveling in Canada, as well as into Mexico, Australia or most every industrialized nation with UHC or not.

Visitors to Canada Plan. As a visitor from another country, you're not covered by Canada's National Health Care program. Travel Insurance is a simple and affordable way of being covered for these unforeseen costs. On our site we make it easy to get a free quote and purchase the Visitors to Canada Insurance that can make your trip more pleasant and convenient.[/Quote]

Employees, that require traveling abroad are generally covered for cost and have the proper credentials, with their American Policy. For instance, truck drivers from the US, traveling in Canada/Mexico are covered this way and Canadian Drivers by their employer or the Company they are leased to, while in the US.

I agree, most anybody taken to any hospital, unconscious will likely be serviced. Ambulance Drivers usually where this would be and Medical Physicians around the World are protective of their 'Hippocratic Oath'. But that person, if not covered in some manner, will be billed for any service, to the full amount. Each Hospital/Clinic in most jurisdictions abroad, have their own policy in securing payments, before discharging the patient, I'm sure some quite intimidating.

Your friend, requiring stitches, probably had a deductible, most all in the US do. He/She, probably also claimed insurance when processed, adding additional cost. The probability, is that person would have saved 400$off that bill if just agreed to pay the cost. I did this once, with a 1000$, deductible, paying 350.00$for what would have been billed to the insurance at 12-1400$. Keep in mind, insurance cost can be raised, policy term to policy term and any claim paid or not can influence that cost. Aside from that;

It is not true that emergency rooms in the U.S. give free health care. They'll treat you before you pay, but they'll certainly make you pay later. Not long ago, my friend cut his foot, went to the ER, waited 3 hours, got 4 stitches, then got a bill for $800. (Yes, he did have insurance, but for some arcane reason it wasn't covered.) It is true that not everyone pays, though - a lot of people just go bankrupt.[/Quote] Any medical facility in the US that accepts payments for Medicare/Medicaid service, is required to facilitate the indigent/homeless/poor through their emergency room and in fact, have an emergency room. ##### Link to comment ##### Share on other sites This is a joke, right? Not really... I think that babies need to take responsibility for their own health. Like in the good old days! (*oops... I meant parents need to be more responsible about their children's health.) I'll tell you how. Health problems are primarily their own disincentive, whether you can pay for treatment or not. It isn't eliminating risk. What it does, however, is remove the disincentive for preventative medicine, encouraging people to be more responsible for their own health (and, in turn, saving money, since preventative medicine tends to be much cheaper). I agree... but what I'm saying is that since people don't seem to care about staying healthy when they are (at least partially) paying for their own insurance, why would we expect them to start caring more when they don't even have to pay for that anymore? And I'm not even talking about preventative medicine (though that could be an important part of a universal plan) but just following through with common sense about diet and exercise. If people had to pay 100% of their medical expenses, that would normally be a huge incentive to stay well. It seems that people are only paying directly for 30% percent of their health related bills (I made this number up, I'm not sure what it is) there is much less incentive to stay healthy. Move that number down to zero, and what do we expect to happen? Ok, so if universal health care makes preventative care mandatory, this effect may not be seen, but I am not aware the relevant people are ready to take on a full cost/benefit analysis of preventative care and follow through with it. Because remember, you're talking about a full on infrastructure change about the way medical/hospital care is conducted, not just a change in who's paying the bills. As far as I'm aware, no politician is seriously proposing the former option, but proposed legislation seems to be taking form of the later. I would really like to be wrong on this one, but without a politically difficult infrastructure change, I don't see universal health care improving these stats significantly. It might be great for certain individuals, but not for the county as a whole (even if you could conceivable cut costs in the long run) Edited by ecoli ##### Link to comment ##### Share on other sites I agree... but what I'm saying is that since people don't seem to care about staying healthy when they are (at least partially) paying for their own insurance, why would we expect them to start caring more when they don't even have to pay for that anymore? And I'm not even talking about preventative medicine (though that could be an important part of a universal plan) but just following through with common sense about diet and exercise. If people had to pay 100% of their medical expenses, that would normally be a huge incentive to stay well. It seems that people are only paying directly for 30% percent of their health related bills (I made this number up, I'm not sure what it is) there is much less incentive to stay healthy. Move that number down to zero, and what do we expect to happen? Well again, the idea is that you make taking care of yourself easier. Preventative medicine is what I'm talking about. Right now, getting any kind of medical treatment at all, preventative or otherwise, is stupidly complicated and expensive, so most people, rationally or not, don't get help until they have to. And again, the incentive to stay well in any case is staying well. But perhaps Americans are especially prone to causing harm to themselves? Ok, so if universal health care makes preventative care mandatory, this effect may not be seen, but I am not aware the relevant people are ready to take on a full cost/benefit analysis of preventative care and follow through with it. How about a taxpayer-funded plan that only covers preventative care? Just throwing ideas out there... Because remember, you're talking about a full on infrastructure change about the way medical/hospital care is conducted, not just a change in who's paying the bills. As far as I'm aware, no politician is seriously proposing the former option, but proposed legislation seems to be taking form of the later. I would really like to be wrong on this one, but without a politically difficult infrastructure change, I don't see universal health care improving these stats significantly. It might be great for certain individuals, but not for the county as a whole (even if you could conceivable cut costs in the long run) Oh, I know. I'm not even talking about what's actually being proposed, which at this point I no longer even understand. A real socialized system and a totally unregulated system seem to be about equally politically infeasible, although they'd both probably be better than both what we have and what we'll end up with. ##### Link to comment ##### Share on other sites It is not true that emergency rooms in the U.S. give free health care. They'll treat you before you pay, but they'll certainly make you pay later. Not long ago, my friend cut his foot, went to the ER, waited 3 hours, got 4 stitches, then got a bill for$800. (Yes, he did have insurance, but for some arcane reason it wasn't covered.) It is true that not everyone pays, though - a lot of people just go bankrupt.

That is one of the problems. We do have universal health care, it just sucks. A lot. Our universal healthcare consists of going to the emergency room. As a result, the emergency room is no longer for real emergencies, rather for any sort of semi-urgent treatment.

To put it another way, we are subsidizing emergency treatment but not preventative treatment.

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Your friend, requiring stitches, probably had a deductible, most all in the US do. He/She, probably also claimed insurance when processed, adding additional cost. The probability, is that person would have saved 400$off that bill if just agreed to pay the cost. I did this once, with a 1000$, deductible, paying 350.00$for what would have been billed to the insurance at 12-1400$. Keep in mind, insurance cost can be raised, policy term to policy term and any claim paid or not can influence that cost.

So, our current insurance system increases the cost of medical care by a significant amount then?

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Well again, the idea is that you make taking care of yourself easier. Preventative medicine is what I'm talking about. Right now, getting any kind of medical treatment at all, preventative or otherwise, is stupidly complicated and expensive, so most people, rationally or not, don't get help until they have to.

Furthermore, people are extremely risk averse when it comes to money. This, combined with an irrational underestimate of how likely bad things are to happen to them, mean that few people would want to spend a lot of money on preventative care.

Oh, and then if you get diagnosed with something like diabetes or heart disease, there's the small risk that while you are busy taking preventative measures, your insurance company is also taking preventative measures...

How about a taxpayer-funded plan that only covers preventative care? Just throwing ideas out there...

That might actually be a kind of good idea. Or have preventative free and emergency care partially covered.

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Skye;

Average wages paid in Alabama average 16.44 per hour (34,200/year), medical practitioners 20.84 (41,600/year) and is a right to work State. In the NYC area the average is 25.37 per hour (52,800/year), medical 35.80 (74,880/year), where Unions are authorized to organize. Using percentages, which I don't like using, medical practitioners alone in NYC cost 175% of what it cost a facility in Alabama.

http://www.bls.gov/ncs/ocs/compub.htm#CA

I don't know if its just a byproduct of cities but it seems most everything costs more in them. Can you by chance get statistics for major cities in the state of California.

National Geographic has a neat tiny article on this in one of there more recent magazines. It shows expenditure plus life expectancy. I do not know how accurate the math is, but for what the U.S spends right now its not the best outcome in terms of longevity, but who knows how much was considered when making that.

Maybe geography plays a role in this also is all, and to me I thought it might be better to allow states to have individual healthcare plans, or at least specialized attention from any government plans for total healthcare. State level politics happen to be a realm of their own like federal, and such can even be pretty evident if you look at county politics.

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So, our current insurance system increases the cost of medical care by a significant amount then? [/Quote]

Skeptic; Actually, that is a good argument for pay as you go, for all health care, no government or insurance. Most products/services are based on the demand, making competition the deciding factor. You wouldn't take out or buy insurance for the availability of a product or service, but if that service is interrupted or cut off, could be costly. For instance, short of 'Lloyds of London' (they or those that will, are very expensive) you won't find a willing insurer for what's stored in you refrigerator, or your freezer, even if you own a grocery store or restaurant, but if the power goes out, for any length of time, your going to lose that investment.

When a need comes up, say for flood, fire, hurricane or some local possibility exist a market forms around a need, that market having cost. So yes, there is a cost for having Insurance Company's, none of which are reduced by Government Providing, likely more expensive, since Government Employees in the US are paid 30-40% more than the private sector. Remember a third of our population is already tended to by the Government and can't keep up with rising cost, they created, yet the insurers are doing okay.

Sometimes it easiest to look at a comparable service need, where Government is left out; With 6.5 Million accidents each year, the need for collateral to finance and the protection of things and people you may harm or harm you in an accident, insurance is available in just as many configurations as medical insurance is, where allowed (States mandate all requirements). In my case, I buy only Liability, to the minimum State requirement for about $500/year, along with being involved with an uninsured driver for$40/year. Where a person financing a New Car will probably want that investment covered, and short of providing collateral/bond, the source for that financing will require it.

Car Crash Stats: There were nearly 6,420,000 auto accidents in the United States in 2005. The financial cost of these crashes is more than 230 Billion dollars. 2.9 million people were injured and 42,636 people killed. About 115 people die every day in vehicle crashes in the United States -- one death every 13 minutes.[/Quote]

http://www.car-accidents.com/pages/stats.html

Foodchain; Some interesting comments. Am running a little late today and will address your post tomorrow, but one thing for sure, I FAVOR State control of anything, not a Federal Responsibility. One of California's biggest problems, is Federally mandated and unfunded programs, where 36 Million people live and work.

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Pangloss; The two articles in those references are authors that are supporting what I have been saying, the others are tables or graphs showing relative rankings for whatever they are measuring. If I failed to say worst (or close to) health care in the industrialized world I apologize but will say that for the money we probably do have some of the worst health care in the world, especially by the measures stated previously.

Jackson33; If we are paying twice as much as most other systems that are state run, how can you claim that the private sector is going to be more efficient? As it stands now the lowest prices paid for health care is by those covered by the government i.e. Medicare/Medicaid. With out this to hold down the total overall cost the average we pay per capita would go even higher. In addition, there is 40-50 million who pay nothing but get figured into the per capita total. In other words, the most privatized system in the industrial world is by far the most expensive as well. I fail to see how you think that the military or NASA would be run better by private entities. Right now we hire companies like Blackwater and Haliburton to do some of the same things the military used to do, I would like to see a direct cost comparison but can state with certainty that no American private contractor makes less than I did when I was in the military. Additionally, do you think private companies would have put a man on the moon yet? They have yet to achieve useful orbit even after collecting several million dollars in prize money.

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Jackson33; If we are paying twice as much as most other systems that are state run, how can you claim that the private sector is going to be more efficient?

because the current private system is not operating in a competitive market, mainly due to various restrictions from legislation.

You argument fails because we don't really have a private system. Just a system that universal health care proponents are naively calling private.

This is not an argument for or against universal care, but the lack of subtlety being used with this distinction is really setting back true, informed debate on the issue.

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How about a taxpayer-funded plan that only covers preventative care? Just throwing ideas out there...

As long as this was clearly defined and loophole-less, it would be an interesting experiment to try.

Oh, I know. I'm not even talking about what's actually being proposed, which at this point I no longer even understand. A real socialized system and a totally unregulated system seem to be about equally politically infeasible, although they'd both probably be better than both what we have and what we'll end up with.

This is pretty much my position on the thing right now. My ideological preference is for the free market system, but I'd be willing to experiment with socialized care if I was convinced that 1) the politicians actually give us a non half-assed system 2) it could be dismantled easily so we can try something else in case it doesn't work.

</wishful thinking>

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I don't know if its just a byproduct of cities but it seems most everything costs more in them. Can you by chance get statistics for major cities in the state of California. [/Quote]

foodchain; Either someone altered my link, or I accidentally copied while on California. Anyway this link takes you straight to those larger California Cities. Anyone else interested, scroll up or down, as every State has some interesting statistics.

National Geographic has a neat tiny article on this in one of there more recent magazines. It shows expenditure plus life expectancy. I do not know how accurate the math is, but for what the U.S spends right now its not the best outcome in terms of longevity, but who knows how much was considered when making that. [/Quote]

Longevity of human life, probably has more to do with genetics, life style, occupations, than Health Care Availability, to start with, in my opinion. A black coal miner in Virgina, with Cycle Cell, is likely to live less than his white counter part, but that person whose Dad died at 40 from a Heart Attack, may not live as long as an Asian Lady living in the US, which on average is 89 years. The article in NG, was probably the below and one rebuttal argument is the second site;

The United States spends more on medical care per person than any country, yet life expectancy is shorter than in most other developed nations and many developing ones. Lack of health insurance is a factor in life span and contributes to an estimated 45,000 deaths a year. Why the high cost? The U.S. has a fee-for-service system—paying medical providers piecemeal for appointments, surgery, and the like. That can lead to unneeded treatment that doesn't’t reliably improve a patient’s health. Says Gerard Anderson, a professor at Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health who studies health insurance worldwide, “More care does not necessarily mean better care.” —Michelle Andrews [/Quote]

http://blogs.ngm.com/blog_central/2009/12/the-cost-of-care.html

http://blog.jonudell.net/2010/01/06/two-interpretations-of-us-health-care-cost-vs-life-expectancy/

Maybe geography plays a role in this also is all, and to me I thought it might be better to allow states to have individual healthcare plans, or at least specialized attention from any government plans for total healthcare. State level politics happen to be a realm of their own like federal, and such can even be pretty evident if you look at county politics.[/Quote]

Well, many of those Countries with higher statistics for life expectancy are in cool/cold climates (germs/virus) or are oriental (diets). In the US, folks living in Hawaii, are expected to live to 80, while those in Mississippi, it's 73.

Personally, I feel health care decisions should be purely individual or for his/her family, supported by as many choices as any person has to purchase a car. If Government, must get involved and it has to be Federal, I'd like to see it be purely regulatory and those regulations be accepted/declined at the district level (435), directly by the people in those districts. Your from California, think 53 Districts, 20+ in the LA area alone. Folks, living in South LA and those in Fontana or Hollywood have entirely different needs, where even a State shouldn't be involved. My opinion, anyway.

Edited by jackson33
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How about a taxpayer-funded plan that only covers preventative care? Just throwing ideas out there...

Excellent idea.

By all means, keep on throwing ideas.

additions or new facilities are extremely costly in many places like our Northeastern States, where labor unions are used and/or anyplace permits are very costly for 100 reasons.
Average wages paid in Alabama average 16.44 per hour (34,200/year), medical practitioners 20.84 (41,600/year) and is a right to work State. In the NYC area the average is 25.37 per hour (52,800/year), medical 35.80 (74,880/year), where Unions are authorized to organize.

Edit: In your list of countries by average wage, Luxembourg is just ahead of the U.S. and Ireland next in line, yet the U.S. citizen spends more: 5,711. Compare that to Luxembourg's 4,611 (over a grand less) and Ireland's 2,455 (nearly half of U.S spending).

and is a right to work State

Texas is one also. But its Houston medical practitioners earn up to $30 average (62,400/year). Plus, the implied connection to unions is flawed. Europe -- and in particular Austria -- is full of unions and still well below our healthcare costs. It's what easy assumptions -- fed by propagandas -- do: too often fills many of us with problem(-nurturing) rhetoric, distorts/scatters any clear sense of the picture. Form a habit to look beyond the supposedly obvious. Variables are the key. It might be those "cheaper" states have more rural areas than in the northeast. But what's that mean for the bottom line anyway? Many rural places are experiencing a healthcare crisis of sorts... Will health care reform reach rural America? The ambulance raced him from his home in remote coal country to a rural hospital about 50 miles away. There, they rushed to give him blood thinners but knew that their facility wasn't capable of doing much more. A helicopter swooped Carl to Charleston, where he had multiple bypass surgery. ........ Carl shrugs at the suggestion that more frequent visits to the doctor might have detected his heart troubles sooner or helped him avoid major trauma through changes in his diet, drugs or even angioplasty or other procedures that, though expensive, are dwarfed by the cost of the helicopter ride and emergency surgery. Far From Care (In Texas) The nearest neurologist who can treat Mo’s brain disorder is 200 miles from this West Texas town. Specialists who monitor his failing eyes and atrophied muscles are four hours away. And the best children’s hospital for his condition is 500 miles across the state. Even the “local” pharmacy, the only place to get Mo’s anti-seizure medicine, is 90 miles away. Mo’s situation, while severe, is hardly uncommon. Giant swaths of West Texas and the Panhandle have little or no medical care to speak of — not just because their residents are under-insured, but because it simply doesn’t exist. ........ In the last two decades, as rural Texas has increasingly lost skilled jobs and industry to the cities, 80 small community hospitals have shut their doors, and many pharmacists have followed suit. ..... And then there’s the recruitment problem. It takes a special kind of doctor, nurse or pharmacist to leave the comforts of practice in a big city — routine hours, higher pay, few surprises — for frontier clinics some lovingly refer to as “war zones.” Rural doctors make smaller salaries and work longer hours than their urban peers. ..... Even where there are clinics and hospitals, rural Texans struggle to access them. Many can’t afford gas money to get to the clinic or pharmacy one town away; the chances of them seeing a specialist 200 miles away are slim. Even for those lucky enough to have insurance, co-pays and prescriptions are often out of the question. When Luis Quinones started to get sick 10 years ago, he recognized the symptoms of diabetes ..... But without insurance, and with little gas money to travel to the nearest in-state clinic, Quinones put off care, occasionally crossing over the border into Mexico for insulin. His condition deteriorated so much he had to have all of his teeth pulled, and he lost sensation in his feet. Rural health care: Heal thyself? Why doctors locate where they do is multifaceted. Some prefer working as generalists in rural areas where they have the opportunity to get to know patients well, and where lifestyle, values, background, love of the outdoors and other reasons pull many to small town practice. But the advantages of city practice seem to have growing attraction. In urban areas doctors are on call less and have more professional support and better facilities, in addition to more opportunities to expand their medical knowledge. They also have amenities such as more shopping and entertainment choices that their rural colleagues don't. City doctors' salaries are also higher. Family practice specialists' compensation in 2000 averaged$150,000 in communities of less than 50,000 and nearly $176,000 in metropolitan areas of more than 1 million, according to a survey by Medical Group Management Association. With an average debt of$93,000, according to American Medical Association data, new doctors are unlikely to want to take lower-paying generalist jobs, which also carry less status in the eyes of other physicians.

They ranked 17th in complaints over ten years, now facing massive loses...

Like the thousands rest of private businesses falling victim to the recession? Go ahead, connect dots, just try not missing ok?

because the current private system is not operating in a competitive market, mainly due to various restrictions from legislation.

You argument fails because we don't really have a private system. Just a system that universal health care proponents are naively calling private.

This is not an argument for or against universal care, but the lack of subtlety being used with this distinction is really setting back true, informed debate on the issue.

I call ba-loney

That part of the debate's been settled, no? Who's more privatized than the U.S. for medical? And lacking examples of any real free market in the world (although I do believe they exist in the most dirt poor of nations), we can't exactly do a scientific analysis. Therefore it's the pink unicorn in a manner.

I'd be willing to experiment with socialized care if I was convinced that 1) the politicians actually give us a non half-assed system 2) it could be dismantled easily so we can try something else in case it doesn't work.

</wishful thinking>

Given everyone's reaction to the half-assed legislation put forth, I think we're all of the same mindset.

Ability to dismantle quickly is something I've considered a good feature, so long as 1) ideologically opposed politicians don't attempt sabotage (i.e. by neglect or counteracting laws) in order to gain approval for dismantling it, thus claiming/cheerleading the experiment "failed", and 2) the assurance of "easy" dismantling can't result in a stampede of law experiments.

Edited by The Bear's Key
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Jackson33; If we are paying twice as much as most other systems that are state run, how can you claim that the private sector is going to be more efficient? [/Quote]

npts; There are hundreds of reasons, why our average per person cost, is higher than most places, none of them having to do with quality, which would account for low rankings. As for efficiency, I have to again go back to previous performance and our Federal Government, maybe it's just the absolute worst for efficiency of the Industrialized Nations, I don't know. But, our 'free market, capitalism', ranks #1 in productivity, which is the essence of efficiency. Give Health Care back to the private sector (in most part was to 1965), and our cost/statistics (if your concern) will go back to what led the world's in those days and I might add was a fraction of today's cost per GDP.

As it stands now the lowest prices paid for health care is by those covered by the government i.e. Medicare/Medicaid. [/Quote]

Why do you think the cost is higher for those insured? Some one is there to make up the difference to REAL COST.

With out this to hold down the total overall cost the average we pay per capita would go even higher. In addition, there is 40-50 million who pay nothing but get figured into the per capita total. [/Quote]

With out something in the field to make up those cost, the taxpayers will, or the quality will go down along with quantity.

In other words, the most privatized system in the industrial world is by far the most expensive as well. [/Quote]

Econ 101; The consumer drives the Capitalist System. Every business is subject to their competition and that consumer. Government is funded by that same consumer and can eliminate competition by many means, including regulations and/or taxes....

I fail to see how you think that the military or NASA would be run better by private entities. Right now we hire companies like Blackwater and Haliburton to do some of the same things the military used to do, I would like to see a direct cost comparison but can state with certainty that no American private contractor makes less than I did when I was in the military. Additionally, do you think private companies would have put a man on the moon yet? They have yet to achieve useful orbit even after collecting several million dollars in prize money. [/Quote]

First, I said a could argue the case; Just what and who do you think put man on the moon. It was not Government Aeronautics, but designers/planner/engineers working in concert with private industry. Look where NASA is today, about a 18B$budget, now going to focus on AGW. I don't personally see a reason for private industry to get involved in space flight. The 50M$ (not B$) awarded to 5 Companies, wouldn't pay for one test flight of an actual object (plane/ship), much less encourage investors into cooperating. By the way, think Richard Branson offered or has an offer out there for 25M$ for anybody coming up with a new theory for artificial gravity, has 300 people financing his orbital plans and not involved with NASA.

NASA on Tuesday unveiled awards totaling $50 million to support the commercial space flight efforts of five American companies, one day after announcing a new plan to use privately built spaceships to launch astronauts to space instead of government vehicles. [/Quote] http://www.space.com/news/nasa-commercial-spaceflight-awards-100202.html Yeah, maybe the Military is best left to Government, because there is absolutely nothing to profit from by private business. I don't know when you served (thanks, anyway) but when I did, pay was 67.00 per month clear. Leaders for the most part are at least career people, educated in the art of war and so on...Aside from that, it's the primary function for US Government in the first place. ##### Link to comment ##### Share on other sites Jackson33; We will just have to agree to disagree. From where I stand it seems like there is far more innovation coming from places like DARPA, NASA, and state funded universities than is coming from "private enterprise". I just don't have the faith in "free" markets that you have. People usually do not have enough information to make good choices. ##### Link to comment ##### Share on other sites Originally Posted by Sisyphus How about a taxpayer-funded plan that only covers preventative care? Just throwing ideas out there... [/Quote] The Bear's reply; Excellent idea. By all means, keep on throwing ideas. [/Quote] We already do support 'messages' aired, telling us what's good for us, not good for us, or how to cope with something like, swine flu. Aside from that many issue, falling under 'preventative' are already part of insurance and Government medical cost. Pregnant Women, to victims of Heart Decease, Cancer, Diabetics or any number of problems, are routinely advised and seen, with no additional cost, to the patient. TBK; Think your missing my entire point on this issue, US statistical averages to cost and where those cost come from. Life expectancy, in Hawaii for instance rivals any Nation on the planet, where Blacks in Mississippi, are not much better than any third world Country. We have 50 States, each with their own problems, trying to compare the US statistically with any other Country, just won't tell any story. As for the average cost of Unionized Labor versus Non-Union; If your saying there is none, I wouldn't know how to argue, it's simply more costly. In the case of Auto Workers, Teamsters, Teacher Unions and Government Unions, the long term (retirement packages) it can be twice the cost as to those not in a Union or much more. On rural areas, or the availability of specialist, sure there are problems and there always has been. Burn Trauma Centers, Cancer Treatment Centers are not that common nor are victims of Highway Traffic Accidents always in a good location, but we actually are doing better today at transporting victims, than in the past. In fact getting back to my statistics arguments, in Alaska or many truly rural areas, Montana, Wyoming, the Dakota's, live too far from any Medical facility (forget the specialty) and will die before they can treated. Again, we are a Country of 310 Million people, spread out and not like most every one of the Countries that supposedly beat our statistics. Originally Posted by jackson33 They ranked 17th in complaints over ten years, now facing massive loses... Like the thousands rest of private businesses falling victim to the recession? Go ahead, connect dots, just try not missing ok? [/Quote] I am, and I don't like how there connected; That survey was over ten years, long before most all manufacturers problems, other than GM/Ford/Chrysler, which had been badly hurting in the US (North American Profits) since the 1990's, while Toyota has been increasing in sales and profits. Toyota also, is closing a plant in California, which the Unions have been protesting, and the so called 'bail outs' of GM and Chrysler, went primarily to the bailing out the Unions and now the Unions will be represented/seated on the GM Board of Directors. No automaker should gloat over Toyota's quality woes because no automaker is free and clear on the issue of customer complaints. In fact, an analysis by Edmunds.com of the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) complaint database shows Toyota ranks 17th among automakers in the number of complaints per vehicle sold over roughly the past decade. According to the database, which is comprised of input from individuals and is not checked for accuracy by NHTSA, Toyota was the subject of 9.1 percent of the complaints from 2001 through 2010. During this period, the company sold 13.5 percent of all new cars in the United States. [/Quote] http://www.autoobserver.com/2010/02/toyota-ranks-17th-for-nhtsa-customer-complaints-edmundscom-analysis-shows.html Girsky, a product of Wall Street, was selected by the UAW’s Voluntary Employee Beneficiary Association. The VEBA trust was given one seat on GM’s board in exchange for a reduction in the automaker’s$20 billion obligation to the retirement fund. [/Quote]

http://www.leftlanenews.com/uaw-selects-steve-girsky-to-fill-gm-board-seat.html

If this doesn't concern you, remember Toyota has a major investment in the US, that Japan is second to only China in holding American Debt, with virtually no US collateral on it's mainland and currently beholding to the US for security. I have no doubt, some of the recalls were in order, but it's my opinion the hyper reactions by Toyota, may not be voluntary or in fact necessary.

Jackson33; We will just have to agree to disagree. From where I stand it seems like there is far more innovation coming from places like DARPA, NASA, and state funded universities than is coming from "private enterprise". I just don't have the faith in "free" markets that you have. People usually do not have enough information to make good choices. [/Quote]

npts; Okay, I'll agree to disagree, with a question; Do you believe 'Incentive' should drive an economy or Government officials? In short one is called Socialism, the other Capitalism, both with track records.

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npts; Okay, I'll agree to disagree, with a question; Do you believe 'Incentive' should drive an economy or Government officials? In short one is called Socialism, the other Capitalism, both with track records.

Personally, I like the most socialist systems of todays Europe more than the most capitalist system of America from the turn of the 20th century. If somebody is making decisions about my life, I would far prefer it to be someone who ought to have my best interest at heart than someone who openly admits their only concern is making money for themselves.

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npts; In this case, I have to ask you, the all important question. Since Government produces no income and dependent on YOU for it's entire existence/revenue, why would you wish to pay them, to make a decision for you, that you might better make for your self? Remember your dependent on ONE Federal Government, that can change direction every two years, but have multiple choices from the private sector, that strives to satisfy you, if not accomplished, you can make another choice.

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What are you talking about, Jackson? Saying that the government produces no income and depends on the public for its income is rather foolish: taxes ARE INCOME derived from the social contract in exchange for services and protection. All man made institutions rely on people and other institutions for their income.

As for your suggestion earlier in the thread that privatization would be the only good way to reduce entitlement spending I must say that is rather ridiculous. Allowing the Social Security Administration and Medicaid to negotiate prices with service and product suppliers in the same manner as the Veterans Administration and private insurers would cut costs significantly. Also because Medicare solvency is dependent on the ratio of working people paying in to the fund to retirees drawing from the fund being high it would make sense the expedite the naturalization of immigrants and perhaps offer amnesty so that immigrant workers can start paying into the trust fund. As long as the number of paying workers grows fast enough to maintain the all important ratio this would be a permanent solution and that ratio would be lowered by cost cutting in medicine.

If we learned anything from this financial crisis it should be that privatization and deregulation are far from a panacea and that US public policy needs to evolve beyond the instinctive reaction to solve all problems with the free market. The free market is great at getting organizations to take actions to maximize personal profit but if the actions that maximize profit are not the same as those that maximize social utility then privatization is not a legitimate solution. If you can design an incentive structure wherein organizations would be incentivized to take actions in alignment with maximization of social utility then privatization becomes a legitimate solution but without that incentive structure there is no reason to believe the free market would do any better for the public then social security.

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npts; In this case, I have to ask you, the all important question. Since Government produces no income and dependent on YOU for it's entire existence/revenue, why would you wish to pay them

Because I'm not an anarchist; I believe government is a necessary evil. I make daily use of government services. The government provides a stable environment in which I can carry out my day-to-day life. If my life situation were to change... if I were to lose my job or become disabled, the government provides services to mitigate the changes in my life associated with those problems. The government provides numerous pooled risk mitigation systems which I'm glad exist, even though I'm not currently making use of many of them.

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