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Philosophia
June 5th, 2007, 09:49 AM
The Obama health-care plan

Sen. Barack Obama, the freshman Democrat from Illinois who had been riding high on "hope" and "optimism," finally offered some substance last week. He issued his health-care plan. During Sunday night's presidential debate in New Hampshire, Mr. Obama declared, "[W]e've got very conservative, credible estimates that say we can save families that do have health insurance about a thousand dollars a year." Alluding to the more than 45 million Americans who do not have health insurance, he added, "And we can also make sure that we provide coverage for everybody else."
Mr. Obama claims he can achieve these goals by reinstating the Clinton-era income-tax rates on those earning more than $250,000; by "driving down the costs, taking on the insurance companies, making sure that they are limited in the ability to extract profits and deny coverage"; and by "mak[ing] sure the drug companies have to do what's right by their patients instead of simply hoarding their profits." A former community organizer in Chicago who admired the radical Saul Alinsky, Mr. Obama still talks like the college sophomore who has taken his second sociology course. This is what passes for presidential timber in the Democratic Party today?

From here (http://www.washtimes.com/op-ed/20070604-104720-2782r.htm).

Any thoughts on this? Is it a good plan?

SSanf
June 5th, 2007, 10:45 AM
Yeah, if they drive down the cost that means I still will be without health care.

Whoopie! Instead of a major illness or accident costing $50,000 it will only cost $10,000. Won't that just be my lucky day.

If they drive down the cost of health insurance for me and actually force some company to take me, instead of having to pay $500/mo. I might only have to pay $100/mo. Just guess I would jump right on that and give up all those trips to the movies and eating at fancy restaurants to pay for it. Uh, huh.

People like Obama, who have plenty of lose change laying around, just don't get it.

What he proposed and a bus token won't even get most of the people who need it down town due to lack of public transportation.

DragonsChest
June 5th, 2007, 11:23 AM
If they drive down the cost of health insurance for me and actually force some company to take me, instead of having to pay $500/mo. I might only have to pay $100/mo. Just guess I would jump right on that and give up all those trips to the movies and eating at fancy restaurants to pay for it. Uh, huh.

Huh, I don't understand. If you are paying $500/month now, and it goes down to $100/month, why are you complaining?

That's a lot of movies and fancy restaurants.

SSanf
June 5th, 2007, 11:48 AM
Huh, I don't understand. If you are paying $500/month now, and it goes down to $100/month, why are you complaining?

That's a lot of movies and fancy restaurants.The point is that to buy it, now, would cost me over $500/mo. so obviously, I have none. If it dropped to $100 a month, I would not buy it either so I would have what I have now which is no health insurance. How many can squeeze another $100 out of their budget?

In order to make it achievable for most people, it would have to cost next to nothing because most people are already stretched too thin. His plan is certainly not going to get the cost down enough to help in any way what-so-ever the people who need help. He is blowing smoke up our asses.

pawnman
June 5th, 2007, 12:18 PM
The point is that to buy it, now, would cost me over $500/mo. so obviously, I have none. If it dropped to $100 a month, I would not buy it either so I would have what I have now which is no health insurance. How many can squeeze another $100 out of their budget?

In order to make it achievable for most people, it would have to cost next to nothing because most people are already stretched too thin. His plan is certainly not going to get the cost down enough to help in any way what-so-ever the people who need help. He is blowing smoke up our asses.

At what price would you consider health insurance worth while? $50/month? $20? Or do you require it to be completely free before you sign on?

Obama's plan is nothing new...tax the rich, get the poor to rely on Papa Government, and squeeze the middle class between the two.

AmericanMe
June 5th, 2007, 12:27 PM
making sure that they are limited in the ability to extract profits and deny coverage"; and by "mak[ing] sure the drug companies have to do what's right by their patients instead of simply hoarding their profits."


Do this and you'll see providers leave the industry in droves.

It's basic economics: profits encourage growth. This proposal is basically the same "solution" as Jimmy Carter's price controls on gas in the 70's, and you saw what that accomplished: chronic shortages.

Myrr
June 5th, 2007, 12:40 PM
If you want cheap health care do something about trial lawyers that drive cost up with all the lawsuits.

Russ
June 8th, 2007, 02:04 PM
Personally I'd like to see something done about Medicine being for profit. One example is the drug companies getting people to buy the latest pill when cheaper alternatives are available. Or the Bush administration outlaying people from getting cheaper drugs from Canada.

To give a good example my Father made $80,000 a year. Almost ALL of that went to medicine!

I think Canada's system is good. Free Health care built into our taxes. Extra luxurious treatment (As in rooms, meals ect.) for those that can afford it.

Autumnal Fire
June 8th, 2007, 04:46 PM
At what price would you consider health insurance worth while? $50/month? $20? Or do you require it to be completely free before you sign on?

Obama's plan is nothing new...tax the rich, get the poor to rely on Papa Government, and squeeze the middle class between the two.

QFT

I like the cut of your jib, as they say.

PaganLibrarian
June 8th, 2007, 05:58 PM
Personally I'd like to see something done about Medicine being for profit.

At which point there is no incentive for corporations to research new drugs and cures. That means that all that stuff would be up to the government. We all should know how well the government does anything.

Russ
June 8th, 2007, 06:44 PM
Well our Health Care is ALREADY 35th in the world. An the vast majority of American middle class simple can't afford it. (Nevermind the middle class is vanishing leaving only the poor.)

It cant hurt things.

PaganLibrarian
June 8th, 2007, 06:47 PM
It certainly can! Handing health care over to the US Government is the surest way to screw up whatever works, without fixing the things that don't work!

Valnorran
June 8th, 2007, 07:20 PM
One example is the drug companies getting people to buy the latest pill when cheaper alternatives are available.
How do the drug companies do this?

I think Canada's system is good. Free Health care built into our taxes. Extra luxurious treatment (As in rooms, meals ect.) for those that can afford it.
And let's not forget those 18 month waits to get a simple MRI scan. Maybe we could go one further and copy Britain's example and have to wait a year or two to have surgery. Free healthcare... you get what you pay for. If you want to see what government healthcare is like, just look to the veteran's hospitals. Ask veterans what dealing with the V.A. is like.

It always amazes me how we Americans expect - nay, demand! - virtually unlimited choice in movies, games, and t.v. programming, but when it comes to literally life and death matters we're willing to totally abdicate all choice and leave it up to the government that thinks nothing of spending $500 on a hammer.

Athena-Nadine
June 8th, 2007, 07:31 PM
I am curious where the money for medical research to create new drugs and life saving procedures would come from if the entire field was made non-profit. The government? Gods know how well they do at funding education in this country. Why does anyone think that funding health care and medical research would be any different?

And my brother, who has been in the military for 11 years now, along with MANY other people who serve, have told me that the military actually has some of the worst doctors and facilities in the US. That is the result of the US government controlling health care.

That does not mean that it cannot and does not work anywhere else. Without a HUGE overhaul of our current government and they way it dispenses tax dollars, it will not work. The US government is the most inefficient entity in this country.

PaganLibrarian
June 8th, 2007, 07:53 PM
I enjoy reading thread after thread complaining about all aspects of the US government, and their incompetence, and then some of the same people advocate turning over health care to the same incompetent people.

No matter how many problems exist with our current system, there is not s single member of Congress, in either party, who can be trusted with our health care, along with the trillions of dollars that involves.

SSanf
June 9th, 2007, 11:16 PM
I don't think anyone is even coming close to addressing the basic problem. Let's say that everyone would pay something that they could afford to get health care. How is that supposed to work?

All of the doctors are over booked as it is. You can hardly get in to see one as it is. Seeing one who speaks English without a foreign accent is a big rarity. If everyone could afford to pay, there would then be a greater demand for doctors and there are no more doctors than there are. We have to import them by the thousands as it is.

Where would the doctors come from to see all the people who need medical care that could suddenly pay? It isn't as if we are actually educating enough to see the people who can pay, now.

Health care will continue to be kept unaffordable and unattainable so that the rich can have access to a limited supply and won't need to compete for medical attention with the hoi polloi.

Russ
June 9th, 2007, 11:48 PM
One other thing to be said. ANYTHING is perferable to the current situation.

Where I live no one can go to a doctor because they cant afford one.

When it comes to your health people. ANYTHING > Nothing.

Russ
June 9th, 2007, 11:50 PM
I enjoy reading thread after thread complaining about all aspects of the US government, and their incompetence, and then some of the same people advocate turning over health care to the same incompetent people.

Because after all if you criticizes any aspect of a government and work to change it they have automatically declared that no aspect is good or working right.

Are police and fire departments are doing well and there socialized same for the U.S. Postal system. Why can't we do the same for Medicine?

Because your income shouldn't determine your health!

Russ
June 9th, 2007, 11:51 PM
Health care will continue to be kept unaffordable and unattainable so that the rich can have access to a limited supply and won't need to compete for medical attention with the hoi polloi.

Sadly you may have a point.

pawnman
June 21st, 2007, 08:32 PM
Because after all if you criticizes any aspect of a government and work to change it they have automatically declared that no aspect is good or working right.

Are police and fire departments are doing well and there socialized same for the U.S. Postal system. Why can't we do the same for Medicine?

Because your income shouldn't determine your health!

You want the same people that run the Post Office in charge of your healthcare?

BTW: Most police and fire departments are local, not federal, agencies.

Sequoia
June 21st, 2007, 09:13 PM
You want the same people that run the Post Office in charge of your healthcare?

BTW: Most police and fire departments are local, not federal, agencies.

So make state-based health care.

I still think that states should have much more power than the Federal government.

There should be a BASIC safety-net of health care available. That's what you see in other countries. In those countries, you can still buy insurance and see a different doctor if you can afford it. They simply have provisions for those with nothing else.

I don't see why basic health care and generic medications shouldn't be available to the general public, at low to no-cost.

Russ
June 21st, 2007, 09:46 PM
I'll sum my views up like this.

Those with money can afford health care.

Those without money. Anything would be better than nothing!

Just wait till you have a painful cavity or a brutal injury and can't afford to get it treated.

Here I'm going to give an example from my home state of S.C.

At the local hospitals they charge patients $500.00 for ONE(1) asprin.

Just a small sample of why medical care is more than most can afford.

Aithne Cathasaigh
June 21st, 2007, 11:59 PM
So make state-based health care.

I still think that states should have much more power than the Federal government.

There should be a BASIC safety-net of health care available. That's what you see in other countries. In those countries, you can still buy insurance and see a different doctor if you can afford it. They simply have provisions for those with nothing else.

I don't see why basic health care and generic medications shouldn't be available to the general public, at low to no-cost.

Because then when a poor person is sick, they'd be able to go to a doctor, thus breaking the chain of sick, tired and despair...

Gods forbid the 60% who actually do the grunt work to keep the Capitalist economy going get to do it pain and disease free.

I have no insurance, can't afford it, heck, I parked my car and now walk or take the bus because I can't afford the gas or the car insurance.

I have 11 teeth left, dentists don't give a crap, if I don't have the money, then I do without. As a direct result, I can't eat foods that are healthier, and would keep my body healthier. I'm at higher risk for diabetes because of this.

In this wonderful country we have abysmal rates of malnutrition, mother's going without prenatal care, diabetes, heart disease, all of which is PREVENTABLE.

But that would require enough people caring enough to demand that basic services be provided for everyone, and that is not going to happen.

PaganLibrarian
June 22nd, 2007, 11:10 AM
Which brings the question right back around to "How do you pay for it?"

Russ
June 22nd, 2007, 01:58 PM
Oh I'm sure we could divert funds from out run away defense budget. Failing that I'm sure the working poor wouldn't mind a small tax hike here after all this is one that will directly affect them.

PaganLibrarian
June 22nd, 2007, 02:03 PM
Oh I'm sure we could divert funds from out run away defense budget.

I'm not sure that the entire defense budget would cover what it would cost to give even basic medical care to every single person in the US. As far as taxing those who use it, you certainly couldn't tax them enough to cover what it costs.

Russ
June 22nd, 2007, 02:11 PM
Well Canada has found a way to make it work. So can we!

Aithne Cathasaigh
June 22nd, 2007, 03:51 PM
Which brings the question right back around to "How do you pay for it?"

Well, at the current cost of the Iraq war we could have given 261,567,700 thats millions of children. Do we even have 261 million children in the US?


http://www.nytimes.com/2007/01/17/business/17leonhardt.html?ex=1326690000&en=7f221bfce7a6408c&ei=5090

http://costofwar.com/numbers.html

The Defense budget from 2004


While the Bush Administrationís fiscal year (fy) 2005 official budget for the Department of Defense (DOD) has estimated outlays of $430 billion, this reportedly excludes money for continuing the U.S. occupation of Iraq, also referred to euphemistically as democracy-building. Some have estimated that an extra $50 billion will be sought by Bush, in a supplemental budget request, after the November election. Even assuming that only half of the $50 billion will be used in fy 2005 and that only $25 billion per year will need to be budgeted for the occupation of Iraq in years beyond 2005, this bumps defense outlays up to $455 billion. And as long as the U.S. government wants to dictate what type of regime runs Iraq, taxpayers here are going to be stuck paying the bill for a large and continued U.S. military deployment there. Either the U.S. moves most of its NATO forces to Iraq, or it will have to spend more money to keep troops there. And these totals do not include funds that would be needed to build permanent military bases in Iraq, a scenario suggested by many critics of the Bush "democracy-building" plan for Iraq.

To that total of $455 billion tack on another $16.9 billion that goes for nuclear reactors in Navy submarines and aircraft carriers, the construction and maintenance of the nationís nuclear weapons stockpile, and the disposal of radioactive waste from nuclear weapons and Naval reactors. All of this $16.9 billion is included in the Energy Department budget. Thus, actual military outlays for fiscal year 2005 could reach $471.9 billion, if not more. One then can add the nearly $16.6 billion of foreign aid Ė money shoveled to foreign countries in order to buy their support and/or buy the support of U.S. voters who have personal fondness or attachments to other countries. This last amount pushes estimated national security spending to $488.5 billion for fiscal year 2005 compared to the roughly $470 billion being spent this year.

In case you missed it

$16.9 billion that goes for nuclear reactors in Navy submarines and aircraft carriers, the construction and maintenance of the nationís nuclear weapons stockpile, and the disposal of radioactive waste from nuclear weapons and Naval reactors.

Hey, I am not advocating getting rid of all of our nuclear arsenal, but really, we have the ability to irrevocably destroy the ENTIRE planet TWENTY TIMES!.

Hello, anyone heard of OVERKILL?

So, cut it in half, that leaves 8.4 BILLION DOLLARS to spend on healthcare, housing and education.

Total Outlays (Federal Funds): $2,387 billion
MILITARY: 51% and $1,228 billion
NON-MILITARY: 49% and $1,159 billion

Finding the money isn't the problem.

Aithne Cathasaigh
June 22nd, 2007, 03:52 PM
I'm not sure that the entire defense budget would cover what it would cost to give even basic medical care to every single person in the US. As far as taxing those who use it, you certainly couldn't tax them enough to cover what it costs.

You sure about that

MILITARY: 51% at $1,228 billion (this includes past military debt)

Current Military
$727 billion:
• Military Personnel $136 billion
• Operation & Maint. $249 billion
• Procurement $111 billion
• Research & Dev. $70 billion
• Construction $10 billion
• Family Housing $4 billion
• DoD misc. $6 billion
• Retired Pay $52 billion
• DoE nuclear weapons $17 billion
• NASA (50%) $9 billion
• International Security $10 billion
• Homeland Secur. (military) $31 billion
• Exec. Office of President $1 billion
• other military (non-DoD) $1 billion
• plus ... anticipated supplemental war spending requests of $20 billion in addition to $141 billion for Iraq and Afghanistan wars already incorporated into figures above

PaganLibrarian
June 22nd, 2007, 04:00 PM
Yes, I'm sure about that. In 2005, the latest data available, healthcare in the US topped two trillion dollars. That is considerably more than the military budget. Now, add on all those people who aren't covered right now, and what is the final total. I'll bet you'd be looking at least double what it is now.

It's all well and good to say we can cover some of the children. Who decides which children get coverage, and which go without?

Aithne Cathasaigh
June 22nd, 2007, 04:20 PM
Yes, I'm sure about that. In 2005, the latest data available, healthcare in the US topped two trillion dollars. That is considerably more than the military budget. Now, add on all those people who aren't covered right now, and what is the final total. I'll bet you'd be looking at least double what it is now.

It's all well and good to say we can cover some of the children. Who decides which children get coverage, and which go without?

Yeah, I read that article. I like how you ignore the highlights, that fraud, poor billing practices, uninsured people, rising health insurance, high admistirative salaries, poor management, inefficiencies, and lets not forget, 500 bucks for an aspirin, are ALL part of that total.

http://www.nchc.org/facts/cost.shtml

It's an interesting read, I especially like the part about how people cut back on food and heating in order to pay their health insurance.

When I had to take my step daughter to the hospital, I had to give her the medication because she wouldn't let anyone else. The hospital charged 320 dollars for her medication, and 180 dollars for the nurse to hand it to me!

I freely admit that killing off the Defense budget isn't the answer, the problem is deeper than that.

But get real, the problem is the whole system, until it is completely overhauled, and to hell with people making money of others pain, disease and misery, it will keep on being the same cash cow.

I'm all for making an honest buck, but making it at the expense of the sick and dying, IS NOT HONEST.

PaganLibrarian
June 22nd, 2007, 05:40 PM
Yeah, I read that article. I like how you ignore the highlights, that fraud, poor billing practices, uninsured people, rising health insurance, high admistirative salaries, poor management, inefficiencies, and lets not forget, 500 bucks for an aspirin, are ALL part of that total.

And none of that is going to change if we cut or eliminate the defense budget to provide some people with health care. In fact, I'd wager that the corruption problem gets worse when you put more money into the hands of people who have already shown they can't handle money now.


But get real, the problem is the whole system, until it is completely overhauled, and to hell with people making money of others pain, disease and misery, it will keep on being the same cash cow.

Great! Let's pass a law making it illegal to make a profit off of anything having to do with health, or health care, or medicine. A week after that happens, there won't be a single pharmaceutical company doing business in the US. That means it will all be handled by the government, and we all know how well they handle money already. The cost of health care will skyrocket, not drop, because the government has even less incentive to do things cheaplythan the private corps do. Research into new cures will cease, in practicality, if not in reality, since the government will be in charge of that, too.

Russ
June 22nd, 2007, 06:04 PM
So then tell me. Why is it that the nations with free or low cost health care haven't fallen apart yet? An in fact there citizens are healthier and many new cures, procedures and treatments are coming from them?

After all we are the ONLY industrialized nation that isn't doing this. If America is the richest and best nation why can't it easily do with the other power nations are doing?

PaganLibrarian
June 22nd, 2007, 06:09 PM
Why is it that the nations with free or low cost health care haven't fallen apart yet? An in fact there citizens are healthier and many new cures, procedures and treatments are coming from them?

Support this.

Russ
June 22nd, 2007, 06:18 PM
Will this do for starters?

http://cthealth.server101.com/the_case_for_universal_health_care_in_the_united_states.htm

PaganLibrarian
June 22nd, 2007, 06:21 PM
Great, now find me raw data that isn't from a political party.

Russ
June 22nd, 2007, 07:17 PM
Yet more data as I keep hunting:

http://www.amsa.org/uhc/CaseForUHC.pdf

http://bartdz.blogspot.com/2005/03/how-does-usa-stack-up-worldwide.html

An finally

http://www.commondreams.org/archive/2007/05/15/1198/

Aithne Cathasaigh
June 22nd, 2007, 07:56 PM
And none of that is going to change if we cut or eliminate the defense budget to provide some people with health care. In fact, I'd wager that the corruption problem gets worse when you put more money into the hands of people who have already shown they can't handle money now.



Great! Let's pass a law making it illegal to make a profit off of anything having to do with health, or health care, or medicine. A week after that happens, there won't be a single pharmaceutical company doing business in the US. That means it will all be handled by the government, and we all know how well they handle money already. The cost of health care will skyrocket, not drop, because the government has even less incentive to do things cheaplythan the private corps do. Research into new cures will cease, in practicality, if not in reality, since the government will be in charge of that, too.

I just realized something, for all the ideas, suggestions and information that folk have put out here, you've yet to offer one concrete idea. All you seem to want to do is bash and trash.

For someone whose sig line bashes GWB, you sure are quick to support his brand of government.

And since you seem so quick to ask for proof, where is your proof that "Research into new cures will cease, in practicality, if not in reality,"

You want proof, here it is, the US and Africa are about the only countries who do NOT have universal health care.

All of Europe has publicly sponsored and regulated health care. Countries include Austria, Belgium, Denmark, Finland, France ,Germany, Greece, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Slovenia, the Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal,[16] Russia, Spain, Sweden and the United Kingdom.
Australia and New Zealand both have publicly funded health care systems, though under the Conservative government in Australia, there has been new funding and incentives for people who pay for private health insurance.

Health care in the Republic of Ireland is governed by the Health Act 2004, which established a new body to govern the national health service in the Republic of Ireland, the Health Service Executive. The new health service came into being officially on 1 January 2005; however the new structures are in the process of being established. Currently the HSE is continuing to manage the health service under the Health Act 1970 structures. The Health Boards no longer exist as corporate entities, however the structures which existed remain as divisions of the HSE until a plan of reorganisation is complete. Each former health board area operates as a division of the HSE and the former chief executive officer of each health board is now known as a chief officer for the HSE region.

Healthcare in Switzerland is regulated by the Federal Health Insurance Act. Health insurance is compulsory for all persons resident in Switzerland (within three months of taking up residence or being born in the country). International civil servants, members of permanent missions and their familiy members are exempted from compulsory health insurance. They can, however, apply to join the Swiss health insurance system, within six months of taking up residence in the country. Health insurance covers the costs of medical treatment and hospitalisation of the insured. However, the insured person pays part of the cost of treatment. This is done (a) by means of an annual excess (or deductible, called the franchise), which ranges from CHF 300 to a maximum of CHF 2,500 as chosen by the insured person (premiums are adjusted accordingly) and (b) by a charge of 10% of the costs over and above the excess.

Latin America
Most countries in Latin America have public health care provided. Mexico is planning to launch its own universal health care network[21] though at the moment the standards of health care in Mexico are seriously lacking with large divides between rich and poor. Puerto Rico is planning its own health reform for the poorest of the population. Health care in Venezuela is probably the most extensive and given the country's fortunes in oil wealth, expenditure has recently increased greatly, starting with mass vaccinations under the Plan Bolivar 2000.


United Kingdom
The NHS is the world's largest, centralised health service, and the world's third largest employer after the Chinese army and the Indian railways. It was created in the aftermath of World War II, by Clement Attlee's Labour government, based on the proposals of the Beveridge Report, prepared in 1942.[18] The structure of the NHS in England and Wales was established by the National Health Service Act 1946 (1946 Act). The current Labour government has pumped billions of new money into the NHS. However, Tony Blair's policy, whilst leaving services free at point of use, was to encourage outsourcing of medical services and support to the private sector. Under the Private Finance Initiative, an increasing number of hospitals have been built (or rebuilt) by private sector consortia; hospitals may have both medical services (such as "surgicentres"),[19] and non-medical services (such as catering) provided under long-term contracts by the private sector. These are more expensive than if the new build was simply funded from the public purse. A study by a consultancy company which works for the Department of Health shows that every £200 million spent on privately financed hospitals will result in the loss of 1000 doctors and nurses. The first PFI hospitals contain some 28 per cent fewer beds than the ones they replaced.[20] Even so there is for the first time complete political consensus on the importance of free public health care.

Cuba
The Cuban government operates a national health system and assumes fiscal and administrative responsibility for the health care of its citizens.[22] Following the Revolution, the new Cuban government asserted that universal healthcare was to become a priority of state planning. In 1960 revolutionary and physician Che Guevara outlined his aims for the future of Cuban healthcare in an essay entitled "On Revolutionary Medicine", stating: "The work that today is entrusted to the Ministry of Health and similar organizations is to provide public health services for the greatest possible number of persons, institute a program of preventive medicine, and orient the public to the performance of hygienic practices."[23] These aims were hampered almost immediately by an exodus of almost half of Cuba’s physicians to the United States, leaving the country with only 3,000 doctors and 16 professors in University of Havana’s medical college.[24] Beginning in 1960, the Ministry of Public Health began a program of nationalization and regionalization of medical services.[24] In 1976, Cuba's healthcare program was enshrined in Article 50 of the revised Cuban constitution which states

"Everyone has the right to health protection and care. The state guarantees this right by providing free medical and hospital care by means of the installations of the rural medical service network, polyclinics, hospitals, preventative and specialized treatment centers; by providing free dental care; by promoting the health publicity campaigns, health education, regular medical examinations, general vaccinations and other measures to prevent the outbreak of disease. All the population cooperates in these activities and plans through the social and mass organizations."[25]

Like the rest of the Cuban economy, Cuban medical care has suffered from severe material shortages following the end of Soviet subsidies and the ongoing United States embargo against Cuba that began after the Cuban Missle Crisis.[26] Data for 2004 show that Cuba has one of the highest life expectancy rates in Latin America. Costa Rica, Chile, Virgin Islands, Guadeloupe, and Martinique now have a higher life expectancy for combined sexes from birth.[4]

Canada
The federal government of Lester B. Pearson, pressured by the New Democratic Party (NDP) who held the balance of power, introduced the Medical Care Act in 1966 that extended the HIDS Act cost-sharing to allow each province to establish a universal health care plan. It also set up the Medicare system. In 1984, the Canada Health Act was passed, which prohibited user fees and extra billing by doctors. In 1999, the prime minister and most premiers reaffirmed in the Social Union Framework Agreement that they are committed to health care that has "comprehensiveness, universality, portability, public administration and accessibility."[27] The Canadian system is for the most part publicly funded, yet most of the services are provided by private enterprises, private corporations. Most all doctors do not receive an annual salary, but receive a fee per visit or service. About 30% of Canadians' health care is paid for through the private sector. This mostly goes towards services not covered or only partially covered by Medicare such as prescription drugs, dentistry and optometry. Many Canadians have private health insurance, often through their employers, that cover these expenses.

Asia

Israel,[33] South Korea, Seychelles and Taiwan have universal health care. Thailand [34] plans to.[35] Health care in India is guaranteed to "improve" for all under the constitution, although the reality does not live up to the vague wording of the article. In Sri Lanka, drugs are provided by a government owned drug manufcaturer called the State Pharmaceuticals Corporation of Sri Lanka. In the Philippines, the Department of Health (Philippines) organises public health for the country, and was established at the initiative of the American governers, before independence. Saudi Arabia has a publicly funded health system, although its levels are lower than the regional average.

Japan
Main article: Health care in Japan

In Japan, payment for personal medical services is offered through a universal insurance system that provides relative equality of access, with fees set by a government committee. People without insurance through employers can participate in a national health insurance program administered by local governments. Since 1973, all elderly persons have been covered by government-sponsored insurance. Patients are free to select physicians or facilities of their choice. In the early 1990s, there were more than 1,000 mental hospitals, 8,700 general hospitals, and 1,000 comprehensive hospitals with a total capacity of 1.5 million beds. Hospitals provided both out-patient and in-patient care. In addition, 79,000 clinics offered primarily out-patient services, and there were 48,000 dental clinics. Most physicians and hospitals sold medicine directly to patients, but there were 36,000 pharmacies where patients could purchase synthetic or herbal medication.

National health expenditures rose from about 1 trillion Yen in 1965 to nearly 20 trillion Yen in 1989, or from slightly more than 5% to more than 6% of Japan's national income. In addition to cost-control problems, the system was troubled with excessive paperwork, long waits to see physicians, assembly-line care for out-patients (because few facilities made appointments), over medication, and abuse of the system because of low out-of-pocket costs to patients. Another problem is an uneven distribution of health personnel, with cities favored over rural areas.

United States
Main articles: Health care in the United States and Medicare (United States)

President Johnson signing the Medicare amendment. Harry Truman and his wife, Bess, are on the far right
President Johnson signing the Medicare amendment. Harry Truman and his wife, Bess, are on the far right

In the United States, certain publicly funded health care programs help to provide for the elderly, disabled, military service families and veterans, and the poor[28] and federal law ensures public access to emergency services regardless of ability to pay; however, a system of universal health care has not been implemented.

Statistics, the numbers are in order as compared to the headings, the box wouldn't translate here.
Country Life expectancy (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Life_expectancy) Infant mortality (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Infant_mortality) rate Physicians (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Physician) per 1000 people Nurses (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nurses) per 1000 people Per capita expenditure on health (USD) Healthcare costs as a percent of GDP (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gross_domestic_product) % of government revenue spent on health % of health costs paid by government
Australia (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Australia) 80.5 5.0 2.47 9.71 2,519 9.5 17.7 67.5
Canada (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Canada) 80.5 5.0 2.14 9.95 2,669 9.9 16.7 69.9
France (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/France) 79.5 4.0 3.37 7.24 2,981 10.1 14.2 76.3
Germany (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Germany) 80.0 4.0 3.37 9.72 3,204 11.1 17.6 78.2
Japan (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Japan) 82.5 3.0 1.98 7.79 2,662 7.9 16.8 81.0
Sweden (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sweden) 80.5 3.0 3.28 10.24 3,149 9.4 13.6 85.2
UK (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/United_Kingdom) 79.5 5.0 2.30 12.12 2,428 8.0 15.8 85.7
USA (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/USA) 77.5 6.0 2.56 9.37 5,711 15.2 18.5 44.6

References http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Health_care

pawnman
June 23rd, 2007, 12:22 AM
Oh I'm sure we could divert funds from out run away defense budget. Failing that I'm sure the working poor wouldn't mind a small tax hike here after all this is one that will directly affect them.

Yes. Let's cut a little further into the defense budget. When we toss another 40,000 folks out of the military, you can explain why tours in Iraq have gone from 12 months to 24.

pawnman
June 23rd, 2007, 12:25 AM
So then tell me. Why is it that the nations with free or low cost health care haven't fallen apart yet? An in fact there citizens are healthier and many new cures, procedures and treatments are coming from them?

After all we are the ONLY industrialized nation that isn't doing this. If America is the richest and best nation why can't it easily do with the other power nations are doing?

Because they import drugs from the US?

Why do the richest folks from other nations choose to come to the US for health care if their free alternative is so much better?

Russ
June 23rd, 2007, 12:39 AM
You mean besides the fact in the Nation the richest are a virtual defacto aristocracy and due to the way the Health Care industry is structured money = NOW NOW NOW! Instead of having to wait while the doctors deal with sicker people that need it more?

Trust me if the poor could go somewhere to get treated they would.

I have to ask. What do you have against the idea of the poor and lower classes getting access to decent health care?

Vampiel
June 23rd, 2007, 02:53 AM
This is a long winded post but ill try to make it worth the read.

I would like those that say UHC makes you wait 2 years for surgery to provide proof of their claims.

The fact is that Canada's health care system surpasses the US in almost every category according to the WHO. Long lines are a myth. Ive done a lot of research into this and instead of just saying im wrong please provide accurate information that includes studies and not just some anecdotal "horror stories".

Given Canadians do have to wait longer for some procedures but there also isn't 45 million Canadians without health insurance.

Capitalism is a bad system for health care and I will explain why.

I am all for a Capitalist systems as much as most Republicans are. It works better than most systems given proper controls and history demonstrates this. However for health care in the modern age it is a poor system unless you don't care about humanity. So why does Capitalism not work well for health care?

If you step back and take a look at the problem in the US it's actually simple when you really think about. The US system is very flawed, it costs around $3400 for a hospital bed for about 3-4 hours. An aspirin in the hospital costs around $5 for 1 pill.

So why doesn't the Capitalist system make the price more affordable for such a basic need as health care?

It's because the system the US has is not a typical Capitalist system. Capitalism works through supply/demand and price/competition. The most basic function of this system does not exist in health care.

Think about it. What does an insured American care about, what they pay at the hospital or what they pay out of pocket? Of course they just care about what they pay out of pocket. So the Hospital charges the insurance company $5,000 for an operation that costs them $400 and the patient doesn't care and is shielded from the cost. Do they say hey they charged my insurance company a lot im not going to shop with them anymore!! Nope. Or do they have a broken arm and rush to the Hospital and ask how much this will cost and then decide to go to another hospital because they know the other one is cheaper? Nope. Does the patient ask "how much will this aspirin cost?" and if it's to much say "thats way to much im outta here!"?. Nope.

This is why it costs $3400 for a hospital bed for 3-4 hours in the US.

Aithne Cathasaigh
June 23rd, 2007, 02:42 PM
Because they import drugs from the US?

Why do the richest folks from other nations choose to come to the US for health care if their free alternative is so much better?

Evidence of your claims?

The US banned importing drugs from Canada because Canada sells them so much cheaper then the US does and can undercut US prices, much to the dismay of thousands of elderly and disabled who now can't afford medication.

Are there wealthy people who come here for treatment? I'm sure there are, I'm equally sure that there are people from the US that go to other countries for specific treatments that are more advanced there. All that means is that they are lucky as hell that they can go where the best treatment is to be had. It doesn't negate the argument, health care in the US is a joke.

Aithne Cathasaigh
June 23rd, 2007, 02:48 PM
Yes. Let's cut a little further into the defense budget. When we toss another 40,000 folks out of the military, you can explain why tours in Iraq have gone from 12 months to 24.
You are missing the point. The Defense budget is no more then an example of a government that cares less the people it is sword to protect and more about being the biggest on the block.

We spend hundreds of thousands of dollars on things that we don't need.


Oh, and fyi, even military dependents have to go outside for dental and the like. It's sad, our service members put their lives on the line to protect and serve this country, they're paid practically nothing, and then they get to watch their kids teeth rot away.

Our entire defense budget is 51% of the entire federal budget, and that does NOT include the money earmarked for Iraq. So lets please lose the propaganda and face facts, as long as the rich are getting richer and can afford to lobby our politicians to keep getting richer, the poor, and that includes the military and their families, will do without.

Exactly what do you think happens to an enlisted man when his tour is done? The so called "insurance" that the government offers is crap.

Vampiel
June 24th, 2007, 02:20 AM
You are missing the point. The Defense budget is no more then an example of a government that cares less the people it is sword to protect and more about being the biggest on the block.

We spend hundreds of thousands of dollars on things that we don't need.


Oh, and fyi, even military dependents have to go outside for dental and the like. It's sad, our service members put their lives on the line to protect and serve this country, they're paid practically nothing, and then they get to watch their kids teeth rot away.

Our entire defense budget is 51% of the entire federal budget, and that does NOT include the money earmarked for Iraq. So lets please lose the propaganda and face facts, as long as the rich are getting richer and can afford to lobby our politicians to keep getting richer, the poor, and that includes the military and their families, will do without.

Exactly what do you think happens to an enlisted man when his tour is done? The so called "insurance" that the government offers is crap.

Im not sure were you got our enlisted are payed "crap" because the US military is the highest paid military on the planet.

Many enlisted soldiers come back from Iraq with tens of thousands of dollars in their bank account. If they don't come back their family gets hundreds of thousands of dollars.

pawnman
June 24th, 2007, 10:41 AM
Evidence of your claims?

The US banned importing drugs from Canada because Canada sells them so much cheaper then the US does and can undercut US prices, much to the dismay of thousands of elderly and disabled who now can't afford medication.

Are there wealthy people who come here for treatment? I'm sure there are, I'm equally sure that there are people from the US that go to other countries for specific treatments that are more advanced there. All that means is that they are lucky as hell that they can go where the best treatment is to be had. It doesn't negate the argument, health care in the US is a joke.

The drugs they're prohibited from "importing" largely come from the US in the first place. The Canadian government has strict price controls on drugs, so they purchase them much cheaper than hospitals in the US. But they are still American-made drugs.

As for insurance after your out of the military...No employer I've ever had my whole life continued to pay for health insurance once I had quit, why would the military be any different? The insurance while you are on active duty is absolutely AWESOME. There IS dental coverage, and yes, you DO have to pay a little extra. I'm paying $25/month to cover my wife AND daughter. Can you find me a dental plan out there for less?

Kadynas
June 24th, 2007, 03:14 PM
Because then when a poor person is sick, they'd be able to go to a doctor, thus breaking the chain of sick, tired and despair...

Gods forbid the 60% who actually do the grunt work to keep the Capitalist economy going get to do it pain and disease free.

I have no insurance, can't afford it, heck, I parked my car and now walk or take the bus because I can't afford the gas or the car insurance.

I have 11 teeth left, dentists don't give a crap, if I don't have the money, then I do without. As a direct result, I can't eat foods that are healthier, and would keep my body healthier. I'm at higher risk for diabetes because of this.

In this wonderful country we have abysmal rates of malnutrition, mother's going without prenatal care, diabetes, heart disease, all of which is PREVENTABLE.

But that would require enough people caring enough to demand that basic services be provided for everyone, and that is not going to happen.

I hear ya... The only dental insurance available in my area takes $8/paycheck. They say it covers the first $1000 and then you have to pay out of pocket. But that's not really how it works: they pay percentages of each item until you get to $1000 and then it's all on you. Case in point: my recent dental EXAM (read: they did nothing to my teeth but x-rays) cost $400. After the insurance I still had to pay $130.

What's worse is that I'm in the same boat as you... I was told in my consultation that they could fix all my teeth. For the "bargain" price of $10,000!!! I sure as hell don't have that kind of money, so I'll probably end up with another plate because I'm too poor to afford anything else. (And even that will set me back about $3000 that I don't have.)

My medical insurance is getting just as bad... my employer used to cover it all. Now every 6 months, the amount that I have to have deducted from my paycheck goes up. My co-pays rise at about the same rate. And since I can't afford the dentist, I have to go to the ER every time I get an abscessed tooth so I can get antibiotics. At a current price of $75 a pop, I just can't afford it. So my only options are running myself into medical debt or living with infections that could kill me: I have an exposed sinus cavity from a former dentist who screwed up, but in order to have the surgery you had to sign a waiver of liability. So I can't afford to have it fixed and the dentist involved is under no obligation to fix what he screwed up. And people want to limit our ability to sue?! I have to worry everytime someone has a cold around me that I'll end up in the hospital! At the very least I should be able to have the botched surgery fixed by someone else at no-cost.

We've let big-business in all its forms have the upper hand and we're paying for it in more ways than one. It's worse with the medical & pharmaceutical industries because they've got you by the balls... you do it their way or you risk your health at best or your very life at worst. We could have universal healthcare... but the fat-cats are getting rich off of keeping things as they are. Hell even the doctors themselves aren't seeing much of these extremely high prices!

And for those of you who think you're too good to pay higher taxes so we can all have healthcare, I bet you'd be singing a different tune if someone in your family got seriously ill and couldn't afford the treatment they needed... the healthcare industry is seriously broken. And there needs to be a change.

Because after all, it doesn't matter if we have the best doctors, drugs, surgeons, whatever here in the US or not if our own people can't afford them.

Sequoia
June 24th, 2007, 03:14 PM
The drugs they're prohibited from "importing" largely come from the US in the first place. The Canadian government has strict price controls on drugs, so they purchase them much cheaper than hospitals in the US. But they are still American-made drugs.

Hence why it's so stupid to limit purchasing medications from Canada and other countries.

I once took a medicine that was manufactured in Mexico by a US Pharmaceutical... do you really think it cost nearly as much as I paid when it was made in Mexico? And yet the quality was just fine.

Makes you wonder.

pawnman
June 24th, 2007, 05:41 PM
Hence why it's so stupid to limit purchasing medications from Canada and other countries.

I once took a medicine that was manufactured in Mexico by a US Pharmaceutical... do you really think it cost nearly as much as I paid when it was made in Mexico? And yet the quality was just fine.

Makes you wonder.

They can sell you the drugs at cost, or they can pay for research and development. They can't do both.

Russ
June 24th, 2007, 06:42 PM
They can sell you the drugs at cost, or they can pay for research and development. They can't do both.

Other nations seem to have no problem doing this.

pawnman
June 24th, 2007, 06:58 PM
Other nations seem to have no problem doing this.

For a large part, they rely on the US to do the R&D. Then they import the drugs under heavy price controls. The pharma companies have a choice...they can sell the drugs cheap, and make a very small amount of money, or not sell them at all, and make nothing.

Russ
June 24th, 2007, 07:33 PM
For a large part, they rely on the US to do the R&D. Then they import the drugs under heavy price controls. The pharma companies have a choice...they can sell the drugs cheap, and make a very small amount of money, or not sell them at all, and make nothing.

Can you back this up?

Sequoia
June 24th, 2007, 08:46 PM
They can sell you the drugs at cost, or they can pay for research and development. They can't do both.

This is a widely-perpetuated myth. They can do a ton of research without charging several thousand dollars for a month's worth of pills. They get plenty of government grants for it, even before profits.

Without any prescription insurance, do you have any idea how much money those with chronic conditions would have to put out?

Probably not that much, considering that they couldn't afford it at all.

Even some generic drugs aren't that cheap. They all know that they can make a huge profit as long as people believe the "research" myth.