Friday, 18 September 2009

Healthcare around the world

I visited good old Wikipedia and found out a few things about healthcare around the world. It's an easy format to follow and as the subject involves mainly facts and figures, it's a fairly reliable source in this case. I picked some countries to illustrate my point about the contrast between the US and an assortment of other countries regarding healthcare.

Health care systems vary according to the extent of government involvement in providing care, ranging from nationalized health care systems (such as the U.K. and Sweden) to decentralized private or non-profit institutions (as in Germany and France). Universal health care is implemented in all industrialized countries, with the exception of the United States. It is also provided in many developing countries.

Germany has Europe's oldest universal health care system, with origins dating back to Otto von Bismarck's Social legislation, which included the Health Insurance Bill of 1883, Accident Insurance Bill of 1884, and Old Age and Disability Insurance Bill of 1889. As mandatory health insurance, these bills originally applied only to low-income workers and certain government employees; their coverage, and that of subsequent legislation gradually expanded to cover virtually the entire population.

Currently 85% of the population is covered by a basic health insurance plan provided by statute, which provides a standard level of coverage. The remainder opt for private health insurance, which frequently offers additional benefits. According to the World Health Organization, Germany's health care system was 77% government-funded and 23% privately funded as of 2004.

The government partially reimburses the costs for low-wage workers, whose premiums are capped at a predetermined value. Higher wage workers pay a premium based on their salary. They may also opt for private insurance, which is generally more expensive, but whose price may vary based on the individual's health status.

France, like other countries in Europe, has a system of universal health care largely financed by government through a system of national health insurance. In its 2000 assessment of world health care systems, the World Health Organization found that France provided the "best overall health care" in the world. In 2005, France spent 11.2% of GDP on health care, or US$3,926 per capita, a figure much higher than the average spent by countries in Europe and less than in the US. Approximately 77% of health expenditures are covered by government.

Most general physicians are in private practice but draw their income from the publicly funded insurance funds. These funds, unlike their German counterparts, have never really gained much management responsibility. Instead the government has taken responsibility for the financial and operational management of health insurance (by setting premium levels related to income and determining the prices of goods and services refunded). It generally refunds patients 70% of most health care costs, and 100% in case of costly or long-term ailments. Supplemental coverage may be bought from private insurers, most of them nonprofit, mutual insurers.

Until recently, social security coverage was restricted to those who contributed to social security (generally, workers or retirees), excluding some poor segments of the population; the government of Lionel Jospin put into place "universal health coverage" and extended the coverage to all those legally resident in France.

Health Services in Australia are universal. The Federal Government pays a large percentage of the cost of services in public hospitals. The public health system is called Medicare. It ensures free universal access to hospital treatment and subsidised out-of-hospital medical treatment. It is funded by a 1.5% tax levy on all taxpayers, an extra 1% levy on high income earners, as well as general revenue.

In the Japanese health care system, healthcare services, including screening examinations for particular diseases at no direct cost to the patient, prenatal care, and infectious disease control, are provided by national and local governments. Payment for personal medical services is offered through a universal health care insurance system that provides relative equality of access, with fees set by a government committee. People without insurance through employers can participate in a national health insurance program administered by local governments. Since 1983, all elderly persons have been covered by government-sponsored insurance. Patients are free to select physicians or facilities of their choice.

The Brazilian health system is composed of a large public, government managed system, the SUS (Sistema Único de Saúde), which serves the majority of the population, and a private sector, managed by health insurance funds and private entrepreneurs.

The public health system, SUS, was established in 1988 by the Brazilian Constitution, and sits on 3 basic principles of universality, comprehensiveness and equity. Universality states that all citizens must have access to health care services, without any form of discrimination, regarding skin color, income, social status, gender or any other variable.

On April 9, 2009 the Government of Peru published the Law on Health Insurance to enable all Peruvians to access quality health services, and contribute to regulate the financing and supervision of these services. The law enables all population to access diverse health services to prevent illnesses, and promote and rehabilitate people, under a Health Basic Plan.

The universal health care system is used in Trinidad and Tobago and is the primary form of health-care available in the country. It is used by the majority of the population seeking medical assistance, as it is free for all citizens.

Canada, Argentina, Canada, Chile, Costa Rica, Cuba, Mexico, Panama, Uruguay and Venezuela all have public universal health care provided.

In Europe, the following countries have with universal health care: Austria, Belgium, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Croatia, the Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Georgia, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, the Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Russia, Serbia, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Ukraine and the United Kingdom.

Bhutan, Brunei, China, Hong Kong SAR, India, Kuwait, Qatar, UAE, Saudi Arabia, Israel, Malaysia, South Korea, Seychelles, Sri Lanka, Taiwan, Pakistan and Thailand also have universal health care.

Surprisingly, one major country doesn't have universal healthcare provided or managed by the government:

Health care in the United States is provided by many separate legal entities. More is spent on health care in the United States on a per capita basis than in any other nation in the world. Medical debt is the principal cause of personal bankruptcy in the United States, weakening the whole economy. Some have argued that the system does not deliver value for the money spent.

Around 84.7% of citizens have some form of health insurance; either through their employer or the employer of their spouse or parent (59.3%), purchased individually (8.9%), or provided by government programs (27.8%; there is some overlap in these figures). All government health care programs have restricted eligibility, and there is no government health insurance company which covers all citizens. Americans without health insurance coverage at some time during 2007 totaled about 15.3% of the population, or 45.7 million people.

Some Americans do not qualify for government-provided health insurance, are not provided health insurance by an employer, and are unable to afford, cannot qualify for, or choose not to purchase, private health insurance. When charity or "uncompensated" care is not available, they sometimes simply go without needed medical treatment. This problem has become a source of considerable political controversy on a national level.

I find it absolutely unbelievable that the most powerful country in the world, with just about the largest economy, the country that for a long time sought to set the parameters for everything around the world is still centuries behind many minor nations when it comes to healthcare.

The vast majority of the countries I mentioned above are not socialist dictatorships. Some government run health services are more comprehensive than others, there are complex relationships between the government and insurers in some of the countries, but they all regard healthcare as a basic right and strive to provide cover for all their citizens.

What is seen as a human right in so many countries is regarded as a privilege in the US. The per capita expenditure on healthcare in the US is higher than anywhere else in the world, but it's not the government footing the bill. Those who can afford it inflate these figures and swell the coffers of the insurance companies, leaving 48 million Americans without cover. That's more people than the population of some countries.

The same people who are protesting in the US, the people who are buying the dishonest lies propagated by Fox News, by politicians like Sarah Palin and the health insurance companies, could have the tables turned on them and they could find themselves bankrupt in order to preserve their health and that of their loved ones. Instead of accepting a government trying to serve one of their most basic needs, they prefer to part with sizeable amounts of money each month for the benefit of very big corporations that ration the services so they can make more profit.


Added link: healthcare premiums in Alaska


nswfm CA said...

Wow, only a complete prick would wear the Confederate flag and carry an "Abort" sign. How emblematic of the entire group of dolts.

Anonymous said...

You ask "Why?" I think may have the answer to that...

Kathleen said...

Ted Kennedy wanted to introduce a health care bill that would be a straight national health insurance scheme financed by social security and general taxes with no cost sharing and no cut off point for beneficiaries. It would bypass private insurance companies and be operated by a presidential appointed health security board. The plan would cover more than 70 per cent of health care costs and would be compulsary for all workers. Nixon proposed a national health insurance plan built on heavily employer private coverage.It would cover less than 50 per cent of the costs and would be a voluntary scheme. Despite a prediction that a deal would be reached within the year, it didn't happen.

At the national level, the next big push on national health insurance came under Bill Clinton.

If Americans do not wake up and take action now the same stalemate scenario that took place under Nixon will occur again and who knows how long it will take to address the pressing issue of health care costs to Americans.

Anonymous said...

The U.S., who the world is tired of hearing "We're the best country in the world" or "We're the leader of the world".

Let's be honest -- Pure arrogance and BS.

And to hear "Why don't they like us?"

Anonymous said...

Anon 16:16 – Yes, it does get a little tiresome after a while, doesn’t it?
Especially when they can’t get the simplest facts straight: 45 million uninsured / medical bills the main cause of bankruptcy / insurance companies dropping people for spurious reasons / taxpayers footing the bill for expensive ER treatments that could have been avoided by preventive medicine and regular checkups, etc.
I can’t even be bothered to sing the praises of the healthcare systems in the various European countries where I’ve lived and worked… these people really don’t want to know.
It would mean having to admit that some countries actually do it better.
Well, if you haven’t listened to this already, Paul Hipp echoes your sentiments exactly and will put a smile on your face in less than three minutes:

crystalwolf aka caligrl said...

I wish everyone (especially those opposing HC) would watch Micheal Moores movie "Sicko".
I hate the title but if you can get past it, it shows just what Regina said, the different countries FREE HC vs. USA non-healthcare.
Also..too...I think all the Rupub/GOP that are protesting ought to give up THEIR GOV HEALTHCARE..including Palin!!!
Do their bit to make the gov smaller...JMO.

Anonymous said...

Bravo crystalwolf! And yes -- Sicko should be mandatory viewing for all

historiesmysteries said...

Why? Because all our money goes to weapons and secret police and a wold-wide system of bases, and because supporting health care would require these idiots to admit that we aren't the "greatest" country in everything.

Anonymous said...

Yippee!!! I had my baby in … not telling which European country, or you’ll all want to move there!!! Fantastic pre and ante natal care!!! Folic acid! Vitamins! Weekly scans! Amnio! Glorious Technicolor prints of baby-to-be! A week of leisure in a lovely hospital with lots of complementary medical treatments such as lavender-scented baths (with fairylights and music of my choice) and acupuncture and aromatherapy and antenatal physio and massage and nurses who actually changed the baby’s nappies for you or played babysitter if you were feeling a little tired … and oooh, when I eventually prised myself away from there (no rush)… a midwife / neonatal nurse visiting me in the comfort of my own home for a fortnight afterwards… and … mmm…. a convalescent seaside spa week with my baby six months later… and … dare I admit it? …. a lump sum of approx. 1000 dollars to spend on whatever I needed for the new baby… and… a nanny/housekeeper for a year (in lieu of maternity leave)…. I could go on. But, since Americans have such a brilliant healthcare system already, it must sound really weird to them that I would be so contented with my miserable lot. We Europeans are quite happy with our simple lives. (Sorry – did I mention that it was all free? That’s soshlyzed medzin for ya – nope, you don’t want to go there)

Kelly said...

Sounds nice, Anonymous in European country.

But lets be honest, NOTHING is free. What percentage of your family's income do you pay in taxes? Assuming, that is, that you or your husband work.

Best wishes from Wasilla.

Anonymous said...

I pay 20% tax. That's the average rate for middle income earners here. BTW I'm a single mum.

Anonymous said...

Do ya get the feeling that the people from Wasilla/Palmer just don't understand ANYTHING. I lived there for years and they were the most arrogant, backward, woefully uninformed people I have ever run across. I loved the valley but the idiocy of the people made me nauseous and eventually I had to get out of there. I guess their stupidity is best exemplified by their glorious leader. Their messiah. The liar for jesus known as $arah. We should pity them

Basheert said...

The health "care" debate began on the wrong foot with the wrong words being used.

We do have great healthcare.

We do have a HUGE problem with Insurance Companies and with ACCESS to health care. We also have a problem when medical bills can bankrupt any citizen in this country.

Our focus must be on health INSURANCE reform. These 5 companies are running rampant - it's like watching the Savings and Loan meltdown.

The care itself is good and we do have available most of the best accessible testing, lab screenings, advanced testing, and yes, some great docs (I'm prejudiced).

I can tell you that by the time a surgical resident graduates, after 4 years of medical school and 5 years of residency, many of these individuals are coming out of school with over half a million dollars worth of debt. THEN they have to either join or set up a practice of some type to start paying it all back.

So please try to not blame the docs for this. Most docs try very hard to hire specialists in their Ins billing departments who know their codes and attempt to be AS creative as they can be to get the insurance companies to cover what you, as a patient, have had done. Also, when you see a patient, you are not looking at them as a batch of dollars. In most cases, you sincerely try to give you best care and attention to your patient and what they are saying.

There are so many issues here - what most people don't realize is that the Insurance Companies are already between you and your physician. Your doc has your best interest in mind, the insurance company is trying to save money even though you have paid your premiums.

anon@18:11 - interesting comments.

Anonymous said...

We shouldn't pity the Wasilla billies, we should ship them off to Unalaska and let them all secede. Wasilla has been the pocket of hate and ignorance in this state since the redneck oilworkers moved up in the 70's.

The 50 or so "teabaggers" that showed up in Anchorage to protest (well who knows what they were protesting, they don't even know) were brought in by bus from Wasilla. When the Anchorage city council was having public LGBT rights hearing, the protesters there were.. you guessed it.. brought in by bus from Wasilla. When Sarah had her I'm not a quitter because I'm quitting picnics and they needed people there who weren't booing her, they once again brought the bus from Wasilla. The town sign shouldn't read "Welcome to Wasilla" it should read "Free hate, will travel"

Bell said...

My experience with the Japanese healthcare system was positive, My husband and I were both employed in Japan when we became pregnant with our first child. I had my choice of clinics/doctors and I received excellent care. It wasn't until we returned to the U.S. that we had to worry about purchasing expensive health insurance with the help of our family since we were both unemployed after our contracts overseas ended. U.S. healthcare leaves a lot to be desired. I support a singlepayer system as promoted by PNHP:

And, I believe Republicans should be left out of the debate on healthcare reform since they offer nothing but lies and goofiness.

Anonymous said...

Basheert, you are exactly right. The talking points like "don't let your government get between you and your physician" or "we don't want to pay for those lazy people that don't work" are extremely naive. We DO pay, in higher rates, for those that cannot. And you better believe the ins. companies want to keep being the middleman with the patient and the docs. They are screwing over both of them.

Anonymous said...

Anon 18:11 … and Anon 18:29: I sincerely hope that your comments were not a jibe at KELLY from Wasilla, who was simply asking a perfectly valid question.
There’s a lot of disinformation out there. So I’m more than happy to answer her. Especially as I recently read a comment on some blog (wish I knew which it was) claiming that people in Europe pay 75% tax – which is complete and utter nonsense. But people read these things and simply believe them.
At the moment I am living in the UK. There are three tax rates here. 10%, 20% and (only for the wealthy) a top rate of 40%. Most people pay 20%. Although I do pay 20% tax, I also receive money directly from the government: a monthly “tax credit” payment of around 50 dollars plus a “child benefit” payment of a similar amount. I am entitled to free medical and dental care for myself and my child, who has had a few medical issues in the past, requiring hospitalisation (as well as physiotherapy and spa convalescence) and who is now undergoing cosmetic orthodontic treatment. All of this is completely free. As is, of course, the education system, including all textbooks, notebooks, musical instruments, transport, as well as healthy subsidised meals (the meals are free for lower-income families) freshly cooked on the school premises. No, as Kelly says, NOTHING is free. But if EVERYBODY is prepared to pay their share, then it is possible to afford much more. Just think – if the 45 million uninsured all had to pay just a little insurance… and if they could get treatment for minor ailments before they developed into expensive emergency-room situations… that in itself would go a long, long way.
Ironically, your pay-your-on-way US medical system appears to be costing the government far, far more than it does in countries which have universal healthcare

Anonymous said...

I've never heard anyone from Wasilla ask a valid question and I lived there for years. Kelly's response was a snide remark and a dig, which is what the Wasilla billies pride themselves on. Perhaps you missed the last part of her ummm.. question.
"Assuming, that is, that you or your husband work."

Most people would "assume" other people work. Most Wasillabillies would assume otherwise because quite frankly most of them don't work. They live off a very generous (can you say SOCIALIST) state. Actually working would take too much time away from their prayer meetings and hate groups

Anonymous said...

Anon 19:41… hahaha! Thanks for that! Quite a culture gap, isn’t there?
I really did take the question in good faith and it never even occurred to me for a moment that it might be snide.
In fact I felt rather sorry for her. Yup – I work full time. I pay my taxes. I love my healthcare. Here in Europe people simply cannot understand what Americans are thinking on this one… would really prefer to give a lot of money to profit-hungry private insurers who might drop them at any crucial moment, than have everybody pay a little money into a big pot so that nobody ever has to worry about getting sick? Funny world

Anonymous said...

Health Care around the world can't be all that bad compared to the U.S. as we (usa) have the highest obesity rate .. unless you are in so. ca, some parts of miami, maybe ny city, uh...
Trust me.. it is so dang rare to see someone that is "normal body weight and in reasonable shape - not talking gym muscles" I end up staring at them like they are a movie star

Plus just about everyone is on some medication.. prescription something .. even the kids

So as far as Health Care.. I think it would do the U.S. good to find something else..
We are a bunch of bloated fatties
(well not me, and those on this board, of course :D)

Dianne said...

My husband just called me and told me I have received a termination notice of my health insurance from Blue Cross Blue Shield of Illinois. This after we have been paying an exorbitant amount of money for their “coverage”, and it goes up every year. It is now $2,500.00 every two months. My employer does not provide health insurance. My husband’s employer gives him a small supplement to help him buy his own. His health requires that he be fully covered (he’s 64 with prior heart issues). I’m healthier and decided that I could “live” with less coverage and a larger deductible. So, I opted to change to a health savings account, no prescription coverage and a $3,500.00 per year deductible. At that point things got really dicey. For the past two months this has been a very confusing situation apparently culminating in my termination. It seems a great deal like extortion to me. If I don’t want to continue to pay $15,000 per year, they won’t cover me. At this point if I have a serious illness (heck, even minor) we may be one of the bankrupt Americans. But, at $15,000 per year – that’s just about to bankrupt us the way it is. Am I pissed!! You bet!

How the USA can criticize any other country for civil rights infractions is completely beyond me. This country no longer even remotely stands for what it did once. If private health insurance costs and costs for medical treatment were in the basic realm of reality, that would be one thing. This is insane. The people who are worried about losing their medical benefits (Medicare recipients who want the government to stay out of their Medicare, people like Sarah Palin who are covered under government provided benefits) really make me nuts. Thanks to these types and Glenn Beck, Rush Limbaugh, etc. I have not seen this kind of divisiveness since the Viet Nam War. The republicans who only want to see this President fail and the idiotic (yes, I’m name calling) Palinbots who have no idea of what to do except follow Sarah over a cliff, have several screws loose. If you have employee provided health insurance or, heaven forbid, GOVERNMENT health insurance, bless you all. Being out in the cold is a scary place to be, and at 56, I’m holding my breath.

Anonymous said...

"I've never heard anyone from Wasilla ask a valid question"

That may be a stretch, the entire valley isn't insane but it is like the twilight zone there. I'll give you an example of the Wasilla billy mentality that was inexplicably broadcast on KTUU Anchorage news a few nights ago. It seems the god fearing, gun totin' Wasillan's want a new rifle range. Instead of doing it the proper way, you know, meetings, permits, public hearings, getting the land rights, all the pesky little things that take up a rifle owners valuable time. They decided they would just create one out in the Butte somewhere right behind some poor womans house. She's a little upset because she continues to find bullet holes in her house and it's disturbing some private wetlands there for bird migration etc..

So KTUU sent a reporter out there to hear both sides of the story. The woman who was now dodging stray bullets was nicely dressed, calm and well spoken as was her 17 year old son who was accompanying her. The gun activist who decided he could shoot his weapons wherever he wanted showed up for this little rendezvous in full camouflage from head to toe, carrying an AR-15 in one hand, a box of ammunition in the other and three sidearms strapped to various areas of his body.

I guess he thought he needed all that weaponry and ammunition to take on this middle aged woman and her teenage son. After he got thru butchering the 2nd amendment repeatedly, he looked at her 17 year old son and told him "I think you should move somewhere else to smoke your pot and be a momma's boy because we're going to continue to shoot here and anywhere else we want"

That pretty much sums up the mentality of a lot of folks in the meth capital of Alaska, otherwise known as the Valley. Continuously gettin' all the facts wrong (if they have any at all) but it doesn't matter, because we can yell louder than you and we have much more firepower

Swiss Guy said...

Oh hai, a Swiss reader here. I pay about two months worth of my salary in taxes and about half of another month of income for my insurance.
This includes money for my pensioners fund, money for a special fund which pays me my normal salary from the first day of being unable to work if I'm having an accident or something other which leaves me handicapped for over three months (within those three months my company pays my full salary, they are even unable to sack me from my job as this would be against our law) for up to two years and a special fund which provides 80% of my salary from the first day on if I get fired from my job (for about two years as well).
Lot's of things to pay (and I'm mostly paying, socialism be damned, for my other citizens, hoping to not have to use those special funds), but I'm pretty secured in the case of losing my job or having an accident at work or in my spare time which would make me "handicapped". Yes, if I'm dumb enough to cut my hand off in a wood chipper I'm still getting paid - as long as it's really an accident.
I've also got 25 days of paid holidays, 5 days more than usual in Switzerland as I'm working for one of the biggest supermarket chains here. They even give away 1 percent of their earnings to support cultural and social organisations. 1 percent doesn't sound like much but it turns out to be a nice amount of money after all.
And this, my friends, would be what socialism would probably to YOUR country as well. Marvel at this horror and be afraid, VERY afraid!

Anonymous said...

Swiss Guy -- Hear you! Lived in Switzerland for a while and in Germany too... they have some of the best social security and health care... and are right up there among the wealthiest nations in Europe with the highest standards of living... heck -- even the trains run on time!

Anonymous said...

What is more important to one, is not to another. Good healthcare, old age security, nice parks, preserved nature and culture. To me, that and enjoying my life in a vibrant, caring environment is what we work (and yes, pay for). Too many Americans just want the money and what it can buy them. Every man for himself. I hope it makes them happy.

Anonymous said...

Anon@20:14 that is SCARY! Yikes, now we know why they love the quitter there!
And yes kelly was being snarky "What percentage of your family's income do you pay in taxes? Assuming, that is, that you or your husband work."

Like our commenter was a illegal person soaking up some "socialized medicine" Uh! What kind of work do you do kelly and how much taxes do you pay in socialist Alaska? No state taxes, I heard???? hmmmm?
Uh right. Go along collect your betcha :)
Well I guess that's what happens when you get all your talking points from faux noise and not get rounded out picture of the World.
Not just Real Amerika.
I yes, I would love to go where you had your baby, sounds more like a spa than medicine.

Swiss Guy said...

Sorry, I was in a bit of hurry to catch the bus home when I wrote my post and forgot something important. About 9% of my basic salary as well in order to found those "special funds". Seems like a bit much but every job I ever had still paid enough money to cover my expenses while living a great life.
As for the trains: You're right, most trains are on time here, having a delay of 5 minutes on a train ride from Basel to Zürich (one of the busiest train lines) is kind of "outrageous" for us. ^^

Swiss Guy said...

Sorry for double posting but I meant "I pay about 9% of my basic salary as well as the things mentioned beforehand in order to found those "special funds"."

Anonymous said...

What does it take to get through to these people??

Anonymous said...

I saw that coward on KTUU as well.. I was shocked they would leave the comment in about her son smoking pot and moving. I never could figure out what KTUU's reason was for not editing that. I have to assume it was to show how STUPID this guy was, although you never know with the media up here. This much I do know. If I ever run across that clown I'll shove that AR15 up his butt and make him look like a popsicle.

It's real easy to be tough around women and kids when you're armed to the teeth. Things would be decidedly different if he ever had the guts to pick on someone his own size.

Anonymous said...

Hi. This is “European Mom” back again just to say a big THANK YOU to everybody for all the kind explanations of the Kelly snark! Well, the reason I didn’t notice the snark was, of course, because, like most Europeans, it makes absolutely no difference whether you are working or not. You are still entitled to exactly the same treatment as, say, Steven Hawking. Sure, you can upgrade if you want to, at your own cost – maybe opting for gold inlays instead of amalgam, or a private room instead of a ward – but you will still be getting the same professional attention from the same doctors. So Kelly’s question seemed perfectly reasonable on the surface: what taxes do I pay IF I am working? Admittedly, I am contributing to the costs of those who are NOT working (which is fine by me) – but doesn’t that make it even more astonishing that my taxes in the UK are actually lower than they would be in the US on the same income – and that they still cover my healthcare? I’m sure Swiss Guy understands (sorry your train was a whole 5 mins late at rush hour – standards must be slipping there in the Alps… lol) … though I envy him because he has longer holidays than I do!
(But eat your heart out: I think Germany gives 28 days standard paid holiday plus a “thirteenth paycheck” at Christmas). Wouldn’t it be just awful if the USA headed down that slippery slope?

ProChoiceGrandma said...

Is that KTUU interview available to view online? If someone has a link, please provide it.

ProChoiceGrandma said...

Regina, thanks again for a wonderfully informative post, and thanks to all the people who have commented with their experiences.

Patrick said...

Excellent post again, Regina! This is what the MSM should write...oh well, the healthcare companies are advertising heavily, aren't they? Nevermind...

Having lived in two European countries, all I can say is that universal healthcare (tax-funded or funded via other contributions) works extremely well, if it is properly managed, and it should be regarded as a human right. I feel very sorry for Americans who are still being denied this essential right that citizens all over the world are able to enjoy and which is an essential part of their well-being.

crystalwolf aka caligrl said...

European Mom: good for you! Micheal Moores movie "Sicko" explains how people chip in so EVERYONE has health care, the HAVES and the HAVE NOTS. Unfortunately "Reel Amerika" can't wrap their asses around helping people other than their selves. You see Palin she's all for helping herself to her worshipers $ you bethca, and stupidly they give, they break their piggy banks to give to HER. But woe to a homeless guy or gal. They must be lazy, they don't want to work, blah,blah, blah.
They laugh at President Obama Days of Service to help others.God forbid they do a selfless act! Simply put they are selfish Pigs.
And that's the problems between the USA and Europe. The people in Europe are much more Evolved.
These "Reel Amerikan's" are greedy, little pigs.
And racist. You would never see this behavior in Europe.

Anonymous said...

Just so that people who are not from the US have a true understanding of what we are up against. If these don't make you sick nothing will.

Insurers Executives Have Not Heard Of Medical Bankruptcy

How Health Insurance Companies Make Money


Bell said...

I encourage everyone to call their representatives and demand a single payer healthcare system! You can also join the Mad as Hell Doctors, (and nurses) for a rally in Washington D.C. September 30. Their caravan is in Bloomington, Indiana today and will be in Nashville, Kentucky next week. Check their site to see if they will pass by your area:

Here is another great site where you can send an e-mail supporting Rep. Weiner's single-payer amendment:

Kelly said...


This is 'Kelly' that posted above.

I was not trying to be snaky. Remember, I live in Wasilla. There are a lot of people on public assistance/welfare here. They don't contribute to anything.

Thank you to those that responded to my question about what you pay in taxes. I appreciate it. It's hard to get that kind of factual, first-hand information.

FWIW, I am not a Palin supporter. I made the unfortunate mistake of voting for her for mayor, but did not support her for governor. Learn from my mistake. No matter what position or office, vote carefully.

Anonymous said...

Just echoing Bell (14:54)
"I encourage everyone to call their representatives and demand a single payer healthcare system! You can also join the Mad as Hell Doctors, (and nurses) for a rally in Washington D.C. September 30. Their caravan is in Bloomington, Indiana today and will be in Nashville, Kentucky next week. Check their site to see if they will pass by your area:
Here is another great site where you can send an e-mail supporting Rep. Weiner's single-payer amendment:"

The Obama campaign didn't say "Yes *I* Can". It said Yes WE Can. EVERYBODY who wants this change MUST let their representatives know... otherwise a crazy loud-mouthed minority might just manage to get their way!

ProChoiceGrandma said...

I am frustrated beyond belief! I have tried all day to post a comment at HuffPo to link to Regina's excellent report about healthcare, and the moderating has not let any through!

lisabeth said...

Regina, you did an absolutely amazing job on this. Really it is so well done. Thank you!! I sent this to some friends. It's really all about greed and money. But the right wing people seem brainwashed. I don't understand why they believe insurance companies would treat them better medically than the government. It simply isn't true. But they spread so much information. It's also all about politics. The far right leadership know how to manipulate the anger and fear of the ignorant. It's incredible how many Americans are so blind. It makes me tired....

Greed and money rule in this country. It is incredibly sad that the people who imagine that they have better values dislike the government so much and don't believe in helping others. Our system is archaic yet they are still saying we have the best healthcare. It boggles the mind.
I have written my representatives but I believe the Republicans would do anything to make Obama look bad. They won't vote for it. Most of them don't even think America has a healthcare crisis!

ProChoiceGrandma said...

The Republikans are so obviously against anything that will benefit American citizens if it will be seen as a success by a "black" president. I am ashamed and embarrassed that so many hateful people have the audacity to call themselves "patriots". What are they patriots of, exactly? The Confederate States of America!

EuroMom said...

I’m not sure whether anyone will ever visit this thread again – but just in case: I’d like to thank Kelly from Wasilla for being brave enough to return and comment after all the criticism and ridicule fired at her. If she is just one person who may have received a little more balanced information thanks to reading the direct personal stories of a SwissGuy and a EuropeanMom on this blog … that has to be a good thing. Stories like those of Dianne above and the Mudflats story about the Death Panels that really do already exist (in the form of the insurance companies that “deny” coverage just to protect their profits) are absolutely shocking to people in Europe, who take doctors and hospitals for granted as a basic everyday service freely available to all – just one more basic everyday service our taxes cover along with education and roads and firefighters and police and water and sewage and garbage collection.
(I admit that I was just as guilty as Kelly of making uniformed assumptions – she assumed I must be some kind of down-and-out scrounging off the taxpayer. I assumed she was just innocently enquiring about how much tax I pay). FYI Kelly: I have never been unemployed or seriously ill, but I have never really thought about healthcare much, because in all the different European countries I have lived in it is simply something that is there for all – rich, poor, unemployed, employed… it’s like going to the library, or getting on a bus, or turning your tap on in the morning to make coffee).
BTW: it is extremely disturbing to read about the Fox network’s tactics. Joseph Goebbels would have been proud to have such a powerful propaganda machine capable of disseminating such blatant lies so successfully. (And when I see those crowds of ordinary people “protesting” against their own best interests… I would laugh about it, if it weren’t so tragic).