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dontcallme
18-08-2010, 02:18
I'm going to show my ignorance here a bit but it's the only way I'll learn. It appears a few Americans on here and other places are a little upset about anti-American feelings and so many discussions quickly become political and then lead to personal arguments.

I'm not anti-American or any country for that matter but I've never been that interested in it either. We are constantly surrounded by stories, films etc about the US and naturally these often conflict each other.

One thing I'm hoping some Americans here can explain for me is how your healthcare system works. Through news stories, documentaries and other sources both American and European I have that it works like this:


To get care you need to pay for medical insurance
You can get large bills if you go to the wrong place
The medical insurance contracts are sometimes worded in a way that they can get out of paying for parts of your medical bills
Although all the top twenty best hospitals in the world are in the US only the wealthy have access to them
Some poor people work way beyond the age of retirement for a job that provides healthcare

It is a system that is very much portrayed as catering for the rich and leaves the por uncared for.

However through some brief discussions with Americans I am told that this is not the case. I have been told that everyone gets healthcare for free in the US.

I watched the film Sicko and while I am aware that Michael Moore is not a well respected journalist he did portray a picture that is constantly portrayed in the media. Most memorably there was a man who cut off two of his fingers and when he went to hospital he was told that to reattach them it would cost him thousands of dollars. He decided that he could only afford to reattach one of his severed fingers. I'm not a Michael Moore fan but I believe this story to be true.

I'm not questionning the quality of healthcare in America as I have enough evidence to suggest that it is either the best in the world or one of the best.

But the system and how it works and who profits most out of it is questionable. Can anybody here please explain it to me.

MickeyTong
18-08-2010, 04:10
"...an industry that allows people to die so it can increase profits."

http://www.guernicamag.com/interviews/1207/the_last_temptation_of_wendell/

FlakeySnowballer
18-08-2010, 10:47
Dontcallme, the best quality of healthcare is in Israel.

dontcallme
18-08-2010, 10:47
"...an industry that allows people to die so it can increase profits."

http://www.guernicamag.com/interviews/1207/the_last_temptation_of_wendell/

This is exactly the kind of story I've heard about my whole life regarding the US healthcare system. But I've met several Americans saying everyone gets free healthcare. Are they just being blindly patriotic or am I missing something?

MickeyTong
18-08-2010, 18:58
This is exactly the kind of story I've heard about my whole life regarding the US healthcare system. But I've met several Americans saying everyone gets free healthcare. Are they just being blindly patriotic or am I missing something?

I live in the UK and I have no medical insurance but I know that I will receive whatever treatment or investigations my doctor considers necessary: lab analyses, MRI scans, coronary bypass surgery, extensive physiotherapy, long term expensive medication.

Apparently, the 46 000 000 uninsured Americans are not entitled to this. Perhaps they would receive emergency, life-saving treatment free of charge. I don't know - I've never lived in America.

I've met people whose private medical insurance entitled them to 2 weeks' inpatient treatment per year at a private hospital, who would then be transferred to an NHS hospital.

martpark
18-08-2010, 19:12
Wiki has good info in a few words.

The United States currently operates under a mixed market health care system. Government sources (federal, state, and local) account for 45% of U.S. health care expenditures.[15] Private sources account for the remainder of costs, with 38% of people receiving health coverage through their employers and 17% arising from other private payment such as private insurance and out-of-pocket co-pays. Opponents of government intervention into the market generally believe that such intervention distorts pricing as government agents would be operating outside of the corporate model and the principles of market discipline; they have less short and medium-term incentives than private agents to make purchases that can generate revenues and avoid bankruptcy. Health system reform in the United States usually focuses around three suggested systems, with proposals currently underway to integrate these systems in various ways to provide a number of health care options. First is single-payer, a term meant to describe a single agency managing a single system, as found in most modernized countries as well as some states and municipalities within the United States. Second are employer or individual insurance mandates, with which the state of Massachusetts has experimented. Finally, there is consumer-driven health, in which systems, consumers, and patients have more control of how they access care. This is argued to provide a greater incentive to find cost-saving health care approaches. Critics of consumer-driven health say that it would benefit the healthy but be insufficient for the chronically sick, much as the current system operates. Over the past thirty years, most of the nation's health care has moved from the second model operating with not-for-profit institutions to the third model operating with for-profit institutions; the greater problems with this approach have been the gradual deregulation of HMOs resulting in fewer of the promised choices for consumers, and the steady increase in consumer cost that has marginalized consumers and burdened states with excessive urgent health care costs that are avoided with consumers have adequate access to preventive health care.

A few states have taken serious steps toward universal health care coverage, most notably [B]Minnesota, Massachusetts and Connecticut, with recent examples being the Massachusetts 2006 Health Reform Statute[16] and Connecticut's SustiNet plan to provide quality, affordable health care to state residents.[17]