I don't normally get involved in political debates, but had to wade into this one.
Some foolish American magazine has made the following comment:
"The controlling of medical costs in countries such as Britain through rationing, and the health consequences thereof, are legendary. The stories of people dying on a waiting list or being denied altogether read like a horror script ... People such as scientist Stephen Hawking wouldn't have a chance in the UK, where the National Health Service would say the life of this brilliant man, because of his physical handicaps, is essentially worthless."
Stephen Hawking is BRITISH, it was the NHS that saved his life and still maintains his life at the cost of thousands of pounds! Paid for by us the British taxpayer without quibble.
I am wondering just exactly how much money Pharmaceutical Inc is spending to spread the horrors of nationalized health care?
I'm guessing it's a ton. What I'm surprised about is that other American industries, the ones whose costs could be cut sharply if a nationalized health system was in place, are not wading in on the other side of the argument.
General Motors. Ford. Chrysler. There, that's three!
Imagine if Mr and Mrs Clinton had managed to bring in national health in the early 1990's. American carmakers wouldn't now be eating the dust of the Germans and Japanese, and many jobs, including that of the supply chain, would have been saved.
Good points. Three companies that built unsustainable business models and would certainly benefit from government health care bailouts. Unfortunately, artificially propping up failing businesses with other peoples' money isn't economically feasible. Flushing good money after bad, so to speak.
It's about a $1.5 million a day for the past month or so.
Good grief! Just because the man's 'voice box' speaks with an American accent, it's assumed he's an American?? How completely ridiculous. That actually made me lol
Making healthcare available to everyone is definitely the way to go, it's a complete non-brainer IMO. Of course it's true that there may be deaths while people are on waiting lists here in the UK, but how many (avoidable) deaths are there in the U.S, through people simply not being able to afford healthcare? I don't have the stats but I imagine it's quite a distressing number.
American accent lol ,last time I heard him speak (debate on youtube) Stephen sounded very British?
I agree, with minimal education one will eat this up with a spoon.
"Editor's Note: This version corrects the original editorial which implied that physicist Stephen Hawking, a professor at the University of Cambridge, did not live in the UK."
That is outragious as a British tax payer I find this comment both unfounded and ignorant we are not a third world country and our NHS staff are the best there is...How does this make hard working nurses and doctors feel...well done for posting this filth...idiots like that get paid good money to publish trash talk!!!
I love it when people make such bold statements proving beyond a doubt their blissful and impressive ignorance.
Many people seem to be horrified at the idea of a healthcare service that treats all regardless of income. The United Kingdom is not a communist state. Is America that scared of communism that they prefer to deny the poor basic medical assistance?
Yes. America has lost its mind. A black congressman had a four foot Swastika painted on his office for supporting health care reform. He was on the news yesterday. Half a dozen democratic Congressmen have received death threats.
There is a lot of money at stake here. Although the British and French systems are open to abuse, they are far more fair than the American system. Much as I am against more government Inc, there are some things the state should provide and this is one of them. What is the point of being in a society if there are not some basic needs covered?
And yes - I used the term "fair," - If we cannot protect the weaker members of society how can we claim to be "civilized"?
Not only that, but national healthcare is actually better for the economy. Businesses don't have to get involved in social issues like healthcare provision. The overall cost of healthcare drops when it is the state negotiating with pharma etc. There is no "crowding out" where costs for healthcare are choking other businesses. It actually makes business sense to have a national health system. I'm sure the number of personal bankruptcies in the US would fall if they had an NHS (I believe most of these bankruptcies are down to health costs).
One of the best essays I've ever read on the health care issue in America was in the New Yorker awhile back. It's written by a surgeon named Atul Gawande, and basically he makes the argument that while you CAN run health care as a for-profit industry, there are compelling reasons why you shouldn't try. Basically it's an ethics essay, but I thought he nailed it.
I went looking for the article online and couldn't locate it, but currently he's working on cost containment with the Obama administration. Fee for service private options are a big problem, because that approach creates and incentive to overuse procedures, drugs, and tests simply because they are profitable. Gawande talks about one town of 300,000 that did 50,000 CAT scans per year. That's an insane number of CAT scans, but what happens is, the hospital buys the hideously expensive machine then has a built in incentive to use it whether its appropriate or not.
In 2008 when I ended up in the ER with chest pain, I was kept overnight and given an expensive stress test where they hook you up to some piece fo radiological equipment. I was there about 36 hours, and during that time nurse after nurse came in and told me that, in their opinion that test was crap and my admission was just an attempt by the hospital to pay for the damned machine. About two weeks after I was released we saw a report on the news that that very test was being discontinued around the country because it was not helpful--lots of false positives, lots of false negative. Tim Russert (the Meet the Press anchor who died of heart failure last year) had the same test the day before he died of a massive heart attack.
So I was angry, but I also thought, geez. This is nuts. I mean, it's only one of a million specific examples of why for-profit health care goes south. We spend twice as much ere and the care sucks. That's it in a nutshell. And people are screaming for more of that.
I expect you speak from personal experience here. Just maybe, others with an opposing view also do so?
What I mean is that we've been over this in other threads. The US has the best hospitals, doctors, medical research, and medical training.
Horror stories happen in the US just as often as they do other places... Medical research is worldwide and one country cannot claim to be the "best".
Sure they can. Research is done at various centers and those centers are located in specific countries.
"Horror stories" was NO part of my comments, so if you want to change the focus you need to be a little more subtle about it.
I was talking generally because I'm getting tired of people in other threads about this same thing saying how awful things happen in Canada and the UK while ignoring that similar things happen in the US.
And in terms of research, McGill and McMaster Universities here have world class research facilities. It's not just all in the US.
Which was NOT what my comments, which you were supposedly responding to, were about. You were trying to play at misdirection, but were too clumsy at it.
That's great. I didn't say "all," I said the best. Trying to change the focus again?
Fantastic! World class medicine, and millions of people who can never aspire to access it.
Everyone in the country has access to it. The problem is that too many people have inadequate and inefficient access to it. If the same people who 'maintain' our roads and bridges are put in charge of health care, everyone will have access to crap.
Sometimes the status quo needs to be tweaked. It seems that you are prepared to acknowledge that.
Yep you sure do. You have the worlds leading medical researches, the take the best British doctors for their private hospitals, and then deprive the most needy of your citizens of this very basic priviledge. That is nothing to be proud about, it is in fact something to be ashamed about. As it happens, a hell of a lot of our NHS expenditure can be attributed to the monopoly that America holds in the drugs sector.... we often wait 5 years until generics are permitted, and then reproduce your $25 per tablet medicines for 50 cents per packet.
We attract the best and the brightest from around the world. That is one of our strengths. If you don't want the best British doctors to leave, make it more attractive for them to stay.
British doctors leaving is not a big issue, we take more than capable substitutes from India, Australia and Europe. The NHS is funded by the taxpayer, I would sooner take a capable Indian doctor on £100k then to pay £300k to the English equivalent. I will leave it to you to make those very average medical graduates rich, with your over inflated medical bills and health insurance payments.
Ok, it's a deal, but didn't YOU mention "the best British doctors"?
Yes, the best British doctors are still average doctors. The best British doctors are no better than the best Indian doctors. That makes our best doctors just as 'average' as the best doctors from at least 30 other countries in the world. The 'average' British doctor would probably struggle to get a job. Being an 'average' doctor should not get you a job full stop.
And they are all welcome to come to the US and compete for the best positions and earn all the success they are capable of.
Indeed, and many choose not to because they want to care for all people and not just those that can afford the priviledge. That is why we are able to attract doctors of equal calibre to America, whilst paying them a lot less money. It costs a lot of money to persuade people to abandom their ethics and morales, hence the reason that the USA have to pay it.
By that logic every Liberal cheats on their spouse.
????????????? Does not compute how you got one from the other...
No, he was the target of vandelism because at a public meeting he told a bunch of the people who he works for to basically shut the hell up. Doesn't in any way justify a swastika, but just to be clear.
How many death threats did Bush and his people get? Oh, they didn't publisize them. I had Bush signs ripped from my yard while Deomcratic signs were ledt alone. Thatwas 2004, rember it.
That was dispicable. You never said what the Congressman said the day before. All he did was lie and condemn voters at a Town Hall Meeting. Why didn't you mention the Black man that was beaten in St. Louis by men wearing SEIU shirts.
Australia has free medical for it's poor. Just a matter of being civilized. A country is only as strong as it's support for the poor in my view, and American taxpayers who will not support their poor are depleting their country's value, not adding to it.
You don't help the poor by making everyone else poor. There are smarter ways to do things. We don't do them that way, but we could. That, in part, is what all the fuss here is about.
lol, isn't it funny how Sarah Palin is spreading all these lies and rumors about "death panels". I laugh when you hear ignorant people talking "oh yea, them there death panels they gona setup where them there rich people are guna decide who live an who die" christ people are stupid. Doesn't help that I live in a part of my state that is full of rednecks.
A guy showed up at Obama's town hall the other day with a loaded gun strapped to his leg and a sign that said, "It's time to water the tree of liberty."
The quote from Jefferson on which that blurb is based reads,
"The tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time with the blood of patriots and tyrants."
Timothy McVey was wearing a t-shirt with the same quote on it when they picked him up after the Oklahoma bombing.
By the way, folks, Pam Grundy is alluding above to one of her own excellent blog posts which you can find here:
http://dropoutnation.blogspot.com/2009/ … berty.html
Highly recommended read.
Thanks for the pointer, Paraglider. I'm way behind with my reads, it seems. Pssttt, don't want to say it too loud in case she hears it, but the woman can tell a thing or two, can't she? Wow and double wow.
Brilliant indeed, Pam, even by your high standards, it was great! It's on digg, stumble and reddit, I found out by upping it on all three sites.
BTW, between 2000 and 2009 the profits of the biggest health insurers in America quintupled at the same time they were dropping more and more people from their pool of insureds. Five times more profit in 9 years while the care got progressively worse and covered fewer and fewer people.
Interesting forum topic I agree the Americans who can't see the benefits of a nationalised health care service are insane.
I thought I'd have a quick look at the mortality rates to see if healthcare in the US was actually any better:
USA 8.27 per 1000
The best places to live if you don't want to die are:
United Arab Emirates 2.13
Saudia Arabia 2.49
The last part looks different to the last stats I read...especially Qatar (who pay no taxes,btw, and Kuwait) they come way down the list of good healthcare systems in the world.
Not really true. (I live in Qatar and have lived in UAE) In Qatar, excellent hospital services are provided by the state, paid for by oil & gas revenue. Much of the treatment is free. But it's complicated by nationality. Depending on your status, you may be repatriated rather than treated. The system here simply can't be compared like for like with anywhere in US or Europe.
I don't understand these figures. Are they telling me the number, per thousand, who die? I thought we all died! Seriously, what are they saying?
I don't understand them either, they are completely meaningless. Surely average age of death would be more relevant? In America you are expected to live 6 months longer than you are in the UK..... but that can be blamed almost entirely on climate issues - the UK is very damp, which is not good for your long term health.
100% of people in the UK die, 100% of people in the US die. Americans pay thousands of dollars per year, for every year of their adult life, in case they need medical care. This gives them an average of about 6 more (probably very unenjoyable) months longer on the planet.
Mortality rates are a crap way of judging healthcare! If you have a group of 70 year olds with the best healthcare in the world, and a group of 10 year olds with no healthcare, the latter's mortality rates are almost certainly lower.
Look at life expectancy, not mortality rates.
I think the mortality rates I looked at cover all ages of people within a particular country not just under 5's. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_co … death_rate
I just did look at life expectancy here's the link: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_co … expectancy
It pretty much correlates to mortality rate: the higher the mortality rate per 1000 people (in a year) the lower the life expectancy - but that is a generalisation. I'm sure it's not a perfect way of gauging the health, and therefore the health care of countries, I was just interested that's all.
Basically what I wanted to show was that the healthcare system in the US is not better than those countries with nationalised health care.
Wouldn't quality of life be an even better measure?
There is no cast iron way to measure the 'quality of life', that would be theoretical. Mortilaty rates and life expentantcy are nothing other than factual. Measuring the quality of life would be just another statistic for governments to manipulate and amend, just like employment rates.
However, since you asked, the 2009 Quality of Life Index ranks the US 3rd overall (thanks in part to a curiously high "Infrastructure" score) and 57th in "Health," where our score of 65 puts us in the same group with Chile, Tunisia, Brazil, Puerto Rico, and Slovenia, and well below Switzerland (88), France (84), Spain (77), the UK (73), Canada (72), and many others.
You didn't ask me a question. If you did ask me that question, I believe that my response would adequately constitute an answer.
"Wouldn't quality of life be an even better measure?" sure looks like a question to me.
Yes it was a question, a question for another hubber. As it so happens, I did answer your question. You asked:-
"Wouldn't quality of life be an even better measure?"
And I said:-
"There is no cast iron way to measure the 'quality of life', that would be theoretical. Mortilaty rates and life expentantcy are nothing other than factual. Measuring the quality of life would be just another statistic for governments to manipulate and amend, just like employment rates."
Other people could quite easily interprete my response, it is not my problem if you are having a bit of difficulty.
Which does NOT answer my question. Are you being evasive?
Maybe I should put this in simple terms for a simple mind.
Judging a country by its 'quality of life' is difficult, as such activity would need to be initiated using academic theory. As we all know, there will be multiple theories and opinions on the way to judge somebodies quality of life. These theories will often contradict each other, and opinions on the most effective methodologies will vary. Each will have different results, meaning that world governments can test various theories and ways of calculation until they find the one that puts them in the most positive light. Thus such a comparative method is open to almost certain manipulation and abuse.
The natural and extremely obvious flaw to such a study would be the objectives of an American goverment to use the theory which provides the voter with the most flattering result. The US government could use one theory which places them as say 3rd in the world for 'quality of life', this same theory might place the UK as 18th. The UK might use a different theory, to their advantage, that places the UK at 4th on the list and the US at 27th. Exactly the same manipulation is used habitually by government statisticians in order to create a positive or negative perception on a particular area. Exactly the same thing would happen (and has already happened) with this.
On the other hand, comparing the mortility rates or average age of death of the population can only be manipulated by down right fraud. People are born on a certain day, they die on a certain day, the age of that persons death is known to the precise day. There are no two ways of calculating a persons age, and there are no two ways of calculating 'mean'. The same with mortility, the number of deaths in a year against the size of a population is another statistic that cannot be manipulated without down right cheating.
You knew damn well what I meant, if you still don't understand this after requiring an essay, then you are quite simply as thick as pigs sh*t.
Everybody else gets it. Why cant you?
The NHS has its faults and its mistakes are trumpeted across the British media every day. But basically, although there are some frustrations, we have all lived our lives knowing we have access to a doctor and medical services when we need them, without having to pay for them.
One of the reasons that the NHS is undervalued by the citizens of this country is because it is free. If they knew the cost of some of the treatment and services they were receiving there might be a bit more appreciation. One of the big problems is people not turning up for their appointments, and not even bothering to cancel them. The medical staff still need to be paid and buildings and equipment maintained.
Health care is a basic human right, along with shelter, food and education, so it is only right that the US is trying to implement a fairer system.
So if you live in a nicer house than me do you have 'more' human rights than me? How about if you go to a better school than me? If you eat better food?
If I decide to fast, am I violating my own human rights? If I decide to live outside? If I drop out of school?
Using 'human rights' in this way undermines the very premise.
Stop with the free, look at your taxes.
Stop with the free, look at your taxes.
We hear all the time about the horrors of socialized medicine in Britain, Canada, and France, but I have yet to hear a citizen of any of those countries confirm any of those horror stories.
Most of the Brits I know here at HP think Americans have lost their minds. When they hear what health care costs here and how ordinary people go bankrupt for getting sick, they're horrified at OUR 'system'.
The thing about our (British) healthcare system is that YOU CAN STILL CHOOSE TO GO PRIVATE. Not only can you choose to go private, through monthly 'subscription' to various institutions, one of which is a private company called BUPA, but it is also about the third of the price of private healthcare in America.
Most of the taxation used for the NHS is through a scheme called National Insurance, which people can OPT OUT OF. Such a system will undoubtedly remain in the USA.
Why do those with money, who can still go private, begrudge a basic human right to those without money? particularly in the current day and age where people are losing jobs and homes.
America's attitude towards healthcare is my biggest reason for never, ever, wanting to live there. I am not anti-capitalist, but at what lengths should people go to make money? Refusing treatment for the dying? It absolutely disgusts me.
Same in Spain, you can choose to go private if you can afford to the health plan payments. BUT you can't opt out of National Insurance. Taxes will still be charged to me on that concept even if I have a private health plan.
And that's fine with me -- I think it's a matter of decency and solidarity that part of my income is used to help others that may be worse off. What can one think of a supposedly civilized society where a broken leg may mean a broken bank account?
I'd go on an on, this topic is mind-boggling to me, to say the least...
You also have a very good tax system, am I right in saying that everybody pays 20%? I would like to see a flat rate tax system in the UK.
Not flat, proportional to income, based on ranges of income. I believe it's similar to you guys, what changes are the ranges and the tax applied to each.
Oh ok, I got that wrong then. Yes its the same here, you have thresholds... so I pay (well would if I had a job) 20% up to a certain amount, then more after a certain amount etc...
I would never begrudge paying taxes for free healthcare, in fact I would move out of this country if they got rid of the free healthcare system (like 100,000 of my countrymen do every year already - as the Spanish and French would know!).
Its the other stuff they spend it on that I begrudge, like bailing out greedy bankers!
try being the guy who works 50 to 70 hours a week just to keep the lights on and plain white pasta on the table. No way could we afford insurance, even if it was offered. Currently the people who know whats best for our state, are trying to make a law that if a person refuses employer offered insurance, they will pay fines. If an employer does not offer insurance, they will be fined. If this goes thru, my husbands summer job will most certainly be gone, as his boss will not be able to afford insurace for all his employees. Now, I am not looking for a handout, but I do wish somehow something would give so my husband could get a cavity filled, instead of having the tooth pulled.
try being the guy who works 50 to 70 hours a week just to keep the lights on and plain white pasta on the table. No way could we afford insurance, even if it was offered. Currently the people who know whats best for our state, are trying to make a law that if a person refuses employer offered insurance, they will pay fines. If an employer does not offer insurance, they will be fined. If this goes thru, my husbands summer job will most certainly be gone, as his boss will not be able to afford insurace for all his employees. Now, I am not looking for a handout, but I do wish somehow something would give so my husband could get a cavity filled, instead of having the tooth pulled.
I don't need to 'try' and be that guy, I am currently unemployed! I am trying very hard not to be!
Although dentistry is another subject altogether.... that is also free in the UK, but the chance of you finding a free dentist to take you on at the moment is very slim... there are lots of stories about people pulling out their own teeth because they were in so much pain. But same applies.... if you have money then you go to a private dentist, but that is very expensive!
oh jeez..that came out wrong.
first, sorry your unemployeed, I hope you find something soon. second, I just meant about being fed up. sounds like you probablly are!! I didnt mean a free dentist either. I wouldnt expect someone to do all that work, and school and everything for free. I just wish that it didnt cost over a hundred dollars a week for insurance, or that more docotrs, or dentist, would be willing to go for a payment plan. instead of all of it up front. I think I saw someone quote me and I should go read that now. Hope I havent offended you, I was trying to agree.
We have way too many wrongly perceived rights to things. Free medical. Free dental. Free housing. Free food. Free everything. Man is a plunderer by nature. The majority votes for the property of others. Can 6 of your neighbors vote to walk into your house and take your stove? What gives any man or government the right to do this very same thing for those 6 voters? How about a little personal responsibility in our lives. Those who produce nothing always seek free things from those who produce. You have the right to work 80 hours a week producing so you can obtain the things you need to live. Should I need a tooth repaired I would gladly forego my cell phone bill for 6 months instead of trying to force another to pay my way.
Medicaid and Medicare are bankrupt. Fannie Mae & Freddie Mac are bankrupt. The federal government is bankrupt. Everything the federal government touches becomes bankrupt. Social welfare programs exist to keep plunderers in power and in money from producers. Social welfare programs work until the producers get fed up paying for those who do not, or until the entire free market collapses because production to sustain all the free stuff cannot be sustained. The American people are morally and financially bankrupt. All that free stuff has to come from somewhere. Maybe its time we gather around the liberty tree to discuss the plunder of man. Its a pathetic man that cannot feed and take care of his family. Maybe he should not have had a family.....or is this a right too?
So you demand that someone else buy it for you.
Bingo. The government knows best. The same government who couldn't get water bottles to Katrina victims and watched the Cash for Clunkers program go bankrupt in a less than a month will decide who gets a hip replacement.
Employers are not obligated to provide insurance. The government should stay out of it.
Yes you are. At least be honest about it. You want someone else to pay for your health care.
Health insurance doesn't include dental coverage. Shop around and find a dentist that will cut you a deal because you pay in cash. Honestly, I don't understand why people insist health care is so important but aren't willing to pay for even a small part of it.
She is entitled to her opinion just like you are entitled to yours, lets not turn a mature debate into an antagonistic argument. My personal opinion is that America has a lot of cold hearted people.
Lets look at it in a different perspective. Mr Businessman, lets just say that he is republican, owns a business that makes him $150,000 a year. Not too rich, but wealthy.
In order to make that $150,000 a year of net takings he employs 10 staff; but he only pays these 10 staff $8.00 an hour. This is barely enough for those 10 hard working employees to pay the rent and feed their families.
Mr Businessman goes on a ski-ing trip and breaks his leg, luckily he has private health insurance and is whisked away to hospital to have pins inserted, he is given a decent pair of crutches and he catches a flight home to rest.
The next day one of Mr Businessmans employees falls over in the garden and also breaks a leg. They could never afford the insurance, and are buggered. Mr Businessman, the cold hearted man that he is, tells the employee that he is no longer required. The employee cannot afford the operation, because the employer didnt pay enough, and gets laid off.
Should Mr Businessman have empathy? I think that he should, you clearly do not.
What would you do if you saw an injured dog in the middle of the road? Would you drive on? Would you treat your fellow human being like that dog? Would you let the dog die because he hasnt got health insurance? (for the record, stray dogs also get free medical treatment in this country, funded entirely by public donations). I would stop and help that dog. I love all of the worlds creatures and would help any of them, dog or human, and no I am not religious.
This cold heartedness is the exact reason that Europe has distanced itself from America in recent years, when that coldness is applied to all aspects of life, and it is the exact reason that the UK population grew tired of Tony Blairs close relationship with Bush and forced him out.
Its the same reason that the rest of the world is delighted that Obama is the current president of the United States, something which almost every country in the world - except many Americans - can see.
For the record I love American people, I lived in New York for a bit and met some fantastically intelligient and empathetic people, people who had eyes open to the rest of the world. All of them were very liberal people.
I'm not antagonistic. Just honest. Try to get past your xenophobia and grasp the points I'm making.
I don't understand why your hypothetical businessperson is a Republican, but let us also add that he/she probably works 60-80 hours per week and assumes the financial risks for the business. He/She provide employment for 10 people. The employees assume no such risk.
You don't seem to understand economics. People are paid according to the value they provide to the company. Any other pay scale is artificial and will eventually being down the business. If they are worth more, they have the opportunity to take their value elsewhere and get a better job that pays more. We have the freedom to do that in America.
If he had private health insurance it's because he paid for it. When he gets home, it's unlikely that he 'rests', rather he heads for the office to catch up on paperwork and continue the struggle to keep his business open so he can pay his employees.
You seem to think that a business owner has some obligation to provide for employees that do not contribute to the bottom line. Evidently you have never had to make a payroll. Please explain to all the other productive employees that they will now be supporting the fellow with the broken leg. They'll be happy to give part of their pay, I'm sure. Eventually there will be so many unproductive employees that the business will fail.
You wish to legislate empathy. Good luck with that.
I don't know where you live, but I guarantee that free health care for stray dogs is not sustainable. It's common sense.
This may come as a surprise to you, but it is not the goal of America to be liked by the Brits. I think you guys are pretty cool for the most part; Douglas Adams was a great writer, Richard Dawkins is a bit of a nutter, Monty Python still holds up after 30 years.
Enjoy Obama while you can; we'll be sending him home in 2012.
The key word is liberal. Good luck with that. Your model is not sustainable. You'll see.
You clearly fail to notice that your Reagenite system has failed the American people, and that there are no jobs in America. Its ok telling people to just go and get a job, how do you propose that people just go and get another job if there are 100 applicants for every 1 vacancy?
I don't understand economics? I feel that it is in fact you that doesn't understand economics. An employee is not paid in accordance to their worth to a business, they are in fact paid the lowest salary that the labour market will demand. With some of the highest unemployment rates in the world (another Regeanite failure), this is clearly not going to be very much money.
Free healthcare for stray dogs IS sustainable. It is sustainable because many British people, who make monthly donations to animal charities out of the goodness of their hearts - instead of counting every single penny of their retirement funds - pay for it. There is not a single healthy dog in the UK which is put down. So shove that back down your throat.
It should not be America's goal to be liked by the Brits, it should be America's goal to make friends in the world. Britain are your closest allies, I would suggest that staying on our side is probably a wise move (and vice versa), as it happens the British public love Obama. So I am sure that is not a problem.
If you think that Britain has a liberal model then you clearly are stupid, and very much epitomise the close eyed American that I am referring to. We are still suffering as a result of the adoption of the 'free market economy' under Thatcher, who pretty much allowed Reagen to dictate how our country should be destroyed. The only thing that Thatcher did not destroy is our NHS, the NHS is the last great thing remaining about Britain. If the NHS goes then we may as well become the '52nd State' formally. If we did lose the NHS, I would move to Spain, France, Germany or Turkey. All that is being proved in this country that Thatcherite enforced capitalist ideals of Reagen have failed, it is painful watching us slip behind other European countries - most of whom have retained a liberal outlook and have done fantastically for it. They are happier and healthier than the Americans and the British.
Send Obama our way. You will become a laughing stock if you throw away the best thing that you have ever had.
Of course, most people do think that there is a relationship of mutual trust and care.
Yes, health insurance is seperate from dental. Your are right. I again, am only spekaing from a very limited experience, but I am pretty sure I am allowed to. The jobs my husband has had, dont offer only dental. In order to get Dental, thru an employer, because geting insurance just on my own is not an option right now, you must be signed up for medical also. so I sort of lumped them, incorrectly, together. Currently, there are no Dentists in my state that will see you, at all, unless your an established patient, meaning yougo every 6 months. AND they will only take payemnt in full if you dont have insurance. no discounts. I have shopped. trust me.
I do wonder why so many right-wing Americans think their government is inherently less organised and capable than other countries' governments. After all, other countries run various types of universal health care for half the cost in America (or less).
Just to comment on OP, Wouldnt Mr Hawkins income disqualify him for NHS. Though Im sure he has a good insurance never the less.
New Zealand has two systems running, NHS (adapted from UK)and Accident Compensation Corporation (ACC) provides comprehensive, no-fault personal injury cover for all New Zealand residents and visitors to New Zealand.
( taxes called a levy sourced from employers( this is means employers place more attention on safety in the workplace(OSH) and additional taxes by employees)..was something like 50c a week for me 2yrs ago.
Free NHS and who pays etc
No. The National Health Service treats everyone regardless of their status or income. Nobody is disqualified. Even the Royal Family have used it. Clinical excellence is better in the NHS than in the private sector and frequently when things go wrong in private health, they put them in an ambulance to the nearest NHS hospital.
I agree its a good system , like I said I grew up with our own, but it has been developed and the website I put explains it officially so to speak...dont get me started on the queen
No. Everyone's covered by our NHS. From pauper to billionaire.
You Brit's just don't get it. We don't want to be like you, this isn't pre-1776.
I can't see any Brits claiming that you do want to be like us. To the contrary, we are seeing our society becoming slowly but constantly more americanised. Almost every work place has Microsoft Word for example, which does not even acknowledge that America's mother language does not use a 'Z' in almost every long word (notice that I said AmericaniSed).
Add to that the absolute shit that our teenagers are watching on tv.... Paris Hilton, Sweet16...... This American brat culture is the complete opposite to what I personally would like to see in the UK, I am pro-Europe and would personally like to see our teenagers learning French, Italian and Spanish... before taking a civiliSed cafe culture.
Your country could do worse than to learn from the few great things left about British culture. And you can shove Microsoft Office up your arse.
Turn off the TV. You still have that freedom don't you? Heck for that matter stop using Word. Try to find something else as good. Open Office for example. As for spelling, well companies in the US created the software and sold it here first, guess you'll just have to deal. Who knows maybe you'll be the British answer to Bill Gates and well be spelling things centre instead of center in a century of so.
Yes dont worry I DO turn off the TV, it is the 11 year old kids that dont know any better that I worry about.
Oh and I have stopped using word I have started using OpenOffice, in fact I started using it yesterday and it is absolutely awesome.... I'm never looking back.
British answer to Bill Gates? hahaha.... I wish. The future is open source, so maybe I could just design a plugin for British people to be able to do a spell check
You think your 11 year olds are bad, you should see them here. Still the only real impact you can have is on you and yours, so I let everyone else take care of themselves.
Open office is great, but I've found Office 2007 to have several programs that I can't do without like OneNote. That particular program is great for managing projects and keeping research, notes, etc. all in one place. So even the "evil" corporations do things that are useful from time to time.
The only difference between us and Bill Gates is that people like him are always questioning "conventional wisdom" and running through scenarios. He bought MS-DOS for 50k and convinced IBM to use that operating system in their PC's. IBM, being a large corporation didn't think that the operating system would be that big of a deal. After all you can't have a computer without hardware. Hardware is the future. Oops.
Likewise MS screwed the pooch when it came to search engines. It took a little startup in CA to get that right. Who needs a search engine after all, you can't access the Internet without a computer and almost all of them run Windows. Oops. Who knows where the next great upheaval in the computer world will come from, but it's not likely to be from the big boys, it'll likely be a startup. Well maybe Google, they've managed to keep their innovative spirit even as they've grown, a remarkable achievement in and of itself. Hmmm. May have to do some research on that and see how they did it.
I don't have anything at all against large corporations. I own shares in Microsoft, I earn money from Google Adsense, I have friends working for IBM, I have a private pension fund which invests in the Dow Jones and the FTSE. I guess thats part of the point that I am trying to make about the NHS, Americans automatically label me as a socialist because I support a national health service. In the UK the NHS is supported by a vast vast majority - politics doesnt really come into it (well of course politics does come into it, but not for abolishion).
My only problem with Microsoft Office is that it packages a universal product which doesnt allow me to adapt the spellcheck to the English language (well, the UK version of that language). I would guess that Microsoft sells millions and millions of Office licenses every year in England, so it suprises me that they do not feel it necessary to offer this simple adaptation. They do a Spanish version, a French version, German version etc etc, why not provide a UK version? For a large company like that, it surely isn't a problem? We are a customer base, just like most other countries, and you need to give your customers what they want to retain their custom.
When an adequate substitute comes along, and charges you nothing, you would expect Microsoft to be doing all they can to compete?
The only problem I have with corporations is when they use their money to influence the political process. That allows them to rack up the benefits at the expense of everyone else. Item the first: Goldman Sachs, Item the second, GM.
I'd imagine that the reason MS doesn't provide a British version of Word is due to the complexity of the problem and they probably don't get many complaints about it.
Ah, but the question remains, who and what will the MS killer app be. One benefit MS has the the funds to get the best brains in the field to work for them, so there's an advantage that's hard to beat. Why do you think Google is a search engine company, if they tried to go head to head with MS, they'd lose. So they go where MS is weak and carve out a niche for themselves. They do so in the knowledge that one day they'll be able to deal with MS on equal terms.
It's a bit complicated but I'd classify your views as national socialist not merely socialist. I can get into the difference if you'd like, it mostly has to do from who benefits from the effects of a controlled market, but it's nothing evil or bad. That, in the end, is why I'm opposed to any intervention by anyone in the healthcare field. Believe it or not, markets really are self-regulating.
I'm not sure who or when somebody will knock Office applications off of the perch, but I think that a browser based programme of some sort will be a good candidate. None of the browser based programmes that I have seen thus far look like they can compete at all.... but remember that Office is a global brand, and yet most of the world is still on dial up/very rubbish broadband. I think that as more countries invest in faster internet speeds we will see some genuine online applications offering serious competition, at the moment the emergence of complex browser based software has been limited to the more developed world.
I have Office Enterpise edition installed, and it really is a CPU hogger.... so that would suit me perfectly. I would say that Google have already taken minor steps with their browser based office suites, although this is a very poor attempt... I would call it testing the water, they have a very long way to go.
But then you never know, Microsoft will probably pop up with browser based Office at just the right time.... or somebody else will develop the programme and Microsoft will buy them out and rebrand immediately... They will always have the buying power I suppose.
Anyway, on a seperate note.... you have inspired my new hub called 'Reasons To Love and Hate The Americanisation Of Britain' it will all be firmly tongue and cheek and not taken too seriously
Coolness. Glad I was able to help. There's a lot of rancor going around the forums these days, nice to know we can still communicate in some meaningful kind of way.
I think that religion and politics will be the source of confrontation for anybody that intends to talk about it. There always has been, and always will be, confrontation constantly surrounding those two areas of life.
That doesn't mean that people have to take that into other areas of interest, there is absolutely no reason to ever argue with somebody about a cheap piece of word processing software, put it that way!
Heck, what we're really talking about is the best way to get the right amount of resources to the people who need them the most. We just put our faith in different systems that's all.
That wasn't a criticism of you ledefensetech, but come on you must at least acknowledge that any mention of a political party or a religion (particularly on this board) results in at least minor confrontations?
Im not even saying that it is a bad thing, a 'passionate debate' could quite easily be interpretered as a confrontation? if there was no confrontation in politics, then everybody would be on the same party... which would make the whole idea rather pointless!
Ahem ,its acceptable to use an 'z' or a 's'.
Aww Ryan, credit where its due -Microsoft is cool, even though but who invented the Blue Ray?..Germany, sorry just a quickie question.
The NHS was founded in 1948, nearly two centuries after the American Revolution. So I'm not quite sure what it's got to do with the price of fish.
But Stephen Hawking did not have that high income his entire life.
I have another point to make to the now elusive nicomp. Should you have to pay additional taxes instead of insurance premiums, which do you think is better for the American economy?
The NHS is a structured public service organisation, it keeps a lot of people in employment in this country on a decent wage. The executives at the top do not make a fraction of the money of the executives of the insurance company.
Can you not see the benefit of hundreds of thousands of new jobs paying say $40,000 a year? Money which will begin to pay mortgages, pay toxic debts, go back into retail, and generally raise levels of consumer spending?
As opposed to 8 figure bonuses for a chosen few financial execs, who retire at 45 and take $30 million dollars of your hard earned cash out of the country - to tax havens, to the carribean, to swiss bank accounts? Most of that money will be spent in other countries, having no benefit to the American economy.
We have already seen evidence of how Reagens capatilist ideals have failed the American (and British) economy, the idea that money works it way from the top down is ludicrious. Putting money back at the bottom, and having it working its way to the top, is the only way that (ironically) the capatilist banking system will recover without continued tax payer subsidence.
Capitalists really do shoot themselves in the foot, and the sooner they see that a few socialist principles can make them RICHER the better for the world. Well, not the world.... because America is already losing ground, but certainly better for the American economy, and a few European economies (including, I am ashamed to say, the British economy - which has long been far too cosy with Americas financial system).
Look up the word elusive.
With all due respect, you don't understand economics. Where in the world do you think this money comes from?
Let's have the government hire everyone. Problem solved.
You seem to have jealousy issues. I applaud successful people and I understand that they pay huge amounts in taxes, not to mention all the industries they support when they spend their money. Do you think the Jaguar factories in the UK would be in business if you eat the rich? How will you explain to all those hard working people that no one is left to buy the cars they build?
Revisionist History. Not enough time to explain Reagan to you here.
Yes, capitalists sometimes shoot themselves in the foot. They also succeed much of the time. The opportunity to fail sometimes and succeed sometimes is the hallmark of a free society. Socialists blow off their foot and the toes of everyone else within a 3 mile radius. Anyone who survives contracts gangrene.
It comes from taxation - we pay 8% of GDP on healthcare to cover the entire population from cradle to grave. You spend 16% of GDP, and still some people are not covered.
If you understood anything about economics you would understand about "opportunity costs". The extra money that US businesses are forced to put into a health system that doesn't work is choking the economy.
It would be cheaper to have a national health. Contrary to popular belief, taxes are not high in the UK. Corporation tax for large companies is 28% here, it's 35% in the US. Basic Income tax starts at 20%, higher tax here is 40%.
Contrary to the myths put about, it's perfectly possible to have a national health for not much money, because you get efficiencies of scale.
Where I stand on this topic:- I pay taxes, some of that tax goes to a health service. My grandad is in hospital at the moment, he has had 3 strokes and has cancer. He still smiles everyday, I love him more than I could ever love money. The extra years that the NHS has given me with him (at least 5) is worth my tax money for the rest of my life. I am 24 years old, fit, healthy, I have just graduated with a first class degree in property (obviously my two economics modules were marked incorrectly, i was given a first in both). I would not have made it to 3 days if it was not for the NHS - I was born 6 weeks premature with a hole in my lung, I had numerous blood transfusions and was kept in an incubator. My dad, my aunties, my cousins, my girlfriend.... they will never begrudge paying those taxes because it also symbolises my life.
If you are completely void of that simple empathy for human beings, in replace of your financial aspirations and ideals, then quite frankly I pity you.
The NHS saved my life, I am indebted to it, and would support it financially if it became donation supported. If you think that some idealist can change my opinion about the NHS because of a few close minded and pretty rude forum posts then you have another thing coming. If you were to travel to the UK and were to be hit by a car in London, who do you think would pick you up within 5 minutes, take you to a hospital, perform life saving surgery, give you two weeks of aftercare and then help you get home? Without invoicing you? It would be courtesy of the British taxpayer, via the NHS, and I do not begrudge that at all. That is why it makes me feel slightly sick to think that there are people - lots of people - in America that would sooner watch me die and put another few dollars in their *failing* private pension funds.
"The next day one of Mr Businessmans employees falls over in the garden and also breaks a leg. They could never afford the insurance, and are buggered. Mr Businessman, the cold hearted man that he is, tells the employee that he is no longer required. The employee cannot afford the operation, because the employer didnt pay enough, and gets laid off."
Some version of this happens all the time in the U.S. Now insurance companies are pushing high deductible plans combined with HSAs (health savings accounts). It's not that they're bad plans, it's just that they are bad plans if you get sick. For wellness you just pay the full cost out of pocket most years and that's that. But end up in the emergency room with chest pain and for the next 30 days you'll get as much as $15,000 in bills (or more) for which your portion will be the $5,000 deductible plus 20% of what the insurance pays--$7.000. Well, most people don't have $7,000 laying around. They just don't. Does that make them irresponsible leechy bastards? I don't think it does, but many people think so.
What happens is, if you don't pay, the hospital garnishes your wages. So you have even less money to pay for more health care if you need it.
At my partners job, the company runs anyone who has a chronic health problem or a sick kid out of their job. You dare not hurt your back or come up with a kid with leukemia or you're out.
But what is really messed up is, many small businesses could actually benefit from health care reform if the health care lobby quit screaming long enough so that could be explained. Check out this editorial:
http://www.nytimes.com/2009/08/13/opini … u1.html?hp
Even if they don't benefit, it's not really an option to do nothing. The system will shortly collapse under the weight of the ever increasing number of uninsured or underinsured.
"You don't seem to understand economics. People are paid according to the value they provide to the company. Any other pay scale is artificial and will eventually being down the business. If they are worth more, they have the opportunity to take their value elsewhere and get a better job that pays more. We have the freedom to do that in America."
What utter, self-serving nonsense. Angelo Mozilo. Richard Fuld. Value added: Zero. Salaries: Obscene.
By the way, has anybody seen Stephen Hawking's birth certificate? I mean his real one, not the smudged copy of an Isle of Wight forgery that's doing the rounds on the web.
Hawkings is really Sudanese. Everyone knows that! He's a fraud, out to cheat the British taxpayer of their hard-earned money, by scrunching himself up in a wheelchair and talking through a Dalek-simulator.
Oh wait, I'm thinking of the wrong conspiracy...
Yes I want someone to pay for my healthcare , just like someone else wants my taxes (hubbys anyways)....man are they high, hes happy cuz hes going to get it all back .....so why tax it in the first place ???
P.S. Americans should note that when the NHS was founded, it faced similar opposition from doctors when it started, so your fight is nothing new. You should hold firm though, because once you have your system in place, no-one will remove it.
For those interested, here's a six minute clip of a documentary about the origins of the NHS. The guys who founded it were exhausted from fighting the Second World War, they had a bombed out Britain to sort out (Americans don't really understand just how badly our country was reduced to rubble in WW2, everything had to be rebuilt), and they still found the energy to set up this service. They don't make politicians with those sorts of guts anymore.
I want to thank you, Silver Rose, for an intelligent post....and great thread. I read it through. It really spells out in bas relief who is reading/thinking and who is just spewing stuff that looks dumber and dumber as they keep at it.
Saw this on AsherKades moving on thread..kinda sums it up for our household.
I would be interested to see what your thoughts are about my last post nicomp.
You have just met one of our resident trolls - do not expect a reasonable discussion.
It seems that everybody on this forum is a troll Mark! I was a troll yesterday apparently, it wont be long until your outed as a troll too!
I have been called that from the first time i said I despised religion and cannot understand why no one can see how we are being manipulated into saying things like nicomp says.
Well, if Ryan Hupfer is a fan of a troll ( nycomp)What can you expect ?
"That is why it makes me feel slightly sick to think that there are people - lots of people - in America that would sooner watch me die and put another few dollars in their *failing* private pension funds."
That's the irony isn't it? We have all these people here in the U.S. who have made a fetish out of free market capitalism, and half of them lost their shirts thanks to the shadow banking system and day-traders-gone-wild, while the other half never had any money in the first place but by god if they get some they'll die clutching it their miserable little fists.
So it's totally irrational. Irrational beliefs are hard to change. You can't have a sane discussion with someone who is clinging to an irrational belief. You can show them mountains of facts and figures and they'll just keep saying the same things over and over, louder and louder. That's what's happening right now. Lots of nastiness, no real dialog.
Yes exactly, you have grasped the exact point that I was trying to make.
As it happens, I also invest into a private pension fund - and shares. It is possible to adopt a capitalist spirit whilst not allowing yourself to become too greedy. I think that is where it all went wrong to be honest.
Nicomp has automatically labelled me as a socialist, the only other way he knows. 'Capitalist' or 'Socialist' (or communist) I am not either, I am 'liberal'.... this means that I am open minded to the benefits of utilising aspects of both systems, and encompassing of a wide range of beliefs and theories. Anybody that labels themselves as a 'Capitalist' or a 'Socialist' probably has a very close minded look at the world, and has taken somebodies philosophy(s) far too seriously. For me, Obama is a 'liberal'. He looks at the bigger picture and realises that social and economic investment can be exactly the same thing.
It is perfectly possible for me to save money, make money, and live a decent enough life - whilst continuing to make charitable donations and appreciating the many beneficial reasons for taxation. Every month (at least when I was working) I would give a little money to charity, put a little in my pension, put a little in shares, and live on the rest. In certain respects i AM a capitalist, but the day that I stop donating my few pounds to charity.... to put that few extra pounds in my pension.... is the day that my soul dies.
Everybody is different I suppose.
Well put. Capitalism without a counterbalancing of grace and social resposibility is just greed. Gordon Gecko was wrong. Greed is not good.
I know! Right? Why does everything get framed in such extreme terms? I think that's part of the problem or even most of it. We frame everything as either/or with no middle ground when actually most of life gets lived in the middle.
No one is saying profit is bad. Just that, you know, it makes a bad RELIGION.
You've hit the nail on the head. As to why it is all framed in such extreme terms - part of it is because when someone attacks, you instinctively want to attack back in kind. Pretty soon both sides are in a ding-dong battle getting ever more extreme.
The knack to effecting change is to break the cycle. People on the Democrat side need to refrain from responding in kind.
Again, drawing from our own struggles in setting up a national health, the govt was under fierce attack from the doctors and from the right-wing press. And occasionally they did have a few outbursts back. But in the main, they responded by putting out public information material which was couched in the most neutral unthreatening terms. They even put out cartoons.
Here's a sweet little cartoon from 1948, just 1.3 minutes long, but this kind of stuff did the trick and won public support. Perhaps Obama needs to instruct his "Central Office of Information" to put out something similar :-)
And the great irony is, probably very little $$, or assumed superiority actually separates the ones here spewing "choice," "you just want a hand out," etc. Now that is completely irrational.
And it will only take one redunancy, and 3 months realising just how hard it is to get a job no matter how high your calibre, before they begin to change their outlook and realise that they were very very wrong. Its the old adage "look after people on the way up and they will look after you on the way down". You make no friends being selfish and greedy.
On a completely off topic and self fulfilling note.... I love the way that this thread has won me 3 fans! It sure is a nice feeling to have people relating to your opinions, and to know that there are other people on your wavelength about certain topics.
"We attract the best and the brightest from around the world. That is one of our strengths. If you don't want the best British doctors to leave, make it more attractive for them to stay.
See, I prefer doctors who actually want to practice medicine without going where they can make the most money.
And many of these doctors from around the world end up going home after a certain amount of time. There was talk of many doctors leaving Canada to go to the US, but many of them return.
Just because you take a job for money does not make you a better doctor.
The doctor able to demand the highest compensation is likely to be among the best in his/her profession. Seems like a good indicator to me.
New Zealand Doctors are just as well trained as any other western developed country , yet they leave their home-countries to make more money overseas...but they are not any better than their collegues who choose to remain. Fact of life.
She knows just as well as you know...
All that dog does is ask questions. I guess that's actually pretty impressive for a dog.
Tk you are like that TV Prog Blues Clues
I know because I lived there for most of my life ,worked there ,raised a family etc...talked to doctors ,followed the news......I KNOW.. they call it the brain drain ( training all those graduates to get degrees, then watch them leave)
Now the wierdest thing is, They have doctor shortages (go figure)so import trainees from other countries to train up... it looks like they have lost their minds ,but I truly think its greed again.
Many of the public call it mismanagement ,and Im sure theyre happy for it to be thought of that ,but its greed..
Before you ask TK....Common sense...make people well? , or make a profit?
And as I quoted above, I'm sure just as many Kiwi docs as Canadian docs who go to the US, return home.
Ok, how many? If you're "sure" you must have something to prove it.
Yep, they leave for better pay and return for better lifetsyle
Catch 22 isnt it?
The ones who are best at the former will be the ones who are best at the latter, generally speaking.
Leaving aside the scientific method of "I lived there" You have only described the fact that doctors leave your country, which I have never disputed.
Really? You prefer doctors driven by making money over those driven to cure people. Why is that exactly?
Some people on this forum just want to be right about anything. Of course there are some of the best doctors in the UK, Canada, and other countries, and to imply otherwise is provocative.
Hawking is also an elite and thus is guaranteed whatever he wants. Which is great if you're someone like Hawking, but it seems to me that a normal light like you and I would have the machines shut off. In the old USSR, high level Party hacks had medical care to rival that of the First World. Nobody else did, but hey, things were great for the Party. Everyone else suffered.
Everybody in the UK, even those here illegaly, are entitled to free health care. Elitism my friend is a word that reflects the American health system, and elitism is what a free health service aims to eradicate. There are people from low income families who were born with Stephen Hawkings condition, those people have recieved exactly the same treatment. Once a precedent is set in the NHS, it stays. The only limitations are certain new drugs which the NHS cannot afford, solely because of the amount that America charges for them. After 5 years these drugs can be recreated by us, and they become available. If you happen to want to try these new drugs within that 5 years, this is the only time that you may need to go private - often a letter to your MP ensures that this is avoided and those drugs are suddenly stocked. There is no condition and no person that the NHS will not treat, social status does not come into it; I am afraid that you are perhaps confusing this with the American mentality.
Somehow I think that the level of care someone like Hawking gets is better than say something an illegal from Pakistan gets. Besides, how do you explain things like this:
http://www.redorbit.com/news/health/443 … h_service/
http://www.telegraph.co.uk/health/healt … tions.html
http://libcom.org/library/nhs-notional- … re-swindle
http://www.dailymail.co.uk/health/artic … death.html
About that last link, even the Communists have a problem with your managed health care it seems. That's a bit shocking to me.
I can explain that without even clicking on the links, the URL's say all that I need to know. If you were in Britain you would be reading the Daily Mail and The Daily Telegraph. I read The Guardian. That is all you need to know.
So you're saying that you're narrow-minded, that I get. Heck I hate the NY times, the LA times, but I still read them. I argue with most of their conclusions, but I still read them. USA Today is probably the best daily in the US, Washington times, I could take or leave, but I still read it.
What I am actually saying is that I have spent far too much time on a forum debating about something that to be blatently honest has no effect on me whatsoever, I have many important things to do with the rest of my day - it is now 8pm here and I have not done half of the things on my to do list. I do not, and never will again, live in the USA. Therefore that really does render this thread irrelevant to me, and me irrelevant to this thread. If you wished to gain the opinions of somebody who has experienced the NHS - and has had his life saved by it - then I was your man. If you choose to disagree with everything that has been said by that man, in favour of a handful of publications (none of which were impartial politically) then that is fine. The fact remains that I have a fantastic life thanks to the great British tax payer.
Enjoy your great free national health service ledefensetech.
So why are you wasting your time debating something that doesn't even concern you? You have your vaunted universal health care, good for you. Are you really that desperate to feel that smug and superior to others? Doesn't sound like you have very good control over your schedule.
I didn't intend to enter into a debate, I allowed myself to be drawn into a debate. It is a debate that I rather reluctantly joined, and one that I am now very much delighted to be leaving. I have no objectives to feel smug or superior to others, my only objective was to point out that the NHS has many benefits; maybe if you acknowledged some of those benefits then I would be prepared to stay and acknowledge some flaws within the system.
My schedule is none of your concern.
Surely even you can appreciate that somebody who is only here today because of the NHS is going to be a strong supporter of such a system? It really isn't a difficult decision for me to make. My reasons for having been raised a supporter of the NHS do not relate to the depth of topics that you are attempting to draw me into. No mainstream right wing UK newspaper propoganda is going to change the fact that the NHS saved my life. Maybe you should ask yourself whether or not the readership and editors of those newspapers would wish to scrap the NHS? by the way, they were slightly right wing newspapers - they would be the closest UK equivalent of republicans. Even they would not scrap the NHS, the leader of the conservative party David Cameron (our next leader) lost a child not long ago, he used the NHS, the NHS is supported by the entire political spectrum in the UK.
Yet no you keep coming back. It's wonderful that NHS saved your life. But that doesn't make it the right choice for everyone. It's not universal healthcare, but workman's comp here is government mandated and a joke. Sometimes you get lucky. My fiance got her shoulder repaired after waiting six months and having to make multiple trips to a doctor a hundred miles away, even though there are orthopedic specialists just as good around here. They weren't acceptable to Workman's Comp. Now we're getting the runaround about reimbursement for fuel and other expenses for having to drive a hundred miles out of our way. Personally I'd rather have had the freedom to sue the workplace for unsafe work environment and be done with it. Turns out they neglected to salt the parking lot after an ice storm. My fiance was not the only one to have fallen. A good friend, who was pregnant at the time, also fell. Luckily she didn't lose the baby.
Just one more point.... you can recieve free health care, and still sue somebody in the UK. You can sue for distress, loss of earnings, anything.....
Remember also that the system in the UK has been adapted effectively to allow people to 'opt out'. Those people can choose not to pay national insurance (the tax which funds most of the NHS) and instead arrange their own private healthcare policy. Despite not contributing, they STILL would not be rejected for emergency NHS treatment, and STILL not be invoiced.
Under that sort of system, where would your objection be? And would you turn down your free emergency treatment, if the NHS were the first to reach you? The contributors would be bailing you out.
You know what, very very very few people opt out of national insurance. Even those that do have private health plans will often use the NHS anyway.
Just a thought.
You really ought to read your links a little more thoroughly. The final link that you claim to be so damning is a diatribe against the situation in Dentistry in the UK. Dentistry used to be more fully funded, but it was decided that people should either part-contribute to their NHS care, or else go private. This applies to all apart from those under 18, those registered unemployed or drawing sick benefits, and of course the elderly. Does this resemble the American system? I suspect it might. The net result of this has been that many dentists have either seen an opportunity to make more money and have obliged all their patients to go private, or else can't be bothered to do the paperwork involved in the NHS partial funding. The final paragraph in the link decries the move towards privatised dentistry and calls for it to return to the NHS. The actual quote is this:
"The only way to defend the NHS and restore and expand it, to ensure that it is a universal, free, comprehensive service, is by replacing the Brown government with a workers’ government that will carry out socialist policies"
Perhaps I should Amanda, but really like many, this arguing back and forth gets old. One thing I see missing from the debate is a discussion on the reason healthcare costs are getting higher. One would think that would be a topic of discussion before solutions were presented. It is, unfortunately in this day and age, a logical argument, not an emotional one.
Also I did note that I was adding a Communist link. If you're familiar at all with my writings you know that if I am opposed to anything more than I am universal healthcare, it's Communism. I have to admit a bit of schadenfreude at adding that link, but the fact remains that if the Communists are complaining about a socialist program, things really have to be wrong.
They're actually complaining that it isn't socialist enough!
Of course healthcare costs are going up. People are living longer, plus treatments are more advanced and consequently more expensive.
Here's the thing Amanda, there is no real reason for medical treatments to go up in price as time passes. In fact, as economies of scale kick in, treatments should get cheaper. Living longer is an effect of, well several things really, better treatments, better food, lack of disease, war etc. That again shouldn't cause costs to go up, in and of themselves. In fact medical providers benefit by having people live longer because you can't spend money on healthcare if you're dead. They also have an incentive to keep costs down because having healthcare does you no good if people can't afford it. That's simple economics.
So there must be another mechanism at work. What is that mechanism?
Well sure that may describe them personally, but how do they get a bigger slice of the pie, so to speak?
and/or increase taxes
Oil and coffee are the two largest traded commodities ,interesting
Exactly. Why do we allow policies to be manipulated if they are a detriment to the population as a whole?
As for coffee, I can't stand the stuff, but I know people who aren't fit for civilized company until they've had their first cup. The rationing of coffee during the Big 2 must have been terrible.
They are complaining it's not socialist enough!
Firstly, I think you are wrong. Level of care in the NHS is not determined by the amount of money someone has.
The links you provide show the NHS isn't perfect. Bit like life, really. Sure, there are things which could be changed or improved. But all your links assume that change and improvement will be in the context of free-at-the-point-of-delivery services.
The Socialist link you provided wants more money in the NHS and the over-throw of capitalism. Not sure what you think that proves?
Sorry I wasn't clear. I didn't mean level of care, but length of care. Sure he required heroic measures to save his live, but my point is that his continued survival is a drain on the system because there are so many complications concerning his condition. My argument is that the NHS is willing to continue to pay his bills because of who he is whereas there might be end of life choices to be made for somebody without his fame.
What about my grandmother in Australia, at the end of her life? She was a seamstress all her life, with little formal education of any kind. She was very ill for ten years, she had diabetes, a breathing condition, a mental condition, and many health problems. Australia's health care kept her alive for TEN YEARS, until one night her heart simply gave out. She had access to all her medications, a breathing machine, numerous doctor's appointments, all without cost to her because she had paid her taxes all her life.
She wasn't a visionary. She was a seamstress with the minimum amount of education allowed in Australia at the time.
Again, if it works for you, great. I've had experience with what passes for government healthcare here as it regards workman's comp. The sheer insanity of the whole system leads me to believe that any experiment here with universal healthcare will end in disaster. I could tell stories if you'd like.
Worker's Compensation is not national healthcare, it's a resource for the already privileged. I've been injured on the job too, and if you can explain to me how one fakes five stitches on a finger due to an inch-long cut, then I'd like to hear it.
This is not how it works in Australia and Canada, in the very least. People don't NEED to accuse others of faking injury, because people don't need to do it in the first place.
My wife's doctor is amazing, her spends time with his patients and does follow-up appointments and everything else. Her endocrinologist is much the same, though she can't spend as much time with her patients as ideal because she is one of only two or three endocrinologists in the city. When living in the states, I've been told "Well if you're still sick in two weeks call again" when I had been sick for a week already, and the ER doctor has just told me to call my primary care physician.
There is LESS of a wait period for doctors in Canada than in the US, can you explain that one to me?
You are completely wrong. The NHS doesn't work like that.
SOrry, you are dead wrong. When he was first diagnosed, he was still a student, 20 or 21 years old. He wasn't a "genius" or "elite" for many years afterwards.
And you just don't get it. The NHS doesn't work that way.
You're correct. It was the right thing to do when he was 20. But I highly doubt the NHS would continue to blithely pay for decades of care that unless he was who he was, he would not be able to pay back. One of the concerns in the US are so called "end of life" decisions. Nobody wants to be told that they are too expensive to keep alive, that's a decision best left to an individual.
I think that this is clearly the bit you cannot grasp about the NHS ledefensetech. Nobody is refused care by the NHS. Nobody means nobody, it just does not happen. Never, ever, everybody gets whatever they want if it is a medical condition, disease, illness, injury. People will not leave the care of the NHS until they are completely recovered/clear of their ailment. There is nobody and no illness that the NHS will not treat. It does not matter who you are, where you have been, what you have got.... the NHS will treat it.
I went to hospital last week with piles for christ sake. I have an NHS appointment to get a large mole analysed by a dermatologist, I have an NHS appointment to get my ear checked out by an ear specialist.
No matter what your problem, you will be treated. Cost is not an issue. Please, please, just understand and accept that. Enough people have told you. You are clearly a clever bloke, an academic even, so just acknowledge that you do not know better about this very very simple fact.
You can even get breast enlargements and sex changes on the NHS, nothing is out of bounds, full stop.
As for being 'kept alive', the only time the NHS will give up on patients is if they will not wake from a coma and have serious brain damage. Even then the plug is not pulled until the patients entire family are ready for 'D' day. This can be weeks or even months after knowing that the person can not be saved.
Cost is never an issue. There is no value on a human life. Americans might place a value on a human life, but the British public will just never accept that somebody is too expensive to keep alive.
We pay our whole lives for the day that the NHS will keep us alive. It has kept my grandad alive for the past 5 or 6 years. He HAS paid for that right, through 50 years of national insurance contributions. For 50 years he has paid to keep other people alive, and now it is our turn to keep him alive, that is the way that our society works.
I don't really understand how anybody can be critical of that, although I perhaps understand that it is far removed from your culture and way of living.
It's really hard trying to discuss something like this with someone not trained in economics. Heck it's hard talking about this sort of thing with trained economists at times. Everything costs. Everything. You or I may not pay but someday someone will. The best example I can use for this is Social Security in the States. We pay into it to pay for people who use the system today. We hope that there will be enough people to pay into the system tomorrow, so that we get the benefits.
Turns out that the government has been raiding the SSA fund from the beginning to pay for their pet projects. These projects are usually those that either a. reward a campaign contributor and/or give people access to "free" money they otherwise didn't work for, i.e. welfare. I do not want these people giving money away to their cronies and supporters. That is what we call corruption and that is one of the worst systems to police and administer.
The problem is cost. The solution is identifying why those costs have gone up, identify any barriers to entry that keep competition from lowering the price of healthcare and eliminating them. It's not just about paying for the cost.
Also you don't consider the fact that costs rise as you subsidize something. One argument that is current in the US is the rate tuition is going up in the US. It's far beyond what you'd expect from inflation. Why is that? Federal Student Aid. For every student you admit, you're guaranteed a certain amount of money. So you then have an incentive to get the most number of students in using the least amount of effort. It's funny but it now takes five years or more to get many bachelor's degrees anymore because colleges keep adding more classes to "round out a student", which is code for getting more money out of them. The rounding out statement becomes more specious when you consider the fact that people are less educated on average now than they were before we started to subsidize education.
Those are long stories to make the point that government programs are A. corrupting and B. lessen the value of the subsidy. These are also effects that take time. Like I said, I'd benefit more than most from a government healthcare system, but I don't think my grandkids will thank me a century from now. Much like I don't thank my grandparents for allowing the SSA to be formed.
There's more to it than that, but I'm not sure how much you understand the effects of things like inflation, monetizing debt, etc. Suffice to say it's borrowing from the future to pay for today. If you'd like I can get more into that.
You are wrong. The total cost of care and people's ability to "pay it back" are irrelevant.
Sometimes a well paid doctor is just a greedy doctor. If we were talking about lawyers I do not think some people would be vehemently defending the position that only the best and the brightest practice in America.
That's why so many of the highest paid doctors practice plastic surgery
Hey if some stupid git wants to pay millions to look like they've had their faced stretched, well you know what they say about a fool and their money. Heck most of the time it's actors and actresses and it's not like they really worked for their money. People like Henry Ford worked for their money, Bil Gates worked for his, so did Andrew Carnegie. Making a movie millions of people shell out $7-10 to see is not work.
Done a lot of work in the film industry, have you?
So are you saying an actor or actress works harder than someone like Bill Gates who started entire industries that were previously unheard of?
This debate will end exactly the same way the others on health care have ended, in a stalemate. Those who live under socialized medicine and actually know what it is like have their opinions and those who are against it happening in their country have theirs. Each side has its critics and it's champions.
I have nothing more to say on this piece. An intelligient debate about the benefits of a national health service has gone about 5 miles off of the beaten track, thanks to two people that appear not to want to allow any support of a non-republican policy to reach the public domain.
tksensei, you really have completely wrecked a very interesting and entertaining thread. Nobody needs to read two dozen posts by the same person... but hey, ho, at least ledefensetech is on your side hey?
Thats me done.
Well, obviously some American's want it, they wouldn't have been working towards it for the past 30 or 40 years. Anyway I'd done with this argument, you are cutting off your own nose to spite your face (to quote an overused phrase).
Your not the only one that has quit this argument, the Americans get whatever they get, it would be there own problem if they are ever in need of urgent medical attention and cannot afford it.
I just hope none of the guys in this thread end up losing their houses and/or livelihoods due a catastrophic illness. I truly wouldn't wish that on anyone.
I don't wish that upon anybody either, but it would be hard to sympathise.
If that happens, you declare bankruptcy. You can't lose your house or car, it's kind of like a reset button. I understand the laws in the UK are different, so that's not really an option there.
One thing you never seem to ask yourself is why the costs of healthcare are going up. That is the crux of the argument is it not?
Man howdy there are a lot of posts here!
I was born american but am a UK resident now and been here 6 years happily!
Yes the NHS has its difficulties and people criticize as they will always do over just about everything. I loved that from the first day I was in the country I was free to sign up with a doctor and get basic exams and such. I do worry that the dental is not free here, there was a report in the news recently about people pulling their own teeth because they could not afford it. I do wonder that this probably happens in the states as well as a dentist there is expensive (more so then here I expect)
As a kid my mom struggled to get me dental help as my front teeth shattered out and had caps that fell out often. She bartered goats and chicken eggs and good cuts off of any animal slaughtered to bring the cost down and get me treatment!
6 years and yous still spell critise with a 'z'
At last! Glad to hear from someone with a foot in both camps!
If the NHS was totally free so not just seeing the doctor but no prescription fees (not that they are that much really, I think most prescriptions cost a blanket fee of like £7 or there abouts, haven't had to get a prescription filled in ages) and free dental I would say the system was something to be so very proud of that the taxes would for me go unnoticed (I don't mind paying taxes that are used for something productive). Back in the states I spent most of my life poor and I have never had any kind of private health care, when I was on the farm the dentist and doctor were our friends and a part of our community so would do things unofficially out of care for the community. In the big city there were charity clinics that would provide a doctor to visit and the university dentists were no great shakes but you could at least get a tooth pulled free!
I imagine that if you live somewhere in the middle, big enough community for individuals to not give a toss about you but not big enough to have lots of charity organizations you are probably stuffed and thats sad.
Someone still has to pay. People aren't going to provide these services for free. It still sounds like you got the care you needed, if not in the way most people do. Who pays and how much they pay are important questions in this debate, yet nobody seems to be asking those questions.
Of course, someone has to pay the costs of health care, irrespective of the system (private, single payer/universal or combinations of both):
In the U.S. about 16 % of GDP (Gross Domestic Product) is spent on health care.
In most European states and Canada the corresponding figure is about 10 % (there are, of course, some difference between all these states).
Annual costs per person are between 2000-4000 USD in Europe (with Finland at the lower end and Switzerland at the higher end, most countries are around 3000 USD) and almost 6000 USD in the U.S. (these are data from 2003, the figures have been increasing since then).
Costs for health care are rising faster in the U.S. than in most other (developed) nation.
Concerning the question of rising health care costs:
*) Ageing of the society plays a role (older people tend to need more health care related services). However, I guess the U.S. is in a relative advantageous position in this regard compared to Europe.
*) Technological change is grosso modo not cost-reducing but cost-increasing (all these fancy new techniques tend to be much more expensive thant the older ones and they do not save labor contrary to new technologies in other industrial sectors)
*) "weird" incentives and market failures
*) artificial reduction of supply (i.e. limiting the number of doctors by errecting high entry barriers and regulation)
Well part of the higher cost of American money spent on healthcare is due to R&D costs, that much is true. And that isn't reflected in the costs of countries with socialist healthcare because the US takes all the risk when developing new technologies.
Yet look at MRI. It was actually developed in the UK during the early 1970's. By the late 1970's it was being used in the US on a trial basis and phased in over the 1980's. Canada didn't start paying for MRI until almost 2000. It had been used in the US for almost two decades before it made it's debut in Canada. Canadians were still having to go to the US for MRI's at their own expense. I don't think that ever came up when they were debating Canadacare.
I'm not sure what you mean by market failure, but I get the weird incentive thing. I tend to call it the Law of Unintended Consequences.
One thing I think you do, that many people do, is ignore the fact that as demand for a service or good increases so does the supply. At least it does if there isn't some mechanism for restricting said supply.
My comment about technology also discussed economy of scale. At least in a free market system, that mechanism will ensure that sooner or later people will be able to afford a treatment. Socialist economies don't have a mechanism to provide for that, other than public pressure and rule by mob is not always the best way to get things done.
I am curious to see if you understand the different between free economies, national socialist economies and socialist economies. I've found that most people don't.
And why should they? You choose your criteria that mean something to you, and distribute economies according to your lights. But others judge differently. Some see two distinctions; some four. Some recognise that no two economies are truly alike. Long live continuum. And a curse on arbitrary polarisation.
You make the assumption that those criteria are arbitrary. So defend your statement, how are they arbitrary?
I don't have a clue what the difference is if I am honest, and I could not give a monkeys. I understand the differences between capitalism and socialism, and I know that the vast majority of people in this country sit somewhere in between with their ideologies. I tend to just refer to these as liberals, of which I consider myself to be one.
The words socialism and capitalism are very rarely referred to in British politics. Capitalism is immediately related to the disastrous Thatcherite era, when she was in bed with Regean. Socialism is related to 'old labour' who were strong unionists, but new labour have not supported unions at all in recent years.
We tend to refer to the 'right', the 'left', whilst most people consider themselves to be 'middle left' or 'middle right'.
The Labour party consider themselves to be 'middle left', whilst the Conservatives/Tory Party consider themselves to be 'middle right', the 'Liberal Democrats' are ironically probably the most left of the three parties at the moment, whilst the Labour party are just as right as the conservatives on many issues.
The British National Party (who are well known racists and supporters of the KKK) are of course the 'far right', whilst the Socialist party - who are often nothing but a small group of smelly students who will grow up to work for financial corporations and conform to their conservative parents - are of course refered to as the far left.
Whilst Americans often associate all of their politics with 'socialism' and 'capitalism', in the UK there really is a thin line between the three main parties.
I consider myself to be represented in a small way by the middle left and the middle right but I am keen to dissasociate myself from either of the extremes.
As for being a 'National Socialist', were the Nazi party not considered to be 'National Socialists' in Germany? If so I am certainly not a national socialist and would be quite offended by that... although I would hope that you are not suggesting that I am a Nazi.... or are you? I am quite the opposite to a Nazi, I hold no prejudice against any race, religion or sexuality. In fact I am a supporter of Turkeys bid to join the European Union!
It can be difficult to separate the economic forms of an economy from the political. Fascist economies have certain characteristics they share, just as Communist and free market economics do. In my previous post, there is a book which explains such things far better than I could. After reading it you may understand the point I'm trying to make a bit better. Suffice to say I'm not calling anyone rabid racists or supporters of death camps. That would be like considering any Communist as supporting things like Stalin's Purges or the gulag system.
I am aware of the argument concerning R&D efforts in the U.S. However, it is not true that the U.S. do all the medical R&D of the world. Of course, R&D takes place in other countries as well (though the U.S. have quite a high share on worldwide R&D albeit declining since other countries are catching up).
Market failure refers to situations in which market outcomes are not Pareto efficient. In free economies said market failures provide a rationale for government intervention within the logic of a free economy (as derived by mainstream economic theory).
I have to admit that I do not understand your discussion of "free", "national socialist" and "socialist" economies. I thought that we are discussing the U.S., Canada and European countries here? All these countries are free, market based economies. However, all these countries are to a somewhat varying extent "mixed" economies meaning some services are supplied by the public sector (for example schools, roads etc.). European countries are a little bit more "mixed" (more services are provided by the public sector, for example most universities in continental Europe are public ones etc.). However the degree of differences tend to be a little bit exaggerated (at least in my opinion).
P.S. As a student I travelled extensively in the then so-called real socialist countries of Europe (it was quite cheap there for us having western currencies and having the opportunity to exchange the money at the black market). So, I do remember the misery of these economies. However, this is 20 years ago and nobody nowhere (possible with the exception of North Korea?) wants these times and economic systems back in action.
Well for one thing I don't put much stock in Pareto Efficiency. That particular theory requires that one person suffer in order to make another person gain something. Economics is not a zero-sum game. At least it isn't without some sort of outside interference.
Now free market economics, also known as lassiez-faire economics allows the markets to regulate themselves. No outside intervention at all. Both national socialist and socialist economies are opposed to this view because they, using Pareto Efficiency I imagine, postulate that free markets don't work and need some sort of intervention in order to get them to "work right". The only difference between the two is the group which benefits from the outside intervention in the economy. In a communist system that would be the workers' organized into union, councils, guilds, etc. Actually it's the Party that reaps the benefits, but we'll leave that for now.
In a national socialist economy, rather than workers councils or some other sort of union, the industrialists are grouped into cartels and syndicates. It's a bit more efficient than a communist model, but again very unstable.
The difference is important because rather than having a free market like most people think, most modern countries have an amalgamation of communist and fascist forms that make up the economy. So there we disagree that the US, Canada and Europe are market based economies, or at least I'd not call them free market based. John T. Flynn did a wonderful work explaining the setup of a fascist economy in his book "As We Go Marching"
I've come to realize that most people aren't even aware of this book and when I mention the fact that we actually have a fascist/communist setup to our economy, people look at me like I've grown a second head. If you click on the title of the book in the blog, you'll go to a PDF of the entire book. Give it a read and let me know what you think. I'd be interested in hearing your conclusions.
Ah, a new dramatic angle!
Your concern for us poor, poor Americans is touching.
For a guy who has said he's "done with this argument" you sure are hanging around a long time.
Someone earlier posted that life expectancy is about a year longer in the UK than the USA - here is some data to comfirm that (OK I know Wikipedia is not without error!)
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_co … expectancy
It is also worth noting that most of the countries with life expectancy better than the USA and UK also have public healthcare systems.
You're assuming that longer life is due to socialized healthcare. There certainly is a correlation, but that doesn't mean universal healthcare is a cause. Personally I think it has more to do with health. We have certain additives in our foods that are missing overseas. HFCS being an example. HFCS has tentatively been linked to diabetes. I remain convinced to this day that I'm a diabetic in part because of the effects of HFCS, OK that and I never met a cheesecake I could say no to.
Still the fact remains that there may be other factors to account for the discrepancy in life expectancy.
Yes I agree its not conclusive. I also note that Cuba is just above the USA in terms of life expectancy. Again that might be due to a more modest diet due to US sanctions rather than socialist health care?
Your probably right there. That more 'modest' diet is going to be largely chemical free, salt free etc etc....
I read somewhere that the embargo caused the largest study of the effects of weight loss on a population of diabetics ever "in the wild" so to speak. Suffice to say that although being genetically susceptible to diabetes, they have the lowest occurrence of it in any Hispanic country.
You actually take seriously any data reported from Cuba?
Well I'd say the breast implant thing is kind of over the top. I mean it's not life or death, why should I have to pay for your breast implants. It's like the nonsense we see here with prisoners claiming their "rights" are being violated because they are denied sex change operations or something like that. That doesn't really change my mind about universal health care being a good idea, in fact it reinforces the bad aspects.
Also could you explain this:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/National_I … Excellence
It sounds like the do at times concern themselves with end of life situations and that is a sticky subject here in the States.
I'm sorry, but cost is an issue. Those articles I posted before were all about cost. You may not see the cost, but believe me, it costs something. Unless you have an idea about the difference between the different controlled and uncontrolled economies, most of my arguments won't make sense to you. "As We Go Marching" is a pretty good introduction of the differences.
It's not myself I'm concerned about. I'm, in part, an economist and historian. I tend to take a long view of things. I'm also a diabetic. If there is one person here who will benefit from a universal health care system, it will be me. But I understand the long-term costs of socializing these sorts of costs across an entire population so I'm not willing to support a universal health care plan. It sounds like you're a good guy and really want to do the right thing, but economically speaking you are a babe in the woods. There is a way to make healthcare more affordable, but it's not something you would recognize as being helpful.
Firstly, having just been called an academic... you probably shouldn't be quoting wikipedia as a source of information. Although you are quite right about the organisation and recent controversy.
I challenge you to find an example of a complaint against this organisation whereas the failure to provide a drug has almost certainly resulted in the death of a patient.
As for explaining it ledefensetech, I already have in a previous response to you. The only drugs that the NHS finds itself necessary to reject are all American made, by companies that develop a drug and hold the exclusive rights to that drug for a period of 5 years. After this 5 years it is possible for researchers in the UK to produce a generic version of this drug, with the same ingredients and the same effects, this process can take between 2-3 years. You can find that statement somewhere back on this thread.
All of the drugs rejected as a result of cost have actually been provided by the US. Often the USA will charge between $15-$25 PER TABLET. The subsequent generic versions of those tablets can often be made for around 15 cents per tablet in the UK. That is why a subscription in the UK costs around $11..... whilst it is costing one of our very own hubbers in the USA $700 a month to keep her 11 year old son alive.
The only controversies surrounding NICE have been related to drugs that are new to the market and provided by the Americans. Those drugs will always become available when identical versions become available on the market.
So I will throw that right back at you. The Capitalist nature of the pharmacutical industry in the USA, which seeks to make maximum profit out of saving lives, is preventing the NHS from supplying certain NEW drugs. I guess that those drugs would not exist were it not for America, but capitalising on your monopoly with profit margins that are out of reach for normal people is something else which I believe is unethical.
Buying drugs at a 10000% mark up is likely to be very restrictive isn't it?
What's wrong with wikipedia? Sure it's an encyclopedia, but superior to those found in books because it distills the wisdom of everyone who has access to it into a form everyone can benefit from. Now you have to take certain things with a grain of salt like politicians bios and certain current events etc. Wikipedia also has published guidelines of acceptable research and content and is good about highlighting those areas that don't meet those guidelines.
As for drugs, you'll get no argument from me. Remember when I was talking about national socialist economies? US drug companies are an example of how government uses cartels to influence business. Of course that also opens government up to influence from those same industries, but that's another essay. The US government sets ranges of prices that a drug company can charge for certain drugs.
http://www.pamedia.com/phpNuke/modules. … +companies
That was a discussion I had with someone who used to work for a drug company. It was enlightening to say the least. Often times a government which likes to control an economy will use business as a scapegoat to cover their own mistakes or their own fleecing of the population. That is why I don't want government anywhere near healthcare. Maybe your government is different, but I know my government and I don't trust it further than I could throw it.
You shouldn't use that phrase, I think. For most people, it means "Nazi"
What other word would you use for a control style economy that gathers industries into syndicates and cartels? It gets kinda cumbersome to type all of that. Besides it was stated national socialist policy to set up that kind of an economic system, so the label is correct. We call both the economic and political system of Communism, communism, don't we?
You know, I grew up in the states and I have dual citizenship, USA and Australia. I moved to Canada for love.
I got into a debate with my wife just a week or so ago, about private insurance vs. national healthcare. I brought up a friend I have, I met her in grade 11, and she has severe scoliosis. She's been told that without corrective surgery, she will be completely wheel-chair bound by age 25. She has no health insurance.
She was diagnosed at age five, and now, getting ready to turn 21, she and her family are STILL trying to save money for her surgery. Her mother, who is rather well off, will not help pay for it, because she divorced my friend's father and was not granted custody. So her father and step mother are footing the whole cost, plus what my friend can earn at low-paying jobs that won't hurt her back too much. Her father cannot work due to a severe mental illness and her step-mother has no job qualifications, thus reducing her to minimum wage jobs (Minimum wage in Ohio when I moved was $6.15 per hour, supposedly going up but with a cap at $7.50 per hour.)
I told my wife, that if she were Canadian, she would have gotten the corrective surgery years ago, plus follow-up care.
"I don't know about that..." My wife started to say.
"Amy, remember, she was diagnosed at age 5 and is nearly 21 now."
"Oh my God, that long?! She'd have had it done years ago, definitely!"
So what's better, a system that leaves the poorest of the poor to wither away to the point of no return, or a system that would have fixed my friend's spinal condition before she was 13?
She could look around for charity. We hold benefits for people with cancer, MS, etc. A lady I used to work with held a benefit dance for her husband who was diagnosed with cancer. Not only did she make enough for his treatments, but also had enough to put some by for when he was out of work. Americans are giving people. She could have held fund raisers to raise the money, heck she still could. It speaks volumes about her and her father that they are willing to work for it, but there are times when it's a good idea to ask for help. This would be one of them.
Yes, or your government could have pulled out of Iraq a lot earlier and spent some of the trillions of dollars that it borrowed (mostly from China) on looking after the welfare needs of its own people?
One of the terms you might come across should you decide to study free market economics is the welfare-warfare state. I suggest looking it up. Most of that borrowed money didn't go to the war, it went to welfare.
Explain how the UK has become Americas third biggest creditor then, owning debts of $307.4bn, despite the fact that we also went to war and manage to offer a national health service?
That is just under $1000 that every American citizen owes to the UK, which equates very roughly to just under $5000 that is owed to each British citizen.
It is no coincidence that your debt to China grew from $61bn in 2001 to $541bn at the end of last year. In 2001 you owed Russia under $10bn, you now owe them over $70bn.
thats over $500bn of debts racked up with just two of your many creditors since 2001.
Thats what you have to thank Bush for, borrowing money like an idiot to fund a pretty pointless war in Iraq.
We've been doing that since 1972 since we got off the gold standard completely. It's how we paid for Johnson's Great Society and Vietnam. Surely you don't think we've paid any of that back do you?
If that's what you really believe then it's going to suck when the US government finally repudiates the debt. If you want a good safety tip stay away from US government debt or you can kiss that money goodbye.
To answer your question I'm not sure, but I think it has something to do with your tax rate. The BoE also doesn't inflate nearly as much as the Fed and that has something to do with it as well. Also not knowing how you elect, how long you elect, etc. I can't say how much your system encourages corruption and what amounts to bribery for votes. I can speak at length about how that works in the US but I'm a babe int he woods when it comes to the UK.
I doubt that Russia or China would be willing to write off any debt mate....
Good luck trying to collect it. It's not like we're the Dominican Republic or something. Think they'll start a nuclear war over something like that? What else can they do but suck it up.
Don't get me wrong, it's not right nor do I condone it. But then again I don't condone much of what my supposed government does in my name. Still times may be a changin'.
You have gold that China will have its eye on. You are relying on people to lend you more money to get out of this mess, do you think that people are queuing up to lend you more? The next bunch of money will be in return for a slice of your gold assets. Im sure that Russia would not hesitate to invite you for another cold war, is that what the Americans hope to achieve? I would hope not. Remember that Russia are a larger nuclear power than yourselves.
Quite why you would even bring up nuclear war quite frankly disturbs me. That is the last thing that anybody will want, but the Chinese will take your gold - and you would have no choice but to give it to them, if you couldnt repay their debt.
China currently holds $1.9tn worth of its financial assets in the USA, these can be withdrawn at any time. That exceeds the debt four fold.
Or are you suggesting that America would keep hold of their $1.9tn too? I sure hope that you consider America capable of self sufficiency, becuase nobody would ever trade with you again. Exports make up a hell of a lot of your GDP. Trade embargos against the USA would see Microsoft fall, all of your corporations fall.
And you say that I know nothing about economics, whilst you call me a Nazi and then boast about your nuclear capabilities?
This is the end of the debate.
I'm saying that the US can repudiate the debt at any time. It will because foreigners don't vote and any politician who said we had to pay back our debt would be lynched.
As for nukes, I was exaggerating things a bit. Chill. Still there is no country in the world which can field an army halfway around the world and support it in the face of determined opposition. Besides they'd have to get through the Navy first and I don't see that happening. Absent an invasion, there really is no way any foreign power can force us to pay the money back. That's why it's a good idea to stay out of the US government debt business.
Um you did notice the part where I said I don't condone any of this, right? It's screwing people over, but these are politicians, are you really that surprised?
Parlimentary elections aren't for a fixed period. There is a maximum (5 years) but no minimum. The Queen calls a general election whenever she wants to (in theory) but in practice, when the Prime Minister dissolves his government and goes to the Palace to ask for a General Election.
So, for example, there were two General Elections in 1974. More recently, there've been General Elections in 1997, 2001, 2005. The latest possible date for the next one is May 2010.
Seems a bit confusing, but understandable considering how Parliament evolved. How do the political parties play into all of this? I know the PM can be challenged via a vote of no confidence, etc. Also I understand that the PM is the executive, how is that structured, by the way? All three functions here used to be separated, but with the rise of Progressivism in the States, our Constitutional separation of powers went by the wayside. I do know one of the arguments at the Convention was to avoid your style of parliamentary government because it was too easy to consolidate power in the office of PM. Most of our Founders were all about avoiding concentrations of power.
No-one votes for a government, each person votes for his choice of MP in his constituency. The Queen calls on a person (either an MP or the House of Lords) to form Her Majesty's Government. That person is, now, always the leader of the party with the most MPs in the House of Commons.
The Prime Minister then forms a government - he appoints a cabinet, with a Home Secretary, Foreign and Commonwealth Secretary, Chancellor of the Exchequer (and all the rest of them, for the different departments). He also appoints non-Cabinet ministers, such as (for example) the Immigration Minister who takes charge of a section of the Home Office.
The Prime Minister can be got rid of in two ways. If he resigns as leader of his party, or is kicked out, the new leader is Prime Minister (like Thatcher to Major in 1990). Or, if the House of Commons passes a motion of no-confidence, he then goes to the Palace to ask for a General Election.
I'll have to think on that for a while. It's quite a bit different from what we have here. Yet you do have political parties that campaign on a slate of promises and people do tend to vote according to what those promises are, correct?
Yes, that's right. You get the constituencies where, it's said, people would vote for a tea-towel if it was blue (Conservative) or a donkey if it were red (Labour), and where they weigh the vote instead of bothering to count it (-: But the person for whom you are actually voting is your MP. And there are sometimes independent MPs in Parliament.
The charities won't take her because being crippled is not life-threatening, nor is it sufficiently life-altering, apparently.
Nevermind the fact that she wanted to be a police officer and is now stuck going to school to learn how to fix computers, because she can't stand for more than 10 minutes at a time without collapsing from the pain. As if we don't have enough computer techs or a need for more police officers in the area we grew up in.
Edited to add: Medicaid won't pay for it either, as they are already "Paying too much" for her pain medications and her father's anti-psychotics. However, here in Canada, one of my wife's friends was born with a cleft palette, which required approximately 12 surgeries from age 1 to age 19. This guy not only got every single operation plus follow-up care, but also was given his pain medication for free after every operation.
Prescription drugs are not covered by MSP (Medical Services Plan) in BC. However there is the option of private insurance to pay for prescriptions and extra services, such as adult dental and vision care, elective surgery, and such. Everything major is covered: Childhood healthcare is 100% covered including dental and vision, hospital care, doctor visits, care for permanent life-altering disability (Mental handicaps and illnesses, congenital birth defects, etc. If I had been born in Canada they would even help to pay for my hearing aides because my hearing loss is caused by a congenital abnormality. All paid by the taxpayers. (They won't do my hearing aides now because I was not born in Canada, but our private insurance covers hearing aides.)
There is nothing in the world stopping her from starting her own charity. Hell we have kids selling pixels on the internet for $100 a pop to raise money for school. She could find a way to make something like that work for her.
It takes money to start a charity. Also, see my edited post above please.
You claim to have studied economics, but the fact that you don't even realize the cost of getting a charity license, getting materials for what you will be selling for the charity, and the costs of other expenses makes me wonder. Trust me, we looked into it. It was not economically feasible on the budgets of two low-income families with no rich friends. (Other than a wench of a mother on her side that refused to help.)
Why in God's name are you going to waste time getting a charity license? My friend who had that benefit didn't need a license, nor do the people who leave those coffee cans in convenience stores. Now you're correct if you're trying to a direct response mailing, but you'd be surprised how many people will be willing to commit to such a project if you tell them about it. Hell the state facility I used to work for would solicit donations for Christmas from area businesses and they didn't need some kind of a license. We'd get hundreds of dollars a year to buy Christmas presents and shoes. People would be much more open to helping your friend with her surgery.
If you are trying to raise more then, I believe the number was $1500, you technically need a charity license to do it. Her operation was going to cost around $20000
Sure lots of people ignore it, but the two of us didn't want to wind up getting caught and forced to return the money (Or, since we were over 16, being sent to a federal prison.)
Sorry but that's too funny. Nobody in their right mind is going prosecute you for something like that. Not if they want to keep their jobs. Can you imagine the headlines? Granted you might catch a Nfong, but I think prosecutors are more savvy than that.
The only way you'd go to jail is if you did something with the money that wasn't connected to the surgery. That's where good bookkeeping and accounting come in. Keep good records and they can't touch you.
It has happened before. It happens all the time. Don't assume that we'd be safe just because we were a couple of 16 year old kids raising money for a surgery.
I've heard of eight year olds selling lemonade on the street that have been prosecuted for not having a business license.
I'd be careful believing too much of those stories. Now if you said that some 6 year old kid was tossed out of school and put into counseling for sexual predators, I'd believe something like that.
On a serious note, there really is nothing keeping your friend from starting a charity. Even if the "official" ones wont' help, perhaps she can find some employees that are sympathetic and can give her ideas on how to proceed. That is their job, after all. She can probably get a lot of pointers from them on how to successfully raise money for stuff like that.
Why? Incidentally, do you have in the UK the custom of barn raising?
Is this a metaphorical way of saying that communities should come together to help those in need? Well charity is great of course, and we should all help each other as much as we can, but have you actually read any of the hubs written by your fellow Americans who are victims of your current healthcare system?
All this debate about the NHS only serves to deflect the focus away from the real issue, and that is that sick and needy people are desparate and dying whilst those who are more priveleged are busy checking their bank balances and wondering how the dollar in their pocket is going to be affected.
You're wrong. I brought up the barn raising thing for a reason. So far as I can tell, we're the only group in the world who has that custom. A group of people get together when there is a farm to be raised and they spend a day's hard labor to do it. The only thing you get in return is the possibility of the family you did a good deed for returning the favor in the future. Well that and you feed the people who help you. Granted it's more common in rural areas than in urban or suburban areas, but it's still there. Americans are naturally giving. Someday I might tell a story about one guy a met and his response to Hurricane Andrew that illustrates this point.
I say it again and again and again. The problem is not paying for healthcare it's the restriction of the supply. If you simply pay for something you are not controlling the costs. At least not in such a way that you will ensure proper care. If you pay someone the same whether they work 40 hours a week or 80, most of them will only work 40 hours a week (or less) and call it a day. We specifically limit the number of doctors we allow to practice in this country. The government sets the price of drugs, in return, drug companies get several years from which they get to sell at a monopolist price. Get rid of those two restrictions there and you'd solve most of the problem. It's not really that hard to understand. Increase the supply, lower the cost.
LOL - Dear oh dear. Americans are naturally giving because 0.000000001% of them raise barns? What sort of logic is that exactly? I would love to see you raise a barn in England in a day.
You are sadly deluded if you think the current system is not based on artificially restricting supply to ensure a high price. And if you think the pharma companies are putting up a fight against nationalized health care, imagine the fight they would (already have done) to keep their monopolies.
I have experienced both systems in four different countries, and there is no doubt in my mind that nationalized health care with the option of going private if you choose is better than your current system.
That's what I said. Did you notice 'restriction of supply' in there. I even said it at the end. Increase supply and you lower cost. It's right there in black and white.
Yes. I understand. let me rephrase that.
You are sadly deluded if you think there is a chance of removing the restrictions currently in place. A national health care system is a sensible compromise.
Economically as well as ethically.
You can only cheat the laws of economics for so long. Look at the problems we're having with central banking, Social Security and other parts of the Progressive agenda. By attempting to educate people more in economics, there is a chance, however small that people will get it and force their legislators to listen to them and not just the guys with the money. Or the whole system will fall apart, just like banking is about to.
Even a national health care plan will ration some aspect of healthcare. It's an economic fact. The only ethical thing to do is let people decide how much they are willing to spend on healthcare, supply will rise and fall to meet that demand.
There is an ethical aspect to health care that you are sadly ignoring. For such a "giving" nation - you seem far more concerned with the economic costs than the ethical responsibility of looking after the weaker (poorer) members of society.
And the change you are suggesting would take generations to come about (if ever.) Unless somebody does something to change it - and national health care is a step in the right direction - it will never get changed. Just look at the lengths being gone to to maintain the status quo in the financial services industry.
If each participant expects help in return then it doesn't really equate to 'naturally giving', more mutual co-operation, which is essentially what the NHS is.
And I'm pretty sure that America doesn't hold a monopoly on people helping each other out (outside of barn-building that is) in fact reading back through some of the self-centered replies within this thread you could build a substantial argument for the opposite.
It's called trust. It has nothing to do with being selfless. Often times being selfless gets you taken advantage of. Elvis Presley was selfless and he got taken advantage of, so was MC Hammer for that matter. One died, the other went bankrupt.
I never said that America had a monopoly on people helping each other out, what I said was that barn raising seems to be a uniquely American thing. Are you refuting the fact that America always sends help around the world whenever there is a natural disaster?
It's called self-interest not self-centeredness. In fact if you took the trouble to read some of my replies you'd realize that I'd come out ahead if we were to adopt a universal healthcare plan, but I am very opposed to such a plan. Not very self-centered of me is that?
Farmers have barns, yes. But most people aren't farmers.
Sounds like a pioneer thing? I imagine over the past 200 years or so, a lot of barns and farms have needed building. In the UK, we've not had the same type of thing at all.
But of course neighbours help each other out. There were bad floods in the UK a couple of years ago, for example, and my godparents had a neighbour's family staying with them for 6 months afterwards while their house was mended.
I wouldn't say pioneer so much as a function of an area that is high trust. It's kind of like letting your neighbor borrow your lawnmower. You trust that you're going to get it back and pretty much in the same condition as you sent it off.
This is in opposition to more clannish based societies which only exhibit high trust if you're a member of the clan, if you're not a member of the clan, watch out. That is why much of, Africa, for example is a basket case most of the time. Clan, tribe, whatever you call it, you give them power and one of the first things they do is persecute their "enemies".
Back to my point. You said that dance benefits made you shudder and I asked why? It's the modern equivalent of a barn raising. People in a community get together to help each other out. No coercion, no forcing people, people volunteer. Volunteers organizations tend to function much better than conscript organizations do. It has to do with choice. You let someone choose to support you and you'll have them back you to the hilt. Force someone to support you and well, generally speaking they only work hard enough.
The problem with healthcare cost is not the price of healthcare, at least not here in the States. The problem is the supply of said care is restricted. Remove the restrictions and you'd see the price take a nosedive. Economics 101.
It makes me cringe that people are having to organise parties and fundraisers, to beg for charity, to get essential, basic health care like cancer treatment.
You have about the same number of doctors per capita in the USA as we do in the UK. And you pay through the nose.
We'd actually have to triple the number of doctors to be on par with the ratio we had with doctors to patients in 1900. Actually a bit more than that, when you consider that we have so many more specialties now than we did back then. So let's say quadruple or qintuple the number of doctors.
One thing I haven't mentioned yet is the rise of Physician's Assistants and Nurse Practitioners. That's the response of the market to an artificial restriction of the supply of a good or service. Interestingly enough, the powers of PA's and NP's are slowly approaching that of doctors. So much so, that there may not be any functional difference between the two before too much longer.
And let's be honest. When you're talking about something like Cancer, it's akin to losing your house in a hurricane or other natural disaster. It's one of those things that is just too big to plan for. If we didn't have to pay artificially high rates to doctors for basic medical care that money could be used to treat disasters like cancer. The entire system is entirely too costly, by driving the costs down, we make it more affordable. Simply paying for it doesn't do anything about the cost, long term. I like to use college tuition as an example of that.
Mark, I understand your arguments. I suffer from diabetes and am unemployed. If anyone here would benefit from a universal health care plan right now, it would be me. One of the reasons I am so opposed to the plans being discussed in Washington right now is because everyone involved is spending massive amounts of money trying to keep their privileges. Doctors, AMA, drug companies, etc. The patients, the uninsured, everyone the bill is supposed to be about takes a back seat in those circumstances.
You'd also be surprised at how economic laws spring back quicker than you'd think. In 1920 we had a bit of a depression. Harding did nothing about it. In 1929 we had another depression. Hoover, contrary to what you read in most history books, enlarged the deficit and started many of the New Deal programs. Also unbeknown to many FDR ran opposed to Hoover's spending program. We all know what happened after he got in office. He expanded Hoover's plans, gave it a new name and presided over the longest Depression in US history. Without that intervention, we most likely would have been on the mend after 1932 at the latest.
So - you are not opposed to national health care - you are opposed to the special interest groups screwing money out of it?
You cannot get government anything without special interests getting their concerns written into the laws, or coming to dominate whatever regulatory agency is put into place.
http://www.pamedia.com/phpNuke/modules. … +companies
The above is a conversation I had with a guy who used to work for a drug company, so he'd be in a position to know how things really work. According to him, the industry has come to dominate the FDA, which is about par for course when it comes to regulatory agencies.
The basic problem I have with government anything is that they can force you to do things. If you balk they can throw you in jail or, in extremis, end your life. Now I understand, it's not as bad here as it is in, say the Third World, but the threat is always there that things could quickly devolve. Rome is my preferred example to illustrate that point. Republic -> Empire.
Additionally, you don't seem to comment much on the fact that healthcare here is artificially kept low. That, more than anything else, explains the high cost of healthcare. You claim that wishing for things to change is futile, but even if you install a universal healthcare plan you don't cure the root cause of the problem, you just paper over the cracks. Instead you leave the problem for future generations to deal with, something which is horribly unethical. You do not pay for today by pushing the consequences onto tomorrow. We're supposed to make things better for our kids, not worse.
But we in the UK have the same number of doctors per head, and we pay less than half for our healthcare.
Another thing to remember is that many conditions lasted much longer and required (or got) much more treatment, for those who could afford it. If you had TB, for example, you might be in a Sanitorium for a year or more. If you had measles, a doctor would visit at home daily for a fortnight.
That actually forms a part of my argument for not having enough doctors. Once, doctors had to travel to see their patients, now they don't. That's a hallmark example of supply restriction.
Another thing you don't consider is the costs of R&D. One reason your system works so well is because you have access to many of our treatments without having to spend the R&D money yourselves. Not that I'm claiming that this accounts for all of the difference, but it certainly contributes to the difference.
A final consideration you don't take into account, I think, is the difference in our diets. HFCS and tras fat both have been shown to cause medical complications in people who consume them. Now I don't know if you have products in the UK that contain trans fat, but the effects of trans fat has more to do with cardiac health than anything else. HFCS however, in not used nearly as much in other countries as it is in the US. You guys are smart enough to use sugar. I did a hub on it where I go into this, if you'd care to take a look.
HFCS is considered by some to be a primary culprit in things like diabetes. Which has long term consequences for health in the US. In fact, it's speculated that if we don't get the diabetes epidemic under control, in a generation or two we may see live expectancy decrease in the US. So our diet probably incurs costs that your diet may not.
So really there are several factors that can be contributing to the cost issue, but at it's base most of those issues are due to government fiat and regulation instead of the market as many people suppose.
The use of corn-syrup seems like a free-market failure, then.
Why do Americans use it so much? It hardly exists here.
Americans use it so much because "Sugar makes you FAT!!!!!!!!"
It's really because most Americans are afraid to eat anything that isn't sweet. So they started rotting their teeth and gaining weight on sugar, thus causing the invention of sweet and low and equal and other fake sugars. Sweet and low actually contains ingredients that can cause cancer, there is a warning right on the box if you care to look.
Personally I think the diabetes epidemic could be cured if Americans would just stop with the sweet addiction, but it's not possible it seems. When I was a kid, sweet foods were a treat, for special occasions and other "Every now and then" reasons. We used a spoonful of sugar or honey in our tea and drank our coffee unsweetened, just with milk. I have never had a cavity in my teeth, unlike kids I went to school with who had numerous cavities and were always drinking soft drinks and eating candy or chewing gum. (Gum was banned in our house. No gum at all until I was 14 or so, and then it was only allowed when I was out. It had to be disposed of before I walked in the front door.)
And here's some food for thought for you: If more people had access to health care, more people would actually be educated on how to eat properly, thus reducing obesity and nearly eliminating the diabetes epidemic. I'm very overweight, considered medically obese to be honest, but I HAVE NO HEALTH PROBLEMS other than very mild asthma and hearing and vision problems, all congenital. I am not even close to having diabetes, My blood pressure is a perfect 120/80 at it's highest, and I have no heart problems. Why? Because I eat right and exercise, unlike most people who are overweight. There is no such thing as a fat disease if you are taking care of yourself. But people don't know this because they cannot access a doctor who can teach them proper eating and exercise habits. Instead they see this nonsense on TV and in magazines and hurt themselves with it. Then they can't afford to see a doctor to get their new problems fixed and so they let it get worse.
It's a vicious cycle, really. And to think, if everyone had health care then it could have been PREVENTED in most cases, and the few remaining idiots could have been treated.
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