US people pay more for health care, die sooner than people in other developed countries


In that being part of the 'ocracy means you must have merit


I’m gonna have to sharpy disagree. I don’t want family members to die when they could get better treatment for their illnesses and I don’t want them to go bankrupt trying to get good care. I also don’t want to have to spend so much ever year and still have to pay for almost EVERYTHING out of pocket. I want a healthcare system that is centered around human beings, not the bottom lines of the insurance companies. As @PatRx2 indicates, these are not problems without solutions and blaming the American public for all these problems isn’t any sort of a solution. The problem is the political will to fix these problems in a way that’s cost effective and that saves more lives. Those solutions do exist.


When 60-70 percent of Americans rate their health coverage and the quality of care they receive as “good” or “excellent”

this is not exactly the sort of environment in which the political will for massive systemic change is going to thrive. I stand by my comments.




Well, there’s an interesting single payer plan on the ballot in Colorado next month. The numbers seem to be grounded in reality, and Colorado has a reasonably intelligent and balanced electorate.

I’m more than willing to see how it works out as a pilot project. That’s a great reason for having, you know, fifty states.

The quick brown fox jumps over the lazy dog

If only another country had tried single payer… Then we could compare our system to theirs and see what’s working.


I too hope it works out and will be interested in what @Cowicide has to say about it, if it does. It would be nice if things passed in one state and were seen as models for others to take on, but given how divided we are as a nation, I don’t see that happening.

But once again, the political will, as it stands doesn’t exist to make this a national program, which is what it needs to be, IMO. What we have is broken. If my aunt’s partner, who has worked in health care (and currently teaches it) for longer than I’ve been alive can’t navigate the system we have, something is deeply and fundamentally wrong.

[ETA] and I have to agree with @thirdworldtaxi here. This is not an untried or untested model, but how much of the rest of the developed world uses regularly. We know it works already, but you know… that old canard of fear of socialism.


Super interesting thread.

Are America’s stats influenced by the fact that we have a large population of poor that don’t receive good care or do well with self care (poverty issue)?


Got 50 years worth of pilot project data up North. Medicare (universal in our case) was introduced here in 1966. Even got different ways of dealing with it - the Medicare Act was federal, and the funding and standards are federal, but the implementations are all provincial. Nice having 10 large provinces to work with…


It will. I live in a country that has one. Saw it happen.


Wow. This is good information. Do you know, or have an opinion, about whether those same procedures would have been considered “medically necessary” under private insurance plans? I have been in the position many times of fighting private insurers on stuff like this and have always thought they routinely deny needed care a lot more often than medicare – after all, they have a profit incentive to deny care, while medicare does not have the same profit incentive.


I’m a member of the American public and this does not speak for me. What I want is: the care me and my family the care we need to survive and to fix any fixable medical problems, without threatening us with bankruptcy. I have often waited months for procedures for myself or my family. As long as it doesn’t threaten my health, I’m fine with it. I have, however, been the subject of enough medical bills wrongly denied by insurance companies that they threatened to bankrupt my family, as they have done to so many hundreds of thousands of other Americans.


This is a totally misleading description of EMTALA, often repeated by conservatives. EMTALA does NOT MEAN FREE HEALTH CARE.

After they treat you at the ER, they will bill you. And they will bill you the highest possible rate. And then they will send their collections company after you. And then they will get a default judgment.

SO YES, contrary to your assertions, you DO have to consider whether you have the money before you go to the ER, and Americans are avoiding necessary care because of the well-founded fear that they will end up among the 35% of bankruptcies that are caused by medical bills – including bills incurred by visits to the ER pursuant to EMTALA.


Yes, but don’t assume you know who the poor actually are.

Remote Area Medical:

The organization has provided $33,079,038 worth of free health care to 357,368 patients with the help of 36,675 volunteers since its inception. Approximately two-thirds of this total is in the USA.


Please do not condescend to me. I’m damn well aware of the EMTALA and its consequences. It does not protect me from financial liability for emergency treatment, only (theoretically) ensures I can get appropriate emergency medical attention before payment is discussed.

In my 3AM fit I was weighing whether I could afford to pay for the visit AFTER getting care. I determined I couldn’t if I wanted to have food and medication this month.


Two general types, rural and urban dense, or are there others? I don’t know which population is larger or has more acute issues, but seems like it also ties in the with sort of odd morbidly obese poor category that has blossomed in the USA.

Thanks for the pointer to RAM, everytime I hear about Drs w/o borders I wonder about our own internal US programs…and now I know more about one.


At least as far as the hospital I work with, this is utter bullcrap.

Patients who are not insured get a discount from charges that is equivalent to the same discount that commercial payers get. This is usually 50 percent. Unless their income is below a sliding scale threshold of $23,000 for a single person to $80,000 for a family of 8. If it’s below that threshold, the care they get is free. That’s free, as in beer.

Now I can’t post the entire policy here because (a) it would run five pages of text, and (b) they don’t know I’m talking about them here. But I’ll challenge you. Name the best hospital in your community. I’ll do my darndest to locate their charity care/uninsured discount policy and link to it. If it does not offer a major discount from the “highest possible rate”, I’ll do public obeisance to your opinions here on the board.


See my reply to dan7000 immediately above. What hospital in your community would you want to go to if you thought you were having a heart attack tonight? Let’s check out their discount policy.


Irrelevant to what I posted. I said people have to make a tradeoff between going to the ER and deciding if they can pay for it. You said “But no, EMTALA!!!” I said EMTALA does not have anything to do with whether you pay, which is 100% true. I can find the law for you and you can show me where it says that the care is free. You posted a bunch of irrelevant stuff about how some hospitals provide charity care for some patients who can read and interpret at least 5 pages of legal terminology and then PROVE that they have incomes within the level. Generally this comes AFTER the patient has been already billed and threatened, and often only if the patient knows to ask for it. But regardless, it’s irrelevant to patients who do not qualify or cannot prove they qualify or don’t read english etc etc etc. And it is irrelevant to my point, which is that EMTALA does not mean you get free care.

Also, if your only response to the need for healthcare reform in the US is “but sometimes you can get charity!” then you might as well not respond.

And finally, I personally have been billed many times by ERs and I did not get “the same discount commercial insurers get.” If everyone gets the discount, then why is it called a discount?? Are you seriously contending that nobody ever gets billed the non-discounted rate? Because I have tens of thousands of dollars of ER bills that beg to differ.