Thursday December 5, 2013
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When I was stationed in England I often heard UK medical care described as, "From the cradle to the grave."
I believe it.
I also believe they make the journey a lot easier--and a LOT faster than most people would like.
A case in point coming from another island nation.
Very low cost medical care. So low, in fact, that you'd be crazy to pull a splinter out of your finger because you can have it done by a pro for almost nothing.
Sound familiar? "Affordable Health Care bill?"
So what happens when health care costs are that low?
• Honorable gentleman in city of Kuki in Saitama prefecture having breathing problems. Calls honorable ambulance at midnight. Honorable ambulance makes round of 25 hospitals. In fact, goes to 11 of them more than once. In all, honorable gentleman rejected 36 times, but problem cured by stroke of luck. After two hours in ambulance, paramedics take honorable gentleman to hospital in Ibaraki where he is DOA.
• In 2009, second honorable gentleman, this one with head injuries, dies after 14 hospitals refuse treatment.
• Recent Japanese government report indicates that over 14,000 emergency patients rejected at least three times by hospitals before getting treatment.
(HInt: Reasons for refusals? Hospital stays cost less than half of what they cost in United States, so the emergency room is likely place to go for care, but Japanese laws do not punish hospitals for turning away sick people.)
Ah, yes. Socialized medicine.
Did I ever tell you about the time I ripped my thumb open in London?
One reason so many people use the ER is because they have no insurance. No primary care Dr. to go to because they won't take a patient without insurance. So they go to the ER because they have to be treated without being asked if they have ins. or can pay until after they have been treated. Air Evac is the same way.
I saw a woman in the ER at Banner Baywood in Mesa with a splinter in her toe being taken care of while someone else was holding his cut off bleeding thumb in a wet cloth while the splinter was being removed. True Story !
The patients wait until 5:00 pm when all Drs. are closed. ER's are always busier after 5:00.
There is an interesting article in the Arizona Republic this morning about a 26 year old woman who is seriously ill. She is a college graduate and had a job. However, she lost it because her illness caused her to miss work too often. Of course, when she lost her job, she lost her medical insurance. She was covered on her parent's policy until she was 26. She now is seriously ill, weighs only 112 pounds, has no insurance and can get none because of her preexisting illness.
As a society should be say, "Tough Luck, Kid."
If she got sick while on the job and had insurance she should still be covered.
I guess she could get extended coverage. However, I think that it only lasts for about 6 months. What is that extended coverage called? I know that it is very expensive. You pay not only your part of the premium, but also the employer's part.
Was it called COBRA?
Your story makes the point. When health care is free it is abused.
I've been to the ER, and I'm glad there is one. And I firmly support the laws the way they are. I would not want anyone to go to a hospital to be treated and be turned away. I know that we all pay more because of that, but I'm willing to pay my share.
The woman you speak of is the exact reason why I believe in the system we had before Obamacare. In it, those who could afford to pay for health insurance did and those who couldn't didn't. That's called Medicaid. We care enough to do the right thing.
Medicaid will take care of the woman. It may not be the most convenient care in the world, free health care never is, but it is there and it does the job. But Obamacare is ridiculous. The man wanted a full socialized medicine program. He knew he could never get it through, so he allied himself with the insurance companies to get the votes he needed to get a hybrid program through.
His requirement that everyone have health insurance is dictatorship of the worst kind. If you force people to have health insurance or pay a fine you are no longer acting like a representative of the people; you are acting like their King. That part of Obamacare will be struck down as unconstitutional, and that's that.
As to his requirement that we mqke insurance companies accept people AFTER they are sick is also unconstitutional. It too will be struck down. Insurance is something you buy beforehand in case you need it. You may be paying in more than you take out for a long time, but in the end it is worth it.
What would happen if that clause of Obamacare were to stand is obvious. No one would bother to buy health insurance. Why bother paying in for the years between 20 and 50 when you really are not likely to need it, when you can just spent the money on booze and broads and get the care when you need it?
The insurance companies have kept quiet because they are delighted that they would get a government subsidy to cover their losses. The rest of us would pay an excessively high insurance rate. It won't happen.
Obamacare is THE worst fraud this nation has ever seen. It cannot and will not fly, and he KNOWS it. No politician could be so stupid as not to have known what it would do.
The question is what happens when the key parts of Obamacare are declared unconstitutional? Where does that leave someone who doesn't have health insurance?Right back where he was before the bill passed, which in truth is perfectly fair. When someone hasn't got health insurance, the real question is why. If the answer is because he had such a low-paying job that he genuinely couldn't afford it, then that's what we have Medicaid for. If it's because he just didn't want to pay for it, then that's a personal problem. You made your bed, die in it.
I've blogged on here before about the British National Health Service (NHS) Some in the UK think it is the best in the world. If you have never experienced what proper health care should be, then you don't know any better. We are sometimes told that the UK NHS is free, it is not! High taxes pay for it, and having been a recipient of the "care" it leaves a lot to be desired. Imagine having to wait sometimes for years, to have surgery. Having a high risk of picking up an infection in the very facility that is supposed to care for you. Being left in corridors waiting for a bed, and I'm not making it up when I say some patients have been found on trolleys in side closets, where they were forgotten for days! Many of my UK friends say that once you reach the ripe old age of 50 you might as well forget it. Preventative care or tests are not the norm, in most cases the public are not even aware of them.
Imagine having breast cancer and being denied a drug that can help save your life. The drug was tested and being used in the USA and other parts of the world, but the NICE organization within the NHS refused to budge and allow the drug to be prescribed. UK patients were selling their homes in order to buy the drug and seek better treatment out of the country. They were then told that as they had stepped outside the NHS, and to make matters worse used the forbidden drug, that they would no longer be treated by the NHS. It took a major petition drive by the public direct to Downing Street for the NHS to back peddle on that one drug. Why am I so passionate about this? This very same drug saved my daughter's life, at 28 years of age. Thank goodness we have better health care in the USA otherwise I would have lost her. Of note she is now a physician herself.
Others in the UK believe that if you are sick in America then you are left on the sidewalk to die! We know that is not the intent of our Medicaid system. I cannot express to you enough the difference between a second no third rate medical system and ours! Imgine waiting for months and months to even get a consult from a designated surgeon let alone a second opinion! Same applies for an MRI etc. Unless you are at death's door nothing happens quickly.
Please understand that I am not being racist when I say it is hard to explain to a foreign doctor or nurse with limited knowledge of English, what your complaint is. If they do know what is wrong with you, it can often be very hard to understand and follow their treatment plans if spoken in a thick foreign accent. Of course all of this has to transpire in a short period of time, too many patients ....... too little time
Imagine waiting for hours and hours in emergency to be seen, like Tom previously said, bleeding all over the place. Short visiting hours (I don't think that has been changed) Imagine having a midwife who you have never met before delivering your child, and a follow up from a doctor in the middle of the night that does not even tell you his name. You are just a number and are often not even acknowledged. You don't speak up because you don't realise you have rights..
I've just touched upon the surface and have many horror tales I could tell as to what has happened to my family and friends. If you don't think it can happen here, over time it will, unless something is done about Obamacare now..
I apologize for waffling on and probably giving too much information, but we as a nation need to wake up and be prepared and demand right now what is and is not acceptable..
your posts sound like some of the things that have happened right here in Payson.
Someone I know has Medicaid and secondary is ACHSS and they make all the decisions.
She has had a back, and leg pain going on 3 yrs now and they have put her thru hell.
Long time getting any appts. wrong tests and the last thing they told her was she had to do physical therpy 3 times a week for six weeks but they would only pay for 14 treatments then they would send her to see a neuroligist. She can hardly get up from a chair or off the bed.
Had to stop the physical therepy
She had a massive heart attack at 45, is why she is on Medicaid. She had no ins. at the time. She was in the ER 5 days in a row and the Dr. (no longer practicing) kept telling her go home and take Maalox. It was indigestion. Then after she had the massive attack he held her here in Payson for over 24 hours because he didn't like it that it had been arranged with a hospital and dr in Mesa to take her without insurance and he wanted to send her to Good Sam. in Phx. What a jerk.
She has been on disability ever since. Now 57 yrs. old
I know there are lots of words spelled wrong, but I am sure you get the message.
Now that I have vented. Yes, Bernice it is Cobra ins. and very expensive. My husband went on it when we sold a business and he lost his ins. He went to work in about a month for someone else and was covered by thier insurance when he had to have a 7 way by- pass. Someone from above was watching over us.
Yes indeed Pat, I hear you loud and clear. Now imagine that "standard of care" being the norm throughout the entire United States...... and there you have it!
Can't tell you how many old friends have met premature deaths due to negligence.
Fight the good fight Pat and keep on trucking :-)
Tom, your suggestion about Medicaid/ACCHS is a good one. However, some years back in an economy move Brewer froze out adults without children. The individual in question is an adult without children.
Brewer is currently trying to reinstate coverage. However, the circus that we call the Arizona Legislature is debating the use of public bathrooms by transgenders rather than giving attention to restoring medical coverage. Our esteemed representatives want to pass legislation that requires transgenders to use the male bathroom if their sex is listed as male on their birth certificate and to only use the female bathroom if their sex is listed as female on their birth certificate. Really important stuff. So the next time you are in a public restroom, watch out! You just might have to produce your birth certificate.
Meanwhile this woman is sick and going without medical treatment. Heaven only knows how many others are out there suffering the same fate.
We all know that the British health system is lacking. However, I know people who have had experience with the Canadian system. They are universal in saying "no problem." They do, however, point out that "elective" things take quite a while to get done. So if you want that face lift -- forget it!!! :-)
Sadly, I must agree.
I loved the UK while I was there, and felt as though I were "home." Each name, each place, called up thoughts of the land that fathered our nation. It's an odd thing I suppose; though I am of mixed German and Irish heritage I look upon England as being my "homeland." I suppose that's because much of who we are here in America is a question of who our forefathers were and where our ideas of freedom and liberty originated, not one of where we each came from.
My view of the UK while I was there was a land which was once free, which had attempted to throw off the yoke of the aristocracy, and had fallen into the hands of a even worse form of elitist control--socialism. I saw that everywhere.
It is one thing to be poor. We were poor in the 1930's. We depended a lot on government aid and charity for health care. It was not the best, but it filled the gaps, and we retained our liberty, and our pride. Socialism leaves you nothing. You may as well have a stamp on your forehead that says USDA APPROVED.
The Canadian health care system is a hybrid, falling between ours and that of the UK. It has retained the essential elements of private health care--private doctors, hospitals, et al, and is run by each province rather than by the central government. Lolly and I have relatives and friends in Canada who are quite satisfied with their system because it still leaves most choices in individual hands.
In the UK the situation is horrendous, as Pam says. In all four years I was there I never met anyone who was satisfied with it. I'm not sure how they manage to spend so much on it, or on other socialist institutions, but they do not get their money's worth. Perhaps it is the fact that doctors are paid according to their lists of patients rather than by individual visit or treatment. I don't know. I had two direct contacts with the system and both of them were genuinely bad, but that does not make me an expert.
One thing I noted about the UK was the general, overall "gray" look at some times and in some places. It was as though high taxes were draining the life out of the people. It made me think of what I had read about the USSR before it fell, but I'm sure it would be a vast exaggeration to say that there was any similarity.
I loved it over there, but one thing was hard to look at--the attitude of workers who served or interacted with the public was appalling. One and all, every gas station attendant, museum guard, bus driver, road worker, and so on had the sullen look of someone who hated his job--and the people who came in contact with him. I believe that to be a side-effect of real socialism (government ownership of the means of production, transportation, communication, and health care), where individuals are ground into obscurity.
Two days ago I happened to be rereading a diary kept by a man who was put off his ship on Ascension Island in the South Atlantic in 1726. He died, but his tale of the five months he survived was found and still exists in part. Curious about Ascension, I went to the net, took a look at it, and read about it. It was great to be able to do that, but I read about a conflict between the people there and the British government, which had ruled that there was "no right of abode" on the island.
What does that mean? It means, for example, that even if you were born there and your family has been there for generations, if you do not have a job you must leave. Only a socialist country would consider doing such a thing. People think that a socialist government strives to take care of its people. It does not; it schemes to regulate every aspect of life so the people are easy to control.
It is this road that the Obamas in Washington would like to start us down. We must resist with every last breath in our bodies.
Bernice, I chuckled about the face lift! No way I could save up fast enough and no insurance does not cover it. Clothes peg might work :-) Maybe?
The way to get a cheap facelift is to grow your hair long, twist it into a tight, rope-like mass, put a two foot long baton through it, and have a friend twist the baton until you can no longer close your eyes.
Sometime or other I believe I read something that Churchill (I think) wrote about a teacher who looked like she'd had that done.
And yes, it had the exact effect on her temper that one might expect.
Get rid of the Royal family in England. What do they do to deserve the money, castles and everything else they have? Sell all the jewels and leave them a couple of houses.They have no power. Parliment has the power and makes all the decisions. England could have good health care for quite a while with all that money.
In the U.S. take away all the retirement and freebies of the elected officials in Washington and let them live like the rest of us.
"They have no power."
Ah! That's what they want you to think. It is not true. Here, for example, is one of the many powers the royalty still hold in their hands:
I was reading--re-reading actually--a story about a man who was marooned on Ascension Island by his ship's captain for some crime or other. He kept a diary. He died. Could not find a sustainable source of water.
I had read the story before and been curious exactly where Ascension Island was and what it was like, but just let it go because it would have been too much trouble to find out before the internet came along. But when I re-read the story I looked it up.
Ascension Island, St. Helena, and one more island are located in the South Atlantic and are British possessions. They are not close together, but all three are generallly located between the hump of Africa and the hump of South America. I went to Google maps, looked at Ascension, and went Wiki and a couple of other places and read about it.
In doing that I came across the interesting fact that Ascension got internet service three years ago and is now in touch with the rest of the world for the first time in its 400 year history. I have made an informal lifetime study of remote islands and their special problems. I'll leave it to you to imagine what they are; they are fairly obvious.
But then I happened upon a couple of facts that relate to our discussion of the royals. Control of the three islands is not under Parliament, but under Elizabeth II. And just recently a rule was passed that on Ascension Island there is no "right of abode."
What does that mean? It means that even if you were born there you must have a job as an adult or you cannot stay.
Think about that for a minute or two.
Remember why we had a revolution? Remember the phrase, "No taxation without representation?" I don't think 1,200 Ascension Islanders are going to fight it out with the UK, but if they could....
I think I may have figured out why socialism always seems to take a country which is doing well and turns it into a have-not nation.
As for why socialism costs so much, I have found it hard to understand, but I think I have found the answer. I've been reading about the USSR in recent months, and have learned that they were never able to reach the industrial and agricultural output of the 1920's. There was even hunger and starvation there that we didn't know about because it was carefully hidden from the world.
From what history says about the USSR it seems that lacking an incentive to work hard people become drones and no longer produce much. It may be that it isn't that socialism costs so much, as it is that people without a motive to work hard just don't produce. If that's true it is a great endorsement of private enterprise. In other words, the best reason to stay with our capitalist system is that it works.
Even though the Russians tried very hard to make a planned economy work, they could never do it. They could not find ways of telling whether or not factories were running efficiently. The soviets used the cost of materials coming into a factory as a measure of how much it was producing; the more the materials cost, they reasoned, the better. Didn't work. Factories spent immense amounts of money to produce nothing, or to make trash.
You want to see a modern example of that? Go to Walmart and buy a can opener made in China. You'll get one that has stainless steel covers over its handles which may perhaps double its cost, but doesn't get the %$#@! thing to keep opening cans for more than two weeks.
Karl Marx was wrong. It is impossible to create a nanny government where "from each according to his ability and to each according to his need" is true.
Doesn't work. All it does is create drones. The lazy and useless take, but do not give in return. Under a system where you get out only what you put in, people work harder to get more. To show you how that taps into human nature, look at the definition of "motivation," a highly misunderstood term. Most people think that motivation is the carrot in the "carrot and the stick." It is not. Motivation is defined as "the force that drives an individual toward a goal."
See the difference? Those "goals" are based on needs. On the most primitive level those needs are things as basic as food, air, water, sleep, and shelter. If you give someone what he needs, as socialism does, in the form of food stamps, free health care, water, air conditioning, heating, and free housing, he no longer has any need to achieve. He is unmotivated. A drone. A drain on society instead of one of its supports. Private enterprise is not only the natural partner of democracy; it is supported by science.
We need to begin to educate our children to the fact that freedom requires private enterprise as one of its major pillars.
If we need to ensure that no one who has run into a health problem because of things beyond his control, then we do that, but we do not charge the entire system. That's just one more step to a world of mediocity.
Ok so the queen owns 3 islands. Does she own all of England?
Pat, I don't have a clue what the Queen owns or doesn't own. I've never quite understood how the government works over there, except that I know it doesn't work well. They do things that boggle my mind. One of them is that they talk about the Constitution, but when you ask where you can read it, they tell you it isn't written down anywhere.
Figure that out.
I saw the Queen once. She came to Pakistan while I was there. She was sitting in an open car with one hand raised about a foot or so while Prince Phillip was standing and waving.
Ike came there too. Don't know what he was doing in his car. I was still at the airfield sorting out the mess that happens when Air Force One goes somewhere. Too much hullabaloo for me. I went trotting up the stairs leading to the door of the aircraft and got a Thompson stuck in my nose by an AP for my trouble. All I wanted was the %$#@! manifests. It was just another Air Force aircraft to me--along with a dozen more that accompanied it. I got my manifests all right. I wasn't allowed to wear a uniform during my tour of duty over there, so I guess I scared the hell out of one young AP as I came trotting up those steps. :-)
You should have seen one of the aircraft that preceded it by a couple of days. Colonel Guelich, my boss, was Texan with a big s--t eating grin. He used to clamber aboard each of our passenger aircraft as they arrived and say, "Welcome to Karach!"
He went into one that came in with 65 passengers on it a few days before Ike got there. When he came out he shook his head. "Boy! Got no smiles out of that bunch, Garrett. Wait'll you see them."
I watched as 65 Secret Service type came out, all dressed in gray flannel suits. They weren't exactly the happiest looking crowd I've ever seen. :-)
We bussed them into the embassy and--pht-t-t-t!--they just disappeaerd into the woodwork.
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