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Old 11-12-2009, 06:08 PM   #21
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I could go on and on, but just for starters the problems we'd have to confront include (in no particular order):
  • lifestyle (obesity, smoking, drugs)
That is a big objection of a lot of people. But here's the thing: If there is so much outrage about "obesity" and "lifestyle" because of the perceived higher cost of that lifestyle to the public for health care, how come there isn't outrage about how much more healthy lifestyles are costing us in terms of Social Security and public pensions? People who "live right" in terms of health collect checks from the taxpayer for several more years on average.

So if the objection to obesity, lack of exercise, junk food, smoking, drinking and whatever else is really due to disgust over the cost to the public.... why aren't these same people mad about healthy lifestyles sucking SS and public pensions dry, for another 5, 6, 7 or more years on average?

Usually I hear crickets when I ask that question. That suggests to me that it's really more about disapproval of the lifestyle than it is about cost to the public, with the cost to the public being a convenient justification for said disapproval.
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Old 11-13-2009, 04:56 PM   #22
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That is a big objection of a lot of people. But here's the thing: If there is so much outrage about "obesity" and "lifestyle" because of the perceived higher cost of that lifestyle to the public for health care, how come there isn't outrage about how much more healthy lifestyles are costing us in terms of Social Security and public pensions? People who "live right" in terms of health collect checks from the taxpayer for several more years on average.

So if the objection to obesity, lack of exercise, junk food, smoking, drinking and whatever else is really due to disgust over the cost to the public.... why aren't these same people mad about healthy lifestyles sucking SS and public pensions dry, for another 5, 6, 7 or more years on average?

Usually I hear crickets when I ask that question. That suggests to me that it's really more about disapproval of the lifestyle than it is about cost to the public, with the cost to the public being a convenient justification for said disapproval.
Of course that was just one of many health care issues, but an interesting POV. Not sure how to evaluate if one offsets the other in terms of $. If so, I guess the Surgeon General should start advocating smoking, drinking, drinking & driving, etc. My MIL has never taken care of herself, has had lots of medical issues all funded by taxpayers, she is 84 and still going strong. But I guess I should withhold judgement until I have some facts...
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Old 11-13-2009, 05:22 PM   #23
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But I guess I should withhold judgement until I have some facts...
No need to get too far "out of bounds."
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Old 11-13-2009, 06:01 PM   #24
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Old 11-13-2009, 06:35 PM   #25
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The Japanese smoke like chimneys...
My wife was telling me about a study she read on those aged 110 and over. Smoking and drinking were fairly common - one woman even lit up during the interview

The only common factor reported was the ability they all had in dealing with stress, and they came from a range of different backgrounds and all had had plenty of stress in their lives.

so, no more of this and lots more of this
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Old 11-13-2009, 07:30 PM   #26
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I think it was the former president of Switzerland who said the vote for No/Yes was almost 50/50, but they did it only like 10 years ago, which is amazing.

Can you imagine the government capping how much doctors can charge for patient visits/treatments/drugs in the US? Hospital stays? Doctors are in the helping profession, but I'm sure many become doctors attracted to the future income. Who would want to become doctors knowing they can't make much money? What to do with their huge student loans?

It is also interesting that in a few places within the show different people said the universal healthcare is kind of like Medicare, so we already have it, but extending it to the rest of the people may not be so easy.
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Old 11-16-2009, 11:55 AM   #27
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The impression and things I heard on the show about doctor pay indicated they got about 2/3 of what american doctors get. And those countries have the out of sight vacation allowances. Doesn't sound that bad. And not much in set up and marketing costs.
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Old 11-16-2009, 02:52 PM   #28
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The impression and things I heard on the show about doctor pay indicated they got about 2/3 of what american doctors get. And those countries have the out of sight vacation allowances. Doesn't sound that bad. And not much in set up and marketing costs.

The cost of insurance for their practice and the cost of their education are also very small compared to their counterparts in the USA.
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Old 11-16-2009, 04:53 PM   #29
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I hate to go to my doctor because he runs every test know to man on me and never finds anything. Why ?? because I have good insurance. I know for a fact he does it on others also. A simple blood test would probably be good enough unless I complain of something wrong with me. Here is an interesting article I read yesterday.
Very best care in the world is not affordable | Birmingham News Commentary - al.com
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Old 11-16-2009, 05:45 PM   #30
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I hate to go to my doctor because he runs every test know to man on me and never finds anything. Why ?? because I have good insurance.
I doubt that is the reason. In any event, my PCP found my Atrial Fibrillation during one of those silly "unnecessary" looks. I doubt that I would be alive today had he not found it; I certainly would not enjoy the quality of life I am blessed with. I most likely would have been one those "healthy as a horse and just keeled over" statistics. Since then I cannot get enough testing done.

On the other hand, I recognize there are those that feel 180 to that thinking:

The Adventures of Tioga and George

and I respect that.
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Old 11-16-2009, 06:50 PM   #31
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I hate to go to my doctor because he runs every test know to man on me and never finds anything. Why ?? because I have good insurance. I know for a fact he does it on others also. A simple blood test would probably be good enough unless I complain of something wrong with me. Here is an interesting article I read yesterday.
Very best care in the world is not affordable | Birmingham News Commentary - al.com
It is not the number of tests I object to so much as the costs of the tests. In the program it highlighted the Japanese as visiting the doctor 3 times more often than Americans and having 4 times as many MRI scans and they can do this because the costs of the tests is very low - an MRI costs $98.

I don't know how much an MRI costs in the UK but a way they keep down the cost is machine utilization, using it from early morning to late into the evenings. My BIL has had several MRI's on his head (slow growing brain tumor - he has had 3 surgeries on it also). His appointments are always after 8pm which suits my sister as she has to drive him and it saves her taking unpaid time off work.
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Old 11-16-2009, 07:53 PM   #32
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It is not the number of tests I object to so much as the costs of the tests. In the program it highlighted the Japanese as visiting the doctor 3 times more often than Americans and having 4 times as many MRI scans and they can do this because the costs of the tests is very low - an MRI costs $98.
Is this the total cost of the procedure, or the cost to the patient after government subsidies?
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Old 11-16-2009, 08:50 PM   #33
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Is this the total cost of the procedure, or the cost to the patient after government subsidies?
That is the absolute cost of the procedure to the insurance company, and they said the same scan would cost 10 times as much in the USA. ($1,000 versus $98). In the program they said that when the government set the costs the manufacturers claimed they couldn't make machines that could cost so little so the government said they would find companies that could, and lo and behold the costs came down. They showed an MRI scanner being used - made by Toshiba. Not suggested in the program, but perhaps Toshiba and others make their profits by ramping up the profit margins on countries and people that will pay.
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Old 11-17-2009, 11:10 AM   #34
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Not suggested in the program, but perhaps Toshiba and others make their profits by ramping up the profit margins on countries and people that will pay.
Wouldn't surprise me. That seems to be what the drug makers do.
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