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11/08/05 Edition-Cotillion

It’s THAT time of the week again! Go see what we’re all writing about this week. Want to know more about what we are, why we are, what we look for in conservative womens’ blogs? Go here. You can’t just join us, you have to be invited.

This week’s edition of the Cotillion

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Americans Get A Better Deal

Here they go again…picking on American healthcare as if it were the worst thing in the world. I love how these writers suggest things are better in other countries. Things are worse, far worse in those national health care nations. But we won’t hear about that.

Americans pay more when they get sick than people in other Western nations and get more confused, error-prone treatment, according to the largest survey to compare U.S. health care with other nations.

The survey of nearly 7,000 sick adults in the United States, Australia, Canada, New Zealand, Britain and Germany found Americans were the most likely to pay at least $1,000 in out-of-pocket expenses. More than half went without needed care because of cost and more than one-third endured mistakes and disorganized care when they did get treated.

And people of other nations didn’t run into all these issues?

Although patients in every nation sometimes run into obstacles to getting care and deficiencies when they do get treated, the United States stood out for having the highest error rates, most disorganized care and highest costs, the survey found.

Ah ha…yes people do run into problems elsewhere. Just not as often, maybe, as suggested by the careful planting of that word, “sometimes”. I want to see the details of this survey.

“What’s striking is that we are clearly a world leader in how much we spend on health care,” said Cathy Schoen, senior vice president for the Commonwealth Fund, a private, nonpartisan, nonprofit foundation that commissioned the survey. “We should be expecting to be the best. Clearly, we should be doing better.”

Other experts agreed, saying the results offer the most recent evidence that the quality of care in the United States is seriously eroding even as health care costs skyrocket.

“This provides confirming evidence for what more and more health policy thinkers have been saying, which is, ‘The American health care system is quietly imploding, and it’s about time we did something about it,’ ” said Lucian L. Leape of the Harvard School of Public Health.

It’s really sad to see these reports, which are so misleading and full of bullshit. No where in this world will anyone get better care- no where are there better hospitals, medical research facililies. No where. It has to cost something-after all the people who work at these places need to earn a living. It’s not that far out of reach-and all of them have funds for those who cannot pay.

Americans had the easiest access to specialists, but they experienced the most problems getting care after hours, and Americans and Canadians were the most likely to report problems seeing a doctor the same day they sought one.

Americans were also much more likely to report forgoing needed treatment because of cost, with about half saying they had decided not to fill a prescription, to see a doctor when they were sick or opted against getting recommended follow-up tests. About 38 percent of patients in New Zealand reported going without care; the numbers were 34 percent in Australia, 28 percent in Germany, 26 percent in Canada and 13 percent in Britain.

But what they’re not saying here is– people in Germany and Canada and Britain often have to wait DAYS for prescriptions to be filled; they may see a doctor the same day they call, but needed medical tests can take months to get done (and when you have cancer, months can mean your death); after hours care???-in these nations?? They do what we do-ER visits. Don’t let them fool you.

About one-third of U.S. patients reported problems with the coordination of their care, such as test results not being available when they arrived at a doctor’s appointment or doctors ordering duplicate tests. In the other countries, 19 to 26 percent of patients reported similar problems.

Americans also reported the greatest number of medical errors. Thirty-four percent reported getting the wrong medication or dose, incorrect test results, a mistake in their treatment or care, or being notified late about abnormal test results. Only 30 percent of Canadian patients, 27 percent of Australian patients, 25 percent of New Zealanders, 23 percent of Germans and 22 percent of Britons reported errors.

It’s all in proportion to what these people of Germany/Britain/NZ get…they don’t have the same resources we do. They also have state run medical programs,which reeks of assembly line mentaility. Nothing is personal with health care over in Europe. At least here in America, most doctors know their patients by their first names. It is true that Americans experience more medication errors and simliar things. Much of this is due to too much government oversight into the medical field. The paperwork that has to be done to support all this is astronomical. And wasteful.

I have to say too…that many Americans are just plain lazy when it comes to their own health. They still think the docs can save them from every ill in the world; Americans tend to follow their own directions when it comes to following MD orders for treatments and medications. And insurances do rule much of what we can do and cannot do. That is only a small percentage of problems though. In other nations, the socialists inspired medical models leave nothing to be desired. Why so many here wish to see our system turn into that is something I have yet to figure out. I think a lot of people just don’t know how BAD it really is over in Europe. Waiting months just to get a mammogram, because you’re just another number on a long list (while you feel that lump getting bigger and bigger). Waiting months for other life saving treatments (waiting weeks and weeks for chemo treatments), because you have no value as an indivdual. And don’t ever think they get it all for free. They pay upwards of 50% in taxes over there-right out of their pay-to cover these costs. Break it all down and I would say Americans get a much better deal.

Cross Posted @ ARS