slightly off topic.

As you may know there is a huge political brouhaha building up here in the U.S.A. over a proposed government overhaul of our health care
system. Our new President has stated many times his admiration for and wish to copy the British system. So folks, just how good, or bad is it?? I'm seriously interested as one or two U.K. citizens that I have talked with seem less than enthusiastic.
To avoid this becoming a political ruckus which would jam up a lot of bandwidth here please send your answers to me direct at: snipped-for-privacy@verizon.net
Thanks much! Bill Shuey
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On Fri, 28 Aug 2009 14:50:07 -0700 (PDT), Bill Shuey

It's crap, but it's equally crap for everyone regardless of finances.
Actually, as I've had need of it lately (Gallstones...), I have had no problems whatsoever, and can't praise the nursing staff sufficiently - the doctors, however, need to hurry up a bit!
Wulf
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Wulf Corbett wrote:

Something I gleaned from another newsgroup:
========================================================================5 Myths About Health Care Around the World
By T.R. Reid Sunday, August 23, 2009
As Americans search for the cure to what ails our health-care system, we've overlooked an invaluable source of ideas and solutions: the rest of the world. All the other industrialized democracies have faced problems like ours, yet they've found ways to cover everybody -- and still spend far less than we do.
I've traveled the world from Oslo to Osaka to see how other developed democracies provide health care. Instead of dismissing these models as "socialist," we could adapt their solutions to fix our problems. To do that, we first have to dispel a few myths about health care abroad:
1. It's all socialized medicine out there.
Not so. Some countries, such as Britain, New Zealand and Cuba, do provide health care in government hospitals, with the government paying the bills. Others -- for instance, Canada and Taiwan -- rely on private-sector providers, paid for by government-run insurance. But many wealthy countries -- including Germany, the Netherlands, Japan and Switzerland -- provide universal coverage using private doctors, private hospitals and private insurance plans.
In some ways, health care is less "socialized" overseas than in the United States. Almost all Americans sign up for government insurance (Medicare) at age 65. In Germany, Switzerland and the Netherlands, seniors stick with private insurance plans for life. Meanwhile, the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs is one of the planet's purest examples of government-run health care.
2. Overseas, care is rationed through limited choices or long lines.
Generally, no. Germans can sign up for any of the nation's 200 private health insurance plans -- a broader choice than any American has. If a German doesn't like her insurance company, she can switch to another, with no increase in premium. The Swiss, too, can choose any insurance plan in the country.
In France and Japan, you don't get a choice of insurance provider; you have to use the one designated for your company or your industry. But patients can go to any doctor, any hospital, any traditional healer. There are no U.S.-style limits such as "in-network" lists of doctors or "pre-authorization" for surgery. You pick any doctor, you get treatment -- and insurance has to pay.
Canadians have their choice of providers. In Austria and Germany, if a doctor diagnoses a person as "stressed," medical insurance pays for weekends at a health spa.
As for those notorious waiting lists, some countries are indeed plagued by them. Canada makes patients wait weeks or months for nonemergency care, as a way to keep costs down. But studies by the Commonwealth Fund and others report that many nations -- Germany, Britain, Austria -- outperform the United States on measures such as waiting times for appointments and for elective surgeries.
In Japan, waiting times are so short that most patients don't bother to make an appointment. One Thursday morning in Tokyo, I called the prestigious orthopedic clinic at Keio University Hospital to schedule a consultation about my aching shoulder. "Why don't you just drop by?" the receptionist said. That same afternoon, I was in the surgeon's office. Dr. Nakamichi recommended an operation. "When could we do it?" I asked. The doctor checked his computer and said, "Tomorrow would be pretty difficult. Perhaps some day next week?"
3. Foreign health-care systems are inefficient, bloated bureaucracies.
Much less so than here. It may seem to Americans that U.S.-style free enterprise -- private-sector, for-profit health insurance -- is naturally the most cost-effective way to pay for health care. But in fact, all the other payment systems are more efficient than ours.
U.S. health insurance companies have the highest administrative costs in the world; they spend roughly 20 cents of every dollar for nonmedical costs, such as paperwork, reviewing claims and marketing. France's health insurance industry, in contrast, covers everybody and spends about 4 percent on administration. Canada's universal insurance system, run by government bureaucrats, spends 6 percent on administration. In Taiwan, a leaner version of the Canadian model has administrative costs of 1.5 percent; one year, this figure ballooned to 2 percent, and the opposition parties savaged the government for wasting money.
The world champion at controlling medical costs is Japan, even though its aging population is a profligate consumer of medical care. On average, the Japanese go to the doctor 15 times a year, three times the U.S. rate. They have twice as many MRI scans and X-rays. Quality is high; life expectancy and recovery rates for major diseases are better than in the United States. And yet Japan spends about $3,400 per person annually on health care; the United States spends more than $7,000.
4. Cost controls stifle innovation.
False. The United States is home to groundbreaking medical research, but so are other countries with much lower cost structures. Any American who's had a hip or knee replacement is standing on French innovation. Deep-brain stimulation to treat depression is a Canadian breakthrough. Many of the wonder drugs promoted endlessly on American television, including Viagra, come from British, Swiss or Japanese labs.
Overseas, strict cost controls actually drive innovation. In the United States, an MRI scan of the neck region costs about $1,500. In Japan, the identical scan costs $98. Under the pressure of cost controls, Japanese researchers found ways to perform the same diagnostic technique for one-fifteenth the American price. (And Japanese labs still make a profit.)
5. Health insurance has to be cruel.
Not really. American health insurance companies routinely reject applicants with a "preexisting condition" -- precisely the people most likely to need the insurers' service. They employ armies of adjusters to deny claims. If a customer is hit by a truck and faces big medical bills, the insurer's "rescission department" digs through the records looking for grounds to cancel the policy, often while the victim is still in the hospital. The companies say they have to do this stuff to survive in a tough business.
Foreign health insurance companies, in contrast, must accept all applicants, and they can't cancel as long as you pay your premiums. The plans are required to pay any claim submitted by a doctor or hospital (or health spa), usually within tight time limits. The big Swiss insurer Groupe Mutuel promises to pay all claims within five days. "Our customers love it," the group's chief executive told me. The corollary is that everyone is mandated to buy insurance, to give the plans an adequate pool of rate-payers.
The key difference is that foreign health insurance plans exist only to pay people's medical bills, not to make a profit. The United States is the only developed country that lets insurance companies profit from basic health coverage.
In many ways, foreign health-care models are not really "foreign" to America, because our crazy-quilt health-care system uses elements of all of them. For Native Americans or veterans, we're Britain: The government provides health care, funding it through general taxes, and patients get no bills. For people who get insurance through their jobs, we're Germany: Premiums are split between workers and employers, and private insurance plans pay private doctors and hospitals. For people over 65, we're Canada: Everyone pays premiums for an insurance plan run by the government, and the public plan pays private doctors and hospitals according to a set fee schedule. And for the tens of millions without insurance coverage, we're Burundi or Burma: In the world's poor nations, sick people pay out of pocket for medical care; those who can't pay stay sick or die.
This fragmentation is another reason that we spend more than anybody else and still leave millions without coverage. All the other developed countries have settled on one model for health-care delivery and finance; we've blended them all into a costly, confusing bureaucratic mess.
Which, in turn, punctures the most persistent myth of all: that America has "the finest health care" in the world. We don't. In terms of results, almost all advanced countries have better national health statistics than the United States does. In terms of finance, we force 700,000 Americans into bankruptcy each year because of medical bills. In France, the number of medical bankruptcies is zero. Britain: zero. Japan: zero. Germany: zero.
Given our remarkable medical assets -- the best-educated doctors and nurses, the most advanced hospitals, world-class research -- the United States could be, and should be, the best in the world. To get there, though, we have to be willing to learn some lessons about health-care administration from the other industrialized democracies.
T.R. Reid, a former Washington Post reporter, is the author of "The Healing of America: A Global Quest for Better, Cheaper, and Fairer Health Care," to be published Monday.
====================================================================
--
MGFoster:::mgf00
Oakland, CA (USA)
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Bill, May not be a waste of bandwidth - It affects us all - yet it's being done with much emotion and very little hard reasoning. Two groups of University socialogists have stated that both sides have their pre-conceived notions and are digging for facts to substantiate them. There's no systematic approach. There's no logical study of what's wrong here and what's right over there and why it works there and not here. It would be really interesting to hear the pros and cons from guys like us from other countries. It would be nice to have a system that keeps me going long enough to make a dent in my stash and give some color to members of my grey army.
Val Kraut

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Ask Jules how NHS crippled him. Not now, not ever.
--
"Universal" American healthcare coverage, explained:
You get the "care" they approve for you, when they get around to it, if they
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grey snipped-for-privacy@yahoo.com (Gray Ghost) wrote:

that is much better than i thought it would be. i figured they would use the swartzenbugger model and just kill the poor, disabled and elderly. you version sounds much better, bill. and i am not being sarcastic or in any way insulting you. you're a good guy.
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Bill Shuey wrote:

Actually, you are WAY off topic, not slightly. There are other groups more appropriate for your question.
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Where and when?--and "Glenn Beck said so" isn't proof. In fact the people actually involved in the matter have expressed admiration for the French and Scandanavian systems as being more efficient and less costly.
The British and Canadian systems are used most often for comparison, however, because our TV and print analysts are too lazy to learn a foreign language.
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And the French and Scandanavian systems also have thier own set of warts. They also service a mush smaller population of people then any American system will.
As far as Beck goes, I only started paying attention to him when certain people started getting thier panties in a bunch over him. So I started watching. I notice that none of his detractors has actually factually challeneged anything he's said. They make personal attacks and vile adhominems but no factual refutations. I wonder why that is?
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wrote:

Having lived in the UK, USA and Scandinavia at one time or another I did like the Scandinavian system, but the tax rates there were eye watering (the locals whinge a bit but generally feel they get value for money). The UK system seems to be having problems because of inappropriate management techniques being forced on it. These work in some industries but not (apparently) health care, but the only experts available had only these skills (bit like basing schooling on dairy farming, there are vauge similarities but also serious differences). UK doctors are on pretty good rates of pay, way over the average for the country as a whole, on a par with senior managers in industry. The average GP get about the same or slightly more pay than the PM, but I suspect they work harder. In the UK was for a time a carer for a person who got mowed down by a truck and left disabled. They would not have survived without state supported health care, they are now once more a productive member of society and paying taxes. I didn't have much fun, the 'pay' for being the carer was dreadful (the alternative would be for the NHS to do the day to day care), but it did work and when treatment was needed it was given quickly and efficiently. In the US I was covered by the company plan, bit of a gamble there as essentially it drew the line at anything expensive or long term. In the US there is talk of government panels making decisions about who gets what, as an outsider I see little difference from the present position where the insurance company panels make the same decisons. On balance I have found state run systems do work, in general thanks in part to economies of scale they cost less (8% of GDP in the UK as against 17% of GDP in the US), and I have no problem helping out the less fortunate than myself. Also I'm getting old now, I may need some long term care in the not too distant future. Just a personal view.
Regards
Mike
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On Aug 29, 3:35�pm, grey snipped-for-privacy@yahoo.com (Gray Ghost) wrote:

Kind of tough when his main assertions seemed based on sugar highs and wet dreams, but here's a start: http://mediamatters.org/search/tag/glenn_beck
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Yawn. Personal attacks, no refutation of fact. Typical response.
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On Aug 30, 12:47�pm, grey snipped-for-privacy@yahoo.com (Gray Ghost) wrote:

Since he hasn't any arguments--just a beer-bong session on a chalkboard--how do you refute them? And since the few facts there are personal attacks without substantiation ("our president . . . hates white people"), it's refuting a daydream.
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On Aug 31, 10:56�am, grey snipped-for-privacy@yahoo.com (Gray Ghost) wrote:

It's extremely simplified for a forty year adult life span. Jones started out as a political radical and then grew up. You seem to doubt that people can change--like George Bush, who spent the first half of his adult life in a bourbon bottle. One might as well note Beck's alcoholism, his bizarre religious history and his lack of a decent education as disqualifiers for anything resembling pundit status. You're hanging on his every word and you wouldn't trust him to watch your kids for the weekend.
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in /../
As is only fit for a military aviator!

Yeah! Crackpot to kettle...
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In article

politics is sure a bunner now. gimmie the old days when pols stayed bought.
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(Gray Ghost)

You don't change that much. If you are a radical revolutionary Communist I really won't expect you to change into a freedom loving free marketer in 15 years. And 80 years of the Soviet Union should be object lesson enough.
As for Beck's education or lack of it, people seem to confuse education with rational thought and common sense. The problems this country is having is thanks to legions of "educated" people who can barely tie thier own shoes. Educational brainwashing may have been one of the greater crimes of the late 20th Century. To me, universites have become caricatures of themselves. Modern universtieies seem unable to teach hard science or untainted history to any great extent. I rather distrust the "educated" classes as being brainwashed fools.
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grey snipped-for-privacy@yahoo.com (Gray Ghost) writes:

Hmm, I got introduced to the economics of capitalism by a notable black economist, Thomas Sowell. I was extremely surprised to discover that he used to be a Marxist. Just goes to show that enough self-education and innate intelligence *can* trump the institutionalized education system :-) So, OK, he may be an "outlier" LOL

:-)
Sad but oh so true.
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(Gray

I did not know that. But he is clearly the exception to the rule. And given the public and private statements of Van Jones it seems rather unlikely that he's had a change of heart and politics.

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On Sep 3, 2:25pm, grey snipped-for-privacy@yahoo.com (Gray Ghost) wrote:

If anyone dislikes the system that is being proposed and is collecting either VA medical benefits or Medicare (Senior Citizen healthcare - NOT Welfare Healthcare - I can never get those two names straight), then you're collecting a government-run health program that seems to be working quite well. I've come to find that a large percentage of the screaming and disingenuous ads fighting this new proposal are from the Health Insurance companies who currently have a license to steal. I HAVE known folks in Canada who use their country's health care with NO problem whatsoever. Their care is as good or better than anything they'd get here. The only thing that they do have to wait for is elective medical procedures, like tummy tucks or nose-jobs. And all those doctors moving to the United States to practice, well that does happen, mostly because those doctors realized that they can charge what they want and clean up royally, instead of having the government tell them how much they can charge. Anyway, back to modeling......
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