My comments are in red above.I do not disagree with a single word of your post. However, if you insert the word "government" before expenditure( which you imply) then I totally disagree with you. Obamacare has 16,000 pages of rules and regulations. It has over 2,000 waivers. I won't be surprised if the number of pages exceedes the tax code of over 70,000 within 10 years. 130,000 pages of procedure codes a doctor must use in order to bill for treatment. By the way the codes are 8 didgets. As I have said many times, the gov. has not, is not and never will be in the business of charity. It is in the business of rules, regulation, taxes, DEPENDENCE and CONTROL. I believe the underlying premise of both menmon's and my post is that the very mess of complexity is the result of legislators who might fairly be accused of seeking political and perhaps financial gain from seeing the legislation they created, fail
A simple question. Do many of your countrymen now cross the border to come here for treatment just to see our country or do they come here because your country denies them the freedom to hire a doctor for the treatment they desire, and does your country deny doctors the freedom to ply their legal trade to those who wish to pay them for their services? There are those who have the means pay and the desire to avoid waiting, There is also a category of cosmetic surgery tourists from the middle income demographic who travel to India for faces lifts, tummy tucks etc. from UK trained doctors who returned home to Mumbai and New Delhi to practice their medicine. The very notion of universal medical care is based upon doctors billing within the system...cosmetic care is in most cases elective and not constrained b the single pay model.
I once treated a patient from the former West Germany and another from Japan. The West german patient was here only for the summer. I asked her why she did not have the work done in her country and her response was that she could not get it done in her country because the national healthcare system did not provide it and she could not pay for it there. Neither patients' prior treatment would meet the dental standard or ordinary care in this country. I have a mouth full of crowns....the product of too many fillings and a desire to eat healthy whole grains. Our medical system does not cover routine non trauma oral care, I provide a supplemental HC plan for myself and our employees. I am unfamiliar with dental treatment in other countries however I have lived in Japan and can attest to an apparent hereditary propensity to malocclusion, not too dissimilar from conditions detected in Great Britain. For general medicine, Japan is regarded as the best state provider of health care on the planet
You might look at the cost of healthcare in this country as a % of GDP and you would see that it remained stable until gov. creation of medicare and medicaid in 1965 when the cost imediately began to increase at a sharp rate. For an insurance system to run effectively it must be adequately funded, this is from our Medical Service Provider web site:
"From January 1, 2012, to December 31, 2012 monthly rates are $64.00 for one person, $116.00 for a family of two and $128.00 for a family of three or more. Effective January 1, 2013, monthly rates are $66.50 for one person, $120.50 for a family of two and $133.00 for a family of three or more."
Our rates have been irrationally low; thirty five years ago the rate was, if I remember correctly about half this. Your government could rectify this without resorting to 16,000 pages of baffle gab. i have let my elected reps know that I would rather pay a reasonable price now than risk losing the system entirely due to underfunding.
Prior to 1965, we had a system where those who could pay did so and those who could not pay through no fault of their own, were treated through charity. It was not a perfect system but it worked in my opinion. If you were to go to a doctor and say that you knew that the treatment you needed was not covered by your gov. healthare system, would he please treat you free? I wonder what your opinion is as to what response you would receive. The only problem are with speed of access not the treatment or procedures themselves, however we do have a problem with cue jumping facilitated by physicians who want to make a premium over the standard rate. But as example closer to your question, in the field of Dentistry; before we joined a plan my dental work was on my dime, the rate for the same work increased by about 20% when I told my dentist I was now covered by insurance. When I asked him why the jump he just smiled and said "well now your covered, so price isn't an issue"
When I first went into practice in the 70's I did have patients come to me in need of care that said that they couldnot afford to pay me for some reason or another. Some wold promise to pay when they could. My response was to ask them if they were on medicaid. If the answer was no then my attitude was that if the government had decided that they were not needy then why should I think otherwise. Later I realized that it was not the government's responsibility to make such a decision for me. It was MY responsibility to determine who was needy and MY responsibility to deal with their care. I have no doubt that I made mistakes but this only made me more aware of my responsiblity. We need look for ways to perfect a single payer system which works, I have no doubt there are many of us in business on either side of our border who wish the government would do less/do more /do it right/ do it for less of our tax dollars. The thing is, can profit be placed ahead of healthcare? Lets face it other than addictive substances is there anything else easier to exploit for maximum profit than one's health? If you were robbed you wouldn't want 911 to demand proof of solvency or insurance coverage.
I don't know it to be true but I once read that the US was the only country that had a net positive expense of foreign aid. All other countries received more aid that they gave. Please don't think that we don't care about the health of our citizens. There are just many of us that believe the gov. is a poor vehicle to provide it. Take a look at the history of this country and I don't think you could believe otherwise. As far as local personal generosity goes I have no doubt with what you state other than, to counter that our society is too large and too complex to handle all issues of need on an ad hoc personal basis, again just to belabour the point; some communities rely on volunteer fire depts, but after a certain size they see the value in creating a funded firedepartment. As to the issue of Foreign Aid, that I have to rely on others for the answer to that...now don't we all wish we had a Norwegian benefactor?