A car when compared to the human body is a relatively simple machine
but do you think that any single individual could know every single
specificatioin on even a single automobile let alone all autos? There
are only a few tens of thousands of different automobiles in the world
and all of them have at one time or another had all of their
specifications totally documented. That is not the case with the 7
billion unique individuals on this planet. There are no blueprints,
no specifications, and no replacement parts that can be substituted
with a guarantee of suitability for intended use but we expect our
local all knowing doctor to know exactly what is wrong with us from
our partial list of complaints and be able to cure us without fail and
cheap too. What will work wonders for one person could actually kill
another and there is virtually no way to know it in advance.
All of the collective knowledge of all the doctors in the world still
can not fully explain the interactions of all of the parts within a
single human being. The amount of knowledge has increased by several
orders of magnatude in the last 50 years but we still have orders of
magnatude to go before we can begin to understand and appreciated the
complexity of the human being.
And it all happened by accident.
On Sun, 06 Feb 2011 13:30:25 -0500, email@example.com wrote:
Canada is catching up in MRI's. Might or might not be a "good" thing.
Googling mri availability I quickly came up with this
"if increased MRI availability is associated with increased early use
of low back MRI as well as with subsequent use of low back surgery,
both of which have questionable clinical benefit, then widespread MRI
diffusion may put patients at risk of a decrease in the quality of
care they receive.".
Canada is still ahead of Denmark and a few other EU socialized
medicine countries in MRI's done per capita.
Them you have Japan, king of MRI's.
Which gets to medical costs, a bigger problem than insurance execs
skimming hundreds of millions.
Still don't see that being addressed.
Medicine is an industry similar to the defense industry here.
Except the gov actually squeezes lower prices from medical providers.
The insurance companies, docs, drug companies, and hospital outfits
here are NOT free market. All kinds of price fixing and bought off
pols are in the mix.
Yeah, but aside from these "out of pocket" Canadians you mention, the
Canadian system cost less for better over all results.
Those squawking about wait times or demanding an MRI, or wanting to
see "sports doctor" specialists always have the option of going to
Florida and opening their wallets.
MRI's would probably get cheaper without insurance in the mix.
Like instant photo processing got cheaper, and car washes.
Again, not that's necessarily a "good" thing.
It's all complicated as hell, and I can't say I have answers.
There you go complaining about medical costs again (-:
I had painful knees for a year, and asked my doc about it during my
yearly. First to the X-ray guy. "Possible arthritis."
Then an MRI at the hospital. "Inconclusive."
Session with a physical therapist, and exercise instructions to do at
home. Didn't do them.
Insurance paid for it. Some 25 buck co-pays from me.
Wife came home from Goodwill with an old Ottoman a few days later.
"Now get your god damn legs off the table and use this."
Pain was entirely gone in a week.
For many months I had been comfortably using my computer leaning back
in an easy chair, keyboard on lap, legs straight out and up, heels on
the table I keep my computer and monitor on.
Knees never hurt doing that, but must have hyper-extended something.
Wish I hadn't had that x-ray, MRI and therapist session.
The wife works for me for free and is low tech, low maintenance.
I have long suggested that we are looking at only half the picture
when we make these pronouncements about better results. Most of the
metrics used are not purely medical. Most also have a very large social
or cultural component. For example, the US has long lead the league in
teenage pregnancies. Much of this is secondary to changes in social and
cultural mores. However, it very well established that teen mothers have
many more very low birthweight babies that have much lowered survival
chances at baseline. While the medical establishment has worked to get
more in for prenatal care or talks about contraception, some (maybe a
lot, we don't know) of the difference in outside the purview of
medicine, yet they get dinged.
The same might be taking place in life expectancy where a kid
getting killed in a drive-by at 16 has a much greater impact on life
expectancy than the 75 year old geezer kept alive for a couple of extra
years following a CABG.
Drug use by itself impacts on both life expectancy (dying young
from OD or the ravages) and infant mortality (lots of very low
birthweight babies here, too).,
When I hit the lottery one of the first things I am gonna do is fund
a study that tries to control for the societal/cultural elements.
Probably. A series of studies known as the National Healthcare
Expenditures Studies has shown that the out-of-pocket part of the
expenditures (including o-o-p part of the premium) has gone down from
around 50% in the 60s to under 20% now. If something gets that heavily
subsidized, prices rise. Especially since the insurance for most of us
is employer paid for and you don't want to leave any of "my" money on
Also, the rate of inflation (up to about 5 years ago, I haven't
looked since then) for non-traumatic or birth defect plastic surgeries
(in otherwords face lifts, tummy tucks and other things insurance won't
pay for) was less than medical inflation in other areas (including the
paid for parts of plastics.)
A low maintenance wife? Now I have to suspect you are delusional
"Even I realized that money was to politicians what the ecalyptus tree is to
koala bears: food, water, shelter and something to crap on."
Heh! There are less than 250 MRI machines in Canada, which, for 34 million
people is about 136,000 folks per machine. There are (at least) 10,000 MRI
machines in the US, or about one machine per 34,000 population.
The last time I needed an MRI it required a long wait of 3 days before
I could get on the schedule. The one prior to that was the same day
the doctor requested it but damn it, I had to wait until after lunch.
On Sun, 06 Feb 2011 11:48:26 -0500, firstname.lastname@example.org wrote:
you right wingers dont follow the news, preferring rush's fairy tales
guess what, right winger...there was a melt down in the economy in the
last 3 years
i KNOW that's a newsflash to you, but most people know about it
let's assume you're TOTALLY right
the TOTAL amount of malpractice awards is about 1.5% of healthcare
costs. it's insignificant no matter HOW much you spin it.
and if THEIR medicine was POOR compared to ours, uh...why is their
life expectancy EQUAL or BETTER than ours?
see...this is what i mean by EVIDENCE. YOU right wingers have myths
and fairy tales
i have EVIDENCE
your ASSUMPTION is that their medical care is worse than ours
so they're NOT canadians, then
but you said they were. now you're retracting?
tell you what. it took me 5 seconds to answer all your questions.
here's a good article on why canadian healthcare is better than ours:
the free market FAILED
Most of that has recovered and my 401k is up about 24% from 2006.
My personal portfolio is doing a lot better than that. Just for
one,,look at the IBM chart.
"Awards" are a very small fraction of the cost. To start with you have
the defense cost that is at least as big as the awards, then you have
the claims that are simply settled before they ever get to court. That
is where most cases end up.
That still does not look at "defensive medicine" and the cost of the
Healthier l;ifestyles, less crime and less illegal immigration.
You have anecdotes and carefully selected statistics.
How many doctors leave the US to practice medicine in Europe?
On Sun, 06 Feb 2011 23:32:35 -0500, email@example.com wrote:
HAHAHAH a 24% INCREASE does NOT make up for a 35% DECREASE which is
what the average 401K dropped in 2008
and YOU right wingers insist that if YOU are doing OK that means
sorry, sport. you're not 100M americans
and according to the references YOU posted, this may be as much as TEN
PERCENT of all healthcare costs
that does NOT explain why our healthcare costs are anywhere from
30-80% HIGHER than other advanced countries.
all wrong. switzerland has healthcare costs about 30% less than we
do. their obesity rate is 1/4 of ours
the UK has obesity rates very similar to ours. their healthcare costs
are about 60% of ours
those factors do not explain it.
fine. i'm willing to learn
go get your statistics and build a case.
go ahead. just DO IT!
how many european doctors come here? none.
ETHIOPIAN doctors do. EGYPTIAN doctors do. PAKISTANI doctors do
not european ones.
I won't stoop to your level and declare you a liar but I've met
quite a few European doctors here in town. Perhaps it's the first
class medical and research facilities that are so costly and
There you go with the bizarre disjointed rhetoric again. I most
certainly wasn't in NYC during or after the murder of thousands
of American citizens by Islamic terrorists but I'll bet my relatives
from Brooklyn were. The last time I was there was in 1958, it was
a little different back then. :-)
Wrong, of course. My wife has seen many doctors in the past years and at
least four have been from Europe. That is just from one hospital, St
Vincent's in Worcester, MA if you want to check the roster.
I don't think you understand the word "investment." While it is true that
much of the insurance companies' assets are "invested" in the stock market,
insurance companies, in the main, are immune to ups and downs of the market
for the simple reason they are not (usually) speculators. They buy stock for
the dividend payment, not the rise or fall of the stock price.
It's not the average settlement, it's the cost of the insurance. The large
majority of malpractice claims are settled out of court. After my state
implemented malpractice reform (capping pain & suffering at $250,000), the
malpractice insurance rate to physicians has DROPPED every year for the past
five while more and more doctors are taking up practice here. Six years ago,
there were over 75 (of 255) counties with no OB/GYN. Now virtually every
county has access to at least one practitioner.
Malpractice insurance reform has made a substantial difference to the
availability of health care in Texas.
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