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Old 11-20-2015, 01:51 PM   #91
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My suggestion? Instead of listening to Big Healthcare-backed talking heads on the issue we have plenty of folks on this board right here who have the right to healthcare now. Do you hear people from Canada or Europe saying single-payer is a bad thing? If you don't, why would you listen to someone who's got a financial interest in the whole mess?
Following x-rays, an MRI scan, physiotherapy and 2 lots of corticosteroid injections into my wrist:

28th Oct
Specialist: The success, albeit temporary, of the last lot of injections confirms the diagnosis. I'm not going to mess around suggesting regular injections as that would be a nuisance for you and not offer you much pain relief anyway. So there are two options: live with the pain, safe in the knowledge it's not life or joint threatening in any way, and it will eventually go away on it's own in around 10 years when the cartilage has fully broken down, or I can operate. I can't make that decision for you as only you know your level of pain. Which would you like to do?
Me: I can't live with this pain for another 10 years.
Specialist: Then we'll operate. <fills in a form> Take this form down to surgical pre-assessment. They'll see you right away and I'll see you in a few weeks for your surgery.

5th Nov
Specialist's PA (on phone): We'd like you to come in for surgery on November 17th.
Me: Is it possible to push it back a little? I'm a teacher and I'd like my school to have time to source a decent supply teacher to cover me, so I don't return to a huge mess to fix!
PA: Certainly. Would you like before Christmas or after? Some people don't like to be in plaster for Christmas.
Me: After please.
PA: January 12th? You can pick morning or afternoon.
Me: Perfect. Afternoon please.
PA: That's all booked in for you. You'll get a letter confirming the date and time. I'll have to do some fiddling, though, as we're not supposed to leave it this long before operating, so the letter will come through in early December.

Total point of delivery cost for all these tests and treatments?
0.

This is without even factoring in all the treatment I've had for asthma and associated chest infections over the years, the surgery I had as a child, all the dental care I had up to the age of 19 and the optometry over the same period. And once I turn 60, or if I were to get pregnant, all that would be free a.p.o.d. again. In the interim, all I pay each time is the prescription charge (currently 8.20 per item). To give that some context, the lowest grade of Salbutamol inhaler for asthma would be the equivalent of 27 in the US. I get two at a time for my 8.20 and I'm not on the lowest grade.

Meanwhile my friend, who is an English teacher in Maine, and her husband have no insurance because they can't afford it. They cross their fingers and hope they don't get ill. That's no way to live.
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Old 11-20-2015, 01:57 PM   #92
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...Meanwhile my friend, who is an English teacher in Maine, and her husband have no insurance because they can't afford it. They cross their fingers and hope they don't get ill. That's no way to live.
Is this friend teaching English in a private school or public school district?
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Old 11-20-2015, 02:02 PM   #93
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Old 11-20-2015, 02:10 PM   #94
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I've never heard of a teacher not having healthcare provided by the district or the union.
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Old 11-20-2015, 02:12 PM   #95
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Does it matter?
Are you matter?
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Old 11-20-2015, 02:24 PM   #96
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Does it matter?

I would think so. Private schools are their own beasts usually... At least mine was.

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[s]he has health problems

Out of curiosity, what % of your paycheck goes to these taxes that cover this? (Serious question)
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Old 11-20-2015, 02:45 PM   #97
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point, missed
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Old 11-20-2015, 02:50 PM   #98
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point, missed
Your point wasn't missed.
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Old 11-20-2015, 02:58 PM   #99
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point, missed
Would you care to explain what this point that I missed was?
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Old 11-20-2015, 03:01 PM   #100
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Old 11-20-2015, 03:02 PM   #101
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Oh. That was a "woosh" moment.
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Old 11-20-2015, 03:46 PM   #102
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Would you care to explain what this point that I missed was?
allan: maybe we should ask our foreign friends if they like their system?
freak: it's awesome. my friend in america can't get what she needs, unlike here.
eb muricans: ok but what is her job?

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Old 11-20-2015, 03:46 PM   #103
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Following x-rays, an MRI scan, physiotherapy and 2 lots of corticosteroid injections into my wrist:

28th Oct
Specialist: The success, albeit temporary, of the last lot of injections confirms the diagnosis. I'm not going to mess around suggesting regular injections as that would be a nuisance for you and not offer you much pain relief anyway. So there are two options: live with the pain, safe in the knowledge it's not life or joint threatening in any way, and it will eventually go away on it's own in around 10 years when the cartilage has fully broken down, or I can operate. I can't make that decision for you as only you know your level of pain. Which would you like to do?
Me: I can't live with this pain for another 10 years.
Specialist: Then we'll operate. <fills in a form> Take this form down to surgical pre-assessment. They'll see you right away and I'll see you in a few weeks for your surgery.

5th Nov
Specialist's PA (on phone): We'd like you to come in for surgery on November 17th.
Me: Is it possible to push it back a little? I'm a teacher and I'd like my school to have time to source a decent supply teacher to cover me, so I don't return to a huge mess to fix!
PA: Certainly. Would you like before Christmas or after? Some people don't like to be in plaster for Christmas.
Me: After please.
PA: January 12th? You can pick morning or afternoon.
Me: Perfect. Afternoon please.
PA: That's all booked in for you. You'll get a letter confirming the date and time. I'll have to do some fiddling, though, as we're not supposed to leave it this long before operating, so the letter will come through in early December.

Total point of delivery cost for all these tests and treatments?
0.

This is without even factoring in all the treatment I've had for asthma and associated chest infections over the years, the surgery I had as a child, all the dental care I had up to the age of 19 and the optometry over the same period. And once I turn 60, or if I were to get pregnant, all that would be free a.p.o.d. again. In the interim, all I pay each time is the prescription charge (currently 8.20 per item). To give that some context, the lowest grade of Salbutamol inhaler for asthma would be the equivalent of 27 in the US. I get two at a time for my 8.20 and I'm not on the lowest grade.

Meanwhile my friend, who is an English teacher in Maine, and her husband have no insurance because they can't afford it. They cross their fingers and hope they don't get ill. That's no way to live.
Thank you for sharing your experience. I've heard a variety of anecdotes about universal healthcare in Europe (I realize every country is different) both good and bad. One of my coworkers is Nigerian but lived in the UK for 10 years. He has nothing but good things to say about NHS. I know boalg has posted negative things about NHS before on here, so maybe he'll weigh in once he's done purchasing hideous lamps and other trinkets.

I went to grad school with a lady who had lived in Ireland (her husband is Irish) for a number of years. Her father-in-law became ill and eventually needed pallative care, and she gave birth to one of her three kids there as well. She said she'd rather be in the United States with no insurance than be under Ireland's universal healthcare system.

I don't know how it will play out in the states. We are a very large (population and land area) nation with a diverse population, so it's going to have some significant differences than a small European nation with a fairly homogeneous population.
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Old 11-20-2015, 04:01 PM   #104
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What a douche.
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Old 11-20-2015, 04:15 PM   #105
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I don't know how it will play out in the states. We are a very large (population and land area) nation with a diverse population, so it's going to have some significant differences than a small European nation with a fairly homogeneous population.
There are almost 65 million people in the UK. While that is less than 1/3 the population of the US, it's not an insignificant number of people, certainly not so small that their experience wouldn't be scaleable to our population.

I had to go to the emergency room in Dublin in 2009. They gave me a 55 gallon drum of morphine, knocked me out with propofol, reinserted my armbone into my shoulder bone, held me for observation for several hours on oxygen, and then released me with a 90 euro bill for services rendered, which I paid in cash, and was then laughed at by my Irish compatriots for actually paying, because they don't try to collect.

When I've had the same exact treatment in the US, it was over $5000, and I've foregone the surgery necessary to repair the damage for 18 YEARS because of the cost. In Canada or England, that shit would have been fixed in 1998, and would have saved me thousands of dollars in subsequent ER visits.
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Old 11-20-2015, 04:36 PM   #106
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Name one non profit that can service 350 million people that is run right?
Blue Cross/Blue Shield.

What do I win?

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Old 11-20-2015, 04:52 PM   #107
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I would think so. Private schools are their own beasts usually... At least mine was.

Out of curiosity, what % of your paycheck goes to these taxes that cover this? (Serious question)
I have no idea what type of school she's at and don't know enough about the US system to know what the difference even is.

I pay 20% income tax and 11% in national insurance contributions. I have no idea what percentage of that goes towards the NHS but of course the government's tax revenue goes on far more than just the NHS.

The US has by far the most expensive healthcare per head in the world.

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I went to grad school with a lady who had lived in Ireland (her husband is Irish) for a number of years. Her father-in-law became ill and eventually needed pallative care, and she gave birth to one of her three kids there as well. She said she'd rather be in the United States with no insurance than be under Ireland's universal healthcare system.
Ireland isn't part of the UK and doesn't have the same healthcare system. I have no experience with it so can't comment on it.

I do know that the treatment and, later, end of life care that my father received was second to none. Aged 76 when he was diagnosed with terminal cancer, they still threw the works at him to extend his life and provide quality of life.
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Old 11-20-2015, 04:54 PM   #108
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Blue Cross/Blue Shield.

What do I win?



For profit since the late 80's early 90's, all of their growth came when they became for profit. Nice try here's your parting gifts
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Old 11-20-2015, 05:09 PM   #109
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Out of curiosity, what % of your paycheck goes to these taxes that cover this? (Serious question)
I earn more than my beautiful wife, I have to be compensated for being this ugly and boring somehow, so am in a higher tax bracket.

In my case in 2014/15 healthcare was 6.57% of my paycheck.
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Old 11-20-2015, 05:13 PM   #110
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Blue Cross and Blue Shield is an association of companies, some non-profit and some are for-profit.

The growth came when non-profits switched to for-profit and merged across state lines.

It would be interesting to see how the association's overall market share changed as a result of these mergers.
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Old 11-20-2015, 05:13 PM   #111
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The US has by far the most expensive healthcare per head in the world.
Ya. The outcomes certainly don't justify it, either.



Something that is pretty funny: the USA's healthcare system is so messed up that you guys spend, as a proportion of your economy, about as much on public healthcare as we do.

So, congratulations. You guys take it in the ass on your taxes and then again on insurance premiums / lost income that employers are paying insurance companies rather than you.

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Old 11-20-2015, 05:21 PM   #112
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For profit since the late 80's early 90's, all of their growth came when they became for profit. Nice try here's your parting gifts
You're right, I just checked. They used to be nonprofit and are now incorporated under some weird 501(m) law.

But - a bunch of BCBS companies are still nonprofit; Kaiser Permanente is the biggest single nonprofit but if you count up all the nonprofit BCBS companies (or at least the ones with > a million subscribers because I'm lazy) there are > 19M people serviced by BCBS nonprofits, which is more than twice the size of Kaiser.

It scales okay, they just need to go back to being nonprofit

Parting gift was nice, though - thanks
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Old 11-20-2015, 05:21 PM   #113
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The most easily managed expense driver in the US healthcare is not litigation/malpractice, or even the healthcare itself.

It's administration and distribution.

Our "competitive insurance market" is about the most ridiculously inefficient system I can imagine for managing and distributing healthcare expenses.

Still, it's how I make my living, so I hope it lasts at least a little while longer.

Cheers!
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Old 11-20-2015, 05:24 PM   #114
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What a douche.
Welp.
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Old 11-20-2015, 05:27 PM   #115
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Old 11-20-2015, 05:30 PM   #116
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Ya. The outcomes certainly don't justify it, either.



Something that is pretty funny: the USA's healthcare system is so messed up that you guys spend, as a proportion of your economy, about as much on public healthcare as we do.

So, congratulations. You guys take it in the ass on your taxes and then again on insurance premiums / lost income that employers are paying insurance companies rather than you.

Wow. Awesome.

Edit: not snarky. You should post up how many more military expenditures we have in our budget!
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Old 11-20-2015, 05:40 PM   #117
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I pay 20% income tax and 11% in national insurance contributions. I have no idea what percentage of that goes towards the NHS but of course the government's tax revenue goes on far more than just the NHS.
Interesting. Well, you are not much higher than what I'm paying for taxes and insurance.

About the other part of my questioning... it was a derp moment.
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Old 11-20-2015, 05:46 PM   #118
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Wow. Awesome.
It's an awful lot of money being jizzed up a wall.

That money could be going towards creating jobs, tax cuts, paying off national debt, education, building and repairing infrastructure, take your pick.

It's the USA's money to do with as you please, but this seems like a huge waste of your money and I'm surprised that anyone beyond those taking kickbacks for a moment support anything other than massive reform.

Switzerland's system is hardly gross socialism. That charge could be levelled against the UK's system as it is indeed socialised health care, not even social insurance, and is very rare in the world.
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Old 11-20-2015, 05:50 PM   #119
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It's an awful lot of money being jizzed up a wall.
Ironically, this is not the first time I've thought of my career in precisely these terms.

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Old 11-20-2015, 06:28 PM   #120
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Ireland isn't part of the UK and doesn't have the same healthcare system. I have no experience with it so can't comment on it.

I do know that the treatment and, later, end of life care that my father received was second to none. Aged 76 when he was diagnosed with terminal cancer, they still threw the works at him to extend his life and provide quality of life.
I'm sorry, I didn't mean to suggest that Ireland (Northern Ireland notwithstanding) is part of the UK. I just wanted to point out that those are the only European universal coverage systems from which I've heard anecdotes. I haven't spoken with anyone with experience from a Scandinavian country, Germany, France, etc.

...if only we had forumites from Scandinavia and France...
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