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Is cradle to grave medical care really such a great deal?

Lutherf

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I've heard the NHS touted time and again as, if not a model, at least a target that we should shoot for in the US. Obama care is supposed to get us a step or two closer to that pinnacle of "liberty" which is readily available health care for all at rates which even the poorest among us can readily afford.

Well, the UK certainly has achieved that. If you don't count taxes then nobody has to pay for health care and it's readily available to everyone. Marvelous!!!

Except for one little issue.

It seems that if you go to the hospital in the UK your odds of making it out alive are about half that of if you went to a US hospital for the same issue.

NHS death rate is one of worst in the West: Patients 50% more likely to die of neglect than in US, says study | Mail Online
Death rates in NHS hospitals are among the highest in the western world, shock figures revealed yesterday.
British patients were found to be almost 50 per cent more likely to die from poor care than those in America.
They have five times the chance of dying from pneumonia and twice the chance of being killed by blood poisoning.
Experts say that, despite recent improvements, NHS death rates still outstrip those in many other European countries.
NHS hospital death rates among worst, new study finds - Channel 4 News
So now he is releasing the findings. And they are shocking. The 2004 figures show that NHS had the worst figures of all seven countries. Once the death rate was adjusted, England was 22 per cent higher than the average of all seven countries and it was 58 per cent higher than the best country.
....
When Professor Jarman projected the figures forward to 2012, the hospital death rates in all seven countries had improved - England's faster than some.
However, it is still among the worst and has death rates 45 per cent higher than the leading country, which is America.
BBC News - Hospital trusts rapped over major failures
Mr Hunt set out a detailed breakdown of the problems identified at the individual trusts, but among the common themes listed were:

• Patients being left on trolleys, unmonitored for excessive periods and then being talked down to by consultants
• Poor maintenance in operating theatres, potentially putting patients in danger
• Patients often being moved repeatedly between wards without being told why
• Staff working for 12 days in a row without a break
• Backlogs in complaints
• A patient inappropriately exposed where there were both male and female patients present
• Low levels of clinical cover - especially out of hours
• Hospital boards being unaware of potential problems, including a spate of still births
It may just be me but I'm less than enthusiastic about free, or even "affordable", healthcare if it means I'll be twice as likely to die when I get it.
 

Thom Paine

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It may just be me but I'm less than enthusiastic about free, or even "affordable", healthcare if it means I'll be twice as likely to die when I get it.
Hmmm, ... cradle to grave health care; robots doing all the work. What remains ?




Thom Paine
 

Goshin

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Obamacare is not the way I would have preferred to go about it... but something DID need to be done, healthcare has been getting ridiculously expensive for a long time now. Dentistry is about half insane too.


I would have preferred a mostly-market solution myself, with some adjustments for the low-income...
 

Beaudreaux

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Obamacare is not the way I would have preferred to go about it... but something DID need to be done, healthcare has been getting ridiculously expensive for a long time now. Dentistry is about half insane too.


I would have preferred a mostly-market solution myself, with some adjustments for the low-income...
Costs are going up though, not down. And since ACA, the costs have gone up dramatically.
 

MaggieD

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I've heard the NHS touted time and again as, if not a model, at least a target that we should shoot for in the US. Obama care is supposed to get us a step or two closer to that pinnacle of "liberty" which is readily available health care for all at rates which even the poorest among us can readily afford.

Well, the UK certainly has achieved that. If you don't count taxes then nobody has to pay for health care and it's readily available to everyone. Marvelous!!!

Except for one little issue.

It seems that if you go to the hospital in the UK your odds of making it out alive are about half that of if you went to a US hospital for the same issue.

NHS death rate is one of worst in the West: Patients 50% more likely to die of neglect than in US, says study | Mail Online


NHS hospital death rates among worst, new study finds - Channel 4 News


BBC News - Hospital trusts rapped over major failures


It may just be me but I'm less than enthusiastic about free, or even "affordable", healthcare if it means I'll be twice as likely to die when I get it.
Well, I'll tell ya' what. Medicare is Age 65 to Grave coverage, and it's magnificent. I can address this with confidence, since Mom's on Medicare. She's 86 years old . . . has a Blue Cross Blue Shield supplement . . . and her excellent care costs her not-one-thin-time other than her $99/month Medicare premium and her supplement cost -- which, right now, at her age 86, is $350 or so a month. Expensive? Compared to medical bills? A freakin' bargain.

Is Medicare self-sufficient? I don't know. How self-sufficient is it when compared to Obamacare? Don't know that either. But I'm one of those fans off our system -- other than the cost of individual healthcare insurance. And Obamacare aims to solve that.

Everyone needs a healthcare advocate. A patient, on his own, is at the mercy of "the system." But the system isn't bad -- it just takes some smarts to navigate it.

Look. Nothing's perfect. Obamacare aims to be better. Give it a freakin' chance.

Edit: And if YOU are on Medicare, you have no right to complain. If you do? It's because you don't understand the wonderful coverage you have.
 

Greenbeard

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Costs are going up though, not down. And since ACA, the costs have gone up dramatically.
Not really. Health care spending growth and health care price inflation have reached all time lows.
 

Threegoofs

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Please note, the OP refers to a story from the Daily Mail. This is kinda like referring to a story in the National Enquirer in the US. Not exactly the most reliable source...

http://m.youtube.com/watch?v=5eBT6OSr1TI&desktop_uri=/watch?v=5eBT6OSr1TI

Secondly, you'll note that the Daily Mail article cites some of the main causes of this discrepancy to be cultural and structural factors- British medicines well known reluctance to acknowledge mistakes, care designed for outpatients rather than inpatients, etc.

Thirdly, hospital mortality differences are a bad way to compare hospitals, let alone health care systems. Hospital mortality often is a factor of how sick the patients are when they get admitted. In the US, the best hospitals (tertiary care hospitals like academic institutions) often have the highest mortality rates because they get the most complicated patients. In the UK, they may have much higher standards for admitting pneumonia patients because of much better home care, which would skew that number. They may have higher numbers because sick patients tend to get Pneumonia, and their patients are probably sicker since their outpatient standard of care tends to be better than the US.

So much of the nonsense being discussed about healthcare comes from Obamacare opponents without a shred of understanding about health care....
 

Threegoofs

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Obamacare is not the way I would have preferred to go about it... but something DID need to be done, healthcare has been getting ridiculously expensive for a long time now. Dentistry is about half insane too.


I would have preferred a mostly-market solution myself, with some adjustments for the low-income...
WTF? Obamacare IS a mostly-market solution with adjustments for low income!!
 

HonestJoe

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I've heard the NHS touted time and again as, if not a model, at least a target that we should shoot for in the US.
Interestingly, though I keep hearing it claimed that the NHS is touted as some kind of healthcare pancea, I've never seen it actually stated as such (especially not in practice, let alone in principle). I do find the claim is typically followed up by lazy attacks on some of the very real (and some exaggerated or imagined) problems in UK healthcare as nothing more than a political tool in the US healthcare "debate". I don't like being used as a tool.

It seems that if you go to the hospital in the UK your odds of making it out alive are about half that of if you went to a US hospital for the same issue.
You should learn some fundamental statistics if you want to play this game. 50% higher death rates is not necessarily the same as half the chance of "making it out alive". Alternatively (and my preference) is not to play the generic statistical game at all.

Even if these conveniently unavailable statistics are being accurately reported, a simple fact comes to my mind. Overall death rates between the UK and US aren't all that different so it seems unlikely to be the simple case that UK hospitals are killing people who would otherwise survive. The facts are inevitably more complex than that. On aspect I know tends to be handled differently in the UK and US is treatment of terminally ill patients, who are more likely to spend their last days in places not formally recognised as acute hospitals as far as these kind of statistics go (it's actually a better system IMO but as different issue to one of raw death rates). A simple measure of death rates in hospitals (however that's been pulled together) can't present the full picture and coming to any general conclusions on the basis of it (even with the source available) would be flawed at best.

It also can't be ignored that the UK media (especially the tabloids) has a strong selling point in attacking the NHS and never misses the opportunity to publish negative reports (however valid) yet goes out of it's way to avoid reporting anything positive. You simply can't get an honest picture of the NHS from the UK media alone. Even if the US media had an interest in reporting negative healthcare stories, the fragmented nature of the private system means healthcare as a whole won't be the target in the same way - it's government that tends to take the brunt of any negative attention there (as is the case with "Obamacare").

Now don't start accusing me of blindly defending the NHS. There are a vast range of things wrong with how healthcare in the UK (which is much wider than "the NHS" by the way) is funded, how it works and what our politicians do with it. This kind of rubbish rarely comes close to addressing any of those real issues and certainly doesn't do it with any kind of understanding, intelligence or honesty.

It may just be me but I'm less than enthusiastic about free, or even "affordable", healthcare if it means I'll be twice as likely to die when I get it.
Well there is absolutely zero reason why that should be the case so, as things stand, you have nothing to worry about. You could look in to the real advantages and disadvantages of the varied forms of state-funded healthcare but it wouldn't have much relevance to the debate in the US.
 

Beaudreaux

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Paschendale

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We already have cradle to grave medical care. The trouble is that some people make that transition way too quickly, and it's usually based on how poor they are.
 

Greenbeard

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Substantiation of your claim?
Sure.

Growth of Health Spending Stays Low
The rate of increase in health spending, 3.9 percent in 2011, was the same as in 2009 and 2010 — the lowest annual rates recorded in the 52 years the government has been collecting such data.
The official announcements of those rates tend to have a time lag (e.g. that 2013 announcement regarding 2011 spending) but, spoiler alert, the trend has continued: July 2013 health spending growth returns to historically low level
The data for this month show a return to the historically low spending growth rate of 3.9% that is reported by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) in the official government NHE data for each of the 3 years between 2009 and 2011 (the latest year for which the official estimates exist). For the first 7 months of 2013, spending was 4.1% higher than the same period in 2012.
That said, there was an official nod to this record low health spending growth a few weeks ago: White House touts slow increase in health care costs
WASHINGTON — Personal health care costs rose in the 12 months ending in May at the slowest rate in the last 50 years, as spending on hospital and nursing home services declined, the White House announced Monday.

Personal consumption spending rose 1.1%, Alan Krueger, chairman of the White House Council of Economic Advisers, said. Hospital readmissions rates dropped from an average of 19% to 17.9% for Medicare patients since the passage of the 2010 health care law, Krueger said.

A series of recent government reports and industry analyses have shown a decrease in overall health care costs. In May, a Congressional Budget Office report showed a $618 billion drop in projected Medicare and Medicaid spending over the next decade. A recent study by the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) showed that for Americans who receive health insurance through their employers, premiums rose 3% from 2011 to 2012, the lowest increase since 1996.
Meanwhile, health care price inflation is about as low as it's ever been: Health care price growth near historic low with negative prescription drug price growth
Health care price inflation in July 2013, at 1.1% year-over-year, is growing near a historically low rate – just above the May reading of 1.0% which is the lowest in our 23-plus year series. The 12-month moving average, at 1.6% in July 2013, represents the lowest level in our data.
This was accompanied by another semi-historic feat earlier this summer: Medical Costs Register First Decline Since 1970s
U.S. consumers’ health-care costs fell in May for the first time in almost four decades, the latest evidence that government policies and an expansion in generic drugs are holding back prices.
If you're talking only about health insurance premiums, note that group health insurance premiums this year were fairly low (particularly compared to the double digit increases that were common just a few years ago):Premiums for employer-sponsored coverage moderating, Kaiser study finds
Premiums paid by employers this year for their employees' family health coverage rose 4%, a relatively modest rate by historical standards, according to a survey released today by the Kaiser Family Foundation. Since 2003, premiums have climbed 80%.
The economy-wide slowdown in health spending has continually surprised the Congressional Budget Office, which has to keep revising downward its Medicare spending estimates every time it updates the budget picture:

The Recent Changes In CBO’s Baseline Reflect Trends That Have Developed Over The Past Few Years

In recent years, health care spending has grown much more slowly both nationally and for federal programs than historical rates would have indicated. For example, in 2012, federal spending for Medicare and Medicaid was about 5 percent below the amount that CBO had projected in March 2010.

In response to that slowdown, over the past several years CBO has made a series of downward adjustments to its projections of spending for Medicaid and Medicare. For example, from the March 2010 baseline to the current baseline, technical revisions—mostly reflecting the slower growth in the programs’ spending in recent years—have lowered CBO’s estimates of federal spending for the two programs in 2020 by about $200 billion—by $126 billion for Medicare and by $78 billion for Medicaid, or by roughly 15 percent for each program.
This is aided in part by the fact that per capita Medicare cost growth last year was virtually zero:
Expenditures per Medicare beneficiary increased by only 0.4% in fiscal year 2012, substantially below the 3.4% increase in per capita GDP (Exhibit 1).1 The very slow growth in Medicare spending in fiscal year 2012 follows slow growth in 2010 and 2011. . .The slow growth in spending per beneficiary from 2010 to 2012 combined with the projections of spending growth at GDP+0 for 2012-2022 is unprecedented in the history of the Medicare program. If sustained, the slower growth would improve Medicare’s ability to meet its commitments to seniors and persons with disabilities in future generations.
These are unprecedented times for health care costs. In a good way.
 

274ina

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I've heard the NHS touted time and again as, if not a model, at least a target that we should shoot for in the US. Obama care is supposed to get us a step or two closer to that pinnacle of "liberty" which is readily available health care for all at rates which even the poorest among us can readily afford.

Well, the UK certainly has achieved that. If you don't count taxes then nobody has to pay for health care and it's readily available to everyone. Marvelous!!!

Except for one little issue.

It seems that if you go to the hospital in the UK your odds of making it out alive are about half that of if you went to a US hospital for the same issue.

NHS death rate is one of worst in the West: Patients 50% more likely to die of neglect than in US, says study | Mail Online


NHS hospital death rates among worst, new study finds - Channel 4 News


BBC News - Hospital trusts rapped over major failures


It may just be me but I'm less than enthusiastic about free, or even "affordable", healthcare if it means I'll be twice as likely to die when I get it.
26,000 die in USA every year from NO HEALTHCARE..............

So please try your propoganda agian................
 

SBu

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I've heard the NHS touted time and again as, if not a model, at least a target that we should shoot for in the US. Obama care is supposed to get us a step or two closer to that pinnacle of "liberty" which is readily available health care for all at rates which even the poorest among us can readily afford.

Well, the UK certainly has achieved that. If you don't count taxes then nobody has to pay for health care and it's readily available to everyone. Marvelous!!!

Except for one little issue.

It seems that if you go to the hospital in the UK your odds of making it out alive are about half that of if you went to a US hospital for the same issue.

NHS death rate is one of worst in the West: Patients 50% more likely to die of neglect than in US, says study | Mail Online


NHS hospital death rates among worst, new study finds - Channel 4 News


BBC News - Hospital trusts rapped over major failures


It may just be me but I'm less than enthusiastic about free, or even "affordable", healthcare if it means I'll be twice as likely to die when I get it.
I don't know much about the subject, but wouldn't you think that the main principle of making health care affordable is to bring down the cost of health care itself? Rather than make everyone pay for insurance?
 

Linc

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We already have cradle to grave medical care. The trouble is that some people make that transition way too quickly, and it's usually based on how poor they are.
The big news tomorrow on the ACA in the Senate will be the Democratic response to Sen. Prostitute Vitter and his amendment to the ACA that has stalled the Senate all week. Dems will offer an amendment linking ACA to Vitter's prostitute past. Politico
 

Lutherf

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I don't know much about the subject, but wouldn't you think that the main principle of making health care affordable is to bring down the cost of health care itself? Rather than make everyone pay for insurance?
Absolutely! That's why Obamacare is a bad plan.
 

FederalRepublic

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26,000 die in USA every year from NO HEALTHCARE..............

So please try your propoganda agian................
Nearly 10 times that many die in the USA every year from medical errors.
 
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