Health care

Yesterday I saw one of the latest movie made by Micahel Moore, "Sicko". For some of you, who haven`t seen it yet you may do it here.
I have already discussed about this movie with Linda by e-mail and I want to know more. Least to say, it was shocking. And amounts of money mentiond there are just close to impossible, especially for me. My country is poor, people in Serbia has average salary of 350 eur and God only knows when we are going to recover from recent wars and economic sanctions. But… Living in Serbia and experiencing last two decades the way they happened, made me very suspicious toward anything written in newspapers or said on TV. There is no absolute truth and usualy we, ordinary people, don`t have enough information to be certain about important matters. So this is what came as an idea to me: I will let you make this post through comments – you may write about healt care in your country, is it good or bad, what troubles you most, who are you blaming for that, etc, etc, etc…. Also, I would like you to tell me how much from a M. Moore`s movie is a true and what is errr…. bended truth. Under a condition: try not just to say everything in movie is a lie. What I want are the facts not only a plain opinion about movie – it was just a reason I made this post. We live in a world of lot of delusions and don`t need to contribute to that. Truth is always somewhere in between.

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115 Responses to Health care

  1. gdare says:

    And I will start first. A little advantage for the owner of the blog ;)The way our health care system works was made after WW2 and after some modifications it works like this: employer reserves part of the money from a gross profit for health insurrance of employees; kids and old people has health care covered by the government so they are not supposed to pay for anything. Doctors and other medical personnel are government employees and their salary and other social coverages are provided by government. A system that worked pretty good until Balkan wars started. I will not bother you with stories how everything has gone to hell during 90s. Back then everything worked fine as long as you have money to buy pills if you got sick; needles, bandages, threads if you need to go to surgery – usually you would get a list of everything needed for the operation and you could find it in private pharmacies (there is also big government-led pharmaceutical company but back in 90s it was almost inefficient) or abroad – people used to travel to Hungary to buy what they needed and then smuggle it back. Not to mention doctors who forgot Hippocratic Oath and asked directly to be given some money if patient wanted to be treated – ammount depended of how serious your illness was.Now, things has changed and it started to look as it was before. Me, as employed person, have health care covered by government who got a part of a money my employer pays. Also, everytime I visit a doctor I have to pay symbolic amount of money – I think it is 0.05 eur now. Also, there is a list of pills that are completely covered by government and you don`t have to pay for them – to say the truth it is a very short list, reserved for most serious illnesses – for the rest I will have to pay but they are usually not that expensive. Retired people are not supposed to pay for their medications and I know that once a month my grandpa goes to meet his doctor in a primary medical health institution and then got a list with prescriptions – the problem is that government pharmacies don`t have all the pills he needs so he have to go to private ones and pay for them. Also, we have private laboratories and medical clinics but for most of the population they are too expensive. On the other hand some of them has been in a major scandals lately, with patients dying during operations and people mostly have reserved opinion about them. I must say, I know few good experts working in private clinics, so these were mostly isolated cases but we have a saying here that bad word is spread wide….There is similar thing with dental care but most of the people I know goes to private dentists – me too – somehow I feel more cared and pampered πŸ˜€ Usual price for a tooth filling is about 20 eur and I know some people living abroad who comes here to take care of their teeth. Our dentists are good and not expensive as in other countries.To my opinion, the biggest problem in Serbia is a lack of specialised equipment, for both prevention analysis and treatment. For example, waiting lists even for a simple ultrasound exam of abdomen could be 3 months "long" – except in cases of emergency. In that area we somewhat depend on international help, so it is not unusual to read in newspapers that our hospitals got donated scanner, device for magnetic resonance imaging or some other device for treatment of different illnesses.Corruption has been almost extinct but here and there you can read about doctors being arrested for asking extra money. Recently, an doctor asked 500 eur from a parents for treating their kid who had some kind of cancer. They reported it to police and a doctor was arrested a minutes after receiving money. He is waiting for a trial now. Some people just don`t have a soul.That`s it for now. I will add some more if I find something interesting in your comments, for comparing.Now what about you?

  2. ricewood says:

    Here in Denmark we also have a fully tax-payed social system – including health care.Having a handicapped wife and also experiencing the health care system first hand due to my own health problems, gives me some idea what is fact and what is fiction about what is said.In Danish press there are unending stories about the faults and incompetent handling of things in hospitals and other health care institutions. But neither my wife nor I have ever experienced serious problems concerning these matters. From day one we have received help and support – and even more than any of us could have expected. My wife is normally being helped by care takers (nurses and social workers) up to ten times a day – and if she needs more care, she'll just call them and they will be there. Myself, I am having treatment weekly, support from my GP as much as I wish plus medical consultations where a doctor is talking to me in order to figure out if the help I need is the help that is given or something should be done differently.And we don't ever have to bring money – it's all been payed for by the community. Or to say it in an other way, we have been paying for that all the years prior to our present problems.I am happy with what we have here, and I can easily understand why other would like something like this, if they lack it. Only trouble with this system is, that for the not so serious conditions there might be some waiting time before you can be treated. Like knee surgery or the likes.What do I think about being heavily taxed, then? Well, this being one of the richest countries in the world, I really can't complain.

  3. clean says:

    Over here we've got a tax-supported system (Medicare), though there are also a number of companies offering private health insurance. It's up to individuals if they want to pay for private health cover, though, since Medicare is available for all.A large range of pharmaceuticals are available at substantial discounts through the PBS (Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme). Dental is available either through private practice or (for those eligible) hospitals with the appropriate facilities (though waiting times for treatment through these can blow out to 18 months if it's not an emergency situation). Most private doctors over here also have what's called 'Bulk Billing', where you can pay for your visit/treatment, and get most of it back later via application to Medicare (often the same day).A good overview of the whole system can be found here, where there's also a mention of the Flying Doctors.

  4. ellinidata says:

    I do have the CD Darko,and everything he talks in it, it's 100% true..Scary as it is health care, matternity leave, social security, schools……….. all are down the drain ! Eight years of Bush are not only responsible… the lack of responsibility from all of us is the major factor,apathy that brought us in a situation that I am afraid either will take 50 years to repair (if we work on it responsibly),or we are in the "no return zone" 😦

  5. SittingFox says:

    In Britain it's the National Health Service. Visits to the doctor are free, though you have to pay a prescription charge of about Β£7 on medicine. Dentistry is a different matter – you will be charged up to Β£200 to get treatment from an NHS dentist, presuming that you can even find one (they're turning into a rare species, truth be told; private dentists charge far more). There is talk of charging to visit a doctor, too, but introducing such a thing would be extremely controversial.As for quality of care – well, it varies. You do hear horror stories, and I can speak from personal experience that it isn't easy to get rabies vaccine shots here :whistle: but on the whole it seems to work well enough.

  6. tibipop says:

    @gdareI read your comment and I had the impression that talking about my country, Romania, because here things are exactly identical.Was a surprise for me to know that the disastrous situation of our medical system and is found elsewhere.The differences are too small as I can add something.

  7. PainterWoman says:

    Here in the US, the cost for individual medical insurance is astronomical. I must pay $938 every three months to keep what is called 'catastrophic' insurance with a $5000 out-of-pocket deductible. Of course, my age and the smoking factor, ups the price. It would be only $100 less each payment if I didn't smoke. I am 'medical insurance' poor as opposed to people being 'house poor' if they've bought a too expensive house. Employers will have group insurance for their full-time employees. It used to be that the company provided it. Now, they take it out of your pay but I think at a reduced rate than if you were an individual paying for it. It also used to be the employer provide the insurance immediately or at 3 months of employment. Now, they make you work 6 months to a year before offering insurance. Often, however, they lay you off at those times to prevent having to pay the cost of your insurance. Then a week later, you see an ad for workers for their company. It also used to be that 32 to 40 hours was considered full-time. Now it is 40. But then, the employers may reduce your hours to under 40 so you are no longer eligible for med insurance.All of this has happened to me over the course of the 12 years I've been divorced. The five years I went to the university was great because their health care plan was great and didn't cost an arm and a leg. But then the university tacked on a $500 charge if you were a continuing student past five years. We have something called Arizona Health Care Cost Containment System (AHCCCS) but I do not qualify as I'm not poor enough.

  8. ellinidata says:

    ouch Pam ! I hear you! my family's Health Insurance alone is 760.ooUSD a month and with my maintnance of 800.00USD I reach the salary of an average American,(imagine if I did not have paid off houses) to add food, clothings, school expenses for the kids… the monthly cost of living in the USA it is so high, I work 14 hours a day! Single mom with no life! Now you know why I do not date πŸ˜₯ who wants to get more bills?

  9. Stardancer says:

    I've never seen this movie, Darko, but I'm not a fan of Michael Moore. I can't tell you whether the movie is fact or fiction. What I can tell you is my experience.When I worked, I had the choice to find a job that offered health insurance benefits or one that didn't. When I had health insurance, it was paid mostly by my employers and partly by me, sometimes even completely by my employer. The quality of that health insurance depended upon what both or either of us could afford. And I had the choice as to whether to partake of their offered plans, seek out better options, or just simply not have health insurance. I had a choice as to which doctors to go to and how often, which hospitals to use for surgeries and outpatient procedures, where to buy my prescription medications, and much greater control over my own health care.Now that I'm unable to work, I must depend upon the government for my healthcare. I am told which doctors I must use, how often I can go to them, and how long I can stay. I am told which hospital I must use and how long I can stay, whether I need to stay longer or not. I am told where I can buy my prescription drugs.In this system, I've had both perspectives–that of private health care, and that of government supplied and controlled health care.I would take private any day.Yeah, it may cost more.But you get what you pay for.

  10. Words says:

    But you get what you pay for.

    And if you can't pay, you don't get…..Stardancer, that's an interesting perspective but the point is that in most of Europe you get the treatment irrespective of what you can afford. If I need a transplant, I get it whether I'm rich or poor; and I don't get a 'cheap' doctor if I'm poor. It's the same person for both. Also we can choose which treatment centres we use, and can choose our doctors and can choose where to get our prescriptions filled. The fact that the American public health system has some bad aspects to it (mostly to do with massive under-funding) doesn't mean a public health system has to operate that way. Oh, and our prescription medicines cost Β£7 for everyone, unless you are on low income, a child or retired; in which case they are free. And there are no exclusions for pre-existing conditions. If I get ill, I get treated. Period. To have a system that offers *anything* less is shocking.I'm not saying that the very best American health care isn't fantastic; I'm sure it is. But it is a disgrace that around 50 million Americans don't have access to insured health care at all (about the population of the UK), and that for millions more the prospect of treatment is tied up with wealth and insurance. You talk about your choices, but surely those were limited by what you could afford? That's not really choice; that's financial rationing. It's only a proper choice if you can afford the most expensive (and then choose something else).

  11. gdare says:

    I read somewhere that British model of health care is the best in the world. There is no perfect system, though, because making it is probably the most difficult job for every country in the world, despite is it Burkina Faso or USA. What I can see as a common fact is that for some treatments there are a very long waiting lists – the difference is probably in the sort of treatment that is waited – here, it could be that for some serious illneses patient is supposed to wait for months. In that situation, patients go to private doctors and pay for treatment. In past, a doctor could say that you will have to wait 6 months for being scanned and then you go to private practice and get it immediatelly, sometimes by the same doctor :faint:@tibipop – I guess countries with communist past has the same inheritance, and not only in politics and economy :left: Your country is in EU and you have access to funds we can only dream about, but what was left from past could not be fixed easily…Pam, from your comment I could see that employers are also the same, no matter what part of the world we are talking about. It is not fair to put someone under 32 working hours just to avoid paying for health insurrance.Originally posted by Stardancer:

    But you get what you pay for.

    Star, this is what frightens me the most. I have seen how unsure life could be: today you have job and good salary and then something beyond your control is changed and you have nothing. Also, we are not getting younger, it is to be expected we will have some health problems when we are old…Words, that number (50 million) shocked me. I was asking myself how is it possible? It is what, one sixth of USA population?

  12. Stardancer says:

    The health care system here used to take care of the poor, elderly, and disabled, regardless of ability to pay. That was before politics entered the picture. Now–before nationalized health care–the poor, elderly and disabled cannot afford health care, but they are not denied care; and there are government programs to help pay those bills for those who need them. Under the proposals being bandied about within the halls of Congress to nationalize health care, the poor, elderly, and disabled may even be denied care if the government decides it's not cost-effective to treat them, in essence giving the government power to decide who lives and who dies and when.THAT is shocking.

  13. Words says:

    Darko, just finished watching the documentary. That a film about American health care policy kept me engrossed for two hours is in itself astonishing. A great piece of of film-making: shocking, endearing, sometimes over-egging the situation, but funny, gentle, ironic as well.

  14. SittingFox says:

    I've received medical assistance in three countries – the UK, Canada and India. The last one was an emergency (malaria) and I was way off the beaten track, in a rural district near Kanha National Park. My local guide took me to a rural clinic and the doctor there said that I was a guest in his country and I shouldn't pay at all. As for the UK – I think the NHS is one of the things that this country actually does do more or less right, and I would never, ever want to be at the mercy of a health insurance company. I've got enough to worry about with pet insurance for vet fees.Michael Moore…I do not altogether trust. But I don't judge a cause by its messenger! πŸ˜‰

  15. gdare says:

    But don`t you think he bended the truth a bit, or did he emphasized only extremely bad things, just to be more shocking? And that part with Cuba must have been a finger to an eye to many politicians in USA :left:

  16. Words says:

    Oh for sure some of it was politically suspect (especially the Cuban sequence), and yes he picked his European subjects carefully. But the main argument – that health care is a right and should be free on the basis of need not wealth – is surely (with a nod to American constitutional issues) a 'self-evident right'.

  17. sanshan says:

    I watched this movie a couple of weeks ago and posted about it, so I don't want to say too much again. I'm just very grateful for the healthcare system we have in Canada. The only thing not really covered though is dental work and that can be expensive if you dont' have extra coverage privately. But, you can always go to a teaching hospital and be treated by the dentistry students.

  18. gdare says:

    Adele, you were lucky in India, I think in most third world countries, including Serbia, you would be charged. One interesting thing happened to my friend while he was on a summer vacation in Greece with his family, few years ago. His youngest child got into clinical death, due to some bizzare incident. Luckily his wife was a medical assistant and knew what to do in situations like that. While she was taking her back he called for emergency and they put her to hospital. Luckily, everything was all right and she was released 3 days later and they were not charged at all. They were told that in a case of life treathening situations every medical help is for free. This is nice to know.Words, you`ve got a point with that.San, I know and your post made me look after that movie πŸ™‚

  19. L2D2 says: explanation for ACORN. ACORN is one of the biggest scams and Obama has his fingers all in it. Darko, if this health care plan gets passed as is, I, as a senior citizen, with a chronic disease, will be denied almost all health care. They want to decide who lives and who dies. This means that if I have a bad case of pneumonia or chronic bronchitis, which I do at least once a year, I would be denied hospitalization and medication, or it would be severely rationed. This plan is just evil. > > > > This is a letter written by Dr.> Stephen Fraser to Senator Bayh. If> you would like to send it on to your Congressman, he says to> feel free to copy it and send it around to our friends and> to senators and representatives.> > > > > July 23, 2009> > Senator Bayh,> > As a practicing physician I have major concerns with the> healthcare bill before Congress. I actually have read the> bill and am shocked by the brazenness of the> government's proposed involvement in the patient> physician relationship. The very idea that the government> will dictate and ration patient care is dangerous and> certainly not helpful in designing a healthcare system that> works for all. Every physician I work with agrees that we> need to fix our healthcare system, but the proposed bills> currently making their way through congress will be a> disaster if passed.> > I ask you respectfully and as a patriotic American to look> at the following troubling lines that I have read in the> bill. You cannot possibly believe that these proposals are> in the best interests of the country and our fellow> citizens.> > Page 22 of the HC Bill: Mandates that the Govt will audit> books of all employers that self insure!!> > Page 30 Sec 123 of HC bill – THERE WILL BE A GOVT COMMITTEE> that decides what treatments/benefits you get.> > Page 29 lines 4-16 in the HC bill: YOUR HEALTH CARE IS> RATIONED!!!> > > Page 42 of HC Bill:The Health Choices Commissioner will> choose your HC Benefits for you. You have no choice!> > Page 50 Section 152 in HC bill: HC will be provided to ALL> non US citizens, illegal or otherwise> > Page 58 HC Bill: Govt will have real-time access to> individuals finances & a National ID Healthcard will be> issued!> > Page 59 HC Bill lines 21-24: Govt will have direct access> to you ur banks accounts for elective funds transfer.> > Page 65 Sec 164: is a payoff subsidized plan for retirees> and their families in Unions & community organizations:> (ACORN).> > Page 84 Sec 203 HC bill: Govt mandates ALL benefit packages> for private HC plans in the Exchange.> > Page 85 Line 7 HC Bill: Specifications for of Benefit> Levels for Plans = The Govt will ration your Healthcare!> > Page 91 Lines 4-7 HC Bill: Govt mandates linguistic> appropriate services. Example – Translation: illegal> aliens.> > Page 95 HC Bill Lines 8-18: The Govt will use groups i.e.,> ACORN & Americorps to sign up individuals for Govt HC> plan.> > Page 85 Line 7 HC Bill: Specifications of Benefit Levels> for Plans. AARP members – your Health care WILL be> rationed.> > Page 102 Lines 12-18 HC Bill: Medicaid Eligible Individuals> will be automatically enrolled in Medicaid. No choice.> > Page 124 lines 24-25 HC: No company can sue GOVT on price> fixing. No "judicial review" against Govt> Monopoly.> > Page 127 Lines 1-16 HC Bill: Doctors/ American Medical> Association – The Govt will tell YOU what you can make!> (salary)> > Page 145 Line 15-17: An Employer MUST auto enroll employees> into public option plan. NO CHOICE!> > Page 126 Lines 22-25: Employers MUST pay for HC for part> time employees AND their families.> > Page 149 Lines 16-24: ANY Employer with payroll 401k &> above who does not provide public option pays 8% tax on all> payroll.> > Page 150 Lines 9-13: Business's with payroll btw 251k> & 401k who doesn't provide public option pays 2-6%> tax on all payroll.> > Page 167 Lines 18-23: ANY individual who doesn't have> acceptable HC according to Govt will be taxed 2.5% of> income.> > Page 170 Lines 1-3 HC Bill: Any NONRESIDENT Alien is exempt> from individual taxes. (Americans will pay)> > Page 195 HC Bill: Officers & employees of HC Admin> (GOVT) will have access to ALL Americans finances /personal> records.> > Page 203 Line 14-15 HC: "The tax imposed under this> section shall not be treated as tax" Yes, it says> that!> > Page 239 Line 14-24 HC Bill: Govt will reduce physician> services for Medicaid Seniors, low income and poor are> affected.> > Page 241 Line 6-8 HC Bill: Doctors, doesn't matter what> specialty you have, you'll all be paid the same!> > Page 253 Line 10-18: Govt sets value of Doctor's time,> proffession, judgment etc. Literally value of humans.> > Page 265 Sec 1131: Govt mandates & controls> productivity for private HC industries.> > Page 268 Sec 1141: Federal Govt regulates rental &> purchase of power driven wheelchairs.> > Page 272 SEC. 1145: TREATMENT OF CERTAIN CANCER HOSPITALS -> Cancer patients – welcome to rationing!> > Page 280 Sec 1151: The Govt will penalize hospitals for> whatever Govt deems preventable re-admissions.> > Page 298 Lines 9-11: Doctors, treat a patient during> initial admission that results in a re-admission -Govt will> penalize you.> > Page 317 L 13-20: PROHIBITION on ownership/investment. Govt> tells Doctors what/how much they can own!> > Page 317-318 lines 21-25, 1-3: PROHIBITION on expansion-> Govt is mandating hospitals cannot expand.> > Page 321 2-13: Hospitals have opportunity to apply for> exception BUT community input is required. Can u say> ACORN?!!> > Page 335 L 16-25 Pg 336-339: Govt mandates establishment of> outcome based measures. HC the way they want. Rationing.> > Page 341 Lines 3-9: Govt has authority to disqualify> Medicare Advance Plans, HMOs, etc. Forcing people into Govt> plan.> > Page 354 Sec 1177: Govt will RESTRICT enrollment of Special> needs people! Unbelievable!> > Page 379 Sec 1191: Govt creates more bureaucracy -> Tele-health Advisory Comittee. Can you say HC by phone?> > Page 425 Lines 4-12: Govt mandates Advance Care Planning> Consult. Think Senior Citizens end of life patients.> > Page 425 Lines 17-19: Govt will instruct & consult> regarding living wills, durable powers of attorney.> Mandatory!> > Page 425 Lines 22-25, 426 Lines 1-3: Govt provides approved> list of end of life resources, guiding you in death.> (assisted suicide)> > Page 427 Lines 15-24: Govt mandates program for orders for> end of life.. The Govt has a say in how your life ends.> > Page 429 Lines 1-9: An "advanced care planning> consultant" will be used frequently as patients health> deteriorates.> > Page 429 Lines 10-12: "advanced care> consultation" may include an ORDER for end of life> plans. AN ORDER from GOVT!> > Page 429 Lines 13-25: The govt will specify which Doctors> can write an end of life order.> > Page 430 Lines 11-15: The Govt will decide what level of> treatment you will have at end of life!> > Page 469: Community Based Home Medical Services = Non> profit organizations. Hello, ACORN Medical Services here!!?> > Page 472 Lines 14-17: PAYMENT TO COMMUNITY-BASED> ORIGINATION. 1 monthly payment 2 a community-based> organization. Like ACORN?> > Page 489 Sec 1308: The Govt will cover Marriage &> Family therapy. Which means they will insert Govt into your> marriage.> > Page 494-498: Govt will cover Mental Health Services> including defining, creating, rationing those services.> > > Senator, I guarantee that I personally will do everything> possible to inform patients and my fellow physicians about> the dangers of the proposed bills you and your colleagues> are debating.> > Furthermore, If you vote for a bill that enforces> socialized medicine on the country and destroys the> doctor/patient relationship, I will do everything in my> power to make sure you lose your job in the next election.> > Respectfully,> > Stephen E Fraser> MD Darko wanted me to post this. This is such a huge subject and it is not going to be easily solved. Health Care in America IS broke. The insurance companies and pharmaceutical houses are so greedy that they, along with other situations, have made medical care extremely difficult for millions of Americans.In the film, mostly the insurance companies he addressed were HMOs and PPOs, which is "managed health care plans." If one can afford regular medical insurance, the care is much better and the horror stories are a lot fewer. These organizations, and many hospitals now cut cost and increase profits any way they can.But children and seniors on Medicare have a much better result. I discussed this with you earlier, Dare and do not want to go into it that much here. Suffice it to say, for about 15 years I had no insurance of any kind and had to depend on the County Health District for medical care, or go to the emergency room. They cannot refuse to treat a patient. But the amount of care one gets there without ins. is much less now than it was even two years ago. I occasionally had to go to emergency room for my condition. Never had a bill less than $900. Most of the time it was between $2000 and $4000USD for a visit. That usually included processing me, putting me in a cubicle where I sometimes had to wait for hours, then be seen by an ER doctor who would order tests—maybe a blood panel, X-rays always, and breathing treatments, sometimes oxygen, IV or injection of antibiotics.I pay for a Medicare Supplement that pays for what Medicare does not (which is about 20%). Since I turned 65, I have not had to pay a cent when I went to doctor or hospital or for tests. Medicare also pays fully for preventive care which includes things like mammograms periodically. I pay $146 for my Medicare Supplement.Bush Administration Drug Plan system works great since the initial chaos of trying to get it established. I get extra help from Medicare to help pay for my drug plan and prescriptions. I have medications that total $1000 per month. I pay $6.oo total for one prescription. I do not have to pay any deductibles, nor do I have to pay premiums. The institution of the drug plan was a good thing.So, the only thing I have to pay now for all my health care is $145 plus $6.00 per month. Yes, there are millions of Americans without health care. But there are programs and resources to help many of these people if they look for it. The hardest hit, really, is the ordinary working joe who either has to do without insurance or have a huge chunk of his income held out of each paycheck. The answer? I do not know, but I do know this—-it isn't the health care plan that is being shoved down our throats right now—-not as written, and not without a LOT of revision. I do not particularly want to be left to die. Neither do diabetics, patients with cancer, or other terminal or chronic conditions.If you love your parents, don't let this bill get passed as is.

  20. L2D2 says:

    Sorry this was so long Darko. Most probably won't even read it. That is why I have hesitated and waited till now to comment.

  21. sanshan says:

    I pay 50$ a month in British Columbia, and there are no charges if I go to the ER or have any other kind of service. If you have a low income you pay no premiums at all. Seniors I believe get discounts on medications. Mammograms, xrays, MRI's, operations they are all included. So I am wondering what is wrong with socialism and why are Americans so afraid of it? It's not a perfect system but so much better than our southern neighbours. I won't go across the border for even one day without getting extra travel insurance. Anyway. That's all I have to say…lol. I hope.

  22. L2D2 says:

    Thank you for struggling through it. I don't know how interesting it might be to someone not living in the U.S.

  23. ricewood says:

    Linda, for your information, I read it. Thank you.

  24. ricewood says:

    It is interesting – for comparison. In fact I think this subject is fundamentally interesting. Especially because it's obvious that these matters are dealt with very differently around the world.

  25. gdare says:

    Linda, don't worry about the length of your comment. This was my general idea when I made this post – I wanted everyone make a contribution because this topic is too big for one person to cover, not to mention my poor knowledge of the health care in other countries. And, I read it all, too.San, I am not sure this has to have anything with socialism – it is a justice and right of very citizen in every country in the world to have proper medical care. Screw the profit, if voters are good for elections they must be good for being taken care of when they need. This has to be the number one priority in every country, despite the socio-political establishment and overall wealth. There are too many greedy politicians and businessmen around.Here I am again ranting against politicians πŸ˜›

  26. Minenow says:

    :faint: Put it this way, I believe Sicko was pretty darn accurate, and I felt like, once again, I should hop the northern border and be a Canadian, eh!

  27. sanshan says:

    It should be right. But if you could hear the news here you'd realize that there is a lot of fear mongerering by special interest groups concerning socialism which according to many is no better than communism. They use that as a focus to hide the real issues that people should be focusing on. There is one particular ad (and I don't think it's been playing anymore) which is basically showing a Canadian woman who had a brain tumor and went to the States to get faster treatment for it. They made it out to seem that she would've died from this tumor if she had waited for treatment in Canada. But it turns out that the kind of tumor she had was benign, slow growing and usually not fatal. The doctors even said that if there had been signs that she needed the treatment right away she would've been bumped up the waiting list. Anyway, our system is not perfect of course.After this ad got a lot of airplay this American woman from Seattle became really upset because she wanted to see changes in her health care system and thought ours was a good model. So she wrote letters to various Canadian newspapers asking us Canadians if we felt our system was bad. And boy did she get letters! And phone calls. All from Canadians saying that our universal health though not perfect was pretty darn good. They even interviewed her on CBC radio about that. Ok. I'll try to stop talking about this now. πŸ˜€

  28. thaodp says:

    Uhm, this's a difficult subject to me, but I want to try if I could show you what I know. Here we have a health system that covers all the country. Children under 6 years old don't have to pay anything for health care. Poor families, elderly people have special health insurance from goverment. Employee have health insurance which will pay for all or a part of your bills -depend on the kinds of your health problem. Jobless/ free job people can buy voluntary insurance which have the same way as the one employee has. Health insurance is really useful when you get danger disease or operation which usually cost much money to treat. The system seems to be ok – but the biggest problem is the weak ability of doctors in the local hospitals/ health centres and, in many and many hospitals you must give money to doctors to make sure you are treated well.

  29. gdare says:

    San, don`t worry, just say what you want :DMit, it seems that all former or even present socialist/communist countries share the same problems – lack of doctors in your country seems to produce some corruption, if I understood well.

  30. barefoot_muse says:

    I havent seen the movie, and the US system of health care has been covered here, but I'll add my experience if you're interested. I dont' have insurance, and I can't get insurance, I'm turned down and denied because of my medical history and I've never had any life threatening health situations. Paying out of pocket is horrible and I don't understand why things cost so much. It doesn't make sense to me at all. I paid $160 for a shot that a friend who is in the medical field told me that the actual cost is $20-30. Where does the other 140 go? I paid separate for the dr visit, so it isn't there. And that's only a small scale, what about an operation or having a child or serious illness? It's not possible to pay those costs out of pocket. One of my school friend's father died of cancer last year, but because of costs, bills, and lost coverage while her father was dying her mother had to declare bankruptcy and the family lost their house. All while losing their husband/father. That just isn't right.I don't know what is a good plan, maybe not the bill pushing through congress, but the way things are now isn't good either.

  31. gdare says:

    I was wondering if there will be anyone from USA without health care. Why did they refuse you? If this is too much into your privacy, you don`t have to answer, though. I am just curious because you are young and it doesn`t seem too fair from my point of view.

  32. Stardancer says:

    What Muse says sums up the health care problems in the U.S. pretty good. It's not the health care itself that is the problem. The problem are the costs–for the tests, the doctor visits, the medicines, the surgeries. Even the cost of health insurance is outrageous, when you can get it.Forcing people to pay for health insurance is not the solution. Making health care and medications affordable is the solution.Like Darko says, if we could get the politics, politicians and greed out of this, nearly everybody in the U.S. would have access to the health care they need already. Because of the prohibitive costs of health care itself, I haven't been to a general practitioner in more than five years. I just can't afford what my government-provided insurance doesn't cover.I have no idea what I will do if I become seriously physically ill. But because of the costs of health care, I may just have to forego treatment, keep my fingers crossed and hope for the best.Why are the politicians and other government idiots so worried about forcing everybody to have insurance–that they would already have if they could afford it :doh: , and not working to lower the costs of health care?What is going on right now just makes no sense whatsoever.

  33. L2D2 says:

    With my Medicare Prescription Drug Plan, I pay nothing—zero dollars—for generic drugs.

  34. ricewood says:

    From everything I hear here, it sounds like the insurance way is a very troublesome way.

  35. ricewood says:

    In Denmark, pharmacies must, by law, sell the cheapest available product in the market with the same effect, disregarding what the doctor writes on the prescription. Generic, in other words.

  36. barefoot_muse says:

    well thank you, πŸ™‚ I appreciate your knowledge. Just more misinformation from corporate America, eh? boo for that :down:

  37. L2D2 says:

    The insurance companies, ANY insurance company in the U.S. wants your money but do not want to pay up when the insurance is used. They always retaliate by raising your premium costs. And they will not sell you insurance if you have any pre-existing condition like heart problems, chronic diseases, congenital defects, the list is long. Even in 1960 when my dad tried to buy life insurance, they refused him because he had coronary artery disease. He had just dropped a life ins. policy that he considered bad because it could be canceled at the company's discretion. Between the time he dropped that ins. and tried to get another, he was diagnosed with heart problems. So, when he died, there was no insurance to help us out, me and my mom.Insurance companies have Americans over a barrel.

  38. gdare says:

    Not pleasant at all. Sometimes I think they (pharmaceutical companies) are studying us to see how some pills will do :doh: :ko:

  39. barefoot_muse says:

    I have sleep apnea and the company had to pay for 2 sleep studies and a cpap machine. I'm not sure how much that adds up to, buy my part of it was $2000. a cpap machine is around 2000 itself alone. They wouldn't continue my coverage when I went back to school from my job. I expected I would be able to keep the coverage and just pay for it myself. I don't think they wanted to pay for what I might need in the future. I've been denied to be picked up since then because of the sleep apnea and also I had an eating disorder in my past and have had clinical depression for a long time. My antidepressant medication, costed 160/month, I decided to try a generic and its 20/month. None of my dr's told me about generics I found it online. The official word is a generic might not work as well, I don't know, I didn't find the other one worked well either anyway. But some of that is in my head πŸ™‚ I've only been switched a few weeks and it seems okay. but if I can't afford to buy the expensive one, I can't take it and it wont work at all. So the generic possibly not working is a risk I have to take over not affording the expensive one and having no help. We'll have to wait and see what happens.

  40. L2D2 says:

    Originally posted by barefoot_muse:

    I decided to try a generic and its 20/month. None of my dr's told me about generics I found it online. The official word is a generic might not work as well, I don't know, I didn't find the other one worked well eith

    That just is not true. The big pharmaceutical companies put out this garbage because generics cause them to lose money. The active ingredient is what makes a drug work. The rest is just fillers. Generics have exactly the same active ingredient as the brand names. I use generics, even in over the counter drugs. The reason I know this? For one thing, I have always been interested in drugs and medications. Also, I took a course for my degree called "Pesticides and Chemicals" and I learned to read the labels and understand what they mean. Don't believe the garbage that they aren't as good. Only difference might be the fillers used to produce the medication.

  41. L2D2 says:

    Just a tip—-when you go to buy an over-the-counter drug, look at the active ingredient on the name brand, then compare it to the active ingredient on the store brand or generic. If they are exactly the same, you will discover how much you have been paying for the name and the packaging if you buy the name brand. For instance: Both Advil and Motrin are brand names for Ibuprofen. Each of those costs approx. $6 for fifty 200mg of ibuprofen. If you buy, say, the Equate brand (which is WalMart) you can get 200, 200 mg pills of ibuprofen for $4.00. Apply that tip to every OTC drug, and prescription drugs, and realize that you save a boatload of money. Many Americans are ignorant of this, so they pay way more than necessary, and have been brainwashed to believe what the drug companies tell them.

  42. Stardancer says:

    I double- and triple-check everything I'm told by anyone who stands to gain something from the information they give me.Greed is a powerful vice.

  43. L2D2 says:

    Seems to have taken over the planet from what I can see.

  44. SqueakeyCat says:

    health care has began to suck

  45. gdare says:

    Probably, but they are coming out with data after the fiscal year is over. Here, we can have them in March or April.

  46. L2D2 says:

    It was interesting, but somewhat outdated, Dare. Probably the numbers have gone up quite a bit since that article was compiled.

  47. L2D2 says:

    I take or did at one time, a prescription produced by AstraZeneca. At the health clinic I went to, I could fill out an application for free medications from the pharmaceutical companies, and AstraZeneca was one of those companies. I got free medications from several pharmaceutical houses. They do all have programs in place to help out people with low income or disabled. More people could take advantage of those programs, but it isn't widely known that these programs are available. I seem to remember that a single person had to have an income of less than $15,000 a year in viable income. I certainly qualified for that!

  48. MirabelaTM says:

    Darko,I have to add something about my country πŸ˜‰ From September there won't be any more free consultations at the doctor. One visit to the family doctor will cost us 5 RON (1.20 EUR) and a visit to a specialist doctor 10 RON (2.40 EUR).One thing I found easier to do in Romania than it is in Serbia, is that if the specialist doctor gives you a prescription for a medicine, you don't have to go back to the family doctor to write you the same prescription and then go to the pharmacy… which is a waste of time.Yes, the procedure is easier here.

  49. MirabelaTM says:

    Sounds scary to me Linda :worried:

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