Poll

Having read the OP, and researched the issue, which do you support?

Universal "Free" Healthcare
5 (62.5%)
Privatized Healthcare
2 (25%)
Hybrid System: Privatized Healthcare for most, but with Free Healthcare for the indigent
1 (12.5%)

Total Members Voted: 8

Voting closed: June 12, 2016, 01:53:05 am

Steve B

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I know you love the system.  But it is minimalist.  The UK spends less per capita of its GDP on public healthcare than most nations of the world.  And that is a step in the right direction.

Efficient Steve, not minimalist.  And it would be better if it spent more.  Also, it's a lot easier for it to be cheap because, as discussed, it doesn't have the ridiculous pricing to deal with that the US does.

The less money you give a government agency, the more "efficiently" it is forced to run.  Governments are funny like that.  They always think they need more money, more money, more money.  "We aren't doing as well as we should as a government agency. . . give us more money!  It will solve everything!"

The less money you give, the higher expectations you hold, the better the agency does.

Minimalism = efficiency
« Last Edit: June 02, 2016, 09:55:17 am by Steve B »

1

Soren

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So the UK's system, which covers the whole country and has no private insurers (except for a small supplemental sector), is more minimalist than Obamacare, which covers less than 10 percent of Americans and uses private insurers?! Sorry Steve, that doesn't pass the laugh test.

I will admit.  I find it impressive that the UK's public sector can do so much with so little.  I wish our public health care system worked like that.  Unfortunately, the fact that we have such tremendous wealth makes us fat and inefficient.

But you misunderstand Obamacare.  Obamacare makes it so that you are required to purchase insurance.  And, even then, your choices are limited to whatever insurance companies exist in any given State.
I am well aware of Obamacare's individual mandate, which penalizes people who don't purchase insurance if they don't have it already. You need something like that if you are going to 1) retain private insurers, and 2) require them to cover all comes, including sick people -- otherwise healthy people will not get coverage and your risk pool with only have sick people in it, which is untenable. You could just let insurers deny coverage to sick people, but that doesn't seem like an efficient or moral solution.

The point is that in the US most people already have coverage through their employers, whereas in the UK there is an effective mandate to purchase coverage (the taxes to pay for it are mandatory) and there is no employer coverage, so the mandate covers the whole country. So as I said, Obamacare is far more minimalist than the UK system.

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Crash Test

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The less money you give a government agency, the more "efficiently" it is forced to run.  Governments are funny like that.  They always think they need more money, more money, more money.  "We aren't doing as well as we should as a government agency. . . give us more money!  It will solve everything!"

The less money you give, the higher expectations you hold, the better the agency does.

Minimalism = efficiency

And if the only goal was to be efficient you might have a point (though I actually doubt it). But the goal is to provide affordable health care. it doesn't matter how efficient you are if your budget is simply too small.
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3

AnimatedDirt

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Here's an interesting article on the differences between the UK NHS and American healthcare.

What it's like when you're an American using Britain's NHS

Seems good, except I do like the fact that I can sit and chat with my Dr. and I like having a choice of when to go for a non-emergency visit.

I don't mind waiting for normal appts as I've become accustomed to allotting at least 2 hours for a dr. visit.  I get paid whether it takes 10 minutes or 4 hours.

I admit that the lack of paperwork is a huge plus for NHS...

However in doing some cursory research on this, I have also found articles about the rate the NHS is operating is "not fit for the future"...as one such example.





People are amusing.

4

Steve B

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Here's an interesting article on the differences between the UK NHS and American healthcare.

What it's like when you're an American using Britain's NHS

Seems good, except I do like the fact that I can sit and chat with my Dr. and I like having a choice of when to go for a non-emergency visit.

I don't mind waiting for normal appts as I've become accustomed to allotting at least 2 hours for a dr. visit.  I get paid whether it takes 10 minutes or 4 hours.

I admit that the lack of paperwork is a huge plus for NHS...

However in doing some cursory research on this, I have also found articles about the rate the NHS is operating is "not fit for the future"...as one such example.

Great couple of articles.  I think the first article really underlines why the UK has done so well with minimal resources.  The second article explains why it is so important to move as close toward privatized healthcare as we possible can.

5

Steve B

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Just to add to the articles you cited Animated Dirt.  I'm an American living in Japan.  They also have Universal Health Care here.  A while back, I had an embarrassing itch between my toes from coaching football and sharing the shower with my players without wearing my shower shoes.  The medicine they gave me didn't work.  I went back six times. . . the doctor kept prescribing me the same thing.

And every time I went, it felt like I was being "triaged."  Long waiting lines. . . extremely short sessions.  I never got a chance to really discuss all of the factors with my doctor.

Finally I decided to go ahead and put up some money for a private clinic.  My private skin doctor gave me a full session-- using many more diagnostic tools than my public doctor did not.  And he finally prescribed me some medicine that actually worked.
« Last Edit: June 03, 2016, 05:12:31 am by Steve B »

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Soren

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Just to add to the articles you cited Animated Dirt.  I'm an American living in Japan.  They also have Universal Health Care here.  A while back, I had an embarrassing itch between my toes from coaching football and sharing the shower with my players without wearing my shower shoes.  The medicine they gave me didn't work.  I went back six times. . . the doctor kept prescribing me the same thing.

And every time I went, it felt like I was being "triaged."  Long waiting lines. . . extremely short sessions.  I never got a chance to really discuss all of the factors with my doctor.

Finally I decided to go ahead and put up some money for a private clinic.  My private skin doctor gave me a full session-- using many more diagnostic tools than my public doctor did not.  And he finally prescribed me some medicine that actually worked.

You should take a look at the Commonwealth Fund's work, which compares different countries' health care systems in terms of health outcomes, cost, waiting times, etc. Often systems with large public components outperform ours on many of these indicators, so your simplistic "private is always better" rhetoric doesn't really capture reality.

And I can tell you the story of my Canadian cousin who had a significantly premature baby. The baby had to stay in the hospital for several weeks - mother and baby are both thriving now, and there was no significant financial cost to my cousin. Whenever my cousin and her husband interacted with other parents of premature children through the web, the Canadian parents all talked about the health and emotional issues, while the American parents -- even many with private insurance -- talked about health and emotional issues plus the financial worries that stemmed from their large out-of-pocket expenses, and whether they could afford this or that recommended treatment. There is something to be said for the Canadian system here which allowed my cousin to concentrate on making sure her baby survived without disability while not having to worry that she and her husband would be bankrupted or lose their house in the process.

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Steve B

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Just to add to the articles you cited Animated Dirt.  I'm an American living in Japan.  They also have Universal Health Care here.  A while back, I had an embarrassing itch between my toes from coaching football and sharing the shower with my players without wearing my shower shoes.  The medicine they gave me didn't work.  I went back six times. . . the doctor kept prescribing me the same thing.

And every time I went, it felt like I was being "triaged."  Long waiting lines. . . extremely short sessions.  I never got a chance to really discuss all of the factors with my doctor.

Finally I decided to go ahead and put up some money for a private clinic.  My private skin doctor gave me a full session-- using many more diagnostic tools than my public doctor did not.  And he finally prescribed me some medicine that actually worked.

You should take a look at the Commonwealth Fund's work, which compares different countries' health care systems in terms of health outcomes, cost, waiting times, etc. Often systems with large public components outperform ours on many of these indicators, so your simplistic "private is always better" rhetoric doesn't really capture reality.

And I can tell you the story of my Canadian cousin who had a significantly premature baby. The baby had to stay in the hospital for several weeks - mother and baby are both thriving now, and there was no significant financial cost to my cousin. Whenever my cousin and her husband interacted with other parents of premature children through the web, the Canadian parents all talked about the health and emotional issues, while the American parents -- even many with private insurance -- talked about health and emotional issues plus the financial worries that stemmed from their large out-of-pocket expenses, and whether they could afford this or that recommended treatment. There is something to be said for the Canadian system here which allowed my cousin to concentrate on making sure her baby survived without disability while not having to worry that she and her husband would be bankrupted or lose their house in the process.

I think a minimalist public healthcare system covers our most immediate needs.  But private healthcare is better because it doesn't require us to triage. 

Therefore public healthcare should be as minimalist as possible, and private healthcare should be maximialized.

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Zbigge1031

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I think a minimalist public healthcare system covers our most immediate needs.  But private healthcare is better because it doesn't require us to triage. 

Therefore public healthcare should be as minimalist as possible, and private healthcare should be maximialized.

You keep asserting that public healthcare would require triage, but you haven't shown any information yet that actually proves that. Further, it seems to me that triage probably wouldn't be a bad thing anyways; people who have worse medical conditions should be prioritized first.  If you ever go to an emergency room in the states we do the exact same thing.

Also, one thing I haven't seen mentioned yet is that we are a fat and lazy people.  We are the #1 most obese country in the world.  It wouldn't surprise me in the slightest if a large part of the reason our public healthcare costs so much here has nothing to do with efficiency and is more about wasting money on conditions easily prevented with a little diet and exercise, or by going to see a doctor when  symptoms first show up instead of waiting til its gotten much worse (something we are also prone to do here).