Health Care Reform

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Health Care Reform

Postby backpacker » Mon Mar 22, 2010 2:20 pm

I thought there was a topic here about this but I guess not. Well, health care reform has finally passed (http://www.whitehouse.gov/health-care-m ... -means-you). At times it was ugly especially near the end and lawsuits are now at the ready (see: http://news.yahoo.com/s/nm/20100322/pl_ ... are_states). I am a supporter of it and think it will be a beneficial in the long term.
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Re: Health Care Reform

Postby butch » Mon Mar 22, 2010 10:07 pm

Nice to see it finally seems to be happening. It's a start and the rules will likely change over time. The Canadian system is ranked way down the list on the world scene, so we've got lots of room for improvement.

But it's nice to see Americans moving slightly away from their self-absorbed, me first and damn the neighbours attitude. It's still a very conservative and right wing country but as more people become educated that will likely change and universal health care will soon be something no one will want to abandon.
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Re: Health Care Reform

Postby nimby » Wed Mar 24, 2010 6:23 pm

butch wrote: The Canadian system is ranked way down the list on the world scene, so we've got lots of room for improvement.


Butch, what list are you talking about? I think you should go see first hand what other countries are coping with. I'm very proud of our medical coverage here. It's not perfect, but it's pretty damn close.

And I don't understand all the hoopla about legislating the madatory purchase of third party health insurance. Yes it is a step up, but will also allow for many insurance companies to make a lot of money. Ours is government run. Call it socialism, but I'd rather have the $$$ going to my government than to a privately owned insurer.

Just my two cents.
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Re: Health Care Reform

Postby Earl Butz » Wed Mar 24, 2010 9:53 pm

20 years ago, Canada had the best health care system in the world. But we were also hugely in debt. So guess what they cut.....

I'm not sure how far down the list we are now, but we certainly aren't the best anymore. I remember when I was a kid, you could get a blood test done right away. Now they make you take a number and wait for an hour. For a simple blood test. Yeesh. :roll:

Waits for surgery and other tests are even more pathetic. And the population is aging, so that will get even worse. But ya get what ya pay for....
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Re: Health Care Reform

Postby olywaguy » Wed Mar 24, 2010 11:53 pm

Take a look at this report by the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD)

Why does the United States spend so much more on health than other countries? (September 30, 2009)
http://www.oecd.org/dataoecd/5/34/43800977.pdf

The report includes information by all member OECD countries which also includes Canada.

Take a look at the OECD's Country Diagrams on healthcare systems

http://www.ecosante.fr/index2.php?base= ... &source=12

OECD Health Data at a Glance 2009: Key Findings for Canada

http://www.oecd.org/document/51/0,3343, ... _1,00.html

OECD Health Data at a Glance 2009: Key Findings for the United States

http://www.oecd.org/document/21/0,3343, ... _1,00.html


It is generally agreed that the U.S. spends more money on healthcare and is among the few developed countries that didn't have universal healthcare.

Hopefully, the health reform bill will remedy that.


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

Also take a look at the World Health Organization's World Health Statistics, 2009 at:

http://www.who.int/whosis/whostat/EN_WHS09_Full.pdf

Beginning on page 107 you will find Health expenditures by country as a percentage of the GDP.
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Re: Health Care Reform

Postby butch » Thu Mar 25, 2010 3:25 pm

nimby wrote:
butch wrote: The Canadian system is ranked way down the list on the world scene, so we've got lots of room for improvement.


Butch, what list are you talking about? I think you should go see first hand what other countries are coping with. I'm very proud of our medical coverage here. It's not perfect, but it's pretty damn close.

And I don't understand all the hoopla about legislating the madatory purchase of third party health insurance. Yes it is a step up, but will also allow for many insurance companies to make a lot of money. Ours is government run. Call it socialism, but I'd rather have the $$$ going to my government than to a privately owned insurer.

Just my two cents.


try here.... http://www.photius.com/rankings/healthranks.html

Canada is #30 on this list. I'm looking for a new doctor, but waiting until after I move. My present doctor refuses to deal with more than one thing at a time. If my arm hurts and my foot, I have to make 2 different appointments, one for each. It matters not that they may be related. I feel like visiting a doctor is a waste of time it's so difficult to talk to them. They rarely even look up at me, and seem to want to get me out of the office as fast as possible. I've been undiagnosed, misdiagnosed and completely forgotten about. One time, 2 months after a colon probe, the doctor's office had no record of it being done, and they had to check the hospital. So, three months later they finally found the results and told me they had found nothing to worry about.

Recently it took 3 months to get to see a dermatologist and 5 months to get a biopsy done. Fortunately the biopsy showed nothing, but I have no explanation for the sore that won't heal.

My feeling is that government should take care of health since a healthy population is a productive population. I think doctors should be on a salary plus bonus system and that the government should pay for the education of doctors and it should not be seen as a way to get wealthy. Doctors should be the kinds of persons who wish to be in public service for a good wage and work conditions. We need more doctors and health facilities and more action taken to educate people to be more healthy.

Health services for profit is a sign of human greed and there's a lot of greed out there and a lot of unfairness in our health care system. The system is a good start, but it needs fixing.

Here is some of the text from the WHO report:

Responsiveness: The nations with the most responsive health systems are the United States, Switzerland, Luxembourg, Denmark, Germany, Japan, Canada, Norway, Netherlands and Sweden. The reason these are all advanced industrial nations is that a number of the elements of responsiveness depend strongly on the availability of resources. In addition, many of these countries were the first to begin addressing the responsiveness of their health systems to people's needs.

Fairness of financial contribution: When WHO measured the fairness of financial contribution to health systems, countries lined up differently. The measurement is based on the fraction of a household's capacity to spend (income minus food expenditure) that goes on health care (including tax payments, social insurance, private insurance and out of pocket payments). Colombia was the top-rated country in this category, followed by Luxembourg, Belgium, Djibouti, Denmark, Ireland, Germany, Norway, Japan and Finland.

Colombia achieved top rank because someone with a low income might pay the equivalent of one dollar per year for health care, while a high- income individual pays 7.6 dollars.

Countries judged to have the least fair financing of health systems include Sierra Leone, Myanmar, Brazil, China, Viet Nam, Nepal, Russian Federation, Peru and Cambodia.

Brazil, a middle-income nation, ranks low in this table because its people make high out-of-pocket payments for health care. This means a substantial number of households pay a large fraction of their income (after paying for food) on health care. The same explanation applies to the fairness of financing Peru's health system. The reason why the Russian Federation ranks low is most likely related to the impact of the economic crisis in the 1990s. This has severely reduced government spending on health and led to increased out-of-pocket payment.

In North America, Canada rates as the country with the fairest mechanism for health system finance – ranked at 17-19, while the United States is at 54-55. Cuba is the highest among Latin American and Caribbean nations at 23-25.
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Re: Health Care Reform

Postby Earl Butz » Thu Mar 25, 2010 4:41 pm

Wow #30. That's a sign of some deep rooted problems with our society, I'm afraid. Especially since we were once #1.

As you said, a healthy population is a productive one. We are not productive at all anymore. And wasting 2 hours of your life getting a blood test done is one of the reasons why. :roll:
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Re: Health Care Reform

Postby olywaguy » Thu Mar 25, 2010 8:12 pm

I saw that link....that ranking is from 2000 and thus considered outdated. A lot can happen in 10 years.

If you look at this link, this is more current than that ranking.

OECD Health Data at a Glance 2009: Key Findings for Canada

http://www.oecd.org/document/51/0,3343, ... _1,00.html


OECD Health at a Glance 2009: Key findings for Canada
Send Send Print print

The OECD’s latest edition of Health at a Glance shows that all countries could do better in providing good quality health care.


Quality of Care


Screening rates for breast and cervical cancer are higher in Canada than in most other developed countries, and Canada’s survival rates for cervical, breast and colorectal cancer are among the highest in the OECD. Canada does well also in achieving low mortality rates for people admitted to hospitals with a heart attack, but mortality rates for people admitted for stroke are higher than the OECD average.

Details:

In 2006, 73% of eligible women in Canada were screened for cervical cancer (OECD average 64%), and 70% for breast cancer (OECD average 62%).

* The 5-year relative survival rate for cervical cancer during 2000-2005 was 72%, the second
highest after Korea (OECD average 66%). For breast cancer, it was 87%, the third highest after
the United States and Iceland (OECD average of 81%).

* The 5-year relative survival rates for colorectal cancer during 2000-2005 were 62% for females
and 60% for males, lower than in Japan, Iceland and the United States, but higher than the
OECD average (58% for females and 56% for males).

* In-hospital case-fatality rates within 30 days of admission for acute myocardial infarction
(heart attack) are slightly lower than the OECD average (4.2% vs. 4.9%, in 2007). However,
Canada has higher rates of deaths in hospital for both ischaemic (7.0% vs 5.0%) and
hemorrhagic stroke (23.2% vs 19.8%).


Health Expenditure

Canada spent 10.1% of GDP on health in 2007, more than the OECD average of 8.9%. Spending per person is also higher than the OECD average.


Details:

* Total health spending accounted for 10.1% of GDP in Canada in 2007, compared with an average of 8.9% across OECD countries. The United States (16.0%), France (11.0%), Switzerland (10.8%), Germany (10.4%) and Belgium (10.4%) had a higher share.

* Canada’s spending on health per person is also higher than the OECD average, with spending of 3895 USD in 2007 (adjusted for purchasing power parity), compared with an OECD average of 2984 USD. Per capita health spending over 1997-2007 grew in real terms by 3.8% in Canada, slightly less than the OECD average of 4.1%.

* The public sector continues to be the main source of health funding in all OECD countries, except Mexico and the United States. In Canada, 70% of health spending was funded by public sources in 2007, less than the average of 73% for OECD countries.

* Journalists are invited to contact the OECD’s Media Relations Division (tel.: 33 1 45 24 97 00 or news.contact@oecd.org) to obtain a copy of OECD Health at a Glance 2009.

* For further information about the content of OECD Health at a Glance 2009, please contact Mark Pearson (tel. 33 1 45 24 92 69 or mark.pearson@oecd.org) or Gaétan Lafortune (tel. 33 1 45 24 92 67 or gaetan.lafortune@oecd.org) in the OECD Health Division.

* More information on OECD Health at a Glance 2009 is available at http://www.oecd.org/health/healthataglance.

* For information on OECD's work on Canada, please visit http://www.oecd.org/canada.


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Re: Health Care Reform

Postby olywaguy » Thu Mar 25, 2010 8:28 pm

BTW, Washington State's Republican Attorney General Rob McKenna is joining other states in suing the government on account of the health reform bill. He's doing this without Democratic Governor Christine Gregoire's (former attorney general for the state) okay.

The majority Democratic legislature in Washington State is trying to find a way to block funding for the lawsuit. It may get to the point where the governor will have to counter sue the state itself.


Legislators move to block McKenna on lawsuit

JORDAN SCHRADER; Staff writer | • Published March 25, 2010


Democrats have tightened the purse strings on Attorney General Rob McKenna in an attempt to limit Washington's role in challenging health care reform.

At lawmakers’ behest, the governor’s budget office has subjected the Republican’s agency to a freeze on state contracts, canceling an exemption awarded days earlier.

State leaders might go further. Gov. Chris Gregoire said Wednesday that she is open to an idea being weighed by legislative leaders: a budget proviso that would block McKenna from spending state money on a 13-state lawsuit challenging the constitutionality of the health care reform effort signed into law Tuesday by President Barack Obama.

Rep. Kelli Linville, chairwoman of the state House budget committee, asked for the contract authority to be pulled and is among those considering a budget proviso. The Bellingham Democrat said McKenna has a right to speak his mind, but not to spend state money counter to the wishes of the Legislature and governor.

“The only thing I’m concerned about is not expending revenues now on something like this, that basically I don’t agree with, instead of other things that we could spend money on,” Linville said.

Hours after Congress approved the bill to overhaul the nation’s health care system, McKenna announced he would join other state attorneys general in challenging it.

The bill’s mandate that people buy health insurance or face fines is unconstitutional, McKenna said. Never before has Congress required people to buy a product, he said.

Gregoire and legislative leaders rushed to complain that McKenna doesn’t represent them. Far from it, they said: Washington patients and taxpayers will benefit from the regulations, funding shifts and government aid contained in the law.

The dispute comes with political significance for the next governor’s race. McKenna is seen as a potential candidate in 2012.

A spokesman for McKenna’s office said the office is waiting to comment about any potential budget move until seeing what comes of legislators’ talks.

The freeze on contracts won’t affect the lawsuit, spokesman Dan Sytman said. McKenna has no intention of going outside his agency for help. He will leave the lead state on the lawsuit, Florida, to shoulder most of the work, Sytman said. Lawyers in his office could contribute occasionally.

“In terms of a cost to taxpayers – something that we’re very mindful of – minimal, to put it lightly,” Sytman said.

But lawmakers’ concerns prompted Office of Financial Management Director Victor Moore on Tuesday to revoke a blanket exemption for McKenna on the freeze the Legislature ordered in February.

The exemption, granted Friday, allowed the attorney general’s office to pay private attorneys, expert witnesses, mediators and others to help on cases without getting separate approval from the bean counters in the governor’s office.

With the exemption gone, the financial office will now scrutinize every request for outside spending.

The office could work out a deal with McKenna to limit the freeze to spending related to suing the federal government. Linville said: “We obviously wouldn’t want to keep him from doing his regular job.”

Voters elect the attorney general, and McKenna’s office said in a statement on his Web site that he is an independent check on other parts of state government.

At least one budget writer said blocking funding would cross a line on the separation of powers.

“There are a lot of court decisions that I don’t agree with that the Washington State Supreme Court has made recently. Does that mean I stop funding them?” asked Senate budget committee vice-chairman Rodney Tom, D-Medina.

The ranking Republican on the subcommittee overseeing McKenna’s budget, Rep. Jim McCune of Graham, said it’s McKenna’s right to sue. “It sounds like it’s appropriate, if (the health care law is) unconstitutional.”

Read more: http://www.theolympian.com/2010/03/25/1 ... z0jF2BmPzw



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Re: Health Care Reform

Postby backpacker » Fri Mar 26, 2010 12:54 pm

It's not surprising that the US spends more than others and gets less. My partner had a biopsy and surgery a few months ago and while I don't have the exact figure in front of me I believe it was $970 EACH to have two anesthesiologists administer drugs, so that was nearly $2000 even before counting the surgery which was to remove a cyst in the sinus cavity. I don't have that figure in front of me but I think it was around $1400. There were other smaller bills related to the same surgery from the hospital etc. Luckily his insurance covered most of that but I can see people without insurance getting set back months.
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Re: Health Care Reform

Postby butch » Sun Mar 28, 2010 4:38 pm

Canada's Health Care program has a fatal flaw and that is that it is administered by each province and territory so we have, in effect, 14 different health care programs in Canada. I'm thinking there will be some kind of major reform to the Canadian system in the future which will bring in some kind of user fees above the present system's fees.

There is already a user pay hidden tax. I know because being self-employed has cost me $56 a month until recently (I'm 65 now). Most people don't notice the fees because their employer pays it. So, I've been contributing over $600 a year to the system above and beyond my tax contributions... income tax plus our HUGE sales taxes, PST and GST (15%). We are about to switch to the HST system which will make more things taxable... only food will be left untaxed and that is in the raw form, not prepared foods at restaurants etc.
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Re: Health Care Reform

Postby Earl Butz » Sun Mar 28, 2010 4:41 pm

15%? Yikes. Move to Alberta! Only 5% sales tax and we got rid of health care premiums! 8)
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Re: Health Care Reform

Postby solat » Fri Apr 09, 2010 4:13 am

Health stats most countries are compared by.-
(I've included Poland as a median).
Make of them what you will...

Life expectancy
Canada 81.2 years
New Zealand 80.6 years
United States 78.1 years
Poland 75.4 years

Infant mortality per 1000 births
New Zealand 4.99 deaths
Canada 5.08 deaths
United States 6.30 deaths
Poland 8.73 deaths

Healthcare coverage
Canada 100%=
New Zealand 100%=
Poland 100%ish
United States 84%

Health spend per capita
United States $4,271
Canada $1,939
New Zealand $1,163
Poland $271
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