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      10-22-2014, 12:18 PM   #50

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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.
Again you're missing the big takeaway's...despite having such an "awesome" health system, 10% of Italians prefer private health care. 60% are dissatisfied with the quality of service.

You are more than willing to throw out vague qualifiers, such as "good" or "better" when describing the Italian system...but I have yet to see you specifically address the major pitfalls with a mostly public system: long wait times, inferior quality and equipment in underfunded regions, a bed capacity that shrinks as public sector debt increases.

Italy is encountering all of these problems...and there are many indicators that its increasing pile of debt will only exacerbate these problems in the future..

I hear nothing from you on these issues...convenient for you but it leaves me wondering how such a system can be called "better than ours."

Originally Posted by 128Convertibleguy View Post
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.
Differing standards of measurement do account for some of that difference...a large part of that difference is due to a higher percentage of preterm births in the US relative to other countries.

Bottom line is that more infants die in the US not because we have a lesser medical capability in that area, but because more mothers are giving birth to preterm babies (who have a higher mortality rate period, regardless of nationality). Another medical issue all in itself, but not necessarily reflective of any medical inability on our part.

Originally Posted by 128Convertibleguy View Post
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.
Heart surgery, cancer treatment, and other complicated surgeries are in fact used quite often and many people, not just Americans, need that type of medical care. And in many, if not all, of those areas, America provides the best level of care across the socio-economic spectrum, not just for the rich.

That's reflected in studies like the one below.
America outperforms Europe in Cancer treatment:

It's a neoliberal thinktank group, so don't get your panties in a bunch.

And rather than me do the work for you, please provide a good source which shows that many Americans go overseas for medical procedures or even routine stuff...I haven't heard of that, I've only heard the opposite.

Originally Posted by 128Convertibleguy View Post
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.
You're so willing to call studies that are contrarian to your own opinions "subjective crap." That phrase which you use is itself subjective, especially when it lacks anything to back it up. Where is your proof? Where is your counter argument backed by evidence? I don't know where this CATO study supports your point, please show me.

Many medical experts acknowledge that while Europeans have better access to health care than most Americans, the level and quality of care is anywhere from mediocre to very bad. That's why well-to-do people in those places still prefer to buy their own health coverage. Essentially it has created a system where the elites can get on-call health coverage and the middle and poor classes have to grind through the government's overly bureaucratic system.

Originally Posted by 128Convertibleguy View Post
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).
Just because its not a DC-based think-tank doesn't mean that these kinds of journals and online media don't have a bias. Anyway, I totally agree with you that there are lot of unnecessary procedures and pills that are used by many Americans (this partially explains why there is such a large disparity in GDP spending on health costs between America and Europe). In fact, I largely acknowledge that the American system is heavily flawed and needs revisions, especially for the poor.

But I see far too many problems and inefficiencies with Europe's mostly government-based system to call it the solution for our health care dilemma.

Last edited by Dalko43; 10-22-2014 at 02:23 PM..