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National Health Care and avoidable deaths
Posted by: McQ on Wednesday, June 06, 2007

The verdict? Not so good in Scotland:
Poor NHS treatment has led to almost half a million Scots dying in the last 30 years, a new study has revealed.

Doctors at Glasgow University found that between 1974 and 2003, a total of 462,000 people died in Scotland as a result of health service failings.

It means Scotland has one of the highest avoidable death rates in western Europe.

The study examined the number of deaths caused by a lack of "timely and effective health care".
"We're the government and we're here to help".

Or something like that.
The vast majority of people - around 250,000 - who died due to inadequate or delayed treatment were heart or stroke patients.

Another 7300 had cancer and slightly more than 2000 were pneumonia patients.
So tell us about those national health care plans again ...
 
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Previous Comments to this Post 

Comments
Cap Sarcastic swears it will be different here.
 
Written By: Grimshaw
URL: http://
Yes, we all know that the worst example is the most appropriate comparison.

The US ranks 37th in health care across the globe.
Cap Sarcastic swears it will be different here.
Different than Scotland... of course.

It already is different here, our current hybrid public private system is the most expensive system in the world, but not the best or most efficient.

Medical tourism anyone?

We excel in heroic and expensive emergency and trauma care, but we lag far behind in preventative care.

What interests me is that we spend about 16% of our GDP on healthcare, more than any other country by far, and the only whines I hear are not about how much we spend, but whether the government is involved.

Does it occur to anyone that if France can have the best health care in the world for half of what we spend, we might not be spending wisely?

Or are we happy as long as it’s mostly a private system, no matter how expense or inefficient it is with our money?

 
Written By: Captin Sarcastic
URL: http://
So Captain, you’re going to toss out that ranking like it’s undisputed fact? The very article you cite mentioned the controversy over the rankings and their methodology. ’Best’ and ’efficient’ are a matter of perspective with health care.

As for preventative care - what does that mean exactly? You and the article say nothing. Isn’t preventative care largely the responsibility of the individual to seek?

Finally, with respect to spending 16% of GDP, it’s hard to get worked up about that without knowing the details of the spending or the benefits of the spending. In comparing to other countries, where are we spending more, specifically? I’d guess that some other countries don’t spend as much as we do in the last weeks and days of life. If so, that’s a cultural issue, not a health care policy issue.
 
Written By: Grimshaw
URL: http://
Capt Sar:
Or are we happy as long as it’s mostly a private system, no matter how expense or inefficient it is with our money?
DailyRecord:
The vast majority of people - around 250,000 - who died due to inadequate or delayed treatment were heart or stroke patients.
Another 7300 had cancer and slightly more than 2000 were pneumonia patients.
Me: Yes, I’m happy it is a mostly private system. I’m also happy that due to the mostly private system, our access to health services are not impeded upon by the state saying that your sex change procedure is just as important as my chemotherapy. And I am damn pleased to pay for that option.
 
Written By: bains
URL: http://
The US ranks 37th in health care across the globe.
Cap, that link was from June, 2000. And it didn’t seem to indicate what its scoring criteria were. But it’s okay to use old and fact-free data, I suppose.
Does it occur to anyone that if France can have the best health care in the world for half of what we spend, we might not be spending wisely?
Need I point out that this was before over 14,000 people in France died during a heat wave?

Yeah, that’s great health care.
 
Written By: steverino
URL: http://steverino.journalspace.com/
"Does it occur to anyone that if France can have the best health care in the world for half of what we spend, we might not be spending wisely?"
Speak for yourself. Like I do:

I don’t care what "good" comes from stealing peoples’ wealth to pay for it.

No end justifies that means.
 
Written By: Billy Beck
URL: http://www.two—four.net/weblog.php
Need I point out that this was before over 14,000 people in France died during a heat wave?
Yes, the heat wave in France killed over 14,000 people. The victims were mainly elderly women older than 75 years living alone. The area that these people lived in have been temperate for centuries, and very few buildings were air conditioned, but these were preventable deaths. The French responded with a Heat Health Watch Warning System and a preventive action plan for each region by teh beginning of the following summer.

This was a tragedy, a weather disaster. France has prepared for numerous possible disasters, but in this area, this was was just not one of them. Now it is, and they are prepared.

For you to use this as a punch line is kind of creepy.
Cap, that link was from June, 2000. And it didn’t seem to indicate what its scoring criteria were. But it’s okay to use old and fact-free data, I suppose.
The WHO doesn’t this research every year, sorry. But what’s changed in the last 7 years? Maybe France isn’t number 1 anymore, maybe the US isn’t number 37. But surely you don’t think that with no appreciable improvement in health care in the US and cost increase of about 50% since 2000 that our standing has improved much?

Look, if you want to have the ideological discussion about whether our system should be totally private or totally public, I’d pick private, but we don’t have that choice, and more and more people prefer to think of health care as a right, not as a product. So we have limited choices, more of the same hybrid mess of a system that wastes almost as much as it costs, or make the best single payer plan we can.

If it fails, maybe someday healthcare can go private again, but right now, it’s either the disaster we have now, or we go ahead and try to do universal healthcare, but being that we’re Americans, I am confident that we can do it better than the French, or anyone else.

So go ahead and hang on to your ideological stance, you are becoming such a minority and it is important that we have some people to question this every step of the way. But you may want to consider contructive criticism.
No end justifies that means.
Ahh, the ultimate ideologue weighs in. It’s okay Billy, you can watch from the sidelines and kick and scream. I’ll read your stuff and even agree with a lot of it, but this is going to happen, and if we leave it all up to the bleeding hearts, they will make it the mightmare that you are sure it will be. Not that you care whether it works it beautifully or fails miserably, you’ll hate it on philosophical grounds.

Cap



 
Written By: Captin Sarcastic
URL: http://
I grew up in Canada.

When I go back to visit, I determine where the closest US border cities are for every part of my trip so if I need medical care, I know where to go.
 
Written By: jpm100
URL: http://
And yes, my insurance company will cover me inside Canada if I was so inclined.
 
Written By: jpm100
URL: http://
Cap, you really missed the point. 14,000 deaths in France is the equivalent of about 70,000 deaths in the United States. Can you name anything in the US health care system that would cause so many deaths from one event?
For you to use this as a punch line is kind of creepy.
It’s not a punch line, it’s an illustration of a systemic failure in the French health care system that was determined by WHO to be the best.

Here are some passages from an article about the deaths:
The new estimate comes a day after the French Parliament released a harshly worded report blaming the deaths on a complex health system, widespread failure among agencies and health services to coordinate efforts, and chronically insufficient care for the elderly.
...
Health Minister Jean-Francois Mattei has ordered a separate special study this month to look into a possible link with vacation schedules after doctors strongly denied allegations their absence put the elderly in danger. The heat wave hit during the August vacation period, when doctors, hospital staff and many others take leave. The results of that study are expected in November.

The role of vacations is a touchy subject. The National General Practitioners Union says that only about 20% of general practitioners were away during the heat wave.
So, the health care system didn’t coordinate efforts, provided chronically insufficient care for the elderly, and 20% of the staff were on vacation

I don’t know how you can sit there and say that the French health care system really is better than the US when it allows such a thing to happen.
The WHO doesn’t this research every year, sorry. But what’s changed in the last 7 years? Maybe France isn’t number 1 anymore, maybe the US isn’t number 37. But surely you don’t think that with no appreciable improvement in health care in the US and cost increase of about 50% since 2000 that our standing has improved much?
What were the criteria used to score the study? That’s the relevant question here. The fact is, the US health care system works marvels on an enormous heterogenous population — something most other countries on that list don’t have. And using life expectancy as a measure of health care effectiveness is fundamentally flawed: there are many things which affect life expectancy that have nothing to do with health care (violent crime and traffic safete, to name just two).

So you posted a link to an article about a study more than 7 years old, whose methodology is unknown, yet certain parts of it are known to be flawed, and you jumped on me for not offering constructive criticism. You’ve got a difficult position to defend there, sport.
If it fails, maybe someday healthcare can go private again, but right now, it’s either the disaster we have now, or we go ahead and try to do universal healthcare, but being that we’re Americans, I am confident that we can do it better than the French, or anyone else.
If you really think it’s possible to put that genie back in the bottle, then you are completely ignorant. Seriously. If you think that once the government takes over an industry that it would one day make the industry private again, then you just don’t understand the nature of government.
So go ahead and hang on to your ideological stance, you are becoming such a minority and it is important that we have some people to question this every step of the way. But you may want to consider contructive criticism.
I tried to point out to you that the study you cited really wasn’t as great at you thought it was, but you ignored my points. I’ll be happy to offer constructive criticism in the future if you change your way of thinking about government and its role in the service industry.
 
Written By: Steverino
URL: http://steverino.journalspace.com/
This was a tragedy, a weather disaster. France has prepared for numerous possible disasters, but in this area, this was was just not one of them. Now it is, and they are prepared.
Darn, I missed this in my first pass.

I’m curious to know what you’ve been saying about Bush in regards to Hurrican Katrina — a true weather disaster.

Look at all the scorn that has been piled on Bush because of it. The death toll from Katrina wasn’t even 1/10th that of France’s heat wave, and it’s been shown that most of the failures were at the state and local levels. Are you giving Bush the same pass you give France?
 
Written By: Steverino
URL: http://steverino.journalspace.com/
But!, But! The magical moon ponies! Don’t forget about their free magical moon ponies! They are FREE!..............FREE!!!













FREE!!!
 
Written By: josh b
URL: http://
I’m curious to know what you’ve been saying about Bush in regards to Hurrican Katrina — a true weather disaster.

Look at all the scorn that has been piled on Bush because of it. The death toll from Katrina wasn’t even 1/10th that of France’s heat wave, and it’s been shown that most of the failures were at the state and local levels. Are you giving Bush the same pass you give France?
The region of France had never had a deadly wave before.

Had the Southeastern United States ever had a hurricane before?

D’oh!
 
Written By: Captin Sarcastic
URL: http://
As I figured, Cap, you give a pass to those whose politics you support. You showed this in the post about Hillary’s spouts about her faith, and you’ve proven it here. Thank you for this, I can now dismiss any further comments from you as partisan ranting.
 
Written By: steverino
URL: http://steverino.journalspace.com/
The region of France had never had a deadly wave before.
104 degrees isn’t normally deadly. It is when you have an incompetent health care system and 20% of the staff on vacation....
 
Written By: steverino
URL: http://steverino.journalspace.com/
The numbers from the WHO are here:
World Health system data
The WHO explanation of the data is here:
Press Release 21 Jun 2000
There are only two areas that directly relate to medical care: ’Responsiveness’ (the health care you recieve and how quickly you get it) and it’s distribution (the ability for people of all incomes to get care).
Countries are also judged on "level and distrubution of health" (calculated on life expectancy - which is mostly due to personal decisions, genetics and crime);
"Fairness in expenditures" (does everyone pay the same percent of their paycheck for health care); and total cost per capita.


The US’ weakest area is total cost. We pay the more per person than any other country in the world. When you buy the most exepensive car, you expect to get the best performance. Guess what - we do.
The U.S. ranks #1 in responsiveness and tied for 3rd in distribution in the very study Cap refers to.
The WHO says the US is the best system on the planet to recieve your health care.



 
Written By: Ted
URL: http://
"...you’ll hate it on philosophical grounds."

That’s godamned right.

What’s your point?
 
Written By: Billy Beck
URL: http://www.two—four.net/weblog.php
Anyone who uses life expectancy to rank populations on health care without factoring in lifestyle risks might as well be drawing random numbers out of a hat.
 
Written By: Grimshaw
URL: http://
As I figured, Cap, you give a pass to those whose politics you support.
If Katrina was the first hurricane to ever hit the United States, I would absolutely forgive being unprepared. So why are you so quick to forgive not being prepared for something we KNOW is coming, and yet adamant that france should have been prepared for something that had never happened in that region before?

Your comment is an accurate description of YOUR bias, not mine.
104 degrees isn’t normally deadly. It is when you have an incompetent health care system and 20% of the staff on vacation....
104 degrees is deadly when it is extended and hotter than the norm.

104 degrees is not normally deadly in Las Vegas, because it is normal in las Vegas. Extreme heat is defined as 10 degrees above the norm, and extreme heat extending over a period weeks is always deadly.

I am not saying that the French should not have done better, but it was not a healthcare failure, but rather a disaster planning failure, for a disaster that was completely unexpected.

You want to say that universal healthcare is bad, but you point out a failure in disaster planning to try and prove that point. You do this because you cannot point to actual healthcare results to make your point.
"...you’ll hate it on philosophical grounds."

That’s godamned right.

What’s your point?
My point is that even if it cost less for EVERYONE, and delivered better care for EVERYONE, you would still oppose it, because you are an ideologue and only the how matters to you, not the what.

Cap

 
Written By: Captin Sarcastic
URL: http://
Cap, funny how you note a failure of the state to prepare adequately for disaster but are content to give the state more involvement in health care.
 
Written By: Grimshaw
URL: http://
Before we get to excited lets just take a step back and look at what’s being measured here. "Avoidable deaths" are just the total deaths from a collection of diseases that are readily identifiable and potentially avoidable through primary prevention activities or timely and appropriate treatment, in people under a certain age, often 75. So, for example, all deaths from heart disease in people under 75 are "avoidable deaths", here as well as in Scotland, and the rest of the european countries the Scots are so worried about being worse than. Preventive care includes taking care of your heart by eating right. Maybe one of you partisans of the US status quo can go off and find out how many deaths from those causes there have been in the US since 1973 so that you’ll have some idea of whether Scotland being the worst in Europe means anything at all vis-a-vis the US.
 
Written By: Retief
URL: http://
Retief -

Who’s a partisan of the status quo? Is that the "new thinking?" If one isn’t for a particular change, one must be for the status quo?

Your point about preventable care being partially (if not nearly exclusively in my opinion) the primary responsibility of the individual makes the case that comparing countries on such measures is tenuous at best. The best health care possible doesn’t mean much if people don’t act in their own best interest.

Nevertheless, in Scotland’s case, the article says 250k of these people "died due to inadequate or delayed treatment." That seems to put the burden on the health care system, not the poor habits of the individuals who died.
 
Written By: Grimshaw
URL: http://
Shorter Twit With The Ridiculous ’Nym:

"The end justifies the means."

You’ve taken your place in very notable company.

It’s noted.
 
Written By: Billy Beck
URL: http://www.two—four.net/weblog.php
"My point is that even if it cost less for EVERYONE, and delivered better care for EVERYONE..."
So if turning over all health care (providing, paying, managing) to the federal government resulted in lower costs for everyone and better care for everyone - even if that means forcing everyone to pay in taxes and forcing everyone to see the doctor on a regular basis - that would be justifiable? The highest possible goal one should have is optimal health outcomes?
 
Written By: Grimshaw
URL: http://
Cap;
You do this because you cannot point to actual healthcare results to make your point.
Read my first post. The very WHO study you mentions admits that the US delivers the best health care, and to the widest cross-section of the population.
 
Written By: Ted
URL: http://
Shorter Twit With The Ridiculous ’Nym:

"The end justifies the means."

You’ve taken your place in very notable company.

It’s noted.
Ooh, you can quote a commie phase, assign it to me, and then dismiss me. How very intellectual.

You believe in the application of the coercive force of government as much or more than anyone... the only difference is that want to pick the instances of the application of that force in accordance with your relig.. philosophy.

"The end justifies the means" generally suggests that a good outcome is worth any wrongs committed to achieve this outcome. I do not believe that any good outcome is worth any wrongs, in most cases I believe that no end is justified by a wrong. But to say that no outcome can be worth any wrong is false, and more importantly, YOU KNOW it.

You would prefer that there was no government, that commerce could proceed between individuals unimpeded by government, but you know that basic rights would be lost in such a scenario as inidivuals and groups engaged in coercive activities with no consequences. So you acknowledge that the wrong that is a government with enough coercive force to be able to protect basic rights is necessary. The protection of basic individual rights being the good outcome (ends) and government with the power to protect individuals (and therefore the power to exert coercive force) being the wrong (means) committed to achieve the end.

Today, you are taxed to pay for health care, tomorrow you will be taxed to pay for healthcare. I just want to change the way the money is applied. You just want it to go away.

Your not going to get what you want, and you know it, but you will stand on principal and swing at that windmill, while I will try to make a bad situation better.

Enjoy your relig.. philosophical purity, let the rest of us get our hands dirty and make this country work better.

It’s sad the way you long for the destruction of America because it does not meet your philosophical purity, but the truth is that societies are messy, always, the more heterogeneous they are, and the older they are, the messier they are. This is not an opinion, this is not isolated, it is universally and historically true.

What you long for, Billy, is the freshness of a new society that has not yet acquired the complications that societies do as they mature, and in your romantic view, you can ignore all manner of intrusions and eliminations of basic natural rights, your only requirement is that as long as rights are not eliminated by government, then it’s okie-dokie.

As I have explained to you before, your Libertopia cannot exist, when government does not have coercive power, than some entity fills this power vacuum and exerts coercive force, often far more viciously than any government.

Cap





 
Written By: Captin Sarcastic
URL: http://
If Katrina was the first hurricane to ever hit the United States, I would absolutely forgive being unprepared. So why are you so quick to forgive not being prepared for something we KNOW is coming, and yet adamant that france should have been prepared for something that had never happened in that region before?
Most of the failures in Katrina were at the state and local level. And the response time for the feds in Katrina was much quicker than any previous major hurricane. The city should have been evacuated...but it was the mayor who delayed that. Federal disaster relief should have been requested...but it was the governor who delayed that.

So, why are you so quick to blame the federal government, when it functioned better than any other level of government? (Hint: because you won’t give Bush credit for anything.)

The heat wave in France took place over several days, they had ample time to respond to it. But they were hampered by an inefficient health care system. By the way, 104 degrees, even where such temperatures are largely unheard of, is NOT usually deadly. It’s well within human survivability temperatures. But when you have a health care system that can’t handle simple heat stroke....

But let’s get back to my original point (which you conveniently ignore): the study you cited was old and the scoring system flawed. As someone pointed out to you, the US actually ranks at or near the top in everything but cost. You get what you pay for, right?


Goodbye, partisan hack.
 
Written By: Steverino
URL: http://steverino.journalspace.com/
You want to say that universal healthcare is bad, but you point out a failure in disaster planning to try and prove that point. You do this because you cannot point to actual healthcare results to make your point.
Go back and read the quote from the article I posted earlier. The French government itself said the health care system was inefficient, didn’t communicate and displayed chronically bad health care for the elderly. I bolded that because you apparently didn’t see it before.

So, don’t tell me I don’t have actual health care results to make my point...I already made them.


Liar.
 
Written By: Steverino
URL: http://steverino.journalspace.com/
From the report
(The) WHO report basically measures bang for the buck: comparing a population’s health with how effectively governments spend their money on health, how well the public health system prevents illness instead of just treating it and how fairly the poor, minorities and other special populations are treated.
Instead of talking about how well the system treats illness, it focuses on how well it prevents it, and focuses on how assorted populations are treated.

Most illness prevention has little to do with any health care systems and has far more to do with culture or behavior of individuals in the system. Vaccines to reduce the incidence of cervical cancer, the flu, pneumonia, or assorted childhood diseases (or HIV) would be examples of illness prevention that the health care system ought to be considered and tasked with. "Illness prevention" for heart disease, hypertension, other cancers or diabetes require behavioral changes. The US population is prone to obesity which causes the risks of these diseases to soar. This has zero to do with health insurance- giving obese people a free government doctor to tell them about the need to lose weight & exercise isn’t going to significantly reduce our rate of obesity.

The only area where the US can probably do better is in offering more, cheaper (and better) prenatal care, but that ignores the volume of women who are either ignorant of their options or indifferent to their condition... again, behavioral decisions on their part (opting to not go to the doctor when they could, not taking care of themselves while pregnant) have an effect that our medical system can do little about.

As those european countries start to adopt some more of our odious aspects of our country (mcdonalds everywhere) we see their obesity rates rise and match ours. Then we will see if those health care systems continue to "out-perform" ours.

 
Written By: h0mi
URL: http://
"You believe in the application of the coercive force of government as much or more than anyone..."
Cite that. I dare you.
 
Written By: Billy Beck
URL: http://www.two—four.net/weblog.php
Most illness prevention has little to do with any health care systems and has far more to do with culture or behavior of individuals in the system.
This can also explain the cost of American healthcare. We likely have more costs associated with riskier lifestyles. Compare auto accident rates in Canada and the US, for example, and their impact of healthcare costs.
Vaccines to reduce the incidence of cervical cancer, the flu, pneumonia, or assorted childhood diseases (or HIV) would be examples of illness prevention that the health care system ought to be considered and tasked with.
Government funded vaccines tend to involve price fixing, and hence reduce the incentive for develping or even producing vaccines. Hence the vaccine shortage of a few years back.
 
Written By: Don
URL: http://
Read my first post. The very WHO study you mentions admits that the US delivers the best health care, and to the widest cross-section of the population.
Ted,

Sorry to say he’s going to ignore whatever conflicts with his meme.
 
Written By: Don
URL: http://
Sorry to say he’s going to ignore whatever conflicts with his meme.
I have a meme?
Read my first post. The very WHO study you mentions admits that the US delivers the best health care, and to the widest cross-section of the population.
My healthcare is fantastic, and I am sure that for a great many Americans the experience is similar, and I have no desire to give up the quality of my healthcare. But the study was not about the abject quality of healthcare, the US is certainly at or near the top there in any given year, we are the wealthiest nation on the planet, it damn well better be. Distribution in this study is about infrastructure, it’s geographic, and yes, we have excellent care distributed very well across the country. So why, with great results in quality and distribution, would the US rank 37th in this study? It’s the cost, stupid!

Since that study, the cost of healthcare in America has increased by 50%, in the next 7 years it will account for 20% of our GDP. And still, almost 50 million uninsured Americans over the course of a year are one serious injury or illness away from bankruptcy. England’s system, which ranks well ahead of us, is no great shakes, but they pay a measly 6% of their GDP on healthcare.

What I have been trying to tell you people is that we already HAVE socialized medicine in America, we have it in the form of the VA, Medicaid, Medicare, every indigent care writeoff that hospitals write off and pass to the state that pass as much as they can to the fed, and then there’s the people who just don’t pay their medical bills, who’s debts are written off and added on to the cost of everyone who does pay. And then there’s the private segment of healthcare, with hundreds of insurance companies, each with their administrative processes that add 30% to medical costs.

Steve had made this point earlier...
If you really think it’s possible to put that genie back in the bottle, then you are completely ignorant. Seriously. If you think that once the government takes over an industry that it would one day make the industry private again, then you just don’t understand the nature of government.
This is a valid point, and I agree with it in general. My only counter is that if it is possible to ever go back to a private system, it would only be AFTER we made the attempt to have universal care. At the moment, universal healthcare is seen by many as a solution, and it will be considered a solution at least until it is tried. Though I agree that it is virtually impossible to turn back.

It’s virtually impossible to turn back from where we are now, and where we are now is moving from a 16% bad dream to a 30% nighmare pretty quickly. And a single payor plan may be the best way to prevent this.

I understand the fear associated with a system where the government is involved, and if it were possible, I would revert to a totally private system and probably eliminate all but catastrophic care health insurance as well. I would prefer a system that had to base what it charged in what the market would bear. I don’t see my doctor very often, but if I had to shell out $400 every time I went to see him, I’d lose his phone number, and so would most people, so he’d have to charge a heck of a lot less if he actually expected anyone that wasn’t puking blood to come see him.

But we’re not going there, it’s NOT going to happen, and the government IS involved, intriniscally, in the health care system.

You want to call it theft when the government taxes you to pay for your healthcare if you are paying for the healthcare of others as well, but the fact is that you ARE paying for the healthcare of others anyway, in taxes, in higher costs, and all I’m saying is to just streamline it. Get rid of of 95% of the administrative costs involved in health care by having one system, American walks into a healthcare provider, they’re covered, one invoice submission to a single payer, and done. If a doctor doesn’t want to play, they don’t have to, it’s a free country. If a person doesn’t want to go to a doctor that plays, they don’t have to, it’s a free country. But yeah, you’ll still be paying for healthcare that you have decided not to use, just like you pay for schools that you don’t use, and you pay for highways that you don’t use, and everything else that tax money pays for that you may not use.

I would not suggest it if you were not ALREADY paying for it, but you ARE.

Hey, in a few years, you guys can argue for medical vouchers to go to doctors that don’t accept payment from the single payer system.

I just want to be the guy pointing out flaws and recommending ways to overcome them in our soon exist universal healthcare system. I grant you that it would be more entertaining to just say that’s it’s going to be an awful mess and then find examples of messiness when it goes into effect, but I’d rather participate than whine.

Y’all do understand that almost 50% of healthcare spending in the US goes through some level of government and that’s not going away. So I say, go big or stay home, whining.
Cite that. I dare you.
One tiny example of your relentless cheerleading of the state depriving tens of thousands of people of their natural right to breath...

The correct justification would have stood on the nature of the larger cultural fight, which everyone with a brain in their head knows is an actual fact, and an explicit statement that Iraq was going to be utterly destroyed as an enclave from which terrorists could work against the West.

Oh, but they’re not Americans, so I guess these people’s rights don’t matter. Consider it in the context of Waco, where David Koresh was quite probably a criminal lunatic (he passed away before a trial could ascertain his guilt), but the tragedy here was the lives that were taken in a vicious effort to defend society from the perceived threat of David Koresh. oh, and at least in Waco they did find the illegal weapons they based the otherwise criminally negligent or possible homicidal raid on.

You have no problem with the state taking people’s lives without cause or due process, as long as you agree with them.

I am a little bit more consistent than that, I thought they were both wrong.

Cap
 
Written By: Captin Sarcastic
URL: http://
Cap;
My healthcare is fantastic, and I am sure that for a great many Americans the experience is similar, and I have no desire to give up the quality of my healthcare.
ECON 101 applies to healthcare aw well as it appiles to anything else.
The Mercedes E-class is fantastic, for anyone that drives it the experience is similar, and I have no desire give up the quality of my vehicle. But I don’t drive a Mercedes because of the cost. A much greater number of people drive Honda civics in this country than Mercedes, and they rate far higher in value. You can get the best car, or the best value; but the best car will never be the best value. Similarly, any new technology costs the most when it is first introduced, if you want to be on the cutting edge, you pay a premium.

The real question is: What is the goal of the US health care system? If the goal is to have the best care possible, and available to the most people, then currently the best system in the world is the one we have in place. (Distribution in this study refers to heath care across incomes, not goegraphy)

If the goal is to have reasonably good healthcare at a decent price, then our system needs to change. What direction it goes depends where the emphasis is placed. There isn’t a system out there that has shown it can deliver the same quality of healthcare; so in order to lower costs, we must accept a lower overall quality. Whether we want that done through worse care across the board or less equaility in treatment would determine the level of government involvement.

 
Written By: Ted
URL: http://
There isn’t a system out there that has shown it can deliver the same quality of healthcare; so in order to lower costs, we must accept a lower overall quality.
Not necessarily. First consider that we spend almost as much on administrative costs (about 5% of our GDP) as other countreis pay for their entire public healthcare systems, and beyond that no other nation spends even 2/3 of what we spend even after deducting adminsitrative costs, so we don’t how good a system could be if they (or we) did. It may be that we could insure all Americans with the same quality of healthcare they have today and still spend a lot less because of the potential reduction in administrative costs.

We could actually fund a single payer plan that spends more per person than France with only the money we CURRENTLY pay in taxes (about 7% of the GDP).

In other words, we have the difficult component of a universal healthcare system already in place, the cost, now we just need the system. I recommend the single payer plan because it gives us the most separation between providers and the government. The payer would be a corporation, like FNMA or SLMA, that was chartered and overseen by the government, but the care providers would be private. Yes, there would be unavoidable elements of intrusiveness, and this is where American requirements of healthcare would come into play. We simply will not stand for what some other nations do.

I wish you would just entertain the point I am making, I am not some wild eyed moonbat, I understand the potential downside and I would not even consider going down this road if we have not already crashed into a telephone pole at the fork between a private system and a public system.

Sometimes being an American occasionally requires you to be practical.

You could also look at this from a Grover Norquist point of view. This plan could stress the entire entitlement and force us to make some hard choices about social security that we seem to talk a lot about, but never do anything about. This plan would also avert the coming Medicare crisis, though I can’t promise that it won’t bring crises of it’s own, but with Medicare, the crisis is imminent and WE will bear the cost of it, period.

Cap

 
Written By: Captin Sarcastic
URL: http://
In other words, we have the difficult component of a universal healthcare system already in place, the cost, now we just need the system.
If the system is the easy part, then it should work somewhere. Why risk our level of health care when many other nations are willing to do the experimentation for us? When one of them develops a system that provides our level of care at a lower cost, we should try to adopt it. Until then, the theory of "you get what you pay for" still holds.

Sinlge-payer has essentially the same problems as single-provider; there is still one entity deciding quality or price, but economics just won’t allow maximum quality at low prices.
 
Written By: Ted
URL: http://
Why risk our level of health care
Our level of health care is already at risk with 50% increases in medical costs in the last 7 years and 16% of our GDP heading towards 20% in the next 7 years, and who knows where after that.

We really have no choice but to take action. Single payer is simply the solution that I find to be the best alternative of the alternatives that are possible.



 
Written By: Captin Sarcastic
URL: http://
If the priority of the health care system is for everyone to get some minimum level of care, then a single payer system is the answer. The price will still be tied to whatever level of care is chosen; you can’t magically give everyone a mercedes for the price of a honda.
Economically, a single payer system has the same effect on choice, quality and price as a monopoly. The USSR was a well-developed sigle payer system that didn’t want to spend a premium for transportation. It was still be possible for a few people to get excellent quality; high ranking officials got a Rolls-royce, but the vast majority got a Trabant or a horse. On the other hand, the governemnt is the single payer for sveral oil rich countries that have a high percentage of people driving luxury cars, because they are willing to spend the dough.

It’s still a question of what we want the goals to be for the health care system.
 
Written By: Ted
URL: http://
It’s still a question of what we want the goals to be for the health care system.
All things to be worked out in the coming national debate.

Unfortunately, Hillary, Obama, and Edwards, though all in favor of healthcare reform, do not seem to have presented anything more than expensive wings on this crumbling building of a healthcare system.

Cap
 
Written By: Captin Sarcastic
URL: http://
"One tiny example of your relentless cheerleading of the state depriving tens of thousands of people of their natural right to breath..."
You don’t know what you’re talking about, son. You’ve completely missed the stipulation to the fait accompli. If I had my way, no government would be involved in any of this.

You’re dead wrong, and you don’t get to project your affinity for socialism on me in any case whatever, because it’s not true. I’m not like you.
 
Written By: Billy Beck
URL: http://www.two—four.net/weblog.php
You don’t know what you’re talking about, son. You’ve completely missed the stipulation to the fait accompli. If I had my way, no government would be involved in any of this.
Stipulation my ass, you were blogging up a cheerleading storm while you stipulated how nice it would be if magic volunter private purple ponies could be killing these people instead of the STATE.

You rationalize SON, your morality is RELATIVE son, do you get that SON, relative, sometimes the state depriving people of their lives is okay, sometimes it’s not, it all depends on Billy Beck’s point of view.

You defend absolutes all day, why don’t you don’t you try sticking with one.
If I had my way, no government would be involved in any of this
But you still want them dead, deprived of their natural rights.




 
Written By: Cap
URL: http://
"...you were blogging up a cheerleading storm..."
Now, you’re simply lying.
"But you still want them dead, deprived of their natural rights."
Who, exactly?

 
Written By: Billy Beck
URL: http://www.two—four.net/weblog.php
How many people in countries offering not-for-profit universal health care have had to claim bankruptcy because of health care issues?
 
Written By: Gizmo
URL: http://

 
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