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  #1  
Old 08-19-2009, 04:18 PM
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The best health care system in the world

If you think it's the US system, keep on dreaming. The problem goes well beyond uneven insurance coverage. Among Canada, the UK, Australia, New Zealand, Germany, and the US, the US system is the most expensive and the least efficient, safe, and coordinated, in addition to having the biggest inequity. The only categories where the US scored well was waiting times for specialized care if you have good insurance (second only to Germany) and supposedly it's the best when it comes to preventive care (again if you have good insurance), which actually surprised me. However waiting times for primary and emergency care are not as good as in the other countries. Here's a link to the comparative study done by the Commonwealth Fund, as of 2007:
http://www.commonwealthfund.org/Content/Publications/Fund-Reports/2007/May/Mirror--Mirror-on-the-Wall--An-International-Update-on-the-Comparative-Performance-of-American-Healt.aspx

And here's a summary performance chart:


As to overall rankings in the whole world, there's an older study dating back to 2000 that puts the US system at #37. France was #1. It would have been interesting to see the French system included in the first and newer study.
http://www.photius.com/rankings/healthranks.html
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Old 08-19-2009, 04:34 PM
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Those are some enlightening comparisons. It would be interesting to see those numbers parsed according to 'private' vs 'public' health care systems.

How many countries don't have a public healthcare system? I've heard that the US is the only first world country without one. What about the rest of the world?

Lots of other interesting data on that WHO site. If you look at this table:

http://www.photius.com/rankings/world_cup_football_ranks.html

One might conclude that the better your national football team, the better your health care efficiency when compared to the USA.
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Last edited by kerry; 08-19-2009 at 04:39 PM.
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  #3  
Old 08-19-2009, 04:47 PM
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Originally Posted by kerry View Post
How many countries don't have a public healthcare system? I've heard that the US is the only first world country without one. What about the rest of the world?

.
I think you're right. In addition, the US is the only country in the world that refuses to co-operate by embrasing the metric system (a much simpler system yo use). But we are still quite young as a county. We haven't existed long enough to form a well-entrenched cuture, or much less be able to tell the rest of the world how to live.
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Old 08-19-2009, 05:28 PM
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Originally Posted by kerry View Post
Those are some enlightening comparisons. It would be interesting to see those numbers parsed according to 'private' vs 'public' health care systems.

How many countries don't have a public healthcare system? I've heard that the US is the only first world country without one. What about the rest of the world?
I don't know about the whole world, but I think it's good enough to make comparisons with other 1st-world countries. You're correct that the US is the only one among them without some sort of universal health care, though we do have PARTIAL universal health care (Medicare, Medicaid, VA, etc.). But even in the other countries the extent of the public nature of health care varies. For example, what from I've read the French system is mostly a hybrid of private hospitals and public insurance. Ditto for Germany and Japan, but even they vary on financing requirements. For example in Germany you can opt out completely and purchase just private insurance for yourself whereas in say Japan everyone pays into the public insurance system. The UK is more of a true nationalized system with both public insurance and mostly public hospitals. I believe Canada is the same way, though supposedly private clinics are on the rise there. This is all from my news reading and one Frontline episode on PBS that I saw that compared various countries' health care systems.
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Old 08-19-2009, 06:28 PM
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I believe Canada is the same way, though supposedly private clinics are on the rise there. T
In Canada, I believe the healthcare systems are run by the Provinces and not the national government. Still universal coverage but different than the UK as I understand it.
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  #6  
Old 08-19-2009, 06:46 PM
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In Canada, I believe the healthcare systems are run by the Provinces and not the national government. Still universal coverage but different than the UK as I understand it.
I think you're right. The Canadian provinces are almost run like separate countries, but I believe they all are required to provide public health care and education among other things, per federal guidelines. I'm not sure if say England and Scotland have separate administration of health care, but I don't think it matters. In all those other countries, health care is a citizen's right, not a privilege like here. I think if "socialized" medicine were so bad as the naysayers say, we'd see that reflected in the stats.
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  #7  
Old 08-19-2009, 07:04 PM
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Speaking of "bad" and "stats", yesterday I saw a TV commercial, probably paid for by the insurance lobby, that featured one woman playing a breast cancer survivor (maybe she really is, I don't know) who urges people to oppose a "government takeover of health care". She cites stats that show that England has a worse breast cancer survival rate than the US and uses that to say that X number of more women will die in the US if government takes over our health care. Talk about dishonest cherry-picking and fear mongering. What about other cancers and factors and other countries with govt health care? In fact I've read that overall Europe has a higher cancer survival rate than the US. Sure there are some exceptions, and this UK breast cancer thing is probably one of them. But to cherry pick like that and use that as the whole argument against govt health care just really makes me mad.

BTW, here are some breast cancer survival rates:
Quote:
Five year relative breast cancer survival rates from CONCORD study.
Rank....Country....mean (95% confidence interval)
1..........Cuba..........84.0 (82.9, 85.2)
2..........US.............83.9 (83.7, 84.1)
3..........Canada......82.5 (81.9, 83.0)
4.........Sweden......82.0 (81.2, 82.7)
5.........Japan..........81.6 (79.5, 83.5)
6.........Australia.. ..80.7 (80.1, 81.3)
8.........France........79.8 (78.2, 81.4)
22.......England......69.8 (69.5, 70.2)

EDIT: upon reading more into this, it seems that later implementation of screening in England is a big factor. Notice in the chart below how their breast cancer detection and survival have BOTH increased over the years:

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Last edited by DieselAddict; 08-19-2009 at 07:18 PM.
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  #8  
Old 08-19-2009, 08:03 PM
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Republican spokesperson Glenn Beck recently was blabbing on his show about how everyone would "lose the best healthcare system in the world"....where, when not a year and a half earlier when he was working for CNN, he did a number of stories and coverage on the "Nightmare that is the American Healthcare system"....and said all kinds of horrible things about it.

Typical.
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Old 08-19-2009, 08:16 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pawoSD View Post
Republican spokesperson Glenn Beck recently was blabbing on his show about how everyone would "lose the best healthcare system in the world"....where, when not a year and a half earlier when he was working for CNN, he did a number of stories and coverage on the "Nightmare that is the American Healthcare system"....and said all kinds of horrible things about it.

Typical.
Yes, Typical...Typical Lib thinking that Beck is a Republican. Think again...
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  #10  
Old 08-19-2009, 08:18 PM
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Obamas healthscare plan is certainly not the answer. I'd rather keep the coverage I have than give it up for the fiasco he trying to force on us.
Make it an option: If the O-bots want this kind of plan let them have it.
Those of us who like what we currently have should have the option to keep it.
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Old 08-19-2009, 08:24 PM
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Originally Posted by lietuviai View Post
Obamas healthscare plan is certainly not the answer. I'd rather keep the coverage I have than give it up for the fiasco he trying to force on us.
Make it an option: If the O-bots want this kind of plan let them have it.
Those of us who like what we currently have should have the option to keep it.
You do.
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  #12  
Old 08-19-2009, 08:27 PM
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Fine, but don't shake my wallet to pay for that mess.
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  #13  
Old 08-19-2009, 08:30 PM
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Originally Posted by lietuviai View Post
Obamas healthscare plan is certainly not the answer. I'd rather keep the coverage I have than give it up for the fiasco he trying to force on us.
Make it an option: If the O-bots want this kind of plan let them have it.
Those of us who like what we currently have should have the option to keep it.
Please educate yourself on the Obama plan before saying ignorant things about it. No offense.
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Old 08-19-2009, 08:33 PM
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Originally Posted by pawoSD View Post
Republican spokesperson Glenn Beck recently was blabbing on his show about how everyone would "lose the best healthcare system in the world"....where, when not a year and a half earlier when he was working for CNN, he did a number of stories and coverage on the "Nightmare that is the American Healthcare system"....and said all kinds of horrible things about it.

Typical.
I've seen his ramblings on CNN. He never struck me as a liberal, even on CNN. I suspect he went to work for Fox as their thinking and type of journalism was more to his liking.
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  #15  
Old 08-19-2009, 08:34 PM
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Fine, but don't shake my wallet to pay for that mess.
Your wallet is more likely to be shaken if nothing is done. Look at the current cost trends and this is before any reform.
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