National Health Care (U.S.)

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National Health Care (U.S.)

Postby Bubba » Sun Jul 26, 2009 12:59 pm

Now please lets not turn this into a liberal/conservative, democrat/republican arguement. But, I want different views on Obamas proposed national health care program; as it relates to us. I would love to hear from other people in countries with national health care. How do you you think it will affect us with MS? I just ask because frankly I am scared sh!tlesss listening to Jules71, and the amount of time it took her just to get an MRI. I am used to needing care and getting it now, instantly. Please no onesided comments. Just your concerns, pros, and/or cons..... I wouldn't ask this anywhere else, but here with the caliber of people we have on this forum, I believe we can enrich our knowledge on the subject, maturely....


Bob, as smart and wise as you are, I am anxiously awaiting your response!
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Re: National Health Care (U.S.)

Postby Lyon » Sun Jul 26, 2009 1:27 pm

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Postby Lainie » Sun Jul 26, 2009 1:59 pm

I think the major point of Obama's plan is that there are millions of Americans who have NO health insurance whatsoever. So the plan would make sure that everyone can get at least a basic level of care.

Also, I have heard that another point of the plan would be that insurance companies would no longer be permitted to deny people coverage because of a pre-existing condition. This would be key for people like me. I am a stay home mom with no insurance because my husband's employer does not provide it. And it is IMPOSSIBLE for me to get private insurance because I have MS.
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Postby whyRwehere » Sun Jul 26, 2009 2:55 pm

Well, in the UK you have to wait at least 6 months to see a neurologist, and then nothing much happens after they determine you have "MS". You can have CRABs if you like. The GP service is good, but forget physio, wait forever for a MRI, and see the neuro in another year's time.
In France, you can get things done quickly, but it helps if you are willing to foot some of the bill. If you want the cheapest option, which is through the public hospitals, you usually need to wait a bit, a couple of months or so. If willing to pay, you might go to a private clinic/Hospital like the American Hospital, but you pay about twice as much outright and won't be refunded completely. The government covers some of the bill (all to limits), and then you have a mutuel (which is private insurance through work, usually), and they pay the remainder to their own limits. We usually have some to pay. Saying that the bill is usually cheaper to pay full price then the USA, for instance to go to the GP is about 35 Euros. The neuro used to be 60E, but last time it was 90E.
So, to sum up, not all socialized medicine is the same, and I think it is pretty good in France, but the system is losing a lot of money every day. There is nothing evil about it.
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Re: National Health Care (U.S.)

Postby HarryZ » Sun Jul 26, 2009 4:51 pm

What's it going to do to the US economy?? After Canada went to nationalized healthcare it damned near ruined their economy (or so went the complaint 15 or 20 years ago). Now I'm lucky to find a Canadian in a car that isn't new when I'm on the Queen E and Robbie lives in a mansion on a lake, so I personally would like to be as "broke" as the Canadians :wink:

If THAT doesn't stir things up then I've lost my golden touch!

Bob


Hey Bob,

Having been around for 60 years now in the Canadian Health Care system, I think I can speak with some authority on it.

I can't recall that our economy almost got ruined when the system came into effect. Then again, I was quite young at the time and didn't have any understanding of the economy anyway :-)

Our system gives EVERYONE health care. It doesn't matter if you are a millionaire or struggling to make ends meet, the care is available.

Are there waits for some services....of course there are. Are there some horror stories for some people...of course there are. But across the board, those who need urgent care, get it quickly.

In 1987, it was discovered that I had colon cancer. From barium enema, to CAT scan to surgery took two weeks. Was in the hospital for 5 days. I didn't pay a penny except for the additional cost of the private room which was covered by my private insurance which I had then and still have now.

People against universal heal care will always take the worse case scenarios and use them to scare people against this kind of system.

What really gets me is when I hear some Canadians say that we have "free health care"!!! Just ask them to look at the tax levels we pay on almost everything when they make their next purchase! The money to pay for health care has to come from somewhere and here it comes from our taxes which are higher than they are in the US.

BTW, I drive a nice 2008 Toyota Avalon and can be seen on the 401 and Queen E throughout the year :-)

Also still waiting for you to contact me when you plan to drive by London so I can meet you for lunch.

Harry
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Postby dignan » Sun Jul 26, 2009 5:01 pm

Canada's system varies from province to province. All provinces have gov't run health-care, but the details are a bit different in each region. We have no limits on which family doctor we see, but to see a specialist, you have to get a referral from your family doctor. The waits to see specialists vary widely depending on specialty and also depending on the seriousness of your symptoms, but you can definitely wait 6 months or more in some cases if it's not considered urgent. On the other hand, when I was first experiencing symptoms, I saw my family doctor on Monday and got an appointment at the local university neurology clinic for Wednesday.

In my province, we pay an insurance premium to the gov't depending on income (mine is $54/month) and also have to pay a deductible for drugs also depending on income (mine is around $1,500/year).

My impression is that most Canadians are fairly satisfied with our system, but there are horror stories for some about wait-times and nobody thinks our system is perfect.

When we have national problems in Canada, the gov't gets a group of non-politician experts together to study the issue every which way and hold national public consultations and then 2 years later produce a thorough report which is promptly placed on a high shelf and forgotten. That happened with our healthcare system in 2002.

I've heard good things about the French system. I wonder if any of our Aussies will comment. I always had the impression their system is good.
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Postby Lyon » Sun Jul 26, 2009 5:52 pm

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Postby DM » Sun Jul 26, 2009 5:58 pm

I have no isues with the Canadian system.

Initially, went to a clinic near my house because, maybe, just maybe, I was having a stroke. They checked me out and wrote me a letter to give to the emergency room staff at the hospital. Fee, No charge!

Went to the hospital, spent about an hour in emergency, and then they started all the tests. Although originally diagnosed with an old stroke, I was released 8 hours later. Fee No Charge

Next day, the phone rang off the hook. Appointments for all these tests that were to take place immediately, and then over the next 5 weeks. Did em all, and then some No Charge!

Then went to the neurologist in January, did the whole check up thing. No charge.

Returned a week later for my LP. No charge! He couldn't get the fluid out so he sent me down to X-ray to do it. No charge!

A return visit a couple of months later to further re evaluate, and set up an appointment with the MS doc. No charge!

Sat down with the MS doc, told me my wonderful news (lol), No charge!

Now I am on the clinical study, and naturally the pharma pays for it all, but agin, No charge. Not one red cent left my pocket during this whole ordeal.

And I was looked after quickly, MRI in three weeks, and looked after well.

Yes, there are individual cases for hip or knee replacements that have long waiting lists, or certain types of cancer that have had some better success rates in the US than Canada, but overall, see a physician, break a leg, cut your hand, whatever, no charge!

Its about public health, and not the money. Our hospitals are government run, not private business run, whereby all docs and nurses walk around with invoices.
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Postby HarryZ » Sun Jul 26, 2009 7:40 pm

Harry, you live there so you should know but I swear I remember strong controversy...at least in Ontario, 10-20 years ago about the national health care ruining the economy. NOTHING major happened to Ontario health care during that time?


Bob,

I really can't remember an issue with the health care system in Ontario almost ruining the economy. I know that about 15 years ago, the Provincial Government at the time decided to make some big changes in how they financed health care. Up to that time, the system figured they had a blank check and combined with duplication and waste, costs were spiraling out of control. The funding was drastically changed but nothing remotely threatening to ruin the economy.

Harry
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Postby DM » Sun Jul 26, 2009 7:46 pm

Only thing I can think of is that we lost a ton of nurses to the US
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Postby HarryZ » Sun Jul 26, 2009 7:53 pm

DM wrote:Only thing I can think of is that we lost a ton of nurses to the US


We loose a lot of nurses to the US because they have an aggressive recruitment program, pay very good salaries and just love to hire the people who are very well trained here.

What also contributes to this scenario is the speed that the hospitals will fire nurses in order to save money very quickly in order to balance their books.

My wife was a critical care unit manager for many years and I got to learn about these things first hand.

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Postby Bubba » Sun Jul 26, 2009 11:45 pm

Well I must say Bob, you didnt let me down. You have a way of looking at things and putting them into words that make sense, even angles on issues no one else would think about!
My whole idea (very condensed version) is that EVERYTHING our government takes control of, ends up screwed up.
I see it like this, everything here is free anyway? If an illegal alien (migrant) needs medical attention, he goes to the hospital, and gets what he needs, no charge?
They want to reform our health care system, start by zipping up the borders, and shipping back the illegals, BAM, health care fixed.
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Re: National Health Care (U.S.)

Postby NHE » Mon Jul 27, 2009 1:38 am

While I'm not familiar with the fine print in Obama's plan, I think that a national health care system is long overdue in the US. However, I fear that compromises due to special interests are only going to make any proposed plan worse. I just heard on the radio the other day that the pharmaceutical industry has spent $40 million lobbying congress in the last three months (April, May, & June). It makes me wonder who is speaking for the people. Isn't congress composed of elected representatives who are supposed to act in our interests? OK, that was a rhetorical question. We all know that the corporations run the US. In addition, some politicians wish to block health care reform for the simple reason of stopping Obama and bringing him down. This is pathetic and is the worst of our political system.

On a different note, I think that anyone interested in health care reform really ought to watch a PBS Frontline episode called "Sick Around the World." It looks at many of the countries with national health care and compares the different systems. I found the discussion of Taiwan's system particularly interesting. Before their government started a national health care system, they did a study of all of the other country's systems and took the best ideas for their own system and left out what appeared to not be working. I also fear that it is unlikely that the US will do anything so obviously intelligent and will instead try to reinvent the wheel and come out with something that looks unmistakably like a square instead.

NHE
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Postby patientx » Mon Jul 27, 2009 3:03 am

I have to admit I haven't done my civic duty and read through the plan. And I have more questions than answers. But I would just like to see things done to make insurance affordable. Then still leave it up to people whether they want to buy individual policies or not. I have insurance through my employer and it is very good. I pay a part of the premium every paycheck, but the company foots the bill for the rest. If I had to do this on my own, it would be a real stretch to afford it. I can see how people who are self-employed, unemployed, etc. cannot afford health insurance.

Maybe one way to do this is create a big pool for individuals who aren't covered by employers. But there will have to be some give and take. Not rationing of care, but doctors will have to get smarter about ordering expensive, unnecessary tests.
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Postby patientx » Mon Jul 27, 2009 3:06 am

NHE, you're right on. In listening to news programs about the healthcare debate, I hear more about the politics involved than about the particulars of the plan. This is really sad. And instead of having people like doctors, administrators, etc. who are the experts and might have good suggestions, we are just subjected to the usual windbags.
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