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  1. #1
    Rhino's Avatar
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    Socialized Healthcare

    Okay, here we go...

    Sicko comes out in theaters this week. It's also available on the internet (you can watch it here).

    I hate Michael Moore. I want to put that out there right now so there's no confusion. This was the only Moore movie I have watched all the way through. I want everyone to watch it (and be sure not to pay to see it- screw Moore). I also want to here everyone's opinion. I used to be dead set against (and I am still dead set against Hilliary's idea of Socialized Medicine). But after watching Moore's film and seeing how others are treated in other countries, I'm not as sure as I used to be.

    I also want to here it from our brothers overseas and in any other country- is Socialized Medicine in your country really all that great? Would you go to privatized medicine if you could?

    I really am starting this thread in the interest of fairness and education for myself- so let's not try and make things personal or derail the topic, please.
    "If everyone is thinking alike, then someone isn't thinking." -Gen. George S. Patton

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    I have never understood the need. Being a free market capitalist, I am always in favor of letting the market deal with things, and keep government as far away as possible. From my LIMITED knowledge, I had heard that in almost everywhere free medical care is offered, the waits are unbearable, and the quality of care not so good. I have read stories of patients from Canada and Britain coming here to the US for major treatments, ie cancer, transplants, etc. I don't see anywhere in the founding fathers ideas of governments role that would lend itself to our tax dollars being used to fund socialized medicine. Just my .02
    500 fights, that's the number I figured when I was a kid. 500 street fights and you could consider yourself a legitimate tough guy. You need them for experience. To develop leather skin. So I got started. Of course along the way you stop thinking about being tough and all that. It stops being the point. You get past the silliness of it all. But then, after, you realize that's what you are.


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    Rhino's Avatar
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    Doc, I had always heard the same thing, which is why I want our bros from across the pond to chime in. In Sicko, they lead to believe the wait in an ER in Canada and some other countries is no more than 60 minutes.
    "If everyone is thinking alike, then someone isn't thinking." -Gen. George S. Patton

  4. #4
    Doc_Holliday's Avatar
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    I would love to hear first hand accounts as well Rhino...always open to discussion and debate.
    500 fights, that's the number I figured when I was a kid. 500 street fights and you could consider yourself a legitimate tough guy. You need them for experience. To develop leather skin. So I got started. Of course along the way you stop thinking about being tough and all that. It stops being the point. You get past the silliness of it all. But then, after, you realize that's what you are.


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    I'm not sure I've made up my mind.

    Keep in mind, that those countries with socialized medicine also have a very high income tax - so they really are paying for their care. They also are probably more likely to only seek care for true medical needs, unlike here, where emergency rooms are flooded with folks with colds.
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  6. #6
    Doc_Holliday's Avatar
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    All very good points PD...My grandpa used to laugh at the idea of medical insurance....he would pay cash to the doc for the office visit, and carried a catastrophic policy for serious hospitalization
    500 fights, that's the number I figured when I was a kid. 500 street fights and you could consider yourself a legitimate tough guy. You need them for experience. To develop leather skin. So I got started. Of course along the way you stop thinking about being tough and all that. It stops being the point. You get past the silliness of it all. But then, after, you realize that's what you are.


  7. #7
    BEB
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    Quote Originally Posted by Doc_Holliday View Post
    All very good points PD...My grandpa used to laugh at the idea of medical insurance....he would pay cash to the doc for the office visit, and carried a catastrophic policy for serious hospitalization
    A very good plan for the time. A component of our rising health costs are people expecting their plan to pay for everything. If people paid for their regular care our costs would be much lower.

    As a tangential example, look at the cost of windshield replacement. Glass is still melted sand, but as this society has shifted from (payed off) owned cars to leased/ownership-under financing (which require full coverage) the cost has risen greatly. Glass companies advertise "We cover your deductible, and a free ____" gift. Now how do you suppose they can afford to do that? Once people don't have to pay for something they are much more apt to use it, and, for this example, not only do they not pay they're rewarded to have a "procedure" done at no out of pocket cost.

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    It depends where you are in the UK on the waiting times at the ER. Where I live I'd wait around 20 minutes maximum to be seen by a Doctor. Suffering from Man Flu as I am at the moment, I phoned my doctor's surgery yesterday morning, he rang me back within the hour listened to what was wrong and prescribed anti biotics. No need to actually see him, if there had been I could have seen him that afternoon.

    They're are some long waiting lists for less serious medical conditions but anything life threatening i would be admitted immediately.

    The major problem with our system is that foreign visitors abuse it, as it is open to all. We even get people come on holiday just to get treatments!!

    Private healthcare is available should you wish to pay for it, but you still pay your National Insurance for normal healthcare. You pay that all your working life.

    It's not perfect, but I've never had a problem with it.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Trojan 42 View Post
    ...Suffering from Man Flu as I am...
    what?
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    Trojan 42's Avatar
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    Don't you have Man Flu in the US? It's like normal Flu but worse because I'm a man, so we suffer more.
    To be born an Englishman, is to be a winner in the Lottery of Life.



    I've Talked the Talk and I've Walked the Walk, now I Sit the Sit!

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  11. #11
    Doc_Holliday's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Trojan 42 View Post
    Don't you have Man Flu in the US? It's like normal Flu but worse because I'm a man, so we suffer more.

    LOVE IT. LOL

    500 fights, that's the number I figured when I was a kid. 500 street fights and you could consider yourself a legitimate tough guy. You need them for experience. To develop leather skin. So I got started. Of course along the way you stop thinking about being tough and all that. It stops being the point. You get past the silliness of it all. But then, after, you realize that's what you are.


  12. #12
    Tony's Avatar
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    We have a mix of private and public. Most the emergency hospitals are public. Bear with me, its going to be long winded.

    We have a mix of public and private. If I want to choose my Doctor, like for child birth, then I need private. In public you get whatever doctor is rostered on. If you want elective surgery, then you have to go private ~a nose job or knee reconstruction for example. Anything done in a public hospital as an in-patient is free as long as you don't want to pick your own doctor, if you go in as a day surgery or in the out clinic, then it costs, like going to a doctor.

    Some Doctors charge around $50-$60 a consultation, so if I go see my local GP then I get slugged $50-$60. But I can claim this off the Medicare ~ everyone is covered, regardless if they pay the 1.5 or 2.5% levy. So I get back nearly $30. But I make an appointment to see my Doc and see him after I wait about 1/2 hour, like a Doc is going to be on time!!!

    If I'm on a low income or a pensioner, then the Doctors bulk bill the Govt and itís free for me. The Docs still get their $30. They also have a tax incentive as well, I think.

    Now we also have bulk bill clinics, where you walk in and see the first available Doc, no choice as to who you see. This cost me $0.

    So depending on what I'm suffering, I will use both types.

    Now everyone who pays income tax is liable to pay a Medicare fee, 1.5% of your taxable income. Now there are exemptions and if you're single and earn over $50,000 and you don't have private health cover then its 2.5%.

    Private Health Insurance can be claimed against your tax and you get a 30% rebate ~ to encourage people to have it. It costs anywhere between $2,000 to $6,000 p.a., depending on what level of cover, how many people and any extras, like dental.

    So you get treated in a public hospital as a Private Patient, it cost $$ and the Health Care Fund you're with give you a refund. But nearly 90% you're still out of pocket, very hard to get 100% cover here.

    Now as for travelling to the US for some treatments, there are certain hospitals with research in X or Y and they are the only ones with both the persons capable of doing it and the equipment. In most cases in runs into the $10,000's to $400,000 for this stuff. We might only have 10-20 people a year with X or Y so it's not worth the investment. Remember, we only have 21 million here.

    Also, we have no fault 3rd party car insurance - run by a semi-government body, the Traffic Accident Commission (TAC). So if you own a car, apart from the registration, we pay Third Party Insurance. TAC pay for ALL medical costs if you're involved in a car collision, and rehab and loss of earnings to a capped $$.


    Okay, now if I need surgery and it's not critical, I could wait 12 months for it if I choose to use the public system. A lot of people will go to the ER and clog it up with petty colds and the like because they are too cheap to go to the doctor and pay $10-$20. Remember, low income earner get FREE doctor visits, so they don't bother going to the ER, what's the point, there could be a 3-4 hour wait if itís not an emergency. Just the tight-arses go.

    My wife had back surgery via the public system and one of the top surgeons in the country did the op. These doctors work in both the public and private sectors.

    Our youngest son, when he was pre-school, had to have several operations. The 1st 2 were at a private hospitals and the level of service was outstanding. The 3rd op was done public, all by the same surgeon by the way. The food and such were streets above at private, but you'd expect that. Private Hospitals have cable TV and in Public you have to rent the TV, those type of differences.
    The nurses at both hospitals were great as were the docs.


    I hope this helps.



  13. #13
    BEB
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    That's exactly what we in the states need to find out. Interesting system you have there. I like parts of it.

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    Having grown up in Canada, and now living in the US, I think there are pros and cons to either system. I honestly don't see much of a difference between socialized medicine and having medical insurance here. I had a specific GP etc in Canada, same as I do here. Hospital waits in Canada could be very long (I spent the night in the ER once, due to having a broken foot, nothing life threatening, but the waiting room was full of folks with anything from a cold or flu.. Why wait to see your GP when you can go to the ER for free right?? I think Socialized medicine can be abused that way, and it's a downfall, but I've seen folks with medicaid or insurance do that here too. There does seem to be a longer wait for specialized treatment in Canada, not all facilities have all the newest or best equipment, due to limited funding. Even though socialized medicine is "Free" you end up paying for it all your working life, I honestly feel it's just like where I am working now, we have medical insurance, but you do have to pay into it. In Canada I'm not sure if there are private sectors too (Never really needed to find out), but I know you could pay more and get "perks" ie upgrade to a semi-private room. Different areas (Rural, affluent or poor areas) also have different levels of "services" available. The biggest advantage to socialized medicine, you'll get care, regardless of ability to pay (but there are facilities for that here too) the quality of service may not be stellar (long waits, not the newest methods) but if you don't have insurance, or your insurance won't cover, you don't have to go bankrupt to pay for that treatment you need. (When I broke my foot, I didn't have to wonder how the heck I was going to come up with that $500.00 deductible).
    To sum it up, I think for the middle/working class there is little difference between socialized medicine and private medical insurance.
    Hope that helps.

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    The issue we have here, is that insurance companies can refuse to take you if you have a "pre-existing" condition.

    If my grandparents had not pitched in and got me Blue Cross/Blue Shield when I was a child - I would have been SOL when I was diagnosed with epilepsy.

    I needed to have EEG's every 6 months. One of the meds I was on elevated my white cell count, so I also needed to have regular blood tests to monitor those levels. Every seizure meant an adjustment to my meds, until I was up to a combination of two drugs, for a total of eight pills a day.

    It took three years for my seizures to be controlled, and I was on meds for almost 12 years.

    There's no way a "free" clinic would have been able to provide the care required for my condition.

    I was lucky enough to live in a small town, with a very well funded hospital, and it's possible they may have taken care of me, but what about the neurosurgeon? The pharmacy?

    I also think it's important to remember that hospitals were once almost universally non-for-profit, and often funded by the wealthy.

    I wonder how many corporate high-rollers have made significant contributions to their local hospitals?
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    Quote Originally Posted by PDawg View Post
    Keep in mind, that those countries with socialized medicine also have a very high income tax - so they really are paying for their care. They also are probably more likely to only seek care for true medical needs, unlike here, where emergency rooms are flooded with folks with colds.
    PDawg, I would think the opposite is true. They're paying for it whether they use it or not. So they might as well go to the doctor for every little problem that comes up. Their taxes aren't going to be any less if they don't use the health system.

    Of course, it's similar here. If you're insured, and especially if your employer covers your copay like mine, then you can also go to the doctor as often as you like without taking any more money out of your own pocket.

    I haven't researched the topic very thoroughly, but from what I hear health savings plans are the way to go. Let people actually see what their health care costs, and make the decision whether or not it's worth it to go to the doctor. Let's also get rolling on tort reform, so doctors that make honest mistakes don't end up owing millions of dollars to the "victims."
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    BEB
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    Health Savings Accounts have a lot going for them. They require a bit of simple math and budget planning so they're not all that popular with most people. Shame.

    Of course they're tied into the income tax system so...
    ....one thing at a time, BEB, one thing at a time.


    If you're unfamiliar with HSAs there's a nice Wiki page explaining them.
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Health_savings_account

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    Let's not forget that Michael Moore is one to lie, exaggerate, stretch the truth, and perform trick editing in his documentaries to make the audience think what he wants.

    CNN has already had one individual confront Moore about the large amount of inaccuracies in "Sicko."

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    BEB
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    Quote Originally Posted by Terminator View Post
    CNN has already had one individual confront Moore about the large amount of inaccuracies in "Sicko."
    Do you mean Dr Gupta? (Chief Medical adviser at CNN) That's what first came to mind; sorry if you were thinking of someone else.

    I watched his segment and Moore's rebuttal. Didn't see anything Mikey should be all that upset about. But you know Mikey.

    Part 1: Dr Gupta responds to Sicko
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2ZxkMtqJZkU

    Part 2: Mikey gone wild
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vNJMTQD3Hcs

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    Terminator's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by BEB View Post
    Do you mean Dr Gupta?
    Yes, I do. What bothers me is, those inaccuracies are intentional, I have no doubt, to paint the picture Moore wants.

 

 
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