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Your weekly socialized medicine update
Posted by: McQ on Friday, November 02, 2007

And as usual, it's fairly predictable:
A 75-year-old man was forced to spend his life savings on a vital hip operation after the NHS cancelled his appointments four times.

Edward Crane claims he has nothing left after clearing out his bank account for the £9000 private surgery after waiting more than six months for a consultation at his local hospital.

The pensioner, from Rainham, Essex, said he felt he had "no choice" but to shell out the cash after suffering months of agony.

Mr Crane was told he needed a hip replacement in February this year and was referred to Queen's Hospital in Romford.

But after three consecutive consultations were cancelled, the desperate pensioner looked into paying for the operation himself and discovered it would cost him £8,750.

After the fourth cancellation, he used two insurance policies and pooled his life savings to pay for the operation he needed to end the pain. He had the surgery four days later.
Please, please, can we have some of that? The government's reaction?
"It is extremely unlikely anyone would be able to claim back money from the NHS if they had chosen to be treated privately."
Nice.

If that's not enough, try this:
Banning a heart treatment on the grounds that it is too expensive could end up costing both lives and money, doctors warn.

The Health Service's rationing watchdog says drugcoated stents used to treat around 30,000 patients a year are not cost-effective and should no longer be provided.

The proposal from the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence has outraged cardiologists who oppose the ban.

The devices - tiny tubes inserted into damaged arteries that release drugs to prevent them from narrowing - are better for some patients than bare metal stents.

However, the drug-coated version is double the price at £600.

Cardiologists claim patients with diabetes or small blood vessels, who would benefit from a drug-coated version, will be more likely to suffer renarrowing of the arteries if they are given a bare metal device instead.

This means they would need a second operation, possibly a more expensive bypass.

Research released today in The Lancet medical journal provides fresh evidence that the drugcoated version, also known as drug-eluting stents, or DES, are not only cost-effective for high-risk patients, but could save money.
Yup. Just can't wait until we have our own version of "rationing watchdogs" to contend with.
 
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Previous Comments to this Post 

Comments
Cue Blewyn telling us how this is commonplace in the US, but the hospitals cover it up.
 
Written By: Steverino
URL: http://
Can somebody please fund a John Stossel documentary to counter MMoore? Seems there’s plenty of these anecdotes to do so...
 
Written By: Rob
URL: http://
The only upside to socialized medicine in the US is that I’ll at least get some laughs watching the idiots who wanted this so badly suffer through stuff like this.

Laughter is the best medicine, I’ll be immortal in that case.
 
Written By: shark
URL: http://
Cue Blewyn telling us how this is commonplace in the US, but the hospitals cover it up.
It happened to me FIVE TIMES, and no one ever heard about it....
And I was evicted from my hole in the ground, too....
Lost my gravel ration card and had to go hungry...AND
the Mill owner increased the amount of money I owe him for my work there.
 
Written By: Joe
URL: http://
No show without Punch....

The old guy with the hip replacement only had to wait so long because he was hoping to get his treatment on the NHS (ie free). Hip replacements have never been a priority procedure, and as NHS treatment is allocated according to clinical need, they are often delayed in favour of more urgent procedures. As you can see from the article, the old chap got himself treated very quickly once he decided to put his hand in his pocket. Had he bought himself some health insurance, he would not have had to wait. Had he been American, he would still be suffering now, because I doubt very much if his $18,000 would have bought him a hip replacement.

As for your second piece of propaganda, the NHS ’cost vs results’ watchdog is always arguing with clinical staff, who naturally want the maximum resources for their areas of practice. It’s a healthy relationship that ensures the NHS is delivering the best results it can for the country, and I’d be more worried if they weren’t arguing. The drug-coated stents will still be available privately, or through insurance (if you insurer can’t find a way to wriggle out of paying for it, that is....)

Both your examples come from the Daily Mail, which aims at the grey pound, mainly in the form of scaremongering stories about the imminent collapse of everything.
 
Written By: Blewyn
URL: http://
The second story is of enormous importance, and is often overlooked. The reason why health care is more expensive now then it was anytime previously, is actually because its not.

If you priced treatments that were cutting-edge 10 years ago, they would cost pennies today. New technology is constantly being invented, and nobody wants to opt for outdated less effective treatments when it comes to health, so thats why health care is so expensive. Its actually because its always new.

The entire worlds health care industry relies on American markets to recover research costs for their new technologies. If we go socialist and the government caps prices or bans expensive treatments, then read my lips, "No. New. Cures."
 
Written By: Jimmy the Dhimmi
URL: http://mooreisfatduhimstoopidilikeanncoulterandchickenfries.ytmnd.com/
The old guy with the hip replacement only had to wait so long because he was hoping to get his treatment on the NHS (ie free).
Weren’t we just talking on another thread about how outrageous it was to wait for treatment under NHS? And you said the wait for treatment in the US was just as long. Now it seems you’re defending the long wait. (By the way, NHS isn’t free, you just pay for it at a different time.)
Both your examples come from the Daily Mail
Do me a favor and look up "Genetic Fallacy". The veracity of the stories is independent of their source.
 
Written By: Steverino
URL: http://
A) Had he been in the US, he’d have been covered by Medicare and probably a "medigap" private insurance supplement. Wait time, probably 5 weeks or so.
Had he been American, he would still be suffering now, because I doubt very much if his $18,000 would have bought him a hip replacement.
Well, you’d be wrong wouldn’t you? In fact, he’d have been better off paying a few bucks for a trip over here and getting it done. He’d still have a few thousand pounds left for retirement:
The cost of a total hip implant varies, depending on the type of implant used. Typically, a total hip procedure includes four major implant components and the total implant price ranges from $4000 to $6000 (USD).
B)Call the second story whatever you want, but it is either true or not. I don’t see you disputing the facts of the story, but instead just adding your spin.
 
Written By: McQ
URL: http://www.qando.net/blog
Hip replacements have never been a priority procedure, and as NHS treatment is allocated according to clinical need, they are often delayed in favour of more urgent procedures
You’ve inadvertantly touched upon a point many of us opposed to socialized medicine have made: that health care — even "free" health care, like NHS — must be rationed because resources are finite. So, this guy must wait because other people’s procedures are deemed more urgent: more urgent to whom? Sorry, the scheme doesn’t wash with me.

The actor Robert Goulet died recently while waiting for a lung transplant. He was 73. Under socialized medicine, Goulet probably wouldn’t have been put on the transplant list: he would have been deemed too old for the surgery, regardless of his ability to survive it. I don’t want to be part of such a system.
 
Written By: Steverino
URL: http://
The old guy with the hip replacement only had to wait so long because he was hoping to get his treatment on the NHS (ie free). Hip replacements have never been a priority procedure, and as NHS treatment is allocated according to clinical need, they are often delayed in favour of more urgent procedures. As you can see from the article, the old chap got himself treated very quickly once he decided to put his hand in his pocket. Had he bought himself some health insurance, he would not have had to wait. Had he been American, he would still be suffering now, because I doubt very much if his $18,000 would have bought him a hip replacement.
This is amazing, but requires further examination...
only had to wait so long because he was hoping to get his treatment on the NHS (ie free)
I thought that was the idea behind socialized health care. You don’t pay for anything you need. Ever. He needed a hip replaced because he was in constant, chronic pain. NHS wouldn’t get him the surgery.

That would appear to be a failing of the system.
Had he bought himself some health insurance, he would not have had to wait. Had he been American, he would still be suffering now, because I doubt very much if his $18,000 would have bought him a hip replacement.
So if he’d not used the system in place in the UK, and had instead used the method used here in the states, he’d have gotten taken care of faster. Is that really the argument you wanna make? You did know you were trying to defend the NHS, right?
 
Written By: Scott Jacobs
URL: http://
"The old guy with the hip replacement only had to wait so long because he was hoping to get his treatment on the NHS (ie free)"
Don’t you mean get what his taxes have paid for?

Only a socialist could be in favor of taking money from people to provide them a benefit and then argue that getting the benefit is freeloading.
 
Written By: Grimshaw
URL: http://
McQ, I almost used that exact same link...

But then I think I found a flaw in that 4k-6k number.

that’s for parts, not labor... :)
 
Written By: Scott Jacobs
URL: http://
Hip replacements have never been a priority procedure
Yeah, this is the sentiment I object to. "Tough luck, old man, the powers-that-be have decreed in their wisdom that you are not as important as others." And what does "priority" mean in that case, anyway? If they have a slow day or week or month,they’ll fit him in, otherwise he’s continually bumped in favor of "more urgent" procedures. I believe the term for that is "never".

And I didn’t know that Robert Goulet had died. Damn.
 
Written By: Linus
URL: http://
that’s for parts, not labor... :)
OK, fair enough:
Standard total hip replacement surgery is generally covered by most insurance plans. You will need to check with your particular healthcare plan for details.
And that would include a 75 year old American.
 
Written By: McQ
URL: http://www.qando.net/blog
Indeed it would.

I was merely seeking exactness, not nitpicking the entirety of your argument. I’d be shocked if the "non-parts" portion of the surgery was more than $12,000.
 
Written By: Scott Jacobs
URL: http://
I was merely seeking exactness, not nitpicking the entirety of your argument. I’d be shocked if the "non-parts" portion of the surgery was more than $12,000.

Then Dude, you have not had a hip replacement or seen the bill. It is considerably more than $12,000. My partner had a hip replacement last year...parts and labour was costly, more than $24,000.

Mind you I’m not in favour of Hillary care and am a staunch advocate of HSA/MSA along with high deductible health insurance, just saying hip replacement ain’t cheap in the US. In fact the guy in Britain got a good deal, better than my partner and I did. Simply on cost it would ahve been cheaper for us to go to Britain. ~9,000 pounds equals what about ~USD $14,000?
 
Written By: Joe
URL: http://
Simply on cost it would ahve been cheaper for us to go to Britain. ~9,000 pounds equals what about ~USD $14,000?
According to XE.com, £9,000 is about $18,804.65
 
Written By: Scott Jacobs
URL: http://
Scott—I think you’re underestimating the "labor" charges. I was in the hospital this spring for two nights—no surgical procedures, but plenty of tests after an emergency room admittance. (More on that in a minute.) The hospital bill, as presented to the insurance company, was approximately $13,000. That does not include the MD bills. I’m not sure how long a stay would have been needed by the old man, but I would bet it to considerably longer than two days.
The insurance company first reduced the amount of the bill to about $900, then announced that because they were not asked for authorization prior to my admission, they would not pay anything. Image immediately came to mind of me calling them up: "Hi, I’m going to be going to the emergency room in two days. Can you send them the authorization this afternoon just to keep the paperwork cleared?" In reality, there’s a form the hospitals are supposed to use in these cases to notify the insurance company. Insurance company insists it didn’t get it, hospital insists it was sent, and they are still going around and around, while I wait to see how much I’m actually supposed to pay.

After this, the MD said he wanted to do a relatively new procedure. (Google "capsule endoscopy" if you want to know the details. It involves swallowing a radio-transmitter camera and walking around taped up like a suicide bomber for eight hours.) This had to receive special authorization, which required mailing a copy of my records to the insurance company’s office in India (and which purposely was unavailable for phone calls) and waiting. The woman responsible on the MD’s staff told me another patient had been waiting over half a year for the approval. The authorization for mine came relatively quickly—about a month and a half.

This all came out relatively well for me, but (McQ, this is for you)how does this insurance bureaucracy rationing differ from NHS socialized medicine rationing?
 
Written By: kishnevi
URL: http://
At least he isn’t $45,000 in the hole like this woman. Shall we call this your weekly unsocialized medecine update? Do I have to go and find an instance of malpractice every week to demonstrate the horrors of the US system? If every story of long waits for surgery proves how awful "socialized medecine" is, than every botched operation or perpetually denied claim proves how terrible the our system is. In fact, none of these anecdotes demonstrates anything systematic, as I’m sure you are well aware. You’re better than this McQ.
 
Written By: Retief
URL: http://
If every story of long waits for surgery proves how awful "socialized medecine" is, than every botched operation or perpetually denied claim proves how terrible the our system is.
Yes, because there is no such thing as a botched operation in the UK. Ever.

I doubt patients can sue if there is one over there.

And as for "denied claims", at least they got the treatment. That alone is better than the NHS’s policy of "maybe you won’t need it if we wait long enough."
 
Written By: Scott Jacobs
URL: http://
Reteif-

Maybe you want to highlight a story where the woman actually doesn’t get the necessary surgery?

So what’s your point- our system is not perfect either? Fine, so no need to change- why swap one imperfect system for another, yah?
 
Written By: shark
URL: http://
This all came out relatively well for me, but (McQ, this is for you)how does this insurance bureaucracy rationing differ from NHS socialized medicine rationing?
My experience has been its form of "rationing" concerns the amount of payment for what is "customary and accepted" for the service not in what you are provided or how long it will take. Its fight it normally with the provider over what they will reimburse, not whether or not you can have the surgery. That’s why you get it "approved" and the provider knows pretty much what he or she is going to be paid (and has accepted that) before you ever step in the hospital.

Now its a form of rationing, to be sure, but not one that necessarily effects the patient. For all the complaints I read about the system, it seems to preform pretty well.
 
Written By: McQ
URL: http://www.qando.net/blog
Scott—most of the "denial of coverage/claims" I’ve heard about are decisions not to preapprove procedures and drugs when the patient/insured applies for pre approval, not refusal to pay after the deed is done. IOW, "we’re not going to pay for it, but if you want it done, feel free to pay for it on your own." as opposed to "we’re not going to pay for what the doctor did for you, so you’re stuck to pay it on your own". The difference in verbiage may be slight but the meaning in practice is profound.
 
Written By: kishnevi
URL: http://
seems to preform pretty well
Indeed it does. Pretty well for most people. As does the the NHS. Which is why the stories on bluecrosssucks.com or kaiserpapers are no more useful in evaluating the system than the horror du jour that you serve up pretending it indicts "socialized medecine." It substitutes self-congratualatory scaremongering for thoughful discussion. Like I said, you’re better than that.
 
Written By: Retief
URL: http://
Pretty well for most people. As does the the NHS
Almost half of patients were treated within 18 weeks of seeing a GP
"Well" is all relative I think
 
Written By: shark
URL: http://
"how does this insurance bureaucracy rationing differ from NHS socialized medicine rationing?"

You can change insurance companies.
 
Written By: timactual
URL: http://
The entire worlds health care industry relies on American markets to recover research costs for their new technologies. If we go socialist and the government caps prices or bans expensive treatments, then read my lips, "No. New. Cures."
This is absolutely flat-out untrue. The US health industry is interested in treatments, not cures, and new cures are discovered worldwide every single day. Moreover, outside the US these cures, when discovered, immediately become public domain for all to use, whereas in many cases they are patented or restricted to privately-owned suppliers.

Kindly provide a comparative list of all the diseases cured in any one year and the country where the discovery was made.
 
Written By: Blewyn
URL: http://
The old guy with the hip replacement only had to wait so long because he was hoping to get his treatment on the NHS (ie free).
Weren’t we just talking on another thread about how outrageous it was to wait for treatment under NHS? And you said the wait for treatment in the US was just as long. Now it seems you’re defending the long wait. (By the way, NHS isn’t free, you just pay for it at a different time.)
1. No, we were discussing the fact that waiting times cannot be properly understood without factoring in the differences between the two health systems and the different challenges they face. If an operation costs a million pounds but all it does is stop an itchy toe, would you say it was outrageous to have to wait for it ? No. Clearly, it is not just a simple matter (as you would like to portray) of waiting times. There is also the fundamental difference that in the UK, you eventually get treated, whereas in the US - even WITH INSURANCE - you may never be treated, at all.
2. I did NOT say that waiting times in the US were as long as the NHS. In fact there is no way to compare the waiting times because the US doesn’t HAVE a NHS. The apples-to-apples comparison would be between the US healthcare system and the UK private healthcare sector.
3. I’m not defending any wait - we should always aim for the minimum waiting times. However, there’s only so much money to go around and only so many doctors/MRI machines etc available.
4. You’re right of course, the NHS is not free. It IS far, far cheaper to those that use it than the private alternative (not least because of the removal of the profit motive).
Both your examples come from the Daily Mail
Do me a favor and look up "Genetic Fallacy". The veracity of the stories is independent of their source.
Just pointing out that heavily biased anecdotal stories are the DM’s stock in trade....
 
Written By: Blewyn
URL: http://
A) Had he been in the US, he’d have been covered by Medicare and probably a "medigap" private insurance supplement.
No he wouldn’t. We’re talking about a guy who had no private medical insurance.
Had he been American, he would still be suffering now, because I doubt very much if his $18,000 would have bought him a hip replacement.
Well, you’d be wrong wouldn’t you?
No, I don’t think I am, unless you can get a quote for the whole thing, start-to-finish, for less than $18,000.
B)Call the second story whatever you want, but it is either true or not. I don’t see you disputing the facts of the story, but instead just adding your spin.
Its a FACT that the NHS only offers a limited number of treatments. Its a FACT that certain treatments will only ever be available privately. It’s a FACT that the NHS return-on-investment watchdog constantly changes the treatments available, the best serve the clinical need of the nation.

There will always be stories about some poor bugger who needs a very expensive new experimental drug to give him a 20% shot at another 2 years of life, and can’t get it on the NHS. He can still buy the drug. Meanwhile, a 9/11 rescue worker pays $120 for an inhaler that sells for 30c in Cuba.......
 
Written By: Blewyn
URL: http://
The actor Robert Goulet died recently while waiting for a lung transplant. He was 73. Under socialized medicine, Goulet probably wouldn’t have been put on the transplant list: he would have been deemed too old for the surgery, regardless of his ability to survive it. I don’t want to be part of such a system.
As is your absolute right to argue and vote. Personally I’d be ashamed, at age 73, to take a healthy lung away from a young person who also needed it.
 
Written By: Blewyn
URL: http://
I thought that was the idea behind socialized health care. You don’t pay for anything you need. Ever.


No. The idea is that everyone pays an equal amount (according to their means) for whatever treatment the nation needs as a whole. Just like insurance, except :
a) the insurer wants to get the best bang for buck for your treatment
b) doesn’t have to generate a profit
c) will try to get you as much treatment as possible - as much as they can afford
d) will never, ever, employ anyone to deliberately wriggle out of treating you
So if he’d not used the system in place in the UK, and had instead used the method used here in the states, he’d have gotten taken care of faster. Is that really the argument you wanna make? You did know you were trying to defend the NHS, right?
The point being that had he been American without private health insurance, he would never have been treated, ever. The NHS would have treated him eventually, and indeed does thousands of hip replacements every year. Out of interest, could he have gotten insurance for a hip operation in the US, at his age ?
 
Written By: Blewyn
URL: http://
Yes, because there is no such thing as a botched operation in the UK. Ever.

I doubt patients can sue if there is one over there.
They most certainly can.
 
Written By: Blewyn
URL: http://
"how does this insurance bureaucracy rationing differ from NHS socialized medicine rationing?"
You can change insurance companies.
What, you can pick one that actively maximises the amount of treatments it performs ? That spends ALL of its revenue on healthcare? That doesn’t care AT ALL about pre-existing conditions ? :-)

"I think the puppet on the left is to my liking. I think the puppet on the right is more like my ideas. Hey there’s a guy in the middle with his hands up both of them !" - Bill Hicks RIP
 
Written By: Blewyn
URL: http://
Did I mention that the NHS treats you regardless of your pre-existing conditions ? Like, you’re covered, no matter what ..

Let’s just say that again :

NO PRE-EXISTING CONDITION RESTRICTIONS
 
Written By: Blewyn
URL: http://
1. No, we were discussing the fact that waiting times cannot be properly understood without factoring in the differences between the two health systems and the different challenges they face. If an operation costs a million pounds but all it does is stop an itchy toe, would you say it was outrageous to have to wait for it ? No. Clearly, it is not just a simple matter (as you would like to portray) of waiting times. There is also the fundamental difference that in the UK, you eventually get treated, whereas in the US - even WITH INSURANCE - you may never be treated, at all.
2. I did NOT say that waiting times in the US were as long as the NHS. In fact there is no way to compare the waiting times because the US doesn’t HAVE a NHS. The apples-to-apples comparison would be between the US healthcare system and the UK private healthcare sector.
3. I’m not defending any wait - we should always aim for the minimum waiting times. However, there’s only so much money to go around and only so many doctors/MRI machines etc available.
4. You’re right of course, the NHS is not free. It IS far, far cheaper to those that use it than the private alternative (not least because of the removal of the profit motive).
1. I hate to burst your bubble, Blewyn, but this is what you said about the wait time:
Is it ? How many US patients are treated within 18 weeks of seeing a family doctor ? How many dont see a doctor at all...because they can’t afford one ?

I bet you have no idea.

What is the incidence of the superbug in US hospitals ? Is it even possible to get truthful stats from them ?
When you were called on this tripe, you started redefining "wait for treatment". It’s pretty clear to anyone who can read that you were defending the 18 week median wait in the UK. It wasn’t at all about the severity of the disease, and for you to claim that here is bald-faced lying.

2. In that thread, you never said anything about comparing to a US NHS, or about the UK private health care system. Again, you are claiming things here that are not true.

3. That’s an important difference between the US and UK: in the UK, you are bound by the government’s supply of money, something you cannot control. Your own insurance and personal savings are completely within your control in the US. It’s all a matter of whom you’d rather trust.

4. Do you have any idea how much of your taxes go to health care? To me, it’s outrageous to pay the government for a service that it refuses to perform. Call me crazy.
No he wouldn’t. We’re talking about a guy who had no private medical insurance.
A man living in the US would almost certainly have had "medigap" insurance. You argued that a similar man in the US couldn’t get the operation because he couldn’t afford it, and McQ simply pointed out that the typical person in the US would have been able to get it.
As is your absolute right to argue and vote. Personally I’d be ashamed, at age 73, to take a healthy lung away from a young person who also needed it.
Again, an important difference between the US and UK. In the US, you get to decide the relative value of your life. In the UK, the government tells you that you aren’t as valuable as someone younger.

Whether I would take the operation is immaterial to the fact that it’s my decision to make and not the government’s.
What, you can pick one that actively maximises the amount of treatments it performs ? That spends ALL of its revenue on healthcare? That doesn’t care AT ALL about pre-existing conditions ? :-)
There are many kinds of health insurance available in this country. You can pick a plan that covers pre-existing conditions, or you can opt to pay less money and take your chance that the condition won’t need expensive treatment for a couple of years: it’s your choice.

Are you seriously arguing that your NHS spends all of its revenue on health care? That it doesn’t spend a dime on administration? Not one red cent on salaries for the employees approving/disapproving treatments?



Blewyn, it’s clear that you really don’t understand much about health insurance in the US. You make claims about it that just aren’t true. You might be satisfied with your NHS. Bully for you. The point to McQ’s postings is to illustrate that nationalized health care in the US would bring a host of problems that the vast majority of Americans would find utterly unacceptable.
 
Written By: Steverino
URL: http://
No he wouldn’t. We’re talking about a guy who had no private medical insurance.
Then he’d be covered by Medicare as are all Americans over 65.
 
Written By: McQ
URL: http://www.qando.net/blog
"and new cures are discovered worldwide every single day. Moreover, outside the US these cures, when discovered, immediately become public domain for all to use"

"Kindly provide a comparative list of all the diseases cured in any one year and the country where the discovery was made."

Why don’t you, since you are also making a comparable assertion?


"I’m not defending any wait"

LOL.


"No he wouldn’t. We’re talking about a guy who had no private medical insurance."

Because he made the foolish mistake of believing the NHS would provide for his health care adequately.


"No. The idea is that everyone pays an equal amount (according to their means)..."

You are lapsing into incoherence.

"Personally I’d be ashamed, at age 73, to take a healthy lung away from a young person who also needed it."

Perhaps you should learn the process whereby donors are matched to recipients. Can you guess why a rich, influential person like Goulet was waiting for a lung?



"It’s a FACT that the NHS return-on-investment watchdog constantly changes the treatments available,"

so how on earth can anyone rely on the NHS? How can anyone purchase their own health insurance if the needed coverage is unknown?

"Did I mention that the NHS treats you regardless of your pre-existing conditions ?"

Unless you are a smoker.
 
Written By: timactual
URL: http://
"NO PRE-EXISTING CONDITION RESTRICTIONS"

You get what you pay for. Incidentally, ’insuring’ for a pre-existing condition does not actually involve insurance. Insurance policies are priced on the basis of risk and probability. For a pre-existing condition there is no uncertainty involved, and failing to price accordingly is not insurance, it is welfare. Insurance companies are not, and should not be, in the business of giving away their shareholders’ money.
 
Written By: timactual
URL: http://
1. I hate to burst your bubble, Blewyn, but this is what you said about the wait time:
Is it ? How many US patients are treated within 18 weeks of seeing a family doctor ? How many dont see a doctor at all...because they can’t afford one ?

I bet you have no idea.

What is the incidence of the superbug in US hospitals ? Is it even possible to get truthful stats from them ?

When you were called on this tripe, you started redefining "wait for treatment". It’s pretty clear to anyone who can read that you were defending the 18 week median wait in the UK. It wasn’t at all about the severity of the disease, and for you to claim that here is bald-faced lying.
Evidently.you.cannot.read. Go.back.and.read.the.thread.again. The original quote (from the other NHS thread) says "almost half are treated within 18 weeks". This - "are treated" means they have been diagnosed and treated. You are attempting to imply that this is simply the wait time for an appointment. Clearly any comparison of US vs UK wait times has to take into account the kinds of ailments being treated and the nature of the commercial relationship between doctor and patient. How do you factor in all the people who get treated in the UK who would NOT receive treatment in the US ?
2. In that thread, you never said anything about comparing to a US NHS, or about the UK private health care system. Again, you are claiming things here that are not true.
Are you stupid ? This whole topic is an attempt to propagandise against public healthcare (as opposed to privatized health) by comparing the NHS with the American system.
That’s an important difference between the US and UK: in the UK, you are bound by the government’s supply of money, something you cannot control. Your own insurance and personal savings are completely within your control in the US.
As they are in the UK. Private medicine and insurance is available to all that can afford it, just as they are in the US. Are you surprised to learn that your persona; savings are your own in the UK ? What exactly do you imagine is going on over there ?
It’s all a matter of whom you’d rather trust.
Indeed - the NHS, the crowning achievement of the British Civilisation to date, our largest employer and charged with achieving the very best healthcare results possible for the resources it has available, or a profit-seeking insurance firm which wants to keep your treatment to the absolute minimum.
4. Do you have any idea how much of your taxes go to health care? To me, it’s outrageous to pay the government for a service that it refuses to perform. Call me crazy.
I know precisely how much goes to healthcare. It seems I have to repeat an earlier explanation :

When you pay national insurance in the UK, you are NOT buying personal healthcare. You are NOT purchasing a service. What you are buying is an insurance policy, the terms and conditions of which are public domain. All who contribute KNOW that only certain treatments are offered, and that treatment is carried out according to clinical need. That means if someone is sicker than you, they get treated first, no matter how much money you have to offer.

Why do we do it ? Because it works. Again I invite you to refute this assertion by comparing the health stats of our respective nations.
A man living in the US would almost certainly have had "medigap" insurance. You argued that a similar man in the US couldn’t get the operation because he couldn’t afford it, and McQ simply pointed out that the typical person in the US would have been able to get it.
1. The story was about a guy with no private insurance, something which I believe is very common in the US.
2. Pardon me if I’m not convinced that a 75-year-old could get insurance to cover hip replacements, unless he had already been a policyholder for a very long time. Did you even watch "Sicko" ?
As is your absolute right to argue and vote. Personally I’d be ashamed, at age 73, to take a healthy lung away from a young person who also needed it.
Again, an important difference between the US and UK. In the US, you get to decide the relative value of your life. In the UK, the government tells you that you aren’t as valuable as someone younger.

Whether I would take the operation is immaterial to the fact that it’s my decision to make and not the government’s.
Here’s a newsflash bubba, operations are performed when the resources are available. No amount of privately-bought insurance or outright purchasing power can make an organ available when you need one. Also, here’s another newsflash - you don’t get treated when you choose even if you are a private patient, you get treated when the hospital a) has resources b) isn’t getting a better offer from someone else. You may feel that purchasing power gives you control, but it’s an illusion..Other people have money too.
There are many kinds of health insurance available in this country. You can pick a plan that covers pre-existing conditions, or you can opt to pay less money and take your chance that the condition won’t need expensive treatment for a couple of years: it’s your choice.
I’ve already experienced the kind of "cover" offered by US medical insurance. Even the most expensive insurance doesn’t come close to covering the range of conditions and diseases treated by the NHS. How about a cost comparison between US and UK private health insurers ?
Are you seriously arguing that your NHS spends all of its revenue on health care? That it doesn’t spend a dime on administration? Not one red cent on salaries for the employees approving/disapproving treatments?
No, I wasn’t suggesting that, and I’ll be very surprised if anyone other than you read it that way. I am pointing out that the NHS uses ALL its revenue for healthcare (including treatment, clinical care, admin, salaries etc). No dividend to pay, no shareholders to keep happy, no profits to worry about - only the maximum bang-for-buck treatment.
Blewyn, it’s clear that you really don’t understand much about health insurance in the US.
How about this -

It’s a private-sector industry dedicated to extracting as much money as possible from the American people by providing as little medical care as it can get away with. It pursues treatment rather than cure, to maximise profits, and puts people on medications they don’t need, to maximise revenue.
The point to McQ’s postings is to illustrate that nationalized health care in the US would bring a host of problems that the vast majority of Americans would find utterly unacceptable.
Rubbish. The point of these posts is to rabble-rouse and scaremonger the American people to try and prevent the coming of public healthcare in the US. Every post is no more than an anecdotal horror story designed to strike fear into a nation of people whose culture is so individualist they live in a perpetual state of control anxiety. If there are any real health-related concerns, I’d love to hear them. Compare the two systems in any meaningful way, and it is clear which is the more effective. Anecdotally, did you see the bit where Michael Moore visited the hospital in the UK ?
 
Written By: Blewyn
URL: http://
Anecdotally, does anyone know where Michael Moore goes for medical treatment for himself and his family? Bet it’s not an average Cuban hospital.

I should point out that, anecdotally, my mother had two hip replacements in successive years (at age 80 and 81) and in each case (one an accident, the other not) had them replaced under Medicare and medigap in less than 48 hours after diagnosis. The first was an slip and fall and she was in and out in under a week. The second was deterioration. Her personal doctor saw her one day, had her at the bone-cracker’s in a week and she went under the knife just less than two days later.

I’m guessing it wouldn’t be that way in the UK, but, anecdotally, I don’t know. I do know that I’ve studied and taught (off and on) health policy in the US for about 20 years now, and all the data I see tells me that, given what Americans expect from their health care, going to any national system is going to be a huge disappointment to most Americans. Just check the annual Hastings Center survey on public attitudes about health. Huge support for everyone getting any care they need, huge unwillingness to pay any taxes for it.
 
Written By: JorgXMcKie
URL: http://
No he wouldn’t. We’re talking about a guy who had no private medical insurance.
Then he’d be covered by Medicare as are all Americans over 65.
Glad to hear it - socialized medicine is a wonderful thing and I look forward to hearing that it has been extended to ALL Americans, not only the over-65s.
 
Written By: Blewyn
URL: http://
Kindly provide a comparative list of all the diseases cured in any one year and the country where the discovery was made.
Why don’t you, since you are also making a comparable assertion?
I was refuting the validity of an assertion, not making one of my own. It is those who assert that must back up their claims.
"I’m not defending any wait"
LOL.
I’m not. Debates rage in the UK about waiting times. The point is that the data is public domain and everyone is focused on making the system work as efficiently as possible. What are the wait times on Medicare, or at the VA hospitals ?
"No he wouldn’t. We’re talking about a guy who had no private medical insurance."
Because he made the foolish mistake of believing the NHS would provide for his health care adequately.
The NHS covers what it covers, everyone knows that and everyone understands that treatment is prioritized according to clinical need. Everyone knows that hip replacements are not considered high-priority, so if you want to be first in line for treatment, you have to pay to go private.
"No. The idea is that everyone pays an equal amount (according to their means)..."
You are lapsing into incoherence.
Dude you need to read more.
Perhaps you should learn the process whereby donors are matched to recipients. Can you guess why a rich, influential person like Goulet was waiting for a lung?
Don’t try to change the subject ! You know full well that Steverino was making the argument that Goulet would not have been able to get on a transplant list prioritized according to need, as opposed to buying an organ.

Doesn’t that strike anyone as a particularly sick point of view ? That an organ should go to the highest bidder not the person in greatest need ? Would you be proud of a society where the older generation were invariably first in line for transplants because they have more savings than younger people ?
"It’s a FACT that the NHS return-on-investment watchdog constantly changes the treatments available,"
so how on earth can anyone rely on the NHS? How can anyone purchase their own health insurance if the needed coverage is unknown?
All major conditions are covered. From your question I’m guessing that you’re asking how you can customize your insurance ? Not sure about that - my private UK insurance policy only has 3 levels, and the top level pretty much covers everything.
"Did I mention that the NHS treats you regardless of your pre-existing conditions ?"
Unless you are a smoker.
Not true. You still get treated, but some doctors will treat their non-smoking patients before they treat a smoker. Non-smokers have better prognoses. Bang for buck see ?

Can an American smoker age 50 get medical insurance for lung cancer ?
 
Written By: Blewyn
URL: http://
"NO PRE-EXISTING CONDITION RESTRICTIONS"
You get what you pay for. Incidentally, ’insuring’ for a pre-existing condition does not actually involve insurance. Insurance policies are priced on the basis of risk and probability. For a pre-existing condition there is no uncertainty involved, and failing to price accordingly is not insurance, it is welfare. Insurance companies are not, and should not be, in the business of giving away their shareholders’ money.
Which is precisely why you should not entrust your healthcare to a private-sector insurance industry.
 
Written By: Blewyn
URL: http://
and all the data I see tells me that, given what Americans expect from their health care, going to any national system is going to be a huge disappointment to most Americans.
(my italics)

This goes to the core of most people’s emotion-driven objections to public healthcare, which is a fear of loss of control. Being a purchaser gives one a false sense of control, a feeling that the medical staff have to do what you say or they don’t get paid. It’s a false feeling - you can’t really go to anyone else (they are all the same) and if they are unable to treat you no amount of money will change that. Moreover, the commercial relationship clouds the clinical process, because you are being sold to, and because the doctors have to juggle their schedules to maintain the illusion that you are in control of your purchase, and because of their profit motive. Of course the consumer is reluctant to trust the doctor that’s selling to them, he could be just after the money, right ? The level of trust that the British people have in their medical staff is very high, precisely because none of the complications described above are present. There is no sales relationship. The doctors are motivated by clinical excellence alone. They are incentivised to cure rather than treat. They want you out of their hospital as soon as possible, and they want you to stay out for as long as possible.
Just check the annual Hastings Center survey on public attitudes about health. Huge support for everyone getting any care they need, huge unwillingness to pay any taxes for it.
Ask any Brit whether they resent having to pay tax to run the NHS.
 
Written By: Blewyn
URL: http://
Glad to hear it - socialized medicine is a wonderful thing and I look forward to hearing that it has been extended to ALL Americans, not only the over-65s.
As the two stories above point out, it’s not a wonderful thing, and one of the reasons it works reasonably well for those over 65 is Medigap and the option of going private if the socialized part screws up, as it routinely does.

The point of bringing up Medicare was to point out that you initial point about someone 75 here having "no insurance" is bogus and shows you know little about the system here.
 
Written By: McQ
URL: http://www.qando.net/blog
the NHS, the crowning achievement of the British Civilisation to date,


"I know precisely how much goes to healthcare."

Ok, how much?

"the terms and conditions of which are public domain"

And that, according to you, change without notice.

" Did you even watch "Sicko"

You get your information from Michael Moore and yet you deride someone citing the Daily Mail.

"No amount of privately-bought insurance or outright purchasing power can make an organ available when you need one"

But somehow Goulet succeeded in taking one from a more deserving person.


" No, I wasn’t suggesting that, and I’ll be very surprised if anyone other than you read it that way"

Surprise!!

"It’s a private-sector industry dedicated to extracting as much money as possible from the American people by providing as little medical care as it can get away with. It pursues treatment rather than cure, to maximise profits, and puts people on medications they don’t need, to maximise revenue."

Thus providing incontrovertible proof that not only does he not understand the US health insurance system, but that he does not understand capitalism either.




"I was refuting the validity of an assertion, not making one of my own."

I do apologize, but I seem to have missed the supporting documentation for the following assertion;

"The US health industry is interested in treatments, not cures, and new cures are discovered worldwide every single day. Moreover, outside the US these cures, when discovered, immediately become public domain for all to use, whereas in many cases they are patented or restricted to privately-owned suppliers."

" What are the wait times on Medicare, or at the VA hospitals ?"

LOL. Oh, the irony.

"Don’t try to change the subject ! You know full well that Steverino was making the argument that Goulet would not have been able to get on a transplant list prioritized according to need,"

Are you seriously asserting that he didn’t actually need a new set of lungs? He died, you know. You are also, in my opinion, misinterpreting what Steverino said, unless your argument is that old people do not need to be treated.


"Doesn’t that strike anyone as a particularly sick point of view ? That an organ should go to the highest bidder not the person in greatest need ? Would you be proud of a society where the older generation were invariably first in line for transplants because they have more savings than younger people ?"

Irrelevant to the point of irrationality.


"All major conditions are covered."

Right. But availability is subject to change without notice. Much better than private health insurance.


 
Written By: timactual
URL: http://
"the NHS, the crowning achievement of the British Civilisation to date,"

"Which is precisely why you should not entrust your healthcare to a private-sector insurance industry."

"my private UK insurance policy only has 3 levels, and the top level pretty much covers everything."

Etc.


Thanks for the entertainment. I have been chuckling since yesterday, and foresee at least a couple more days of grins. I have a weakness for the absurd.
 
Written By: timactual
URL: http://
As the two stories above point out, it’s not a wonderful thing, and one of the reasons it works reasonably well for those over 65 is Medigap and the option of going private if the socialized part screws up, as it routinely does.
Except it doesn’t, or you propagadists would be out there presenting facts and figures instead of anecdotes. You can’t get away from the FACTS that countries that have public health services are healthier.
The point of bringing up Medicare was to point out that you initial point about someone 75 here having "no insurance" is bogus and shows you know little about the system here.
Hey you picked out the case of a 75-year old with no private insurance. You can’t argue that the private system is better because the guy would have had medicare, because the British guy had the NHS. He WOULD have been treated, he just didn’t want to wait. What’s the wait on medicare ? Would he have been covered at all ?
 
Written By: Blewyn
URL: http://
the NHS, the crowning achievement of the British Civilisation to date,
Ask any Brit what is the best thing about our country.
"I know precisely how much goes to healthcare."
Ok, how much?
National Insurance (which currently stands at 11% of gross pay) covers both NHS and social security.
"the terms and conditions of which are public domain"
And that, according to you, change without notice.
Specific conditions and diseases are not specified in the terms and conditions. It’s not a personal contract with the voter, any more than defence is. You don’t get asked by the government which planes and tanks it should use - it appoints people to decide on our behalf (that’s how representative democracy works dude). Similarly, the NHS employs doctors who decide how best to use the resources they have. What we all know is that they will do all they can to give everyone the best possible healthcare.
" Did you even watch "Sicko"
You get your information from Michael Moore and yet you deride someone citing the Daily Mail.
Absolutely. http://www.michaelmoore.com/sicko/checkup/
Besides, I never disputed any facts in the Daily Mail’s article.
"No amount of privately-bought insurance or outright purchasing power can make an organ available when you need one"
But somehow Goulet succeeded in taking one from a more deserving person.
Are you really this illiterate or are you putting it on ? Go back and read it again.
"The US health industry is interested in treatments, not cures, and new cures are discovered worldwide every single day. Moreover, outside the US these cures, when discovered, immediately become public domain for all to use, whereas in many cases they are patented or restricted to privately-owned suppliers."
Yeah, kinda rushed that one. Obviously, I meant that in countries with public health services the cures become public domain, and equally obviously I meant that in the US they are patented and restricted for profit.
" What are the wait times on Medicare, or at the VA hospitals ?"
LOL. Oh, the irony.

So do you know, or not ?
"Don’t try to change the subject ! You know full well that Steverino was making the argument that Goulet would not have been able to get on a transplant list prioritized according to need,"
Are you seriously asserting that he didn’t actually need a new set of lungs? He died, you know. You are also, in my opinion, misinterpreting what Steverino said, unless your argument is that old people do not need to be treated.
So let’s say we have a 20 year-old and a 75-year old waiting for lungs, but only one set is available. Who gets them ?
"Doesn’t that strike anyone as a particularly sick point of view ? That an organ should go to the highest bidder not the person in greatest need ? Would you be proud of a society where the older generation were invariably first in line for transplants because they have more savings than younger people ?"
Irrelevant to the point of irrationality.
That IS what you’re arguing for...
"All major conditions are covered."
Right. But availability is subject to change without notice. Much better than private health insurance.
Availability is constant and guaranteed. You just have to accept that more urgent cases get treated before you do. If you don’t like that, you can buy private insurance, and hope they don’t wriggle out of covering whatever ails you.

PS my "gold" standard UK private health policy covers pretty much everything except dental (I can just pay straight out for that). It’s about $200 a month. How does than compare ?


 
Written By: Blewyn
URL: http://
Thanks for the entertainment. I have been chuckling since yesterday, and foresee at least a couple more days of grins. I have a weakness for the absurd.

Also a weakness where it comes to serious debate on serious topics. If you have some constructive arguments to make on the subject of private healthcare, let’s hear them - we Brits are always talking about how we can improve the health service. Juvenile rubbish like the above, kindly keep to yourself.
 
Written By: Blewyn
URL: http://
Except it doesn’t, or you propagadists would be out there presenting facts and figures instead of anecdotes.
Check the archives ... plenty of numbers, facts and figures available.
Hey you picked out the case of a 75-year old with no private insurance.
Uh, no I didn’t ... I ran a story about a 75 year old in the UK who had to spend his retirement savings to get a hip operation. YOU are the one who claimed a 75 year old in the US would have been worse off. And you were wrong.
 
Written By: McQ
URL: http://www.qando.net/blog
Except it doesn’t, or you propagadists would be out there presenting facts and figures instead of anecdotes.
Check the archives ... plenty of numbers, facts and figures available.
Er, no man. When you make an argument, you need to back it up. You make the posts so let’s have your evidence. I doubt you have any that supports your case.

Here’s one that doesn’t : The US has a higher child mortality rate than Cuba !
Hey you picked out the case of a 75-year old with no private insurance.
Uh, no I didn’t ... I ran a story about a 75 year old in the UK who had to spend his retirement savings to get a hip operation. YOU are the one who claimed a 75 year old in the US would have been worse off. And you were wrong.
....so YOU say. Pardon me if I don’t take that as gospel. You have yet to state categorically
a) whether such a person would be treated at all, under medicare cover
b) the timeframe for treatment
 
Written By: Blewyn
URL: http://
When you make an argument, you need to back it up. You make the posts so let’s have your evidence. I doubt you have any that supports your case.
It’s really not that hard. We even conveniently label the archive category "healh care"
Here’s one that doesn’t : The US has a higher child mortality rate than Cuba !
And what standard of reporting does Cuba use to report infant mortality? If you don’t know that, then you don’t know what you’re talking about.
....so YOU say. Pardon me if I don’t take that as gospel. You have yet to state categorically
a) whether such a person would be treated at all, under medicare cover
b) the timeframe for treatment
The average wait for hip replacement is a few weeks - even Canada recommends it:
PATHWAY Patient Advocates helps patients gain immediate access to hip replacement surgery in the U.S. instead of waiting as long as 2+ years for the procedure in Ontario.
I assume you understand what "immediate" means.

And it is surgery routinely paid for by medicare.
 
Written By: McQ
URL: http://www.qando.net/blog
When you make an argument, you need to back it up. You make the posts so let’s have your evidence. I doubt you have any that supports your case.
It’s really not that hard. We even conveniently label the archive category "health care"
Labelling your archive doesn’t qualify as evidence for arguments McQ. Let’s see the actual comparative stats for the effectiveness of private health vs public health based on the US population vs any other developed western country.
Here’s one that doesn’t : The US has a higher child mortality rate than Cuba !
And what standard of reporting does Cuba use to report infant mortality? If you don’t know that, then you don’t know what you’re talking about.
http://hdr.undp.org/hdr2006/pdfs/report/HDR06-complete.pdf.
http://unstats.un.org/unsd/demographic/products/vitstats/serATab3.pdf
The average wait for hip replacement is a few weeks - even Canada recommends it:
PATHWAY Patient Advocates helps patients gain immediate access to hip replacement surgery in the U.S. instead of waiting as long as 2+ years for the procedure in Ontario.
I assume you understand what "immediate" means.
I know what it means in a sales ad for a firm of advocates, yeah. That the best you can do ? So Canada’s public healthcare system is held to such a strict standard that members of the public can actually access private healthcare in the US if wait time limits are not met ! Outstanding.

What are the wait times for medicare ?
 
Written By: Blewyn
URL: http://

 
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