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      10-21-2014, 05:36 PM   #49
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Originally Posted by 128Convertibleguy View Post
1. Chuckle. You're simply supporting my case. Because the national health care insurance takes care of most all of their needs. With care that is at least as good, and arguably better, than ours.

2. Let's take infant mortality. Because it's a sitter. We really suck, and the difference is far more than quibbles about methodology. Here's a take, from the CIA.

TWICE the rate. That ain't methodology, even our own doctors agree.

3. For a few high tech procedures, that few people ever need (like heart transplants), we're the gold standard. We do quite well at things for the rich.

For handling the stuff most everyone needs, we really suck. Which is why our stats are so bad. Vastly more American citizens (compared with the few rich foreigners who come here for the unusual) go overseas for that stuff (dental work, joint replacements, prescription drugs, etc. etc.) because it's cheaper and just as good if not better. Google "medical tourism" for details.

4. I have looked at the data, and read the paper you cite, and others like it. The paper is mostly a pile of subjective crap, flavored with a few carefully cherry picked places where we have an advantage. Where it does quote actual numbers on broad measures they agree with me. The data on this is clear and overwhelming. For health care as a whole, we pay more and get less.

We do lead the world in unnecessary procedures, such as CT scans for screening well people (because we have far more scanners than we actually need, and there's money to be made), heart surgery for conditions where medication and diet have been proven to be equally effective, etc. etc. Two non political sources for you (unlike the CATO Institute you cited for me).

Bottom line. The dead horse here is the American system of private health insurance. It's been proven over and over again, by a great many people, to be more costly and less effective than national health care insurance. In many, many, countries. Including the wonderfully efficient (sarcasm) Italy. You can keep trying to defend it, but I have the far easier job of shooting that defense down.

Even Republican (governors) agree with me, as quoted above.

To get back to the thread. 5. Please show me where in my posts I have cited transporting health care workers. I haven't. Transporting health care workers is a red herring that has nothing to do with the real issues. I've restated the experts views that a travel ban will make the risk in our country worse. Which is why the EU rejected a travel ban.

And, if they don't have one, we don't have one, unless we stop all flights from overseas. The world is connected, and we have to deal with that, not pretend we can suspend that reality at will. Mario Rubio seems to differ with me about that. He's smart enough to know better, it's shameful, and shameless political crap.

To get back to the title of the thread. Doctors without Borders sounded the alarm about Ebola this spring. They told everyone that it was only a matter of time before it knocked at their door. And the developed world ignored them. It's another reason we're now terrified. And let unscrupulous journalists fan our largely unjustified fears. As I pointed out 43 (maybe 48, I've seen both) people with considerable contact with the one dead Ebola patient are disease free. You indeed have insignificant risk from casual contact.

1. Here's some input on the Italian Health system:

"One of the reasons for high taxes and large debt levels in Italy is a government sponsored healthcare system that costs more than originally planned. The result of the high tax rates paying for healthcare is that in Italy, there is a two tiered healthcare system, much like that of the UK and what many think will eventually emerge in the US. The system, in simple terms, has a public portion and a private portion. If you are sick, you go to a doctor and at the time of the doctor visit, if you show your national health card, you do not pay anything at the time of the visit. If you need a specialist, that is where things become troublesome – waits to see a dentist can run into the months. A cardiologist, the same. Try telling someone with a toothache or chest pain in the US to wait a couple months.

So what do wealthy Italians do? They go to a private pay doctor who charges more than the government set rate and the patient pays the difference. For the wealthy and even the fairly well-to-do, this is fine – they see the top doctors. What doctors go to the private pay plan? All the best doctors, because they can.

While some might cite that the WHO ranks healthcare systems by country and ordinarily ranks Italy among the top five and the US in the 70th-or-so range. This ranking is in my opinion, somewhere between a joke and a mistake. The process by which countries are judged is often arbitrary, and I doubt you could find 100 Italian doctors that would rather be sick in an Italian hospital than at the Mayo Clinic. When former Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi underwent cardiac surgery, he went to the Cleveland Clinic. [I do not want to debate this other than to say that the rankings look at outcomes and do not normalize for genetics, social makeup, etc… So it does not provide any adjustment for our urban population, our diverse population, our focus on preemies, etc…]"

2. Infant Mortality - see my previous post(s) - I'm amazed you keep shilling that the US is ranked low, when the evidence is clearly to the contrary. What "Doctors agree" with that flawed analysis?

3. Our stats are not bad, and our care doesn't suck. Medical Tourism is due to cost - certainly not quality - and you can't sue someone if things go wrong overseas, like you can here. And (again) other countries are not bearing the development costs of drug and medical device development for the world. In fact, other countries can't even validate that the drugs in their pharmacies are real drugs, and not counterfeits. Why do you think the Saudi Royals, etc. all come to the US for their treatment? See Sylvia Berluscone above.

4. You're simply wrong.

5. People coming to the US from Hot Zone countries have a passport. Even if they go through Europe, they still have a passport. Liberian Passport means you don't get to America. Passport from another country with a stamp within the past 30 days from a Hot Zone country means you don't get to America. What on earth is so difficult about that? Egypt and other middle eastern countries have done that with Israel for years - if you have an Israeli passport or travel stamp on another passport, they don't let you in.

Neither the Scientific American nor Consumer Reports articles you cited address the issue of "defensive medicine" - where Doctors over-order to protect themselves from lawsuits. Estimates are that 25-33% of physician ordering is to prevent getting sued. This is a problem of our legal system,not our healthcare system. Odd that both Clinton and Obama both tried to "reform" our healthcare system, and both are lawyers, with their highest campaign contributors being the Trial Attorneys lobby.
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