How American Health Care Looks from Europe

Filed in National by on August 16, 2009

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This bit of embarrassment is from the Saturday Independent — and the accompanying article is worth a read too:

In the week that Britain’s National Health Service was held aloft by Republicans as an “evil and Orwellian” example of everything that is wrong with free healthcare, these extraordinary scenes in Inglewood, California yesterday provided a sobering reminder of exactly why President Barack Obama is trying to reform the US system.

The LA Forum, the arena that once hosted sell-out Madonna concerts, has been transformed – for eight days only – into a vast field hospital. In America, the offer of free healthcare is so rare, that news of the magical medical kingdom spread rapidly and long lines of prospective patients snaked around the venue for the chance of getting everyday treatments that many British people take for granted.

There isn’t much new in this article, except the angle that makes us look like a third world country. Interesting that this group’s founder is a stone Tory — and even he wouldn’t give up the NHS for the world.

(h/t Bob Cesca)

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  1. First point, no one should be overly concerned with what Europe thinks. For many years America provided total security for Western Europe which allowed them to spend huge sums on social spending. In other words, they stayed comfortable on our dime.

    Now, for health care. I am flying with a First Officer who still lives in Germany and is based in NYC. He recently had his gall bladder removed. He has private insurance so he was able to have his gall bladder removed within one day of distress. If he had been a German citizen it would have been 3-4 weeks at a minimum because pain meds and injections would have been used.

    In his words, “in Germany everybody gets something because of the high taxes but you don’t get to call the shots. In America you do.”

    Perhaps the Europeans can explain how a few short years ago with national health care the French had thousands die in a heat wave?

    Mike Protack

  2. xusumo says:

    Why would I ask a European when I could ask the French?

  3. cassandra_m says:

    Indeed — and even then you should ask them why they don’t have air conditioning, which is a proximate cause of death by overheating.

    Mr. Shallow Bench seems to be really reaching for the stupid tonite.

  4. nemski says:

    From Wikipedia:

    In France, 14,802 people—mostly elderly—died from heat, according to the French National Institute of Health.[2][3] France does not commonly have very hot summers, particularly in the northern areas,[4] but seven days with temperatures of more than 40 °C (104 °F) were recorded in Auxerre, Yonne between July and August 2003. As a consequence of the usually relatively mild summers, most people do not know how to react to very high temperatures (for instance, with respect to rehydration), and even most single-family homes and residential facilities built in the last 50 years are not equipped with air conditioning. Furthermore, while there are contingency plans for a variety of catastrophes and natural events, high heat had never been considered a major hazard and so such plans for heat waves did not exist at the time.

    BTW, the leader of the Delaware Republican Party is a douchenozzle.

  5. Another Mike says:

    “in Germany everybody gets something because of the high taxes but you don’t get to call the shots. In America you do.”

    Funny, I can’t go to the doctor of my choice unless I want to pay higher rates. I go where the HMO sends me. If my insurance company denies a procedure, how is that me calling the shots? I can be denied coverage because of a pre-existing condition, or the insurance company can drop me without notice once I become too expensive. Of they’ll raise my rates and those of all my co-workers because some guy in accounting got sick and required that they spend some of the money we’ve been paying them every month.

    I’m still waiting for those Europeans with nationalized health care to start telling us how terrible it is.

    And what does a lack of air conditioners have to do with health care?

  6. X Stryker says:

    Perhaps the Europeans can explain how a few short years ago with national health care the French had thousands die in a heat wave?

    The answer to this question begins in the soot spewing mills of Manchester in Charles Dickens’ era, and continues on to the coal fires of the Appalachians, the LA Freeways, the destruction of the Amazon Rainforest, and the dense filth hanging in the skies over Beijing. The short answer, Mike, is that conservatives refuse to acknowledge that short term gain isn’t worth long term destruction – and they never will, for the same reason that armed robbers tend to end up back in prison after they are paroled.

    Oh, and also because many elderly Europeans didn’t think they needed air conditioning, because it had never been that hot in their lifetimes.

  7. X Stryker says:

    First point, no one should be overly concerned with what Europe thinks.

    Second point, no one should be overly concerned with what Mike Protack thinks. The man is a loon and a failure and yet he keeps coming back for more.

  8. Sorry, but in many ways the few intelligent things on this site come from my direction. Delaware Liberal is obsessed with me.

    You again miss the point because you engage your mouth and forget your brain.

    Europe has universal care but it is not care Americans would be satisfied with in any way. They have been able to have large social programs because they punted on defense. The idea that air conditioner ownership trumps a good health care system is lunacy. The French flat out failed their citizens yet you defend them while you blame all of Katrina on Bush and forget the clueless Governor and Mayor.

    As for health care restrictions you are correct and Obama would make it worse. Insurance should not be tied to your employer as it limits your choices. The plan we had for Universal Care, Delacare provided for competition among insurance companies and did away with HMO’s , PPO’s and all of the other terrible acronyms.

    You guys need some research assistants to beef up your ideas and statements.

    Mike Protack

  9. anon says:

    Mike Protack is the straw that stirs the drink.

  10. cassandra_m says:

    If you are claiming that a lack of air conditioning is a health care problem, you have no business impugning anyone’s intelligence, Mr. Shallow Bench.

  11. anon2 says:

    Protack your knowledge about anything I could put in a thimble. Europe went to the single payer system after WW2 when they were all broke from their world wars. They have the best health care systems in the world, their people live longer. Even the lunatic Lou Dobbs who did a story on many of those european countries including Japan had to eventually come around to a single payer system. The people who most hated their system was Germany. Germany has a non profit system, but their people want to change it to a single payer system as other countries have.

    If Obama and the Democratic Congress (who have been given millions to keep the Public Option off the table, there is no reason to support it. What they are offering is similiar to the financial bankster bail out, only this time its the insurance company bailout.

    The idea of “co-ops” is DOA. They could only find two places in the US that had a co-op plan and neither of them were registered, licensed or tested.

    We must let the dems loose on this this. Let more jobs go overseas, more people die, let the insurance companies continue to raise their premiums, let the drug companies continue to make 1000% profit, let the country go bankrupt behind all that…and the majority will be welcoming single payer. If the feds cant do it, forget it. The action will be in the States. One by one the States will go bankrupt and forced to change the health care delivery system in their states. California is a prime example. While the legislature sent two single payer bills to the Guvinator he refused to sign on. Now that state is throwing out people who need medicaid, need hospice care, need home health care workers, have prisons overflowing and rioting. Jerry Brown will run for Governor, a big supporter of single payer. As happened in Canada, all we need is one state to enact it, and other states will see the savings, the coverage of everyone, and they too will go for it.

  12. let the drug companies continue to make 1000% profit

    R AND D ISN’T FREEE!!!!!!!! WAAAAAHHHHHHHHHH

  13. anon2 says:

    Xstryker: the french died in a freakin heat wave cuz they didnt have air conditioning. It happened in the summer when most were on vacation. Has nothing to do with the fact that French love their health care system, and they live much longer than the dumbed down stupid americans.

  14. Ingrid from Wiesbaden says:

    Oh, in Europa we can’t choose our doctors? I am German, and I can choose any physician I want, in my city or in another town, if there is a better specialist there. There are few physicians who are not “panel doctors”, usually because they lost their accreditation due to embezzlement and the like, or they are cosmetic surgeons.
    I would not exchange our – far from perfect – system for the third-world non-coverage you have in the US. I used to live in the States, I had a Green Card, I had a job, but the non-existing healthcare system, barely any paid vacations (I have thirty working days a year here – eat your heart out!)compelled me leave the USA, and I have not regretted it for one day. Besides: our cities are not as hot as US cities because there is not so much air conditioning heating up the streets and the environment. Many Americans appear brain-washed to me. “Freedom’s just another word for nothing left to lose” is what comes to my mind.

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