Re: [CNN] Bush 2,909,465; Gore 2,907,722.

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From: Danny O'Brien (
Date: Thu Nov 16 2000 - 06:11:31 PST

On Tue, Nov 14, 2000 at 12:35:39AM -0600, Jeff Bone wrote:
> Tony Finch wrote:
> > Jeff Bone <> wrote:
> > >
> > >Give it up. Socialized medicine does not work in a capitalist economy.
> >
> > Seems to work OK in the UK.
> Really? Don't mind waiting six months for a doctor's visit, then? Hell, we
> complain about *HMOs* in the US, do you *really* think we would be okay with
> social medicine? And, have you seen their *teeth,* for godssakes.
> BTW, every time this comes up, somebody brings up the damned UK. Tony, where
> do you live? I'd love to hear from somebody that's actually lived in and had
> healthcare in both the US and the UK.

Well, not quite. I haven't yet been seriously ill in both countries, and
I'm certainly not an expert on the politics and economics of healthcare.
My experiences are purely anecdotal, but that sounds like what you
were after.

Within a couple of weeks of moving to the US, my girlfriend (who suffers a
number of chronic illnesses, due to growing up poor and without proper medical
attention), developed a serious rash - an accentuated allergic reaction to
poison ivy, I think. It was certainly serious enough to merit going to a
doctor. Unfortunately, she was between jobs at the time, so had no medical
coverage. Since then, she's been in employment, but the insurance that she's
been offered doesn't cover some of the medication she needs.

One of the good sides to the US situation, it seems, is that most smart, ill
people become instant experts on self-medication and the vagaries of medical
insurance. My SO says that the UK medical system isn't great, and I'm more
likely to agree with her than base my beliefs on my own entirely passive
experiences (which entail being covered by the NHS "from cradle to grave" with
little involvement from myself). She's a bigger fan of the Canadian system.

That said, every time we've been in a position where the bureacracy and cost
of healthcare in the US has actively prevented a friend of mine from seeking
vital medical attention, I can't help but have the words "this is
*barbarism*!" scroll through my head. I'm relatively pragmatic about this: I'd
readily concur that the UK model might not be best for every situation, but a
lack of universal healthcare strikes me as a peculiar lack in an advanced
society, and one that causes that society to suffer unduly. Sorry.

Oh, and the teeth thing? I think that's largely cultural: if you're surrounded
by people with (by US standards) shoddy choppers, there's less of an impetus
to maintain your own. The gradual rise in British dental standards from
sixties Austin Powers-style toothiness is, I think, mainly due to seeing a lot
of positive American media images these days. I know that when I was growing
up, average-looking Americans were viewed as being faintly unattractive
because of their "horsey" appearence. And Jimmy Carter and the Osmonds gave
*everybody* the heebie-jeebies. Brrr!

of coursh, i eat mainly shoup as a result

> > >The hybrid system and its corresponding governmental impact on private
> > >healthcare is the ROOT CAUSE of rising healthcare prices, and if you don't
> > >believe me I can give you my pop's e-mail address, he's been managing
> > >hospitals for 30 years and has quite a bit to say on the matter.
> Well, I'm no expert, but his line on this is that the increasing regulation of
> healthcare over the last 3 decades as a part of Medicare / Medicaid has
> basically made it impossible for hospitals and clinics to operate profitably at
> a reasonable direct cost to the consumer of healthcare services. Overhead
> related to administration of those plans, regulations for staffing, all kinds
> of gov't interference with market forces. I buy it.
> > I thought it was because insurance companies will pay whatever price
> > is demanded,
> A First!!! I've never heard insurance companies described as generous
> before!!! (And btw, what *have* you been smoking? Insurers actually pay a
> (significant, but still) fractional amount of what doctors bill them.)
> > and employers pay whatever premiums are demanded. There's
> > very little downward pressure on prices.
> Why shouldn't there be? Why isn't the healthcare market *competitive*? Essay
> question for bonus points.
> >
> >
> > Tony.
> > --
> > en oeccget g mtcaa f.a.n.finch
> > v spdlkishrhtewe y
> > eatp o v eiti i d.

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