Sunday, August 26, 2007

ANOTHER story of socialized medicine at work

From RDW

Stroke patients 'dying from poor treatment'By Rebecca Smith, Medical EditorLast Updated: 3:13am BST 24/08/2007Stroke victims are "dying unnecessarily" because Britain provides some of the worst treatment in Europe.Despite spending just as much if not more on stroke services, more patients die and suffer serious disability than elsewhere, warned a neuroscience expert.Professor Hugh Markus, of the Centre for Clinical Neuroscience, St George's University of London, says stroke is treated as a "Cinderella" subject.He writes in the British Medical Journal today that the UK spends the majority of its stroke money on nursing and rehabilitation.But if more investment was directed at treating the stroke immediately, it could avoid many deaths and cases of severe disability and so reduce the cost of nursing care.Stroke must be treated as an emergency because patients who have a brain scan and start treatment with clot-busting drugs within three hours have a better chance of surviving and making a fuller recovery. But many hospitals struggle to carry out a scan within 24 hours.It was estimated that 550 lives could be saved each year and 1,700 patients spared disability if care was improved.Just one in 100 stroke patients get thrombolytic treatment compared with up to 30 per cent in some European countries, America and Australia.

The rest.

8 comments:

Jay Bullock said...

Which is why I tend to advocate for a system less like Briatin's and more like France's.

France not only has a lower incidence of strokes to begin with, but also a higher survival rate--and a better survival rate than in the US.

Jason H. Bowden said...

With Hillary, Reid, and Pelosi, we're all getting managed care, so the case is moot.

This will ultimately redound to the benefit of insurance companies, big pharmaceuticals and so forth, but don't that get in the way of good intentions.

Jason H. Bowden said...

jay--

One thing the French do better than the United States is having a bigger percentage of health insurance costs paid for out of pocket by individuals through deductibles and so forth.

Here in the United States, we have a policy where there are no taxes if you get health insurance through your employer, a policy created in WWII that never changed. But this isn't the case when you purchase health insurance individually. As a result, in the United States there is a larger percentage of health care paid for by third parties-- the government pays for almost half, and insurance companies constitute most of the rest. This creates almost a disincentive for people to be consumers, to reward people who provide the highest quality service at the lowest price, a factor that is contributing to the rising health care premiums. Everyone is a smart shopper with their own money, but when spending the money of other people, well, it isn't difficult to predict the outcome.

Jay Bullock said...

So, Jason, why don't we adopt the French system, and take health care out of employers' hands altogether?

Jason H. Bowden said...

"So, Jason, why don't we adopt the French system, and take health care out of employers' hands altogether?"

Because innovation of new technologies, along with fast and effective treatment, is preferable to shortages, waiting lists, and technological stasis.

All of this is academic. The Democrats will win everything in 2008, and we're all getting managed care. This is what politicians mean when they say we're getting the same care our Congressmen do. The idea is to form citizens and businesses into bundles in an effort to squeeze down prices by collective bargaining. There is good reason to believe expanding managed care over millions of people will 1) help corporate giants and 2) create incentives to overprovide for the healthy and underprovide for the sick. Any HMO that specializes under ClintonCare would quickly go out of business.

This unity of corporate power with government power used to be called a fascio in earlier ages. Today "fascist" is wrongly applied to those who want a limited role for the state and a separation of powers.

Jay Bullock said...

Because innovation of new technologies, along with fast and effective treatment, is preferable to shortages, waiting lists, and technological stasis.

Your list of cons there does not describe France's health care system, which is innovative and efficient.

I would also argue that for the 47 million Americans without insurance--and for many of us with--there is no or little access to the newest or most expensive new technologies (ever had something declined because it was "experimental" or not on your plan's formulary?) as well as rationing and long wait times (how long before you can see that specialist? Why do women in some major cities have to schedule mammograms a year in advance?).

Having heard the actual proposals from the Dem candidates, none (except the elfin Kucinich) is revolutionary enough that the bleak scenario you describe is likely. Hell, John Edwards's plan is not all that different from Rudy Giuliani's.

There are some good ideas out the in Congress (check out there Wyden plan, for example), but they stand little chance. Sometimes the biggest obstacle to true liberal reform of the US health care system is the Democrats themselves.

Jason H. Bowden said...

jay--

I know socialists are in love with everything "revolutionary." However, you must realize a critical defect of the American system-- too much money is being spent by third parties, and that is driving up the cost. The government in the United States makes almost 50% of healthcare expenditures.

There are 47 million uninsured, but that is not a reason to impose socialized medicine. Over 17000000 of the uninsured live in households that earn over 50K a year. 9000000 of those earn over 75K a year. These people do not need a handout from Jason Bowden, who makes in the vicinity of 25K a year. If I can afford health insurance, these people can. But they know they can go to the emergency room for FREE. Then there are 14000000 eligible for Medicaid, which covers the poor in this country, who choose not to sign up because they're getting free healthcare anyway. Then there are 12000000 illegals who shouldn't be here, and go to the emergency room for free. Is the nature of this "crisis" becoming clear to you?

None of this matters, because again, Frau Clinton is going to implement managed competition. Forcing individuals and employers to join a cooperative, a group, a fascio, will inhibit the ability of plans to reduce costs by managing risks or through benefit design. This is problematic, as I said before, because if plans can't price according to risk, we've created a big incentive to overprovide to the health and underprovide to the sick.

I know you guys really really pride yourselves on caring for the common good. And I believe that you do care. But PLEASE, consider the consequences of what you are doing.

Jason H. Bowden said...

I would also note that I must be invisible to Hillary Clinton, since she will not allow me to buy health insurance at the same tax rate it is purchased through an employer, Hillary won't loosen the rules to let me get an individual HSA, and Hillary is against me buying my healthcare across state lines. For the socialist left, their raison d'etre is forcing people under the divine guidance of the State, and anything that deviates from this is not to be tolerated.