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  • Healthcare in the US vs. other industrialized nations

    Very interesting documentary by PBS Frontline here.

    The documentary is divided into 5 chapters, each covering a different nation (UK, Japan, Germany, Taiwan, and Switzerland). It examines how each nation run its [universal] healthcare system (without completely sacrificing free market principles) as well as briefly going over some of the advantages and disadvantages of their system.



    TacticalGamer TX LAN/BBQ Veteran

  • #2
    Re: Healthcare in the US vs. other industrialized nations

    There is no way our Doctors should be paid less with 12+ years of education. Period.

    That's all I am going to say for now....
    |TG-X|Turkish

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    • #3
      Re: Healthcare in the US vs. other industrialized nations

      Originally posted by TurkishDelight View Post
      There is no way our Doctors should be paid less with 12+ years of education. Period.

      That's all I am going to say for now....
      How true. It is their god given right to be paid as much as sick people can cough up or how much the insurance companies can fork over.
      Iím not racists, I have republican friends. Radio show host.
      - "The essence of tyranny is the denial of complexity". -Jacob Burkhardt
      - "A foolish consistency is the hobgoblin of little minds" - Emerson
      - "People should not be afraid of it's government, government should be afraid of it's People." - Line from V for Vendetta
      - If software were as unreliable as economic theory, there wouldn't be a plane made of anything other than paper that could get off the ground. Jim Fawcette
      - "Let me now state what seems to me the decisive objection to any conservatism which deserves to be called such. It is that by its very nature it cannot offer an alternative to the direction in which we are moving." -Friedrich Hayek
      - "Don't waist your time on me your already the voice inside my head." Blink 182 to my wife

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      • #4
        Re: Healthcare in the US vs. other industrialized nations

        Originally posted by tau_neutrino View Post
        ...disadvantages of their system.
        There are disadvantages of 'universal' healthcare? :icon_eek:

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        • #5
          Re: Healthcare in the US vs. other industrialized nations

          Forgive me, for I haven't had a chance to watch the documentary yet, but since those countries (with the exception of Germany) have super strict immigration policies, they don't have to foot the extra burden of immigrants pouring over their borders like we do.

          Japan hardly let's anyone in. That makes it much easier to control cost, I'm sure. Also, Japan makes it a fine-able offense to be fat. That also lowers risk of tons of health issues. If we can curb the flow of immigration and get our nation in good physical shape, then maybe universal healthcare could be a good idea. Until then, it's going to be a failure in our politically-correct society. If we are going to do this, we HAVE to be firm on the tough social issues.
          "Common sense is not so common." -Voltaire

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          • #6
            Re: Healthcare in the US vs. other industrialized nations

            Originally posted by Global.Cooling View Post
            There are disadvantages of 'universal' healthcare? :icon_eek:
            Your sarcasm is hilarious. Of course there are, I don't think anyone claims otherwise. There are also serious problems with our current system or any free market system.
            I can ADS using more than a 2x without significant stutter! This was a good patch.

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            • #7
              Re: Healthcare in the US vs. other industrialized nations

              Originally posted by War.mongeR1 View Post
              Forgive me, for I haven't had a chance to watch the documentary yet, but since those countries (with the exception of Germany) have super strict immigration policies, they don't have to foot the extra burden of immigrants pouring over their borders like we do.

              Japan hardly let's anyone in. That makes it much easier to control cost, I'm sure. Also, Japan makes it a fine-able offense to be fat. That also lowers risk of tons of health issues. If we can curb the flow of immigration and get our nation in good physical shape, then maybe universal healthcare could be a good idea. Until then, it's going to be a failure in our politically-correct society. If we are going to do this, we HAVE to be firm on the tough social issues.
              IIRC, the United Kingdom's immigration policies leave much to be desired as well. Brits, feel free to correct me on this if my perception is incorrect. Immigration is a current problem, but some of the ideas presented in show and in practice by other nations are still applicable in the US.



              TacticalGamer TX LAN/BBQ Veteran

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              • #8
                Re: Healthcare in the US vs. other industrialized nations

                You are right about the immigration problem here in the UK. However, to keep this on track and stop me ranting about how we should close the borders and kick everyone out, I will just say the following thing: Healthcare Tourism. The disaster that is the EU allows everyone to travel around without any difficulty, and what has been happening is eastern europeans are flooding the UK with their health problems, then either buggering of, or, if they have a sprog here, sticking round. I am genuinly struggling to keep my temper in check when I right this.

                http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/health/7215624.stm

                Free house, free healthcare, benefits up to their eyeballs, but the one good thing is most of them are fecking off back home because this "economic crisis" is making it too hard for them here. Sob.

                Now, get this back on topic!:)

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                • #9
                  Re: Healthcare in the US vs. other industrialized nations

                  Originally posted by TurkishDelight View Post
                  There is no way our Doctors should be paid less with 12+ years of education. Period.
                  This point is always made, yet rarely defended well. Even with a form of universal healthcare (read: OMG SOCIALISM!) there are still going to be doctors asking for whatever the Hell they want to be paid and people will pay it. You think because public schools (OMG Socialism!) exist, we lack any sort of private schooling?

                  Hell, my calculus teacher had a Masters in Comp Sci and she got paid the same as any other senior teacher at my High School. She had job offers from a few private universities for a truck-ton more money and she turned them down because she'd rather help kids that needed it. It's not like there's any doctors like that out there.....

                  Compare the salaries of a county ER doctor vs a private practice doc in a higher class (economically) neighborhood. You really think the pay scale is the same? Further, there will always be specialties that will be in high demand, and hence get paid more, than general practitioners. The thing is, you don't need a specialist for every case of the sniffles. People should have the ability to figure out what's wrong with them without worrying about going bankrupt.

                  For all people tout about America and how we can figure anything out, they sure do have a lot of doubts about an intelligent form of health care being create in this country. And unless you think the #1 cause of bankruptcy in America should be overlooked, something needs to be done.

                  Universal healthcare isn't some kind of shackles on you if it were ever implemented. This country doesn't really work that way. You all pay for public schools, even if you send your kids to a private one. The same would be handled by an intelligent healthcare system. And before everyone harps on the "I shouldn't have to pay for that" line: you already are paying for it. When some poor bastard collapses in a hospital and needs surgery/meds/whatever and he can't pay, he gets it courtesy of the Tax-payer.

                  They're already getting a chunk of your money and I'd rather have a system in place that forces people to go in for yearly (at least) check-ups. That way, you can hopefully catch a lot of diseases early when they are easily treatable and keep that person working and helping to pay into the system him/herself. As it stands now, we just keep them alive in a bed until they die.

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                  • #10
                    Re: Healthcare in the US vs. other industrialized nations

                    Originally posted by El_Gringo_Grande View Post
                    How true. It is their god given right to be paid as much as sick people can cough up or how much the insurance companies can fork over.
                    It's not their god given right. And Doctors don't simply charge "As much as they can for everything".

                    Why is it unreasonable to charge $100 or maybe a little bit more for a routine checkup? It's not, because you are consulting the experts of Medecine and your body. The average Doctor has 4 years of undergrad, 4 years of medical school, and at least 3-4 years of residency(sometimes a lot more) training where they get paid peanuts and work long hours to learn how to safely treat you. They should be able to charge a good deal of money for their knowledge. That's essentially what you are paying for when you are seen by a doctor.

                    The amount of manual labor involved in stitching you up, or diagnosing your cough is small, but the knowledge required to safely perform and diagnose is vast. People think that just because the Doctor spends 5 minutes with them that they shouldn't pay much at all.

                    In that 5 minutes though, the Doctor diagnosed your daughter's sour throat as Strep, wrote a prescription for antibiotics and saved you and your family from dealing with extreme hardship if the infection progressed.

                    Well Turkish, you must be young and healthy that's why you think that Doctor's should be able to charge more than minimum wage right?!

                    No, actually that's far from it, I am not a healthy person. I go to see a Doctor more times this year than most will in 20.....

                    Maybe if becoming a Doctor was simple and we had trade college med schools across the nation that cost very little, had a condensed and simplified curriculum we could pay our providers much less. In fact, that stitch may even be a few bucks! The downsides to that of course is that truly sick people will die when the Doctor's run out of training.

                    People dont bitch when they spend $10,000 on a lawyer, or thousands a year smoking, but when it comes time to paying for ambulance that safely brought them to the hospital, the Doctor or two that worked their case, the Nurses who monitored and cared for them, and the holy scroll sized list of tests that were done to make sure everyone was ok, people expect them to wipe their ass free of charge!
                    Last edited by TurkishDelight; 12-19-2008, 04:05 PM.
                    |TG-X|Turkish

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                    • #11
                      Re: Healthcare in the US vs. other industrialized nations

                      We pay at least 2X as much as any other country in the world for the 37th best health care. It's like paying 80 grand for a Corolla while the Japanese are a paying 10 grand for a Lexus.

                      Now, who needs a lapel pin? :-/

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                      • #12
                        Re: Healthcare in the US vs. other industrialized nations

                        Originally posted by TurkishDelight View Post
                        Why is it unreasonable to charge $100 or maybe a little bit more for a routine checkup? It's not, because you are consulting the experts of Medecine and your body. The average Doctor has 4 years of undergrad, 4 years of medical school, and at least 3-4 years of residency(sometimes a lot more) training where they get paid peanuts and work long hours to learn how to safely treat you. They should be able to charge a good deal of money for their knowledge. That's essentially what you are paying for when you are seen by a doctor.
                        I had to spend over $2000 just for the general practitioner I went to to finally realize my excruciating back pain was caused by two herniated discs and not the result of a pulled muscle in my back. I'm not faulting the doctor, but that's a little more than "$100." This doesn't include the failed physical therapy, the pain-killer injections I'm scheduled for, or the surgery I will likely need.

                        Blood and urine tests alone run more than a hundred bucks.

                        Our insurance sucks besides prescriptions. My boss can't afford better. It's a $5,000 deductible, then they cover...... 80% (I'm in the wrong business). Luckily, my boss works around it by covering medical expenses up to that $5,000, but I could easily see my same "illness" putting a lot of people in the poor house even though they may have insurance. Hell, it would have demolished my savings and I'm not even cured yet.

                        Maybe if becoming a Doctor was simple and we had trade college med schools across the nation that cost very little, had a condensed and simplified curriculum we could pay our providers much less. In fact, that stitch may even be a few bucks! The downsides to that of course is that truly sick people will die when the Doctor's run out of training.
                        This is always looked at as the major down-turn of public healthcare: doctors do it for the money, not because they want to be doctors. Yet, every year, there are more and more graduates with masters and higher who choose to go into fields where money isn't that prevalent because they enjoy the work more. And even then, doctors are not by default going to be paid less due to socializing health-care.

                        People dont bitch when they spend $10,000 on a lawyer,
                        What? It's one of the primary reasons people fold on civil issues: they can't afford to fight even frivolous charges in court. In fact, if you're being sued for less than $10,000, it's generally more economical to just pay them, rather than fight it in court.

                        And even with how much lawyers could make at the right private firm, there are still thousands who instead work as public defenders or prosecutors for a fraction of the money.

                        or thousands a year smoking,
                        I don't think I've ever heard of someone making the argument that a recreational activity like smoking should be free.

                        but when it comes time to paying for ambulance that safely brought them to the hospital, the Doctor or two that worked their case, the Nurses who monitored and cared for them, and the holy scroll sized list of tests that were done to make sure everyone was ok, people expect them to wipe their ass free of charge!
                        Let me rephrase your argument to highlight the absurdity:

                        but when it comes time to paying for the school bus that safely brought their kids to school, the teacher or two that taught their class, the lunch lady who fed them, and the numerous text books given for free, people expect them to wipe their ass free of charge!
                        Nothing in life is free. We are all already paying for a broken half-assed socialized medicine system. I think it's about time we turned it into something that worked. Right now the middle class is getting hammered and there's always the threat of one single injury or illness bumping them from the "middle class" pretty violently. To stick your fingers in your ears and preach about "every man for himself" is something that's long since been dead in practice, but people still crow about it on principle.

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                        • #13
                          Re: Healthcare in the US vs. other industrialized nations

                          Just in case I was being sarcastic before.

                          To expand of TheFeniX post....

                          The USA has a long and proud tradition of creating institutions necessary to the well being of the people that do not pay the people either what they are worth or compensate them for what they do.

                          Prime example is the military. Most military personal do not get paid what they are worth nor do they get fairly compensated for their sacrifices. There is no way we could pay them what they are worth.

                          If our nations defense was handled like how we handle our nations health it would be a disaster and we all wouldn't be protected.
                          Iím not racists, I have republican friends. Radio show host.
                          - "The essence of tyranny is the denial of complexity". -Jacob Burkhardt
                          - "A foolish consistency is the hobgoblin of little minds" - Emerson
                          - "People should not be afraid of it's government, government should be afraid of it's People." - Line from V for Vendetta
                          - If software were as unreliable as economic theory, there wouldn't be a plane made of anything other than paper that could get off the ground. Jim Fawcette
                          - "Let me now state what seems to me the decisive objection to any conservatism which deserves to be called such. It is that by its very nature it cannot offer an alternative to the direction in which we are moving." -Friedrich Hayek
                          - "Don't waist your time on me your already the voice inside my head." Blink 182 to my wife

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                          • #14
                            Re: Healthcare in the US vs. other industrialized nations

                            Originally posted by TheFeniX View Post
                            I had to spend over $2000 just for the general practitioner I went to to finally realize my excruciating back pain was caused by two herniated discs and not the result of a pulled muscle in my back. I'm not faulting the doctor, but that's a little more than "$100." This doesn't include the failed physical therapy, the pain-killer injections I'm scheduled for, or the surgery I will likely need.

                            Blood and urine tests alone run more than a hundred bucks.
                            You spent $2000 for a GP visit?! Oh my....Have you ever talked to your GP about paying cash? Sometimes they will cut the bill by A LOT simply because you are paying cash. Usually they have to bill the insurance company for "X" and receive a fraction of it....

                            Why do you have an objection to paying for a back surgery? Wouldn't you sacrifice almost anything to improve your quality of life?

                            Our insurance sucks besides prescriptions. My boss can't afford better. It's a $5,000 deductible, then they cover...... 80% (I'm in the wrong business). Luckily, my boss works around it by covering medical expenses up to that $5,000, but I could easily see my same "illness" putting a lot of people in the poor house even though they may have insurance. Hell, it would have demolished my savings and I'm not even cured yet.
                            Yes, your insurance isn't that great, but it isn't THAT bad. I assume you still pay a co-pay for regular visits?


                            This is always looked at as the major down-turn of public healthcare: doctors do it for the money, not because they want to be doctors. Yet, every year, there are more and more graduates with masters and higher who choose to go into fields where money isn't that prevalent because they enjoy the work more. And even then, doctors are not by default going to be paid less due to socializing health-care.
                            You seem to find the crappiest Doctors. Yes some people go into the field for money, but I think it's unfair to say that "Doctors do it for the money". That's ridiculous, and doesn't reflect any doctor I have met. I have heard numbers as high as $300,000+ just for Med school loans, and then $50,000+ a year for malpractice. So besides their actual house and car payments, they need to essentially make payments for another house(School loans), and then buy a new BMW every year(Malpractice). Never mind the surgeons 6+ years of residency on top of 8 years of school. It just doesn't seem like a great field to make the big bucks does it?

                            As far as reducing pay in a Socialized system, as far as I can tell, in most of the countries the doctors feel underpaid....

                            What? It's one of the primary reasons people fold on civil issues: they can't afford to fight even frivolous charges in court. In fact, if you're being sued for less than $10,000, it's generally more economical to just pay them, rather than fight it in court.

                            And even with how much lawyers could make at the right private firm, there are still thousands who instead work as public defenders or prosecutors for a fraction of the money.
                            And the defenders and prosecutors start making livable income after graduating Law school, and don't have malpractice to pay for. Different altogether.

                            My point was that people will pay to keep their house or their butts out of jail, but complain about paying someone a decent amount of to fix them so they can walk again. Or give them their life back after they die.

                            I don't think I've ever heard of someone making the argument that a recreational activity like smoking should be free.
                            You misunderstood completely....

                            A person is willing to pay thousands of dollars a year to kill themselves smoking. However when they day come that they feel short of breath they call 911. They get transported in a $150,000 ambulance staffed by trained and licensed medical professionals who treat them en route. Once the smoker is at the hospital a residency trained Doctor gives them a work up and a battery of tests to make sure they know what's going on, they then stay at the hospital for a day or two and receive care form Nurses and RTs.

                            Why SHOULDN'T this person pay for all the care they have recieved? Especially since they spent thousands over the years killing themselves when they could have been saving for health care.

                            Let me rephrase your argument to highlight the absurdity:
                            Comparing a bus driver and a teacher to a Medic and Doctor is rediculous. Bus drivers don't have the skill, responsibility, stress. And teachers don't have the skill, education, and responsibility of Doctors. Not even close.

                            Nothing in life is free. We are all already paying for a broken half-assed socialized medicine system.
                            I am pretty sure I am familiar with EMTALA....

                            I think it's about time we turned it into something that worked. Right now the middle class is getting hammered and there's always the threat of one single injury or illness bumping them from the "middle class" pretty violently. To stick your fingers in your ears and preach about "every man for himself" is something that's long since been dead in practice, but people still crow about it on principle.
                            The problem is that people don't put value on good health care, and "Expect" that they will get everything rather than saving for it, or paying a bit extra for better coverage. What is more important than health care? In my opinion NOTHING. Life>Toys.

                            Most of the time people would rather buy a new TV than save for a potential health risk.
                            |TG-X|Turkish

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                            • #15
                              Re: Healthcare in the US vs. other industrialized nations

                              Originally posted by Hambergler View Post
                              We pay at least 2X as much as any other country in the world for the 37th best health care. It's like paying 80 grand for a Corolla while the Japanese are a paying 10 grand for a Lexus.

                              Now, who needs a lapel pin? :-/
                              Oh come one, you can't be serious? Do you really think we are "37th" as far as quality? Give me a break....

                              Go to some of the countries that are ranked higher on the list, then we can talk....



                              Originally posted by El_Gringo_Grande View Post
                              Just in case I was being sarcastic before.

                              To expand of TheFeniX post....

                              The USA has a long and proud tradition of creating institutions necessary to the well being of the people that do not pay the people either what they are worth or compensate them for what they do.

                              Prime example is the military. Most military personal do not get paid what they are worth nor do they get fairly compensated for their sacrifices. There is no way we could pay them what they are worth.

                              If our nations defense was handled like how we handle our nations health it would be a disaster and we all wouldn't be protected.
                              I am sure we all appreciate the sacrifice our soldiers, marines, airmen, and sailors make. I just don't see the any validity in comparing it to health care? I understand what you are saying, but it just doesn't "Fit". They are very different.
                              |TG-X|Turkish

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