Why is there so much opposition to Universal Healthcare when there are examples of successful government run universal healthcare systems?

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    Mar 11, 2009 7:10 PM GMT
    Why is there so much opposition to Universal Healthcare when there are examples of successful government run universal healthcare systems?


    "The French healthcare system has been in place and has continued to evolve for more than one hundred years, and was classified the “best health system in the world” by the World Health Organization (WHO) in June 2000. It permits all French citizens access to treatment and to the latest discoveries in medical research. The success of the French health system is evidenced in the general health of the French population. Their life expectancy increases more than three months each year, and French women have the second highest life expectancy rate in the world.

    The Healthcare System and its Users:

    The French government provides a number of diverse and comprehensive healthcare rights. For more than 96 percent of the population, medical care is either entirely free or is reimbursed 100 percent. The French also have the right to choose among healthcare providers, regardless of their income level. For example, they can consult a variety of doctors and specialists or choose a public, private, university or general hospital. Moreover, the waiting lists for surgeries found in other government supported healthcare systems do not exist in France.

    In France, health insurance is a branch of the Social Security system. It is funded by workers’ salaries (60 percent of the fund), by indirect taxes on alcohol and tobacco and by direct contribution paid by all revenue proportional to income, including retirement pensions and capital revenues. On the surface, it appears that health insurance reimburses medical care providers less in France than in other European countries. However, more than 80 percent of French people have supplemental insurance, often provided by their employers. The poorest have free universal healthcare, which is financed by taxes. Additionally, the treatment costs for those who suffer from long-term illnesses are completely reimbursed.

    In July 2001, the government passed a law allowing the healthcare system to provide additional assistance to families who need help with daily tasks. On March 4, 2002, the government passed another law, establishing compensation for all medical-related accidents whether fault is found or not. These new rights were added to other long established rights, such as compensation payments in the case of pregnancy or disease prevention, medical care for workers and students, family planning, and systematic screening of certain diseases.

    Organization of the Healthcare System:

    Since 1996, the government has presented a law to parliament every year in order to finance social security. This document delineates the budget for next year’s national expenditures on health insurance. It additionally outlines goals to be achieved by the healthcare system during that year. However, these goals are broadly drawn as the actual healthcare budget varies according to revenue earned through taxes each year.

    The government provides health insurance to three major groups of the population: salaried workers and their families, farmers, and artists and business professionals. Within each of these three groups, expenditures are divided by region and by type. Types of expenditures include general practitioners’ fees, specialists’ fees, medical prescriptions, public hospitals, private clinics, nursing professionals and sanitary transportation.

    The state exercises its trusteeship through central, regional and departmental services. There are two large organizations that work under the Ministry of Health: General Health Management and Hospital and Healthcare Management.

    Under the direction of these two large organizations are numerous health care facilities and agencies.

    Hospitals and Clinics:

    The Medical care establishment is made up of three types of institutions: public hospitals, private clinics and not-for-profit healthcare.

    One thousand and thirty-two hospitals fall under the public hospital statute. Regional, university, local and general hospitals are included in this category and can trace their history back to the first era of Christianity. Public hospitals include a diverse group of institutions. For example, the Public Assistance Hospital of Paris employs over 80,000 people while in comparison the smallest local hospital employs less than 300. The Public Assistance Hospital of Paris is the most important and largest group of public hospitals. Created after the French Revolution, it became a hospital organization for the poor and for those involved in work related accidents in 1941. Today, this establishment is a complex organization that is responsible for a high standard of care, medical technology and research.

    In all hospitals, doctors, biologists, and dentists are all paid as “hospital practitioners.” Advancement in the medical field is by seniority. Under the Title IV statute of the Civil Service, there is a na
  • GQjock

    Posts: 11649

    Mar 11, 2009 7:56 PM GMT
    Ever look at how much money the healthcare insurance Companies make per year and hw much money they donate during election campaigns? icon_rolleyes.gif
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    Mar 11, 2009 8:22 PM GMT
    Bryan1960 saidWhy is there so much opposition to Universal Healthcare when there are examples of successful government run universal healthcare systems? ...

    In all hospitals, doctors, biologists, and dentists are all paid as “hospital practitioners.” Advancement in the medical field is by seniority. Under the Title IV statute of the Civil Service, there is a na


    big business.greed.
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    Mar 11, 2009 8:36 PM GMT
    Go to Europe and get sick you will be surprised at how well and efficient and contentiously you are treated.


    Healthcare is very different...It's viewed as a basic human right


    and while the french, British and other European systems aren't perfect by any means there are a lot of problems as it's not all standard across the country ie. a public doctor may be allowed to prescribe a certain drug/treatment in one area and not in another, and there is a lot of cracks for people to slip through.

    I think it stands to the public, there would be riots and overturning of governments in Europe if you tried to remove or limit peoples access to health care they grew up with. But Americans just seem to accept it
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    Mar 11, 2009 8:40 PM GMT
    Money
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    Mar 11, 2009 8:44 PM GMT
    Americans are greedy. The big Insurance companies don't want it. The doctors don't want it.

    If we want any change here, Americans have to show it profitable. If Gay men and woman could show Gay marriage to be really profitable, I assure you it would be allowed.
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    Mar 11, 2009 8:47 PM GMT
    AMT87 said...efficient and contentiously you are treated...
    I know you mean conscientiously.
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    Mar 11, 2009 8:49 PM GMT
    Cowboiway saidAmericans are greedy. The big Insurance companies don't want it. The doctors don't want it.

    If we want any change here, Americans have to show it profitable. If Gay men and woman could show Gay marriage to be really profitable, I assure you it would be allowed.
    Actually we have to show nothing of the sort other than our majority rule. The reason it's being fought is that the money is doing a lot of the talking. There are other ways to talk to politicians, mostly the threat of removing them from office. We already have that power.
  • Timbales

    Posts: 13993

    Mar 11, 2009 8:51 PM GMT
    What successful examples of national health care can be cited for countries that are a comparable size and population density as the US? Don't get me wrong, I think every American should have access to decent, affordable health care. But, we can't take a model that works in a foreign country the size of New York State and expect it work here. We already have programs to assist people who can't afford coverage, why can't we expand those programs to give everyone access to them?
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    Mar 11, 2009 8:55 PM GMT
    Check the Scandinavian Health Care, if you're interested in the healthcare system in EU. And while you're at it, you may as well check the Finnish health care system, which is been run down......although we still have equal, free healthcare for every citizen, just don't know for how long.
    www.kela.fi , they have the pages in english too
    .
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    Mar 11, 2009 9:06 PM GMT
    Health care systems don't "Scale" up. You can't talk about Sweden with a population of 9 million and compare it to our 350 million. European countries aren't even big cities in the US. Our Medicare system, which in discussions like these, is forgotten because people want to state the big lie that we don' t have universal health care, is bigger than all of the European systems combined.

    How can you ignore a $400,000,000,000 yearly Medicare program ?

    My european friends say that if you want decent care in Europe that they have to pay a co-payment on top of their universal health care.
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    Mar 11, 2009 9:11 PM GMT
    If you want to have the Govenment confiscate 50% of your income to pay for a French Style system then knock yourself out. Leave me out.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Mar 11, 2009 9:20 PM GMT
    The Obama plan is not going to remove current insurance companies. His program is designed to let you buy into the government's insurance company. For many people, they're satisfied with their current insurance, and will be unaffected.
  • styrgan

    Posts: 2017

    Mar 11, 2009 9:23 PM GMT
    GQjock saidEver look at how much money the healthcare insurance Companies make per year and hw much money they donate during election campaigns? icon_rolleyes.gif


    Exactly... Nothing else would be expected in a government that is nothing short of a corporate oligarchy.
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    Mar 11, 2009 9:25 PM GMT
    HMO's and their lobbyists. What saddens me the most are the Americans who end up bankrupt because of medical bills. I was lucky nothing happened to me when I didn't have insurance for a year.
  • styrgan

    Posts: 2017

    Mar 11, 2009 9:37 PM GMT
    mickeytopogigio saidThe Obama plan is not going to remove current insurance companies. His program is designed to let you buy into the government's insurance company. For many people, they're satisfied with their current insurance, and will be unaffected.


    In the short-term, this is true. In the long-term, the only way to eliminate waste (and the cost of incentives that come with capitalism) is to establish a single-payer system. Obama's health care plan is a halfway point to that end. In may not happen for ten or twenty years, but once someone decides to really take on the waste in our health care system, there will be no way insurance companies could hope to be competitive.
  • twentyfourhou...

    Posts: 243

    Mar 11, 2009 10:00 PM GMT
    In general, most who oppose ensuring basic health care as a right to every US citizen tend to have health care and are more likely to be in the upper middle or upper socioeconomic classes.
    In general, most who oppose,,,,,,, tend to be more healthy. They have been fortunate to not have experienced a devestating health crisis (car accident, cancer, etc).
    In general, most who oppose......tend to be happy with the current system because they are more likely to fall into one or both of the two categories above.

    Even though the US spends more than any other country in the world on health care AND even though we tend to have access to the latest technologies in health care - the US does NOT rank highest against most health care measures used to assess the overall general health of a population such as obesity, birth complications, etc. Go figure.

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    Mar 11, 2009 10:16 PM GMT
    Hmmm.... Greed, self-interest, cost, etc. ... seems to be the reasons given for resisting a change......

    So, I thought I would take a look and see what the facts are...

    It seems the US has a very high cost system without comparable life expectancy and is ranked relatively low for effectiveness by the World Health Organization.

    This is what I found:

    The USA has the 2nd (second) Most Expensive Health Care System based on percent spent of Gross National Product for health care. Only behind the Marshall Islands. Canada is 18th, Japan is 39th, France 10th, Sweden 25th, and United Kingdom 41st. The countries with universal health care systems seem to spend a lot less.

    Highest Life Expectancy - Japan 1st, Australia 2nd, France 3rd, Sweden 4th, Canada 12th, United Kingdom 14th, and USA 24th. Again, countries with universal health care systems seem to have better outcomes in terms of longevity.

    Best to Worst Health System rankings by the World Health Organization notes: France #1, Japan #10, Norway #11, Netherlands #17, United Kingdom #14th, Sweden #15, Canada #30, Australia #32 and USA #37. And, again, the US doesn't stack up in terms of its health care system performance and those with universal health care do seem to do better.


    More specific information:

    The World Health Organization's ranking of the world's health systems.

    Rank Health Systems from best to worst (US is 37th of 190)

    1 France
    2 Italy
    3 San Marino
    4 Andorra
    5 Malta
    6 Singapore
    7 Spain
    8 Oman
    9 Austria
    10 Japan
    11 Norway
    12 Portugal
    13 Monaco
    14 Greece
    15 Iceland
    16 Luxembourg
    17 Netherlands
    18 United Kingdom
    19 Ireland
    20 Switzerland
    21 Belgium
    22 Colombia
    23 Sweden
    24 Cyprus
    25 Germany
    26 Saudi Arabia
    27 United Arab Emirates
    28 Israel
    29 Morocco
    30 Canada
    31 Finland
    32 Australia
    33 Chile
    34 Denmark
    35 Dominica
    36 Costa Rica
    37 United States of America


    HEALTHY LIFE EXPECTANCY (US is 24 of 191)

    Rank Member State Population Males Females

    1 Japan 74.5 71.9 77.2
    2 Australia 73.2 70.8 75.5
    3 France 73.1 69.3 76.9
    4 Sweden 73.0 71.2 74.9
    5 Spain 72.8 69.8 75.7
    6 Italy 72.7 70.0 75.4
    7 Greece 72.5 70.5 74.6
    8 Switzerland 72.5 69.5 75.5
    9 Monaco 72.4 68.5 76.3
    10 Andorra 72.3 69.3 75.2
    11 San Marino 72.3 69.5 75.0
    12 Canada 72.0 70.0 74.0
    13 Netherlands 72.0 69.6 74.4
    14 United Kingdom 71.7 69.7 73.7
    15 Norway 71.7 68.8 74.6
    16 Belgium 71.6 68.7 74.6
    17 Austria 71.6 68.8 74.4
    18 Luxembourg 71.1 68.0 74.2
    19 Iceland 70.8 69.2 72.3
    20 Finland 70.5 67.2 73.7
    21 Malta 70.5 68.4 72.5
    22 Germany 70.4 67.4 73.5
    23 Israel 70.4 69.2 71.6
    24 United States 70.0 67.5 72.6


    Total Health Expenditures as % of GDP - Country Rankings


    Total Expenditure on Health as % of GDP 2000-2005
    (The USA is 2nd most expensive of 200 Countries per person)
    Rank Location 2000 2001 2002 2003 2004 2005
    ---------------------------------------------
    1 Marshall Islands22 19.1 18.4 16.3 13.2 15.4
    2 United States 13.2 13.9 14.7 15.1 15.2 15.2
    3 Niue 8 38.1 11.1 12.5 15.5 14.5
    4 Timor-Leste 8.8 8.6 8.5 9.2 10.3 13.7
    5 Micronesia 9 9.8 9.1 10.7 11.7 13.5
    6 Kiribati 11.6 12.3 12.6 13.7 13.7 12.7
    7 Maldives 6.8 6.8 6.6 7.2 7.8 12.4
    8 Malawi 6.1 7.8 10 12.8 12.8 12.2
    9 Switzerland 10.3 10.7 11 11.4 11.4 11.4
    10 France 9.6 9.7 10 10.9 11 11.2
    11 Germany 10.3 10.4 10.6 10.8 10.6 10.7
    12 Jordan 9.4 9.6 9.3 9.3 10.1 10.5
    13 Nauru 11 10.8 10.6 10.3 10.4 10.3
    14 Argentina 8.9 9.5 8.9 8.3 9.6 10.2
    15 Austria 10 10 10.1 10.2 10.3 10.2
    16 Portugal 8.8 8.8 9 9.7 10 10.2
    17 Greece 9.3 9.8 9.7 10 9.6 10.1
    18 Canada 8.8 9.3 9.6 9.8 9.8 9.8
    19 Sao Tome 6.3 9.1 8.6 11.9 12.1 9.8
    20 Belgium 9.1 9.3 9.5 9.5 9.7 9.6
    21 Palau 9.7 9.1 10.1 11.5 9.7 9.6
    22 Denmark 8.3 8.6 8.8 9.3 9.4 9.4
    23 Iceland 9.3 9.2 9.9 10.2 9.9 9.4
    24 Netherlands 8 8.3 8.9 8.9 9 9.2
    25 Sweden 8.2 8.6 9 9.1 9.2 9.2
    26 Norway 8.4 8.8 9.8 10 9.7 9.1
    27 Italy 8.1 8.2 8.3 8.3 8.7 8.9
    28 New Zealand 8.1 8.3 8.5 8.4 8.5 8.9
    29 Australia 8.3 8.4 8.6 8.6 8.8 8.8
    30 Bosnia 7 6.9 7.7 8.1 8.6 8.8
    31 Tuvalu 13.4 10.5 9.4 11.1 9.2 8.8
    32 Lebanon 11 10.7 9.4 8.9 8.8 8.7
    33 South Africa 8.1 8.4 8.3 8.4 8.5 8.7
    34 Georgia 7.4 7.8 8.7 8.5 8.5 8.6
    35 Slovenia 8.4 8.7 8.8 8.8 8.5 8.5
    36 Malta 6.8 7.2 7.8 8.1 8.2 8.4
    37 Botswana 4.8 4.2 5.7 6.4 7.7 8.3
    38 Ireland 6.3 6.9 7.1 7.3 7.5 8.2
    39 Japan 7.6 7.9 8 8.1 8 8.2
    40 Spain 7.2 7.2 7.3 7.8 8.1 8.2
    41 United Kingdom 7.2 7.5 7.6 7.7 8 8.2
    42 Uruguay 10.5 10.8 10.3 9.8 8.2 8.1
    43 Zimbabwe 8.3 6.4 5.8 7.2 8.4 8.1
    44 Montenegro 7.5 8 7.9 8.2 8 8
    45 Serbia 7.1 7.3 8.3 8.3 8 8
    46 Brazil 7.2 7.6 7.7 7.5 7.7 7.9
    47 Nicaragua 7.2 7.7 8 8 7.9 7.9
    48 Hungary 6.9 7.2 7.6 8.3 8.1 7.8
    49 Iran 5.9 6.1 6.1 6.2 6.2 7.8
    50 Israel 8 8.4 8.3 8.2 8.1 7.8
    51 Paraguay 9.2 8.9 9.1 7.9 7.7 7.8
    52 FYRO Mcdnia 7.6 7.4 8 8.2 8 7.8
    53 Bulgaria 6.2 7.2 7.4 7.6 7.5 7.7
    54 Luxembourg 5.8 6.4 6.8 7.5 8.1 7.7
    55 Cuba 6.2 5.9 5.9 5.8 5.7 7.6
    56 Finland 6.6 6.7 7 7.3 7.4 7.5
    57 Honduras 6.4 6.5 7.3 7.6 7.6 7.5
    58 Moldova 6.1 6.1 6.4 6.8 7.4 7.5
    59 Croatia 9.1 8.6 7.8 7.5 7.7 7.4
    60 Colombia 7.7 7.7 7.6 7.7 7.4 7.3


    Hey guys, sorry if I bored you with all this stuff.... I am home sick and a little bored... Peace and Take Good Care, B
  • coolarmydude

    Posts: 9190

    Mar 11, 2009 10:19 PM GMT
    There are two answers to this thread's question: The insurance lobby and the abortion debate.

    The insurance lobby has already been explained, but the reason why I say abortion is because that was one of the sticking points in Hillary's intent to pass universal healthcare in the 1990s. The argument is whether tax dollars should be allowed to pay for abortions. If it does, then the government reinforces the Supreme Court decision that abortions are a private, medical decision and not a simple matter of ending human life.
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    Mar 11, 2009 10:19 PM GMT
    Alpha13 saidHealth care systems don't "Scale" up. You can't talk about Sweden with a population of 9 million and compare it to our 350 million. European countries aren't even big cities in the US. Our Medicare system, which in discussions like these, is forgotten because people want to state the big lie that we don' t have universal health care, is bigger than all of the European systems combined.

    How can you ignore a $400,000,000,000 yearly Medicare program ?

    My european friends say that if you want decent care in Europe that they have to pay a co-payment on top of their universal health care.


    Show me a market driven system in a country the size of the US that works.
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    Mar 11, 2009 10:58 PM GMT
    twentyfourhourslater saidIn general, most who oppose ensuring basic health care as a right to every US citizen tend to have health care and are more likely to be in the upper middle or upper socioeconomic classes.
    In general, most who oppose,,,,,,, tend to be more healthy. They have been fortunate to not have experienced a devestating health crisis (car accident, cancer, etc).
    In general, most who oppose......tend to be happy with the current system because they are more likely to fall into one or both of the two categories above.

    Even though the US spends more than any other country in the world on health care AND even though we tend to have access to the latest technologies in health care - the US does NOT rank highest against most health care measures used to assess the overall general health of a population such as obesity, birth complications, etc. Go figure.



    Yes! And, the cost of the US Health Care System ranks 2nd based on the percent spent of gross national product (i.e. this is the comparison to other countries - most countries spend less and get more - regardless of size of the country).
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    Mar 11, 2009 11:18 PM GMT
    Cuz the TV done told me that it is socialism. And that is the same as communism. And that is the same as standing in line for bread and smelling like vodka. Except when you give tax breaks to millionaires or multinational corporations.

    We pay the most for healthcare and get the least results.

    Pass the butter.
  • RSportsguy

    Posts: 1925

    Mar 11, 2009 11:25 PM GMT
    I am interested in what our Canadian brothers feel about this subject. I have heard from so many people that it is almost impossible to get quality health care in Canada because of the long waits, etc. I have seen many people refute the claims in the movie Sicko that Canada has a better health care system than we do. This is such an interesting and important topic!!
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    Mar 11, 2009 11:56 PM GMT
    CANADIAN vs United States of America health care system fares well in study!

    Anne-Marie Tobin
    Canadian press

    Health outcomes for patients in Canada are as good as or better than in the United States, even though per capita spending is higher south of the border, suggest Canadian and U.S. researchers who crunched data from 38 studies.

    The findings were published in the inaugural edition of Open Medicine, a new online medical journal launching Wednesday in the aftermath of a rift last year between some editors and the publisher of the Canadian Medical Association Journal.

    "In looking at patients in Canada with a specific diagnosis compared to Americans with the same diagnosis, in Canada patients had at least as good an outcome as their American counterparts – and in many situations, a better health outcome," said one of the 17 authors, Dr. P.J. Devereaux, a cardiologist and clinical epidemiologist at McMaster University in Hamilton.

    "And that is important because in the United States, they're currently spending a little over $7,100 per individual on health care annually, whereas in Canada we're spending a little over $2,900 per individual annually," he said in a telephone interview from Brantford, Ont.

    The study covered data on patient populations in the United States and Canada from 1955 to 2003. To conduct their meta-analysis, researchers identified almost 5,000 titles and abstracts. Of these, 498 appeared potentially eligible on initial review. Eventually, 38 studies were deemed to be eligible.

    Researchers began by asking the question: Are there differences in health outcomes (mortality or morbidity) in patients suffering from similar medical conditions treated in Canada versus those treated in the United States?

    "Overall, Canada did better, and in fact we found a statistically significant five per cent mortality advantage to people with diagnoses in Canada compared to their counterparts in the United States," Devereaux said.

    Because of the extreme variability in study-to-study results, the researchers suggested caution was appropriate in interpreting this finding.

    Overall, 14 of the 38 studies showed better outcomes in Canada, while five favoured the U.S. The other 19 studies showed equivalent or mixed results in the two countries.

    Canada really stood out in one area – lower risk-adjusted death rates for dialysis care.

    "What it (the study) shows is that despite an enormous investment in money we do not see better health outcomes (in the U.S.)," Devereaux said.

    "And importantly, where our two systems do diverge is that America has a mixture of private insurance in terms of the funding for health care whereas in Canada we have medicare system for hospital and physician services. The medicare system allows us enormous efficiencies in terms of cost saving relative to private insurance."

    He said the Canadian health-care system does have issues and needs improvement, "but certainly using medicare funding and not-for-profit delivery is the best way to actually maximize health outcomes and in a cost-effective manner."

    The public is barraged by people saying Canada's health-care system has problems and the solution is to move toward allowing two-tiered medicine, and for-profit health-care delivery, he said.

    The researchers "wanted decisions made based on evidence, and not based on beliefs and ideologies," Devereaux added.

    Few uninsured patients in the U.S., who probably suffer the worst quality care, were included in the studies examined.

    Some explanations for the results include the fact that American health care has administrative inefficiencies that public funding – without multiple competing insurance companies – eliminates. And because drug prices are controlled, Canada saves on prescription drug costs.

  • RSportsguy

    Posts: 1925

    Mar 12, 2009 12:09 AM GMT
    Wow! Great stuff! Thanks Coltman21!