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Despite vociferous criticism from the Republicans & their Tea Party cohorts, a new Columbia University study shows that the Obama's administration's more inclusive semi-European style health care reform are justified. The study shows longer life expectancy, better cost containment & provides consistent overall better services in health care delivery in the European Union. This study documented that the US ranked for female life expectancy at birth 5th in the world back in 1950 but currently dropped to 46th in the world in 2008. As of 2010 the US is ranked 49th in the world overall for life expectancy.

In 1950, the United States was fifth among the leading industrialized nations with respect to female life expectancy at birth, surpassed only by Sweden, Norway, Australia, and the Netherlands. The last available measure of female life expectancy had the United States ranked at forty-sixth in the world.

As of September 23, 2010, the United States ranked forty-ninth for both male and female life expectancy combined.
http://content.healthaffairs.org/...

CBS: U.S. Grapples with High Infant Mortality
Too-Frequent Premature Births Mainly to Blame for U.S.'s 30th-in-the-World Mortality Ranking, Government Study Finds

(AP)   Premature births, often due to poor care of low-income pregnant women, are the main reason the U.S. infant mortality rate is higher than in most European countries, a government report said Tuesday.

About 1 in 8 U.S. births are premature. Early births are much less common in most of Europe; for example, only 1 in 18 babies are premature in Ireland and Finland.
http://www.cbsnews.com/...

As health care in US is so prohibitively expensive, this causes 51 million uninsured Americans not to be able to be insured, therefore according to the National Academy of Sciences this causes the preventable deaths of 18,000 medically uninsured Americans annually.

Lack of health insurance causes roughly 18,000 unnecessary deaths every year in the United States.
http://www.iom.edu/...

Let's please understand that 18,000 is six times more the number of people (numerically) than who died on 9/11. Please let's remember that lives lost due to one tragedy are not more important than lives lost to another tragedy. All human lives are equally valuable. That's why we should adopt a cradle-to-grave universal medical coverage that's for all US residents. In keeping with the old saying, what's more important to a nation than the health of its people?

How bad is it? US hospitals are the best in the world if you can afford them. Many cannot, and an accident or sudden illness can often bankrupt someone.
How does it compare with other countries? It depends how you measure things. The US spends about 16% of GNP on healthcare, far more than France and Germany, which spend 11 to 12%. Yet those countries provide universal care.

What is the biggest problem? Critics say the biggest issue is the profit motive that drives US healthcare.
http://www.guardian.co.uk/...

Though Americans pay for the most expensive health care system in the world, unlike every country in western Europe the US by law doesn't require any paid sick leave. Now what kind of health care outcomes do you suppose that creates for working people?

Roughly 60 million American workers have no paid sick leave, and only a minority can draw pay if they stay home with sick children. The lack of paid leave is especially acute in this country among low-wage workers, food-service workers and part-timers, among others.

Many other countries do better. According to Dr. Jody Heymann, director of the Institute for Health and Social Policy at McGill University, more than 160 countries ensure that all their citizens receive paid sick leave and more than 110 of them guarantee paid leave from the first day of illness.
http://www.nytimes.com/...


NY Times: Most Americans Support Paid Sick Leave, Poll Finds

A bill in Congress that would require employers to offer workers seven paid sick days a year has fostered a classic debate between liberals who want government to protect workers, and conservatives who say the last thing business needs is another government-imposed mandate.

Now a new poll by the National Opinion Research Center at the University of Chicago shows strong public support for such legislation.
http://economix.blogs.nytimes.com/...

The quote below offers some interesting insight by a way of contrast and comparison between the US and European Union health care systems. To which I would like to ask, which is more supportive of real family values and the American dream for working people, and their families?

BBC: US healthcare 'to blame' for poor life expectancy rates
It finds that US healthcare spending increased at nearly twice the rate of that in other wealthy nations between 1970 and 2002, with the increased spending corresponding with worsening survival rates relative to the other countries studied.

"In most cases, the relative US performance deteriorated from decade to decade," wrote authors Peter Muennig and Sherry Glied of Columbia University's Mailman School of Public Health.

They note the countries to which the US is compared - Australia, Austria, Belgium, Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, the Netherlands, Sweden, Switzerland and the UK - all provide universal healthcare coverage.
http://www.bbc.co.uk/...

In closing, this diary wants to give the 403 American billionaires something to be proud of because of their hording of wealth; 50 million Americans don't have health insurance. 60 million American have no paid sick leave. The United States for life expectancy is ranked 49th in the world as of 2010. Infant morality in the US is rated at 30th in the world. The US is the only industrialized nation in the world that doesn't provide paid maternity leave or paid annual leave.

The rate of unionization in the US is lower than any country in western Europe. This would of course ordinarily be a billionaire's badge of shame but they are breaking the country in order to enrich themselves. At which point we would do well to remember that these people have no shame.

According to Forbes, there are 403 billionaires in the U.S. with a collective net worth of $1.3 trillion. Mr. Buffett and Mr. Gates — ranked by Forbes as the two richest men in the country — are leading by example. With a combined net worth of $100 billion...
http://www.washingtontimes.com/...
 

Did you know that the US has the largest income inequality of any other industrialized country?

What does that say about the American dream and access to health care for uninsured Americans who can't pay private insurance premiums because of inequitable income distribution? What does that say about the European Dream, where everyone has guaranteed cradle-to-grave health insurance?

PBS: Recession Ushers in Widest Income Inequality Gap on Record
The U.S. now has the greatest disparity between the rich and the poor within Western industrialized countries, new Census data show. Timothy Noah of Slate magazine and Howard University professor Roderick Harrison looks at the growing income gap in America.
http://www.pbs.org/...


If America has the overall best health care system in the world, why isn't the rest of the world buying it?

As a closing comment, I would like to ask our readers this one question if I may please. If America has the overall best health care system in the world, why can't we export that system of private for-profit health care to the rest of the world?

We have no problem exporting Wal-Mart, McDonald's and IBM but why can't American insurance companies who have offices all over the world sell their for-profit American health insurance plans in other countries markets?
-----------------------------------------------
Should we work for a European style social safety net in America that guarantees, (among other things) universal medical access to all US residents as a basic human right?

Originally posted to Democrats Ramshield on Mon Oct 11, 2010 at 04:09 AM PDT.

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  •  Tip Jar (191+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    colleen, Lupin, Alumbrados, Sylv, tmo, catdevotee, Tomato Observer, Detlef, Powered Grace, melvynny, baffled, jakbeau, Mnemosyne, dkistner, MarkInSanFran, bumblebums, scribe, Gustogirl, opinionated, bronte17, mint julep, understandinglife, ask, SCFrog, otto, Fe, semiot, splashy, bustacap, Cedwyn, wader, pat bunny, Bailey Savings and Loan, grannyhelen, Nina, westyny, downandout, GN1927, dwahzon, barbwires, ybruti, WV Democrat, Kitsap River, vacantlook, bibble, Julie Gulden, maybeeso in michigan, radarlady, quinn, JanetT in MD, PBen, offred, Spoc42, Annalize5, Morrigan, majcmb1, Pam from Calif, Overseas, blue jersey mom, sodalis, Rogneid, reddbierd, third Party please, Jennifer Clare, myboo, sherlyle, RustyBrown, edwardssl, profundo, tonyahky, arlene, greenearth, blueoasis, MJ via Chicago, Pilgrim X, zedaker, lynneinfla, shaharazade, Eryk, DorothyT, Ken in MN, Cronesense, Haningchadus14, Matt Z, Jimdotz, ezdidit, joyful, snowshoeblue, letsgetreal, millwood, fallina7, A Person, BWildered, rmonroe, VA Breeze, MKinTN, dotster, Cordwainer, elwior, blindyone, ajr111240, ultimatically, beltane, monkeybrainpolitics, pamelabrown, rubine, mofembot, luckylizard, joy sinha, JamieG from Md, ekyprogressive, sydneyluv, Diogenes2008, lissablack, squarewheel, ZhenRen, DontTaseMeBro, Rick Aucoin, aufklaerer, Carol in San Antonio, be the change you seek, Field of Dreams, velvet blasphemy, indres, earicicle, Daily Activist, virginwoolf, bfitzinAR, allep10, Losty, 57andFemale, Tortmaster, edtastic, Livvy5, davespicer, citisven, sulthernao, marabout40, icemilkcoffee, veracityus, estreya, gramofsam1, melpomene1, gulfgal98, sullivanst, elginblt, ItsSimpleSimon, Egalitare, Lize in San Francisco, pateTX, Murchadha, science nerd, janicegwashington, HylasBrook, gobears2000, Colorado is the Shiznit, allisoneisall, sabo33, Amayi, jmrichardson, marleycat, BarackStarObama, Inspector Javert, MarketFarces, IL JimP, corvaire, VTCC73, Strange New World, Andrew F Cockburn, Sedro, doornob, Badjuh, blue aardvark, kareylou, Book of Hearts, Regina in a Sears Kit House, Proleft, ParkRanger, Azazello, YaNevaNo, tinhut, ridemybike, Defiler, buzzybodhi, Siri, Hopefruit2, J Brunner Fan, swampyankee, evilhoodedcrow, supercereal, reginahny

    sig... You just ran into a hardcore progressive who's just another working stiff with an MBA degree & therefore a vociferous labor union supporter [smile]

    by Democrats Ramshield on Mon Oct 11, 2010 at 04:09:47 AM PDT

    •  Good diary. (27+ / 0-)

      Thanks for this information. This should be an effective rejoinder to all the RWNM (right wing noise machine) that the "best healthcare in the world" is a highly conditional statement.

      As a society we should be ashamed at this statistic. There is no excuse for us after being the richest nation in the world for so long!!

      •  Very Understated. HCR a bandaid on a gunshot hole (44+ / 0-)

        The insurance companies, the administrators and the million dollar plus per year executives drive the price of our system out of control.

        Our "system" has no plan to manage chronic disease. Patients with chronic disease get expensive emergent care when their disease goes out of control, but don't get the care that would keep them healthy.

        The HCR bill didn't get to the root cause of the high death rates and high costs of our "system".

        Only single payer would provide strong enough central control to get costs down, root out massive corruption and implement VA style integrated medical treatment for the chronically ill.

        Single payer works well for our vets when we fund it adequately, when we don't outsource it.

        But single payer was never even costed out.

        Our HCR is not like European care.

        It leaves companies like United Health Care firmly in control so that they can pay their CEO hundreds of millions while patients are denied care.

        look for my DK Greenroots diary series Thursday evening. "It's the planet, stupid."

        by FishOutofWater on Mon Oct 11, 2010 at 05:56:52 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  It isn't HCR.. H Insurance Mandated... (12+ / 0-)

          Perpetual Profit Act.

          (Except for Bernie's clinic $, and Pre-existing and Kids until 2(6?).. and the last 2 were in the Rep's "Plan", at least Pre-existing)

          •  Progressives are being duped by Obama (0+ / 0-)
            Forcing everyone to feed the insatiably greedy health unsurance beast that is the problem (with NO other option) will not even begin to solve the problem (in fact it will make it worse), and it's not even close to honest reform or change but rather a lot more of the same old most broken part.   Obama's "reform" obviously was written with the help of the health unsurance and pharmaceutical industries for their benefit at our expense because they've hidden enough loopholes within this indecipherable mess of a document for both idustries to drive Mack trucks through.  We simply cannot afford to put off real reform for another generation, yet we just did.

            My t-shirt will have to say "Yes We Could Have, But We Didn't".

            I'm going to be one of the 23 million Americans who will have no choice but to remain uninsured, and (thanks to Obama & Democrats), soon will have to pay a fine for the priviledge.  

            PLEASE wake up. America!!

        •  Agreed. Calling it semi-European is off target (7+ / 0-)

          There just aren't any similarities

          Obama's administration's more inclusive semi-European style health care reform

          They note the countries to which the US is compared - Australia, Austria, Belgium, Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, the Netherlands, Sweden, Switzerland and the UK - all provide universal healthcare coverage.

      •  nope,,, Excellent Diary. (16+ / 0-)

        Somehow politics in contemporary America is framed in such a way that raising these issues is some form of class warfare.

        It is not.   It is NOT.  It is Not Class Warfare to suggest that the mega-billionaires and mega-millionaires should retain and maintain their preposterous advantages and unfathomable resources.. and in return have a legal structure and systems that defends their unholy wealth.

        That seems like a small price to pay for being taxed.

        Ohhhhh this nation should be privileged to witness a debate on national televsion between  "Soros-Gates-Buffet"  and "Murdoch-Koch-Jackson Stephens" about which 1st world billionaires have it worst?

        Australia or Austria? US or former USSR?  Britain or Germany? Abu Dhabi or Japan?

        It would take less than one hour to remind any American viewer, regardless of their "ideology" that on this planet the super rich are really really super super rich.  Tax policy for them isn't even close to the implications of a prime rate change for you.

        The oppressed class of 80g - 200g per annum "Taxed Enough Already"  tea party flacks.. will benefit from Obama tax policy.

         The fact that they shill for the Uber Rich who simply find it necessary to put up some resistance to being 70% absurdly rich  instead of 90% absurdly rich....  reveals their economic naivete.

        They may believe they are defending the levees around their own class, but in fact they rain on swollen rivers.

      •  The RWNM knows this, but they don't want (13+ / 0-)

        to mess up the narrative.  For them, best is most expensive.  Best is also the headlining surgeons at university hospitals that can separate conjoined twins and repair other high profile birth defects.

        For them, it's irrelevant that all that techology and training doesn't help poor women, who with about $1200 of prenatal care could deliver a healthy baby with a larger chance of surviving infancy.

        Of course many voters swallow that lie without thinking, or because they don't want to think.

        Aud, the Deep Minded

        by HylasBrook on Mon Oct 11, 2010 at 06:41:54 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Very true... Also incomprehensible for me!!! (5+ / 0-)

          How can people consistently vote against their economic and physical well being???

          Are we all just fated to be represented by the looniest, most selfish section of our society?

          NO.... GOTV!!!

          •  futureliveshere - your comment is very well taken (6+ / 0-)

            This is an issue that scholars have devoted a great deal of time to. Part of the problem is we need constitutional reform and that is difficult to come by. When you have 2 senators from a low population state like Idaho who can nullify the votes of high population states like California, then there is a problem with representative democracy. It seems to me that would require a constitutional amendment to lawfully fix that. I think that for anyone who has read the book, what is wrong with Kansas, we get a real sense of how it is that progressive America is basically being held up by the radical Tea Party movement.

            While it is difficult to know how to proceed. One thing is clear we cannot give up and we can't abandon the democratic party. That's why it is so important this mid-term election for everyone to turn out to vote. We have to continue to encourage each other and support each other. WE have to  keep the issue of health care reform and social justice on the candidate's agenda this mid-term election. This is one thing this diary tries to do. Thanks for your support of the progressive agenda. It really is much appreciated.

            sig... You just ran into a hardcore progressive who's just another working stiff with an MBA degree & therefore a vociferous labor union supporter [smile]

            by Democrats Ramshield on Mon Oct 11, 2010 at 09:43:45 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  You don't have to thank me... (5+ / 0-)

              But thank you for the thoughtful response.

              I have been on the selfish, misguided, narcissistic side of Wall Street. I was prop derivative trader, but inherently progressive in my world view and hence in constant conflict. I couldn't believe I was making so much money to massage fictitious products which no longer served their original stated purpose i.e. reduce corporate risk by providing avenues for hedging. So I left in disgust.

              Much happier now, making much less money but can look at myself in the mirror every day and spend more quality time with my family.

              So.... you don't have to thank me for being myself.

              •  To futureliveshere - thanks :) (0+ / 0-)

                I think we could have an interesting discussion about this. Please feel free to email me anytime.

                My email address is: democratsramshield@yahoo.com

                One quick question though, do you feel I could do to improve future diaries such as this one? Thank you again for your thoughtful post.

                sig... You just ran into a hardcore progressive who's just another working stiff with an MBA degree & therefore a vociferous labor union supporter [smile]

                by Democrats Ramshield on Mon Oct 11, 2010 at 01:52:11 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  Thanks for that... (1+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  Democrats Ramshield
                  I will email you at the earliest. Its a bit crazy at work nowadays, but will send something out to you soon.

                  As far as your writing skills go, I am really nobody to advise you. Your writing skills are far better than mine. You hold the readers attention well, and this diary is extremely topical.

                  So kudos to you.

                  •  futureliveshere - thanks for kind words (0+ / 0-)

                    I do look forward to your email. I think I'll quite enjoy our correspondence particularly as it will give me an opportunity to communicate with someone like minded on some diary topics I've been kicking around.

                    sig... You just ran into a hardcore progressive who's just another working stiff with an MBA degree & therefore a vociferous labor union supporter [smile]

                    by Democrats Ramshield on Mon Oct 11, 2010 at 11:01:05 PM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

            •  BTW.. I love your sig line... speaks to me!! (2+ / 0-)
            •  While many of working class and middle class (0+ / 0-)

              vote against their best interests, the really downtrodden don't vote.  There are many reasons for this - they feel how they vote doesn't count, they often don't have a stable address in order to register to vote.  (James O'Keefe helped along the closing down of Acorn), they work so many jobs they can't get to the polling station, and they have to spend so much time and energy just coping with life that voting or what goes on in the wider world is alien to them.

              They could benefit from absentee ballots, but again the bar is too high for many of them to do that.

              All these factors makes Republican vote suppression fairly easy.

              Remember how the Republicans screamed about 'motor voter' when Clinton got that passed?

              And yes, the disconnect between populations urban and rural is very strong, particularly since small state Senators accumulate a lot of seniority.  We saw this when Baucus brought 2 Republican senators into working on the health care bill when the populations of all three states (or was it 6??) was about equal to the population of New York City.

              I really worry what's going to happen as the country slides more and more right due to demographics & and a logical flaw in the constitution - wanting to allow farmers to be able to balance the power of merchants.

              Aud, the Deep Minded

              by HylasBrook on Mon Oct 11, 2010 at 05:01:52 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  to HylasBrook - Times have changed (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                HylasBrook

                My question is should the Constitution change with them... If it should and the people decide it should, then isn't it time for another Constitutional amendment that seeks to empower the majority away from the tyranny of the minority. What do you think about that?

                As for voter participation, the European social safety net definitely helps with that in Europe, because it provides cash benefits not only for single families with children but also for single people, that gives them a stable address that they can register from in order to vote. My God how civilized!

                sig... You just ran into a hardcore progressive who's just another working stiff with an MBA degree & therefore a vociferous labor union supporter [smile]

                by Democrats Ramshield on Mon Oct 11, 2010 at 11:12:37 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  Constitutional admendments are very hard to pass. (0+ / 0-)

                  You have to get 2/3 or Congress and 3/4 of states.

                  Even common sense ones like abolishing the Electoral college gets whines from small states claiming they'll be left out of campaigning.  (Although it's OK to leave out large states that are true blue or true red from anything more than cash cows for campaign funds.)

                  I would at least like to see the house of Representatives increased to 500 seats so larger states don't keep being bled of congressional districts.  That takes a simple majority.  But the Democrats won't push it because they're afraid the Republicans will use it against them, as Tom DeLay did in Texas.

                  Aud, the Deep Minded

                  by HylasBrook on Tue Oct 12, 2010 at 07:06:18 AM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

      •  my right wingnut brother's argument (4+ / 0-)

        is that we are overrun with poor immigrants who are unhealthy to begin with and that mess up the statistics.  He stated that the European countries have a homogenous population and therefore healthier to begin with. I didn't have a come back at the time (I think I was in shock).  But I figure that the UK and France have large immigrant populations from countries that are poor too.  I am not a public health expert so any come back argument to this would be greatly appreciated.

        •  does your brother (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          greenearth

          live anywhere in the Midwest or Southwest? In one of the states, perhaps, that was made possible by the Louisiana Purchase or the Gadsden Purchase.

          Irony alert: I've noticed that a great deal of the xenophobia comes from those inland areas, areas that were settled in large part by immigrants. As was the whole of the continental nation, for that matter, unless your family is 100% Native American. And even they were immigrants, back before recorded time.

          One of the advantages of being disorderly is that one is constantly making exciting discoveries.--A.A. Milne

          by Mnemosyne on Mon Oct 11, 2010 at 10:54:26 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Detroit suburbs (5+ / 0-)

            Can you believe that anyone who grew up in Detroit would be a wingnut rightie?  He got his MBA and accounting degree through the UAW and govt. due to a lay off in the late 70's.  Really pulled himself up by his own bootstraps, that one.  My parents paid for the B.A. at a state university.

            •  only if we're talking (0+ / 0-)

              Can you believe that anyone who grew up in Detroit would be a wingnut rightie?

              Grosse Pointe Farms.

              How frightened is he of various factors beyond his control? I've noticed that a lot of he rightwing screamers are terrified because it seems that the world as we know it is completely spinning out of control. That fact that it probably is has nothing to do with their reality, however.

              One of the advantages of being disorderly is that one is constantly making exciting discoveries.--A.A. Milne

              by Mnemosyne on Mon Oct 11, 2010 at 01:49:35 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

        •  very ignorant argument (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Kitsap River

          he's completely unaware of current events in Europe.
          They have some of the highest immigration numbers. France is the country leading in accepting new citizens from foreign countries. Except now, they are going nuts too and adopting all sorts of anti immigrant policies lately.

        •  To domestic goddess - population of immigrants (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Kitsap River

          Briefly speaking I don't have the answer either but I do have an opinion. There are a lot of immigrants in Europe. For example, In France alone there is a large Muslim population. They have over 2,000 mosques. In Germany they have a large Turkish population. In England, they have a large Indian and Pakistani population.

          Here below just to provide a brief example is a quote from wikipedia which shows the existence of over 2000 mosques in France alone.

          As of 2008, there are 2,125 mosques in France
          http://en.wikipedia.org/...

          sig... You just ran into a hardcore progressive who's just another working stiff with an MBA degree & therefore a vociferous labor union supporter [smile]

          by Democrats Ramshield on Mon Oct 11, 2010 at 11:50:59 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

    •  some of the best health care..... (23+ / 0-)

      .... if you can afford it.

      "Toleration is the greatest gift of the mind; it requires the same effort of the brain that it takes to balance oneself on a bicycle." -Helen Keller

      by ridemybike on Mon Oct 11, 2010 at 05:43:07 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  ridemybike, here is where the rubber meets the (5+ / 0-)

        road.

        In an ER the rich wait just as long as the poor to get seen.  

        Mr. Regina had an acute attack of gall bladder like symptoms which should have gotten him seen immediately.

        Main hospital in the system, with a great ER.  He waited for hours and was finally put in a hospital bed in a hallway. Wealthy area of town, and cream of the crop hospital.

        The entire metro area had an ambulance hold on admitting anyone else to every other hospital. This group didn't get their hold in soon enough and were left holding the bag in a metro area of over 2Mil people.

        This is common practice these days, but unless you really need ER you might not see this.  When prevention and minor health issues are lumped with preventable but escalating acute disease, the heart attack patient is hard to find.

        Luckily, Mr. Regina did not have a bile duct obstruction, but he was seriously in deep pain for a very long time.

        "Never, desist till we ... extinguish this bloody traffic, of which our posterity, will scarce believe that it suffered a disgrace and dishonor to this country.

        by Regina in a Sears Kit House on Mon Oct 11, 2010 at 10:22:22 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  Capitalism (12+ / 0-)

      Actually, the US healthcare system is the best in the world for capitalists.  Despite fewer visits to the doctor than is most other countries, our doctors can wring more dollars (over $7000) out of our average 4 visits per year than any other country.  The next highest is Switzerland, at $4000.  MRI for your flu, anyone?  Maybe we should just scope that sore knee.  A little limp these days?  Have a script for Viagra - and plenty of refills.  But can we offer post natal counseling for poor teen moms?  Hell, no.  That's the government mandating abortions.

      •  while I agree to a degree... (5+ / 0-)

        its not just one issue that causes the ordering and performing of unnecessary tests.  I can't tell you how many people come to the ER and want a head CT for their head ache.  Even after the risks and benefits are explained they don't care.  If they hit their head they want a CT.  Period.  Many want an MRI.  At least once a week I deal with a patient in the ER that says "I think I/He/she needs an MRI/CT/Lumbar Puncture/ect.".  People think more tests is better care and when a patient is saying "I want my neck CTd" and you are 99% sure they have no injury other than whiplash its hard to go against that... especially when they so often say I will sue you if I am hurt, which happens more than you would think.

    •  But ... but ... we're NUMBER ONE!!! (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Kitsap River

      Except for, like, all those objective statistics and studies showing we're more like in the 30's or 40's.  And stuff.

      But ... but ... those liberals want to turn us into socialistic EUROPE!

      You know ... SOCIALISTIC EUROPE! ... which consistent ranks highest in the world in terms of happiness, quality of life, health care, life expectancy ...   And stuff.

      But ... but ... we can't afford to provide universal health coverage!

      It's a much greater priority to outspend the whole rest of the world on defense, so we can defend and protect all of our ... well ... all of our increasingly sick and unhealthy and poverty-stricken citizens.

  •  If you have good insurance... (9+ / 0-)

    we do have the best medical care in the world...which is why HCR is trying to expand access to 30 million more people...

    Obama - Change I still believe in

    by dvogel001 on Mon Oct 11, 2010 at 04:34:11 AM PDT

    •  I am no longer sure that that's the (40+ / 0-)

      case. My nearly-92-year-old mom has excellent health insurance, but the quality of her care has been less than satisfactory. I have lived in the UK, and my son has lived in Britain for the past 4 years. I honestly think that the quality of care is better there.

      •  And I have traveled all over the world... (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Pozzo, IL JimP

        and I honestly believe the most advanced and best care I have received is in the US (NJ and NY top notch hospitals)

        Perhaps in certain parts of the country care is not as good, but I think you would see that in other countries as well...

        Obama - Change I still believe in

        by dvogel001 on Mon Oct 11, 2010 at 04:43:45 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  What good is it (33+ / 0-)

          if only a few privileged folks have access? I believe that's the overall point of HCR - to extend access to as many people as possible, even if it means that some privileged folks have to pay a bit more.

          •  Indeed we agree... (3+ / 0-)

            partially...I would not say only the privileged few since only about 50 million of 320 million do not have insurance...but that aside...HCR is designed to fix for 30 million of the 50 million...

            Obama - Change I still believe in

            by dvogel001 on Mon Oct 11, 2010 at 04:50:33 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  Access to insurance (9+ / 0-)

              does not mean access to care.

              Never has, never will.

              •  Bullshit... (0+ / 0-)

                I have always been able to access care with an insurance card...

                Name me one person with a valuable insurance card that does not access to healthcare

                Obama - Change I still believe in

                by dvogel001 on Mon Oct 11, 2010 at 08:07:37 AM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                  •  Details...link... (0+ / 0-)

                    what care was she denied that led to her death...I can name many people who died as well with great medical care...does not mean that is the proximate cause...

                    One of my father's good friends had Platinum plated medical care but still died...

                    Obama - Change I still believe in

                    by dvogel001 on Mon Oct 11, 2010 at 08:21:13 AM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

                    •  Do your own homework pal. (9+ / 0-)

                      I'd start with PNHP.org.

                      Natalyne's denial of care was dictated by insurance bureaucrats and not medical professionals.

                      And your anecdotal existential meanderings are immaterial.

                      "Platinum care"?
                      Stinks of class-based access to medical care, a moral abomination, which will continue under for-profit financing.

                      •  He was a middle class professor... (0+ / 0-)

                        at a university with platinum covered care...but not a wealthy person by any stretch...

                        For every denial of care you point to from private insurance I can match for Medicare or VA...the fights my parents have had with "Single Payer" have been quite significant...

                        There is no silver bullet...just different beaureaucrats....

                        Obama - Change I still believe in

                        by dvogel001 on Mon Oct 11, 2010 at 08:34:26 AM PDT

                        [ Parent ]

                        •  So as an apologist (5+ / 0-)
                          Recommended by:
                          shaharazade, bigchin, elwior, eXtina, VTCC73

                          for private insurance with scores of unverified anecdotal evidence on your side, how do you propose to keep CIGNA, et. al in the mix and lower per capita spending to match the rest of the Western industrialized nations that provide cradle-to-grave care?

                          That was my very first question, and nobody has answered that one yet.

                          Again, please do a little research of basic terms.
                          We do not presently have single payer, as if we did, it would be the only payer.
                          That's the single part.

                          Are your parents ready to refuse Medicare and purchase private insurance?

                          •  OK now I must answer your rediculous comment... (0+ / 0-)

                            point by point...

                            So as an apoligist for private insurance with scores of unverified anecdotal evidence on your side,

                            First of all I am not an apoligist for any one payer of insured medical care...they all have flaws.  Insurance companies where properly regulated can be effective stewards of providing quality medical care.  In NJ since we have had pro-consumer insurance regulations for health insurance with no medical underwiting or recision allowed and an exchange which is very similar to the one contemplated by the HCR act, I can tell you, it works to keep quality up and cost down.  Overall my gold plated family plan has not increased in overall cost in the last 5 years (some years went up others went down).

                            So while insurance companies (especially HMOs) tend to try to ration care too much, there is tremendous Waste, Fraud and Abuse in medicare...case and point is the silly mobile scooters that are "garaunteed covered" by Medicare...

                            how do you propose to keep CIGNA, et. al in the mix and lower per capita spending to match the rest of the Western industrialized nations that provide cradle-to-grave care?

                            Lower per-capita spending is more a function of controlling overall healthcare spending than controlling the insurance companies.  There are parts of the bill that address this, but I agree more needs to be done...basically health insurance companies get to keep 15% of their premiums for non-healthcare spending under the bill...

                            That was my very first question, and nobody has answered that one yet.

                            Again, please do a little research of basic terms.
                            We do not presently have single payer, as if we did, it would be the only payer.
                            That's the single part.

                            Medicare for our seniors who are not poor is essentially a Single Payer system for that group of people...which is why I support opening up Medicare to all as a competitor to private insurance...

                            Are your parents ready to refuse Medicare and purchase private insurance?

                            My parents generally like Medicare and so do I so where is the question comming from...my point is that there is no silver bullet to the healthcare problem...

                            Obama - Change I still believe in

                            by dvogel001 on Mon Oct 11, 2010 at 08:52:50 AM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  Even 15% (2+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            elwior, VTCC73

                            is wasted relative to single payer.
                            That overhead should be spent on medical care.

                            For-profit financing in any form is, has been, and always will be morally and ethically repugnant.

                            As is class-based access to care.

                            Both are fiscally unsustainable.

                            And no, conflating Medicare and single payer is intellectually disingenuous.

                            Again, why do you so tenaciously defend for-profit health care financing?

                          •  I defend the current HCR... (0+ / 0-)

                            legislation as passed as a great incremental step in the right direction...

                            And Medicare is single payer for that subgroup of Americans and you are disingenous to say otherwise...

                            Also to discount our current Single Payer systems as net more efficient in delivering healthcare dollars does not take into account the estimated billions of dollars of Waste Fraud and Abuse that private health insurers do not have...

                            The payer is not morally repugnant...is is morally repugnant when people get denied payment for medical care...

                            Obama - Change I still believe in

                            by dvogel001 on Mon Oct 11, 2010 at 09:08:55 AM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  And who exactly is doing the denying? (0+ / 0-)

                            Good to know there is no waste fraud and abuse in private health insurance.

                          •  Very little compared to Medicare... (0+ / 0-)

                            and Medicaid...

                            Obama - Change I still believe in

                            by dvogel001 on Mon Oct 11, 2010 at 09:26:17 AM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  Again, why do you defend the industry so? (1+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            eXtina

                            What value does it bring to our collective health?

                            Why are you enamored with illness profit?
                            Personally I find the concept quite macabre.

                          •  Well let me tell you why... (0+ / 0-)

                            collectively my wife and I have incurred over a million dollars of medical expenses over the past 8 years and have had all of those expenses paid to the penny of the contractual obligation with absolutely no denial of care...all by 3 different private insurers...

                            So with proper regulation...private insurers can work...and that can provide choice for those who want to keep private insurance...now should we have a program like a Medicare buy-in option, sure I am in favor of that...

                            But in this country as in some other universal healthcare countries, a properly regulated health insurance industry can be part of the solution...

                            Frankly, I do not want the only solution to be a government run insurance program, because if they make choices that I disagree with then I want the choice to get private insurance...

                            Talk to union members, state workers, teachers, health care providers and others that have "gold-plated" plans and they will tell you the same thing...not one size fits all...

                            Obama - Change I still believe in

                            by dvogel001 on Mon Oct 11, 2010 at 09:39:47 AM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  You are uncommonly fortunate. (2+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            vacantlook, Ezekial 23 20

                            The "multiple levels of care based upon income level" is obscene.

                            "Medically necessary" is the only standard needed, and central to single payer.

                            This is not a consumer product, and until every American has access to care to the degree you and your wife have, those who don't will pay for it with their lives, their savings and their credit.

                            The only private insurers operating in countries with universal, affordable (under $7k per person) care are operating non-profit.

                            So your distaste with "government run" (disingenuous--"government financed" is accurate) health care will have you refusing Medicare when of age?

                            And what does it matter if the current legislation does not reduce costs instead of reducing the rate of increase of costs?

                            It's still unsustainable.

                          •  We will always have higher costs... (0+ / 0-)

                            becuase we allow 79 year olds who are still active to get hip replacement surgery and 65 year olds to get kidney transplants even if statistically they will only live for 2 years (but so far have lived for 5) post surgery...

                            You get me totally wrong...I love our single payer Medicare system and think it would be a great option for some to use if made available...

                            We will never get to $7K because we are better than them and focus not just on life but the quality of life...you want to take away quality of life from some to provide life for others...I want to provide both which costs money...

                            The current legislation reduces the rate of increase...that is true and I agree with that incremental goal...

                            Obama - Change I still believe in

                            by dvogel001 on Mon Oct 11, 2010 at 09:52:21 AM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  Excuse me? (2+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            Charles CurtisStanley, Ozzie

                            Do you think there should be an age cut-off of under 65 for kidney transplants? Just how far under would you make the cut-off, pray tell?

                            I dare you to tell that to my mother. I need one. Tell her that you don't feel like paying for it and that my life has a financial expiration date.

                            Living kidney donor needed; type B, O, or incompatible (with paired donation). Drop me a note (see profile).

                            by Kitsap River on Mon Oct 11, 2010 at 01:34:37 PM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  Just the opposite... (0+ / 0-)

                            ther should be no hard cutoff...it should be based on facts and circumstances of transplant doctors involved...

                            Others who are for SP would argue otherwise...

                            Obama - Change I still believe in

                            by dvogel001 on Tue Oct 12, 2010 at 11:35:39 AM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  I am for single payer and not for age cutoffs (1+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            Charles CurtisStanley

                            So I guess that makes me odd woman out.

                            Living kidney donor needed; type B, O, or incompatible (with paired donation). Drop me a note (see profile).

                            by Kitsap River on Wed Oct 13, 2010 at 05:17:12 PM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  The problem is that... (1+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            Charles CurtisStanley

                            with single payer there is no choice of an insurance payer if the federal government decides to cutoff non-life saving treatments at a certain age...which worries me...

                            It should be between the doctor and patient and any non-experimental treatment should be covered in accordance with the insurance contract...

                            Obama - Change I still believe in

                            by dvogel001 on Wed Oct 13, 2010 at 08:16:41 PM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  This is a silly statement...and totally untrue... (0+ / 0-)

                            The "multiple levels of care based upon income level" is obscene.

                            All countries with "single payer" and other similar setups all have programs for those who can afford additional premiums to obtain higher level medical care than those who have limited means...

                            Obama - Change I still believe in

                            by dvogel001 on Mon Oct 11, 2010 at 09:53:56 AM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  Anyone who argues against... (0+ / 0-)

                            ..."government run" healthcare is tacitly saying that the Veterans Administration hospitals should all be privitized.  But despite so many people carping against "government run" healthcare, only some in the Tea Party advocate for abolishing the VA as it stands now.  If we're willing to give something to our veterans, shouldn't we be willing to give it to the rest of our country too?

                          •  And nobody is saying that... (0+ / 0-)

                            we should end government run healthcare...some are saying it should not be the only option...like my Dad who gets VA but also has access to doctors outside the VA for care he does not want to wait 3 months for an appointment...

                            Obama - Change I still believe in

                            by dvogel001 on Mon Oct 11, 2010 at 11:58:31 AM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  what it is with your fascination with precious (0+ / 0-)

                            metals to describe health insurance?

                            government 'run' health insurance does not preclude the existence of private insurance. what do you think the gov't is going to make it illegal to sell and buy private insurance?

                            Frankly, I do not want the only solution to be a government run insurance program, because if they make choices that I disagree with then I want the choice to get private insurance

                            you work for an insurance compa y don't you

                          •  No I am a self-employed... (0+ / 0-)

                            accountant and have no ties to the health insurance industry...just believe that SP is not a Silver Bullet...

                            Obama - Change I still believe in

                            by dvogel001 on Mon Oct 11, 2010 at 11:59:27 AM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  no, the bullets are in the arsenals of private (2+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            Kitsap River, earicicle

                            insurance who are killing their 'beneficiaries' every day

                          •  They don't kill their patients... (0+ / 0-)

                            in NJ because they are not allowed to...

                            But the OHP wanted to kill one of their citizens...

                            http://www.wnd.com/...

                            It is not just health insurance companies...

                            Obama - Change I still believe in

                            by dvogel001 on Mon Oct 11, 2010 at 12:20:23 PM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  you sound like an accountant and that's not (0+ / 0-)

                            a compliment

                            someone who thinks of a human being as a statistic not a human being

                          •  Human beings are not statistics... (0+ / 0-)

                            which is precisely why I want a choice between private and public options for health insurance so that we have competition over beaurocrats to select from...

                            Obama - Change I still believe in

                            by dvogel001 on Mon Oct 11, 2010 at 12:24:55 PM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  non sequitur...n/t (0+ / 0-)

                            Obama - Change I still believe in

                            by dvogel001 on Mon Oct 11, 2010 at 09:11:21 PM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  This reminds me of.... (0+ / 0-)

                            a properly regulated health insurance industry can be part of the solution...

                            This reminds me of...
                            "A Big Mac can be part of a well-balanced diet". In other words, you can still eat a relatively well-balanced diet in spite of the fact that on occasion you eat 800 toxic calories.
                            It is possible to get decent health care under our system, in spite of the fact that we are shovelling health care dollars toward waste, fraud, abuse, and profit.
                            That doesn't mean we wouldn't be better off without the insurance company, as well as the Big Mac.    

                            To keep our faces turned toward change, and behave as free spirits in the presence of fate, that is strength undefeatable--Helen Keller

                            by kareylou on Mon Oct 11, 2010 at 02:04:27 PM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  Respectfully... (0+ / 0-)

                            your analogy sucks in so many ways...

                            Obama - Change I still believe in

                            by dvogel001 on Tue Oct 12, 2010 at 11:37:38 AM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  Truthfully.... (1+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            dvogel001

                            Your subject line contradicts your text. How very discourteous.

                            To keep our faces turned toward change, and behave as free spirits in the presence of fate, that is strength undefeatable--Helen Keller

                            by kareylou on Tue Oct 12, 2010 at 08:55:32 PM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  OK, how many US federal governments... (0+ / 0-)

                            pay Medicare claims...Answer 1...hence Single Payer...

                            maybe you are thinking of Medicaid which has State and Federal payers...

                            Obama - Change I still believe in

                            by dvogel001 on Mon Oct 11, 2010 at 09:10:11 AM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  When our health care system has only one payer (0+ / 0-)

                            we will have single payer.

                            Use your words any way you choose, but that is what is meant by the phrase single payer.

                          •  The definition of single payer... (0+ / 0-)

                            is for that group of people who have only one payer to go to...the federal government...so we have single payer for some groups in our country...you just choose to ignore that reality...

                            Obama - Change I still believe in

                            by dvogel001 on Mon Oct 11, 2010 at 09:42:22 AM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                        •  middle class? why do you feel the need (0+ / 0-)

                          to state its superiority to other plans with the nonsense 'platinum' descriptor, as if that has some kind of significance.

                          and it's ridiculous not rediculous

                    •  LIVER TRANSPLANT (2+ / 0-)
                      Recommended by:
                      Kitsap River, kareylou

                      ;you obviously don't know anything about the general situation of health care insurance in this country and are arguing only on the basis of your own personal experience which is limited.

                      So, you didn't see the video where Natalyne's mother after her death, went to CIGNA offices in Philadelphia, she was standing in the atrium and the employees all gathered round the balconies and CURSED HER AND GAVE HER THE FINGER.

                      The most repugnant, repellent, science fiction third world thing I have EVER ever ever witnessed in my lifetime.

                      •  How about the Oregon single-payer... (0+ / 0-)

                        system that denied life saving treatment to a cancer victim...it happens on both sides...

                        As for the nastinessof CIGNA employees...I cannot comment on that but it sounds dispicable...

                        Obama - Change I still believe in

                        by dvogel001 on Mon Oct 11, 2010 at 11:48:36 AM PDT

                        [ Parent ]

                    •  Here (0+ / 0-)

                      If you are older than 55, never take a sleeping pill and a laxative at the same time!

                      by fredlonsdale on Mon Oct 11, 2010 at 11:37:02 AM PDT

                      [ Parent ]

                      •  This is a classic case where... (0+ / 0-)

                        insurance companies and single payer will be making life and death decisions based on whether a treatment is considered experimental or not...this is not an insurance company specific issue...in fact a similar issue happened with a similar situation with the OHP (Single Payer)...

                        http://www.wnd.com/...

                        Fortunately the evil drug company donated the potentially life saving drugs...

                        Obama - Change I still believe in

                        by dvogel001 on Mon Oct 11, 2010 at 11:54:44 AM PDT

                        [ Parent ]

                •  You keep saying things like ... (1+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  kareylou

                  "If you have good insurance..."

                  "Name me one person with a valuable insurance card"

                  There's the rub.  Many people can't afford "good" or "valuable" insurance.  

                  All we can afford is crap insurance with high deductibles and premiums that still jump 30% after one year of coverage (say I from recent experience).  

              •  Ozzie - you're absolutely right (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                VTCC73

                Lots of health care insurance claims are denied and if you don't like that you can go see a lawyer who will charge you lots of money, which is tough if you are sick as you may not be able to work. For profit health care is not the way the world does business. How do you feel about that issue? Thanks again for posting.

                sig... You just ran into a hardcore progressive who's just another working stiff with an MBA degree & therefore a vociferous labor union supporter [smile]

                by Democrats Ramshield on Mon Oct 11, 2010 at 08:30:05 AM PDT

                [ Parent ]

          •  The "problem" is not that only a few privileged (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            eXtina

            folks have access - if that were the case, it would be relatively easy to get substantial health care reform passed.

            Instead, 50 to 80% of Americans are fairly gruntled with their health care and are terrified (or at least somewhat concerned) when they hear the government is taking over . . . .

            The key question is how to extend health care to the 1/6th of Americans who don't now have it on a regular basis w/o

            1. further driving costs up
            1. compensating for (1) by reducing the useless over-spending "enjoyed" by the 50 to 80% who have insurance under the current system
            •  I disagree... (0+ / 0-)

              with the premise that we can offer healthcare to 30 million more people without adding to cost...this cannot be a zero sum game, take away from the haves and give to the have nots...it has to be about expanding the pie...or the 70% who have good healthcare will revolt...

              Obama - Change I still believe in

              by dvogel001 on Mon Oct 11, 2010 at 07:54:19 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

            •  Your useless overspending... (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Kitsap River

              is someone else's quality of life so we disagree on that as well...

              We will never have cost structures of some other countries...we as Americans expect more and deserve more...

              As an example, in many countries women do not get reconstructive surgery after a mastectomy...in this country we do...should we eliminate that???  I say no...

              My father who is 79 year old active tennis and golf player just got a hip replacement...in many countries that would be luxury...in this country I say it is required...

              Obama - Change I still believe in

              by dvogel001 on Mon Oct 11, 2010 at 07:57:00 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  There's plenty of evidence to the contrary (3+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                bigchin, VTCC73, Democrats Ramshield

                for example U.S. spends $700 billion on unnecessary medical tests

                This article explains things in a bit more detail . . .

                The bottom line is that that $700 billion would more or less cover all the uninsured people in the USA.  However, the other 5/6ths are no way in hell going to give up their unneccesary test, procedures, surgeries, etc.

                •  While there are certaintly... (0+ / 0-)

                  some testing that can be "rationalized" through coordination of care...many people like the ones in my family who have complicated medical histories would disagree with rationing testing...

                  The waste is where my doctor orders a MRI and then the hospital orders another one because they want a slightly different MRI...

                  Obama - Change I still believe in

                  by dvogel001 on Mon Oct 11, 2010 at 08:19:49 AM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                •  Roadbed Guy - great post and well said! (3+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  Kitsap River, bigchin, VTCC73

                  Quick question, how do you feel that the 403 billionaires affect health care costs? Personally I think they spend a lot of money on Washington lobbyists making sure that health care in America stays for profit, and expensive.

                  sig... You just ran into a hardcore progressive who's just another working stiff with an MBA degree & therefore a vociferous labor union supporter [smile]

                  by Democrats Ramshield on Mon Oct 11, 2010 at 08:32:18 AM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  I have no personal knowledge on either (1+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    kareylou

                    the personal health care needs of the billionaires, nor do I know of their record in health care lobbying. . . .

                    No matter what the latter might be, I see no need to particularly demonize the billionaires, after all they'd just be doing

                    1. what is in their own self interest - what's wrong with that? (there's plenty of feeling on this site, for comparison, that it'd be better if the low economic strata *would* do more in their own self interest . . . . suppose one has to be consistent on this issue).
                    1. what we as a society allow them to do . . .
                    •  To Roadbed Guy - you're right (1+ / 0-)
                      Recommended by:
                      Kitsap River

                      We as a society allow the billionaires to do what they do and that is a serious problem but what we need to do to change that?

                      What do you and some of other readers think about that question?

                      sig... You just ran into a hardcore progressive who's just another working stiff with an MBA degree & therefore a vociferous labor union supporter [smile]

                      by Democrats Ramshield on Mon Oct 11, 2010 at 12:28:47 PM PDT

                      [ Parent ]

                      •  Well, I suppose a dramatic overhaul of (2+ / 0-)

                        the tax system, shipping jobs overseas, etc etc is required to reduce the number of billionaires that are coming into existence.  Not sure if that's going to happen . . .

                        As far as their influence over the electoral process - methinks what might actually be doable is to ensure that there is full disclosure about who is paying for all political advertising.

                        That might be more effective than is immediately apparent -  given the trouble the likes of Rachel Maddow has uncovering this type of thing, alot of billionaire-type cockroaches clearly like to stay in the shadows . . . . I say shine light on them.  Somewhat relatedly, the most effective way to get corporations to stop polluting turned out not to be to enact laws preventing them from polluting, but simply to enact laws fully disclosing what and where they were polluting. . . ..   I'd like to speculate that the same principles roughly apply here.  

                        •  To Roadbed Guy - that's a very cool post (1+ / 0-)
                          Recommended by:
                          Kitsap River

                          I think it has a lot of merit. Let me ask you and some of our other readers if I may please, how can we get to full disclosure on that issue?

                          sig... You just ran into a hardcore progressive who's just another working stiff with an MBA degree & therefore a vociferous labor union supporter [smile]

                          by Democrats Ramshield on Mon Oct 11, 2010 at 01:38:17 PM PDT

                          [ Parent ]

                          •  Here's a few specifics of the program (0+ / 0-)

                            I was referring to:

                            The TRI program is a pollution disclosure program. Since 1987, companies have been required to report toxic releases to air, land, and water, as well as toxic waste that is treated, burned, recycled, or disposed of. Approximately 26,000 industrial facilities report information about any of the 650 chemicals in the program.

                            The TRI program was established in 1986, following a devastating chemical accident in Bhopal, India. December 4th marks the twenty-sixth anniversary of this accident, where thousands of people immediately lost their lives from exposure to chemicals, and tens of thousands have since died from continued contamination. Soon thereafter, Congress passed and President Reagan signed the Emergency Planning and Community Right-to-Know Act, which established the Toxics Release Inventory.

                            The Toxics Release Inventory has been credited with a wide range of successes. Since the TRI program began, disposals or releases of the original 299 chemicals tracked have dropped nearly 60 percent. A U.S. PIRG Education Fund analysis showed that releases of chemicals linked to health effects have decreased as well. Between 1995 and 2000, releases to air and water of chemicals known to cause cancer declined by 41 percent.

                            Of course, the Bush Administration seems to have put the kibosh on these reporting requirement ca. 2005 which is now allowing the frackers to run wild and unchecked wrt to natural gas shale extraction . . .  Do'h!!!

              •  But kidney transplants for 65 year olds are not? (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                Charles CurtisStanley

                Or so you seem to say up above, in an earlier comment thread.

                You seem to think that a 65 year old, who could easily live another 15-20 years of high-quality active life with a kidney transplant, doesn't deserve one.

                Living kidney donor needed; type B, O, or incompatible (with paired donation). Drop me a note (see profile).

                by Kitsap River on Mon Oct 11, 2010 at 01:38:21 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  I've gone back and forth with him before (2+ / 0-)

                  Without answering for him, I'll just say that a number of people have the attitude, "It's working for me. So don't change anything, even if it's to try to make it work for you, too."

                  My reply? Our health care system works great for you. I hear you. I'm glad. But Kitsap River wants it to work for her, too, and we're working to make that happen. If you can't bring yourself to help, at least get out of the way.

                  To keep our faces turned toward change, and behave as free spirits in the presence of fate, that is strength undefeatable--Helen Keller

                  by kareylou on Mon Oct 11, 2010 at 02:15:54 PM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

            •  Hi Roadbed Guy, you know I used to think this (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Kitsap River, earicicle

              too. But over the last ten years I have had reason to get to know many docs in specialties and primary care.

              I always ask: What percentage of your patients come in unnecessarily and just because they like hanging with MDs?

              I get the same answer every time: 3 to 5%.  Never varies.  It's anecdotal, but it is nationwide. And they have no reason to bend their perceptions.

              No less a person than the former CEO of Kaiser Permanente, David Lawrence, in his book 'From Chaos to Care' calls out this myth.

              He made two interesting comments among many:  he should of gotten the best and most compassionate care for his dad at the end of his life.  He said he utterly failed.  He also said that knowing the system, he should know where he would go if he needed care. He said, he would run, from any system unless he absolutely needed to go.

              An earlier program by Frontline also addressed the shibboleth of overuse of the medical system and basically said it was unfounded. Their reporting said most people wait too long to get care, and conditions otherwise treated easily often become overly serious.

              The fact that we say these things without knowing is not our fault. It took me a long time to get the truth on these often quoted beliefs.  But there is little to tell everyday people what is really going on.

              "Never, desist till we ... extinguish this bloody traffic, of which our posterity, will scarce believe that it suffered a disgrace and dishonor to this country.

              by Regina in a Sears Kit House on Mon Oct 11, 2010 at 10:34:44 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  That's not really what I'm talking about . . . (3+ / 0-)

                Of course, very few people go to the doctor when they don't need to - why would they, it's a huge hassle?

                What I'm talking about is somebody who does need medical attention - let's say for debilitating chronic back pain.  

                Let's say that 1,000,000 people visit their doctor for this each year - and 500,000 are randomly given MRIs (at a cost of $3,000 or more a pop in this country) and 500,000 are not.  I'm too lazy to look it up, but simply having the MRI increases the probability of expensive follow up treatments, like surgery.

                But, at the end of it all there is no statistical difference in the outcomes between the two groups.  Thus the 500,000 MRIs were "unneccessary" along with the $1 billion spent on them.

                In a rationale world (or country, like the UK?) these unneccesary MRIs would be phased out.  By contrast in the USA, the 500,000 people who didn't get the MRI are going to be pissed, think they have poorer quality of care, threaten to sue their physician if they don't improve (and many don't) and so on.  The upshot is that 3 years later, *everybody* is getting the MRA (and 5 years later, two MRIs, since the first one was likely inconclusive).  

                The thing is, you don't have to believe me about this hypothetical example, but fairly reputable high powered organizations have looked into this issue and have docuemented just this type of thing quite conclusively *does* occur pervasively in the United States.

                •  Thank you. I am left to wonder what it (3+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  Kitsap River, Roadbed Guy, kareylou

                  is that creates this environment?

                  Yes I have also had docs tell me that too many people want the pill, or procedure that will "fix" them.

                  How many countries allow adverts by pharmaceuticals and corporations selling expensive devices?  How many countries encourage medical care by test result?

                  It seems cultural and corporate.  I would say that I don't understand why the follow up to MRIs often is surgery.  Are they necessary or just pumping up the specialists access to another fee or insurance claim?  

                  I too have seen the studies that show the questionable outcome differences, and believe the use of these machines by competing systems in a single city raises costs.  

                  What is needed here is well written, non affiliated studies, and published in non biased forums.  In EU the acquisition of MRI machines is controlled by numbers of people likely to needed them as projected by the government run health systems.

                  Good discussion.

                  "Never, desist till we ... extinguish this bloody traffic, of which our posterity, will scarce believe that it suffered a disgrace and dishonor to this country.

                  by Regina in a Sears Kit House on Mon Oct 11, 2010 at 11:06:47 AM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  The best explanation I've seen (3+ / 0-)

                    is given in the New Yorker Article I provide here (it's the second link, I believe).

                    The bottom line seems to be that in the USA, a significant, and growing number, of physicians primarily see themselves as business people rather than health care providers.  The idea is to maximize profits rather than to minimize illness.

                    Pretty much all the other problems ensue from that mindset.

                    •  Great response, thank you. (1+ / 0-)
                      Recommended by:
                      Roadbed Guy

                      We ran into the business model of physician groups in the last ten years.  THe premise is that each doc in the practice sees a patient for eight minutes then dictates notes for seven.  The total is fifteen minutes per patient.

                      If for some reason a person with a complex cancer or multi systemic illness, the symptoms must be taken one at a time in separate visits.  If the doctor is thinking more broadly and tries to link multiple issues, it takes longer and hits the entire practice.

                      The Frontline piece I referred to above shows how a doctor can end up owing money at the end of the year under this business model.

                      "Never, desist till we ... extinguish this bloody traffic, of which our posterity, will scarce believe that it suffered a disgrace and dishonor to this country.

                      by Regina in a Sears Kit House on Mon Oct 11, 2010 at 02:29:34 PM PDT

                      [ Parent ]

          •  It will not come without a cost (7+ / 0-)

            to quality of care as long as we tolerate a for-profit system that is directly based upon success through mortality.

        •  yes. some of the best care is right here. (9+ / 0-)

          ..... if you can afford it.

          therein lies the problem.

          "Toleration is the greatest gift of the mind; it requires the same effort of the brain that it takes to balance oneself on a bicycle." -Helen Keller

          by ridemybike on Mon Oct 11, 2010 at 05:44:38 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

      •  My mom who has been chronically... (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Kitsap River, BWildered

        ill for 47 years due to complications with type 1 diabetes brought on by the birth of her son (me) has had great care all of her life.  The best care and least hassles for payment has been since she was approved for Medicare...

        That being said, her healthcare has always been the best in the world...

        Obama - Change I still believe in

        by dvogel001 on Mon Oct 11, 2010 at 04:57:28 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  My next door neighbor... (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        dvogel001

        is from England and her mom came over her to get her knee replacement surgery.  I am not sure of the details but I think the wait for her in England was ridiculously long and she was in severe pain.  As I understand it most people in England who can afford it carry private insurance.

    •  Yep, best health care in the world..... (20+ / 0-)

      ....if you're rich, or have a 'good' job.

      Back when I was a member of the Electrician's Union, my health care rocked.

      Now?...not so much.

      draw a window on the wall to remind you of the silkrain that makes things grow - Yoko Ono

      by quinn on Mon Oct 11, 2010 at 04:41:15 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Which is what HCR is supposed to help with...n/t (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Diogenes2008

        Obama - Change I still believe in

        by dvogel001 on Mon Oct 11, 2010 at 04:44:16 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  See "Supposed" n/t (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          vacantlook, bigchin, eXtina
        •  You can't help an unfixable system. (8+ / 0-)

          If anybody has worked out a viable scheme that allows for the continued presence of private for-profit insurance and brings our percentage of GDP spent on health care into line with the rest of the civilized world, I sure as hell still haven't heard of it.

          If it doesn't exist, we continue our perilous climb to 20% GDP.

          I consider for-profit health care financing to be the cause of our pitiful rankings, and something to be eliminated, not mitigated.

          You can't incrementally remove for profit financing.
          It's either there or it isn't.

          And is "semi-European" the new language?
          Respectfully, blech.

          •  And "extending coverage" (5+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            tmo, Ozzie, bigchin, eXtina, Ezekial 23 20

            Since when are the words mandate and extending interchangeable?  The working poor will still not be able to afford the premiums and deductibles for the crappy policies.  Bleh, indeed.

            •  There are no fucking crappy... (0+ / 0-)

              policies allowed under HCR once the exchanges are up and running...read the fucking bill...I am tired of the lies!!!!

              Obama - Change I still believe in

              by dvogel001 on Mon Oct 11, 2010 at 08:00:35 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  Then give me the rates. (2+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                vacantlook, eXtina

                How much will the policy cost.  How much will the deductible be.  You don't know so how can you say one way or the other.

                •  The cost depends on your income... (0+ / 0-)

                  and subsidies and/or free if you have litle or no income (less than 133% of FPL)

                  Crappy is junk insurance definition...cost aside...those policies will be outlawed in the exchanges

                  Obama - Change I still believe in

                  by dvogel001 on Mon Oct 11, 2010 at 08:15:02 AM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  Sorry. Wrong. (0+ / 0-)

                    Too 'wealthy' to qualify for subsidies. Too poor to afford coverage. The subsidies were designed based on national statistics not local ones that throw me out of the pool. It's not a lie.

                    •  My comment is on the... (0+ / 0-)

                      quality of the policy...not the cost of the policy...the quality of the policies are strictly regulated so for the 30 million newly insureds who can afford with or without subsidies it will be good insurance with good coverage including no recision and no lifetime caps...

                      Is it possible that in your particular case you are one of the 6% not anticipated t be covered because you are too wealthy to qualify for subsidies but not wealthy to afford premiums...

                      Perhaps that is true...but millions will be helped and you are no worse off than you are today.../peace

                      Obama - Change I still believe in

                      by dvogel001 on Mon Oct 11, 2010 at 11:44:15 AM PDT

                      [ Parent ]

                      •  yeah boo hoo for me (0+ / 0-)

                        Is it possible that in your particular case you are one of the 6% not anticipated t be covered because you are too wealthy to qualify for subsidies but not wealthy to afford premiums...

                        because my representatives in congress did nothing about accounting for the vast disparity in living costs between ny and nebraska and now i have an unaffordable ER bill which will likely near $2000k

                        too bad, fuck me, right? you and your fucking statistics

                        •  Yes I understand that it would make you... (0+ / 0-)

                          personally upset that HCR may not personally benefit you.../peace

                          So let me ask you a question, could you afford an additional tax on your earnings of say 10% over what you currently make in order to fund your healthcare....that is what other countries charge...

                          Obama - Change I still believe in

                          by dvogel001 on Mon Oct 11, 2010 at 12:12:50 PM PDT

                          [ Parent ]

                  •  This "subsidies" idea irritates me too. (2+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    kareylou, Willa Rogers

                    Okay, so insurance is so expensive and unaffordable that the government will help people pay for it.

                    In other words, instead of doing real cost containment, the government will just waste lots more unnecessary tax money by shoveling it to insurance companies' profits.

                    Remember, this "HCR" law was in large part written by insurance industry insiders.

                    •  As one who will qualify for a subsidy in 2014 (1+ / 0-)
                      Recommended by:
                      niemann

                      I couldn't agree more. I do not look forward to taking hard-earned taxpayer's money, for example taking money from a fireman and handing it over to an insurance executive. I do not look forward to taking money from my neighbor the taxi cab driver and handing it over to the guy who tried to rescind my insurance when I was diagnosed with cancer. I do not think this is a good use of taxpayer dollars.

                      To keep our faces turned toward change, and behave as free spirits in the presence of fate, that is strength undefeatable--Helen Keller

                      by kareylou on Mon Oct 11, 2010 at 02:22:50 PM PDT

                      [ Parent ]

                      •  To qualify .. I'm glad it's going to help people (1+ / 0-)
                        Recommended by:
                        kareylou

                        ... rather than the tax money going to, say, start another few wars.

                        I'm all for tax money going to help people like you who need it.  I'm socialistic that way.  But ...

                        Not when there are proven better, cheaper, more economically sensible ways of achieving the same end.  

                        And not when those proven, more sensible ways are taken off the table from the start so politicians in Washington can turn "reform" into a great big disguised gift to insurance companies.

                •  LaneJ - Why doesn't the world buy American health (2+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  vacantlook, eXtina

                  care? America has the best health care in the world how come American insurance companies can't sell it to overseas offices?

                  sig... You just ran into a hardcore progressive who's just another working stiff with an MBA degree & therefore a vociferous labor union supporter [smile]

                  by Democrats Ramshield on Mon Oct 11, 2010 at 08:34:21 AM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  Canadians are just running over the border (2+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    eXtina, Democrats Ramshield

                    to get US healthcare.  Not!  But that is what they would have us believe.  It's just such a pathetic joke of a system, and the joke is on us.

                    •  Americans are buying Canadian health insurance (0+ / 0-)

                      cards on the black market and sneaking into Canada for free health care, not the other way around. The way right wing zombies would have us believe immigrants are doing. You won't see that on the TV news.

                    •  When they are put on waiting lists... (0+ / 0-)

                      they absolutely come to the US...unfortunately also Canada has used the US as their surplus provider when they run out of rationed resources...

                      Obama - Change I still believe in

                      by dvogel001 on Mon Oct 11, 2010 at 11:45:08 AM PDT

                      [ Parent ]

                      •  They only have to wait for elective surgery. (1+ / 0-)
                        Recommended by:
                        Democrats Ramshield

                        And probably not much longer than people here wait.  If it is an emergency, Canadians are treated right away.  Also, there will always be wealthy people who travel to other countries for care.  Farrah Fawcet, who could afford the very best of care here, went to Germany for some experimental treatment.  So yes, some people can and do travel for care but no average Canadians are chomping at the bit to cross the border to pay astronomical prices for US healthcare.

                        •  Not true...this is directly from their own stats. (0+ / 0-)

                          http://www.albertahealthservices.ca/...

                          Page 18...50% had to wait nearly 3 weeks for thier first cancer consult and at least 10% waited over 6 weeks...completely unacceptable...

                          My wife had an appointment in 3 days with MSKCC...

                          Care to look at the rest of the report...

                          Elective surgery is 8 weeks to 20 weeks (page 16) wait...that would mean that my dad would have been in a wheel chair for up to 20 weeks waiting for his hip replacement surgery...

                          Simply NOT ACCEPTABLE...

                          Obama - Change I still believe in

                          by dvogel001 on Mon Oct 11, 2010 at 12:17:19 PM PDT

                          [ Parent ]

                    •  To LaneJ - you're right the joke is on us (1+ / 0-)
                      Recommended by:
                      LaneJ

                      The sad truth is not too many people can laugh about it. I guess that makes it a bit of a sad joke.

                      All except for the for-profit insurance sector. Now those folks are laughing all of the way to the bank. What do you think?

                      sig... You just ran into a hardcore progressive who's just another working stiff with an MBA degree & therefore a vociferous labor union supporter [smile]

                      by Democrats Ramshield on Mon Oct 11, 2010 at 12:16:44 PM PDT

                      [ Parent ]

                      •  I'm not laughing. (2+ / 0-)
                        Recommended by:
                        Democrats Ramshield, kareylou

                        I haven't had healthcare in many years and I don't expect to ever get any.  I just keep wondering how long before something really bad happens to me.  It keeps me awake at night.  

                        •  To LaneJ - It makes me feel sad to hear that (2+ / 0-)
                          Recommended by:
                          kareylou, LaneJ

                          I am personally sadden to hear that.

                          There is no earthly reason why the United States which is the richest country on the planet earth can not do  what every other industrialized nation on the planet does: which is the provide some type of universal medical access to all US residents, as a basic human right.

                          What we have to do is to raise awareness of that fact and also raise awareness of this issue so that during the election, democratic candidates will put this on their agenda.  What has happened to you and other great Americans like yourself is not acceptable. We can work for a European style social safety net in America.

                          But one more thing we can do. We can make information available to people about immigrating to the European Union because for some people that will be the only way that they can get quick access to life saving medical care. To that end I want to make the following link available to you and some of other readers.
                          ---------------------------
                          The European Dream VS the American Dream, do you want to be 1 of the 4 million expats living abroad?

                          http://www.streetprophets.com/...

                          sig... You just ran into a hardcore progressive who's just another working stiff with an MBA degree & therefore a vociferous labor union supporter [smile]

                          by Democrats Ramshield on Mon Oct 11, 2010 at 12:44:07 PM PDT

                          [ Parent ]

                          •  Thank you. (2+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            Democrats Ramshield, kareylou

                            Diaries like this help keep this issue front and center.  I have looked into moving to Canada but they have a point system and I don't qualify.  I will read your link.  

                            I have been railing over the healthcare inequity for years, way before it came up in the last election.  There just isn't any excuse for it.  No excuse at all.  And the legislation that was passed just keeps us on the same for-profit, unsustainable system.

                          •  To LaneJ - Thanks for the post (1+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            LaneJ

                            I would like to invite you or some of the other readers who may be interested in joining the American expat community, in the European country of their choice. To that end, please feel free to email me.

                            Here's my email: democratsramshield@yahoo.com

                            Thanks again for all the great comments and support! I think that's the bottom line. We all have to able to support each other. This way no one is ever alone.

                            sig... You just ran into a hardcore progressive who's just another working stiff with an MBA degree & therefore a vociferous labor union supporter [smile]

                            by Democrats Ramshield on Mon Oct 11, 2010 at 01:11:21 PM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

            •  Nobody who cannot afford a policy... (0+ / 0-)

              will be forced to purchase anything...only those who can afford policies and are protesting not purchasing policies will be penalized...

              Obama - Change I still believe in

              by dvogel001 on Mon Oct 11, 2010 at 08:01:38 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

          •  Incrementally is how we solve... (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Diogenes2008

            the majority of problems in our country...

            Obama - Change I still believe in

            by dvogel001 on Mon Oct 11, 2010 at 07:59:15 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

    •  The US Rich Die Younger Than British Poor (7+ / 0-)

      So statistically you'd seem to be wrong.

      We are called to speak for the weak, for the voiceless, for victims of our nation and for those it calls enemy.... --ML King "Beyond Vietnam"

      by Gooserock on Mon Oct 11, 2010 at 05:41:47 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Money always buys better. So yes, we do (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      dvogel001, vacantlook, Siri

      have SOME of the best health care in the world for SOME people.

      like me
      finance job, excellent benfits and NYC doctors to choose from. My general is Harvard trained, best doc lists everyhwere...

      but as a bleeding heart I understand I am getting what few others do and that is wrong

  •  It's hard to have to realize.. (5+ / 0-)

    how far "the mighty have fallen".

    It's becoming more palpable every day as if this country is closing in on its own for the "kill".

    This clip from "No Country for Old Men"/Tommy Lee Jones, speaks to the loss of what he thought he knew about life in this country. I think he speaks for many of us.

    "The first step towards madness is to think oneself wise." ~Fernando de Rojas

    by Annalize5 on Mon Oct 11, 2010 at 04:41:45 AM PDT

    •  Didn't love that speech personally... (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Annalize5, Overseas, blueoasis, kareylou

      but your point still stands.

      It has gotten incredibly ugly here. Every time I see some historian flogging another book about George Washington, all I can think is "who cares? It all came to THIS."

      •  I know. n/t (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        blueoasis, Blicero

        "The first step towards madness is to think oneself wise." ~Fernando de Rojas

        by Annalize5 on Mon Oct 11, 2010 at 04:53:34 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  On my first trip to Washington DC ... (0+ / 0-)

        ... I had a similarly depressed reaction.

        I was genuinely very moved -- (much more than I thought I would be, somewhat cynical person that I am) -- by all the history, buildings, architecture, monuments ...

        ... but more specifically, by the genuinely noble ideals underlying all of it.

        But I could also only think, "And it's come to this." --a moron dry-drunk in the White House, corporations running the Capital building, the administrative branch blatantly committing war crimes, torturing people and breaking laws, knowing there would be no consequences from the corporate-owned sheep in Congress ...

        I could only think, "How dare they taint this place!  How dare they sit in these buildings!"

  •  In 1950 (24+ / 0-)

    We were only five years out from being the last man standing, relatively unscathed at home after a global devastation. And dominance of the U.S. in any category from 1945-1970 has to take that into account.

    We gave a hand up to other countries while ignoring a lot of our own long-term needs.

    This is the bill coming due.  Time for us to reduce that wasteful military spending and to reinvest it here to improve the lives of our citizens.

    Somewhere in heaven, Paul Simon and Paul Wellstone are looking down and asking "WHAT THE HELL ARE YOU GUYS DOING?!"

    by nightsweat on Mon Oct 11, 2010 at 04:42:08 AM PDT

    •  Can we expand diplomacy without (16+ / 0-)

      a two-theater war footing - and more as a co-equal partner to nations in all our world affairs?

      To what extent can we rely on mutually assured destruction (MAD) as a fall-back position? Can we be Switzerland?

      Our greatness is in our ideals and our moral principles - not in dreams of conquest and empire drummed out by political actors in search of the alienated, the disaffected and the irrational.

      Our honor is in our ethics and a legal system that vaunts the elite supremacy of laws, not men, no matter how rich.

      Our national maturity is found in and can only be measured by our tolerance and our humility - our greatest contemporary deficits.

    •  You are saying we don't have healthcare (0+ / 0-)

      because we rebuilt Japan and Germany?

      Well, that's a mighty interesting idea (despite being highly dubious . . . .).

      •  I think one must attack capitalism (4+ / 0-)

        eventually, and the profit motive in particular.

        Services to citizens in any forms are not areas that profit can be permitted to modify, for when profit rules, the benefits of those services are deducted by the societal costs of the services themselves. It's a zero-sum game. And it can only last so long.

        Look now: healthcare costs are bankrupting our nation, not because of rising costs at all, but because of the pressure for profit at the middlemen health insurers.

        I had hoped that the President, who was elected in part as a direct repudiation of the free market, Social Darwinism of the corporate right, would elevate, not denigrate, arguments for social policies that might have included an expansion of Medicare to all of our citizens - both for cost savings and to expand real quality. But he ruled it out of hand, as if he feared he would be labeled a socialist again. But that epithet was always inevitable. And all we are left with in HCR is a statement of intent and some humane, moral improvements with no cost savings at all.

        A brief respite from Obama's moderate policies will enable a resurgence of Progressivism over the next two years that will emerge as a stronger influence over our politics. It was inevitable that we would lose the Blue Dogs and DINO's. I count that, too, as progress.

        And if, by some miracle, we are able to maintain a Democratic Party majority in November, real change will be seen in a Republican Party with eroded influence. The debate over good social policy must be elevated. Progress is slow, but it is steady.

        •  I don't disagree with most of that (0+ / 0-)

          but I don't quite see how that addresses the issue of whether our country's generosity after WW2 is in any tangible manner linked to our current health care woes.

          The way I understand it, socialist tendencies (if you want to call wage controls that) contributed to our health care insurance mess.  In the era that other countries were going with nationalized plans, here in the USA companies who were not allowed to raise wages instead used health care benefits to attract employees.  Thus it became ingrained in a unplanned way that industry not government was/should be responsible for that.

      •  I think it's partly true (0+ / 0-)

        We patted ourselves on the back for our good works while ignoring our own flaws until forced to confront them through the work of the Civil Rights movement and the anti-war movement.

        I'm not saying it was an economic choice, I'm saying it was a surfeit of smug that let the politicians get away with proclaiming we were the best country in the world while ignoring basic holes in our domestic life.

        Somewhere in heaven, Paul Simon and Paul Wellstone are looking down and asking "WHAT THE HELL ARE YOU GUYS DOING?!"

        by nightsweat on Mon Oct 11, 2010 at 06:23:15 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  My great concern is that (10+ / 0-)

      IF Obama's Deficit Reduction Commission recommends cuts to Social Security and Medicare, perhaps also Medicaid, as the information being leaked would lead one to believe, and its quick up or down vote without debate in the House and Senate passes, how do we defend against the political shitstorm that will follow?  Just the recommendations themselves will be used as withering political fodder by Republicans for decades, even if the report's recommendations are rejected.

      Why are we setting ourselves up for this onslaught, even if, one hopes, such recommendations for cuts are rejected?

      He was quick and alert in the things of life, but only in the things, and not in the significances. Jack London

      by blueoasis on Mon Oct 11, 2010 at 05:27:48 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  There Won't Be a Political Shitstorm (8+ / 0-)

        which is why it's going to happen. Everybody I know younger than boomers rejects the idea that SS and Medicare could be there for them. 30 years of propaganda from the rightwing party and insufficient rebuttal from the compassionate conservative opposition party have done their job.

        We are called to speak for the weak, for the voiceless, for victims of our nation and for those it calls enemy.... --ML King "Beyond Vietnam"

        by Gooserock on Mon Oct 11, 2010 at 05:44:02 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  A couple of considerations (3+ / 0-)

          First, the ability of today's media, to create a strong political response if it serves their immediate purposes for confusion and controversy, regardless the eventual outcome they want to promote.

          Second, an increased awareness of the severity of our economic problems and the difficulty or impossibilty of many, especially with parents over 50 and unemployed or facing unemployment, of being able to supplement, or further supplement them in their last years.

          He was quick and alert in the things of life, but only in the things, and not in the significances. Jack London

          by blueoasis on Mon Oct 11, 2010 at 06:09:10 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  There will be no shitstorm. (0+ / 0-)

          The people will "understand" that its their fault that they are not rich. God, Allah whoever willing will provide, as he has rewarded the lucky few.

          Besides "no poor person ever gave the masses a job", the poor just provided the market that created the jobs. A la Henry Ford" paying workers to buy their product.

          The 403 billionaires can have all their widgets custom made and gold plated, or imported.

          As to the granny tea baggers and their death panels"

          If they were MY granny I'd gladly pinch off the Oxygen tube.

          Second they are correct about death panels, only from the wrong direction: the insurance companies will richly reward counselors who minimize cost. Just as the insurance evaluators are now richly rewarded for NOT approving payments for treatments.

          Sorry for rambling, on the first cup of java, and roofers pounding over my head.

      •  Catfood Commission was a political ploy (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        blueoasis

        in a response to the right wing false gravitas of the Peterson initiative.

        Here's the problem: raising the age of eligibility can only pass with negotiated goals such that life expectancy will be raised - and there are ways to improve life expectancy. But that's not the only variable.

        We all age very differently. Many people can work into their seventies and even into their eighties - depending upon their DNA and what they do for a living.

        But many of us are done-for by our mid-fifties. So the correct application of good social policy would dictate eligibility for some very early and for some much later. We also know that political winds may render such a system vulnerable to partisanship and subversion so this reform may be worthless.

        So, my best guess is that any revision of age eligibility will be shelved in favor of what we can count on - and that can only be a strengthening of fiscal basis through raising the cap above $106,800 of AGI.

        If offsets can be found, then Senate reconciliation looms as the only way to accomplish that - and reconciliation is just not going to happen. It must be blocked.

        •  The irony of all of these long-term projections (3+ / 0-)

          about a crisis that doesn't yet exist, is that we have no valid reasons to assume that the reality will be that life expectancy will continue to increase any more than it will decrease for any number of possible reasons.

          And in addition to the natural variables in the age at which one might reasonably be anticipated to continue to work for an income, with a surplus of workers and no specific plans for government to create jobs into the foreseeable future, the great majority of jobs will go to younger workers with more stamina to meet increasing expectations.  This is a general assumption, but nonetheless, it seems to already be a prejudice of the "new century" for everyone who is not fortunate enough to have a "leadership" role in employment.

          He was quick and alert in the things of life, but only in the things, and not in the significances. Jack London

          by blueoasis on Mon Oct 11, 2010 at 06:31:53 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  ABsolutely!! Raise the age to the (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          ezdidit

          maximum corporate deductible salary limit which is 1 million dollars.  End of problem!

          I totally agree with you it was a political ploy to bring out the Rethugs and to show citizens of the U.S. what they are really about.  Dismantling ALL social safety nets.

          Too damn bad if you are poor.

      •  I'm not concerned with the political shitstorm. (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        vacantlook, blueoasis, ezdidit

        I am concerned with what they are doing to us.  And what they plan to do to us.  No jobs, no safety net, people living in poverty and dying before they even get a chance to get back what they've paid into their entire working lives.  I just can't be too choked up over what it's going to do to them.  "They" are all on the same side anyway, regardless of what they tell the masses.  It's all going to work out quite well for them.

  •  Surprised we were ranked that high. (5+ / 0-)

    http://progressivesponsor.com Wooohooo! Alan Grayson IS my Congressman

    by YaNevaNo on Mon Oct 11, 2010 at 04:50:17 AM PDT

  •  I don't doubt that the comparisons to the rest of (8+ / 0-)

    the world are accurate.  I would question whether or not the HIR, as it's currently constituted, will make a substantive difference in affordability or access to quality health care.

    Medicare for All would seem to be the feasible solution, but now we are hearing that the Catfood Commission is considering cuts to the current Medicare program.

    While it's great to have your information and be able to pass it on informally to others, most of our political leaders seem uninterested in discussing the disparities and of course the "liberal" mainstream media will give such information little attention and no follow-up.

    Personally, however, I appreciate very much well-written dissemination of information and do believe it has the potential to make a difference.

    He was quick and alert in the things of life, but only in the things, and not in the significances. Jack London

    by blueoasis on Mon Oct 11, 2010 at 04:51:17 AM PDT

  •  Thanks nt (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Annalize5, ezdidit

    October is breast cancer awareness month.

    by J Brunner Fan on Mon Oct 11, 2010 at 05:01:18 AM PDT

  •  This is More Important Evidence (14+ / 0-)

    that America's perception of its national "self" is an utterly fake construct.

    America's distribution of wealth offends the majority of Americans when having it shown to them without national labels.

    America's oft repeated slogan of "the best health care in the world" is repeatedly revealed to be a hollow lie.

    The reformist wing of the Democratic Party is neither in power nor positioned to outline an alternative addressing problems from "inside" the deluded national state of consciousness and beliefs.

    If Obama told American's the truth about where America stands in the modern world .. they would likely conclude that he caused it.

    Americans with passports... Americans with a second language and a link to other "first world" states..

    please inform your friends and neighbors, politely, that you have the best drone-attack-robot-assassination vehicles... and second rate infrastructure at home, second rate health care outcomes on the national scale, second rate "hi-tech" phones and media, second rate public education, unfairly confined public television and radio media...

    and that those damn socialist devils in Europe, to your north, and increasingly in Asia, have surpassed America in real measureable "quality of life" categories.

    No other state on earth has, or will maintain, a finer fleet of submarines (at god knows what cost) designed to deliver a meaningless third act to the armegeddon passion play.  That part is truly top drawer.

    America gives away in foreign aid to Israel (specifically) the price of a first rate health care system and an infrastructure overhaul unconditionally while Avigdor Lieberman drags Israel into a showdown about being explicitly racist and fascist.

    Which Fox News neo-con has ever complained out loud about the degree to which American military aid frees up Israeli fiscal resources to provide universal health care, with its better outcomes, than the donor state awards to itself?

    When Mr Kristol and Mr Krauthammer demand that the USA withhold defense and weapons concessions to Israel until Israel abandons its healthcare system... I will be interested in hearing their their other thoughts.

    There is a forum in which America's internal political discussion of priorities and goals is discussed.  That forum is largely and unfairly stacked in favor of  vested interests with little or no interest in the welfare, the well being, of the general population.

     Americans who see themselves as "very,very patriotic" are often the last to recognize and respond to the decline of America's ranking in the "civilization" categories.

    Democrats who see themselves as "politically astute" prefer to not get upfront and brutally frank.  Funny how it used to work with a "missile gap"   (sorry JFK.. False).. or a space-race gap..(ok.. somewhat valid).

    Who cares about about a healthcare gap?  

    •  Thanks for this, BWildered. n/t (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Matt Z

      "The first step towards madness is to think oneself wise." ~Fernando de Rojas

      by Annalize5 on Mon Oct 11, 2010 at 05:11:46 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Thank you..and may i add (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Annalize5, blueoasis, Matt Z

        There is something sad deep in the moral center.

        Gaming, winning, coming away from the table ahead, strategizing... et al. So much about perfecting and rewarding "means"  and such utter neglect of "ends".

        Any modern democratic state could and can have its electoral system seriously gamed by the application of expertise, imagery, deep pockets, commercial media, and invented issues.

        Try going into a pinball contest against the guy who knows how to neutralize the TILT function.

        Try electing a national government to serve the American public with a media that depends on corporate sponsors and increasingly defines the issues, and projects the likely outcomes it prefers.

        •  Yes, that's what I was alluding to with the... (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Matt Z

          the movie clip above.

          There is something sad deep in the moral center.

          This country has, somewhere along the line, lost its collective soul. The lack of  health care is one of the most obvious symptoms of this dis-ease.

          You've said it all here, my friend:

          Try going into a pinball contest against the guy who knows how to neutralize the TILT function.

          Unless and until we understand that being "our brother's keeper" is the only way to proceed, we are doomed.

          And of course now that corporations have "personhood", thanks to the highest court in the land...well, that says it all, doesn't it?

          "The first step towards madness is to think oneself wise." ~Fernando de Rojas

          by Annalize5 on Mon Oct 11, 2010 at 05:46:19 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  I would and do love to embrace (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Annalize5, Matt Z

            your moral response to the brother's keeper approach to healthcare.

            That was me too. It's Andy Hardy America and not to be dismissed.  It remains morally superior to what one finds in the Trent Lott family story.

            What amazes me more ...is that on a morally neutral, economical, socially efficient set of measurements.. America's healthcare system is counter-efficient.

            I hesitate to draw attention to GM's preference for its Canadian plants. The CAW is tougher than the UAW, but when healthcare costs are factored in..?? It's not a low wage haven... it's a socially insured work force.

            America's ideological purism is uneconomic and inefficient.  Oh yeah.. it's immoral and unChristian too.

  •  The fact that we're 49th has not been (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    beltane, eigenlambda, Losty

    substantially addressed by Obama's health care initiative, since it does essentially nothing to reduce physician salaries and stop needless medical procedures.  

    Until those two politically untouchable issues are confronted (which are the two 900 pound gorrillas in the room when making the comparisons made in this diary with other countries), very little will change.

  •  Countries with tight borders and homogenous (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Utahrd

    populations have better life spans and mortality rates.   Countries with loose borders and diverse populations have lower life spans and mortality rates.   That's a simple fact.  

    You can't compare us to island nations, or to Sweden, and expect a fair comparison.   I think we do pretty well, all things considered.

    Continued dependence upon relief induces a spiritual and moral disintegration fundamentally destructive to the national fiber. - FDR

    by SpamNunn on Mon Oct 11, 2010 at 05:10:38 AM PDT

  •  No sick pay=if 1 gets the flu we all do! yeah! (10+ / 0-)

    I suppose this is the one area in which the corporate managers believe in the idea that we're all in this together.  If one worker gets the flu or some other contagious disease and doesn't take a few days off, then all his co-workers can get it too.

    I swear the penny wise pound foolishness of the managerial class never ceases to astound me.

  •  Only 49th? (6+ / 0-)
    Well, the GOP Tea Party has a lot more work to do, then.

    Their goal is for the US to hit rock bottom.  That's how biblical capitalism works, you see.

  •  Point this out and my wingnut friends say: (11+ / 0-)

    "So what? It gets rid of those lazy people on welfare.  Health care is not a right, anyway, so too bad for them".

    "Nothing in all the world is more dangerous than sincere ignorance and conscientious stupidity." --M. L. King "You can't fix stupid" --Ron White

    by zenbassoon on Mon Oct 11, 2010 at 05:23:12 AM PDT

  •  Obama's Health Plan won't help life expectancy (5+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    slinkerwink, ybruti, blueoasis, Matt Z, Losty

    Maybe I'm a bit slow on the uptake, but according to some information I've just received today, most of the benefits that were so lauded in the health care reform plan do not apply to retirees.

    Thanks to a little-noticed clause in a 1996 law, retiree-only health plans are exempt from the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act that went into effect last month.

    The health plan does not provide the following benefits to retiree-only health plans, and including those from Alcatel-Lucent and Verizon Communications Inc., as well as state and federal government plans and those for military families and unions:

    Prohibition of preexisting condition exclusion or other discrimination based on health status.
    Prohibition on excessive waiting periods.
    No lifetime or annual limits.
    Prohibition on rescissions - can't drop coverage for high claims or health conditions.
    Extension of dependent coverage until age 26.
    Development and utilization of uniform explanation of coverage documents and standardized definitions.
    Bringing down cost of health care coverage (for insured coverage).

    Somebody made a nice deal with the corporate overlords to get healthcare excluded for these groups.

    •  Life expectancy is determined by (0+ / 0-)

      lifelong health - not just what happens in your retirement years.  The key to longevity is to have regular access to preventive care (annual checkups, screening, nutrition, education) well before you reach the age of 65-70. The foundations for early death are laid well before one reaches the age of 65.

      •  But all your plans come to naught (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        slinkerwink, barbwires, Matt Z

        if you have good health care early, and then your insurance is dropped when you're in your mid-50s or early 60s.

        There was no reason to leave this segment of America out of health care reform.

        •  Very few Americans retire (0+ / 0-)

          in their mid-fifties to early sixties. Most Americans who have had insurance do not suddenly see their insurance drop at that age. If they have no income, they can access Medicaid, which was expanded through HCR. HCR also expanded aid to low or no-cost community health clinics.

          •  Oh, well that's a big relief (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            slinkerwink

            to those who have been pushed into "retirement" because of the 20% unemployment rate.

            Stop defending this.  It's indefensible.  It is going to impact a large number of people who thought HCR would benefit them.  Curious how, in the runup to HCR, nobody mentioned that it wouldn't be for everyone.

    •  If you have a retiree health plan already (0+ / 0-)

      Chances are you have something negotiated by your union. I am not surprised that it doesn't affect those plans.

      •  Unions don't negotiate these things (0+ / 0-)

        Prohibition of preexisting condition exclusion or other discrimination based on health status.
        Prohibition on excessive waiting periods.
        No lifetime or annual limits.
        Prohibition on rescissions - can't drop coverage for high claims or health conditions.
        Extension of dependent coverage until age 26.
        Development and utilization of uniform explanation of coverage documents and standardized definitions.
        Bringing down cost of health care coverage (for insured coverage).

        These are some of the things HCR is supposed to fix.  If a retiree health plan offers a choice of an HMO, BCBS (state), etc., nothing in the union negotiations specifies HOW BCBS may treat their customers.  HCR was supposed to fix the problem of these insurance companies setting lifetime and annual limits, recissions, high costs, etc.  Nobody ever said it would fix those things except for retirees when the politicians were stumping to push it through.

        How the hell can you claim you've reformed healthcare when retirees have annual limits and are allowed to be dumped if they actually need to use their insurance?

  •  Expect (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Annalize5, blueoasis, Matt Z, JL

    your question at the end is just rhetorical. But, just in case, yes.

    The argument I hear over and over again is that we have the best healthcare money can buy. And, of course that is the crux of the matter. If you are financially able, you can pretty much take care of anything. If not? Oh well. Must be your fault for not having enough money to get access.

    Common Sense is not Common

    by RustyBrown on Mon Oct 11, 2010 at 05:25:57 AM PDT

  •  thanks for another great diary. (5+ / 0-)

    my german boyfriend and I were talking last night about the sick leave issue.
    he's was sick all last week with the flu and when I asked him how many paid sick
    days he gets, he didn't even know what I was talking about.

    he told me, if someone gets sick they get paid...  
    according to him the average german doesn't "call out sick" like people in america do.

    when I told him the u.s. doesn't have any mandated sick days, he was quite shocked.

    all in all, even though he has a rather boring job (government tax accountant)
    the sense of security is there; health-care; sick leave; holiday time.... etc.

    the ability to have a life besides work is built-in to their system.
    people are just more content.... even with boring jobs, like my alex.
    of course, this is only the opinion of one person, but I think it's probably typical.

    "Toleration is the greatest gift of the mind; it requires the same effort of the brain that it takes to balance oneself on a bicycle." -Helen Keller

    by ridemybike on Mon Oct 11, 2010 at 05:36:38 AM PDT

  •  Speaking of Norway (7+ / 0-)

    Paid paternity leave

    Did you know that Norwegian parents have the right to a paid leave of absence during the first year of a child’s life? To encourage more men to assume a greater share of care-giving responsibilities, 10 weeks of parental leave are reserved for fathers.

    The aim of the parental benefit scheme is to help parents to combine working life and family life. Thanks to the scheme, Norway tops European statistics on birth rates and participation of women in the workforce.

    Norwegian parents may choose to take a total of 46 weeks of leave at 100 per cent pay or 56 weeks at 80 per cent pay.

    Afghanistan - Come for the lithium and stay for the opium.

    by BOHICA on Mon Oct 11, 2010 at 05:43:09 AM PDT

  •  Nonsense, the Champion of Health Reform Would (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    cybrestrike, Losty

    surely have mentioned that we're not #1 in the world if he'd needed public support for his signature issue.

    --Oh wait. He's a Democrat.

    We are called to speak for the weak, for the voiceless, for victims of our nation and for those it calls enemy.... --ML King "Beyond Vietnam"

    by Gooserock on Mon Oct 11, 2010 at 05:46:39 AM PDT

  •  USA! Number 49!!! (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    tmo, vacantlook, cybrestrike
  •  OFA and Obama Admin happy dances about HIR (9+ / 0-)

    law as being a HUGE success.

    Community Health Centers part IS great, other parts good, but all overwhelmed by institutionalizing insurance companies with no cost controls upfront. Big insurance is now making huge donations to Republicans in hopes of getting rid of parts of the bill. Who could ever have imagined that?

    Meanwhile, work for real HCR goes on!

    Mad As Hell Doctors

    have not given up!

    Mad As Hell Doctors have been stumping all over California for Single Payer recently, and getting good coverage.  

    Google News has links to lots of great local news articles about their tour.

    Photobucket

  •  Health costs per % GDP rising (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    karenc13

    as long as the trend continues to spend more and more money on health care more and more people will die.  Unfortunately, the health care reform bill did nothing to change the trend.

    •  False. (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      maybeeso in michigan, IL JimP

      There are cost controls in the reform bill.  They aren't as strong as we'd like, but to say the dies nothing the change the trend is false.

      Picture a bright blue ball just spinnin' spinnin' free. It's dizzy with possibility.

      by lockewasright on Mon Oct 11, 2010 at 07:50:13 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  like what? (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Willa Rogers

        the 85% rule that private health insurance agreed to so they could kill the Public Option?  Why would they do that when the Public Option would help people they did not want anyway?  The answer is the Public Option would have competed with them and forced a real change in health care costs.  Private health care will just game the 85% rule just like they have all the other regulations.  They probably already knew how they were going to do it.  This chart does not lie, people who think a meaningful change the the trend has happened are deluded.

        http://en.wikipedia.org/...

        A new effort needs to be made.  Not only is all of this health care spending killing people, it is a foot on the neck of the economy.

  •  Thanks to the Iowa caucuses (5+ / 0-)

    We are #1 in tax subsidies to high fructose corn syrup that causes diabetes.

    This will never change as long as we have Iowa caucuses.

    We are also #1 in junk food consumption.

    •  Yes. Unhealthy country even if we had good (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Utahrd

      universal healthcare.

      People need to get off the couch and put down the chips.

      •  again someone who didnt read the study in full (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        LaneJ

        They said that you gotta actually have access to proper health care, preventable screenings and you gotta have access to prescriptions meds. For someone whos living hand to mouth they aren't gonna have the money for that without HCR.

        People believe this myth that diet and exercise can fix everything under the sun but that isn't so.

      •  Most countries have lifestyle health issues (0+ / 0-)

        The Japanese don't eat high fat food as much as we do, but they do smoke and drink more.  European highway fatalities are higher, per passenger mile, than the US; this offsets our higher homicide rate.

        And lifestyle issues have a much lesser impact on infant mortality, at which we are also behind.  And unhealthy lifestyles are also correlated with access to health care.  If you go to the doctor for a regular physical and you're 250 lbs, the doctor is going to lecture you about lifestyle.  Not everybody listens, but enough do to make a difference.

        Finally, I suspect that suburbanites with good health care would be right at the top of the global rankings for high life expectancy.  If you've got good health insurance and are aware enough to question your doctor, you'll get first rate health care.  Nobody collects this kind of data directly to my knowledge, but indirectly you'll find there are huge variations in life expectancy and infant mortality with the US and they correlate fairly directly with access to health care.

        •  to liberaldregs - the best indicator is (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          liberaldregs

          regular access to medicine for a long healthy life.

          sig... You just ran into a hardcore progressive who's just another working stiff with an MBA degree & therefore a vociferous labor union supporter [smile]

          by Democrats Ramshield on Mon Oct 11, 2010 at 08:42:13 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  That's right. (0+ / 0-)

            And the whole point of my post is that access to regular healthcare tends to substantially improve performance on lifestyle issues.  France has less of an obesity problem than the US: it sure as hell isn't their diet.  If you go for regular checkups and the doctor tells you to quit the cigarettes and prescribes cessation drugs, your odds are better of quitting smoking.  (Sure enough, unisured people smoke more and are more obese.)  It even affects the homicide rate: uninsured people who get shot or stabbed during domestic disputes are more likely to be triaged adversely when they get to the emergency room, even if the latter is obligated not to turn them away.

            By the way, I like your sigline.

      •  Ha! (0+ / 0-)

        I'm sitting on the couch, reading this, eating chips.

        In my defense, I did an hour bike ride this morning, followed by an hour yoga class. I just finished work and was so famished and exhausted I sat on the couch with salsa and baked chips in lieu of dinner. So it's not my fault.

        To keep our faces turned toward change, and behave as free spirits in the presence of fate, that is strength undefeatable--Helen Keller

        by kareylou on Mon Oct 11, 2010 at 06:03:37 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  To Utahrd - 1 in 9 Iowans uninsured (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Losty, kareylou

      Are you aware of this? Thanks for your support.

      1 in 9 Iowans uninsured, Census data shows
      Census data released Thursday shows 1 in 9 Iowans were without health care insurance in 2008-09.
      http://iowaindependent.com/...

      sig... You just ran into a hardcore progressive who's just another working stiff with an MBA degree & therefore a vociferous labor union supporter [smile]

      by Democrats Ramshield on Mon Oct 11, 2010 at 06:51:26 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Different issues (0+ / 0-)

        The Corporate Welfare that politicians pass out so they can win the Iowa caucuses is a separate issue from health care.

        Maybe the government could subsidize skiing, snowboarding and mountain biking?  People would lose weight that way.

        •  You must of not read the study in full (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Democrats Ramshield

          They said losing weight isn't enough. You gotta actually have regular ACCESS to health care for preventable screenings etc. Other wise small diseases grow into big ugly things that could that kill you or might make you really sick. Eating right isn't enough. You know we need to get word out about that.

          Eating right by itself doesn't cut it. You also gonna need access to affordable prescription meds. Uninsured people can't do that. People believe this myth that diet and excise can fix everything but the new study says it doesn't work. Its just not enough.

  •  It's not just unaffordable health insurance (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    vacantlook, kareylou

    The entire for-profit system of health care is wildly out of control.  It shouldn't cost thousands of dollars to go to the ER for simple issues that do require emergency care:  a broken wrist, a fish bone stuck in your throat, even an asthma attack.  Diagnostic tests like MRI's for arthritis shouldn't be more than a mortgage payment.  Yes, the equipment is expensive.  But if it's so expensive, how come there's an MRI facility on every other block in Chicago?  

    Another thing we can blame Reagan for is the for-profit hospital.  The skyrocketing costs were especially egregious in the 30 years since St. Ronnie.  And before Reagan, insurance was truly non-profit:  the insurance industry enjoyed certain benefits so that they could keep vast reserves to pay claims.  They were specifically precluded from any risky investments.  Thank Reagan for that as well.

    My uncle sold insurance.  He died in the late '60's.  He did very well, upper middle class.  He sold policies.  He didn't gamble with people's premiums.  It was Reagan who opened up the greed.  

  •  Great post, T& R. Also, enjoy... (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Matt Z, Democrats Ramshield

    some interesting additional health care labor statistics. With the HCRs, comes additional work in the industry. Here is a snapshot of that.

  •  We need more "How to Be An Expat in X" Diaries) (2+ / 0-)

    Pretty soon it will save lives, what with this travesty bill.

    Yes, it still is a travesty bill.. We're # 49, and Falling..

    •  to Losty - how to be an expat (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Losty

      Being an expat obviously isn't for everyone. But for anyone who is interested I did a diary on the subject, because sometimes all working people have to sell in the market is their labor, so why not go to work for the highest bidder.

      http://www.streetprophets.com/...

      sig... You just ran into a hardcore progressive who's just another working stiff with an MBA degree & therefore a vociferous labor union supporter [smile]

      by Democrats Ramshield on Mon Oct 11, 2010 at 11:26:17 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Good diary, bad title... (0+ / 0-)

    I completely agree that the U.S.'s health care system is a travesty compared to most EU models. I'm not quite sure how President Obama's plan brings us any closer to an EU style system.

    If you could add comparisons between President Obama's plan and the systems in place in France, Great Britain, Spain, or other EU countries perhaps I'd be better able to actually assess whether "recent study shows Obama's health plan justified".

  •  Check your banner (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    kareylou

    It says "infant morality"

    There's a joke their somewheres...

  •  I think the problem is really income disparity. (6+ / 0-)

    The more diaries I see on public schools and health care, the more I think that everything is a distraction but income/wealth disparity. It seems that this single factor explains the vast majority of all statistics in the USA, but we just continue to ignore it. Working harder and paying more money in the traditional sense won't accomplish anything when there are 2 Americas and the trend is for them to separate even more.

    I voted with my feet. Good Bye and Good Luck America!!

    by shann on Mon Oct 11, 2010 at 07:26:27 AM PDT

    •  To shann - That was a really great post (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      shann

      What did you think of the fact that there are 403 billionaires now in America? And guess what? The top 2 percent got 70 billion dollars in tax breaks. And it's the working folks who pay for their tax breaks. Of course the kids of the working class will pay for it because in part they are selling debt to China to pay for those tax breaks, yet everyone keeps worshiping the billionaires. I mean, go figure (humor). (Chuckle.)

      sig... You just ran into a hardcore progressive who's just another working stiff with an MBA degree & therefore a vociferous labor union supporter [smile]

      by Democrats Ramshield on Mon Oct 11, 2010 at 07:33:51 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  I've always figured that if some people (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        kareylou

        get ahead faster than I do, it is not necessarily a problem. But, when so few own so much, the USA is headed to 3rd World status. I actually know what I am talking about as I took an early retirement to 3rd World SE Asia. A handful of hereditary landowners and political families seem to own most of the region with a surprisingly small group of professionals and small business owners making up the tiny middle class. Everyone else is little better than a serf. It sucks and this is  where the USA is headed.

        I voted with my feet. Good Bye and Good Luck America!!

        by shann on Mon Oct 11, 2010 at 08:02:45 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  Exactly Right! Americas decline from Best to (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      kareylou

      Worst, mirrors the trend in Income Inequality over the same period.

      The Rich have become staggeringly rich while the Middle Class has moved into poverty.

      Americans have become serfs in their own land the next step is going to be to take away Social Security and Medicare.

      There will be no change until we can convince Middle Class Republicans that they are just as bad off as Middle Class Democraats and they should be voting along with us for truly Progressive Representatives ( which a lot Democratic Representatives are clearly not )

  •  first to last (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Democrats Ramshield

    We went from almost best to almost worst--and I blame a different subset of Americans for this disaster.  Our clergy spend all their time/money on the not yet born and soon to die, ignoring those that are alive and kicking.  The same bunch that builds opulent cathedrals and megachurches often ignores the teachings of their prophets.  Why does god hate Americans?

    Apres Bush, le deluge.

    by melvynny on Mon Oct 11, 2010 at 07:38:57 AM PDT

  •  tipped & rec'd (2+ / 0-)

    my husband is coming home tomorrow.Medicare/medicaid will not pay for transport home of him & his wheelchair.We will be paying for it out of pocket-$105.20, for a 20 minute ride & 2 attentants to bring him into our house.
     I was afraid it would be much more-but still...

    Conservatism is killing this country. Jayden

    by swampyankee on Mon Oct 11, 2010 at 08:02:19 AM PDT

  •  the 18,000 has been updated to 45,000 (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    understandinglife, icemilkcoffee

    link here.  Even the IOM had a later number of around 22,000, as I recall.

  •  "If America has the overall best health care .... (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    virginwoolf, Democrats Ramshield

    ... system in the world, why isn't the rest of the world buying it?"

    Because the rest of the world is much better informed than folk who'd even consider listening to, let alone voting for, a GOPer/tbagger.

    •  To understandinglife - Good point (0+ / 0-)

      You're right. The world is much better informed than we seem to be in the US. Now my question is how do we fix that? Efforts like this diary usually only last for a day and then they're gone, whereas Fox news is there everyday. Therefore addressing that issue is never an easy call but I hope that you and some of the other readers would be good enough to express an opinion on that. I think it would make interesting reading and a good discussion.

      sig... You just ran into a hardcore progressive who's just another working stiff with an MBA degree & therefore a vociferous labor union supporter [smile]

      by Democrats Ramshield on Mon Oct 11, 2010 at 01:17:10 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  disingenuous title (0+ / 0-)

    and a desperate attempt to equate what we got with health insurance reform with the european system, which it is NOT.

    "History is a tragedy, not a melodrama." - I.F.Stone

    by bigchin on Mon Oct 11, 2010 at 09:05:31 AM PDT

  •  Life expectancy... (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    naus

    is a bit easier to calculate but infant mortality is tricky.  If a woman is 24 weeks pregnant in the US and goes in to labor there is considerable effort to try and save that infant.  In other countries this is not counted towards those numbers.  The tool of measurement has to be the same before any external validity and comparisons can be examined.  

    •  Is that right? (0+ / 0-)

      If a woman is 24 weeks pregnant in the US and goes in to labor there is considerable effort to try and save that infant.

      I don't believe that for one minute. What? Is she going to go to the emergency room? Depending on ability to pay, she would immediately be helped or be left to wait. I honestly can't believe you think "considerable effort" would be extended to just anyone.

      •  you are delusional if you think otherwise... (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        naus

        If a woman greater than 20 weeks walks in to any ER in the country they get attention.  Live birth rates are drastically different from country to country and you are not well versed to comment on this if you don't already realize this... many euro countries only offer palliative care for births below 24 weeks.  

        You do realize that all pregnant women in the US have insurance coverage offered by the government if they cannot afford it right?

        •  Let me guess... (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Bronx59

          You have insurance? I'm curious, have you been to the ER lately? Without insurance? BTW....I wish you could tell your "all pregnant women" story to the woman in severe pain and distress (I'm guessing 5 months along) I spent 3 1/2 hours with in the ER at SF General a couple months ago.

          I guess my delusion doesn't fit with your imagined reality.

          •  if you don't have insurance... (0+ / 0-)

            and you are pregnant its due to your own fault.  The government provides coverage for pregnant women.  Its not a place for debate.  It is FACT.  I actually have worked 40+ hours a week in ERs from new york to california for the past 15 years.  I seriously doubt your story about a 5 month pregnant lady sitting with severe abd pain in the waiting room for 3 hours at any hospital in the US.  

            You are delusional.  Its that simple.  The reality is that you questioned whether birth rates were measured the same in each country and they are not.  Sweden does not count any birth under 30cm as a live birth and they don't consider babies only eligible for palliative care as a live birth.  In the US thta number is measured drastically different.  

            Those are FACTS.  FACTS that can be proven easily with a google search.  Live birth rates are determined differently= fact.  All pregnant women in the US without health insurance are eligible to receive government coverage= fact.  I would also venture to say that it is also a fact that you were not 5 months pregnant and sat in a lobby for 3 hours with severe abd pain.  I simply do not believe that because in 15 years working at some of the shadiest hospitals in the country I have never seen this happen and I doubt it happened... but this is the internet and I am sure you will continue to miss the point and lie like a dog.

      •  I'm a physician, you're wrong, period. (0+ / 0-)

        The hospital would be sued out of its existence if that happened.

  •  49 is still pretty good (0+ / 0-)

    watch a further decline under teabagger influenced America.

  •  Important diary (15+ / 0-)

    not only because of all the good information but because it contributes to dispelling the notion of socialism or social democracy as a dirty word. This is how you play offense and take the wind out of the Fox News / teabaggers' sails.

    On sick leave: One thing I've noticed in the U.S. work place is that when people get a cold or flu they still drag themselves to work, even the folks who do have sick leave. I think it's just an ingrained mentality of always having to prove how hard working they are. Or something. Of course, what happens is that they get everyone else sick and productivity goes down. In Germany, where I'm from, you just stay home when you get a cold and rest.You actually recover more quickly that way and by the time you get back to work you're fully present and at full speed and strength.

    So just as socialism isn't a dirty work, and if done right, can really propel a society towards more wealth and well being, taking sick leave (and add to that a real vacation) is not some sort of wimpy Euro behavior but contributes to the productivity of your labor force. I think if we approach the subject from this perspective we can go a long way in changing the whole premise of the conversation in the U.S. and reclaiming the debate over progressive values.  

    Safari mzuri Ahsante sana :: Journey beautiful Thank you very much!

    by citisven on Mon Oct 11, 2010 at 10:52:51 AM PDT

  •  Obesity is a big factor (0+ / 0-)

    70% are overweight and 35% are clinically obese.

    I dare you to find those stats in any European or East Asian nation.

  •  Heath care for profit (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Democrats Ramshield, LaneJ

    is an oxymoron. Any system health care that's purpose is to create wealth for a monopoly of extortionists who make money off blocking access can't produce affordable health care. not only that but when the health care system as a whole is the 3rd leading cause of deaths just mandating you purchase insurance isn't going to make our healthcare, good for your  health.      

    •  To shaharazade - super comment (0+ / 0-)

      You're right the purpose of the for-profit health insurance industry is all about them making money and not about making health care affordable or accessible. These are people who want to make their bonus and that's their goal for the quarter. That's pretty much it.

      sig... You just ran into a hardcore progressive who's just another working stiff with an MBA degree & therefore a vociferous labor union supporter [smile]

      by Democrats Ramshield on Mon Oct 11, 2010 at 11:57:23 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  "Family Values" and healthcare (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Bronx59, Democrats Ramshield

    The problem with realizing the obvious that a healthy workforce is a better and more competitive workforce is its direct opposition to this social darwinian idea that the nuclear family cocoon is ideal. Part of this is that by having good preventive health care for Every American Child would ennable them to meet education and life goals with the same strength. That would mean your child would actually have to try his or her best too instead of stepping over those with preexisting conditions like asthma or lead paint poisoning and snatch the rewards. Assuming your child is not one of the expendable ill.We don't talk about that. In other words this true equality is Unamerican. Remember when giving schoolchildren milk at lunch was considered a communist plot by the same entrenched "family values" elite? Rip apart this Cult of the Family Cocoon thinking and we will be able to see what's good for us all.

    •  To Audreybreadsley - what do you think? (0+ / 0-)

      Yours is definitely a very interesting post. You make a lot of really great points. Just a quick question though. What do you think about the European dream and the family values that it supports for its people and the 1.2 million American expats living the European Union? (Click the link below)

      http://aaro.org/...

      sig... You just ran into a hardcore progressive who's just another working stiff with an MBA degree & therefore a vociferous labor union supporter [smile]

      by Democrats Ramshield on Mon Oct 11, 2010 at 01:00:36 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

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