Healthcare Myths in America

I still keep seeing things about the terribly high cost of Single Payer Healthcare. Why?

We are not the first country to do it. Italy has the 2nd or 3rd best healthcare in the World. Their govt pays about US$3,077/capita/yr. If you look at many studies by Govt and other Credible sources, not Fox News, the US Govt is spending US$9,267/capita/yr* for the 36th best healthcare, and the CDC says that over 400,000 people are dying each year of preventable diseases, we have the 170th best infant mortality, (there are only about 220 countries in the World) the 138th best Maternal Mortality, the 43rd best life expectancy, etc .

So, the ONLY reason for this that I can think of is the Rich Leeches bought our Govt and keep the masses ignorant of the Facts.

EVERY penny you pay in personal cost of crappy healthcare goes to the Leeches. And about $6,000/yr of taxes. Direct to the Leeches. Have I missed something? It seems simple and very sad.

Am J Public Health. 2016 March; 106(3): 449–452.
Published online 2016 March. doi: [10.2105/AJPH.2015.302997]
There are, of course, many more issues, but why are we not united behind these? Simply because we allow ourselves to be manipulated by a massive propaganda machine that keeps us fragmented.

Who profits most?:confused:

You missed a few things, IMHO. First off, while YOU might have ‘crappy healthcare’, the majority of people in the country have healthcare that is just good enough so that they aren’t complaining that much. In addition, while a lot of Americans pine for what our Canadian or European brethren and sistren have, this is what they know…we’ve had this system in place for generations…it’s been here as long as anyone currently alive remembers. And, as noted, it’s worked just good enough for the majority that people are leery of switching to something we’ve never had here. I think, generally, Americans are unimpressed by statements that other countries have done X…I know I am…so we should just be able to do it as well. Especially in this case with an entrenched system that’s been with us for generations. Sure, if we could just scrap the whole thing magically and put in place a new shinny system immediately that is up and running right now it would be nice. But the reality is that you can’t just do that. Most countries with single payer systems didn’t go from a system like ours (which is a hodge-podge kludge that’s evolved over decades) to what they have now, and the few who did it (Canada I think) had abilities to enact and a voter base vastly different than our own.

I DO think we should go to a single payer system of some kind, and I do think it would be better than the cluster fuck we have today. I just don’t kid myself that it would be easier, or that there would be some vast savings that would happen, especially initially or during the (very long IMHO) transition. One issue is that we have a huge gap between the majority who get fairly decent healthcare and those who essentially get none. That gap is going to cost us, no matter how you slice it, and it will also mean that health care will have to be spread out (or expanded) to cover literally millions that it’s not covering today.

It may be “good enough” that they aren’t complaining but it is still crappy health care.

Most people have no clue how lacking their “good enough” healthcare is until they are hit with a catastrophic illness or injury. THEN they find out, but at that point it’s too late.

In most countries “medical bankruptcy” is a meaningless phrase. In the US it is the leading cause of bankruptcy,more than half of them.

Funny, but when I was diagnosed with cancer I found out just the opposite. My health care turned out to be far better than I thought it was.

Then you are extremely fortunate. Good for you. If only everyone else had that same good fortune.

That people (some people) are satisfied with what they have is about human psychology, not the quality of what they have. Our outcomes demonstrate that our healthcare is not good enough. The expense does also.

When I was a kid people thought that American cars, those tailfinned monmstrosities - were good enough. Big daddy government required seat belts and then air bags and then car seats. Only the oil price shock got Americans to buy better MPG Japanese cars which is when they discovered that cars did not have to be crap.
Satisfaction - and lies by the right - might explain why change is so hard, but it doesn’t say anything much about quality.

I assume you had insurance. As a ten percenter, with a good job and thus good insurance, my health care was good also. But that isn’t true for lots of America.

How do you get from spending 9 grand a person to spending 3 grand a person. The salary of doctors and nurses would have to be slashed. For nurses the average salary would have to fall by $40,000 per year to reach the Italian average. For doctors it would have to fall by $150,000 a year.
There is no conceivable way that doctors and nurses would stay in the profession if they had 66% of their salary cut. Doctors and nurses are not leeches, they are good people who work hard and provide an essential service. They may be overpaid but they are hardly leeeches.

As long as we are talking about medical cost myths, medical bankruptcies are not 50% of all bankruptcies, they are actually 4%. Other countries have medical bankruptcies, for example in Canada 15% of bankruptcies in people over 55 are medical bankruptcies.

Health care in America, for those that have it- is pretty darn good.

Now, Single payer wouldn’t be expensive if we took all the money private industry, the government and people are paying into account.

In other words, rather than just saying “Medicare for all costs $XXTrillion” you could deduct what corporate America is already paying for it employees health insurance n(by having a tax that would equal that), what the feds and state are paying for health insurance, etc- and then you’d come up with a tax increase likely smaller that what the average American pays now in Premiums.

Nope, false. Not even close.

The U.S. does rank behind most other developed countries in infant mortality, but inaccessibility to health care is far from the only problem (a high rate of unplanned pregnancy, a massive (sorry) problem with obesity and different way of calculating infant mortality statistics are also involved).

We actually rank favorably against comparable countries in perinatal mortality.

And infant mortality has been dropping recently in the U.S.

But what do I know? I’m one of the Leeches cackling with glee over the state of health care.

I am far from a ten percenter. In fact, my income took a huge drop, like cut in half, 4 years ago. Our combined incomes probably put us in the bottom 25-30 percent. I have insurance, but it’s a fairly high deductible. We had to scrimp to take care of the deductibles. And there are plenty of people who make less than I do but still have the same insurance.

Another issue with our current system that is under-appreciated (IMO) is what I recently had driven home - our health care insurance really REALLY needs to be disconnected from employment. I have pretty good insurance through my employer, as do many millions of people. But I recently changed jobs, which resulted in (long story short) having to go 7 FULL weeks without my doctor-prescribed medication for my arthritis. I got by, barely, with over the counter Alleve, but it was not fun and my pain levels still made it hard for me to sleep well.

We should NEVER have an interruption in our medical care simply because we change jobs.

It’s what they know. Even those who have read about the wonders of healthcare in the UK or Western Europe or Canada don’t have a lot of real world experience to compare it too. Again, YOU might think it’s crappy because a minority of folks have bad outcomes that cost them everything, but for the majority that doesn’t happen, so it’s good enough that they hesitate to take the plunge and try something completely different.

There is also a difference between Americans and a lot of other people in other nations, that being an almost innate distrust of big government wrt doing a good job at things. While I know this isn’t universal, it’s something I’ve seen a lot of examples of with friends from other countries and those in the US. And to a lot of people it would be a huge leap of faith that we could get such a system implemented, that it would cost less or even the same and that they, personally, would get as good or better healthcare than they currently get. Because, again, for the majority of Americans it is good enough and, again, what they know. So, instead of large systemic changes to bring us to single payer UHC type service, paid for by taxes instead of by deductions from your pay stub and payed for mainly by your employer, we get small changes that often actually muck things up worse. Part of the reason we pay so much for hospital stuff stems from this happening, and it’s not so entrenched that just changing that one thing would be a monumental undertaking.

I am totally for a new system, and freely acknowledge that the one we have is broken. I believe pretty much everyone agrees on that second part anyway. But I think it’s not so simple as the OP or others on this board, pointing at what other countries do and saying we could just do that.

People have done that analysis.

IF we dramatically cut payments to health care providers, and IF we dramatically cut drug prices, and IF we cut administrative costs, and IF we double federal income taxes on individuals and corporations, we save about $2 trillion over ten years AND we increase the federal deficit. I don’t have a hard figure on how much the deficit will go up, but I suspect a lot if not all of the $2T is in there somewhere.

So it isn’t just a question of saying we just send all of what we are paying in premiums to the government as taxes and then we save money - we have to make dramatic cuts to spending, and we don’t even break even then.

We have to make the cuts in spending one way or another. Single payer, or M4A, doesn’t change that. I suppose we could have a system whereby the government sets prices for everything in the health care field and the insurance companies don’t have to pay for anything above that, but I don’t see how that is more (or less) efficient than having the government be the single payer and tell hospitals “here’s what you are going to charge - take it or leave it”. There is going to be major disruptions either way.

No, that study does nothing of the sort. It does not consider what Americans are already paying.

*The Department of Health and Human Services also measures the total amount spent on healthcare in the US, including by states, private citizens, the federal government, businesses, and more. This all-encompassing number is known as the national health expenditure, or NHE.

According to the Mercatus model, total health spending would actually come in about $303 billion lower in 2031 than under current projections, with $7.35 trillion going to healthcare that year versus $7.65 trillion expected now. Total national health spending would be $2 trillion lower from 2022 to 2031 under the plan, the report found.

While the price tag for the federal government would increase significantly, decreased spending by other groups would lower total healthcare spending over that 10-year period. Meanwhile, the model also assumes that 30 million more people would get access to healthcare, and many people would get more robust services.*"

So, overall, we’d SAVE $2 Trillion. All we have to do is tax corps more to make up what they’d save and raises taxes a bit on individuals to also make up what they;d save- and we’d be spending* less.*

Generally you consolidate from a bunch of chaotic systems that don’t interact well to a single system with bargaining power and massively less bureaucracy. There is a lot of talk about this system or that system, but the thing that keeps costs lower in Western Europe is having one system with one or more entities acting in it, and letting private initiative fill in any gaps.

Not really, you know. Its not like the salaries of medical professionals are a big part of the difference between US and western European spending levels. I mean, the big issues are the vast US bureaucracy, medical inefficiency, over-provision, and excess drug costs.

You know, I have the weirdest sensation of deja vu. Its like I’ve seen this explained to you before. But I suppose there are many people who read this site who never comment, so I guess any chance to point out how messed up the system is, is a good thing.

Anyway, big healthcare myths that I can remember offhand:

  1. US military expenses are bigger than US healthcare expenses. In fact many people in the western work think their military budgets are bigger than the healthcare speding

  2. The US produces more medical research per head than other large western nations.

  3. The poor US performance in infant mortality has something to do with “Different ways of recording it”

  4. More people come to the US for medical care then the number of Americans that go abroad for care.

  5. Many Canadians come to the US for medical care and few Americans go to Canada for health care.

  6. The universal healthcare systems in the rest of the developed work are more expensive than the US system.

  7. The US system has good results compared to other developed nations systems.

There are probably many others, but as far as myths go, those are the real howlers that I can think of right now.

And here’s a non-myth: 3 out 4 Americans like their own healthcare. In any other issue, that is a strong consensus. People know about their own healthcare situation, and I would tred lightly around that consensus when discussing things like single-payer.

I’d say that consensus would be more important if it was about an issue that was actually possible to keep or sustain. I am sure 3 out of 4 Americans would like being able to teleport and being immortal too.