ObamaCare...coming soon

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Submitted by meadandale on July 16, 2009 - 11:48am

Seems like modeling our system after the Canadians should be a great idea...

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=q2jijuj1ysw

Submitted by Veritas on July 16, 2009 - 12:33pm.
Submitted by luchabee on July 16, 2009 - 12:33pm.

Entertaining video. It can't be that bad in Canada . . . is it?

Submitted by DWCAP on July 16, 2009 - 2:22pm.

I am guessing that the care in Canada is as crappy as some would make it seem, same as the care in the USA is as awsome as some would make it seem. If you have $$$$$, american health care is great. If you dont then you are left to the vulgarities of your own luck. If you compare them to the 'dying in waiting room' treatment some Amercians recieve they look awsome. If you compare them to the 'House MD' care we see on TV (and like to think we would get) then they obviously suck.

The only way to fill a deep hole is to level a near by mountain. The only question no one has answered is who's mountain is gonna get leveled.

Submitted by an on July 16, 2009 - 2:37pm.

DWCAP, do you have or know anyone who have first hand experience with Canadian health care? I do. It's a family friend's son. Here's his story: their son (little kid) was constantly having leg pain for awhile... bad enough that it would wake him up at night screaming. They went to the emergency 3-4 times when the pain occur. They didn't do any major test and told them to stop coming back until something major happen. The family demanded a blood test after waiting for a long while and their son still have the pain. After running the tests and blood work, they found out he have cancer and it has spread to his body. He's now living on feeding tube. Hearing stories like this makes even Kaiser look good. These are middle class family too.

Submitted by air_ogi on July 16, 2009 - 3:30pm.

How is this worse than what we have in US?

If you go to emergency room in San Diego, you will wait 4 hours easily.

On top of that, if you don't have insurance, you will get a $1000+ bill. Even if you have insurance, you are going to get a smaller bill.

Submitted by an on July 16, 2009 - 3:40pm.

I rather get a large bill than die or get my legs chopped off.

4-6 hours wait if there is trauma patient. They take precedent. I went to urgent care in Torrey Pine a few months ago and no one was there. I was the only patient, so I went in immediately. Although, it was ~11PM.

If you don't have insurance, Hospital can't turn you away. They have to treat you. If you tell them, they'll work with you. They have an uninsured fund.

Submitted by SDEngineer on July 16, 2009 - 4:04pm.

AN wrote:
I rather get a large bill than die or get my legs chopped off.

4-6 hours wait if there is trauma patient. They take precedent. I went to urgent care in Torrey Pine a few months ago and no one was there. I was the only patient, so I went in immediately. Although, it was ~11PM.

If you don't have insurance, Hospital can't turn you away. They have to treat you. If you tell them, they'll work with you. They have an uninsured fund.

Which, of course, is paid for by higher premiums on insured folks, and the remainder picked up by the US Government.

However, comparing "Obamacare" to Canada's healthcare system is a bad comparison. Canada's healthcare system is entirely government run.

A better comparison would be to Germany's healthcare system (or, for that matter, most of the healthcare systems in Europe). In those healthcare systems, private healthcare insurance providers compete with the government's last resort healthcare insurance. In most cases, this leads to a very effective healthcare system (wait times in Europe are comparable to US wait times for all but elective surgeries - but at a cost half to 2/3rds of what ours costs per capita).

Theres a few reasons for this:

1) We currently do subsidize the poor, young, and ill who cannot get insurance on their own - but we do it in the worst possible way, treating emergencies as they arise in the most expensive setting (the ER), as opposed to providing preventative care which is far less expensive, in a significantly less expensive setting (the Dr's office).

2) Private insurance agencies are, of course, profit motivated. Ergo, they have motivation to cut corners in your healthcare. I worked at a private insurance agency once before - there is an entire division of folks who do nothing but scrutinize their most expensive claims to find ANY reason at all to deny coverage (and that's not even mentioning that for something really expensive, the "stop loss" clause will get triggered and you'll find that the insurance company just stopped paying the bills.

The advantage of a private/public insurance system should be obvious - the government run insurance system provides coverage to those not able to afford the private insurance, and also provides the private system with competition, both for quality and cost of service. And costs in general should fall due to those folks who previously weren't insured no longer seeking emergency care in as large numbers, and being able to instead have far less expensive preventative care to stop them from becoming ill in the first place.

Submitted by CA renter on July 16, 2009 - 4:08pm.

AN wrote:
I rather get a large bill than die or get my legs chopped off.

4-6 hours wait if there is trauma patient. They take precedent. I went to urgent care in Torrey Pine a few months ago and no one was there. I was the only patient, so I went in immediately. Although, it was ~11PM.

If you don't have insurance, Hospital can't turn you away. They have to treat you. If you tell them, they'll work with you. They have an uninsured fund.

AN,

There are many, many stories just like that right here in the U.S.

My mother was from Austria, and the health care system over there (socialist) was FAR superior to anything we have here.

One thing I will say is this: you cannot have a well-functioning socialist system if you have open borders and uncontrolled immigration from much poorer countries. It is destroying many of the systems over there just as it's done over here.

Submitted by Arraya on July 16, 2009 - 4:13pm.

15,000-20,000 people losing health care a day

50% of the hospitals running in the red

Train wreck #1001

Submitted by Allan from Fallbrook on July 16, 2009 - 4:13pm.

SDE: Good post with good information. I used to work with a large insurance broker (same one that just renamed Sears Tower) and I'm familiar with all of the tricks the insurance companies pull to either deny or delay payment or just generally screw with your coverage.

You're also absolutely right about ER treatment. Versus any sort of programmatic care, the costs are obscene. In many instances, where the injury isn't an emergency, uninsured folks are using the ER the way insured people are using a regular doctor's office.

The European programs seem to work well and are fairly robust. Even England's NHS seems to be a good program, albeit a government run program.

Submitted by DWCAP on July 16, 2009 - 4:25pm.

AN,

I dont know anyone in Canada personally, so no I dont have first person knowledge of Canada health misteps. But I am sure someone on this board can tell us an equally horrible story about the American health systerm.

Hell, I can tell you one similar! I had to go to a buddy of mines little sisters funerial, she died of sepsis when she was 14. Parents were upper middle class, mom was a nurse. They went on vacation to the snow and she got sick. Mom took her in, they diagnosed her with the flu, and sent her home. Mom knew something was up and took here back time and again in the next few days.(I dont know the exact timeline) and time and again they said "flu" even though she was a very sick person and mom is a nurse, she kinda knows SICK from 'standard flu'.

Anyways her kidneys and liver shut down and she died, cause they didnt want to give her anti-biotics for the flu and didnt want to do any tests for anything else like sepsis.

My point was that as usual, the truth is somewhere between the extreams of Obama's promises of universal great health care (for free to the average american to boot!), and the predictions of doom for all.

Submitted by an on July 16, 2009 - 4:27pm.

SDEngineer, I'm not comparing it against Canadian system. I'm just stating what the Canadian system is like from people who actually uses it. I can't tell you what ObamaCare would be like until it happens.

CA renter, I totally agree that you can't implement ObamaCare when you have open boarder. Stories like that happening here in the US would result in law suit and doctors losing their licenses. Of course there are different level of care, even in the US. That's why I specifically mentioned Kaiser. I heard many horror stories from them too. I've seen first hand experience how Kaiser treats their patients vs other Hospitals, like Scripps and Sharps. You do get what you paid for, with regards to comparing private hospital vs private hospital. Why do you think health insurance is more expensive if you wan the option to go to Scripps network?

What is it about the Austrian health care system that make it FAR superior to ours? Please explain.

Submitted by an on July 16, 2009 - 4:35pm.

DWCAP wrote:

My point was that as usual, the truth is somewhere between the extreams of Obama's promises of universal great health care (for free to the average american to boot!), and the predictions of doom for all.

I totally agree with this. The truth is somewhere in the middle. Although your example is similar, the time frame is quite different. In order for cancer to spread throughout your body, it would take at least a few months. While, sepsis, seems to have a fairly quick spread rate. I agree though, that malpractice happens everywhere. As I said in my previous post, different hospital have different level of care. Kaiser vs Scripps/Sharp for example is huge difference.

The question is, does other countries have the same law suit friendly environment as they do there? That alone would increase health care cost considerably.

Submitted by air_ogi on July 16, 2009 - 4:46pm.

AN wrote:
I rather get a large bill than die or get my legs chopped off.

4-6 hours wait if there is trauma patient. They take precedent. I went to urgent care in Torrey Pine a few months ago and no one was there. I was the only patient, so I went in immediately. Although, it was ~11PM.

If you don't have insurance, Hospital can't turn you away. They have to treat you. If you tell them, they'll work with you. They have an uninsured fund.

Most of urgent care facilities have limited hours, just like one in Canada.

If hospital treats me and I don't pay, other patients will pick up my tab. That is pretty much completely ineffective socialized medicine.

Other than your anecdote, there is very little evidence that US hospitals treat patients better than equivalent ones in Canada.

And finally, 82 per cent of Canadians believe their system is superior to US.

Submitted by an on July 16, 2009 - 5:00pm.

air_ogi wrote:

Most of urgent care facilities have limited hours, just like one in Canada.

Limited hours is not the same as taking the weekend off. How many urgent care do you know that have the weekend off?

air_ogi wrote:
If hospital treats me and I don't pay, other patients will pick up my tab. That is pretty much completely ineffective socialized medicine.

Yes, that sucks and ineffective. We must fix this issue. Right now, there are a lot less doctors who want to be primary care physicians, since they don't get paid very much. So everybody specialized. How about allow NP & MA to offload some of those stress?

air_ogi wrote:
Other than your anecdote, there is very little evidence that US hospitals treat patients better than equivalent ones in Canada.

Anecdote is all I got. Do you have better data from independent sources?

air_ogi wrote:

And finally, 82 per cent of Canadians believe their system is superior to US.

How many American think our system is better than Canadians? How many Republicans think their ideal is better than Democrats'? How many Democrats think their ideal is better than Republicans'? How many American comes to Canada to get treated vs how many Canadian comes to America to get treated?

Submitted by Borat on July 16, 2009 - 5:10pm.

US should adopt Kazakhstan health care system. In Kazakhstan we have privatize health care provide by barber in each village. He performs bleedings and if necessary can call in a specialist (priest) for exorcism. When patients are unable to pay in Kazakh doleks (cash) they are arrested and made slave until debt is paid. It is a very efficient system! I highly recommend for US.

Submitted by Coronita on July 16, 2009 - 5:25pm.

Borat wrote:
US should adopt Kazakhstan health care system. In Kazakhstan we have privatize health care provide by barber in each village. He performs bleedings and if necessary can call in a specialist (priest) for exorcism. When patients are unable to pay in Kazakh doleks (cash) they are arrested and made slave until debt is paid. It is a very efficient system! I highly recommend for US.

rotfl!

Submitted by stuegreen on July 16, 2009 - 6:12pm.

I've been reading this board for a long time, but never posted anything, however the health care debate is something I can't stop myself from chiming in on.

I am Canadian and have been in SD for 8 years, my wife got transferred from the Canadian sub of a large multinational.

The propaganda in this country regarding the Canadian health care system is amazing and so wrong. The Canadian system is not perfect, that is for sure. Rural areas are under served. More doctors are needed, but that is the same everywhere. My wife's doctor moved to Phoenix, and it took her 6 months to get an appointment with a new doctor here in San Diego. It's no different here.

I can tell you from personal experience that this is ridiculous.
1. I had chest pains, went to a general practitioner (I didn't have a regular doctor) and got in an hour. He did a few tests there and then set up 3 other cardiac tests for me (equipment he didn't have in his office), eco, stress tests and something else, all were done within 48 hours (that was my choice, I had other things to do). He also referred me to a cardiac specialist, I was able to see him within a few weeks.
2. My wife and I were in Toronto 2 weeks ago, the day we arrived she wasn't feeling well, so she went to see a doctor there. We are both Canadian, but since we are not resident we don't have coverage there. She got in to see a doctor within 15 minutes and it cost her $60. Her co-pay down here would have been $30 or $35 here.
3. My aunt was diagnosed with Leukemia a month ago. She hadn't seen a doctor in years (her choice), but wasn't feeling well, so she went to see a doctor who ran some quick tests and called an ambulance right there and she was rushed to the top Cancer hospital in Toronto and had treatment that day. A month later (and 2 bouts of chemo) she is in remission (I was told today).

Now, the income tax issue. Well, I calculated the tax burden that we pay here in SD and compare it to what we would pay in Toronto (based on taxes this year) and wouldn't you know it, the taxes paid (not rate, dollars) is basically the same.

All I can say is I love living here in California, but the medical system in this country is out of control. Everyone talks like this guy in the video until they get sick and are bankrupt. I don't know how things are ever going to change in this country, but they must. The biggest problem from my perspective is the premise of health care here. All the discussions in the US start with health care is a business, and I absolutely reject that.

The biggest issue I see standing in the way of change is that the people who can bring change, the politicians have free health care for life. They are never personally burdened by the costs of health care like the rest of the population.

I don't think Obama's plan is going to work. It is not addressing the systemic issues in the system that have to be changed first. Ironically, Bill O'Reilly had a better plan that he discussed today on the Factor.

Submitted by air_ogi on July 16, 2009 - 6:00pm.

AN wrote:

Limited hours is not the same as taking the weekend off. How many urgent care do you know that have the weekend off?

I've seen many urgent care centers in Canada that work over weekends. I am sure I could find one in US that doesn't work over the weekend.

AN wrote:

How many American think our system is better than Canadians? How many Republicans think their ideal is better than Democrats'? How many Democrats think their ideal is better than Republicans'? How many American comes to Canada to get treated vs how many Canadian comes to America to get treated?

Looks like at most 47% Americans prefer our system, even after all the scare tactics from big pharma and AMA.
http://tpmdc.talkingpointsmemo.com/2009/...

Submitted by GH on July 16, 2009 - 7:50pm.

I am concerned that leaving control over health care in the hands of profit motivated corporations is like leaving financial control of our country in the hands of profit motivated bankers.

When I was young and we had little money we were able to obtain decent treatment at the local community clinics in the area. They provided good service on an ability to pay scale, so for us that usually meant around $25 for an office visit and some tests.

In recent years many of these have had to close due to loss of funding or substantially raise their fees to the point they serve little purpose.

The cost of funding these programs would be minuscule in comparison to the Obama plan and would effectively get medical treatment to those unable to afford insurance or the high cost of private care.

One thing that has not been thought through is the simple fact that even the "rich" are getting hammered by the current economic downturn and despite tax increases, overall revenues will continue to collapse. Further demanding small business pay will definitely result in a lot of layoffs, thus creating more unemployed, more who qualify for the greatest level of aid and less tax revenue. This seems to be the unintended consequence of this plan. As this occurs, tax increases will have no choice to go where the real money is - what is left of our middle class here in the US.

Submitted by SDEngineer on July 16, 2009 - 8:44pm.

AN wrote:

Anecdote is all I got. Do you have better data from independent sources?

Here's the most comprehensive comparison of several first world healthcare systems I could find online.

http://www.commonwealthfund.org/usr_doc/...

You'll note some surprising findings. One is that we lead the countries in most categories of medical errors, and our doctors provide in general the least amount of information to patients on their treatments and potential side effects thereof.

We are also on top of the list for patients who missed treatments or didn't buy presciptions due to cost related issues.

Our cost per capita for healthcare is just about double all the other countries compared ($6102 per person per year, vs. $2k-3k per person per year - highest surveyed other than us was $3165).

The only country where it was more difficult to get in to see a doctor either same or next day was Canada (47% same or next day in the US - 36% in Canada, 81% in NZ, 69% in Germany, 66% in Australia, and 51% in the UK). 23% reported taking 6 days or longer to see a doctor (again, 2nd only to Canada). We were the worst at being able to see a doctor on nights, weekends, and holidays without having to go to an ER.

One of the few measurements which we did well in was in relatively fast access to specialists for sicker adults (2nd, Germany was best) and access for elective (non urgent) surgeries (2nd again to Germany).

6% of Germans had to go to the ER for a condition which could have been treated by a normal office visit. 26% of Americans did (the European nations averaged around 12%).

Submitted by SDEngineer on July 16, 2009 - 8:48pm.

doublepost

Submitted by an on July 16, 2009 - 9:45pm.

SDEngineer, very informative study. Thanks for the link. The biggest thing that stands out to me is, we're in desperate need to modernizing our health care system. A lot of these errors that's being reported can be fixed if everything is computerized. A lot of the result are pretty similar between countries. We're doing something right and some things are lacking. I agree we're not perfect.

Submitted by SDEngineer on July 16, 2009 - 11:38pm.

AN wrote:
SDEngineer, very informative study. Thanks for the link. The biggest thing that stands out to me is, we're in desperate need to modernizing our health care system. A lot of these errors that's being reported can be fixed if everything is computerized. A lot of the result are pretty similar between countries. We're doing something right and some things are lacking. I agree we're not perfect.

Very true observation that we're stuck in the 20th century where most other countries have moved into the 21st as regards medical care, and no doubt bringing us into the 21st century would help some in both improving quality of care and controlling costs.

However, the study does make one thing crystal clear - a socialized healthcare system will not by its very nature destroy the quality of healthcare in the U.S., despite what the private insurance companies (profits up nearly 500% over the past 10 years, as mergers and aquisitions have reduced the number of major players to less than 10 major insurors) are claiming in the mass media. Clearly, socialized medicine is capable of working, and working at a quality level at least as good as what our completly privatized system does today - and at a substantial savings.

Submitted by an on July 16, 2009 - 11:46pm.

SDEngineer wrote:

However, the study does make one thing crystal clear - a socialized healthcare system will not by its very nature destroy the quality of healthcare in the U.S., despite what the private insurance companies (profits up nearly 500% over the past 10 years, as mergers and aquisitions have reduced the number of major players to less than 10 major insurors) are claiming in the mass media. Clearly, socialized medicine is capable of working, and working at a quality level at least as good as what our completly privatized system does today - and at a substantial savings.

Like I've said in earlier post, I think the truth is somewhere between the two extreme. It's not Utopia like some would like us to believe and it won't kill health care like others like us to believe. I'm fine with private/public system that compete with each other to provide us a service. Kind of like the shipping system we have today. Although we have USPS, we still have FedEx and UPS. They all have their place and they all are competing for our shipping business. Mailing letter is defaulted to USPS, but all other shipping needs, we have choices. One thing I hope they won't do is taxing me (the employee) if my employer decide to offer me a killer health benefit plan.

Submitted by SDEngineer on July 16, 2009 - 11:55pm.

AN wrote:

Like I've said in earlier post, I think the truth is somewhere between the two extreme. It's not Utopia like some would like us to believe and it won't kill health care like others like us to believe. I'm fine with private/public system that compete with each other to provide us a service. Kind of like the shipping system we have today. Although we have USPS, we still have FedEx and UPS. They all have their place and they all are competing for our shipping business. Mailing letter is defaulted to USPS, but all other shipping needs, we have choices. One thing I hope they won't do is taxing me (the employee) if my employer decide to offer me a killer health benefit plan.

And this is exactly what is being proposed - a public plan which will compete as a not for profit alternative to the private insurors.

The advantages should be clear - the private insurors will now have an incentive to reduce costs and expand coverages, which is the exact opposite of their incentives today. Insurance companies have no incentives to control costs today, since they can pass any expenses directly on to their consumers (which, of course they have been doing), and still take their 15% on every transaction, while making every attempt (frequently successful) to decline coverage on any medical expenses that would lead to significant losses on their part. Health plans today are far more restrictive on benefits than they were even 10 years ago - because we're essentially a captive market to a relatively small group of insurors who all have the same profit motive, and that group is relatively immune to competition, because of the extremely high barrier of entry to competitors (it's not like you or I could decide to found a healthcare insurance agency to compete with them).

Submitted by an on July 17, 2009 - 12:11am.

SDEngineer wrote:

And this is exactly what is being proposed - a public plan which will compete as a not for profit alternative to the private insurors.

The advantages should be clear - the private insurors will now have an incentive to reduce costs and expand coverages, which is the exact opposite of their incentives today. Insurance companies have no incentives to control costs today, since they can pass any expenses directly on to their consumers (which, of course they have been doing), and still take their 15% on every transaction, while making every attempt (frequently successful) to decline coverage on any medical expenses that would lead to significant losses on their part. Health plans today are far more restrictive on benefits than they were even 10 years ago - because we're essentially a captive market to a relatively small group of insurors who all have the same profit motive, and that group is relatively immune to competition, because of the extremely high barrier of entry to competitors (it's not like you or I could decide to found a healthcare insurance agency to compete with them).


It's a fine line. I hope they pull it off. They didn't reference Germany or other European country in their example of universal health care, but they reference Canada A LOT. I just hope they don't go to that extreme. One huge difference between us vs everyone else is malpractice insurance. Here in the US, we can sue for almost anything. A doctor career can be destroyed by 1-2 lawsuit. That in itself contribute to the huge cost. That's also one of the many reasons why 90% of med students decide to go into specialized area instead of general practice.

Sorry, I never have to look for health insurance. My employers have always provided that to me. So, it's not the question of who should I choose but more a long the line of, PPO vs HMO. My health care insurance is better today than it was 6 years ago because the employer decided to give a really good plan. My out of pocket either stayed the same or went down (don't remember exactly).

Submitted by CA renter on July 17, 2009 - 12:35am.

AN wrote:

What is it about the Austrian health care system that make it FAR superior to ours? Please explain.

One example would be my mom's best friend who had to have hip replacement surgery. In Austria, she got the surgery and had a longer hospital stay than U.S. counterparts (a good thing, no matter what they try to tell us), then was sent to a rehab facility (again, an in-patient facility) that is more like a spa, with special pools and massage therapies, etc. Essentially, they believe in a more holistic approach; and rather than send someone home the same day or day after a major procedure, they actually try to **heal** the patient, and make sure they are able to take care of themselves at home. We do no such thing here.

Another benefit of socialized medicine is that people can move freely between employers and careers. For example, my husband and I would like to start a business, but can't because we'd lose the health benefits provided by his current employer. Socialized medicine would allow labor to move where it is most effective, and would enable our employers to be more competitive with foreign employers who do not have the burden of insuring their employees and the related "legacy costs."

One more thing... A for-profit healthcare system is only profitable when people are sick. There is no incentive to **cure** people, only to "treat" them with expensive medicines and procedures. Ideally, from the perspective of a for-profit healthcare provider, the perfect patient is one who is chronically ill and requires medicine and treatments for an entire lifetime.

A socialized system has an incentive to **cure,** because the entire goal of socialized medicine is to make people healthy, irrespective of any other (profit) considerations.

---------------------

More general statements about their socialized government:

The Austrians pay about the same amount in taxes that we do, and get 12-18 months **paid** maternity leave (combination of govt/employer-paid, with one year full pay and 6 months half pay, IIRC).

They get very effective healthcare which will not bankrupt them.

They also get a pension when they retire.

They do not have the disparate levels of wealth that we have, and, generally-speaking, everyone is taken care of. Certainly nobody can take issue with the German or Austrian work ethic, either. The whole boogeyman of "everyone will be lazy" is nonsense.

Submitted by CA renter on July 17, 2009 - 12:53am.

More (sorry)...

We pay the most per capita for healthcare:

http://www.nationmaster.com/graph/hea_he...

Have the highest total expenditure on health as a percentage of GDP:

http://www.nationmaster.com/graph/hea_to...

But are #22 for "healthy" life expectancy:

http://www.nationmaster.com/graph/hea_li...

#47 for average life expectancy at birth:

http://www.nationmaster.com/graph/hea_li...

http://www.nationmaster.com/graph/hea_li...

We're #1!!! ;) We have the highest levels of obesity:

http://www.nationmaster.com/graph/hea_ob...

Highest teen pregnancies:

http://www.nationmaster.com/graph/hea_te...

9th highest rate of death from cancer:

http://www.nationmaster.com/graph/hea_de...

Not even on the list of top 19 countries rated for "overall health performance"

http://www.nationmaster.com/graph/hea_ov...

----------------------

Essentially, there is no truth to the notion that the for-profit, U.S. healthcare system is superior to a socialist healthcare system.

If anyone has any evidence to the contrary, I'd like to see it.

Submitted by SDEngineer on July 17, 2009 - 12:54am.

AN wrote:

It's a fine line. I hope they pull it off. They didn't reference Germany or other European country in their example of universal health care, but they reference Canada A LOT. I just hope they don't go to that extreme. One huge difference between us vs everyone else is malpractice insurance. Here in the US, we can sue for almost anything. A doctor career can be destroyed by 1-2 lawsuit. That in itself contribute to the huge cost. That's also one of the many reasons why 90% of med students decide to go into specialized area instead of general practice.

Sorry, I never have to look for health insurance. My employers have always provided that to me. So, it's not the question of who should I choose but more a long the line of, PPO vs HMO. My health care insurance is better today than it was 6 years ago because the employer decided to give a really good plan. My out of pocket either stayed the same or went down (don't remember exactly).

Are you sure it's not just the naysayers who are referencing Canada?

BTW, on the malpractice thing - my father is a MD (still practicing). Malpractice is an occupational hazard - it does not ruin an MD's career unless it's very extreme. All MD's carry hefty malpractice insurance (btw, specialists, not GP's are the most frequently sued). Most MD's are sued several times during their career for malpractice. Yes, some of the extreme abuses need to be curtailed (and in many states, like CA, they already are), but it's largely overblown. The average MD spends less than 5% of their salary on malpractice insurance. Curtailing malpractice clearly would not even come close to closing the cost gap between our healthcare system and other developed nations healthcare systems.

http://www.usatoday.com/news/nation/2003...

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