Europe Medical Care is Better than the US. Time to End the Myth.

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posted on Feb, 23 2014 @ 04:04 PM
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I work with many Europeans these days, who currently reside in the US, and their opinion of US health care is that it stinks.

They all clearly state that medical care in Europe is much better. Even doctors agree.

What this shows is something that more and more people are starting to recognize, which is that private corporations are not always better than government, and that insurance ran medical care is horrible.

Best ranked cities.

www.usatoday.com...


Vienna, the home of Mozart and Freud, has held on to its title as the city with the highest quality of life, according to the 2014 rankings of the best places to live and work by management consultancy Mercer.

Vienna was followed by Zurich and Auckland, New Zealand. In fourth place was Munich while Vancouver, Canada, placed fifth -- the highest-ranked city in North America. Germany's Dusseldorf and Frankfurt take sixth and seventh place.
...
"Healthcare, infrastructure, and recreational facilities are generally of a very high standard. Political stability and relatively low crime levels enable expatriates to feel safe and secure in most locations."
...
The highest ranking U.S. city was San Francisco, at 27th in the poll, while New York was at number 43.


The failure of free market/corpratocracy is ruining the US.

Here is how it happened.

www.salon.com...


On August 23, 1971, Lewis Powell sent a confidential memo to his friend Eugene Sydnor, Jr., the director of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce. The memo was both a call to arms and a battle plan for a business response to its growing legion of opponents. Powell was a corporate lawyer, a former president of the American Bar Association, and a board member of eleven corporations, including Philip Morris and the Ethyl Corporation, a company that made the lead for leaded gasoline. Powell had also represented the Tobacco Institute, the research arm of the tobacco industry, and various tobacco companies. Later that year, President Richard Nixon would nominate Powell to sit on the U.S. Supreme Court, where he served for fifteen years.
...
Powell urged new, well-funded public media campaigns to support the free enterprise system, the creation of think tanks and institutes to develop policy proposals and “direct political action” in legislative and judicial arenas. “It is time,” he argued, for “American business . . . to apply their great talents vigorously to the preservation of the system itself.” Powell’s “confidential” memo was first circulated within the Chamber of Commerce, then released in 1972 by investigative reporter Jack Anderson during the Powell Supreme Court confirmation hearings. While the document may not have been the blueprint for the rise of the Republican right that some analysts claim, its real value is as the articulation of the corporate prescription for capitalism’s ills.


This second article I have linked to is an excellent historical account of what has happened to the US since the 1970ties.



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posted on Feb, 23 2014 @ 04:15 PM
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reply to post by poet1b
 


Hard to argue with that. Good info.

I would like to say that maybe those who can afford the best treatment are well taken care of in the US. The rest of us suck hind titty.


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posted on Feb, 23 2014 @ 04:31 PM
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reply to post by intrptr
 


With one hand insurance makes healthcare costs almost out of reach for most of the middle class, and with the other hand corporate deregulation leads to a food supply that is less and less healthy, and less and less safe.

We have been hit from every angle by the corporate world, and if the US public doesn't wake up soon, the decline of the US will get much worse.



posted on Feb, 23 2014 @ 05:17 PM
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reply to post by poet1b
 


If they have access to a doctor in Europe they are doing better than Connecticut.

Two and half months and I cannot find a Primary Care Doctor, much less a specialist to see me for back surgery gone bad. This is one of those situations where I am worried to death about being permanently paralyzed, and even the State's "Office of the Healthcare Advocate" cannot talk a doctor into seeing me, because there aren't enough doctors and too many patients..



posted on Feb, 23 2014 @ 05:20 PM
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That data sounds impressive. HOWEVER - is it realistic? Does this data represent all general care (which may be improved) or serious medical conditions? Does this data also reflect areas where universal health care has NOT done as well?

First, a link from a well-known liberal blog posting on the politics and the manipulation of data by the NHS (Britain's universal health care system):

The Delay of Death? How NHS Waiting Times for Cancer Treatment Got Political

A notable quote from the above article:


Prof Sir Mike Richards, the chief inspector of hospitals is reported to have said that patients' lives may have been put at risk so the Trust could give an impression it was meeting waiting list targets.

Staff are said to have told Care Quality Commission inspectors that they were "pressured or bullied" to change data, to make it seem as if people were being treated in line with national guidelines. As a result some patients may not have had the treatment they needed in time.

What the press did not report is how waiting times for Cancer treatment and subsequent deaths because of treatment delays, have become a political hot potato. Health and mortality are such explosive issues that pressure, in our experience, is routinely brought to bear on NHS staff to assist in a countrywide 'cover up'.


So, in this case, there is actually a criminal investigation into the manipulation of data to hide the fact that wait times and treatment outcomes are dismal. If this happens in Britain, does it happen elsewhere? Is the single poll cited above by the OP manipulated? Hard to say with just that bit of information (I have a very hard time seeing San Francisco as the best place to get medical care in the U.S.).

Its also funny that HuffPo in the U.S. thinks that single-payer is the fix for us, but across the pond, have NO PROBLEM attacking the deficiencies of that same proposal. Hmmmmm......

Another story from the Daily Mail:
Deadly wait for cancer treatment

A notable quote from that article:


Thousands of cancer patients are dying as they wait for treatment, it was revealed yesterday.

The number waiting a 'dangerously long time' has doubled in two years, according to a report from the Royal College of Radiologists.

Two-thirds of people face a delay of longer than four weeks, during which time many tumours spread and become incurable.

In some cases, patients are having to wait up to eight months for radiotherapy. The Government target is for treatment to begin within four weeks of a referral by a consultant.

The study found the number of patients receiving medical attention within the target time fell from 68 per cent in 1998 to 32 per cent in 2000. Britons are less likely to survive cancer than residents of almost every other country in Europe.


So, maybe you can get your cold treated quickly and cheaply. But God help you if you have cancer in Great Britain.

Thats just two examples from Great Britian, while admittedly not all of Europe, who is going to tell us that the U.S. will be more like the areas you quote, and not the areas I quote???

From what I am reading, indeed if you have an earache or flu, the treatment may be better, and if suffering from trauma, the service may be cheaper...but if you are suffering from any serious or chronic condition, you are more likely to die.

How does the U.S. stack up in this regard (treatment of chronic life-threatening conditions? I'm sure there are many opinions, I will present one:
10 Surprising Facts about American Health Care


And, a notable quote from that article which compares all of Europe to the U.S. in regards to serious chronic life-threatening conditions and treatment:


Fact No. 1: Americans have better survival rates than Europeans for common cancers.[1] Breast cancer mortality is 52 percent higher in Germany than in the United States, and 88 percent higher in the United Kingdom. Prostate cancer mortality is 604 percent higher in the U.K. and 457 percent higher in Norway. The mortality rate for colorectal cancer among British men and women is about 40 percent higher.

Fact No. 2: Americans have lower cancer mortality rates than Canadians.[2] Breast cancer mortality is 9 percent higher, prostate cancer is 184 percent higher and colon cancer mortality among men is about 10 percent higher than in the United States.

Fact No. 3: Americans have better access to treatment for chronic diseases than patients in other developed countries.[3] Some 56 percent of Americans who could benefit are taking statins, which reduce cholesterol and protect against heart disease. By comparison, of those patients who could benefit from these drugs, only 36 percent of the Dutch, 29 percent of the Swiss, 26 percent of Germans, 23 percent of Britons and 17 percent of Italians receive them.


So according to THAT source, the U.S. is the best place to be if you really REALLY need to get treatment that will KEEP YOU ALIVE.

If I accused the OP of cherry-picking data, then I could stand to face the same accusation, so I won't make such a statement.

I will state, that there are as many differing opinions, and in many cases cherry-picked data, available on this issue, so I would suggest that the OP data (as much as mine) must not be considered conclusive even though it may contain personal opinions of friends from Europe.

Comparing access and effectiveness of general medical care is NOT the entire story, especially when it contrasts drastically with the access and effectiveness of care for chronic life-threatening conditions.



posted on Feb, 23 2014 @ 06:06 PM
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European countries do have longer life expectancy rates, for certain. Even lower class people.

I remember my experiences with two different health care systems in Europe. One good, one bad. In Britain, I was treated well, and while I had to wait a long time for certain tests, the mannerisms of the doctors there were superior to American doctors. They were more compassionate, more open minded, more down to earth, and less condescending than U.S. doctors. Waiting sucked, and the limits sucked, but at least I never had to mortgage my life away for treatment. Not only that, but I was not treated based on income or ability to pay, nor held in contempt for low income or lack of insurance.

The Spanish system was backwards, primitive, incompetent, and useless. Pure crap.

The U.S. system might be more advanced in some areas, but advancements mean squat to people who can't afford them. What use is a revolutionary new medicine when only a small percentage of rich people can afford it, while others don't get it, or sell themselves and their kid's futures to get it? So it kinda evens out. It might be better rates of cure here, but a smaller percentage having access to them.

U.S. life expectancy still lags.



posted on Feb, 23 2014 @ 06:06 PM
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S&F. Anytime you make a business where their profits increase from more customers, the possibility of the interest of the business not being in the best interest of the customer increases. Our healthcare system in the USA is flawed.



posted on Feb, 23 2014 @ 06:12 PM
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reply to post by rickymouse
 


Likewise, anytime the government fully controls an institution, politics will come into the decision-making process.

Evils go both ways....



posted on Feb, 23 2014 @ 06:25 PM
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reply to post by lakesidepark
 


What your article states is that in a few select statistics, the US is better that some countries with socialized medicine.

If the article gave ratings, it would be a great deal more convincing.

Here is an article that explains the problems with these claims.

www.sciencebasedmedicine.org...



posted on Feb, 23 2014 @ 06:28 PM
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reply to post by poet1b
 



We have been hit from every angle by the corporate world, and if the US public doesn't wake up soon, the decline of the US will get much worse.

Totally agree with that. I have inside experience. I am uninsured and the only treatment at the free clinic is the worst kind. They don't fix teeth, they pull them. Everything else is treated with antibiotics until you almost die, then they relent and stop the bleeding.

Joking on that last one. Gotta go, got a tooth ache.


Edit to add: I think the ranking is an average ranking about the average best treatment is outside the US. Insurance fees have a lot to do with that. Doctors offices have a large part of their income dedicated to clerks that fill out insurance paperwork. This is real-estate for desks and filing cabinets as well as employee insurance let alone the cost of medical care and supplies.

Sucks really. If you are insured, lucky you. The best medical Emergency transport is a 911 call away. The best hospitals in Silicon Valley here to patch you up and prop you back into your domicile to await the next heart attack and triple bypass. Sorry out there. I know people suffer. I am one and I see both sides of the coin as the elderly surrounding me are all insured and enjoy all the benefits of american medical resources.

Now, back to my hind titty…
edit on 23-2-2014 by intrptr because: additional



posted on Feb, 23 2014 @ 06:28 PM
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As a German, I just don't understand why the people in the USA hat so much on Obamacare.
You always have the feeling, that they instantly feel like they witness a communist take over or invasion.
I just don't understand it, is the cold war sentiment still that much present?
Why do you instantly call people communists, when they want to improve your healthcare system?
I will nevery understand how even poor people, that probably have problems affording the medical costs, are against it.



posted on Feb, 23 2014 @ 06:41 PM
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reply to post by aLLeKs
 



I just don't understand it, is the cold war sentiment still that much present?
Why do you instantly call people communists…

We don't. Maybe you are referring to the media who promotes that old Cold War dehumanization?

(Just asking) are you German in Germany or the US?



posted on Feb, 23 2014 @ 06:48 PM
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reply to post by lakesidepark
 

And the problems with the NHS that you site are a direct result of trying to introduce "market" mechanisms to supposedly improve patient care. Instead the bean counters met the bean counting targets just like the nice little capitalists that they are. The NHS in England is slowly being privatised and that is why it is getting worse. capitalism does not work for essential goods and services. The capitalist mechanisms only ever work if the consumer can say no without consequence. Oh and please don't give me the usual right wing BS about "choice of hospital", choice of doctor" etc etc.


edit on 23/2/2014 by yorkshirelad because: spelling



posted on Feb, 23 2014 @ 06:50 PM
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reply to post by lakesidepark
 


It's easy to cherry pick problems with the NHS or any other Healthcare system. And truth be told us British feel it is a national right to gripe about it.

But Woe Betide Anyone Who Tries to Take It Away!

The problems with the NHS are the same as a lot of Government ran entities Lack of Funding and Middle Management.

I have first hand experience of Healthcare on both sides of the Pond. The quality of care is pretty much the same. But the difference is nobody in the UK gets turned away for lack of insurance and nobody has to file Bankruptcy if their child has a serious illness.



posted on Feb, 23 2014 @ 06:54 PM
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yorkshirelad
Oh and please don't give me the usual right wing BS about "choice of hospital", choice of doctor" etc etc.


That's something else I have to explain ad nauseam.

Back home I can see any Doctor or Hospital I choose.

Here it is up to the whim of the Insurance Company.



posted on Feb, 23 2014 @ 06:57 PM
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reply to post by poet1b
 


I completely agree with you. However, the USA doesn't have a government that can execute viable health care. We will never have a government that can execute viable health care until the birthday of this country is changed. (Yes, that means what you think it might mean.)

The sad thing is European governments are just as corrupt, they just got health care put in place properly.

Hell, the toys and products that the EU doesn't allow into their countries because of the chemical contents or toxicity are dropped in America... because we have sh!tfer regulations to protect the populace from the greedy, psychopaths that run corporations.



posted on Feb, 23 2014 @ 07:08 PM
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BritofTexas

yorkshirelad
Oh and please don't give me the usual right wing BS about "choice of hospital", choice of doctor" etc etc.


That's something else I have to explain ad nauseam.

Back home I can see any Doctor or Hospital I choose.

Here it is up to the whim of the Insurance Company.


Yep. Sure, I might have choice of any hospital or doctor. In otherwords, I get to choose who gives be bare bones substandard care, and charges me a few years of wages. There is no real competition inh medicine. It's not like docs are competing with each other for patients. They all charge ridiculous fees just to walk in. It's really little different than a monopoly, and the cost of everything medically related is out of control.

If you are poor and uninsured, you really do get backwards, substandard care. Like interptr mentioned, your teeth get yanked instead of fixed. Which really isn't dental care, since you end up with fewer teeth, instead of restoring or saving teeth.

The NHS really wasn't that bad. In fact, it was better care than I could have ever gotten here in the U.S. The contributions weren't that big either. With fewer and fewer employers offering health insurance, and what health insurance they do offer is covering less for more money. Soon, only the upper middle class and wealthy will have health insurance, or be able to afford it. The rest of us are screwed.

I totally disagree that more privatization and less regulation in the medical industry is good for the consumer. Health care is necessary for life, thus, they can place any price tag they want on it, people have no choice but to pay if they want to continue living or even functioning.

It's a travesty, really.



posted on Feb, 23 2014 @ 07:21 PM
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The fact that there is the NHS in the UK, however messed up it is (it's fixable) is a good asset and something of value beyond compare.

I would advise all nations to have some sort of similar healthcare system. It really isn't communism as such it is an essential service, like road maintenance, water supply etc which I think should all be state ran and at minimal cost to the population instead of privatised. The UK was in a better position and people far happier before these essentials were privatised.



posted on Feb, 23 2014 @ 07:23 PM
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poet1b
reply to post by lakesidepark
 


What your article states is that in a few select statistics, the US is better that some countries with socialized medicine.

If the article gave ratings, it would be a great deal more convincing.

Here is an article that explains the problems with these claims.

www.sciencebasedmedicine.org...



It would have been nice if the author of that article could actually show us the research that he has picked his data from. A quote:

We’ll start by taking a look at the actual study itself, which, unfortunately, is behind a paywall; so I’ll try to cite as much of it as I think relevant.


That gives the author full control over what that article tells us. Maybe cherry-picked? Can't say. If we can't see the study from which he quotes, how do we know?

The author also gives a clue to the issues with both of the systems we discuss here:


It’s just that government-controlled single payer plans and hybrid private-public universal health care plans use different criteria to ration care than our current system does. In the case of government-run health care systems, what will and will not be reimbursed is generally chosen based on evidence, politics, and cost, while in a system like the U.S. system what will and will not be reimbursed tends to be decided by insurance companies based on evidence leavened heavily with business considerations


I tried to find problems with the source, but I will admit the source (SBM) appears credible. Still...even their article is not conclusive nor does it give us the true sources for the statistics it cites. And there is some indication of liberal bias in a lot of their work.

I'm not saying that the single-payer system is so much worse than our current system...and not agreeing its so much better either! Its a choice whether you want the decisions of your medical care based on money or politics...most in the U.S are loathe to allow politics to make these choices for us.

The better approach would have been to find a way to help the poor that cannot afford any decent care, and not change the care that the majority of Americans are happy with...rather than create a system that offers a set level of mediocre care for everyone (except the rich who will always find a better way with money).

I would suggest, that even if single-payer is proven to work elsewhere, it has NOT been proven to work well EVERYWHERE, and there is plenty of evidence to show it doesn't work well everywhere. Without us making major changes to our political system here in the U.S., I would have to suggest that it will NOT work here as it has in a few other locations, and will probably resemble the workings of Britain rather than the more successful locations i.e. Japan.

The OP is worthy of discussion, but it is FAR from proof that the single-payer plan is a worthy goal in the U.S.
edit on 23-2-2014 by lakesidepark because: quotes mislocated



posted on Feb, 23 2014 @ 07:33 PM
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WCmutant
reply to post by poet1b
 


I completely agree with you. However, the USA doesn't have a government that can execute viable health care. We will never have a government that can execute viable health care until the birthday of this country is changed. (Yes, that means what you think it might mean.)

The sad thing is European governments are just as corrupt, they just got health care put in place properly.

Hell, the toys and products that the EU doesn't allow into their countries because of the chemical contents or toxicity are dropped in America... because we have sh!tfer regulations to protect the populace from the greedy, psychopaths that run corporations.


My point exactly! And I agree fully. A worthy goal, but one that will NOT work here until we fix the political system, otherwise, a single-payer plan will finish corrupting our medical system, and we will never achieve the stats quoted from the countries that have applied it successfully!
edit on 23-2-2014 by lakesidepark because: (no reason given)





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