Just two things of note: First, the woman you see all over your TV set who is a Canadian speaking out about how she got screwed by the Canadian system is full of shit and our health minister was livid over her claims (a TV program here did an investigation into her case as well and proved it was bunk). What she needed done was not an emergency and was bearing no immediate impact on her life and as such she was asked to wait a brief period. Had it been threatening, she would of been taken care of right away, that is how our system works, the most in need first. And yes, sometimes you have to wait an inordinate amount of time in a waiting room......but its free.....for everyone. She is being paid huge cash for these ads and has admitted such on another program here in Canada.
Second, the other set of ads that have been running feature a bald headed lobbyist spewing about government health care, I am sure you have seen him. Well he ran a massive health conglomerate.........that was eventually charged with the biggest fine ever levied in American history. The company had to pay 1.7 billion for having defrauded the U.S. government over the period of ten years (I think). And he is currently running a large part of the right's lobbying campaign. Sadly, the right have a lot of good arguments, it's just they are being drowned out by the lunatic fringe and the over-zealous lobbyists who fuel them. Here is the interview CNN's Rick Sanchez had where he questions him about the fine; artful dodger.
thanks - not only did he run a health care conglomerate that was fined for fraud, it was a for profit company
Question for Daren, or Matt, or any Canadian pauger. I understand there's a private insurance system in Canada as well. How many people use it? Why? who are they?
And finally, a couple comments about the current system from someone who has seen both sides. I realize in a way I'm preaching to the choir cause most of us are leftist hippies, but still...
If you're worried about a govt or insurance company getting between you and your doctor, it is ALREADY HAPPENING. Private companies put up more hoops and roadblocks than Medicare. I'm no fan of Medicare either. The Pres uses Mayo Clinic as an example of a high quality, cost efficient system. According to Time mag, Mayo is losing money on their Medicare patients. Something is wrong.
The system is too expensive. People with insurance, in general, get too much testing and care. That's why all those roadblocks are there. To some degree, they are necessary.
Why is too much stuff being done? Several reasons, imo. some generalizations, in no order
-many patients want everything done. some have "unreal" expectations
-doctors and patients embrace new (expensive) technology marketed as the latest and greatest thing, before it is adequately tested
-doctors want to do anything they can to help their patients and order extra tests 'just to be safe". patients like that. An unwanted consequence is too much information and false positive tests, that lead to more testing and more money spent. Any time more stuff is done, there also is a small but real chance something can go wrong. There are potential complications to everything, even cat scans (long term effects of radiation, etc).
-doctors want to do anything they can to avoid getting sued. THERE NEEDS TO BE TORT REFORM
-Most overutilization by doctors is not merely to get paid more. Most tests (x rays, stress tests) are ordered by doctors who get NOTHING for ordering the test. Cutting the reimbursement for these tests won't decrease the amount of tests ordered, cause the docs ordered don't get anything now - they don't care what the reimbursement is. they just want the test result (or think they do)
-hospitals and doctors get paid fee for service. While it is sadly true that some docs order things to pad their income (this is regrettable), from my observations in New England, this is the vast minority.
-medicine is expensive. it is labor intensive, delivered by highly trained people. (who do you want taking care of you during and emergencey at 2 AM?) drugs are expensive. medical equipment is expensive. for all the bitching about drug companies, much of it justified, right now it takes about $100 million to launch a new drug. For every 100 drugs tested, less than 5 actually make it to market.
-I wish I knew how to fix it
end of rant.