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      10-21-2014, 09:32 AM   #47

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Originally Posted by 128Convertibleguy View Post
They don't. They do have a bad government and a good national health care insurance system. The health care system itself is, as here, mostly private.
That wasn't what you seemed to be saying in your earlier post, but okay, we'll go with that. You need to be careful with your wording though....the doctors who provide medical service may be private (non-government) doctors, but the funding and regulations for the majority of health care in Italy is coming from the Italian government....thus it isn't mostly private. Similar to our current VA system...the doctors don't work for the government, but the clinics are built, maintained and regulated by the US government.

True private health insurance/care (whereby an Italian citizen pays a private health care provider to provide medical care outside of the government-run system) is held by only 10% of the Italian population (at least as of 2008).

Originally Posted by 128Convertibleguy View Post
They beat us in most every measurable thing, life expectancy, infant mortality (we're particularly bad there), numbers of doctors per 1000 people, time to get in to see your family doctor, etc.
What measures or standards are you comparing and where is your data? I know that Italy is ranked higher than us in the WHO rankings, but you do realize that there are other benchmarks that the WHO rankings don't factor in:
- Another poster on this forum has already addressed this, but European standards for certain things, like infant mortality rates, differ greatly from our own.
- What are Italians' survival rates on common diseases like diabetes, cancer, heart issues, compared to Americans'??
- Southern Italy has an endemic problem with underfunded hospitals that lack modern technology (like the ability to scan for cancer).
- There has historically been a widespread problem with beds (capacity) for many hospitals throughout the country. This problem has gotten worse as of late because of the Italian government's tightening fiscal constraints.
-Much longer wait times than the US, despite having more doctors per capita than the US (as you pointed out).
-On the whole, Italy has fewer CT scanners than the US.
-Unsanitary conditions, poor service from the hospital staff, overcrowding also plague many Italian hospitals.

My point is that it's all relative. I don't know on what basis the WHO ranked Italy so high, but on a lot individual performance factors, Italy ranks quite poorly. Also, when well-to-do Italians need specialist care or complex surgery, guess where they go for that medical care....they go to America.

Originally Posted by 128Convertibleguy View Post
Their national cost for health care per capita is significantly lower than ours. Something like 2/3. Better results for less money. I know it's new to you, with the news sources you use, but it's the truth. National health care insurance has been proven to be better and cheaper in most every developed country, except Great Britain and Canada, where health care itself is public. Our blindness to the facts has been, and continues to be, appalling.
I concede, as do many proponents of private health care, that the US spends more of its GDP on health care than any other country in the world. But keep in mind, we are one of the wealthiest country in the world. And we as a population have an incessant consumer drive. To a large degree, we as Americans spend a lot on our health care, because we can afford to.

I'm also willing to bet that the US population spends more of its GDP on cars, electronics, and other goods/services than most other countries...we generally have more money than most other countries, and we like to spend it.

I do have to say though, your "better results for less money" is not only extremely subjective but quite erroneous....for all the reasons I posted above. If you spend less money on health care, you're going to get a lesser service. Many Italians seem to agree as a 2008 poll found that 60% of their population believed that their country's health system was in urgent need of reform.

The wait times and quality of care issues with Italy's system aside, the Italian government does finance most of the publicly available health care, and because of its increasing debt obligations, it has been forced to enact serious cuts to its health care system as of late. To the magnitude of 6.8 Billion Euros over the last four years (that was referenced in the website you linked in your post).

The best way to summarize Italy's system is, "if you pay less you get less, and if you establish a government-funded health system, be prepared to deal with the debt." I don't see any Americans scrambling to get flights into Italy for high-risk surgical procedures...I see the exact opposite.

If Italy is still capable of maintaining this health system (with its current options, coverage, accessibility) 10 years from now, I'd be very surprised.

I would encourage you to do more thorough research and look for contrarian sources, rather than just using sources that 'fit' your narrative. Here is a think-tank policy paper that you might find quite interesting.

Originally Posted by 128Convertibleguy View Post
Highly credible. To repeat from above “If we isolate these countries, what’s not going to happen is the disease staying there. It will spread more, all over Africa and we’ll be at higher risk.” Duh. And who do you want to trust on this? Ann Coulter? Rush Limbaugh? Ted Cruz? Sarah Palin? Distrust in institutions is another epidemic in America, but the experts in many disciplines, who many disparage, have brought you the lifestyle you enjoy.
To repeat what I said earlier...banning civilian flights to and from Ebola-infected countries doesn't preclude the US government, and others, from chartering flights or sending military aircraft into those countries to maintain medical support. That's all I'll say, because you are beating a dead horse and I don't want to follow suit.

Last edited by Dalko43; 10-21-2014 at 09:52 AM..