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Chris in Chicago

Great topic Dave. I am self employed and have seen my premiums go up 10-15% every year. You are exactly right that people dont have health insurance because they cant afford it. The average person in this country who makes 25k a year cant afford 8k for health insurance.

I am fast approaching the fiscal cliff were i can no longer afford it either.


Dave - On this topic, I have a gem to share with you from the Olde Countrie, a.k.a. the UK.

Since 1948, we have had a National Health Service - funded from general taxation* - that provides medical treatment free of charge at the point of supply. Guess what? It is right now being rapidly dismantled because - wait for it - the geniuses in the coalition government admire the US system of medical care!

Creepy Etonian David Cameron has just appointed a smiling chappie by the name of Jeremy Hunt as Secretary of State for Health, who is particularly enamored with your healthcare. If you know Cockney rhyming slang, you can guess what his name has now come to mean.

Richard Branson - the golden boy of British entrepreneurialism with his Virgin Empire - is hugely tarnished by collaborating with the government in this privatization process, which is in fact an exercise in giving him and his super-rich cronies a license to print money at the ailing public's expense.

Soon, as in the USA, citizens will need to be wealthy to get medical care, which is in essence a Darwinian cull-the-weak process so favored by the fascists that pervade most of the political parties and plutocrats on both sides of the Atlantic.

Anglo-Saxon comes in handy here. Fuck 'em all.

* mostly paid for by the highly taxed, financially stretched middle class, because the rich evade almost all their taxes.

J. Drew

Well, In 2000, the last year the World Health Organization ranked countries healthcare systems, the united states ranked 37th in the world, which is probably a lot closer to what it's "real" rank is than #2, which is just crazy. They apparently don't rank countries anymore because it's "too complicated", however the conspiracy theorist in me suspects certain first world countries that provide the WHO its funding just didn't want to see their names down their in the thirties anymore. Although I am not an American and have no personal experience with your healthcare system, but I suspect if you only looked at the quality of care given to those who can afford it, and ignore the fact that 50 million people don't have access to this care, the U.S. healthcare system may well be #2- albeit with a a hell of an asterisk next to that number.

J. Drew

Here's a link to the page at the Legatum institutes webpage explaining their methodology for ranking heath. See if you can find the flaws! http://www.prosperity.com/Subindexes-5.aspx

Dave Cohen

@J Drew

We're Number 37!!!

Or at least we were in 2000. The Commonwealth Fund ranked us against six other developed countries two years ago. And I quote--

New York, NY, June 23, 2010—Despite having the most expensive health care system, the United States ranks last overall compared to six other industrialized countries—Australia, Canada, Germany, the Netherlands, New Zealand, and the United Kingdom—on measures of health system performance in five areas: quality, efficiency, access to care, equity and the ability to lead long, healthy, productive lives, according to a new Commonwealth Fund report. While there is room for improvement in every country, the U.S. stands out for not getting good value for its health care dollars, ranking last despite spending $7,290 per capita on health care in 2007 compared to the $3,837 spent per capita in the Netherlands, which ranked first overall.


-- Dave

Don Levit

As I understand the PPACA, policyholders (family or individual) are to get back each year 80 cents for every dollar of premium paid. If they get back less, the insurance company is supposed to send them a refund.
Refunds could be $8,000. Could people use that money for trips?
Don Levit

J. Drew

Believe it or not I am pretty sure It is that high per capita expenditure that got the U.S. It's number 2 spot on the Legatum Institute list. By the looks of it their most important variable was how much a country spent on healthcare, and they didn't bother to weight that number against the appropriate variables like the Commonwealth Fund did. I guess this is what happens if you believe economists are qualified to rank healthcare systems.

Mike Roberts

Talking of type 2 diabetes, here's an interesting talk on Sugar: The Bitter Truth.

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