British Fear American-Style Health Care

Discussion in 'News / Current Events' started by InTheLight, Jun 14, 2011.

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  1. InTheLight

    InTheLight
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    As leaders debate ways to reform healthcare, politicians repeatedly tell a worried public that Britain will not turn the National Health Service into an 'American-style' private system.

    Two years ago, Britons were outraged when U.S. politicians like Sarah Palin, in the debate over healthcare reform, turned this country's National Health Service into a public whipping boy, denouncing it as "evil," "Orwellian" and generally the enemy of everything good and true.

    It's time for some payback.

    Britain is now embroiled in a healthcare argument of its own, prompted by a proposed shake-up of the NHS. And the phrase on everyone's lips is "American-style," which may not be as catchy as the "death panels" that Palin attributed to socialized medicine but which, over here, inspires pretty much the same kind of terror.

    Ask a Briton to describe "American-style" healthcare, and you'll hear a catalog of horrors that include grossly expensive and unnecessary medical procedures and a privatized system that favors the rich. For a people accustomed to free healthcare for all, regardless of income, the fact that millions of their cousins across the Atlantic have no insurance and can't afford decent treatment is a farce as well as a tragedy.


    Continued:
    http://www.latimes.com/health/la-fg-britain-health-care-20110613,0,1237142.story
     
  2. Crabtownboy

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    I have yet to hear a European say they view the US health care system in a positive light. They do react in horror at what they have seen and heard of the American system of health care.

    While visiting friends in Estonia recently their son broke his arm while playing in a soccer tournament in The Netherlands. With his Estonian health care care he was treated at a hospital, the arm set and he sent home at no charge to his parents. The cost, none!
     
  3. mandym

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    And there is no doubt that Americans react in horror to their health care system.
     
  4. Matt Black

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    I know that our system is the worst in the world...apart from all the others (with apologies to Churchill). It's becoming more expensive - but for the same reasons that all healthcare systems in the developed world are becoming more expensive (ageing population, more cures/ effective (but usually expensive) treatments being found and there's a big debate here right now about how best to pay for that increased cost but the two main advantages are:

    (a) It's cheaper per head than the US private insurance system

    (b) Like the family in Estonia, I know that if I or any family member is injured, we can get treatment with no bills to pay.
     
  5. Earth Wind and Fire

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    Matt, the price for health care in America is ridiculous, but then so are the medications & the schooling to get a doctor trained up....where its going only heaven knows. My answer to this is hole thing is beer. Take your choice, but it will help you with attitude adjustment, help you pee regular & I'm told by Guinness that there is a nutritional value....also relatively cheap considering the high cost of health care.:thumbs:
     
  6. Earth Wind and Fire

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    Who foots the bill? Is it the taxpayer?
     
  7. Crabtownboy

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    Of course. But their payout for health insurance is less than that paid in the US, whether by a company or by the individual.

    No one is without insurance and treatment is available wherever you are in the EU.

    Strangely Medicare will pay nothing for medical expenses incurred in another country ... even though it would cost them much less per procedure. My wife had to have an x-ray of her foot for a possible fracture. The entire bill came to $25.00. In the States it would have been in the hundreds if not over a thousand dollars.

     
  8. InTheLight

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    An x-ray in the U.S. is about $60 - $75 each plus the cost of the office visit, approx. $125-$200. So at the upper end it would be $275.
     
  9. Matt Black

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    I can't speak for Estonia but the answer here in the UK would be 'yes'. And, yes, it does work out cheaper per capita than the US' private insurance system.
     
  10. InTheLight

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    Is it a payroll tax?

    I once heard there was a payroll tax for the NHS up to a certain income level, I think it was the equivalent of $22,000 U.S., then it is phased out. Is this correct?
     
  11. Matt Black

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    In theory, yes. In practice, these days, it just comes out of the general Inland Revenue tax pot.
     
  12. Earth Wind and Fire

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    True....Im 54 & they are trying to cut me out of the Medicare system as we speak...If I was 55 I'd be OK. Plus I'm diabetic & have had a heart bypass. Under Ryan's plan I'd be SOL. Im seriously thinking of emigrating to Canada.
     
  13. Sarge6thCav

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    How far we have fallen as a nation

    Can you ever remember a time when we weren't the envy of every other nation? O how far we have fallen in 2 short years. God bless the republic.
     
  14. StefanM

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    We haven't been the envy of other nations in healthcare in quite some time. Other nations respect our research and our medical skill, but the insurance system really hasn't been a popular thing.
     
  15. Crabtownboy

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    $275 versus $25 ... still quite a difference. But this was not an office visit, it was in a hospital. That would run much higher in the States.
     
  16. InTheLight

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    That's a fair assessment. The U.S. is still the "go-to" place for pharmaceutical research, complex operating procedures, medical devices and more, but the delivery of every day health care and routine procedures is out of whack with the rest of the world.
     
  17. Don

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    Why do you suppose that is?
     
  18. InTheLight

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    In answer to both points I made, because the U.S. is a for profit health care system.
     
  19. Earth Wind and Fire

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    Good point....so I wouldnt get the quality Health Care in Canada that I receive here I guess. No matter they want to take it from me because of my pre existings. I wont get anything off of charity.
     
  20. StefanM

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    Not necessarily, there are major disparities within the US health system (a well as within others). We have the best resources here, but it doesn't mean that every person or every region enjoys them. Some are concentrated in major metropolitan areas.

    Additionally, although our "best" might be better than their "best," that doesn't mean that the median level of care is any worse. For instance, try getting non-emergency care when you can't afford the deductible.

    Furthermore, in health systems with lower costs at the point of service, an individual is not economically deterred from seeking early treatment. In the US, many of us have to "wait it out" to see if the condition passes because the treatment is too expensive. In these cases, we are essentially gambling with our health.

    I will use my health plan as an example. When the new fiscal year starts, we will be paying over $500 per month for family coverage. My employer is adding around a thousand more per month. We are paying over $18,000 per year. What do we get? A $1500 per person deductible!

    To drop the deductible to $500, we would have to pay around $300 more per month.

    We cannot pursue an option in the individual market, as the benefits are even worse, the cost is post-tax, and pre-existing condition exclusions greatly reduce the utility of the insurance policy.

    This is simply unsustainable. I don't believe for one minute that the health reform will do anything to substantively change the problems in the system. Something needs to be done, however.
     
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