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For Brits and Canadians

RomanLion

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POSTS: 1234

Report this Jul. 11 2009, 6:55 pm

I have a question for our posters in the UK, Canada or any non-US country that has a single payer health care system.

Does your system provide you with satisfactory results? How does it compare with ours.  I hear a lot of people talk about how they "know someone from Canada and they had to wait six months for a heart operation", yet I never hear Canadian say this...

Opinions?

apothecary

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POSTS: 3527

Report this Jul. 11 2009, 7:20 pm

Let me provide you with an example...

My wife was driving home one day last year and started experiencing chest pain.  She knew there was a medical clinic on the route, and stopped in to see a doctor.  After being rushed in to an exam room, the doctor gave her some aspirin and called an ambulance to take her to the nearest hospital.

Within a couple of hours, her bloodwork and EKG results had more or less ruled out cardiac issues, but they still kept her overnight for observation.

She saw one of the top cardiologists in Nova Scotia the next evening, who booked her for a stress test immediately, which she passed with flying colours.  Turns out it was a strain in the chest wall muscles.

The out-of-pocket cost to us for all of this? $0.00

So...as far as I am concerned, the Canadian health care system is working just fine.

HedoIsBarisManco

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POSTS: 29967

Report this Jul. 11 2009, 7:21 pm

The women in montreal are just freaking awesome.

Lucifer_

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POSTS: 12834

Report this Jul. 11 2009, 7:32 pm

If the Canadian people are so unhappy about socialzed healthcare, why did Stephen Harper have to promise not to gut socialized healthcare in favor of an American style system in order to get elected? The answer is that an overwhelming majority of Canadians are not just happy with their health care system, they are terrified of it becoming like the system in the US.

You can't judge the feelings of Canadians by anecdotes from message boards (nobody's a better expert on Canadian healthcare than Americans who've never had direct experience with it), chain-letter spam or Faux News cherry picked interviews and biased reporting. The general election showed how Canadians actually feel. Even their conservative party had to promise not to weaken socialized medicine.

RomanLion

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POSTS: 1234

Report this Jul. 11 2009, 8:43 pm

Thank you all, good points...

For myself, I think that the American system is pretty awful... We have the lowest life expectancy in the industrialized world, the highest infant mortality rate amongst advanced countries....

But the stat that got me is that we actually spend more per capita than ANY other country in the world...

Lucifer_

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POSTS: 12834

Report this Jul. 11 2009, 8:53 pm

What's scarier is that medical bills account for more than 60% of all bankruptcies.


Quote
Medical bills prompt more than 60 percent of U.S. bankruptcies
By Theresa Tamkins

This year, an estimated 1.5 million Americans will declare bankruptcy. Many people may chalk up that misfortune to overspending or a lavish lifestyle, but a new study suggests that more than 60 percent of people who go bankrupt are actually capsized by medical bills.

Bankruptcies due to medical bills increased by nearly 50 percent in a six-year period, from 46 percent in 2001 to 62 percent in 2007, and most of those who filed for bankruptcy were middle-class, well-educated homeowners, according to a report that will be published in the August issue of The American Journal of Medicine.

"Unless you're a Warren Buffett or Bill Gates, you're one illness away from financial ruin in this country," says lead author Steffie Woolhandler, M.D., of the Harvard Medical School, in Cambridge, Mass. "If an illness is long enough and expensive enough, private insurance offers very little protection against medical bankruptcy, and that's the major finding in our study."

Woolhandler and her colleagues surveyed a random sample of 2,314 people who filed for bankruptcy in early 2007, looked at their court records, and then interviewed more than 1,000 of them. Health.com: Expert advice on getting health insurance and affordable care for chronic pain

They concluded that 62.1 percent of the bankruptcies were medically related because the individuals either had more than $5,000 (or 10 percent of their pretax income) in medical bills, mortgaged their home to pay for medical bills, or lost significant income due to an illness. On average, medically bankrupt families had $17,943 in out-of-pocket expenses, including $26,971 for those who lacked insurance and $17,749 who had insurance at some point.

Overall, three-quarters of the people with a medically-related bankruptcy had health insurance, they say.

"That was actually the predominant problem in patients in our study -- 78 percent of them had health insurance, but many of them were bankrupted anyway because there were gaps in their coverage like co-payments and deductibles and uncovered services," says Woolhandler. "Other people had private insurance but got so sick that they lost their job and lost their insurance."

However, Peter Cunningham, Ph.D., a senior fellow at the Center for Studying Health System Change, a nonpartisan policy research organization in Washington, D.C., isn't completely convinced. He says it's often hard to tell in which cases medical bills add to the bleak financial picture without being directly responsible for the bankruptcies.

"I'm not sure that it is correct to say that medical problems were the direct cause of all of these bankruptcies," he says. "In most of these cases, it's going to be medical expenses and other things, other debt that is accumulating."

Either way, he agrees that medical bills are an increasing problem for many people.

"I think medical bills are something that a lot of families are having a lot of difficulty with and whether it's the direct cause of bankruptcy or whether it helps to push them over the edge because they already were in a precarious financial situation, it's a big concern and hopefully that's what medical reform will try to address," he says.

The study may overestimate the number of bankruptcies caused by medical bills yet underestimate the financial burden of health care on American families, because most people struggle along but don't end up declaring bankruptcy, according to Cunningham.

"Bankruptcy is the most extreme or final step for people who are having problems paying medical bills," he says. "Medical bills and medical costs are an issue that can very easily and in pretty short order overwhelm a lot families who are on otherwise solid financial ground, including those with private insurance." Health.com: Where to find money to pay for your major health bills

His group's research found that medical bills unduly stress 1 in 5 families.

Either way, the high cost of health care is a problem that's probably getting worse for people in the United States, particularly since the economic picture became grimmer after the study was conducted. Health.com: Yoga moves to beat stress, insomnia, and pain

"The recession didn't happen until a year after our study," says Woolhandler. "We're quite sure that the problem of bankruptcy overall is worse, the numbers have been soaring, and the number this year is expected to be higher than it was before Congress tightened bankruptcy eligibility in 2005."

In 2005, bankruptcies peaked at two million filings.


source: CNN.com

Alisium

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POSTS: 8705

Report this Jul. 11 2009, 8:53 pm

Our system is awful.

However, implementing a program for 30 million people is a whole lot easier than 300 million.

If we do go to a single payer system, it should be kept at and only at the state level. No higher.

RomanLion

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POSTS: 1234

Report this Jul. 11 2009, 9:14 pm

Quote (Alisium @ July 11 2009, 8:53 pm)
Our system is awful.

However, implementing a program for 30 million people is a whole lot easier than 300 million.

If we do go to a single payer system, it should be kept at and only at the state level. No higher.

Philosophically, I wouldn't dispute that...

In practice, state governments have the Sanfords and the Blagos in charge....

Alisium

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POSTS: 8705

Report this Jul. 11 2009, 10:10 pm

Well you negate that by encouraging multi-leveled government health care. from state, to county down to city and town.

But, you're right.

CornishMonkey

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POSTS: 13870

Report this Jul. 12 2009, 5:16 am

I had cancer 16 years ago. There was no bill for my treatment (at the point of need, of course).

Garfield23

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Report this Jul. 12 2009, 8:39 am

The belgian one is fine too

My Webpage

Jadzia22

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Report this Jul. 12 2009, 9:00 am

Nothing wrong with it thou like all systems not perfect.

Few years ago I broke my arm, pretty badly. I had to have an operation to repair and rebuild my elbow joint and use pins and a metal plate in my arm. All on the NHS, I was seen to immediately in the ER, thou had to wait for X-rays and was seen to by more 3 or more consultants. My operation happened in just 2 days with a hospital stay over night and regular check ups as well as a un-anesthetized procedure to remove the pins in my elbow. All free (The pins and plate were titanium and very expensive)

Brother had a fit and collapsed and split his head open, ER saw to him immediately but he needed further procedures like EKG ect. But was on a 2 month waiting list. Dad decided to use the private health care as brother was still eligible and got seen to immediately, no waiting (except for results) got everything while he would of had to wait months on the NHS.

2 completly different examples of the same NHS system here in the UK, they are good but not perfect. Would be better if fat cats weren't lining there own pockets with money and giving it to the health services.

God_in_an_Alcove

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POSTS: 4538

Report this Jul. 12 2009, 9:01 am

I thought is said "Brits and Cardassians..."

chr3335

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POSTS: 7914

Report this Jul. 12 2009, 6:30 pm

Quote (Alisium @ July 10 2009, 9:53 pm)
Our system is awful.

However, implementing a program for 30 million people is a whole lot easier than 300 million.

If we do go to a single payer system, it should be kept at and only at the state level. No higher.

They have a system like that in Massachusetts it think. Not really sure how good the service is all I know is it is over budget like everything else in government.

Corwin8

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POSTS: 8468

Report this Jul. 12 2009, 7:07 pm

Quote (chr3335 @ July 12 2009, 6:30 pm)
Quote (Alisium @ July 10 2009, 9:53 pm)
Our system is awful.

However, implementing a program for 30 million people is a whole lot easier than 300 million.

If we do go to a single payer system, it should be kept at and only at the state level. No higher.

They have a system like that in Massachusetts it think. Not really sure how good the service is all I know is it is over budget like everything else in government.

It's the law in MA to have healthcare, if you don't get it at work you can join the state plan at whatever thier cost is, I'm not sure.

I do know it will cost you about $900 if you are without it, so I think thats what the basic state plan is.

I do resent the state forcing me to buy something I should have the right to choose if I want to be covered.

And it is vastly over budget and will cost me more in taxes anyway. So I get to pay for it no matter what, I also have a great plan through my wife's company. So the MA universal healthcare model is already costing me more out of pocket, I can't wait to see what the Feds do to assrape my pockets of more cash.

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