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Old 08-28-2009, 02:46 AM
 
676 posts, read 995,352 times
Reputation: 274

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Greg

Hi,

I live in Southampton, UK. Please look beyond the spin and lies that the self-serving corporations and government will be battering you with. There are 50 million Americans not getting healthcare that should be, people dying because they haven't got the means to pay. Insurance companies and doctors hold the responsibility of whether somebody lives or dies, is this fair, is it right!?

The system in the UK works, like Canada and others. Yes, you may have to wait for non-urgent medical attention but important cases get dealt with. I have several family members that have had their lives saved by the NHS, it cost nothing and covers everyone.

We are all connected and should be helping others, not just what would suit ourselves, that's why the world is so messed up, the majority of the worlds wealth being owned by 1% of the worlds population. We do not matter to them, that is why there is so much resistance to your healthcare changes.

Michael Moore's film Sicko does a good job of explaining the situation, if you haven't seen it then do so.

Greg
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Old 08-28-2009, 02:49 AM
 
676 posts, read 995,352 times
Reputation: 274
kmyuk
Four years ago I was rushed into a UK hospital with severe cramping in my left leg. A modern, clean NHS hospital! I was in hospital for nearly 7 weeks while the doctors tried various treatments, including arterial bypass surgery, to save my leg. Unfortunately I did lose my leg but it wasn't due to the failures of the NHS. After leaving hospital I had daily visits from NHS nurses to change my dressings, when I was ready I had an artificial leg fitted and all the care that I required from the physios to help me adjust to my situation. I didn't pay a penny extra for treatment.
I really don't recognise the NHS as portrayed by the jaundiced views of people who appear to have little good to say about pretty much anything. If the US decides they don't want affordable healthcare for all - That's OK. After all, I'm a foreigner and it's really nothing to do with me. But when people start running down our British healthcare system by spreading malicious nonsense I get angry.
As is true of most Brits, I've liked the Americans I've met, but sometimes I don't really understand you. Of course our NHS systems has its problems and we have our fair share of bad doctors too, but by and large it works for us. I hope you get a system that you can agree on, one that suits your culture.
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Old 08-28-2009, 02:57 AM
 
676 posts, read 995,352 times
Reputation: 274
[A US physician responds]

Heather Hamernick
The core issue with the health care debate is that regardless of which health care system we employ (completely private vs. completely public vs. a combination of the two), there will be problems. We as a nation are currently in the midst of deciding which system will work best for us, but it will never be "perfect". Just as pure socialism isn't perfect, and pure capitalism isn't perfect - there needs to be a balance.

I've been a family doctor now for 2 years and let me tell you - the system we have now is far from ideal. I think a more rigorous public health plan would be very beneficial. The problems we have now include from a primary healthc care perspective center around the fact that humans, by nature, aren't too good at taking care of themselves. Even the most well-intentioned, healthy libertarian who wants to keep government nearly completely out of their life will likely avoid seeing the doctor until there is a "problem". That is, until they have symptoms. Then, they will present to the Emergency Room or to a Clinic with a disease in a progressed state, which costs them, and ultimately society, more money. That is just human nature. I know this because I see it EVERY DAY.

Many uninsured/underinsured people do not get regular preventive health care and therefore enter the medical system when their symptoms become so bad that they simply must see a doctor. For example, the diabetic patient who doesn't keep their blood sugars under control, and 5 years later presents to the ER ($4000) with a giant foot infection, only to get admitted to the hospital ($15000) and then get a foot amputated ($15000).

Now, the problem with a more "socialized" health care system is the "lottery" system that everyone is afraid of. If you get a little older, have severe pain in your knee that makes you barely able to walk, how long will it be until a doctor can schedule you for a knee replacement? If you get cancer, who decides when you get to start your chemotherapy? Believe me, as a doctor and semi-republican, the last thing I want is the government to decide how I treat my patients. But... insurance companies, and the government via Medicare and Medicaid, are already doing that now. I have problems with it all the time - for example I fill out at least 5 "prior authorization" forms per day, basically begging and justifying to a person's insurance why I chose a particular medication for them, in the hopes the insurance will at least partially cover it. And it's not as simple as the insurance company denying expensive medications and paying only for cheaper ones. They often have contracts with drug companies and have "preferred" medications that must be trialed before others will be paid for. It's really a republican's nightmare - the insurance company has all the power, and you the individual, have very little.

Government is already heavily involved in healthcare via Medicare, Medicaid, the Veterans Affairs, Indian Health Service, Pediatric Vaccine Programs, Public Health, and perhaps many other examples I am forgetting. They do a pretty good job. Health care isn't the same as selling cars, or clothing, or technology. It isn't always profitible, and so can't be run on a completely capitalistic model. It's time for more help from the government, who we can elect, and protest, and re-elect if we want to, and less power for the insurance companies, who act merely to stay profitable. In the example of health care, Power to the People means Power to the Government!
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Old 08-28-2009, 02:58 AM
 
676 posts, read 995,352 times
Reputation: 274
jennifergray
I have a health care horror story to tell. I have lived in Canada, the UK and the United States over my 52 years, and although i have a few complaints about waiting time in the NHS and Canadian systems, they cannot compare to the story of when living in Florida, my family lost its coverage (my husband lost his job) and we had to get a low cost plan that we could actually afford. My daughter had an accident with her bicycle, and after initially thinking that there was no serious damage, it became apparent that there was something wrong. A friend offered to take us to the nearest hospital, where we were seen in the emergency department and where an x-ray confirmed that she had indeed fractured her ulna and dislocated her elbow. There was an orthopedist on duty who could realign her elbow and cast her arm, but because our health plan only allowed us to go to one hospital in the area, and the cost to go outside of our plan was more than I could afford, we had to take our daughter to the plan hospital. Because there was not an orthopedist on duty until the next morning, we spent the night with our daughter on beds in the emergency room; by the next morning, the swelling had increased in her arm so much that it could not be realigned. She would now have to return a few days later, have a general anaesthetic and have her arm re broken and reset to achieve the same outcome. Additional, more painful, and potentially harmful procedures to fix what would have been a relatively simple injury if we had some sort of national insurance. I have nightmares about what it would have been like to stay in the US, as a self-employed person, as in the last ten years I been diagnosed with multiple sclerosis, and have had to rely on government funded health care to receive a very expensive disease modifying therapy which has kept my disease in check. I am appalled that such a great country as the US has not been able to create a plan that cares for all of its citizens, not just the wealthy.
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Old 08-28-2009, 03:06 AM
 
676 posts, read 995,352 times
Reputation: 274
davinci7
I lived in Germany and while I was there I was pregnant with my first daughter. The health care system was very good. The care was of great quality, and I would rather have my children there than here. Our health care is good but it seems that Germany is passing us up in many ways. Using failing systems as examples (such as Canada or Britian) is not fair and is terribly misleading. Many countries such as Germany and Switzerland are successful examples of universal, free healthcare systems. So some people need to stop knocking everything down just because it's new and we're not used to it. Not everything socialist is bad. It is possible to take parts from another system and integrate them with our own governmental system. Social health care is a good thing when done right.
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Old 08-28-2009, 03:11 AM
 
676 posts, read 995,352 times
Reputation: 274
the_madman
My mother has been a nurse for the best part of her life. She's Austrian and has been a nurse in both Austria and England. This kind of thing annoys her no end: in Austria, they take the worst-case scenario and do tests to see if it IS a worst-case scenario. If the diagnosis is positive, they treat it right away - if it isn't, then they eliminate it from the list of possibilities and continue on to the second worst-case scenario. This way, illnesses are easier to cure (they're discovered as early as possible), it's less expensive (fewer drugs are used) and the patient is cured earlier. A free health-care system that works.
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Old 08-28-2009, 03:24 AM
 
676 posts, read 995,352 times
Reputation: 274
Mandy Man
I do have some horror stories for you, and they complete oppose your claims and shows america certainly does not have the best healthcare in the world, and nowhere near being any:

-- For 2006-2010, the USA's life expectancy will lag 38th in the world, after most rich nations, lagging last of the G5 (Japan, France, Germany, UK, USA) and just after Chile (35th) and Cuba (37th).

-- The World Health Organization (WHO), in 2000, ranked the U.S. health care system as the highest in cost, first in responsiveness, 37th in overall performance, and 72nd by overall level of health (among 191 member nations included in the study).

-- According to the Institute of Medicine of the National Academy of Sciences, the United States is the "only wealthy, industrialized nation that does not ensure that all citizens have coverage" (i.e. some kind of assurance).

-- Emergency rooms are typically at, near, or over capacity. Long wait times have become a problem nationally, and in urban areas some ERs are put on "diversion" on a regular basis, meaning that ambulances are directed to bring patients elsewhere.

-- More bad news on non-existant quality: A report issued by Public Citizen in April 2008 found that the number of serious disciplinary actions against physicians by state medical boards declined from 2006 to 2007. This was the third yearly decline in a row. The authors concluded that additional action is needed to improve the oversight provided by state medical boards.

And that's just a small number of issues on our BAD healthcare, not the best in the world. The "horror" stories you are reading are a small percentage of examples that are being used to scare people. If things were truly as bad as reports say why does 94% of Canadians happy with their care? Why do 93% of Brits report being happy with the government care, even if they can opt for private insurance? Americans have never reported anywhere near 70, 80 or 90% satisfaction with healthcare. Instead malpractice suits are booming.
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