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Thread: The NHS & the United States of America

  1. #1
    Moonlight shadow asheep_uk's Avatar
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    The NHS & the United States of America

    Rather than hijacking another thread, thought we could move the debate here.

    What I find very odd from most of the complaints in the US, is that they'll somehow have no choice where they go for medial treatment anymore and that there'll just be the one 'monopoly'. I'm not sure if you guys know this, but in Britain we also have plenty of private hospitals.

    I had an operation 6 weeks ago to correct my jaw (I had a 1cm gap between my jaws). I wanted nice food, a television, my own room, an en-suite bathroom and a date that I choose. Those are all luxuries, and I paid for them (well, my insurance did).

    Just for reference, my operation is considered vital to my health, due to the only contact on my teeth being my rear teeth before the operation, it was not cosmetic.

    However, if I was from a less-fortunate family and I couldn't afford that kind of treatment, at least I could have the same operation, by the same surgeon, in an NHS hospital and it wouldn't cost me a penny. I could enjoy the benefits of having teeth that line up, allowing me to eat - I would just have to "suffer" sharing a room and not having a TV for a day.

    Having the option is priceless. If you want to be a snob, you're still welcome.

    On a side note Americans, how are people that you know responding to it: is it generally regarded as silly?

  2. #2
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    david petley's Avatar
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    Your operation does not sound like it would have been fun but I hope it went well for you.

    That pretty much describes the situation here in Aus too. Waiting lists for procedures is longer in the public system, which is paid for by a 'medicare' tax levy, to which everybody contributes to in some degree.

    People are encouraged to have private health insurance (in fact, if you do not, and earn over a certain amount, there is a tax penalty that makes it worth one's while to go private - the penalty is about 9/10 of the cost of insurance), but the public system, as overloaded as it can get for certain procedures, is working fine.

    I really don't understand (and haven't been interested enough to read up) what all the hoohah is about with medicare reforms in the US. I don't understand a culture that seems to worship individuality over and above community to the point where there might be debate about looking after the health interests of the poorest and most disavantaged members of that community.

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  3. #3
    supervillain gerbick's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by asheep_uk View Post
    Having the option is priceless. If you want to be a snob, you're still welcome.

    On a side note Americans, how are people that you know responding to it: is it generally regarded as silly?
    I have coverage that I pay for. And from my perspective, I've been screaming for a change for a long time.

    The people that you lot see on television, yelling at senators and other people... they also have coverage. So they don't care about the others. That's their problem...

    And that's more honest than they will ever be.

    Glad you got the operation. Glad it worked out well for you. No more jawbreakers!

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    Flashkit historian Frets's Avatar
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    A great deal of it is hate centered and has nothing to do with health care. Health Care is the scapegoat for the entire political shift.
    Lobbyists are creating an astroturf movement. If you've watched Countdown or the Rachel Maddow show they go into great detail about who's paying what to whom and where that money is being put to use.
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0W8BbJXjda8
    About that alleged Death Panels

  5. #5
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    could it be because they are afraid ppl will take advantage of the system? would it be like you paying for someone else court fee or disability because that person was stupid to get into that situation, or someone stays unemployed to receive govt. handouts..etc?.

    There could be some ppl that stuff themselves or smoke themselves to death, and end up the community have to pay for their health care. How could they prevent this type of system abuse?

    not that matters to me personally, but im just very curious

  6. #6
    Hood Rich FlashLackey's Avatar
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    Frets, the Democrats can keep buying the astroturf tinfoil stuff (while bussing in Acorn members to townhall events) and continue ignoring the polls. Sure way for them to continue losing support.

    asheep, I think the issue is that, for many people, the "extra" stuff you are talking about is not seen as a luxury and is rather standard expectations for health care by many Americans. All of the hospitals I've been to here (including a wide variety from "nice" to "bad (state run)" to "teaching") have good food (the cafeteria rather than the delivered stuff at least), a tv, in-room bathrooms and importantly a date of your choosing. Most of them were equipped to hold more than one person in a room, but the other beds were empty.

    They don't want to see the standard they are used to watered down and then have to pay more than they already do to have what they used to have.

    It's the opposite of focusing on the individual instead of the community. The current system serves the community better than the proposed one would. It's out of the frying pan and into the fire to turn a high quality system for almost everyone into a mediocre system for everyone. There are ways to cover the uninsured (most of whom can afford it but choose not to buy it anyway) without creating DMV-care.
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  7. #7
    Spartan Mop Warrior Loyal Rogue's Avatar
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    FL, everything you just posted is either a republican talking point that has no basis in fact, or an outright lie.
    Watered down standards? Hello? The uninsured don't get to see the inside of a hospital room, hospital food, tv, or surgery at all here.
    Most of whom can afford it but choose not to? That is a ridiculous soundbite that was pulled out of thin air.
    Astroturf, tinfoil? LOL. Do you really believe that the same industries that spent hundreds of millions to defeat Clinton's healthcare plan aren't going to spend as much or more to oppose this one by any means necessary?

    Your arguments and statements make Michael Moore look like Walter Cronkite by comparision... speaking of MM and comparisions, asheep, if you want to see a look into the differences of our healthcare system compared to healthcare in the UK, Canada, France, and Cuba, go have a watch at freedocumentaries.org of the documentary, "Sicko".

    http://freedocumentaries.org/film.php?id=133

    While there is some cherry-picking of interviews (most notably showing some Canadian hospital ER patients who only waited 30-45mins for treatment as opposed to not showing others who may have waited 4-6hrs for treatment), overall it gives a very spot-on look at the way treatment is handled between the USA and NHS and what those who have experienced both have to say.

    On a side note, my mother has experienced healthcare in the US throughout her life both uninsured and with company provided insurance, and she has spent the last 16yrs over in the UK under NHS.
    She visits me here at least 2-3 times a year and she follows our news/politics very closely.
    She makes no bones about it, according to her experiences the healthcare system in the UK is miles above and beyond the system in the US, and everything we are being told by the insurance industry, the drug industry, and the opposition party that they own is nothing but distortion and lies to keep the status quo and not cut into corporate profits, period.
    She has had multiple surgeries and treatments under the NHS and the longest she had to wait for a non-life threatening surgery (cornea transplant) was a month because there were others ahead of her who were more in need or going blind.
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  8. #8
    Moonlight shadow asheep_uk's Avatar
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    Can you name a US insurance company I can get a quote on?

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    Spartan Mop Warrior Loyal Rogue's Avatar
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    Avmed, Cigna, Aetna, Blue Cross
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    supervillain gerbick's Avatar
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    Guardian, Kaiser-Permanente, Ceridian...

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  11. #11
    Moonlight shadow asheep_uk's Avatar
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    So from Aetna I got a quote of $160 (100) for one of the packages. For a similar package from Aviva, a British company, I'm quoted $400 (250). But the difference is in Britain, if I don't pay that, I can just walk into an NHS hospital and get the same treatment, but for free, whereas in the US, I just don't get anything?

    I think I'm missing something here, because $160 a month doesn't sound that unreasonable, or was the list I got a list of all the packages and I'm suppose to add them all up rather than just take the best deal?

  12. #12
    Moonlight shadow asheep_uk's Avatar
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    Oh I don't know any US addresses, so I put mine as 1600 Pennsylvania Ave, Washington, DC 20500-0004 – not sure if that makes any difference.

  13. #13
    supervillain gerbick's Avatar
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    haha... pick a better address.

    As a non-smoker, my fees per month is about that ($~160) with dental, mental, regular health, and subsidized medicine (co-pay). With a family, it can hit much higher, about 500-1000 for one household.

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  14. #14
    Hood Rich FlashLackey's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Loyal Rogue View Post
    Watered down standards? Hello? The uninsured don't get to see the inside of a hospital room, hospital food, tv, or surgery at all here.
    Hello. The uninsured is a small percentage of people (15% at most) and many of them are young people who choose not to pay for coverage (about half of the 15% can afford it or qualify for public coverage already). Because many of them are young and healthy, they don't need to see the inside of a hospital anyway.

    Quote Originally Posted by Loyal Rogue View Post
    Most of whom can afford it but choose not to? That is a ridiculous soundbite that was pulled out of thin air.
    Maybe "most of" isn't quite right. "About half" is right: http://www.patientpowernow.org/2008/...ord-insurance/

    Quote Originally Posted by Loyal Rogue View Post
    Your arguments and statements make Michael Moore look like Walter Cronkite by comparision... speaking of MM and comparisions, asheep, if you want to see a look into the differences of our healthcare system compared to healthcare in the UK, Canada, France, and Cuba, go have a watch at freedocumentaries.org of the documentary, "Sicko".
    Once you are finished wasting your time with that film, you can find many well-referenced articles on Google debunking nearly every claim Michael Moore makes.

    LR, still waiting for you to stop describing your bias and start backing up your claims.

    Quote Originally Posted by Loyal Rogue View Post
    On a side note, my mother has experienced healthcare in the US throughout her life both uninsured and with company provided insurance, and she has spent the last 16yrs over in the UK under NHS.
    She visits me here at least 2-3 times a year and she follows our news/politics very closely.
    She makes no bones about it, according to her experiences the healthcare system in the UK is miles above and beyond the system in the US, and everything we are being told by the insurance industry, the drug industry, and the opposition party that they own is nothing but distortion and lies to keep the status quo and not cut into corporate profits, period.
    She has had multiple surgeries and treatments under the NHS and the longest she had to wait for a non-life threatening surgery (cornea transplant) was a month because there were others ahead of her who were more in need or going blind.
    I'm glad that your moms anecdotal perspective is presented as "a side note." Had you not mentioned that, for lack of other substantiation, one might conclude that this is your sole basis for your beliefs.
    "We don't estimate speeches." - CBO Director Doug Elmendorf

  15. #15
    Hood Rich FlashLackey's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by asheep_uk View Post
    I think I'm missing something here, because $160 a month doesn't sound that unreasonable, or was the list I got a list of all the packages and I'm suppose to add them all up rather than just take the best deal?
    You're not missing anything. In fact, I paid less than half of that ($75 per month) for a Blue Shield PPO in college. PPO meaning that I could go to any hospital I wanted.

    The family plans are more. Obviously to cover more people. But, it's tough to compare that way because buying a plan for an individual family is at a different price than if you get the plan through your employer (as most people do here). They charge a lot more if you aren't in a group policy.
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  16. #16
    Moonlight shadow asheep_uk's Avatar
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    I get my healthcare through a family policy, so it's less, but I can see why people in Britain complain about how expensive private health insurance is. But we also complain about the NHS – but seriously, it costs nothing, if you want more, pay for it. But I guess people aren't happy with that, they want US-style healthcare but they don't want to pay for it.

    Stupid world.

    The only thing that slightly upsets me about the US is that if I call an ambulance right now because my arm fell off, I never have to worry about how much it costs.

    Is there any bargaining to be done to have state-funded Accident & Emergency, but leave everything else to insurance?
    Last edited by asheep_uk; 08-17-2009 at 08:14 PM.

  17. #17
    pablo cruisin' hanratty21's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by asheep_uk View Post
    So from Aetna I got a quote of $160 (100)
    Quote Originally Posted by asheep_uk View Post
    I wanted nice food, a television, my own room, an en-suite bathroom and a date that I choose. Those are all luxuries, and I paid for them (well, my insurance did).
    $160/month is not getting you this.
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  18. #18
    I Mastered Dead Technology TallGuyLittleCar's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by gerbick View Post
    haha... pick a better address.

    As a non-smoker, my fees per month is about that ($~160) with dental, mental, regular health, and subsidized medicine (co-pay). With a family, it can hit much higher, about 500-1000 for one household.
    160 is about what I would pay for myself. However if you, I, or asheep had a uterus it would be over 300(i think).
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  19. #19
    Official Vermont Photo Mod WannaBe_80z's Avatar
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    I think if I was to get state funded you're poor insurance through the state it would cost me around $60 a month. But if I wanted to keep what I was on when I was in school with my mothers insurance through Cigna it was quite a bit higher...
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  20. #20
    Hood Rich FlashLackey's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by hanratty21 View Post
    $160/month is not getting you this.
    I paid less than that for a PPO. If I had a condition that required hospital stay, I could choose a place that offers those things.

    Quote Originally Posted by asheep_uk View Post
    The only thing that slightly upsets me about the US is that if I call an ambulance right now because my arm fell off, I never have to worry about how much it costs.

    Is there any bargaining to be done to have state-funded Accident & Emergency, but leave everything else to insurance?
    You already get emergency help. If your arm falls off and you call for an ambulance, they will get and treat you regardless of having insurance or not. Then they settle the bill later. If you're not insured, you'd probably end up rehabbing in a state hospital which tend not to be as nice as some of the private ones.

    Quote Originally Posted by WannaBe_80z View Post
    I think if I was to get state funded you're poor insurance through the state it would cost me around $60 a month. But if I wanted to keep what I was on when I was in school with my mothers insurance through Cigna it was quite a bit higher...
    That probably has most to do with your choice of places you can go and the deductable you have to clear (if you have one at all).
    "We don't estimate speeches." - CBO Director Doug Elmendorf

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