Dear Americans fight with all your might Obama's proposed Socialist Healthcare proposals. The British National Health Service (NHS) started life after WW2 with the noble intention of providing healthcare for all for free. Up untill around 1980 it worked very well depending on how much money the government was prepared to spend on it. After 1980 the socialist Left have slowly taken over most British institutions ,and have enforced Political Correctness with a Stalinist zeal. Britain is now not the democracy you may think it is. Britain now does not have any borders, and has been subjected to levels of immigration which are criminally irresponsible for such a small island nation. We are not alone as it is happening all over Europe, as prescribed by the "Frankfurt School". This has lead to the ridiculous situation whereby someone who has paid into the system all their lives suddenly loses their appointment to a newly arrived immigrant. In some towns in England people cannot find an NHS dentist because they are fully booked with new arrivals. Of course to complain is "Racist". I would say your system acts as a deterrent to unwanted immigration, and the British system in your country would be the beginning of the end of your country as you Know it.

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Comment by Lewis Goldberg on August 17, 2009 at 8:09am
>Um, the Telegraph ia regarded as a right wing paper.

Okay, well - can't tell from here. ;-)
Comment by Richard Berg on August 17, 2009 at 6:51am
While you antiquarian holdouts wait for the Clash for Counkers van to arrive to pick you up for your Euthenasia Readiness lecture, here's more from one of those people trying to take all your freedom (meaning money) . .

http://www.cnn.com/2009/POLITICS/08/17/potter.health.insurance/index.html

I[ll just wait for HealthCare to treat CSW . . .
Comment by David Gray on August 17, 2009 at 6:01am
SASKATOON — The incoming president of the Canadian Medical Association says this country's health-care system is sick and doctors need to develop a plan to cure it.

Dr. Anne Doig says patients are getting less than optimal care and she adds that physicians from across the country - who will gather in Saskatoon on Sunday for their annual meeting - recognize that changes must be made.

"We all agree that the system is imploding, we all agree that things are more precarious than perhaps Canadians realize," Doing said in an interview with The Canadian Press.
Comment by Ian Wedge on August 17, 2009 at 3:08am
> I like the article that said if Steven Hawking had lived in Britian, NHS would have killed him a long time ago.

Fantastic, where was that from.

> in that o so right wing journal, the Telegraph

Um, the Telegraph ia regarded as a right wing paper.

> From everything I have seen it is sucking the financial life out of Britian.

That's news to me.

> I know several people who have lived in these countries and for small towns it can often be several hours drive to the closest doctor.

The rest of the world - it's like a whole bunch of different countries.

It might be more informative if you said exactly where you were talking about. In my village I live about a 3 minute walk from the doctor's surgery. Previously I lived about a 10 minute drive from the doctor. I have no delusions that it may take a longer trip if I lived in an isolated croft on a Scottish island, but I expect the same could be said of places in America.

> Anyone who dies over the age of 55 is listed as natural causes, old age. Whether it was cancer, heart attack etc..

Once again, more info is required before this is useful even as an anecdote. Is this a major industrialised Western country, or are you comparing apples with oranges?
Comment by Lewis Goldberg on August 16, 2009 at 10:10pm
So now let's look at a REAL measure of health care quality "how likely am I going to die if I get disease x?"

Here are some numbers on Cancer survival, in that o so right wing journal, the Telegraph:


Nuff said. If you want to read the article, heer's the link:

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/uknews/1560849/UK-cancer-survival-rate-lowest-in-Europe.html
Comment by Lewis Goldberg on August 16, 2009 at 9:58pm
In the intro, it starts out with the "42.6 million uninsured", which has been soundly debunked. It's 15 million, less than 5% of the population. The rest of the 42.6 are illegal aliens and young folks that don't pay for insurance because they think they're indestructible. So far this study seems to have an agenda, let's see if it improves...


Next, the survey outlines its quality measurements. Good, some meat finally. here they are:

1) Good health, 2) Responsiveness, and 3) Fairness in pricing

Okay, here is where the study become not a study, but a propaganda piece. They could have stopped at 1, good health. If you have a population with good health, the other two items don;t matter. But they couldn't even let it rest there. The study says that it looks at both "goodness" and "fairness", and hence we get 5 quality metrics:


1) Overall good health - making the health status of the entire population as good as possible.

A good goal, depending on how the word "making" is intended.

2) A fair distribution of good health - low infant mortality rate, high disability adjusted life expectancy, evenly distributed across population groups

Since this study was done using data from 191 countries, a lot of the countries have homogenious populations that may skew this measure against 'melting pots' like the US.

3) A high level of overall responsiveness

Study does acknowledge that the US is number one in this category. Yes, we have a service-minded health care system. When I go into a grocery store and ask for a can of soda, I get a can of soda. When I go to my doctor and ask for a procedure, I get a procedure, unless he can show me that I don't need it.

4) A fair distribution of responsiveness across population groups

Useless, see #2 above. Besides, not all peoples want the same things. Folks who put studies like this together remind me of a small child that draws a picture of a city. He places the store in the middle, and the houses all together 'over here', and a road running down the middle, which leads to the school very strategically located. It's a very immature view of the world, in which organic progress is less structured, and subject to the disparate desires of thousands or millions of people. Academic-types, a lot of them, never graduated past the child with his drawing. And Mommy's not putting this one on the fridge...

5) A fair distribution of financing health care - whether the burden of health costs is fairly distributed, based on ability to pay, so that everyone is equally protected from the financial risks of illness

Fair is where when I put a dollar on the counter, I get a Coke, but when Johnny next to me puts $4.25 on the counter, he gets a 6-pack. When did 'fair' become being legally empowered to pick other people's pockets? Oh, I think 'fair' is geting muddled with the concept of 'charity', which is only charity if done voluntarily. Otherwise, it's robbery. The immorality of it all is staggering.

Oddly enough, they have no specific data to address the above quality measures, which leaves me a bit befuddled. Instead, in the middle of page two, the author launches into a different, this time 7 point set of data, which overlaps somewhat the above five, but not entirely. I give the study an D for organization.


Okay, let's play their game and switch gears to the new 7 topics.

1) Cost: The United States has by far the most expensive health care system in the world.

This is essentially meaningless when deciding if health are is good. And if it's the best, it is likely to be the most expensive.

2) Access:

As defined in the study means "free", and skews the results. Everyone in the US, 100%, has access to health care, and a lot of it is government subsidized already.

3) Health and Well-Being

The WHO website outlines the reasons for the US coming out poorly on the life expectancy, which I have pasted below:

* In the United States, some groups, such as Native Americans, rural African Americans and the inner city poor, have extremely poor health, more characteristic of a poor developing country rather than a rich industrialized one. (Note: these groups *already* have access to free health care - see how good it works! - LG)
* The HIV epidemic causes a higher proportion of death and disability to U.S. young and middle-aged than in most other advanced countries. HIV-AIDS cut three months from the healthy life expectancy of male American babies born in 1999, and one month from female lives;
* The U.S. is one of the leading countries for cancers relating to tobacco, especially lung cancer Tobacco use also causes chronic lung disease.
* A high coronary heart disease rate, which has dropped in recent years but remains high;
* Fairly high levels of violence, especially of homicides, when compared to other industrial countries.

I would add to the list US soldiers getting killed fighting tyranny overseas so that socialists in other industrialized nations can feed off the government trough. Additionally they forgot to mention our high traffic fatality rates. We are a nation on the move, and we like our freedom, as symbolized by our vehicles, which we like to drive everywhere in. If there is no road, we have off-road vehicles for that. Vroom, vroom!

However, the WHO list of reasons mostly reflect poor personal choices leading to early death, and I don't suspect the numbers will improve if we get nationalized health care.

4) Responsiveness

Corresponds to #3 in the other list.

5) Fairness in Financing

This makes the study garbage. It is assumed that socialism is "normal" and everything else is wrong. No further comments.

6) Attainment and performance

Some freaky measure which quantifies how well the country is doing, compared to how well it should be doing based on all the above irrational assumptions. More garbage numbers.

7) Satisfaction with Healthcare System

Useless, since most people have nothing to compare their system to. In the US we do have publically-funded options, and they are a disaster. So the government is saying, in effect "you guys like how bad we managed Medicare, Medicaid and the VA? Well, give us ALL your money and we'll do it better this time, really."

--------------

I am happy that people in Europe like their healthcare system. They should be allowed to keep it, and likewise I think we should be allowed to keep ours, without some freakshow global health pressure group ginning up phony data to condemn us for problems that don't exist.
Comment by David Gray on August 16, 2009 at 8:52pm
>Why don't you read the article, look at the tables, and then comment . . .

Because the problem with your position is conceptual, not statistical...
Comment by Dan Holte on August 16, 2009 at 8:26pm
Heh, the guage based on an "ability to pay" scale was kinda' funny.
Comment by Lewis Goldberg on August 16, 2009 at 8:22pm
Thanks, Dan. By the way, I am busy deconstructing that useless U-Maine study that was posted upstream.
Comment by Dan Holte on August 16, 2009 at 8:16pm
Amen, Lewis.

My sister has had diabetes since age 4 - the worst sort. Through several plans, everything has always been covered including a kidney transplant about two years ago.

You know what might help pay for some that are in actual need? I think they could introduce a measure to increase the charge for pharmaceuticals to any other nation to what is charged in-country. Use that money to fund the unfortunate.

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