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Thread: Healthcare

  1. #311
    Senior Member dga's Avatar
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    here's a thorough reader comment to one of the ny times articles.


    As a US citizen and a medical doctor currently living in Germany, a country where health care is universally available for its residents at affordable rates, I might have some perspectives on this debate you haven't yet run across.

    What I find most astounding about our US health care system is not only how many people don’t have coverage (some 46 million, and going up). But rather, how fragile and precarious health care coverage is for so many people who think they are well insured.

    How does our US health care system compare? Let's go through some important points in the universal health care system in Germany, which I'm very familiar with:
    Here in Germany you are mandated to have standard comprehensive health insurance:
    your employer pays half the monthly family premium, you pay the other half,
    •you don't get rejected because of any previous condition,
    •you don't pay more or less working for a large or small business,
    •you don’t pay more or less if you are male or female, black or white, German or foreign born, gay or straight,
    •the rates don't go up if someone in the small (or large) business gets sick,
    •health insurance is not a consideration when changing jobs or careers because you take the policy with you,
    •you don’t lose your policy if you get sick, if you become unemployed, or even if your employer goes out of business,
    •you won’t be billed for “out of network” services in hospitals or elsewhere - these services are part of your coverage, no matter which hospital or team of doctors treats you,
    •you don’t have annual, lifetime, disease-related, or disease-recurrence caps,
    •you won’t be billed at 20%, 30% or more for expensive medications (“price-tiered” pharmaceuticals), because there is no \"tiering\", legally approved pharmaceuticals are fully covered when you need them, even if they're very expensive,
    •nor will you ever go bankrupt due to unpaid and unaffordable medical bills piling up, - that simply doesn't happen – you enjoy completely comprehensive coverage.
    •Also, forget expensive copays ($40/year max. for doctor visits @$10 per quarter, a few dollars per prescription, a minimal meals expense during a hospital stay.
    •Forget too the denials, the constant slog of endless 0800 calls (yours and your doctor’s) to your insurance company for requests for coverage or adjustments, wasting huge amounts of people's time, energy, and productive capacity every business day - this doesn't happen in Germany, because this is a comprehensive coverage system (which is an important reason why it's so efficient).

    I might add that Germany is a democratic country with a freely elected government; its residents are free people – this is not "Russia". In fact, this is the country with long stretches of Autobahn without speed limits, right? (Here, it’s your responsibility to drive safely, and most do.) People here freely change jobs, careers, and locations without regard for health insurance, and live free of the fear of going bankrupt or losing their homes or life’s savings if they were to get seriously ill, because their comprehensive insurance protects them from that!

    Germany and its residents are not going broke paying for this, either. On the contrary, this fair, efficiently run health care system costs roughly a third less per person that the US system - that's right, about 1/3 less per capita – despite (or because?) everyone being on board and receiving comprehensive health care.

    That figure doesn’t come from rationing, long waits to see a doctor, or long waiting lists to get an operation, either - that doesn’t happen here. What that figure does reflect, however, is just how much waste, duplication, and gouging of consumers must be taking place in the US health care system every day.

    My point in describing the German health care system is not to encourage you all to move to Germany, but to prove to you, that for one-third less money than you currently already spend, you should be getting comprehensive, universal health care, like every resident of Germany does (yes, including all immigrants!). But you're not.

    May I humbly suggest: advocate, and work with your friends and neighbors for health care reform now, absolutely including a strong public plan, which is the lynchpin for any meaningful reform.

    Don't let the lobbyists, their surrogates on TV, or their gun-toting mobs and pre-organized advocates at town hall meetings, scare you, confuse you, or drown out your voices yet again.

    It is time to face up to this national challenge as adults, and finally join the peoples of the 17 (seventeen!) other advanced democracies (not \"Russia\", but, yes indeed, Germany, Switzerland, the Netherlands, Norway, Australia, Japan, S. Korea and even Taiwan!) around the world, who already enjoy the benefits of universal, comprehensive, and affordable health care.

    We absolutely can grab this bull by the horns, and get this job done this year!!!

    Dr. med. Frederick B. Lacey Jr.
    Frankfurt am Main, Germany

  2. #312
    Senior Member Lateralus's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by avolkiteshvara View Post
    Its qualitative vs. quantitative.

    A program become social when it has a particular goal in mind.

    So you have both the education that was acquired and the $/spent. The aim of higher education in Europe is loftier than US; therefore they are more socially structure than US. But they can run their program efficiently or inefficiently.

    Socialism is an ideal. A commitment.

    You can argue that social is less or more inefficient. But the amount of $ spent is the result of the program. It doesn't define the program.
    Be more specific. Give some concrete examples that demonstrate how Europe's educational system is more socialistic.

    Edit:

    This is getting boring. I'd rather talk about penis enlargement for Senior Citizens in Florida.
    It's getting boring because you don't really have an argument. It's all coming out of your ass.
    "We grow up thinking that beliefs are something to be proud of, but they're really nothing but opinions one refuses to reconsider. Beliefs are easy. The stronger your beliefs are, the less open you are to growth and wisdom, because "strength of belief" is only the intensity with which you resist questioning yourself. As soon as you are proud of a belief, as soon as you think it adds something to who you are, then you've made it a part of your ego."

  3. #313
    pathwise dependent FDG's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by dga View Post
    cut
    Nice post. In Northern Italy (can't speak for the South, tbh) the situation is the same, and I can't even begin to think how it would be to live in a place where I have to look at my savings before going to the hospital
    ENTj 7-3-8 sx/sp

  4. #314
    Senior Member avolkiteshvara's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lateralus View Post
    Be more specific. Give some concrete examples that demonstrate how Europe's educational system is more socialistic.
    For example in the UK as well as Australia, no one has to pay college loans back until they make a minimum amount of $. Financial Aid is much more restrictive in the US. Canada is pretty goood too.

    In the US many people don't go to college for fear of being in debt and not being able to pay it back.

    Take Cambridge for example, a good school, charges about $US 5K in tuition for the year. You'd be hard pressed to find that level anywhere in the US, much less a good school. At UC Berkeley, the most heavily subsidized state in higher ed, it is more than double that.


    ;-)


    Can we now talk about penis enlargements for grandpa? "Obama wants to pull the plug on grandpa".

  5. #315
    Senior Member Lateralus's Avatar
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    I'm having a hard time figuring out what this has to do with primary and secondary school.
    "We grow up thinking that beliefs are something to be proud of, but they're really nothing but opinions one refuses to reconsider. Beliefs are easy. The stronger your beliefs are, the less open you are to growth and wisdom, because "strength of belief" is only the intensity with which you resist questioning yourself. As soon as you are proud of a belief, as soon as you think it adds something to who you are, then you've made it a part of your ego."

  6. #316
    pathwise dependent FDG's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lateralus View Post
    I'm having a hard time figuring out what this has to do with primary and secondary school.
    He wrote higher education.
    ENTj 7-3-8 sx/sp

  7. #317
    mountain surfing nomadic's Avatar
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    Wendell Potter is former Head of Corporate Communications for Cygna. From PBS: "With almost 20 years inside the health insurance industry, Wendell Potter saw for-profit insurers hijack our health care system and put profits before patients. Now, he speaks with Bill Moyers about how those companies are standing in the way of health care reform"
    Bill Moyers Journal . Watch & Listen | PBS

  8. #318
    mountain surfing nomadic's Avatar
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    ^ Wow. I am watching this right now. Its a great special about the health care insurance industry.

    Way to go PBS. You guys rule.

  9. #319
    Senior Member statuesquechica's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by pure_mercury View Post
    Maybe they aren't ignorant. Maybe they are highly intelligent, have looked at the issue, and still disagree with you.
    I'm not hearing a great deal of intelligent, well-informed people speaking up about reform at these gatherings. I don't hear people discussing the nitty gritty details about the cost of doing nothing is far more costly than doing ANY type of reform. Rather I am hearing alot of irrational fear about death panels and socialization and communism and facism (evidently many Americans believe those are all interchangeable, and mean the same thing).

    I have seen mostly propaganda come out of their mouths, (and who in the hell carries an assault rifle to a townhall meeting where the Pres. is speaking?), and the insurance industry is laughing all the way to the bank. I just heard that insurance industry and health care industry stocks just shot up upon hearing the status of a public option is uncertain.

    There are economic and societal benefits to having affordable health care and social safety nets. Other industrialized countries figured this out long ago.
    I've looked at life from both sides now
    From up and down and still somehow
    It's life's illusions I recall
    I really don't know life at all

    Joni Mitchell

  10. #320
    Order Now! pure_mercury's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by avolkiteshvara View Post
    For example in the UK as well as Australia, no one has to pay college loans back until they make a minimum amount of $. Financial Aid is much more restrictive in the US. Canada is pretty goood too.

    In the US many people don't go to college for fear of being in debt and not being able to pay it back.

    Take Cambridge for example, a good school, charges about $US 5K in tuition for the year. You'd be hard pressed to find that level anywhere in the US, much less a good school. At UC Berkeley, the most heavily subsidized state in higher ed, it is more than double that.


    ;-)


    Can we now talk about penis enlargements for grandpa? "Obama wants to pull the plug on grandpa".

    You're talking about colleges. The U.S. has the best colleges. We were talking about primary and secondary education, in which the U.S. is mediocre. Where is your point?
    Who wants to try a bottle of merc's "Extroversion Olive Oil?"

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