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Understanding the Issues 2008: Health Care

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View Poll Results: Health Care: Who Has the Best Plan?
Clinton 3 15.79%
Edwards 3 15.79%
Obama 5 26.32%
Giuliani 0 0%
Huckabee 1 5.26%
McCain 6 31.58%
Romney 1 5.26%
Voters: 19. You may not vote on this poll

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Old 01-24-2008, 11:47 AM   #31
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Re: Understanding the Issues 2008: Health Care

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Originally Posted by dmek25 View Post
this is the issue. free market with health care isn't working. and the costs are skyrocketing. people are ready to try something new. even if it means the government gets involved
None of the democrats are doing anything to address the rising costs. They're all interested in raising more tax revenue in order to pay those exhorbitant costs. That's not a fix, that's a bandaid. It gives everyone coverage, but it still means the coverage is going to continue getting more and more expensive.

McCain is the only one with a plan to actually curtail the growth in healthcare expenses.
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Old 01-24-2008, 02:39 PM   #32
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Re: Understanding the Issues 2008: Health Care

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LOL. I always end up laughing my ass off when health care is debated. I spent half my time in grad school getting the facts across all OECD countries (Organisation of Economic Cooperation and Development), which basically means first world countries, and then putting economic analysis to work.

First off, I'm independent politically like most folks i know here in the land of Cowboys and Indians, so I could give a shit about the partisan implications of the health care debate.

The first thing people need to understand is that our system is the most inefficient and ineffective among all OECD countries. The standard here is an apples to apples comparison ie percentage of total GDP (gross domestic product) spent on health in relation to the percent of the population covered. America spends about 17% of its GDP on health w/ the spottiest coverage. The average spent among OECD countries is around 11%, with Canada spending under 10% and Switzerland (the highest aside from us) at about 14%). However, every other modern country has 100% coverage.

My research focused on efficiency first and later on quality, which is more difficult to measure but there are some conclusive results. It's a simple explanation as to why our system is so inefficient but let me share a few important (and shocking) bits about quality. First of all, in overall quality America rates next to Cuba (that's right people, fucking Cuba) according to the World Health Org and several other major independant health studies. If memory serves, in 2006 we rated 36th (way below other modern countries) and Cuba 37th. The basic criterion here is longevity, infant mortality, death due to medical error, death from typically treatable diseases, etc. Among OECD countries the U.S. has just below average longevity, the worst infant mortality, by far the worst rate of death due to medical error, and an above average rate of death from typically treatable diseases. The major health studies do not place a lot of emphasis on the wait time for non-emergency health issues. In other words, people in other modern nations have to wait longer for routine surgeries and much longer for cosmetic surgeries, but the health system also does a much better job keeping people alive. Here, with enough money you can have your tits and ass done tomorrow if you wish, but you may be turned down for cancer treatment (like my step-grandfather was) because the insurance doesn't want to cover it.

Ok, back to the big picture: efficiency and effectiveness (effectiveness means quality). Our system is the most inefficient because there is no uniformity across the healthcare community. As much as 30% of costs are unnecessary paperpushing, mailing, etc. etc. It's a little hard to grasp at first but a comparison can help. A country w/ a universal health system will logically use the same IT network, health forms and records format, etc. This means information does not have to be reproduced over and over and over and over for various providers, insurers, HMOs and what have you. In our system, the providers, insurers, HMOs etc have had little incentive to coordinate, largely because they're in competition. Thus, everything gets recorded over and over again which costs enormous sums of money. For example, the overhead among our best health insurance companies runs at 10% of revenue for all the paperpushing, HR, advertising, etc. Overhead in the more efficient health systems worldwide run less than 1% (not a typo, 1%). The other reason our system is so inefficient is because of fraud and we simply see the doctor more often.

The reason for our Cuban level quality is more complicated. America is off the charts, literally, when it comes to medical error. That has a lot to do w/ our lack of a uniform system. Example: somebody w/ a complicated medical history goes on vacation or simply moves, gets sick or in an accident. The records are scattered all over, an already stressed doctor makes a decision w/o pertinent information and you can figure out the rest... IMHO quality here also has a lot to do w/ our lifestyle. Too much stress and junk food, too little sleep make a bad combination and probably have a lot to do w/ our longevity.

I don't know if this really helps w/ the debate over candidates. Anyone who spends a day studying health care knows we have to address cost before coverage, but I sincerely doubt anyone has the political capital to get it done. Lowering cost will require significant government involvement no matter what: whether to force the health community to adopt a uniform system through severe penalties for not complying and tax benefits for doing so (the sticks and carrots people talk about); or to just create a universal system like the other modern nations.
I was reading that one of the reasons that we rank low in allot of the heath issues around the world is because we have better record keeping of how and whay people die. Take a third world country. When a cild dies most of the time the child is put to rest and no records of the child are recorded so it is very tough to compare us to them. So those stats are very skewed.
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Old 01-24-2008, 03:30 PM   #33
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Re: Understanding the Issues 2008: Health Care

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I was reading that one of the reasons that we rank low in allot of the heath issues around the world is because we have better record keeping of how and whay people die. Take a third world country. When a cild dies most of the time the child is put to rest and no records of the child are recorded so it is very tough to compare us to them. So those stats are very skewed.
Umm, you're mostly being compared to first world countries unless you count the likes of Sweden and Japan as third world countries. Even if you drop the third world countries the US would still be trailing many European countries and developed nations.
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Old 01-24-2008, 04:43 PM   #34
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Re: Understanding the Issues 2008: Health Care

saden fast approaching #3000. i think all the high ranking countries on the list have universal, government run health care
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Old 01-24-2008, 06:20 PM   #35
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Re: Understanding the Issues 2008: Health Care

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saden fast approaching #3000. i think all the high ranking countries on the list have universal, government run health care
I'm afraid it is against my religion to reach 3000!
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Old 01-25-2008, 11:18 PM   #36
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Re: Understanding the Issues 2008: Health Care

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Originally Posted by dmek25 View Post
this is the issue. free market with health care isn't working. and the costs are skyrocketing. people are ready to try something new. even if it means the government gets involved
That's because we haven't really tried it.

We don't truly have a "free" market system here either. Government has its hands all over it.
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Old 01-26-2008, 12:34 AM   #37
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Re: Understanding the Issues 2008: Health Care

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saden fast approaching #3000. i think all the high ranking countries on the list have universal, government run health care
Not to hijack but according to the bet between Matty and Saden (if that's still on) Saden is not allowed to reach 3000 until training camp starts.
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Old 01-26-2008, 08:02 AM   #38
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Re: Understanding the Issues 2008: Health Care

if you noticed, maybe thats why his count is stuck on 2999
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