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Expensive Health Care

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Northman View Drop Down
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    Posted: 03 Nov 2014 at 20:18
Inspired from another discussion - and the upcoming election... - just an old issue which still is beyond my comprehension.

My jaw drops to the floor when I read and hear about the sick excuses for not implementing or at least improving the health care system in the US, call it Obama-care or whatever... 
Every trick in the book, related or unrelated, is used to derail any attempt to make things better.

I think it's amazing that the citizens living in an informed society like the US, continuously will put up with a health care system up to 10 times more expensive than what we have in Europe, leaving middle- and lower class without possibility for adequate healthcare.
The only reasons I can think of for NOT implementing changes are - there are too many powerful and greedy people making too much money on the system as it is... 

A little example from an old valued friend...
Originally posted by gcle2003 at 20 Jun 2009 gcle2003 at 20 Jun 2009 wrote:

 
I've had life-saving emergency treatment in a free system (Britain) and in public insurance ones (Belgium, Germany, Luxembourg) and Britain was as good as any. I've also had relatively trivial treatment in the US (two nights in hospital, half an hour of treatment (local anaesthetic) on the operating table), and been presented with a bill for $33,000 (thirty-three thousand) - ten times what the government would have had to pay in Luxembourg.


   
   If you can't explain it simply, you don't understand it well enough.    (Albert Einstein)
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Alburz View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Alburz Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 03 Nov 2014 at 20:45
Originally posted by Northman Northman wrote:

Inspired from another discussion - and the upcoming election... - just an old issue which still is beyond my comprehension.

My jaw drops to the floor when I read and hear about the sick excuses for not implementing or at least improving the health care system in the US, call it Obama-care or whatever... 
Every trick in the book, related or unrelated, is used to derail any attempt to make things better.

I think it's amazing that the citizens living in an informed society like the US, continuously will put up with a health care system up to 10 times more expensive than what we have in Europe, leaving middle- and lower class without possibility for adequate healthcare.
The only reasons I can think of for NOT implementing changes are - there are too many powerful and greedy people making too much money on the system as it is... 

A little example from an old valued friend...
Originally posted by gcle2003 at 20 Jun 2009 gcle2003 at 20 Jun 2009 wrote:

 
I've had life-saving emergency treatment in a free system (Britain) and in public insurance ones (Belgium, Germany, Luxembourg) and Britain was as good as any. I've also had relatively trivial treatment in the US (two nights in hospital, half an hour of treatment (local anaesthetic) on the operating table), and been presented with a bill for $33,000 (thirty-three thousand) - ten times what the government would have had to pay in Luxembourg.


I can assure you it is a very powerful mafia type organization. It is basically highway robbery. They bill the patient as much as they want and poor souls have to fight for the reduction. It is sick.  If there is one thing I can not stand about US is the health care system.

Edited by Alburz - 03 Nov 2014 at 21:10
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Al Jassas View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Al Jassas Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 06 Nov 2014 at 16:54
Well the people spoke and I can only say one thing: Battered wife Syndrome.

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Northman View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Northman Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 06 Nov 2014 at 17:01
Al Jassas - could you please use a few more words to pass your message over - that way there is a slight possibility it can penetrate my thick brain skull as well. 

~ North

   
   If you can't explain it simply, you don't understand it well enough.    (Albert Einstein)
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Al Jassas Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 06 Nov 2014 at 18:10
What I meant is that in the US ideology (and to a lesser extent racism) is more important to a considerable minority of voters (the turnout was 40%) than their own self interest.

Exist polls showed that people were first and foremost voting against the black president despite saying in those same polls that they like what he brought so far for them (Obamacare is still popular). They also say that they want less government because big government will take over their Medicare (the immortal "Keep you hands off my Medicare" slogan).

Idiocy has no cure. 

Oh and by the way for those who talk about demographics, the 37% of the voters who were 65 or older were the same guys smoking weed and protesting against Vietnam 45 years ago. And more college graduates voted for Republicans than democrats so the uneducated argument is pure BS:

http://edition.cnn.com/election/2014/results/race/house#exit-polls

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Northman View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Northman Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 06 Nov 2014 at 18:42
I get your message loud and clear now and I also see the parallel to your previous post and I agree.

The US ideology is showing in many aspects of the society... - blocking for the progress they could have had.

To compare - here is a reporter visiting Denmark as a country of happy people in 2013 pulling up some comparisons, but it could have been many other European countries. 
And in spite of all these "free things" we have - we are not a socialist country as many people on the other side of the pond think we are.







   
   If you can't explain it simply, you don't understand it well enough.    (Albert Einstein)
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Al Jassas View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Al Jassas Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 06 Nov 2014 at 19:15
Last May I was in the US for business and I experienced the US health system for the first time and on a very local level (Schenectady, NY).

I forgot my medicine back in Riyadh and I had to take out a prescription in order to buy it from CVS. I looked for a hospital and found that the entire region had the same HC provider in the form of two hospitals and several clinics, a virtual monopoly in a depressed poor former industrial city.

Just walking into the Emergency room, because that was the only way to meet the doctor for a speedy prescription, cost me $250. Both medicines cost me an additional $300, one for 15 days and another for a month. Thankfully the Doctor's assistant (a real job as I found) accepted my Saudi prescription and filled the American one but the American one was only valid for a month, I had to pay $250 again. Otherwise I was told by my American business contact I would have had to do tests and pay much more than what I paid. In Riyadh the medicines for the same period cost me $70 out of pocket and free of charge if I chose to go through the government hospitals (I don't because I have company insurance which is free).

I could afford $300, $3000 or even $30000 (which would really hurt) but my company would reimburse me. For the teenage single mother I met and the couple of elderly retired factory workers whose pensions were wiped out in the 80s, 90s and 2008, how the hell could they survive? 

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Captain Vancouver Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 07 Nov 2014 at 01:58
It's a brutal system, and one based on, in my opinion, misplaced ideology. The most curious aspect of this is, as noted above, the poor and marginalized who are recruited to cheer lead for the rentier classes who have the most to gain by such a system. How can citizens be motivated to go out in the streets and demonstrate against their own interests? This is a most curious sociological phenomenon.

The Canadian Center for Policy Alternatives, a left leaning think tank in Canada, did a study of medical costs in recent years. They found that health costs were indeed increasing in this country, as most assumed, but only in certain areas. Where public policy has precedence, things were not too bad, even factoring in the aging baby boomers, and their increasing medical needs. Where costs have skyrocketed, is in exactly those areas now exempt from the public system. In other words, if a practitioner is free to escalate costs, he or she very often will, and often far above inflation, or other parameters. So now we have dentists or acupuncturists making a fortune, while those doing life saving surgery, or other medical procedures, are in line with public financial aspirations and goals. It is a complete indictment of the notion of a capitalist medical system. One that would, no doubt, fall on deaf ears south of the medicine line.
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Alburz View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Alburz Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 07 Nov 2014 at 17:32
Originally posted by Captain Vancouver Captain Vancouver wrote:

It's a brutal system, and one based on, in my opinion, misplaced ideology. The most curious aspect of this is, as noted above, the poor and marginalized who are recruited to cheer lead for the rentier classes who have the most to gain by such a system. How can citizens be motivated to go out in the streets and demonstrate against their own interests? This is a most curious sociological phenomenon.

The Canadian Center for Policy Alternatives, a left leaning think tank in Canada, did a study of medical costs in recent years. They found that health costs were indeed increasing in this country, as most assumed, but only in certain areas. Where public policy has precedence, things were not too bad, even factoring in the aging baby boomers, and their increasing medical needs. Where costs have skyrocketed, is in exactly those areas now exempt from the public system. In other words, if a practitioner is free to escalate costs, he or she very often will, and often far above inflation, or other parameters. So now we have dentists or acupuncturists making a fortune, while those doing life saving surgery, or other medical procedures, are in line with public financial aspirations and goals. It is a complete indictment of the notion of a capitalist medical system. One that would, no doubt, fall on deaf ears south of the medicine line.
Now, you know how I feel. It is brutal but the benefactors of this system are so powerful and rich with strong connection to network of power that no one can take them down easily from their high castles. They have media tycoons in their disposal and brainwash the masses. It is so contradictory when a poor person who is in urgent need of medicine vote for the same party that takes the benefit of new healthcare act and leaves it a wreck. It is wonderful how the corporate media and powerful interest group change the public opinion through manipulation and mind control. I am not a fan of any conspiracy theory but there are times that I wonder why many Americans vote against themselves! Capitalist medical system or capitalist educational system both are not efficient for general public. There are values that need to be kept out of interest and money circles. When a hospital concentrates more about generating capital instead of curing or helping patient or when a university concentrates about making more money instead of conveying info (academic success of student) to the students the results are not satisfying. The victims will be the patients and students and in long run the hospital and university. In short term it may concentrate wealth and generate large benefit for the owners but in long run there are so many unsatisfied public plus there will be no more sources of income to abuse. In a larger scale, for example a society run with pure capitalistic system, it is doomed from the beginning like what happen in Russia in 1917. Otherwise, it may lead to a segregated society with martial law in place to keep the capital safe something like South Africa apartheid system. Racial ruling class will be replaced by a fringe best well doing economical ruling class. 

Solution: put a side a pure capitalist system or pure socialist system and create something in between not far from Scandinavian systems. 

North: Sorry for my somehow diverging comment. I couldn't help myself... there was no intention of going off topic.


Edited by Alburz - 07 Nov 2014 at 17:50
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote toyomotor Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 08 Nov 2014 at 05:18
One can only wonder at the priorities set by successive US Governments.

Here we have the US, the most powerful nation in the world, a technological giant in almost every aspect an industrial Goliath, a country whose culture influences the entire world in one way or another, and a country which does not or cannot care for its aged, infirm or socially deprived.

A dichotomy, yes,and the US is the best example in the world of the widening gap between the haves and the have nots.

The USA could have a social welfare system the envy of the entire world, if only the trillions of dollars spent on space exploration and military adventures was trimmed, and the dollars redirected.

The Statue of Liberty Poem says it all:

Quote
"Keep, ancient lands, your storied pomp!"” cries she
With silent lips. “Give me your tired, your poor,
Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free,
The wretched refuse of your teeming shore.
Send these, the homeless, tempest-tost to me,
I lift my lamp beside the golden door!”






It's not that I was born in Ireland,
It's the Ireland that was born in me.
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