movie // jaws // hay you guys

Hey, when is Michael Moore going to make a movie about this?

Doctors are calling for NHS treatment to be withheld from patients who are too old or who lead unhealthy lives.

Now, are all doctors saying this? No. Is NHS itself? No. But there's some interesting nuggets in here.

This is what gives me the creeps when Hillarycare is brought up.

When medicine is dispensed by the state, the state gets to decide what medicine is given out. The state is then able to use that power to influence citizens' behavior.

Why stop at the old, the obese and the smokers? There are so many other undesirable behaviors out there we should able to put the kibosh on.

(Hm, is it ironic that I'm watching Demolition Man right now?)
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When medicine is dispensed by the state, the state gets to decide what medicine is given out. The state is then able to use that power to influence citizens' behavior.

As someone who has lived in an NHS system all her life, I can tell you that it doesn't have to be that way.

If it were, you'd think that the Dutch state would've made sure that the HMOs were forced to cover part of their clients' fees for fitness/sports club memberships, but they haven't. Nor are they saying "medicine X for disease Y gets covered, but medicine Z for the same disease doesn't".
They leave the prescription of specific drugs up to the physicians and it's up to the HMOs to convince pharmacies to give out the generic/cheapest version of the drugs the physician prescribes, so the HMO can make a bit of money.
I, as a client, sill get everything covered according to the basic package and any additional coverage I might have.
Of course, getting drugs approved by the Dutch FDA is a whole different ballgame.

In Holland, things work like this:
The government decides what should be in the basic healthcare package. This typically includes all life-saving surgeries, therapies and medications, but also a basic number of physio sessions and other basic therapies people might need to recover from common diseases etc.
All HMOs have to cover all their clients for this basic package.
Individual clients can choose to get additional coverage (more physio, full coverage for any kind of scrip and therapy, additional dental), which differs from HMO to HMO.
So basically, you pick the HMO which offers the best additional coverage for you, if you decide you need it. But everyone gets basic coverage, which means no one can go bankrupt or get in thousand of euros of debt after they've been in a life-threatening accident that takes a year or so and multiple surgeries to recover from and they have to pay the bills for.
Which I personally think is a good thing.

Besides, aren't the HMOs in the US deciding who does and who doesn't get treatment and what kind of treatment they might get right now?
Somehow I'd rather have a more-or-less independent Surgeon General decide what medications and treatments get on the HMOs "must cover" list than some corporate business!
At least the Surgeon General might care about my health a little bit, whereas the corporate business most certainly will only care about how to make as much money off of me as possible.

Just something to think about.
And yes, I'd be very worried about the HMOs trying to keep their power over the system, but there's quite a few countries around the world where an NHS mostly works quite well and none where it doesn't work. Of course it's never flawless, but that's that 5% that's =always= part of the statistics.
I feel bad doing a superquick-beforework post here, cause you've obviously put a lot of thought into this ;)

I understand what you mean about how 'it doesn't have to be that way', but one of the main conservative American principles is 'the less we have to rely on the govt, the better, because they're going to screw it up eventually'.

Yes, sometimes the HMOs and PPOs screw with people, but we have the recourse of changing our insurance to another company (yay free market), suing the insurance company (yay litigation ;)) or, if you're a big fat person who wants new knees and your insurance says no, paying for it yourself. No, it's not going to be cheap, but it'll get done, and somehow people seem to be able to afford boob and nose jobs all the time. ;)

The federal government, if they were put in charge of health, would be looking out for their bottom line just as much as any company, and the fact that it would be the fed govt running it would depress a lot of other options. That's all I'm saying.
*sigh* It's like the HMOs now penalizing people who actually use the insurance. My old job slashed our health care benefits to "save money for the people who didn't use it". I actually use it. My one arthritis med (Enbril) costs $1,800 A MONTH! In the meeting where the CEO was telling us about the changes, he asked me if I wanted to spend more on my insurance and I point blank told him "Yes!" That blew his mind and he stuttered around saying it wasn't fair to the others. *sigh* I wasn't the only one who was very upset. Coverage went from 100% to 80% covered. That doesn't sound like much, but I had surgery while on that coverage and I had to pay over $1,000 out of pocket for the bloody anesthesia!

With the socialized medicine, there is a woman who is about the same age as me with the same kind of arthritis that I have, but she lives in Australia. She has to deal with their socialized medical system. She has to wait her turn to see her doctor. She has to go through the criteria to get the medication, not just get the medication she needs. She's 32 and she's crippled up so much that she was contemplating going into a nursing home end of last year so she could give her mom a break taking care of her. A missionary in Scotland we know asked us to pray for one of the men in his church who needs an operation, but he has to wait 9 months until it is his turn to get it.

Yup. The health care system in general is pretty crappy. (That totally sucks what your company did. And it surprises me... it kind of seems like everyone is on a Rx for *something* these days!) But I don't think that going socialized is the answer.
It didn't. That facilty was all about the "bottom line" and they paid less for the insurance.

The new facility I work at the insurance is better. 100% coverage AFTER you meet the $250 deductable.