Generally speaking, socialism sucks dude. Sorry, but there you have it.
The health system in this country is broken. I'm not claiming to know of a better way but I know there needs to be more emphasis on care rather than just profits.
The web sites mentioned here are for anyone interested. If you're not, pass on. No judgement. :)
I don't think our healthcare system is broken. I think it's flawed, in need of improvement, could be better...certainly. But if you think it's "broken" now, just imagine how broken it would be if the government takes over (as MM wishes for it to do). Are you really so silly to think there aren't even bigger horror stories that could be told about what goes on in countries with socialized healthcare? Oh, and the US already has a qausi-socialistic healthcare system already. There may be a relatively small percentage of uninsured people in the US, but everyone has access to healthcare (even for people who are not US citizens and are here illegally).
And yeah, removing profits from the healthcare system will also break it. I just took Telaprevir last year, a drug company is risking an awful lot of money to develop that drug, with no guarantee of making a profit. They're taking a chance, a big gamble to develop this drug. And they're doing it to make *GHAST* --- a profit?! Without profits, no new designer drugs to save our lives bubba. How many designer drugs did Cuba develop? Hmm, why so few?? Any ideas? Furthermore, if you curtail the amount of money (i.e. PROFITS) doctors can make (as occurs in socialistic/communistic governments like Moore's beloved Cuba), then the quality and quantity of available doctors will start to slip. Next thing you know, in order to afford them anymore you might actually have to hire them from underdeveloped nations with lower educational standards like, ohh I dunno...Pakistan maybe??
Be careful what you wish for, you might actually get it. In the meantime, feel free to pass on this post too.
I think by calling it socialism, you taint the idea of a national health system with a very loaded word. In my mind it's still insurance, and may even include participation by the existing insurance companies (If anybody can figure out how and why to do that) like Blue Cross or Kaiser or other HMO's. For example, there is some discussion of extending Medicare to everybody, which would maintain the present system. I don't think of Canada as a socialistic country, and they have universal health care. And yes, it's not perfect, but it's better than our system and it costs less too.
Whatever you want to call it, we are already paying for the uninsured - in an extremely uneconomic manner. Emergency rooms have become the source of primary care for people without insurance. They wait for an illness to fester, and finally it reaches crisis level. Then they're given extremely expensive procedures when a bottle of pills might have done the job in the first place. Our insurance premiums are high in part because we pay for these folks; it's the law that emergency rooms serve anybody in dire need. If I'm paying $500 a month for my insurance, does it really matter if that deduction is direct or if it comes out of my taxes (which would then be $500 a month higher). It's $500 no matter how I pay it.
Just wanted to say one thing more. I'm on Kaiser insurance, which I'm told is a model for how a national plan would work. The doctors are on salary, so the profit motive is out of the picture. They are paid very well, and many of them were at the top of their classes at major university med schools. No, they don't make what a private practitioner in Beverly Hills might earn, but they have no need to involve themselves with the boring details of running an office or to worry about the ebbs and flows of the economy affecting their business. They spend most of their time practicing medicine, and many of them like it enough to remain with Kaiser throughout their careers.
Sometimes, not often, Kaiser doesn't provide everything I want in a timely fashion - it depends on how important a condition it is. From diagnosis of hepatitis C to first visit with my hepatologist: three days. From diagnosis of a bunion to first appointment with an orthopedic surgeon: three months. I could have gone outside and paid for a private surgeon if I wanted to hurry, but I chose to limp along. Some might complain, but I thought it was pretty fair.
BTW, most hospitals I've visited already have plenty of doctors from places like Pakistan - including, in my neighborhood, such institutions as Cedars Sinai and UCLA. They're often very good.
What's wrong with this picture:
An indigent mother, in this country illegally, gives birth in a hospital and receives thousands of dollars of medical care without payment.
A patient with insurance goes to the ER with a migraine and their insurance company is billed thousands and the patient is billed hundreds on top of the hundreds per month they already pay.
Call it corporate greed or call it grassroots socialism, this method of keeping things afloat can only go on for a finite period of time.
All Industrial Democracies have universal health care, except the USA---
The US has a shorter life span, higher infant mortality rate than almost all industrial countries--
Cuba has a better infant mortality rater---
And the US health care system cost more than any on earth--
We just not getting the bang for the buck---
Americans are also getting shorter, a universal sign of poor health--
The case is closed, and we need to act--
I am an American living in Canada so I have been involved with both healthcare systems - Yes, the USA has State of the Art technology for diagnostic equiptment - Yes, the wait times from symptom to specialist is very quick - Yes, the Hospitals, Labs, Doctors Offices all show taste in their decor - But, the question is "what good is all this, if you cannot afford it" - Canada has a shortage of Doctors, their income is capped so many go south to practice so they can earn a kazillion, and share in those fancy well decorated suites (but not all of them do)...Canada also has walk in clinics for those that are not fortunate enough to find a Family Physician that will accept new patients - But, those walk in clinics are all manned by the same Docs that do not take on new patients (they donate a few hours of time on a weekly or monthly basis) - No one is left out in the cold if they are sick - In the States I have witnessed a person being refused at an ER and transferred to one that accepts UI (uninsured patients) because they had no medical insurance - you will not find that in Canada - No matter how much money you have or how much of an icon you are, you all get the same care.
When I was diagnosed with HCV my first reaction was "I need to go home and get proper care" - Well after weeks of trying to get The Red Cross, the Liver Foundation, anyone that I could contact that may help me get medical care (I was an American citizen and heck I was infected by the American Red Cross) - But to no avail - They all said sorry you need medical insurance...The Canadian Healthcare system did not care if I was American, or what color I was or what gender or how much was in my bank account - they helped me to get into a Hepatologist (which by the way is one of the leading Scientists in Hepatology Research) - Now, it took a few months to get the appointment, and not 3 days like the previous posted stated...
My family all live in the States and my Son In Law pays almost 800.00 a month for his family to be insured - Now you tell me, who has 800.00 a month extra when they have 2 small children...And that is not the best insurance there is to boot! - There is a 20% copay! My daughter tells me all kinds of horror stories about the inadequate care they get, and misdiagnosed symtoms is not uncommon..
I am not saying one is better than the other - I am just saying that I have lived with both and they both have problems - But in Canada you do not worry about how you will afford to take your babies to the Doctor..
Just my 2 cents worth
In December, right before I began Tx, a friend of mine went to the emergengy room because his on-going GI problems had gotten worse... he had naver gone to the doctor, because he couldn't afford to, and of course, didn't have insurance. While hospitalized, he was diagnosed with HepC and inoperatible liver cancer. He died 5 days later, at home, and I was there.
I'm not a big fan of MM, but I really have to applaud him for Sicko; that documentary is going to be responsible for making a much-needed change in the whole medical system. It'll just take years to completely switch over; from what I heard, 10-12.
I am a Kaiser member, and I have to admit my care has been pretty decent.
One more thing about Kaiser, and I guess this will be true about universal healthcare systems too, is that to get what you want/need, you have to be very, very proactive. If you're not well enough to look after your own interests, then you need a family member or close friend to agitate for you. The squeaky wheel really does get greased.
Not necessarily true----
In France, doctors still make house calls, and waits are at a minimum---
France and Germany have the best health care by far, and Wester Europeans keep getting taller as health and quality of life improves---
We are getting shorter and fatter in the US, both indicators of poor health-
We have all taken the Blue Pill here in the USA, and want nothing to do with reality, nor do we want anyone telling us about it--
have you lived outside of the US?