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  • #31
    Originally posted by Stringman
    Terje, What is it like in Sweden?


    Well, we do pay higher taxes for one thing. The high taxes pay for health insurance, it's for everybody. Doesn't matter if you're poor, basically you get the best medical care you can get in any public hospital.

    We have private hospitals too, mainly for people who want operations done sooner and stuff. People have private health insurance too, for basically the same reason, they want things to be even better.

    Our public hospitals are the top of the line, this is where you find the best doctors and the most resources. Mainly cause they are big they attract the best people, if you want to develop as a doctor (or nurse) these are the places to work.

    There are fees to pay when you see a doctor or a nurse though. They aren't huge, it's more like $30 (less for visiting a nurse, more like $10). Which incidentally is enough to stop me from seeing a doctor too often

    We do have serious problems though with the budget of this health care system. We are now able to treat a lot of things that we weren't yesterday and this costs a lot of money. There is a debate right now in Sweden on what diseases should actually fall under public health care.
    Terje Larsson

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    • #32
      .. I left the US after 20 years because a heart attack (and the cost of it) ruined me financially. So I had to return to my home country, which I truly dislike.

      A great nation like the USA should be ashamed to ahve things happen, where people can DIE because they can't afford (or do not know the "tricks" how to get help) decent health care.

      Just think of the money that has and is still being burned in a godforsaken place like Iraq and all the great kids that have to die there... just because the great nation doesn't have a real government....

      Sorry, as much as I love my USA (and half of my family still lives in CA) I'm always ashamed when asked why I'm in frigging Germany when I love the US so much better.

      Comment


      • #33
        Originally posted by daddymack
        Unfortunately, Mike, your neighbor was ignorant of the fact that LA County would have provided free health services. That means she would have had to have gone to a county hospital, like USC...and arguably the care provided is not the best, but it would have most likely been adequate to diagnose her condition and prevent her needless passing. My heart goes out to her family and friends who, for whatever reason, were unable to help her or counsel her.

        No one should feel as though they cannot get medical attention , particularly in this country, and this state. We do have socialistic programs, perhaps not as well conceived or executed as those of other industrialized nations, but the safety net is there if you can find it.


        That's what I was thinking, you may not get the Mayo Clinic but you can get help. On another note, I know a man who went to the Mayo and they almost killed him.
        Ed

        Comment


        • #34
          Guys, I am neither wise or experienced in life or politics, and am currently 2 weeks short of voting age, but I was frankly shocked to read the thread starter's post. People dying because of a lack of money is, in my mind, absolutely abhorrent.

          I live in Australia, and if it wasn't for our public healthcare system (which is in the process of screwed over by our lovely Prime Minister, John Howard) my appendix would have burst in January, because even though my family has an adequate income to live, we can't afford private health insurance. The Medicare system here operates much like the one Terje described, although not quite as good in recent years thanks to our conservative government. Though Medicare is currently in turmoil and I had to wait 5 hours to be seen by a doctor at the public hospital, I am so thankful, that, frankly, I live here and not in the states.

          As far as I know, Aussie income tax is quite comparable to that in the U.S., and I don't know your views on America's policy of military pre-emption and all that, but for anyone who would hate to have a tiny tax hike to pay for a public healthcare system, I have only one suggestion for where to source the funds:

          The trillion-dollar military budget that keeps Americans 'safe from terror' while her citizens rot on her mainland.

          I am by no means 'anti-American' or a tree-hugging leftist hippy, but to me the solution just seems so obvious. I know this is simplistic and there are an absolute myriad of difficulties that would be associated with establishing a system to look after 288 million people, but I mean, come on, doesn't the greatest country in the world owe it to its people?

          "All it takes is political will" is absolutely true. And from this outsider's position of observation of both the American and Australian governments and media agencies, "political will" consistently lies under this:

          $

          I know some of my above statement is probably naive and hypocritical, and I don't know enough about the intricacies of the issue to enter a debate about this, but I have a 'reply' button on my screen that I have the right, and privilege, to use.

          Thanks, Tom.

          Comment


          • #35
            Originally posted by skatom

            I know some of my above statement is probably naive and hypocritical, and I don't know enough about the intricacies of the issue to enter a debate about this, but I have a 'reply' button on my screen that I have the right, and privilege, to use.

            Thanks, Tom.


            On the contrary, I found your post honest and eloquently stated. I, for one, appreciate your (and everyone's) input. This thread would be wildly out of hand on any other forum, so thanks guys! OK, keep talking!
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            • #36
              Public health care may be the answer to U.S. issues with people being without health care insurance, but the reason why it doesn't go forward has little to do with most people's willingness to pay "a tiny tax increase" to have it. The tax increase would be substantial, but would probably be outweighed by not having to pay private health insurance.

              I has more to do with vested interests, like the private health insurance industry, having the ear of the governing politicians. No one gets elected here without putting up a lot of (usually) other people's money - far more than the job is going to earn for them. When people supply money to get you elected, they don't expect you to cut the legs out from under their business.

              Many other people are making good money working in the industry, and probably don't relish working for government wages. Many of them see the problems, but don't like that solution.

              There is also a problem of philosophy. Americans don't like socialism in general, and anything that puts government in charge of their personal well being is suspect. Also, most people who vote do have health insurance through their or their spouses job. They may have to pay something for it, and the costs keep escalating, but it's working for them, and there is no guarantee a government managed program would do that.

              The problem is the same as for most things that would benefit the most needy - they don't have any clout with government.

              The current administration is not likely to make or allow any moves toward socialized medicine. The party that has traditionally stood for the poor is the one that is a minority in government right now. W. would go for it if he could find a way to divert most of the funds to his peers (rich people). But most rich people don't want their sweet deal endangered by radical changes in what is already serving them, or employing them, very well thank you.

              Public opinion may swing the other way eventually, and any essential industry which posts increases to costs far above the earnings increases of its consumers may be a target for reform, but it is going to take a lot of convincing of the public, and at least one election to do it.
              No offense intended, but (see above) . . .

              Old is the new new.

              I'd rather have a bottle in front of me than a frontal lobotomy.
              -Dorothy Parker

              Comment


              • #37
                Simple maths

                Healthcare Dollars - Insurance Company Profits = Less Healthcare dollars


                In reality a nationalised healthcare system is simple, it is just that people are afraid of radical change. The best plan would be;

                Insurance claims against doctors are capped according to the level of negligence. Then;
                Doctors fees are negotiated between doctors and the government. All individuals pay for the first X dollars of their annual treatment where X is a proportion of their income. Whatever it costs over this comes from the tax system. A levy goes on top of taxation to cover the shortfall. Costs to the taxpayer would actually come down because of the equation above.
                Originally posted by sickman
                Some day you're going to be old and no chick is going to want to have sexual relations with you... probably not even your wife. If you're lucky, they may still want to hear you make music.

                Comment


                • #38
                  Timezarrow, that is spot on.

                  Americans don't like socialism in general, and anything that puts government in charge of their personal well being is suspect.


                  But strangely, multi-national corporations whose bottom line is, and will only ever be, the almighty dollar, aren't (suspect). At least politicians must submit to public opinion. Man, the irony is so thick you can chew it.

                  Grr, I can feel myself getting fired up...but no, this is cool jam - *stands in front of air conditioner*

                  Comment


                  • #39
                    Originally posted by skatom
                    Timezarrow, that is spot on.



                    But strangely, multi-national corporations whose bottom line is, and will only ever be, the almighty dollar, aren't (suspect). At least politicians must submit to public opinion. Man, the irony is so thick you can chew it.

                    Grr, I can feel myself getting fired up...but no, this is cool jam - *stands in front of air conditioner*


                    I wouldn't say the big corporations aren't suspect, but with our current system they play the part of "the devil you know." We tend to believe that private enterprise is more efficient than the government, and that is generally true. Government agencies try to use whatever budget they have in order to avoid it being cut in the future. Well managed private businesses try to operate with minimal budgets and cut costs while improving or at least maintaining quality - in order to compete for customers. But with the parasitic health insurance industry attached to the issue, efficiency goes out the window. Health insurance companies more and more dictate what type of care is permissable and what it should cost, but they add, as pointed out above, a massive burden.
                    No offense intended, but (see above) . . .

                    Old is the new new.

                    I'd rather have a bottle in front of me than a frontal lobotomy.
                    -Dorothy Parker

                    Comment


                    • #40
                      Yeah, I see where you're coming from.

                      Maybe this is why the Aus government insists on share-floating its assets, to try and achieve a compromise. So far though, with every government agency that has been privatised, the consumer has lost. First telecommunications, then electricity, water, gas - rates have gone up, taxes on those things have gone up - Sure, the shares of those companies have gone up (except elec.), but all of those less fortunate people who don't have shares, haven't seen anything but enormous increases in the cost of basic services, causing the poverty line to climb even further.

                      Hmph.

                      - tommy

                      Comment


                      • #41
                        My neighbor just died like 3 hours ago... he was 81 years old


                        It's really too bad this country doesn't have some kind of socialized medicare.
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                        • #42
                          A friend and I were just having an interesting conversation. If marijuana were legalized, a tax could easily be implemented on its sale. Cannabis is easy and inexpensive to grow, and a tidy profit could be made on its sale, even with the tax. Would support farmers and workers could be relatively well-paid. The tax could pay for national health service. The many medicinal uses of cannabis could, additionally further promote health. The large decrease of incarcerations as a result of the decriminalization would further save tax dollars that could be used for other things like healthcare--further easing general tax hikes.

                          Food for thought
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                          • #43
                            Originally posted by dirtyragamuffin
                            If marijuana were legalized...


                            I don't think middle America is ready to accept that idea yet. They still believe the line about the "Killer weed with root's in hell."
                            "When I gave food to the poor, they called me a saint. When I asked why the poor were hungry, they called me a communist." - Mother Teresa.

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                            • #44
                              Originally posted by Stringman


                              I don't think middle America is ready to accept that idea yet. They still believe the line about the "Killer weed with root's in hell."


                              Yes, it is certainly an indictment of our two party system that neither party is willing to stick its neck out to offer reasonable alternatives to the Hundred Year War on Drugs, which is doomed to failure unless totalitarianism is instituted - and even then it wouldn't entirely succeed.

                              I don't know if most people believe the utter crap the government uses to defend its position, but they don't want their kids getting high when they should be going to school - not that the current system is preventing that. The mood of the country is still in the "regulate the other guy" mode, with restrictions on smoking and and scare tactics on second-hand smoke.

                              Also, I think people retain some notion of the old domino theory so popular during the Viet Nam war: If they legalize marijuana, next thing you know, they will be legalizing crack cocaine and heroin and our streets will be filled with drug-addled crazies mugging us in the suburbs. Our kids will be buying Ecstacy off the shelf and suffering government approved brain damage. Like socialized medicine, its a big scary change.

                              It's also a dangerous idea to be linked to in the corporate world. Anyone favoring legalization is automatically suspected of using. It's similar to how people were afraid to speak out against communist witch hunts in the fifties. Sympathy with the victims could make one a target.

                              Pairing socialized medicine with legalization of marijuana probably dooms both efforts.

                              No offense intended, but (see above) . . .

                              Old is the new new.

                              I'd rather have a bottle in front of me than a frontal lobotomy.
                              -Dorothy Parker

                              Comment


                              • #45
                                Originally posted by Lord-Glorfindel
                                My neighbor just died like 3 hours ago... he was 81 years old


                                It's really too bad this country doesn't have some kind of socialized medicare.


                                If you're a member of Congress, the Executive Branch or the Judicial Branch we do.

                                It's only the citizen on the street that the goverment doesn't pay for, because the leadership is "saving" us from Socialism.

                                Now THAT'S too bad.

                                I'm sorry for your loss, and also for Stringman's.

                                R.I.P.

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