There's been so much debate here and on other forums about Universal
US health care (pro and con) that one gets curious about how much it
NOW costs, say, the average US family, to have 'Health Insurance'.
We guess that the cost is either fully paid by the subscriber?
Or in other cases, partly by the subscriber and partly by their
Then there are others, we gather who have no health insurance at all?
And we understand there is something called Medicaid?
Insurance cost numbers a) As little as 'a few hundred' b) Over
$12,000, per year have been mentioned?.
But what is a 'typical' (or average) USA cost?
Where I am up here in Alberta Canuck land, we don't pay anything. No
premium payment. Our system is not perfect but everyone is taken care
of. I understand U.S. spends more than us per capita on health care.
And many are left out? That is something I don't understand.
To me health care is service for the public, not profit generating
Our tax rate is lowest in Canada and no sales tax here as well.
Why then your tax does not cover those who don't/can't have coverage?
When we go down there I notice more over weight folks and the portion of
meal they eat at restaurants!!!! Wife and me, one order is enough to
fill us up. Ultimately health is individual responsibility. We just came
back from week end alpine trek reaching up to ~7000 feet in the rockies.
Our ages are closer to 70 now. I retired in '96 from Honeywell. Wife
from hospital operating room in '92. One of my kid is MD. She takes care
of us here half year, then she goes away for volunteer service the other
half. October this year she is going to East Timor to work at TB clinic
there run by Aussie nuns and American doctor. About 5000 suffer from TB
over there due to climate.
Well, when I was traveling to Sask servicing coal analyzers during last
trip since plant was in an outage there was significant OT; the plant
chemist who had oversight of the analyzers as part of his job
description and had gotten quite familiar over the years. Invited to
supper one evening; pay packet had arrived that day. W/ the OT, total
withheld was >50% of gross--that's pretty daggone expensive. Then afaik
all are responsible for GMT which while I no longer know what rate is,
ain't just a percent or two...
And, since this was pretty close to the US border, it was common that
when kids had anything routine such as vaccinations, earache, etc., they
simply took them to Minot or Williston as it would be so long before
there was any opportunity to have them seen in Estevan or Weyburn and
there were no services in Coronach/East Poplar where the plant was
actually located. All in all, the system didn't seem particularly
anything to wish for even then.
Something about roughly half to two-thirds of the uncovered are either
undocumented or the well young that choose to spend their dollars
elsewhere. Any critical need patient will get treated simply by showing
up at the emergency room. A major reason for the high per capita cost
is that there is a large fraction of the above groups that simply use
emergency room services as their family doctor; the most expensive way
possible to get services but they mostly choose to not use conventional
services of their own volition.
It's complicated but single-payer gov't controlled isn't going to help
in any way I can see.
It's not the U.S. government that's paying, it's the individual.
We pay more a higher percentage of GDP because we CAN.
Once diagnosed with a chronic disease like cancer or heart failure, the five
year survival rate in the U.S. is greater, sometimes far greater, than
elsewhere. For example, the five year survival rate for men diagnosed with
prostate cancer is better than 95%. In the UK, it is 56% (and in the high
80s in Canada).
But it comes at a cost - a cost we as individuals are willing to pay but
which some governments are not.
I usually just make up the numbers based on my experience. Turns out I was
being overly generous for both. Here are the actual statistics:
5-year survival rate for prostate cancer
US - 92%
UK - 51%
Survival rates, male, all cancers.
US - 66%
UK - (Wales 48%, England 45%, Scotland 40%)
This first article also states: "...some of the differences could be
attributed to variations in 'access to diagnostic and treatment services.
This, of course, is associated with the amount of investment in technology
such as CT scanners.' "
The UK has about 9 CT scanners per million people, the US has about 33
(Australia has even more than the U.S. I think it's because of the
Wonder what the numbers look like when adjusted for age of the patient
at first diagnosis. Saw in the papers a year or so back where AMA is now
saying if an 80 YO is diagnosed, no point in treating, because in all
odds he will die of something else before he becomes symptomatic.
Here true emergency is always taken care of. Too many people swarm
emergency rooms. I saw an old lady came to emergency ward for med.
refill. Here there is private clinics as well for rich folks who ca
afford quick service. It's not all public service. Actually origin of
Canadian health care service is Saskatchewan.
Also, one of the primary sources for new physicians here in rural US is
from those dissatisfied-enough w/ the Canadian system to immigrate. At
present roughly 1/4 of the local hospital professional staff are
Canadian nationals; only one of them was a recent graduate at the time
came--all the others were experienced but fed up.
And then they will get a gigantic bill which THEY WILL HAVE TO PAY, at least
if they own anything. I've already decided that if anything even remotely
serious happens to me I will just die, since I can't afford to pay. What's
the point? Save myself so I can be homeless after they take my house? No
And why shouldn't one pay for services rendered????
That's when ones' personal responsibility is _supposed_ to kick in...
The problem is and one of the prime reasons it is _SO_ expensive is that
a very high fraction of those folks who use emergency room facilities
injudiciously don't pay so the expenses have to be reimbursed from those
who can/do pay for not only their care but for a significant number of
others who didn't...
In the US, the cost is "hidden" in everything purchased or paid for in
tax dollars. Wonder what would happen to small business if Workers Comp
suddenly disappeared, and just plain one-for-all universal coverage
replaced it? Is it possible highly profitable businesses, small or
large, would pay more than those less profitable? No more ambulance
chasers or insurance adjustors....ohmygosh, watch out for the horrible
"bureaucrats" from the gov.; they might shoot you rather than video-tape
you, with your bad back, up on the roof throwing bundles of shingles
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