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Why no national healthcare in America? US vs Abroad

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Why no national healthcare in America? US vs Abroad

Postby Winston » Tue Apr 29, 2008 6:33 pm

Comments from my list about healthcare in America and in other countries:


This topic can go both ends of the spectrum depending
on how liberal or conservative you are. I tend to be
in the middle. Our current system is messed up but
going to universal health care like Canada or England
would make things worse. If you research the average
person over there they have to wait months or
sometimes years for surgery. Canada doesn't even allow
private doctors so if they can't fit you into their
medical schedule and you get more sick or something
there is nothing that can be done. I don't know the
specfics but socialized health care is not the answer


Hi Winston,

The short answer: 84% of Americans are covered by government or private health insurance. 16% are uninsured.

Long answer: The US government provides health care to 27% of the US population. 60% of Americans have health insurance through their employer. There's some small overlap between the two, and roughly 84% of American citizens have health insurance. Of the 16% that do not have health coverage, at least one-third are eligible for government health care programs, but are ignorant or too confused to apply for it.


Detailed answer: Most people would say that the US is the only industrialized nation without universal health care. While this is true, some people exaggerate this and you can see it from the attached file, which marks US in gray, as if we had no coverage at all.

The truth is a little more complicated. The US is a large federal union with many states, Indian nations, and federal territories. Public health care is provided through various organizations, mostly unrelated to each other. It's not an efficient system, but we suck at centralized planning anyway.

Public health care is provided in the US through the following:
Medicare for elderly and disabled
Medicaid for the poor
State Children's health insurance Program for children of low income families
Department of Veterans Affairs provide health care to military veterans and servicemen/women
Indian Health Service provides health care to 1.8 million Native American Indians and Alaskan natives

In addition, each state may have its own public health care scheme. Examples include Massachusetts "MassHealth" and Minnesota's Comprehensive Health Association (MCHA). Also, I'm sure you know our hospitals are not allowed to turn away patients in need of urgent or emergency care, even if they cannot afford to pay. The hospitals are subsidized by State through public funds.

California has taken steps in 2007 toward universal health insurance coverage for all state residents. Of course, in a typical American fashion, the plan is highly decentralized and disorganized. :) Read about it here: ... floor.html

If you actually read through the items, you can understand why even if they enact this, we'll have people who are too confused to know exactly which department or organization to obtain health care from.

As for paying for health care with cash... at one time if you got sick, you made a phone call and the doctor came to your house, and you paid for his care in cash. But after HMO's took over, most general private practice were actually pushed out of business because the HMO's were too cheap. How do you compete against $5 or $10 HMO co-pay?


I moved to FL, USA from Ottawa, Canada this February. I wouldn't say the Canadian health care system is that good. First of all, you mentioned that high taxes is the tradeoff for free health care. Another major issue is the wait time. If you want to see a doctor or get an x-ray, the next open slot is in 4 month. Some doctors won't accept new patients because they're too busy serving existing patients.

I don't have hard statistics, but I suspect because health care is free, a lot of lonely old people make appointment with doctors even when there's nothing wrong with them. They're just there for the company.


Right on Winston. For a good intro to the issue, see Michael Moore's Sicko. And besides having higher taxes to pay for health care, the taxation system in European countries, for instance, is highly progressive, meaning the rich get taxed at a higher rate than the poor and middle class. I'd be interested to learn what Japan's system is like, and South Korea's as well. From what I've heard from a Korean friend of mine, the Korean system is more similar to the USian system - meaning it is yet another way in which Koreans have displayed uncharacteristic stupidity, by following the US example. That and the Korean megachurches - gag.

Here in America, where I am tethered by $300,000 in student loans tied to my family's house, we must all be workaholic drones so that 1% of the population can live lives of despotic extravagance. The American dream!


*** WWu, when I was assaulted in Ukraine, I had an
X-ray done on my nose. It cost $1.40. That would
have cost me $200 in the USA.


It's really not the case. You can buy catastrophic health care which will cover you for anything up to 1.5 million dollars. The deductible is as little as 1-5k dollars and the premium is $1000 to $500 per person. The premuim is also tax deductible( thanks to George Bush) and since most people pay 50% of their income in taxes their actual cost (for 1.5 million in coverage) is only $500-$250.

The reason health care is so expensive here is that every one wants full insurance with no deductible--then they can run to the doctor all the time and never have to research and compare prices for services. The mark-up on many services are crazy, but since no one compares prices (they're insurance will pay for it anyway, so who cares), the low cost/small margin producer of medical services does not get more business--thereby putting pressure on the other guys to lower their prices.

Health care is affordable. What you've heard in your email is the democratic sales pitch to vote for them! We don't need socialized medicine; we need to make people take high deductibles on insurance --then they will compare prices and drive the cost down.

The medical marketplace is disfunctional because most people don't compare prices--their insurace company will pay for it.



Here Healthcare is more or less free of charge BUT:
- outside Paris, it will take about ONE YEAR to get an appointment to see either a gynecologist (I am lucky I don't need them... LOL) or an optometrist. Within Paris, you might get an appointment within a month to see an optometrist. May be it is better to buy a dog and a white stick right away... (I mean that you can be blind before you see the damn doctor! or die of syphilis for women...) LOL!
- most doctors are incompetent and won't visit you at night or during week-end
- if you want real good service you will have to pay
- there are some heavy taxes on salaries. If you earn 1000 EUR per month, it will cost you and/or your employer about another 1000 EUR (the exact amonth might be around 850 EUR) to pay all the taxes, including a private additional medical insurance that is going to pay for part of the costs that are not paid by "social security" (compulsory medical insurance by the gov)

A General practisioner (MD) costs 21 EUR / visit (year 2007). That is the standard fee that is recommended by the gov. You can find one that will examin you for that price.

The GP doctor where I go to asks for 40 EUR (twice standard price). He is incompetent. I pay nothing (except 1 EUR) because 20 EUR is paid by the french "securite sociale". The rest is paid by my medical insurance that is paid by my employer (that is by me, as I am selfemployed.).

If you want to see a specialist it costs about 35 EUR if he asks for the standard fees that are recommended by the French gov. But prices can be as high as 150 EUR or 300 EUR per visit. It will always be possible to find someone that is going to examin you at the lower rate of 35 eur. I can also add that paying a lot of money doesn't imply competence. (I have seen that case!)

In case of emergency, you can call "sos medecin" (only in large towns). These doctors works 24h/24 a day and everyday. They will get to your home in Paris in a very short time: less that 30mn if they think that your case is serious. Although they have a bad reputation, they are very competent and kind.

If you are at the country side, you can die before the doctor gets to see you. Don't live at the coutry side if you are in bad health in France. Install in a large town if your wife is pregnant or be ready to deliver the baby yourself.... Start learning medecine in the USA...

In case of a real emergency, you can call the firemen or the SAMU which deal with vital life emergency. Within Paris, they should be in your home within a short time: 10mn/40mn (depending on trafic).

The free health system in France is going to pieces. But it seems (from outsiders point of view) that so far it is one of the best system in the world. Nevertheless, my opinion is that it is really bad and I don't like it. It is really expensive in the sense that you pay large sums of money for it to work (in taxes). If you are a trump, it will be the best health system that you can get in the world. You pay less for doctor if you don't work because you get free additional medical insurance (the one that is paid by my employer). This was set up by the socialist gov some years ago. Damn socialist! The communists are no longer in the gov in Russia. They have moved to France.

All surgical interventions are free of charge except if you want to use private health system. Then part of it will have to be paid by yourself.

All FIV (Fecondation In Vitro) and medicaly assisted human reproduction are free of charge (not like in USA).

The French health system is VERY complicated. So it can't be explained in a whole week to a foreigner. It am just giving you an idea of how it works.

I am not! Do you want to pay 1000 EUR / month for a health system?


Say this- Among all the industrialized countries
America has the worst healthcare system in terms of

As far as many 3d world countries go, these are far


It is illegal for any hospital emergency room to deny care to the sick in the US. The poor never have problems getting health care.
For us middle class folks it can be pretty expensive, if you want to always use a hospital or a private doctor.

We do have the best health care in the world for those that can afford it, or have insurance. If you have cancer, or some other difficult disease, this is where you want to be. My roommates mother, who is canadian, just had to fly here to have a brest tumor removed because the wait in canada was several months. She scheduled an appointment with a doctor in California and had it removed the next week.

Socialized medicine is great for prevenative. Privatized is best for inovation and treatment. A hybrid system of both private and socailized medicine would be fabulous.

There are afforadble clinics in the US. I used several in Bellingham when I lived there, and I use one in Seattle now. They use a sliding scale.


Did you see the film Sicko (Michael Moore)? This documentary unfortunately has numerous examples....


Yesterday, at my husband's workplace there was a poster saying that ... 1 in every 7 children in the USA is without health care. This means 11 million children!
I just thought I share it with you as something to add to the theme of health care in the USA.
Last edited by Winston on Wed Feb 20, 2013 4:54 pm, edited 3 times in total.
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Postby zboy1 » Sat May 03, 2008 11:34 pm

Good topic Winston!
I could give some perspective on America's healthcare system since I'm in the medical field. I'm employed as an x-ray technician, so I know how the system works here in America. To be honest, I think the current system is rotten to the core. It's all about milking the pocketbooks dry from patients as much as possible. There is little or no regard for patient care. I'm sure everyone has heard stories about doctors that have a 15 minute time limit to see patients as fast as possible...well it's all true.

Another example is the overpricing of everything from a Tylenol that hospitals bill for 50 dollars, to a single x-ray that could cost a patient 200 to 300 dollars for one picture! I see patients unable to pay for their medical care shoved out of hospitals all the time and into the streets just like in the scene from Sicko!

BTW, I think everyone should see the movie. It's propaganda for sure, but the overall message of the movie is right on! It's time for a change in the system. Whether its universal health care system like in every other advanced industrialized country or some hybrid form (a mix of free markets and socialized healthcare), I think would go a long way to make the U.S. a better place to live.
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Postby MatureDJ » Mon May 05, 2008 8:50 am

First off, I think that the chick you have as your avatar could help me with my erectile dysfunction.

As for health insurance, the problem is that the insurance companies do not know how to handle their customers. They only know how to make money by denying care. This means that if you have a pre-existing condition (which can be trivial, or as serious as cancer), you will not be able to even get a policy, and if you happend to have a policy, the insurance will sprial out of control as the game is that the costs keep going up the folks who have stayed healthy are invited to join other cheaper groups, leaving the sicker people for those who stay (and can't go elsewhere.)

It's to the point that for a man like me (history of cancer), it's best for me to be able to plead poverty and go to a public hospital. Ridiculous!
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Postby sephardic-male » Sat May 10, 2008 10:15 pm

copuntris with universal healthcare have heathier populations. life expectancy is higher(U.S is 47th), infant mortality rate is lower(U.S is 43rd) and in those countries people are not going bankrupt due to medical bills and preventative medicine is more important. stop believe the lies of people who still stuck in the cold war era and have paranoid fears about communism I forgot the U.S.A is a paranoid nation paranopid about everything from A to Z. all in the industrialized nation, Japan, South Korea, Taiwan and all members of the E.U, Australia and New Zealand all have universal health care
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Postby Grunt » Mon May 12, 2008 2:22 am

The current, and PLANNED, medical system in America is a form of "inheritence tax". Its designed to plunder a lifetimes savings so scumbag doctors can have a new BMW every year. Thus leaving the next generation penniless or strapped with post mortem hospital bills.
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Postby sephardic-male » Mon Jun 09, 2008 10:45 pm

The U.S is 47th in life expectancy

43rd in infant mortality rate

72nd in overall health care

have higher maternal death rate than Canada and Europe

have the highest STD/HIV rates in the first world

the fattest nation in the world
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Postby ladislav » Wed Jun 11, 2008 11:46 am

I had this dental work done in the Philippines:

Three dental bridges put in, teeth cleaned and deep-scaled. Two chipped front teeth repaired. The price: $1,100. I now have a full mouth of white teeth.

I remember I was in LA and my wisdom tooth was inflamed. The dentist told me it was going to cost me $2400 to have work done on that tooth alone. I just got the prescription for antibiotics and codeine, and that is how I dealt with it. The tooth simply rotted away. When in the Philippines, they asked me when was the last time I had dental work done- I said- 20 years ago. Which was true. I could never afford it.

Was in Manila in April, and one girl there was suffering from acute toothache and wanted her tooth pulled, but had no money. I paid for the extraction: $4.40.
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Postby Repatriate » Sun Jun 15, 2008 8:38 pm

Thailand has excellent medical facilities too and whenever you go by those Bangkok hospitals you usually see one fat gulf arab national or another with his brood there for surgeries.

I believe Thailand is unique amongst SE Asian nations as it seems that brain drain hasn't completely depleted their medical ranks. Doctors in Thailand can earn a fairly substantial living by working in one of those "superstar" hospitals that cater to expatriates and foreigners here for operations.

It's "expensive" for the immediate region but still several times cheaper than the U.S. to get operations done here. God help you if you get seriously ill or injured in the U.S. without medical coverage. You are pretty much at the mercy of your creditors.
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Postby Ibiza » Tue Jun 17, 2008 7:56 pm

I lived in France for a few years and while I was thrilled that it was so cheap and I felt I could go any time I wanted and be reimbursed by the 'securite sociale' there were drawbacks for sure. The care there is simply not as up to date as it is in the US. (Though I did appreciate the SOS medics that came to your place day or night, wish they had that in the states!)

The US has got a problem that is for sure, but I do feel I receive much more up to date treatments and not only that, I can request things and be listened to and not blown off and told that isn't how we do things, like in France. I did find that many French doctors were fine with basic things, but they really didn't seem on the cutting edge, generally. That was fine for me when I was 25 and the worst I had was strep and didn't need a doctor much, but as I get older I sure do appreciate that medicine in the US is more cutting edge.

For sure I pay more here than I would like, but I feel the care I get is actually better.
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Postby DiscoPro_Joe » Fri Jun 20, 2008 2:52 am

Well everyone...guess what the best form of health insurance is? It is living an organic lifestyle as I've been doing for 2 1/2 years now, that's what it is. Get it right, people!!! :x (You can read about it by clicking here and scrolling halfway down. The article is entitled, "Your Health is Your Ultimate Freedom.")

The only time in these last two years that I've become ill was in early-to-mid April this year when the burnout from my last job entered its intermediate stages. After more than 10 days of feeling horrible, I patronized a local natural health practitioner, who gave me three herbs. The consultation was for two hours and cost $60, and the herbs totaled $30. Within three days, all of my symptoms had vanished.

For injuries, here's another cost-effective form of insurance: maximum automobile medical payment coverage, along with high limits for automobile uninsured motorist coverage. Personally, I carry $100K in auto med pay and $100K/$300K in auto uninsured motorist. This coverage follows you wherever you go (in the U.S.) -- even as a passenger in another vehicle, and even as a pedestrian. The premiums for this coverage are very cheap.

By weighing all of my personal risk factors, I concluded more than two years ago that paper "health insurance" just wasn't worth it. With my organic lifestyle and auto insurance coverage, paper "health insurance" is simply a bad bet financially. An individual plan would cost me about $200/month, and my previous employer offered a plan for $120/month with $1,000 deductible. This is an extremely corrupt industry, they haven't seen a dime from me in more than two years, and I've been far better off without it. Amen to that! :P

I haven't seen the movie Sicko, primarily because I disagree with its socialistic political stance, but I heard that it details how thousands of people each year -- who already have paper "health insurance" -- are denied coverage in claims because of trivial technical stipulations. Go figure.

Of course, before I travel overseas, I'll look into getting a temporary medical plan for the trip. And once I move, I'll weigh all of the personal lifestyle risks, financial odds, etc., before choosing a course of action.

Well, moving on to the subject of politics, today's American healthcare system reflects the textbook definition of economic fascism (i.e., government-business partnerships running the whole show like a cartel). But here's the problem with proposals for "national healthcare": it would replace fascism with communism. It would go from bad to worse.

The root cause of why we have healthcare fascism today is precisely because the government decided to become involved in healthcare in the first place several decades ago. The regime's involvement in that industry instantly attracted corruption like a magnet, so that's why we are where we are today.

Getting the government completely out of that industry (except to prosecute fraud and administer restitution-based justice) would be the best thing that could ever happen to healthcare -- especially for the poor. Prior to Medicare and Medicaid, most cities had charitable free clinics for the needy prior to the 1960s, which had to close down when the government's involvement made it too expensive for them to operate.

Returning to a free market in medicine certainly wouldn't be perfect by any means, but it'd be far better than healthcare fascism or communism could ever be.

To conclude, I thought I'd share the following commentary written in 2004 by Congressman Ron Paul:

"Free-Market Medicine"
(Click the URL to view the commentary.)

Ron Paul is the only prominent Democrat or Republican whom I like, he's an M.D., and he's been running for President. In the article he says, "We should remember that HMOs did not arise because of free-market demand, but rather because of government mandates."

Anyway, just thought I'd give y'all my views on all this stuff. :)
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Postby Winston » Sat Jan 12, 2013 1:07 pm

Check out this Michael Moore documentary called "Sicko (2007)" where he reports on the horrors and corruption of the healthcare industry in America, and compares it to other countries. I could only find one that had Korean subtitles.

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Postby Winston » Mon Jan 14, 2013 2:17 pm

Winston wrote:Check out this Michael Moore documentary called "Sicko (2007)" where he reports on the horrors and corruption of the healthcare industry in America, and compares it to other countries. I could only find one that had Korean subtitles.


Holy cow. We just watched the documentary above. It's a must see, and will make you VERY ASHAMED to be an American! It shows people in America dying from not being able to afford treatment, and even being kicked out of hospitals, vs. happy healthy citizens in Canada, England, France and Cuba saying that they always receive treatment and never have to worry about medical bills. WTF?! The difference is staggering.

Is the documentary accurate? Michael Moore may exaggerate, but in this documentary, he interviewed many average people who corroborated his claims. How do you explain that? Watch the documentary above. It will make you angry and boil your blood and make you want to move overseas for sure!

One interesting thing it showed was that in the UK and France, people only pay a $10 copay and can get all the medicine and operations they need, even if they are a foreigner or tourist there. Is that true? In contrast, people in the US are kicked out of hospitals and left to die from their afflictions. Is that true?

DiscoproJoe, you are very wrong. Other countries have government socialized healthcare, and their citizens are happy and well taken care of. Some things are better off run by government than greedy corporations. You have fallen for the lies and propaganda of the US media. See the documentary above.
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Postby Disillusioned_American » Mon Jan 14, 2013 2:54 pm

I got my teeth cleaned and inspected in E. Europe, and it cost me 35 Euro (about $45). In the US, this would've normally cost me between $100-$125, maybe more these days (last time I went to a dentist in the US was probably four years ago).
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Postby aozora13 » Mon Jan 14, 2013 9:07 pm

I agree about not only Health care but also dental work. It is too expensive for me to get even more deep dental care (implant). It was cheaper just paying the cost than getting it local (even with high level dental insurance).

Health insurance is a racket. My company caused me to go private insurance because although both healthcare programs suck (Company is $136 with $1500 deductible| Private company is $126 with $1500 deductible), private has no charge for an appointment to see my doctor. It is such as racket. I was so mad but I know that Unless I was in a country where care is more reasonable (in cost and service), I have to accept care in the US.


Yeah I was in Hungary for dental work (as in Vienna, Austria I was working in IT was too expensive). I had much more serious work done as in Tooth Extraction, Implant setup. However, I had to go home before my implant and so I have to get the implant in America. I would have to only pay $400 I think but in America it is $200 dollars more.
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Postby ILoveBlackAmericanWomen » Mon Jan 14, 2013 10:16 pm

America has the most top notch "professional medical equipment" and medicine YET we are the sickest in the world. North American medical system is a shame. We are being pumped with drugs that are made to slowly kill us. They don't want to cure us because if we are cured they don't make money. Prescription drugs CAUSE disease. If you have an illness a medical drug will not cure but mask the symptom and give you side effects. Then you keep getting different meds. The answer is natural herbs.
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