Go Back  PPRuNe Forums > PPRuNe Social > Jet Blast
Reload this Page >

Why are Americans so Against Universal Health Care

Jet Blast Topics that don't fit the other forums. Rules of Engagement apply.

Why are Americans so Against Universal Health Care

Old 29th Dec 2019, 02:30
  #41 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Jun 2011
Location: The World
Posts: 1,374
The rankings of the 2017 Commonwealth study on healthcare performance by country, along with the average spend per person in each country:

UK $4192
Australia $4708
Netherlands $5385
New Zealand $3590
Norway $6647
Switzerland $7919
Sweden $5488
Germany $5551
Canada $4753
France $4600
USA $9892

So taking the Swiss out of the equation we can see that Americans pay at least 50% more for healthcare than every other developed country but come dead last in overall performance.
A complete overhaul of the US healthcare system would be needed to improve it's performance and efficiency, not just the billing method (more than "Medicare for all", but it would be a good start). Incentives to maintain healthy lifestyles, regulation of drug prices, changes to procedures etc. But with the US political scene so split at the moment and the influence of health insurers and HMO's so powerful (approx 17% of total US GDP), it's probably unachievable for the foreseeable future.

Originally Posted by krismiler View Post
The Australian system provides excellent care for those who don't contribute anything, this is paid for by high taxes on people who actually do work. Those who earn slightly above average wages have to take out private health insurance or they get charged extra on their tax bill to use the system that they have paid for in the first place. Typical socialism.
You can thank the "very socialist" PM John Howard for that. If that extra spending was put into Medicare we'd save $3 billion per year nationwide for the same healthcare outcomes. I pay tax too, I personally would prefer to pay more in tax toward a more efficient public healthcare system than be forced to buy inefficient private insurance.
dr dre is offline  
Old 29th Dec 2019, 02:41
  #42 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Aug 2015
Location: Sunnydale
Posts: 192
Originally Posted by krismiler View Post
etrying to cure the third world medical tourists who have never contributed a penny into the system and leave without paying doesn't help either.
exactly what is that cost (either relative or absolute). Go on. Google is your friend here.
back to Boeing is offline  
Old 29th Dec 2019, 02:42
  #43 (permalink)  
Psychophysiological entity
 
Join Date: Jun 2001
Location: Tweet Rob_Benham Famous author. Well, slightly famous.
Age: 81
Posts: 4,941
I'm in the UK because of not daring to remain in the US. I've been living between Essex and Texas for a very long time and had restored a charming bungalow in a nice area not far from the kid's house. I thought having say, $100k in the bank for emergencies would be enough. Enough to get me patched up and headed home. I was wrong on both counts.

A/ I'd need at least a million $ in the bank, and be prepared to kiss it goodbye. B/ I lost my right to UK medicine in 90 days. An official phoned me from Ipswich to explain that the rule had been in place since 1948. I think it's 180 days now. It seemed that an illegal immigrant had more right to medicine than my wife and I.

As it happens, G-CPTN posted a document showing that once over 65 that rule goes away. Odd the bloke didn't mention that as I was inches away from 65.

It's not really relevant to the main question, so just for general interest:-

A year-ish before we came home I was prodded by the Rivetess to get a PSA check included on our Wellness visits. $85 for a slew of tests, a kind of promotion thing. I came in at 8.5 Hmmm . . . this 'things like this don't happen to me' notion had backfired. I did a lot of phoning and eventually found a practice in a hospital in San Antonio with an angel willing to talk to me. He said, "Just get here. Just pay for the lab tests the rest will be free. I always say that when the sun shines on you as it has on me, we should give something back." Wow. I did, and he sent me the Gleason readout. 'Sooner rather than later'.

He said that the DaVinci machine was so good he'd stopped doing the op, but his pal would do it for $20k. Really, for America, that was one heck of a deal. But . . . that was it, in and out, all after-care an open question. Any delay could be $2k a night. Plus, as I've mentioned before, a Tylenol at $400 a pop.
I phoned my GP in the UK. 'We'll put you on Watchful waiting.' 'I've got a Gleason of 4+3.' 'I'll refer you immediately.' The day after my feet touched British soil, I was in with a specialist. I was given counselling and a choice of procedures. I plumped for Brachytherapy. A slew of tests including very specialised radar of me innards. Southend, and volume studies under general anaesthetic. Go home. Seeds flown from Canada. Seeds scattered appropriately. Just go away and check your PSA from time to time. Fact is, I felt guilty for being so lucky . . . but I shouldn't have worried, my load of life's sh!t was about to descend on me.

We sold up and came home. Rivetess had gone into the Greta Garbo 'I want to be alone' mode. Crap. Apart from that I seemed to be astonishingly fit apart from floaters in one eye and a chronic bad back. Ipswich scraped me retina and removed the vitreous humor. They later did the cataract that usually follows. Cost? A few quid in transport. A lovely chap in Ipswich did me spine while I was in this rejuvenation mode. If only I'd found him when it first got bad. 36hours and I was transformed. What else needs doing? Hernia. I was given a choice of hospitals and I went to a private hospital on the NHS. I don't understand this. The only disadvantage seemed to be we had to park where the commoners park. It had still got manicured gardens, but the cars weren't so new. Other than that it was private room and posh dressing gowns. If I'd been paying a fortune for cover, I wouldn't want someone like me rattling up and leaving oil stains on the carpark. Still, too good a deal to turn down. Three consultations included. Cost. Nothing. Carpal tunnel? If I leave it, it can get so bad I can't get it right. Okay, diagnostics. Now here I have to confess to evil thoughts.

It was perhaps 20 years ago that I went into a surgeon's office for diagnostics. I'd get horrible jabs while using power tools, and I knew it could be fixed. Now the confession. 'A good, a middle-aged white guy' is what I thought. If God can read our thoughts, he certainly was not amused by my bias. I was put on a machine that looked like things I'd buy from Lisle Street. An old oscilloscope and another box hiding a giant Tesla coil. He had a strange expression on his face as he turned the voltage up. I think he kept a log of how much he could hurt people without them screaming. I came close to it. I decided to go home and put up with the problem. But now, I was on the bridge of the Enterprise. Unbelievable kit looking at the readouts of my brain communicating with my arms. As I clenched my fists, graphs of the digital data going into the muscle was being mapped. Sound of the rush of pulses added to the effects. Yes, I needed two operations.

My nice back surgeon did the second of the two, and we were chatting about how it all works in there and he asked if I wanted to see. Yeh!. The girls moved the sheets and I held my hand up which was being opened by a big stainless stretchy thing. It was like a Gray's drawing, but in colour. He bid me move my fingers. Utterly amazing. Seeing my works, working. Now just buy a piano, and find a girlfriend and . . . then it happened.

I went to my GP complaining of a hollowness when I tapped behind my ears. Everything sounded muffled. He said go away and put oil in your ears. I protesed that it sounded neurological, and he said STOP, I'll call the police. This is science fiction. I understood his sense of humour but I was back next day with a pile of data from the Royal Institute for the Deaf. He said well, I'll get a hearing test. When I look back, I could bang my head on a wall. Why the @#$%#$% I didn't protest harder? Hospitals do that routinely before seeing the consultant. Here I was, weeks and a pair of NHS hearing aids. When finally I saw the charming surgeon, she said, I'd had it. My hearing was f$^%@. She wrote to my GP saying whatever the pathology was, it's gone, and he's got etc., etc. Then she added something about the effects the loss of my 'beloved classical music' was going to have on me. Yep, I still look at the TV times Yay! The Proms. Oh, F$%@$#. I kind of forget. But I'll tell you what, If I could get rid of this mind-crushing tinnitus and hear undistorted sound again, I'd have a bad back, foot, knee, eye and willy failure. It is utterly bloody awful. So, all that expenditure on a tired old frame. The illusion that I was still young and unaffected by the ageing process. The fact I can still canter up the Naze cliffs without a hint of breathlessness, think through the latest ideas about gravity, my passion. It's all wasted. That moment when I might have had treatment that just might have saved my hearing. Possibly not, a virus would have got me before steroids had a chance, but just what if it had been a bacterium? I'll never know.

The last visit, the same GP, he said, there's something you don't get about 80. Most of your contemporaries are dead. Statistically, a year and a half more, but who's counting? The issue is, is it worth treating old blokes with zillion-quid medicine when something is going to get them from one direction, if not another?
Loose rivets is offline  
Old 29th Dec 2019, 04:01
  #44 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: Denver
Posts: 1,080
Originally Posted by nomorecatering View Post
....Can explain to me how the American system is better. I simply do not understand the logic of the American system.
This will be one explanation - but do not confuse an explanation with a defense. It may involve logic, but not necessarily rationality. They are not the same, since logic is merely a means of arguing from assumptions and first principles, and faulty or incorrect assumptions will lead to logical-but-irrational conclusions.

Your acquaintance may be a libertarian, self-reliant individualist (or think of himself as such) - they are rather common in the US. In which case he believes in every human paddling their own canoe, and achieving (or not) a better life entirely on their own, without outside assistance. If he is philosophically opposed to a societal system of health care (he may share M. Thatcher's stated belief that "there is no such thing as Society"), it is perfectly logical (and by his lights, rational, and we might note, honest) to refuse the care of a system that would violate his deepest principles - self-reliance and only self-reliance - even to save his own life. One can rephrase his comment as "I would rather die than be dependent on others, or accept and acknowledge the existence of a system that philosopically violates my most basic principles." It is not really different from the old slogan, "Better Dead Than Red" - which some people believe in wholeheartedly, and others consider insane.

Of course, it may simply be short-term thinking. "It is preferable that my taxes be lower over the next 20 years so that I can enjoy the money myself - if that means I go bankrupt, or die, due to onset of illness in the 21st year - well, 'in the long run, we are all dead.' "

There has also been a historical US culture that doctors (at least the GPs) were not just body-mechanics, but friends and counselors in many things beyond health care. Probably true elsewhere, but that approach has held on longer here, especially in smaller towns. A government-bureaucrat-with-an-MD just doesn't always fulfill that larger role.

I myself have been disgustingly healthy my whole life. Never spent a night (or a day for that matter) in a hospital in my life (except, presumably, the few days after my birth). At 65, I need just three daily meds. Nevertheless I have happily used employer-based insurance, the ACA (which fortunately came along just as I lost a job in the Great Recession), and now Medicare (which costs me only co-pays for office visits and meds, at the moment.)

"Just in case..."

Oddly, under all three regimes I kept the same doctor and (sorry, OB ) "provider" - the Kaiser Permanente system set up by the industrialist Henry Kaiser (of Liberty Ship fame). Which grew out of Kaiser's internal health-care system for his employees - the first pre-paid Health Maintenance Organization. It is a mix of for-profit (the MDs are the "shareholders") and non-profit (plan-operated hospitals, foundation and insurance structure).

As an HMO, it provides (in fact, promotes) preventative care - on the assumption that that will be cheaper in the long run than treating severe illness later on.

It shocks me a bit that the UK NHS doesn't do preventative - if correct.
pattern_is_full is offline  
Old 29th Dec 2019, 04:36
  #45 (permalink)  
Psychophysiological entity
 
Join Date: Jun 2001
Location: Tweet Rob_Benham Famous author. Well, slightly famous.
Age: 81
Posts: 4,941
Friends in Texas had a bad time. Years of husband (Hispanic) traveling over to Mexico for his job. One day he'd got a gun in his neck and another pressing on his temple. He refused to get in the car. You can kill me, but I'm not getting in the car.

A RangeRover zoomed over and he though would help, but it was the head honcho. Let him go, the bloke said, and they all ran away. Okay, he gets home, and feels the shock. He tells his boss of 25 years that he can't go back. 47,000 murders in five years. No, that's not a mistake. We used to walk across the bridge for lunch. Never again. They have a lovely ranch home. Take in poorly horses and very often get stuck with them. Lovely people, the wife a British GI bride that I met at writer's school.
She worked in an office, now her's is the only medical cover for both of them. Obama care orders this and that. Boss says, you're on 39 hours a week, and I don't need to buy any insurance at all. For the first time since he left the airforce, they had NO cover. The policies they were offered were a joke.

So this is well established, hard working, Americans. Totally in the poo after a lifetimes work.
Loose rivets is offline  
Old 29th Dec 2019, 08:00
  #46 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Jul 2006
Location: Herts, UK
Posts: 474
Originally Posted by BVRAAM View Post
It's almost as if a single, national health service where each person only pays a small amount towards, is a pretty good idea! Does anyone know of a country with such a service?
Yes it sounds good.in theory doesn't it. But I've been paying in every month for exactly 30 years (and never needed a single thing)... and bear in mind that my national insurance contributions alone are over 9 thousand pounds a year.
Last year I developed a tumour on my back which just keeps growing and growing, after the GP decided that it was not deadly she referred me to hospital to look at getting it removed. A plastics specialist had a look and decided it definitely needed to come off, and he'd be in touch. Two weeks later I received a letter stating that a committee had considered my case but they would not / could not afford to fund the procedure. Oh and had I thought about going private and paying for it myself?

I'm not sure what the answer is, but surely it's not our solution? I have to tell you that after paying into the NHS for so long I feel pretty pissed off that apparently the one time I need help, the service can't afford to help me.

Don't even get me started on my uncle who's currently dying alone of cancer, unable to move from his bed at home, and who only sees a carer once per day when he's lucky. The rest of the time it's apparently okay for a man of 80 odd to lie suffering in his own shit.
Laarbruch72 is offline  
Old 29th Dec 2019, 16:21
  #47 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Sep 2008
Location: UK
Posts: 62
patternisfull.....uk does not do preventive ?...in my area of Scotland I am offered annual personal checks and bloods...with follow up...(NHS)
rifruffian is offline  
Old 29th Dec 2019, 16:44
  #48 (permalink)  
I don't own this space under my name. I should have leased it while I still could
 
Join Date: Dec 2002
Location: Lincolnshire
Age: 78
Posts: 16,751
Originally Posted by rifruffian View Post
patternisfull.....uk does not do preventive ?...in my area of Scotland I am offered annual personal checks and bloods...with follow up...(NHS)
At different ages different injections, tests and examinations kick in. There are regular mammograms for women, there are annual checks for bowel cancer. Dentists provide regular checkups. Opticians do eye tests. Chest X-rays are a regular feature. GPs do Well Man and Well Woman checks.
Pontius Navigator is offline  
Old 29th Dec 2019, 16:54
  #49 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Sep 2008
Location: UK
Posts: 62
PN absolutely right...
rifruffian is offline  
Old 29th Dec 2019, 18:24
  #50 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: Denver
Posts: 1,080
PN and rif...
Thanks for those clarifications - I was going by the comment in post #29.
pattern_is_full is offline  
Old 29th Dec 2019, 20:48
  #51 (permalink)  
I don't own this space under my name. I should have leased it while I still could
 
Join Date: Dec 2002
Location: Lincolnshire
Age: 78
Posts: 16,751
Originally Posted by pattern_is_full View Post
PN and rif...
Thanks for those clarifications - I was going by the comment in post #29.
it is not perfect, nor is it truly national. Some things are national such as the bowel cancer screening. Other things are excluded and some care commissioning groups will treat less than others. My health trust has contracted audiology to SpecSavers. It is a commercial provider. Some treatment and screening is also contracted to private hospitals.
Pontius Navigator is offline  
Old 30th Dec 2019, 12:44
  #52 (permalink)  
Cunning Artificer
 
Join Date: Jun 2001
Location: The spiritual home of DeHavilland
Age: 73
Posts: 3,125
I work in a job that often requires me to travel. I no longer travel to USA because the travel insurance provided by my employer no longer covers me for medical care. I can travel to Europe presently, being mostly (but not completely) covered by my EHIC. Falling ill would not bankrupt me there, but that is about to change at the end of next month. God Bless the NHS that continues to keep my heart beating for free and treats Mrs. B as well.
Blacksheep is offline  
Old 30th Dec 2019, 17:23
  #53 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Apr 2007
Location: moraira,spain-Norfolk, UK
Age: 79
Posts: 374
Post 29 was by me. Today I went for private treatment.
Result - right needs immediate treatment, left not so urgent.
So I had both eyes done. I investigated a bit, and it seems that
treatment depends on the ideas the CCG and other bodies in your area.
So no central standard.
esa-aardvark is offline  
Old 30th Dec 2019, 17:29
  #54 (permalink)  
I don't own this space under my name. I should have leased it while I still could
 
Join Date: Dec 2002
Location: Lincolnshire
Age: 78
Posts: 16,751
Originally Posted by esa-aardvark View Post
Post 29 was by me. Today I went for private treatment.
Result - right needs immediate treatment, left not so urgent.
So I had both eyes done. I investigated a bit, and it seems that
treatment depends on the ideas the CCG and other bodies in your area.
So no central standard.
As I said, 'national ' is actually a fiction both for patients and staff.
Pontius Navigator is offline  
Old 30th Dec 2019, 17:32
  #55 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Jul 2005
Location: USA
Posts: 45
When some of the largest corporations start to buckle at the staggering costs, it tells you something needs to be done.
This has the potential to disrupt the industry and make the positive changes needed.Will it happen, and when, still remain to be seen. But, it can't happen soon enough. I've always felt, coming from a tech background, that is was going to take tech guys partnering with more altruistic medical professionals...The system, IMO, is lost in it's greed at all levels.https://havenhealthcare.com/
letsjet is offline  
Old 30th Dec 2019, 18:15
  #56 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Dec 2001
Location: Richmond Texas
Posts: 305
General observation

I have been treated by both the US and Ontario systems of health care.

In Ontario they do everything they have to do.
In the US they do everything they can do.
Flash2001 is offline  
Old 31st Dec 2019, 00:29
  #57 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Jul 2010
Location: Asia
Posts: 1,262
Americans who can't afford health care at home sometimes try to get it for free in Canada. Hospitals near the border are well aware of US patients claiming to have become ill whilst on holiday and needing urgent treatment.

Canadians who have money and don't want to wait in the queue at home will often travel to the US for medical procedures and some hospitals close to the border specifically target wealthy Canadian patients. Waiting 18 months for a knee replacement vs having it done next week makes a trip across the frontier an easy choice if you can afford it.
krismiler is offline  
Old 31st Dec 2019, 09:40
  #58 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Nov 2004
Location: PIK
Posts: 12
Originally Posted by krismiler View Post
The UK NHS is good but costs are out of control and being a massive government bureaucracy there's a lot of unnecessary waste and expenditure, trying to cure the third world medical tourists who have never contributed a penny into the system and leave without paying doesn't help either.
Citation please.

Anybody coming to the UK for more than 6 months, from outside the EEA, pays an immigration health surcharge as part of the visa application process.
https://www.gov.uk/healthcare-immigr...pplication/pay
Chipzilla is offline  
Old 31st Dec 2019, 11:22
  #59 (permalink)  
I don't own this space under my name. I should have leased it while I still could
 
Join Date: Dec 2002
Location: Lincolnshire
Age: 78
Posts: 16,751
Chip, I was in A&E one Sunday evening. A couple were there. They were doing work on their home, a Victorian terrace house, when she had stepped on a nail from a board. He was English, she was Polish, she had her passport and documentation and as much time was spent sorting out the bill as her triage, and that before she was treated.

'Free' medical care for tourists is probably as much urban myth as fact.

OTOH, in France, before the advent of the E111, my daughter was treated at a hospital on a Sunday with a consultant professor called out. He correctly diagnosed what out own Scottish GP had failed to recognise and even asked that we stay for two days for tests. All free.

And in Spain a pharmacy replaced my wife's meds that she had forgotten without the need to get a script from a doctor.
Pontius Navigator is offline  
Old 31st Dec 2019, 13:31
  #60 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: May 2002
Location: glasgow
Posts: 334
Why would the Polish lady be charged?
Surely everyone is still entitled to free A&E treatment.
renfrew is offline  

Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Contact Us - Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy - Privacy Statement - Terms of Service - Do Not Sell My Personal Information -

Copyright 2021 MH Sub I, LLC dba Internet Brands. All rights reserved. Use of this site indicates your consent to the Terms of Use.