Drudge Retort: The Other Side of the News

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Friday, July 15, 2016

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"How can you even claim there are longer wait times when: It reported that in the US a quarter of adults surveyed (26%) said they waited six or more days for primary care appointments "when sick or needing care". The figure for the UK was just 16%."

Because the wait times are longer. This may be the one, cherry-picked datapoint where waits were longer in the US than in a country with socialized healthcare available. And if we were discussion wait times of a week, or two weeks, or even three weeks, I don't think you and I would be having this discussion. Most of my appointments are made two to three weeks out. Not because of the doctor's calendar, but because of mine. It's once you get into the wait times that extend into the years that you really have to admit that it's a systemic problem. particularly when it's present in all the of the socialized systems.

"If its lower quality care and longer wait times then why are ZERO countries trying to copy our health care system? In fact they react to it with a combination of laughter and horror."

Are you kidding?

Canada used to have a single-payer system. If you wanted healthcare in Canada, you had no choice other than the government-managed system. That changed in the mid-2000s after the Canadian Supreme Court determined that the countries long wait times were a violation of the rights of Canadian citizens, as they were forced to go abroad, to somewhere like the US, in order to get timely care. After that ruling, the government was forced to permit private healthcare providers to practice.

In other words, they wanted to become less socialized, and more privatized.

Additionally, most of Europe employs mixed systems. And I don't think you'll ever meet someone from Europe who comes here needing care, and laments that American facilities lack the quality of those in their home countries. I have a few friends from across the pond, and they've all been pretty surprised at the quality of care you receive in the US.

"I pay $15,000 in health insurance. If I added that to my taxes for universal health care I would then be paying ~25% in taxes. so what exactly is your point?"

My point is that if you added that $15k to your tax bill as opposed to paying your insurer, you very may well wind up with lower quality care. To maintain the level of care you have might actually cost you more. If you're committed to the socialized healthcare model, the lower quality care may be acceptable to you. Maybe not. But I think you'd be mistaken to think that a $15K increase in taxes to cover healthcare would not result in a net loss in coverage or quality.

"No they don't."

Actually, they do. You should go check out the criteria used by the WHO to evaluate each nation's healthcare. You'll find that about 65% of the criteria had absolutely nothing to do with quality.

"But giving everyone a bike does not impede your ability to get a car if you can afford one. In fact, here's where your anaology breaks down, because everyone having socialized medicine would REDUCE the cost of health care even for the rich, the same doesn't apply to bikes and cars."

You're right, provided that costs did not increase as a result of socialized care. For example: say I'm paying $10k a year for a commercial family plan. That's replaced by a socialized plan that eliminates the costs of the family plan, but costs me an additional $8k a year in taxes. This basic socialized plan will almost certainly be of lower quality, which means I'll need supplemental insurance to get back to the level of quality I was at before. If the cost of that supplemental insurance is greater than $2k a year, then I would have been better off under the commercial plan.

I'd like you to be right. If you can drive down costs across the board, while still offering the same quality of care, I'm on board. I just have serious reservations that it can be done.

"And that's why you're a republican, and why republicans are --------. If it's not a problem for YOU, then it's not a problem."

I'm not a Republican. Honestly, I'd vote for Hillary before I voted for Trump. And it's not a problem. It's an ideological goal you progressives have tethered yourselves to. An issue on which you're both irrational and intractable.

"But it's not. In fact, it's not even close. Where on earth are you getting your information?"

Are you not familiar with the whole wait time issue associated with socialized systems? Having to wait for months or years is better than not getting the care at all, I suppose, but still far worse than getting the same care in days or weeks in the US.

"I'd say we should be making quality affordable healthcare readily available to whoever needs it."

Then you'd be achieving something that has not yet been achieved. It's a noble thought, but I'm not sure how you realistically go about doing it.

"You only seem interested in quality healthcare for those who can afford it. What would you suggest for everyone else?"

The same type of care that's made available to everyone else in places like France and Canada. Lower cost, but lower quality.

"I'd also say extended "life expectancy" is at least somewhat equivalent to quality. So those systems are indeed 'better'. But way to ignore that part, Mr. Obtuse."

Life expectancy is important, but I'm not sure that you can align that directly with the availability of healthcare. Not sure that a doctor can cure your ailments if they're being driven by bad habits.

"And why should the US continue to subsidize medications for the rest of the world?"

There are ways you could mitigate the effects this has on domestic costs. Limit indigent drug programs intended for those in the developing world. Pass legislation requiring drug companies to offer the same prices to everyone. That would equalize costs across the globe.

"A significant portion of R&D on drugs is paid for by government grants, while the big pharm companies spend significantly more of their profits on marketing. It's pretty damn hard to feel sorry for big pharm."

I don't either. If you take money from the taxpayers, as far as I'm concerned you have a debt to them.

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