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HEALTH CARE: How about some logic on the topic?

Letter by William C. Dalton, Gig Harbor on April 5, 2012 at 4:53 pm with 31 Comments »
April 5, 2012 4:53 pm

I am endlessly entertained by all the different opinions on the topic of health insurance.

Why not forget all the mantras from both sides and look at it from an economic perspective?  “Frontline” looked at the programs in Canada, England, Germany, Switzerland, Japan and Taiwan. It shortly summarized the systems in Canada and commented essentially that England was a single-payer system.

What each of the rest had in common was: Those countries ran insurance-based systems, every person is required to purchase health insurance, if a person can’t afford the payments the government would pay the premium and everyone was insurable for life.

Now the differences: All companies are nonprofit, the state sets the price for each procedure and providers’ payments are set for every procedure.

The commentator interviewed the man who was in charge of the health insurance system in Switzerland. He asked that fellow what was the overhead cost of the Swiss program. The reply was either 6 or 9 percent. The commentator stated that in the U.S. it was in the neighborhood of 29 percent!

So here we sit, in a country that spends the most money on health care and yet is 37th in outcomes.

But let’s not forget, mantra trumps all.

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Leave a comment Comments → 31
  1. sumyungboi says:

    There’s this little thing called The Constitution. I know it gets in the way of progressive thinking, but on the other hand, there’s no other place I’d rather live.

  2. GHTaxPayer says:

    Bill – let me inject some reality into your letter. The USA has the best or among the best healthcare system in the world. My wife has been treated for two cancers – in Seattle and in Raleigh. In Seattle at Fred Hutch there were so many Canadians coming down here for treatment that they have special hotel rates & concierges to serve them. They all told us that many chemo drugs are banned because of cost and the waiting time is over 6 months to get a CT Scan or MRI.

    In Raleigh we met a large number of English, German, Spanish and Italian families that traveled to the USA to get treatment because they were facing rations on chemo or 12 – 18 month waiting periods.

    Florida is overrun with Europeans coming in for surgery & treatments because their great “single-payer” system won’t cover many serious problems and waiting times are 6 months or longer!

    Government run healthcare systems may be decent for cough & cold & flu shots, but when you have a serious problem you go the USA to get treated in our FREE MARKET HEALTHCARE SYSTEM.

    The best way to “fix” our healthcare system is to repeal Obamacare, pass strong tort reform, allow us to buy policies from any insurer in the US, and mandate a common coding system from all insurers.

    And you may have noticed that anything the Feds have touched in the last 20+ years has turned to crap.

  3. GHTaxPayer says:

    And your comment on the USA being 37th in outcomes is pure BS. That data is compiled by leftists that push socialism and does not take obesity rates or illegal aliens into account.

    More impartial studies show the USA comes in 3rd – 5th in healthcare compared to the rest of the world.

    And why did Ontario CANADA prime minister come to USA for heart surgery?? Because he was facing a 9 month waiting period.

  4. averageJoseph says:

    No need for actual statistics. If it was on Frontline it had to be true.

  5. Sumy – the only reason The Constitution does not get in the way of conservative thought is the conservacons ignore it.

    GHT – American Health care works for those who can afford it or who have cadillac health care plans.

    avJoe – so what GHT says must be true because GHT said it is.
    I’ll wait till he gives a citation before I pass judgement.

  6. sumyungboi says:

    xring: “the only reason The Constitution does not get in the way of conservative thought is the conservacons ignore it.”

    So then what you’re saying is that it does get in the way of progressives because you don’t ignore it. (??)

    Also, WTH is a “conservacon”? A conservative conservative? :)

  7. sandblower says:

    Great letter Mr. Dalton. Accurate and too the point. Th extreme right wingers will not like it because it shows them in a very bad light.
    If we give them enough rope………well, you know the rest.

  8. Dave98373 says:

    William- I don’t have the time educate you on basic economics but I will try to explain things as simply as I can. First off, the rising cost of defense that many countries (Canada…and most of Europe as they rely on the U.S. military) do not have to spend is placed in social health care. A luxury the U.S. cannot afford. The amount of citizens that foreign countries cover pales in comparison to what the U.S. would have to spend on citizens and illegals alike. There is plenty more…but the real question is how much is America willing to spend and sacrifice for the few that will never contribute?

  9. Sumy – progressives have no problems with the Constitution because we work within its strictures.

    Dave – maybe if the US didn’t spend so much on ‘defense’ we could afford to do nation building here a home

  10. More impartial studies show the USA comes in 3rd – 5th in healthcare compared to the rest of the world.

    By all means – provide citations of those studies as I have not found them by searching google.

  11. sandblower says:

    dave has no clue. Not worth the time for anything more.

  12. As one that had the privilege of living in some of the countries (courtesy USAF) listed in the Frontline story I can tell we are really kidding ourselves thinking we doing so well in health care compared to these countries. Sure if you are well off and have a great health insurance plan to you no problem, to everyone else so sorry for you. Let’s put the cards on the table, those from these other countries that come here and listen to our arguments regarding health care either laughs at our stupidity or just feel sorry for us.

  13. Frankenchrist says:

    Every nation in Western Europe has better health care than the United States. So do Japan, South Korea, Canada, Singapore, Australia, and New Zealand.

  14. “The USA has the best or among the best healthcare system in the world.”

    It’s just so expensive that no one can use it.

  15. “The amount of citizens that foreign countries cover pales in comparison to what the U.S. would have to spend on citizens and illegals alike.”

    That statement alone proves you are not thinking this through and have no idea what you are saying.

  16. Again – the argument is put forward that the US can not have a viable universal coverage system because:

    1) We are bigger than those other countries
    2) The military budget (which needs to be increased) is way too large and those other countries are good because we make the sacrifice for them.
    3) And….I don’t believe those statistics – I know that the US is best because I say so!
    4) The American government can’t do anything right (except, of course, the military).
    5) The Constitution guarantees a Fee Market that provides for the biggest profits to the lobbyists’ clients – which provides for the greatest freedom

    None of those oft-repeated points do much to bolster a sense of rational discourse from the apologists for the status quo.

  17. commoncents says:

    ght – throwing out individual cases and using them to represent an entire system. Right now we have people traveling to Mexico to receive cancer treatement because our “system” will not pay for what they call “experimental” treatment. Much cheaper to pay for hospice. What kind of health care system is that? However, I will say that overall we do have leading edge research facilities…it’s just getting it to market that’s difficult.

  18. harleyrider1 says:

    Let the “government” pay for those that cannot afford is your statement.

    Who is the “government”? What is “government money”?

    It would be you and the money you earned. So, if we do it the way you want, you would pay more than once for this health care. If you believe in this so strongly, why not just shut up and write a check to the “government”? You and Buffett – don’t tell us what we need to do, just give your money to what you believe. You can do it quietly. Stop telling us what we need to do.

    Meanwhile here’s another wrinkle for you. Most of the countries that have socialism are supported by the USA in terms of foreign aid and The World Bank (USA-again). And most of those socialized nations have populations less than some of our largest cities.

    This is America and I am not a hyphenated-American.

  19. menopaws says:

    Great letter!!!!! You are 100% correct. Never let the facts stand in the way of ignorant dogma…….Those of us who have been lucky enough to see how other countries handle health care are always stunned by the lack of real knowledge in these endless arguments. As I stated on another post–the freedom to be ignorant reigns supreme!!!!

  20. Harley – nope

    1/3 of all US aid goes to ISRAEL and EGYPT

    I don’t hear anyone citing Israel and Egypt as being the models of Universal Health care that we want to follow…but then nearly all of US Aid to those countries is in the form of armaments…..

  21. sevenstrokeroll says:

    I was unaware that the Constitution was a document that allows people to suffer so that the obtuse can feel free. Interesting?

  22. hansgruber says:

    Logic?

    What did Nancy Pelosi say?

    “We have to pass the bill so you can find out what is in it”

    http://blog.heritage.org/2010/03/10/video-of-the-week-we-have-to-pass-the-bill-so-you-can-find-out-what-is-in-it/

  23. LornaDoone says:

    “And your comment on the USA being 37th in outcomes is pure BS. That data is compiled by leftists that push socialism and does not take obesity rates or illegal aliens into account.”

    Not nearly as accurate as anedotal evidence.

  24. LornaDoone says:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Medical_tourism

    I have friends and family members who get dental and eye care done in Mexico. Does that make Mexico superior or just cheap?

  25. LornaDoone says:

    As Paul Harvey used to say – “and now the rest of the story”

    Pelosi spokesman Brendan Daly offered this interpretation of Pelosi’s comment: “She meant there was so much talk about process (in Congress) that people have lost sight of what’s actually in the bill. Once it’s passed, we can remind them of all the good things that are in it.”…

    The non-partisan Kaiser Family Foundation…reminded us that Congress (had posted) the entire legislation online….

    U.S. Rep. Michael Burgess, R-Lewisville, among a handful of physicians in Congress and an opponent to the Democrats’ proposal… told us it’s often true that the ins and outs of legislation aren’t widely known until after a measure passes into law; that held true, for instance, for the Republican-steered measure providing government aid toward prescription drugs for seniors.

    Pelosi’s “right,” Burgess said, though “I don’t think that’s a good strategy (to declare as much). I wouldn’t recommend anyone actually broadcasting that.”

    Remember the “Obama Death Panels” lie from the Right Wing? A perfect example of the above

    Of course hansgruber’s post is an attempt to futher cloud the issue

  26. The best health care system in the universe is meaningless if your country gets blown off the map.

    As for this remark: “Those countries ran insurance-based systems, every person is required to purchase health insurance….”

    Seems maybe SOTUS finds this unacceptable…and like Harley, I’d like to know where “the government” gets the money to pay for the folks who can’t afford it?

    If all the wealthy progressives modified their opulent lifestyles and pooled their resources, they could redistribute their wealth quite readily and make sure “those who can’t afford it” are covered. Gore, Kerry, Soros, Buffet, Hanks, Moore, Maher, Jolie-Pitt …et. al. Problem solved. Oh no, it’s your wealth and mine they want to redistribute. THAT’S what they mean by “the government.”

  27. “What did Nancy Pelosi say?”

    Nothing that he right won’t lie about, twist and spin, why do you ask?

  28. The best health care system in the universe is meaningless if your country gets blown off the map.

    Huh?

    c’mon now sozo, I expect some of the others to devolve into mindless jingoism but really…

  29. aislander says:

    Yeah, you’re right, beer: it’s a totally safe world we live in…

  30. What are you claiming?

  31. She doesn’t know, she just has to have the last word.

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