26 February 2010

Third world countries denoted by gray color

Via Swimming Freestyle and The Frustrated Teacher.


  1. Ahh yes nothing like the sterling universal healthcare of Cuba, Russia, Yemen, and Sri Lanka!

  2. To say the United States does not have universal health care is disingenuous at best and a political lie at the worst.

    Anyone who walks off the street into the hospital is treated in America and all of those who pays taxes pays (or will pay) for it if the patient can't (or won't).

    Just because the coverage isn't up to someone's artificial standard for cradle to grave well-care, doesn't mean it isn't universal.

    And that doesn't begin to cover our medicare, medicaid and charitable coverage.

  3. Dan -

    You are correct.

    Every day, I help take care of patients who receive world-class cardiac care, up to and including caths/interventions and open-heart surgery.

    I have NEVER seen a patient denied a cath or open-heart surgery because of his/her inability to pay.

    In fact, just today I had two patients who were on Medicaid. They had been been prescribed a brand new drug that is very expensive.

    Did we say, "Good luck affording that" and shove them out the door?


    We gave them cards. The "evil" drug company that spent millions creating this new drug that does remarkable things issues these cards that allow the patient to have one free month of the drug AND 12 months at a cost reduced to be comparable to another, similar drug that does not have all the same benefits.

    Our system is not perfect. We have problems. We health care providers WANT to help those who are unable to afford things.

    But there is a limit.

    I've often wished as a nurse that I could take one American to the hospital each day and have people see what we see. If that would happen, we'd be having a very different discussion about national health care.

  4. Deana,
    I'm not a nurse or a doctor, but I come from a family of many nurses and paramedics. I thank them, and I thank you, for your service and care.

    - D

  5. I don't understand how there's a debate, here. Insurance companies dodge claims all the time (say, for someone who has a pre-existing condition, or a new-born baby in the 99th percentile of weight, or a young woman who failed to include acne when procured her insurance and now has lung cancer-- all true stories). If you're telling me that that's acceptable behavior, then you're nothing more than a shill.

    Sure, people can walk in off the street and be treated, but they won't, if they have to pay the massive bills later-- they won't, of course, until it's a medical emergency. At that point, it's 1) far more expensive than early-on care would have been, and 2) much worse for their health.

    If they can pay, then they will go into debt (and/or their families). If they can't then that inflated emergency care cost gets passed on to the taxpayer. The CBO released a report that says the proposed public option decreases the cost to the American taxpayer (primarily due to the fact that the early-procedures and regular-checkups cost is significantly lower than the now emergency care cost.

    There is no valid argument in support of these companies who make money off letting people die.

  6. Also: Why won't blogger let me log in? :(

  7. Only communist countries have universal health care - like China, North Kor... erm... ooops.

    I like how the first poster chooses Cuba in the list of countries with bad health care. For such a poor country the quality of healthcare is remarkable:


    As an aside and a question for the US doctors - while I am certain that a person stumbling into a hospital with some sort of emergency won't be refused treatment, what about ... say someone without health insurance stumbling into hospital with chronic inflammatory bowel disease? Or ankylosing spondylitis? I have no idea what the rate of chronic conditions like these is in the US, but if there are 50 million people with no health insurance I am guessing there will be millions suffering from some sort of treatable medical condition. What should they do?

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  9. I think the first poster was pointing out that there's a tradeoff with universal health care. I doubt there's anyone on the Left of this debate who didn't complain and throw insults at Bush for the last 8 years.... good luck with that in Cuba.

  10. I don't get all the focus on Cuba et al. Why not Australia, Greenland, Brazil, Japan, and most of the Western European countries?

    Also, US doesn't have universal health care, regardless of the Poor Schlock that needs a bypass. Being poor and getting off the hook for a bill isn't 'health care'.

    That's like saying if I run up a credit card bill, then go to a company and have them 'reduce' my bill and pay them half of what I owe, then everyone can get all the free stuff they want. Universal Home Theater Television Care?

    Not exactly how it works.

    I'm not poor/old enough to qualify for MediCare/MedicAid, so that's not quite 'universal', as it doesn't cover everyone.

  11. And Medicare often doesn't cover who they say they will anyway.

    I work in a very small doctors office in LA. The doctor treats a majority of seniors from his community. Medicare hasn't paid on claims dating back for 3 years. He continues to have new patients, because he is an excellent doctor, but these folks that rely on Medicare have been seeing him for decades and cannot afford to pay otherwise. As long time patients, he cannot turn them away. So as a result, he is going in debt, basically treating people for free. It's a poor system, full of bureaucratic unaccountability and I have a sneaking suspicion that if all health care were to become federalized aka "universal", just like our Medicare and Caid, we would be in for even more problems: red tape, radio silence, no one with any answers, and same as now - a handful of shameful people at the top banking.

  12. Thanks Dan.

    I mean it. This was a mid-life career change. I make half of what I did before but am much happier than I was in my previous careers.

    But this is the hardest job I've ever done. I simply had no idea what I was in for. And I continue to be shocked at the number of people with ZERO bedside care experience who seem to "know" how to fix our health care problems.

  13. Swiss Miss - I suspect you are quite right.

    I hear lots of people acknowledge that Medicare/Medicaid is broken, not paying the provider for the true cost of care provided.

    And yet these same people seem to think that even though we haven't mastered something as "small" as Medicare or Medicaid, everything will be much, much better under the plan being promoted by President Obama and the Democrats.

    Michael Miller - Here's your answer about patients with inflammatory bowel disease: Yes - they ARE treated each time they come to the ER. How do I know this? I used to work in an ER while I was in school. Every single night, people would come in with very "non-emergency" conditions that we would treat. It was always fun to place bets how many times they had been in the ER that year for similar problems - it was common to have patients who had been in just that ER alone over 10 times in just one year.

  14. As long as anyone can claim a penny in their own pocket, the health care people receive in America won't be good enough, NY.

    If you watched the Thursday health care talks you saw those in favor of universal health care give example after example of poor, sad folks who need health care.

    If you go to the link below, you can get example after example of poor, sad people who need health care in countries that have universal health care:

    The Problems with Socialized Medicine

    So you see, it really isn't about the health care -- people are never going to have enough health care -- it's all about the government wanting to control every little thing you do.

  15. OK, so what is the cost of patients who use the ER as a free clinic? Who pays for that?

    How much is a pregnancy test for a teenager who complains of stomach problems?

    I've read that healthcare (or lack of it) is one of the major reasons people end up having to declare bankruptcy.

    I'm not proposing that Obamacare is some sort of panacea - but I think it's gotta be better than the status quo.

  16. As I have always said, the United States DOES have the best health care in the world. IF, that is, you can afford it! I only wonder how many people are suffering with how many conditions because they cannot afford to see a Doctor, and only go to the Emergency Room when it gets really bad. No, you will not be turned away if you go to the Emergency Room, but they only give the most basic (and urgent) care.

    Spoken by someone who blesses the VA Medical System for its good care, because I came very close to loosing my hand because of a blood clot that the VA more or less successfully treated.

  17. i like how the US provides healthcare for other countries, but not for its own citizens. fantastic.

  18. Why don't you count France as having universal healthcare ?
    As far as I know it has CMU http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Couverture_maladie_universelle

  19. CMoi - ??? The map shows France in blue, which means "some type of universal health care." What's your question about?

  20. It would be interesting to see another chart of countries ranking them by contributions to medical science.
    Who actually discovers and manufactures all those drugs, pacemakers, stents, artificial limbs, and heart valves? Who develops the low invasive procedures you want for free?
    Who is going to discover the next generation of antibiotics? Good luck when theis generation stops working? Or are you one of those God botherers who doesn't believe in evolution?

    Phil. (Who is pissed off, not trolling)

  21. Watch the Sicko movie. It is an eye opener. I wish you guys were right. It differs from hospital to hospital. Plenty of people die because they are rejected and Moore deals with the cases of the people with health insurance... who won't pay for their treatment.

  22. Plenty of people in the US die because hospitals refuse to treat them and many of them are with health insurance. The movie "Sicko" was a real eye opener. I wish Dan was right. My friend was between insurance and they would not operate on her to remove an organ that needed to remove until it was a complete emergency. Thank Gd her parents were around, alive and able to put it on their credit card... so she didn't have to wait to be at death's door.The people who I know who are treated for emergency get the bill afterward...some hospitals in other cities just reject you and let you die. I am in NYC.


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