Luminous Landscape Forum

The Art of Photography => The Coffee Corner => Topic started by: Ray on October 20, 2012, 10:00:03 AM

Title: National Health Systems
Post by: Ray on October 20, 2012, 10:00:03 AM
Good to know, Michael, that Canada is similar to Australia in this respect. I had a friend who contracted cancer about 20 years ago. We were both in the north of Australia at the time of the diagnosis, and she was immediately flown to a specialised hospital in the south of Australia where she had a major operation without delay, followed by a series of radiotherapy sessions, all covered by the national health system. She had no private health cover and there were no additional expenses apart from the normal expenses of accommodation in a different city.

She's still alive and kicking, 22 years later.
Title: Re: May we ask how Mike is doing?
Post by: Eric Myrvaagnes on October 20, 2012, 10:33:34 AM
On a recent trip to Vancouver Island (BC), my wife and I got talking with our B&B hosts about moving to Canada (we live in Massachusetts, where we have better health care than in some other parts of the U.S.), but I understand that Canada doesn't really want U.S. retirees flocking to their country for the sensible health-care system.

So all we can do is try to educate everyone we know down here about single-payer and hope that the U.S. will some day join the ranks of civilized nations, like Canada, Australia, and -- heck -- al the other advanced nations of the world.

I'm glad you're in Canada, Michael!
 
Title: Re: May we ask how Mike is doing?
Post by: Bryan Conner on October 20, 2012, 11:48:16 AM
Thanks for everyone's thoughts and concerns. I'll be finished chemo in less than a month.

It's taking a toll on my strength, but I know that by late November I'll be able to start regaining it.

I've received a number of emails from the US asking if I have sufficient medical insurance. The answer is that in Canada we have a single payer system ( as it's called in the US). Health care for everyone is the same as education though high school, which no one has argued about for about 100 years. It's simply paid for out off our taxes.  

I've had countless CT scans, Bone Scans and MRIs. I've had two major surgeries, one of them at least some 8 hours followed by 13 days of hospitalization, and now some months of regular chemo. Oh, yes, regular home visiting nurses when I was first home from hospital, all drugs included, 24 hour hotline to specialist nurses if there were questions.

My total cost? Zero. Pre-existing condition exemption? Not in our vocabulary. Co-pay? Not in our vocabulary.

Universal health care, for every resident of the country, available freely to all. Just as in most advanced industrialized countries around the world for the past 50 years plus.

Why am I preaching here. Because for the first time my life was in the hands of the system, and I do mean  "life". Delays? I went from detection of a T3 bladder cancer with node involvement to surgery in less than 10 days. Change Doctors? Any time one likes, and I've done it before.

Does the Canadian system work? Yes. Is it perfect. No? Nothing ever is. But contrary to the misinformation that we hear daily on US TV it works well enough, and none of us would trade it for what we see across the border.

If some see this as a political encroachment on an inappropriate forum, so be it. But if you're considering the slow development of modern health care administration in the US as the topic comes up, talk to friends across the border to see what their first-hand experiences have been. Some will undoubtedly not be a simple as mine, but I'll bet that not a one of them would trade it for what exists currently in the US at the moment, even including Obamacare. Obamacare is simply a band-aid on a sick system that needs major surgery.

Michael

Great to see you posting here and especially great to hear the good report.

I agree about the US health system being a very sick system.  I am an American that has been living in Germany for almost 3 years and have been LOVING the health system here.  It is amazing how well it works.  It really shines the spotlight on the faults in the American system.
Title: Re: May we ask how Mike is doing?
Post by: David S on October 20, 2012, 01:43:34 PM
Great to hear that our system is looking after you so well Michael.

All the very best,

Dave S

Title: Re: May we ask how Mike is doing?
Post by: Robert-Peter Westphal on October 20, 2012, 02:36:46 PM
Thanks for everyone's thoughts and concerns. I'll be finished chemo in less than a month.

It's taking a toll on my strength, but I know that by late November I'll be able to start regaining it.

I've received a number of emails from the US asking if I have sufficient medical insurance. The answer is that in Canada we have a single payer system ( as it's called in the US). Health care for everyone is the same as education though high school, which no one has argued about for about 100 years. It's simply paid for out off our taxes.  

I've had countless CT scans, Bone Scans and MRIs. I've had two major surgeries, one of them at least some 8 hours followed by 13 days of hospitalization, and now some months of regular chemo. Oh, yes, regular home visiting nurses when I was first home from hospital, all drugs included, 24 hour hotline to specialist nurses if there were questions.

My total cost? Zero. Pre-existing condition exemption? Not in our vocabulary. Co-pay? Not in our vocabulary.

Universal health care, for every resident of the country, available freely to all. Just as in most advanced industrialized countries around the world for the past 50 years plus.

Why am I preaching here. Because for the first time my life was in the hands of the system, and I do mean  "life". Delays? I went from detection of a T3 bladder cancer with node involvement to surgery in less than 10 days. Change Doctors? Any time one likes, and I've done it before.

Does the Canadian system work? Yes. Is it perfect. No? Nothing ever is. But contrary to the misinformation that we hear daily on US TV it works well enough, and none of us would trade it for what we see across the border.

If some see this as a political encroachment on an inappropriate forum, so be it. But if you're considering the slow development of modern health care administration in the US as the topic comes up, talk to friends across the border to see what their first-hand experiences have been. Some will undoubtedly not be a simple as mine, but I'll bet that not a one of them would trade it for what exists currently in the US at the moment, even including Obamacare. Obamacare is simply a band-aid on a sick system that needs major surgery.

Michael

Hi Michael,

first of all - great to hear from you that you are on the right way to your recovery !!!!!!!!!!


And for these information about the universal health care- many thanks - to be honest, that is exactly what I asked myself several times, but didn't dare to ask...


Please, take care of yourself !

Robert
Title: Re: May we ask how Mike is doing?
Post by: peterurban on October 20, 2012, 02:53:20 PM
Michael, Glad to hear about your progress. All our fingers (and toes) are crossed for a perfect recovery. We miss you and hope that you can turn your focus towards more enjoyable things again soon.

All the best to you and your family.

Peter & Christy
Title: Re: May we ask how Mike is doing?
Post by: DaveCurtis on October 20, 2012, 07:34:19 PM
Great to here you are doing well.

Sounds like the Canadian health system is similar to the NZ system.
Title: Re: May we ask how Mike is doing?
Post by: DougJ on October 20, 2012, 08:05:04 PM
I'm another Canuck--by choice, for I was born in British Guiana--and did prostate cancer and a triple by-pass in 2005.

Now my cancer was not nearly as serious or aggressive as Mike's, but here is my sequence of events.  Late September, in an annual physical, my GP says he can feel nodes on my prostate.  OK, get a PSA test; it's up.  So, early in October it's off to the guy with the expert finger who says, Oh yes, you've got nodes there, fella, so I'm sending you for a needle biopsy. 

Late October the report on the eight-needle biopsy is in: six of the eight samples show cancer cells. 

By early November I'm having a thorough examination from my oncologist at the BC Cancer Clinic (with a world class rep on prostate, and no doubt, other cancers).  After discussion, I opt for radiation treatment using directed and collimated beams, which means getting the location of the prostate fixed and aiming tattoo spots placed on the pelvic region.  That's all done by the end of November and the oncologist is all set to start the hormone treatment to shrink the cancer; I'm in the midst of a major consulting gig and the cancer is not judged to be aggressive, so I say let's start in mid-December.

In mid-December I go up to the Cancer Clinic's pharmacy to pick up the hormone injection.  I'm not sure if my medical insurance will cover this, so I offer my credit card to the pharmacist's assistant.  She says, No I don't need that, sir, but please don't misplace this before you get it to the nurse at your family clinic, because it's worth about a thousand bucks.  I promise not to misplace it and the subcutaneous injection is performed just before Christmas.

By the end of February, I'm feeling a bit beat up, but an ready for radiation to start.  Thrity-seven treatments later, about four minutes a day in "the room" for five-days a week, weekends off for good behaviour which is when I return home to get my bearings, that's over.  PSA is down to zilch, and now seven years later it's 0.4 and the experts are pleased.

Later that year, it's a triple bypass within five days of my complaining of chest pains.  Helicoptered from where I live to one of the heart-specialising Vancouver hospitals.  four days later, I'm out. 

What was my total bill?  Forty bucks for one ride in an ambulance (not the helicopter)--no charge for anything else.

It works for me, I want y'all friends down south of the border to know, for my pockets aren't deep enough to pay even a small portion of the real costs.

Ciao,

Doug

Title: Re: May we ask how Mike is doing?
Post by: Morris Taub on October 23, 2012, 06:33:59 AM
Thanks for everyone's thoughts and concerns. I'll be finished chemo in less than a month.

It's taking a toll on my strength, but I know that by late November I'll be able to start regaining it.

I've received a number of emails from the US asking if I have sufficient medical insurance. The answer is that in Canada we have a single payer system ( as it's called in the US). Health care for everyone is the same as education though high school, which no one has argued about for about 100 years. It's simply paid for out off our taxes. 

I've had countless CT scans, Bone Scans and MRIs. I've had two major surgeries, one of them at least some 8 hours followed by 13 days of hospitalization, and now some months of regular chemo. Oh, yes, regular home visiting nurses when I was first home from hospital, all drugs included, 24 hour hotline to specialist nurses if there were questions.

My total cost? Zero. Pre-existing condition exemption? Not in our vocabulary. Co-pay? Not in our vocabulary.

Universal health care, for every resident of the country, available freely to all. Just as in most advanced industrialized countries around the world for the past 50 years plus.

Why am I preaching here. Because for the first time my life was in the hands of the system, and I do mean  "life". Delays? I went from detection of a T3 bladder cancer with node involvement to surgery in less than 10 days. Change Doctors? Any time one likes, and I've done it before.

Does the Canadian system work? Yes. Is it perfect. No? Nothing ever is. But contrary to the misinformation that we hear daily on US TV it works well enough, and none of us would trade it for what we see across the border.

If some see this as a political encroachment on an inappropriate forum, so be it. But if you're considering the slow development of modern health care administration in the US as the topic comes up, talk to friends across the border to see what their first-hand experiences have been. Some will undoubtedly not be a simple as mine, but I'll bet that not a one of them would trade it for what exists currently in the US at the moment, even including Obamacare. Obamacare is simply a band-aid on a sick system that needs major surgery.

Michael

good to hear Michael, and living in France I have the same doubts and questions about american health insurance, actually the lack of an appropriate system/network...i still don't understand people being fined for not having health insurance, ?...i went for years in the US without health insurance because i couldn't afford the incredible cost...

kind regards...
Title: Re: May we ask how Mike is doing?
Post by: Steve Weldon on October 23, 2012, 01:50:34 PM
Hello Michael -

I'm glad you're doing so well and have had such positive experiences.  I've been in the hands of my countries health care system more than once.  Many times in fact.  And while it's impossible to rate medical conditions as the same as, or worse, or better than others.. I would say mine is up there with yours but chronic by nature.

Something I didn't notice at first, is a type of loyalty and even debt we start to feel for those who cared for us.  Yet it's common, cancer survivors start foundations, survivors build hospital wings, some like me go back and work for the system for a few years.  There's nothing wrong with any of this, it's a human condition.

Understanding these things if we already didn't brings perspective we might not have had.

So when I hear you praise your medical system I'm happy for you, and for Canadians in general as I've heard a lot of first hand negative accounts as well.  As an expat living overseas we tend to have more access/insight into citizens of other countries and we hear more examples than if not an expat.

But before we go comparing countries, especially where medical expenses are concerned, to be fair and credible we must understand several precepts.   1.  Nothing is free.  Someone is paying for the healthcare you received.  Someone will always need to pay for the healthcare you require in the future.   2.   Most countries pay for their healthcare systems via taxes.   3.  The higher the ratio of those paying taxes vs. those not.. greatly determines the budget for things such as helathcare.

These precepts come home to roost when you realize most advanced industrialized countries enjoying "Universal Healthcare" can no longer afford it, not as easily as before, and not to the same level of service as before.  They have cut back services, increased waiting times for services, hired foreign doctors in huge numbers, and have been trying like hell to keep their universal systems viable in our modern economies.  I hear even Cuba has a Universal health care system, Castro touts enough, but is it a system I'd seek care for my family in?

As our economies modernize, demographics change, and healthcare practices evolve.. All of this will change.  And how ironic would it be for the worlds richest country to have adopted and now enjoy a system most advanced industrialized countries were forced to give up as times changes?

I suspect we're going to have such issues with much more than healthcare.  

Title: Re: May we ask how Mike is doing?
Post by: Steve Weldon on October 23, 2012, 06:15:38 PM
Hi,

I would just like to point to the fact that the US spends a larger part of GDP on health care than any leading industrialized nation. The enclosed figure is old but still valid. Leading European countries are still in the 9-11% bracket while the US is now around 17%, those figures being prior to 'Obamacare'. It is perfectly possible the US citizens get more bang for the buck, I don't know.

Here in Sweden we do have issues with health care, I cannot compare with other countries and have little own experience, thanks God, as I used to be healthy.

Best regards
Erik



I think it's a mistake to only look at one or two numbers.  Or to respond with only one or two numbers.   Healthcare is extremely complex and there's not a country out there who doesn't need a lot of work done to optimize their their care.  I think reasonable people agree on at least that much.

If we are truly to look at who's getting the most bang for the buck I'm convinced it's the countries who are reaping the benefits of other countries medical research, pharmaceutical industries, and training facilities.. but not paying for them.   Even so, their care might be cheap but it might not be the best. 

We could compare the military services between countries in the area of cost vs. tasking and get like answers.  When the US spends in such an area, it benefits more than themselves and most often allows others to spend less on their own military.  This tends to be taken advantage of.  Tell me when the last NATO country actually met their NATO obligations?  It's been decades.

Looking at numbers like "Cuba has a higher life expectancy than.." is all well and good until you or a family member gets a serious disease at age 40 and your country isn't equipped to deal with it because they haven't the equipment, drugs, or training to do so.  If you're only concerned with who lives the longest, us or them, then go for those life expectancy numbers.  Don't bother to consider genetic information, environment, culture, foods, or other such factors.  Or what happens when you're one of the millions who die each year from other than natural causes.

Having lived in other countries (many) for almost all of my adult life what I personally look for in health care systems?  Are there facilities, training, dugs, and personnel available to treat me and my family if we get sick or injured.  And can we get them to treatment.  An example would be Thailand, high on the medical tourism list of places to go for face lifts through heart transplants.  I've been a patient at Bumrumgrad Hospital (a private hospital for the rich/royalty for over 12 years and received wonderful care from their US trained doctors, US equipped facilities, and US stocked pharmacies.  They are inspected every two years by JCHAO just like any western hospital of merit.  They even have nice places to eat and shop.  Showcase quality and they know and charge for it.

Yet the country has no real emergency services.  If you are in an accident almost anywhere (or have an event at home), even Bangkok, there is no life flight, no paramedics, and the drivers won't even yield to oncoming lights and sirens.  If you are in a major motor vehicle accident in Thailand you can consider yourself lucky to be crammed in a short bed small pickup truck with a camper shell (too bad if it's a 5 foot bed and you're taller) and transported to the nearest hospital who will take you.  If you're not Thai with a known insurance card, or have your own accepted insurance card you won't be admitted.  Laws allow this.  You go down the list from private hospitals, to police and military hospitals, university hospitals, to public hospitals.  Huge differences between each one. Your watch, wallet, etc.. would be lifted for services rendered by the emergency truck mafia.   I'm not making any of this up..  Yes, they have their showcase paramedic and fire personnel and some well trained military people.  But they're kept largely in reserve for the privileged and royalty and wouldn't even consider deploying their vehicles for a private citizen or a foreigner unless it was a huge event like a terrorist bombing, etc.. they knew would be covered internationally. 

I look at medical care like I do politicians.  We tend to get that which we deserve.  Having been back in the states about 18 months now I must say I'm pretty impressed with our healthcare system.  And this is in the poorer midwest.  We are treated in the same facilities right alongside the same people who don't have insurance or other means of payment.  Since we've been back members of our family have been treated for various aliments ranging from cancer to dental emergencies.  We've had great service everywhere.  My "co-pay" is $12.. scripts are $2 each.  I think we'll make it.  Why such good rates?  Because I made choices and sacrifices decades ago specifically for these reasons.  Because the mindset in this country has always been we're self-reliant, we plan and save and look after ourselves.  What's left over goes to charities or causes we believe in.  And when we can't, we know we'll still be treated but perhaps we won't be given extras.  In contrast other countries look to their governments to provide such things which I mentioned is what they deserve.  And most are so totally disconnected from who actually pay the bills that they still say "it's for free.."   Is it?

Title: Re: May we ask how Mike is doing?
Post by: deejjjaaaa on October 23, 2012, 07:44:25 PM
Just curious --  Is that because an employer is picking-up the rest of the health insurance premium?

US taxpayers  ;D
Title: Re: May we ask how Mike is doing?
Post by: Steve Weldon on October 23, 2012, 11:42:44 PM
More information is available, and it does seem appropriate to take a look at 11 health care indicators from a Canadian perspective (http://www.conferenceboard.ca/Files/hcp/health/health2012_healthInd_tbl_LG.png) ;-)

Overall they score the US a D for health performance (http://www.conferenceboard.ca/hcp/details/health.aspx)  :-(


Do you mean those people receive free preventative care or do you mean the unpaid emergency room costs are picked-up by tax payers?


Just curious --  Is that because an employer is picking-up the rest of the health insurance premium?


I wish you luck
--

"62.1 percent of the bankruptcies were medically related because the individuals either had more than $5,000 (or 10 percent of their pretax income) in medical bills, mortgaged their home to pay for medical bills, or lost significant income due to an illness. On average, medically bankrupt families had $17,943 in out-of-pocket expenses, including $26,971 for those who lacked insurance and $17,749 who had insurance at some point.

Overall, three-quarters of the people with a medically-related bankruptcy (http://articles.cnn.com/2009-06-05/health/bankruptcy.medical.bills_1_medical-bills-bankruptcies-health-insurance?_s=PM:HEALTH) had health insurance, they say."

1.  Why would a graded by Canadains, in Canada graded health survey, be of interest to anyone but a Canadian?   What I've been trying to say isn't being understood.  Allow me an additional opportunity? 

A countries health care system is complex.  There are many contributing variables and factors.  Comparing countries with unlike variables and factors is of marginal if any use.  There are too many significant differences between the US and Canadian systems for them to be compared to on the whole.  Trying to do so is folly. 

Personally I don't think there is another country to be compared with the US on the whole.  There are single factors and variables we could compare, but they're quickly and instinctively explained by one or more of the other variables/factors.

2.  I would be surprised if a biased article for Canada would give any better of a grade to the US..  We can all see why ?


3.  I was speaking of clinics and waiting rooms which normally cater to appointments.  The emergency room myth is a good example of how myths start and why.   

When I came back to the states after being gone a number of years one of the first things on my agenda was to shop for a clinic, doctors, etc compatible with my health insurance.  Virtually every one of them had an "urgent care clinic" which falls under the same laws for those who can't pay.  And they're used at least partly as a filtering point to get those without insurance or income into the best fit of a program. 

So to answer your question, they were part of a program, either medicare, welfare, whatever name they're giving it.. which qualifies them for this program.  They all include preventative care from what I could tell.  At what levels and compared to what I don't know.  But it was impressive because everything needed was available (from what I could tell from my vantage point). everyone was treated well, and the clinics were very nice.  I was surprised to learn they're building a newer more advanced center my current clinic will be transferred to later this year.. so there's progress there as well.


4.  Of course.  This is how all insurance companies work for all but the self-employed or those unable to pay.  An insurance plan is offered as a benefit of employment and your contributions are detailed in your employment contract.  In many cases you can choose to purchase supplements which further cover yearly deductibles and contributions for a monthly fee.  Often there are several levels so you can tailor your personal requirements to a plan.  It's all very friendly and easy to understand.

5.  I don't wish to be rude, but in matters of such import I don't leave it to luck.  I put in enough research time to understand what's going on to the best of my abilities.  And then I choose the most appropriate plan which will cover me and my family.  Luck intones I have no control, or at least that I needed help because I had lost control.  And that would not be the case.

Also, I've personally went through the scenario where someone gets hurt enough to require years of surgeries, further years of rehab, and drastic changes in employment, lifestyle, etc.   I've lived it.  I could write books about it.  When this happened I immediately knew I'd lost my life as I knew it.  My career was gone, I was certain more would be lost, it just didn't take many brain cells to see all that coming. My thoughts then went to my occupational and financial recovery.   I'm proud to say at no time did I have to worry if a hospital bill was paid or anything of that nature.  Or if I wasn't getting the best care possible.  I was confident I was.  No matter, if it wasn't I'd have just put it on the rather long list of things I'd attend to when I could.

At no time did I expect outside help to pay me for the loss of my career, or any of the other things I wasn't planning on.  I planned, I think well for my age at the time, and did my best with the outcome.  And then I took my disabled self and built a new career.  At no time did I ever expect anyone to do it for me.  Or feel bad because my government didn't cover me 100%.  I'm just not built with that sort of mentality.

And if you take that brief paragraph you listed.. that 3/4's thing.. Read it carefully.  Do just a fair amount of research.  Compare it to yourself and your own set-up and choices.  I'd be surprised if you didn't become at least a bit really at those willing to game the system as most of these people have done. When I see such flotsam coming from my own country I become even more discouraged with the political party responsible. 

The people who write such articles understand that the majority of readers won't do any research, they'll just take it as written.  This is their target base.  Then you have a minority who do research to some degree, and others to a higher degree.  You see, most people stop when they see what they already agree with.  This is who the article is written for.  And if they're good at this type of targeted slop there will be another 15-25% who will research it just enough to confirm a few other parts.   But it's usually under 25% who read it enough to understand what they're really doing.  And these people, that 25%.. probably isn't from their party anyway.   

If you put out enough of these things then a number of people will start to believe it.  These people, and the reinforcement of the 50%.. that's what they're really after.  Both major parties do this.  It's not unique to anyone.  It's old and tiring and frankly insulting.  It's this sort of thing that impedes real progress from any direction.  And you'd be surprised how many profit greatly from no progress being made.

Thank you for a polite discussion.  You didn't see a need to get insulting like someone did later in the thread who tried to be cute.  I really do believe the US (and most every country out there) can and should improve their system.  But I think the "my country is great and gives me free stuff so your country should too" approach isn't productive for anyone. 

I could have cited articles which were written and support my POV, what numerous Canadian expats have shared with me, etc.. but what I really would like, and I felt you left yourself open to it, is to just politely talk about the differences and what we think should be done about them.  This isn't a debate where anyone wins.  Ever.  But we can understand it better.
Title: Re: May we ask how Mike is doing?
Post by: Schewe on October 24, 2012, 12:48:35 AM
Not for nothing....but this thread is intended to provide information about Mike's health...since it's Mike's site, he's entitled to sprout the occasional editorial comment about his healthcare without a full on US vs. the World debate.

This thread ain't the place for it (and in fact LuLa ain't either).

There are plenty of places to go talk politics (or a whole host of other hot button topics)...

If you want to keep up the debate I suggest The Coffee Corner (http://www.luminous-landscape.com/forum/index.php?board=33.0) would be the place to do it.

That way people who want to hear an update from Mike (or Chris) won't have to wade through it...

Just sayin'
Title: Re: May we ask how Mike is doing?
Post by: deejjjaaaa on October 24, 2012, 09:14:24 AM
Personally I don't think there is another country to be compared with the US on the whole.  There are single factors and variables we could compare, but they're quickly and instinctively explained by one or more of the other variables/factors.

then I 'd assume we shall not judge a healthcare system in any country by your logic... because they are all different "on the whole"... but it is really just a way to escape the discussion of the fact that healthcare in US has issues and the cost is skyrocketing for majority of taxpayers (except of some sitting on taxpayers funded defined benefits plans - be that federal/state/municipal)...
Title: Re: May we ask how Mike is doing?
Post by: ErikKaffehr on October 24, 2012, 03:35:25 PM
Hi,

I agree, I removed all my postings.

Best regards
Erik

My apologies for the intrusion.
Title: Re: May we ask how Mike is doing?
Post by: Steve Weldon on October 24, 2012, 09:11:52 PM
then I 'd assume we shall not judge a healthcare system in any country by your logic... because they are all different "on the whole"... but it is really just a way to escape the discussion of the fact that healthcare in US has issues and the cost is skyrocketing for majority of taxpayers (except of some sitting on taxpayers funded defined benefits plans - be that federal/state/municipal)...

Then your assumption would be wrong based on how I've responded to each question asked and to each point made.  More than anyone here.   All without insults or losing decorum.   But it's going to take a bit more dedication to logic than the insults and combative nature you've exhibited so far and judging my your posts your not up to it..  When I see responses of the type you've made I find the respondent isn't really interested in discussion, answers, or truth.  And they're far from secure in what they believe.  It's actually typical.

So let's leave it as that, a thread inspired by the host of the discussion forum who we're told by proxy wouldn't appreciate such discussion on his forum.

 :'( 

Title: Re: National Health Systems
Post by: BobDavid on October 24, 2012, 11:18:53 PM
Get well soon, Mike. We are all thinking of you!
Title: Re: May we ask how Mike is doing?
Post by: Schewe on October 24, 2012, 11:44:01 PM
So let's leave it as that, a thread inspired by the host of the discussion forum who we're told by proxy wouldn't appreciate such discussion on his forum.

I was not acting as a proxy for Mike...Mike is perfectly capable of saying what he thinks if he is so inclined...personally, I would just simply like a thread where Mike (or Chris) can come and give us updates or well wishers can offer their support without a lot of off topic gyrations...hey, opinions are like assholes...everybody has one and nobody but a proctologist really likes to go there.

I have a lot of thoughts about the US healthcare system...I have a daughter that is privately uninsurable (at any price) because of preexisting conditions (she has an Illinois State provided insurance that is itself pricy) and my wife and I, being sole proprietors, pay a massive premium with lots of deductions. I wish I got some coverage from being an employee but, well, I don't do so well working for a "real" boss, ya know?

Everybody has their cross to bare...but knowing people here in the US as well as friends all over the world, the US system, like any system works "ok" if you have means...if not then it's the luck of the draw.

Personally, I'm really glad Mike got the level of care he got in the time frame he got it...Mike & I had gotten together in mid-June (with Eric Chan) just before all the stuff happened...it was a shock how quickly all tis happenedI wish him well and hope for the best.
Title: Re: National Health Systems
Post by: Slobodan Blagojevic on October 25, 2012, 12:43:08 AM
Steve, you stated your position quite eloquently, so will I:

booooooooooooooooooo!!!

Title: Re: National Health Systems
Post by: RSL on October 26, 2012, 01:12:32 PM
I'm not about to get into an argument about health care systems since my wife and I are covered under Tricare for Life.

But I do want to say: HANG IN THERE MICHAEL, GET WELL, AND LIVE LONG. You do fine work, but even if you didn't, Luminous Landscape itself is an achievement to be proud of.
Title: Re: May we ask how Mike is doing?
Post by: Steve Weldon on October 26, 2012, 05:45:49 PM
I was not acting as a proxy for Mike...Mike is perfectly capable of saying what he thinks if he is so inclined...personally, I would just simply like a thread where Mike (or Chris) can come and give us updates or well wishers can offer their support without a lot of off topic gyrations...hey, opinions are like assholes...everybody has one and nobody but a proctologist really likes to go there.

I have a lot of thoughts about the US healthcare system...I have a daughter that is privately uninsurable (at any price) because of preexisting conditions (she has an Illinois State provided insurance that is itself pricy) and my wife and I, being sole proprietors, pay a massive premium with lots of deductions. I wish I got some coverage from being an employee but, well, I don't do so well working for a "real" boss, ya know?

Everybody has their cross to bare...but knowing people here in the US as well as friends all over the world, the US system, like any system works "ok" if you have means...if not then it's the luck of the draw.

Personally, I'm really glad Mike got the level of care he got in the time frame he got it...Mike & I had gotten together in mid-June (with Eric Chan) just before all the stuff happened...it was a shock how quickly all tis happenedI wish him well and hope for the best.

1.  I see    Healthcare is a hot topic and I doubt that will change any time soon.  Like anyone else I'd like to see improvements for everyone in every country, but I'm far past the knee jerk responses so typical from the extremes on both sides of the issue.   The truth is most of the western world single payer systems with the UK leading the way are in dire trouble and there's less progress being made fixing a system we're told we should be going to, than we're making with our old system.  The world is changing and for the many of the same reasons healthcare costs are rising in the USA, they're rising everywhere.  All our different systems are being stressed outside of their design parameters.  There is no "free" for any taxpayer who has reached the taxable brackets.  Someone is paying.  

2.  Sorry to hear your daughter is having such issues.  I think this is one of the areas (pre-existing conditions) we should and could have fixed in short order, but instead it's being used by a tool on both sides of the issue to hit the ball back and forth.  They should be ashamed.  Not allowing out of state medical insurance is another major flaw easily fixed.   There are many easy fixes we could easily do, but they're held hostage.  We don't need a single payer system to fix them either.  We just need to act like adults.

3.  Me either and I knew it.  But I suffered through the first 20 years of my working life telling myself I'd do whatever it took to set myself up for the remainder to work for myself.  

4.  I think in most cases it's more than that.  In most cases it's more a lack of knowing a quite complex system.  My mother worked in a hospital for 30+ years qualifying insurances and programs, my sister has been doing if for 15+.. listening to them talk it's a rare case they can't get qualified in one system or the other, and I've listened to them talk for years, well before this became a big issue.  The writing was on the wall.  Most of the time the person seeking help is handled by someone paid min wage and who isn't really qualified.. they're punching a time clock and really don't care enough to put in that extra mile.  

5.  Absolutely.  I think we all are thankful.  
Title: Re: National Health Systems
Post by: Steve Weldon on October 26, 2012, 05:47:10 PM
Steve, you stated your position quite eloquently, so will I:

booooooooooooooooooo!!!



Not yet I haven't, like you I'm still working on it.. :)
Title: Re: May we ask how Mike is doing?
Post by: Steve Weldon on October 26, 2012, 06:04:54 PM
That comparison is between health outcomes in 17 developed nations.
That research and analysis (http://www.conferenceboard.ca/about-cboc/default.aspx) was not done by a government department or agency -- so it really isn't enough to claim bias without presenting some justification.
Obviously, many of those programs are funded by federal and state taxation.

Individual clinics and hospitals often do have "Charity Care" programs for those who do not qualify for tax-supported programs and have no recoverable assets.
Not by all employers, and not for all employees (http://www.nytimes.com/2011/10/21/business/wal-mart-cuts-some-health-care-benefits.html?pagewanted=all&_r=0).
I had the luck to be born healthy and clever.

"There, but for the grace of God, goes John Bradford,"

1.  "Health Outcomes" by themselves are the result of many differences.  Like I said, healthcare is complicated.

2.  So in your experience if the groups doesn't claim affiliation with the government then there is done?  Really?  The fact that they didn't state who paid them to do the study says all any reasonable person needs to know.

3.   There are other programs, but sure.. in the US we have a system and the system says if you haven't provided adequate insurance then your assets must be considered.  We're all familiar with this, we all drive cars with insurance, own homes with insurance, etc.. and we're bound by the limits of those policies..  I'm comfortable  with this, looked at the system at early age (17), and made decisions.  When it came my unfortunate turn to run up over several million in medical bills I was covered.  If not, I would have been selling the assets I wasn't already selling because of my change in incomes, need to re-educate myself, move, etc.. I would never have knocked on your door with my hand out and said "I'm sorry, but I saved $100 last year by buying cheaper insurance and now I find myself without adequate coverage, could you spare an extra $10,000 or so?  I have absolutely no problem with letting adults make adult decisions and live with the consequences.

4.  Not all employers should have to.  Obviously many rather large companies who supported Obamacare don't think so either as they've applied for waivers so they don't have to either.  It's a less than honorable world out there.
Title: Re: National Health Systems
Post by: Steve Weldon on October 26, 2012, 06:08:31 PM
I'm not about to get into an argument about health care systems since my wife and I are covered under Tricare for Life.

But I do want to say: HANG IN THERE MICHAEL, GET WELL, AND LIVE LONG. You do fine work, but even if you didn't, Luminous Landscape itself is an achievement to be proud of.

This is a great program.  I think we other systems could learn a lot by studying Tri-care.  And Tri-care Prime is a great supplement program as it's possible for someone with a modest program to get eaten up with deductibles, co-pays, etc..   

Thanks for your service.
Title: Re: National Health Systems
Post by: Ray on October 26, 2012, 08:03:29 PM
The entire isssue of health care is an enormous problem. I can't speak for the American system because I've never lived in America, but I get the definite impression that those who are poor, unemployed or plain dysfunctional, and who do not have private health care cover, frequently die due to a lack of proper treatment, in the USA.

If this is true, and I see lots of reports on the internet claiming that it is true, then that seems a disgrace to me for any wealthy, developed country.

The situation in Australia seems to be that one gets the best treatment available, and promptly, even if one doesn't have any health insurance, provided the ailment is considered to be serious and/or life-threatening. Frequently the same surgeons who operate on insurance-covered patients in the Private Hospitals, will travel to a Public Hospital to perform similar operations on uninsured patients.

One might ask, if this is the case, why would anyone buy private health insurance in a country like Australia? Since I'm rather healthy and very rarely need to visit a doctor, I can't speak much from personal experience, but I get the impression that private health cover provides treatment for lots of non-essential, non-life-threatening conditions without delay, and provides better accommodation in the hospital, such as a private room of a more luxurious standard, and provides the opportunity to choose one's own surgeon or specialist etc.

Another issue is the rising health care costs in general. Just recently during a conversation with a neighbour who had returned from a visit to America, I got a few impressions of life there from an Australian perspective. My neighbour was amazed at how cheap and plentiful junk food and restaurant food was, everywhere he travelled. A standard $10 meal would often be sufficient in quantity for two people with normal appetites, and frequently such a meal would include huge quantities of sliced beef and unlimited top-ups of Coke. It's no wonder obesity is on the rise in America.

Prevention is always better than cure. It's been known for years, if one wants to have a long and healthy life one should eat wholesome food with plenty of fibre, vegetables and some fruit. Eat moderately, eat less meat, and avoid as much as possible not only all junk food, but processed food in general with its added fructose. In addition, of course, one should take regular exercise.

My general impression of the situation, not only in America but more-so in America, is that we have a massive, processed-food and advertising industry, worth hundreds of billions of dollars, whose main purpose, or raison d'etre, is to encourage people to eat as much tasty and junk food as possible, the consequences of which require frequent medical care later in life.

In this sense we could consider much of the nation's health-care systems as subidiaries of the food industry, not to mention the Weight-Loss industries which thrive on providing diets that rarely seem to work in the long term.

Okay! I've had my rant.  ;D
Title: Re: National Health Systems
Post by: Schewe on October 26, 2012, 10:43:41 PM

My general impression of the situation, not only in America but more-so in America, is that we have a massive, processed-food and advertising industry, worth hundreds of billions of dollars, whose main purpose, or raison d'etre, is to encourage people to eat as much tasty and junk food as possible, the consequences of which require frequent medical care later in life.

In this sense we could consider much of the nation's health-care systems as subidiaries of the food industry, not to mention the Weight-Loss industries which thrive on providing diets that rarely seem to work in the long term.


Actually, it's worse than that...the taxpayers end up subsidizing the farm/food industries...in the US, there are price support schemes that kick in to help keep corn & dairy (in particular) plentiful and cheap. These price supports were put in a long time ago when most farming was done by families on their farms. Corporate farming has pretty much decimated a lot of the family farms and the corporate farms have a lot of power and influence in Washington. The net result is that carbs, high fat and sugar (from high fructose corn sirup) are really cheap. Processed foods are cheap (because of the mass production and cheap ingredients) but come with a lot of unseen costs such as the carbon footprint for mass farming and the impact of pesticides and herbicides.

I live in Chicago where we have fresh, organic, regional and seasonal produce. We have one of the largest Whole Foods store (about 5 blocks down the road) and my wife strongly believes in the above "fresh" approach. But, I gotta tell ya, it costs a LOT more than going to a normal supermarket. In Chicago's poorer parts, the typical highly processed food is cheap by comparison. It's really expensive to eat healthy so by and large, poor people can't. A lot don't have reasonable health insurance either.

But it's not just food, it's the whole lifestyle...smoking, drinking, drugs, poor sleep and stress are all controllable choices but it's amazing how many people still smoke (yeah, ok, I smoked a long time but quit).

Heck, in Illinois, you don't even have to wear a helmet when you ride a motorcycle (I always do as well as a protective suit). A lot of brain injuries which doesn't always kill.


The whole thing sucks...but it's what we've got, ya know? There's only so much individuals can do...but one thing you can do is vote. I don't care who you vote for, but I sure hope you vote in whatever country you may live in. And no, I don't want to talk politics (or religion)...

:~)
Title: Re: National Health Systems
Post by: Steve Weldon on October 26, 2012, 11:07:57 PM
The entire isssue of health care is an enormous problem. I can't speak for the American system because I've never lived in America, but I get the definite impression that those who are poor, unemployed or plain dysfunctional, and who do not have private health care cover, frequently die due to a lack of proper treatment, in the USA.

If this is true, and I see lots of reports on the internet claiming that it is true, then that seems a disgrace to me for any wealthy, developed country.

The situation in Australia seems to be that one gets the best treatment available, and promptly, even if one doesn't have any health insurance, provided the ailment is considered to be serious and/or life-threatening. Frequently the same surgeons who operate on insurance-covered patients in the Private Hospitals, will travel to a Public Hospital to perform similar operations on uninsured patients.

One might ask, if this is the case, why would anyone buy private health insurance in a country like Australia? Since I'm rather healthy and very rarely need to visit a doctor, I can't speak much from personal experience, but I get the impression that private health cover provides treatment for lots of non-essential, non-life-threatening conditions without delay, and provides better accommodation in the hospital, such as a private room of a more luxurious standard, and provides the opportunity to choose one's own surgeon or specialist etc.

Another issue is the rising health care costs in general. Just recently during a conversation with a neighbour who had returned from a visit to America, I got a few impressions of life there from an Australian perspective. My neighbour was amazed at how cheap and plentiful junk food and restaurant food was, everywhere he travelled. A standard $10 meal would often be sufficient in quantity for two people with normal appetites, and frequently such a meal would include huge quantities of sliced beef and unlimited top-ups of Coke. It's no wonder obesity is on the rise in America.

Prevention is always better than cure. It's been known for years, if one wants to have a long and healthy life one should eat wholesome food with plenty of fibre, vegetables and some fruit. Eat moderately, eat less meat, and avoid as much as possible not only all junk food, but processed food in general with its added fructose. In addition, of course, one should take regular exercise.

My general impression of the situation, not only in America but more-so in America, is that we have a massive, processed-food and advertising industry, worth hundreds of billions of dollars, whose main purpose, or raison d'etre, is to encourage people to eat as much tasty and junk food as possible, the consequences of which require frequent medical care later in life.

In this sense we could consider much of the nation's health-care systems as subidiaries of the food industry, not to mention the Weight-Loss industries which thrive on providing diets that rarely seem to work in the long term.

Okay! I've had my rant.  ;D


1&2  -  I was going to ask where you get your impressions but then you told me.  The internet.  In that case it must be true.. :)   Seriously though, we need to be careful what we believe.  We all know the political machines of our countries are doing their best to make us believe what they will and vote accordingly.. and voting is in essence taking our power (and subsequently wealth) and giving it to them.  Yet, in our systems, democracies, representative republics (America), and others..  we must vote and put our representatives in power.  The problem with this is that it takes a high level of dedication, work,and time spent to keep up even to a reasonable level of knowledge, so we tend to take shortcuts.   We often vote with others we respect, family, spouses, teachers, etc.. as one type of shortcut.  Another type (among many others) is we fall victim to news reports and the such in our media, internet included.

Are there bad things happening due to lack of insurance in America?  Yes.  Are there bad things happening in one-payer countries despite a promised coverage?  Yes.  How do we sort it out to a point we can actually make comparisons and finally decide on needed changes?  The work mentioned about is one way..  Another way is trust your gut.. common sense.  You sounded above like you found it hard to believe a disadvantaged group of people would be left to die without any help.  I'd agree with that sentiment.  And before I believe it I want someone to show me.  And then I want to find out if it's a one off occurrence, if it happens once per week, a hundred times a week, a thousand times a week.  And should it have happened with the current system in place, or was something else in play.  Again, lots of work to get anywhere near the truth.  

3.  I can't think of a private hospital in America who excludes the poor, or refuses government welfare/medicare rates for their treatment.  I know we've had problems trying to push certain patient groups to certain hospitals for less than great reasons.. but through it all the person is still getting treatment.  But I'd say it's the rule rather than the exception that most doctors practising non-elective care (elective care would be cosmetic surgeries, experimental treatments, etc) have a steady stream of patients from all payment groups coming through.

I've noticed in other countries with one-payer systems.. you tend to get networks of private doctors/hospitals treating patients with better standards of care.  Not just nice rooms and that sort of thing, but doctors equipped and trained to perform to higher levels.  They'll have newer more effective drugs, diagnostic equipment, and all that available.   Basically, there becomes two standards of care.  One for the rich and the larger one-payer system for the poor.  I've had fellow expats tell me this goes on in Australia, the UK, Canada, to name a few.  

In the states we tend to have better doctors available through better hospitals, which are mostly a function of geographic proximity.  If the hospital services an area, then whoever lives in that area gets serviced.  However, if you're rich and everyone knows the best doctor for his surgery is in another state.. then they have the resources to travel.  Of course your HMO might not cover you if you did, so if this was the case the level of "rich" you'd need to be goes up a lot.  But here it's geographical.. not because this private hospital was built to service a certain income group and no one else.  They're built to service their geographical areas.. which could be mostly rich.. we do have geographical pockets of wealth.

4.   This fast food stuff..  I just returned to the states after being gone 7-8 years.   If you would agree that fast food is defined as tasty food, often fried in unhealthy saturated fats, at a low price, ready in minutes.. then Thailand/Laos/Cambodia/Myanmar probably have a density of fast food being served to the public in rates never seen in the western world.  Seriously.

They're even close on McDonalds, Pizza Hut, Pizza Company, Subway, Burger King, Dunkin Donuts, etc, etc.. and they all deliver.  What a great country eh?   ::)

When arriving back to the states after 7-8 years..  I noticed while indeed there is a great number of fast food places, they appear to have started a trend towards more healthy fast foods.  New franchises who seem to specialize in in healthier fare.. and even the old places like McDonalds are offering more an dmore healthy items.  McDonalds recently released their nutritional  information guides.. and people were shocked to see they were one of the more healthy fast food places around.

I'm saying all this.. because the fast food industry has become complicated, maybe in response to consumer habits, news reports, etc.  And to say fast food is a problem here, but not nearly as much as people make it out to be.  Just because one fool makes a movie about only eating Big Macs, this doesn't mean we have a problem with everyone only eating Big Macs.  What we have is someone trying to make a name for himself and sell movies.   And it's try that food here is cheaper than in Oz by a great deal.. but so is good health food.  That's a good thing right?    But I'm not sure where two people can eat as you described for $10.. or $20.  One person can easily spend $10 at a fast food place, most of them.. So two for $10?  Only on a limited value meal..

Along these lines.. we've recently had politicians taxing soft drinks, only allowing small sizes, and all kinds of other silly stuff..   Do we really want to the government regulating what we choose to eat for lunch?  Every time we ask for our government to pass some silly nanny law we're telling them we can't handle the problem ourselves.  Yet I've been handling what goes in my mouth for a long time.  So they tell me that I might be able to choose right, but what about those with less education or experience (code for "dumb people"), should we look out for them by making laws restricting food types?    I say no.. food is one of the most basic parts of a person life.  If they can't take care of their food they've probably got more serious issues to worry about.  How would your fellow Aussie's feel about restricting beer intake?  Or tacking on hefty new taxes?  We have much better things for our politicians to do.. and they don't get a lot done anyway..

Title: Re: National Health Systems
Post by: Schewe on October 26, 2012, 11:33:09 PM
Along these lines.. we've recently had politicians taxing soft drinks, only allowing small sizes, and all kinds of other silly stuff..   Do we really want to the government regulating what we choose to eat for lunch?  Every time we ask for our government to pass some silly nanny law we're telling them we can't handle the problem ourselves.

So, do you read the National Enquirer, go to NASCAR races, listen to country & western music and ride motorcycles without a helmet? Note, I have nothing against NASCAR & C&W but when you add them all up, then yeah, some people don't seem to be able to manage their lives. Should the government try to help? I suppose...on the other hand, I think survival of the fittest also works. But some people fall through the cracks and get handed the shitty end of the stick.

Tough questions...tougher to decide. Smart people tend to do better in life...(not always), is that fair?
Title: Re: National Health Systems
Post by: Slobodan Blagojevic on October 27, 2012, 12:40:52 AM
... The practical advice (p158) is to "... split anything you order in half."...

Indeed. But the real question remains: why? Why do we have to order double, pay double, only to split it? For restaurants, doubling the size is the easiest way to justify doubling the price, while not proportionally increasing the cost at the same time.

That is one cultural difference between Europe and the U.S I have trouble figuring out. Why aren't European portions the size of American?

For a short while, Buffalo Wild Wings chain had calories on their menu. Not any more. I guess they figured that scaring customers is bad for business.

Is it perhaps because of the vicious circle of obesity: people eating more become obese, and obese people need more to eat? And restaurants only happy to oblige?

Is it perhaps because of the puritanic obsession with alcohol that borders on lunacy? Where alcohol is demonized, while sugary drinks glorified?
Title: Re: National Health Systems
Post by: Ligament on October 27, 2012, 05:59:36 AM
The US medical system would be wonderful but for one, major, cancer. That is malpractice attorneys and their frivolous malpractice suits. Physicians are forced to practice CYA medicine - cover your ass medicine - ordering countless tests and studies to protect themselves against a lawsuit should their patient have a very unexpected, statistically remote disease that would not be addressed or picked up with "normal" studies and tests.

Literally, physicians are forced to order at least 50% more studies and tests than they need to in order to protect themselves against these leaches known as malpractice attorneys.

I swear to you, if we could get any sort of reasonable tort reform passed on a nationwide scale, costs would plummet 50-70% in the course of 6 months.

We could deal with the rest of the problems later.

It is not the physicians that are to blame here; their very homes are at stake should they have the misfortune of missing a .01% condition.

Of course tort reform will never happen, because Washington is run by these very same leaches called attorneys.
Title: Re: National Health Systems
Post by: Ray on October 27, 2012, 07:23:27 AM
You sounded above like you found it hard to believe a disadvantaged group of people would be left to die without any help.  I'd agree with that sentiment.  And before I believe it I want someone to show me.  And then I want to find out if it's a one off occurrence, if it happens once per week, a hundred times a week, a thousand times a week.  And should it have happened with the current system in place, or was something else in play.  Again, lots of work to get anywhere near the truth.  

Steve,
Let's not exaggerate. I'm not trying to equate America with India where, in my experience, poor people are frequnetly left to die on the streets without any help at all.

The words I used were, "die due to a lack of proper treatment". By proper, I mean the standard, accepted procedures for the treatment of any particular life-threatening illness.

Quote
I've noticed in other countries with one-payer systems.. you tend to get networks of private doctors/hospitals treating patients with better standards of care. Not just nice rooms and that sort of thing, but doctors equipped and trained to perform to higher levels. They'll have newer more effective drugs, diagnostic equipment, and all that available. Basically, there becomes two standards of care. One for the rich and the larger one-payer system for the poor. I've had fellow expats tell me this goes on in Australia, the UK, Canada, to name a few.

There are always situations of malpractice that can occur in any hospital, public or private. However, the principle that applies in Australia, is that no-one should be disadvantaged regarding availability of best-practice medical care if he is in a life-threatening situation. But there are always non-essential medical procedures for which there may be a long waiting list for the uninsured.

Quote
When arriving back to the states after 7-8 years.. I noticed while indeed there is a great number of fast food places, they appear to have started a trend towards more healthy fast foods.

That's certainly a move in the right direction. But I'd still be very concerned about additives such as fructose, which I've never seen listed amongst any food indredients. It's always hidden under the general heading of 'sugar'.

Fructose is about twice as sweet as ordinary table sugar, or cane sugar, (known as sucrose) and as Jeff Schewe mentioned, it's cheaply available from processed corn syrup. It's the cheapest and most effective way of sweetening food, which is why it's widely used in the food-processing industry.

However, recent research, is beginning to reveal that excessive fructose, which is also the natural sugar of fruit, can have serious health consequences. There are strong indications that it can contribute towards the following conditions:

Gout, High Blood Pressure, High Cholesterol and High Triglycerides,  Kidney disease, Heart disease, Fatty liver disease, and Alzheimers.

Quote
. This fast food stuff.. I just returned to the states after being gone 7-8 years. If you would agree that fast food is defined as tasty food, often fried in unhealthy saturated fats, at a low price, ready in minutes.. then Thailand/Laos/Cambodia/Myanmar probably have a density of fast food being served to the public in rates never seen in the western world. Seriously.

I guess you are referring to the vegetables and stuff which are fried in the wok.

Again, recent research is revealing that saturated animal fat, lard and real butter is actually better for you than polyunsaturated fats from sunflower seed and canola, provided you don't eat too much of the saturated fats, of course. Margarine and skimmed milk is not recommended. The rationale for this modern view is that we are animals and have to produce our own fat and cholestrol which is very similar to the saturated fat and cholestrol in real butter, lard and meat. The human body struggles to generate its required fat and cholestrol from these highly processed margarines and fat-free milks.

There's emerging evidence that such artificial, fat-free foods can increase the risk of cancer.

However, one gripe I have about Asian countries is their insistence on using white rice all the time. In the West (not sure about America, though) we've long since realised the benefits of wholemeal bread. Go into any supermarket in Australia, and most brands of bread are varieties of wholemeal. White loaves are still available on the shelves, but in very small quantities. They're almost extinct, as they should be.

I've only ever come across one restaurant in all my travels that offers a choice of brown rice or white rice. And that's a restaurant by the name of Moon Dance in the city of Pokhara in Nepal.

So, for all you landscape-loving photographers, when you visit Nepal to take fantastic photos of the Himalayas, don't forget to visit the Moon Dance restaurant and experience their fine brown rice, if you also happen to visit Pokhara, which is a great centre for trekking.

To keep the thread related to photography, I'll now show a couple of pictures for the very discerning, of that brown rice being threshed. Looks like thrashing to me. "Oh! No! Please don't thrash me. I've done no wrong."  ;D

Title: Re: National Health Systems
Post by: Steve Weldon on October 27, 2012, 02:22:01 PM
So, do you read the National Enquirer, go to NASCAR races, listen to country & western music and ride motorcycles without a helmet? Note, I have nothing against NASCAR & C&W but when you add them all up, then yeah, some people don't seem to be able to manage their lives. Should the government try to help? I suppose...on the other hand, I think survival of the fittest also works. But some people fall through the cracks and get handed the shitty end of the stick.

Tough questions...tougher to decide. Smart people tend to do better in life...(not always), is that fair?
Agree.. tough to decide.  When I arrived in Illinois roughly 18 months ago I was gobsmacked to see people riding motorcycles without helmets considering the politics of the land.  My first thought was "that guy is going to get a ticket.."  But it didn't take long to catch on..

Where are our limits?  Are we seeing those limits more clearly as our economies crumble around us?  We spend an ungodly amount of money in our national budget.  How much of what we buy do we really need?  I'm sure if me and 9 other people here went through the budget we'd have 10 different sets of priorities.. at least on the bottom 50%.. and that might be where we make things hard.  We tier what it takes to approve the bottom 50%..  it would take some organizing and a decade or two of politicians having to work for a living but we could get there.

Where would I personally draw the line for healthcare?  Children.  I'd vote today to issue every child with a single-payer government funded insurance card.   No one else though I might be swayed to extend that to 25 if still FULL time college.   And let's see the proponents of a one-payer system run this one, the proponents of the alternative run theirs.  See where we are 20 years from now and if one deserves to consolidate both, or maybe they work better separated. 

On the alternative side.. I'd allow heath insurance companies to compete across state lines (competition ALWAYS makes the difference), eliminate pre-existing condition clauses, and STOP all care going to those who are not here legally.

I see all of the above as solutions of compromise.  What would be acceptable to you?
Title: Re: National Health Systems
Post by: Steve Weldon on October 27, 2012, 02:27:19 PM
Indeed. But the real question remains: why? Why do we have to order double, pay double, only to split it? For restaurants, doubling the size is the easiest way to justify doubling the price, while not proportionally increasing the cost at the same time.
I'm reminded of this franchine when I was living in Pensacola years ago, no idea if it's still there.  "Po-folks" was a buffet style featuring all you can eat southern food.  All the drinks you can drink served in mason jars, a very elaborate ice cream bar, Mexican food bar, and then the "spread.."   

The people who regularly went there.. it was just sad.  I talked to the manager one time and he told me their chairs were all tested to 400 pounds because they anticipated law suits..


Title: Re: National Health Systems
Post by: Slobodan Blagojevic on October 27, 2012, 02:45:46 PM
... I'd vote today to issue every child with a single-payer government funded insurance card... I might be swayed to extend that to 25 if still FULL time college...

... I'd allow heath insurance companies to compete across state lines (competition ALWAYS makes the difference), eliminate pre-existing condition clauses...

+1

(See? I am working on my eloquence ;))

Generally being a pro-free market guy, I was always puzzled by the lack of competition in the insurance industry. And why not foreign competition as well? If we can have, say, Russian gas stations here, why not Russian, Chinese, Canadian, etc. insurance companies?

Quote
...and STOP all care going to those who are not here legally...

As much as I am against illegal immigration, I could not agree with the "all" part. There is a certain floor, simply defined by humanity, that would oblige anyone, let alone Hippocratic Oath signers, to help someone in an emergency.
Title: Re: May we ask how Mike is doing?
Post by: Steve Weldon on October 27, 2012, 03:01:28 PM
Lots of things are complicated - that does not put them beyond understanding.
Please don't put words in my mouth - the only objection you provided was that the report was from Canada.  
You seem to be making some kind of insinuation - why don't you just state what you mean in plain terms?
Do you have absolutely no problem with letting adults who will never have your abilities or your opportunities, suffer the consequences?
When health insurance is employer provided, isn't that a problem?



1.  Not beyond understanding, but more hard to understand.  And judging by the simplistic responses it's evident that bar isn't very high.   When I say "it's complicated" what I really mean is "please try and think at least one move ahead."

2.  At the most I reorganized your words.

3.  Fair enough.  It's been my experience that the overwhelming majority of these "research groups" including recently some sterling examples on the global warming side, are bought and paid (financed by or hold allegiances to) special interest or government groups.  In which case they are flawed by design.  Studies (independent of course  ;D) have shown this time and again.  You tell me, who's financing and motivating this research?  Is there some rich billionaire out there who really wants to know, so he finances research?  I'm sure there are some, but they're very few.  Many are financed through special interests, government, or academia which taints them with the politics of their institution.  There is no such thing as a free lunch.  We might get smaller or bigger portions, but it's always paid for by it's  very existence.

4.   Yes I do.  It makes me sad they've been led down this primrose path by those who have used and abused them by telling them the government owes them healthcare, or the police can protect them, or any of those types of promises.  There is no utopia.  I want to help them, but mostly those who would follow, by showing them the truth so they can select alternative routes.  And yes my heart goes out to them.  But not enough to take money from your pocket to buy it for them.  I respect your pockets and what it took for you to fill them however full they might be.   I only ask for the same in return.

5.  Not at all.  Because it shouldn't be. At this time, according to the Census ONLY 55% of Americans get their health insurance through their employer.  It used to be MUCH less than that.   It started out as a fringe benefit during WWII when we had so many men at war, companies needed to compete for scarce labour.  Because of existing caps on salaries and other benefits health insurance was added on as a fringe benefit.  Not a right, not as direct compensation, but as a minor benefit to entice new employees.

The NRLB later found it should be taxed as a "fair part" of their wages because of extreme pressures by special interests groups aligned with.. well.. you can find that answer yourself, I'd had to be labelled a nutcase..

Health insurance as a employee provided benefit would have been dropped right there if not for these same special interest groups who started offering tax breaks to employers to keep it on.  

And it's all history from there..  Employers started health insurance as they would any other promotional means to lure in workers.. and special interest groups turned it into an expected right.  

So.. it's not a problem because it never should have been.  Many who are self-employed and run their own businesses such as photography studios buy 100% of their own health coverage.  I see no reason why, if wages are properly adjusted, we can't do that now.  And I'd prefer it.
Title: Re: National Health Systems
Post by: Steve Weldon on October 27, 2012, 03:03:28 PM

As much as I am against illegal immigration, I could not agree with the "all" part. There is a certain floor, simply defined by humanity, that would oblige anyone, let alone Hippocratic Oath signers, to help someone in an emergency.

Being a reasonable guy I can compromise on this to the extent we treat them to STABILIZE so they have every expectation of a safe return to their own country for further treatment if required.   
Title: Re: National Health Systems
Post by: Steve Weldon on October 27, 2012, 03:07:37 PM
The US medical system would be wonderful but for one, major, cancer. That is malpractice attorneys and their frivolous malpractice suits. Physicians are forced to practice CYA medicine - cover your ass medicine - ordering countless tests and studies to protect themselves against a lawsuit should their patient have a very unexpected, statistically remote disease that would not be addressed or picked up with "normal" studies and tests.

Literally, physicians are forced to order at least 50% more studies and tests than they need to in order to protect themselves against these leaches known as malpractice attorneys.

I swear to you, if we could get any sort of reasonable tort reform passed on a nationwide scale, costs would plummet 50-70% in the course of 6 months.

We could deal with the rest of the problems later.

It is not the physicians that are to blame here; their very homes are at stake should they have the misfortune of missing a .01% condition.

Of course tort reform will never happen, because Washington is run by these very same leaches called attorneys.

I'm not sure on the numbers, but they are high..   Good post!
Title: Re: National Health Systems
Post by: Ligament on October 27, 2012, 03:14:10 PM
I'm not sure on the numbers, but they are high..   Good post!

Unfortunately, as a physician myself, and seeing how the system works, I honestly think a minimum of 50% healthcare spending would be eliminated with good tort reform. This is the sentiment of every single EVERY single physician I have discussed this with. The physicians in this country know what the problems are with the system, yet nobody listens to us or even asks our opinions.

BTW, we do not profit from all these excessive tests and studies. We actually lose money as 99% of us do not own these labs or imaging centers, and we have to pay our staff to schedule these studies, get the records and reports from these studies which takes significant manhours.
Title: Re: National Health Systems
Post by: Steve Weldon on October 27, 2012, 03:23:35 PM
Steve,
Let's not exaggerate. I'm not trying to equate America with India where, in my experience, poor people are frequnetly left to die on the streets without any help at all.

The words I used were, "die due to a lack of proper treatment". By proper, I mean the standard, accepted procedures for the treatment of any particular life-threatening illness.

There are always situations of malpractice that can occur in any hospital, public or private. However, the principle that applies in Australia, is that no-one should be disadvantaged regarding availability of best-practice medical care if he is in a life-threatening situation. But there are always non-essential medical procedures for which there may be a long waiting list for the uninsured.

That's certainly a move in the right direction. But I'd still be very concerned about additives such as fructose, which I've never seen listed amongst any food indredients. It's always hidden under the general heading of 'sugar'.

Fructose is about twice as sweet as ordinary table sugar, or cane sugar, (known as sucrose) and as Jeff Schewe mentioned, it's cheaply available from processed corn syrup. It's the cheapest and most effective way of sweetening food, which is why it's widely used in the food-processing industry.

However, recent research, is beginning to reveal that excessive fructose, which is also the natural sugar of fruit, can have serious health consequences. There are strong indications that it can contribute towards the following conditions:

Gout, High Blood Pressure, High Cholesterol and High Triglycerides,  Kidney disease, Heart disease, Fatty liver disease, and Alzheimers.

I guess you are referring to the vegetables and stuff which are fried in the wok.

Again, recent research is revealing that saturated animal fat, lard and real butter is actually better for you than polyunsaturated fats from sunflower seed and canola, provided you don't eat too much of the saturated fats, of course. Margarine and skimmed milk is not recommended. The rationale for this modern view is that we are animals and have to produce our own fat and cholestrol which is very similar to the saturated fat and cholestrol in real butter, lard and meat. The human body struggles to generate its required fat and cholestrol from these highly processed margarines and fat-free milks.

There's emerging evidence that such artificial, fat-free foods can increase the risk of cancer.

However, one gripe I have about Asian countries is their insistence on using white rice all the time. In the West (not sure about America, though) we've long since realised the benefits of wholemeal bread. Go into any supermarket in Australia, and most brands of bread are varieties of wholemeal. White loaves are still available on the shelves, but in very small quantities. They're almost extinct, as they should be.

I've only ever come across one restaurant in all my travels that offers a choice of brown rice or white rice. And that's a restaurant by the name of Moon Dance in the city of Pokhara in Nepal.

So, for all you landscape-loving photographers, when you visit Nepal to take fantastic photos of the Himalayas, don't forget to visit the Moon Dance restaurant and experience their fine brown rice, if you also happen to visit Pokhara, which is a great centre for trekking.

To keep the thread related to photography, I'll now show a couple of pictures for the very discerning, of that brown rice being threshed. Looks like thrashing to me. "Oh! No! Please don't thrash me. I've done no wrong."  ;D



1.  Ray, I wasn't exaggerating.  I was trying to find your bar, where you thought the problem to be.

2.  So your bar is one person?  Okay, but can you tell me if this happens any more/less than in any other westernized country?  I can't.  It's very easy for one person to slip through the cracks because of a less than skilled or motivated worker..   To me where the real problems are is when POLICY allows this to happen and policy stops being enforced.  This has not happened in America.  I would read different newspapers or internet sites..

3.  Non-essential medical procedures.. wow.  But I hear this a lot from single payer systems.   It really says it all doesn't it?  Healthcare is being rationed.

4.  Frutose is on our ingredients here.. and many people shop by if a product (say orange or fruit juice) contains frutose or regular sugar.   Though, it's been amusing listening to our politicians be lobbied by special interest groups who are telling us that frutose is just as safe and healthy, in fact more so, than cane sugar..

5.  But  will they flip on the next study?  It seems like every day some study is showing us without a doubt that we're being killed by our favorite foods.  Seems a shame.  The bar for "research" or "studies"  needs to be set a lot higher and I've got a plan on how to do this.  Don't base policy on research funded by special interests, government, or academia.  Too bad we can't trust our own governments.

6.   Enjoyed the pics!
Title: Re: National Health Systems
Post by: Steve Weldon on October 27, 2012, 03:25:18 PM
Unfortunately, as a physician myself, and seeing how the system works, I honestly think a minimum of 50% healthcare spending would be eliminated with good tort reform. This is the sentiment of every single EVERY single physician I have discussed this with. The physicians in this country know what the problems are with the system, yet nobody listens to us or even asks our opinions.

BTW, we do not profit from all these excessive tests and studies. We actually lose money as 99% of us do not own these labs or imaging centers, and we have to pay our staff to schedule these studies, get the records and reports from these studies which takes significant manhours.
Two of my best friends are doctors and they're telling me the same thing.  I worked for several years as the department head of prosthetics in a VA hospital and saw enough to convince me as well.
Title: Re: National Health Systems
Post by: Slobodan Blagojevic on October 27, 2012, 03:26:45 PM
... It is not the physicians that are to blame here...

... leaches called attorneys.

Ok, how would we deal with, say a dentist employing totally unskilled labor as a technician and letting her administer and monitor anesthesia (a recent Chicago case)? His profit-increasing method resulted in death of a little girl.

Title: Re: National Health Systems
Post by: Steve Weldon on October 27, 2012, 05:29:37 PM
Ok, how would we deal with, say a dentist employing totally unskilled labor as a technician and letting her administer and monitor anesthesia (a recent Chicago case)? His profit-increasing method resulted in death of a little girl.



What comes immediately to mind is charge them criminally.  If there are laws that say "thou shall" and if "thy don't" then make the punishment criminal rather than civil.  

I know.. but what about the poor parents who want?   Want what?  Justice or compensation?   I wonder if we started letting the injured parties decide "you get so much money or the person who broke the rules gets 10 years in jail, structured upwards for more serious injuries to death..

Compensation originally started out as a means to compensate survivors or their family for their lost potential.  If the little girl was say left injured by alive, what would it cost to provide her car during her lifetime?     If she died, what income would a kid in her social strata be expected to give their parents?    That's one type of compensation and I think reasonable.

But this "punitive" stuff is what's killing us.  Punitive is meant to punish the system, the police department, the city, the hospital.. and it's bankrupting us in many places.  

I can support criminal charges and payment for compensation.  I do not support punitive judgements.   They're about as useful in today's world as Affirmative Action, Green Stamps, Film, or heck even a Ford Pinto..
Title: Re: National Health Systems
Post by: Ligament on October 27, 2012, 09:17:04 PM
Ok, how would we deal with, say a dentist employing totally unskilled labor as a technician and letting her administer and monitor anesthesia (a recent Chicago case)? His profit-increasing method resulted in death of a little girl.



That is irrelevant to the discussion. That is a criminal case.

Dentists are not involved significantly in the health care costs of this country.
Title: Re: May we ask how Mike is doing?
Post by: Steve Weldon on October 27, 2012, 09:34:12 PM
You wrote "I would be surprised if a biased article for Canada would give any better of a grade to the US..  We can all see why ?"

As far as I can tell, you still have no specific reason to think the report biased.

In particular, you have no specific reason to think the report biased to show US health outcomes to be worse than those of other nations.

Dismissing a report as biased simply because you don't know who paid for the research is not a sign of healthy scepticism -- it's outright cynicism.

For those who will never have your abilities or your opportunities, "alternative routes" seem a figment of your utopia.

If wages are properly adjusted -- and there's the reason why.


1.  Are we hung up on the USA vs. Canada way I wrote that sentence?  I'll agree it was vague and looking at it I now wish I would have spent a few more seconds writing it differently, but I think I've paid my debt to the society of poor sentences by clearly explaining what I was thinking and what I meant.  To clear up any further questions allow me to address this again:

I would be surprised that an article written by a Canadian research group is anything but biased based on what I know and continue to learn about research group/study funding.  I think such a report would be biased on a level with Canada's political interests (I'm thinking of the typical Canadian politician criticism on US policies which are mostly half-truths and almost all self-serving) to not exclude countries other than the USA, but with an emphasis on the USA to be sure.

2.  Yep, any reasonably educated person will mark research/studies as biased when they lack information on who is paying for them.  Well, reasonably educated or unreasonably indoctrinated.  You choose.  

It's common knowledge that biased and outright corruption run deep in our research community.  And unfortunately it hurt to learn our scientific community as well.  But then, they both have in common that their livelihood, professional future, and more depends on a steady stream of incoming grants and other funding mostly brought on by our most controversial topics of the time.   Heck, we even have equipment reviewers disclosing their review Ipod was provided by Apple to keep their head above the taint.  Most of us here on this forum are reasonably educated reasonable photographers who know enough about the game to know how it works.  As such we know it would be an exception for a research or study group to be independently funded either by someone in government, academia, special interests.. or someone not connected to them.  As an exception it would seem mandatory a disclosure statement would preface any release from such research/study groups.  I didn't see one.

3.  Since you don't know I was a disadvantaged ethnically challenged kid from the wrong side of the tracks can we assume you're assuming there is always someone more disadvantaged than ourselves, and this is what you're basing this specific opinion on?  If so you're coming from the pits of pessimism on this one no?  Not a very realistic position to say the least.

4.  I agree it would take some doing and probably a decades worth of adjusting.. but it's doable.  And ultimately less corrupt and pure than artificially assigning employers as the default payers of health insurance for the rest of our days as we know them.. just because they tried to do a good thing at the wrong time i history. (this stuff requires a degree of humor..)


I've yet to figure out your position on all this.. but I'm listening when you're ready.  Hit me with your best solutions.  (but please not the Robin Hood scenario, it's been done to death).
Title: Re: National Health Systems
Post by: Slobodan Blagojevic on October 28, 2012, 01:50:31 AM
That is irrelevant to the discussion. That is a criminal case.

Dentists are not involved significantly in the health care costs of this country.


That is just plain stupid, on all three points.
Title: Re: May we ask how Mike is doing?
Post by: Steve Weldon on October 28, 2012, 11:10:46 PM
Again, this pre-judgement is an expression of cynicism, not of sound reasoning.


We'll just have to agree to disagree.  I gave you supported reasoning and just because you reject it doesn't make it not given.   And you pretty much sit alone if you don't automatically consider the funding of any research/study as a vital piece of information to be used in it's evaluation.  I had a half dozen professors in my universities warn us of the same thing.. not that I'm now giving academia credit, but they're not all bad.  We just need to take the time to sort them out so we know how to rate their input to our educations.

 Well, I think we can agree I've been polite and answered your questions the best I could.  How about my questions, don't I deserve the same courtesy?

Title: Re: May we ask how Mike is doing?
Post by: Bryan Conner on October 29, 2012, 06:05:52 AM
Considering funding as information to be used in evaluation of the research would be reasonable -- but that is not what you have done.

You have repeatedly claimed the research is biased without having any knowledge of the funding source, or showing anything that suggests bias.

That cynical dismissal is just as much an enemy to reason as naïve approval.

I agree with you Isaac.  But, what knowledge do you have that precludes the presence of funding induced bias in the research? 

As I have gotten older, I have come to the opinion that often when two opposing groups are very loudly stating that the other side is completely wrong, then the truth is probably somewhere in the middle.  Not always true, but very often, in my opinion. 
Title: Re: National Health Systems
Post by: Ray on October 29, 2012, 06:16:09 AM
1.  Ray, I wasn't exaggerating.  I was trying to find your bar, where you thought the problem to be.

2.  So your bar is one person?  Okay, but can you tell me if this happens any more/less than in any other westernized country?  I can't.  It's very easy for one person to slip through the cracks because of a less than skilled or motivated worker..   To me where the real problems are is when POLICY allows this to happen and policy stops being enforced.  This has not happened in America.  I would read different newspapers or internet sites..

3.  Non-essential medical procedures.. wow.  But I hear this a lot from single payer systems.   It really says it all doesn't it?  Healthcare is being rationed.

4.  Frutose is on our ingredients here.. and many people shop by if a product (say orange or fruit juice) contains frutose or regular sugar.   Though, it's been amusing listening to our politicians be lobbied by special interest groups who are telling us that frutose is just as safe and healthy, in fact more so, than cane sugar..

5.  But  will they flip on the next study?  It seems like every day some study is showing us without a doubt that we're being killed by our favorite foods.  Seems a shame.  The bar for "research" or "studies"  needs to be set a lot higher and I've got a plan on how to do this.  Don't base policy on research funded by special interests, government, or academia.  Too bad we can't trust our own governments.


Steve,
Ultimately, one can only go along with what makes sense and what seems credible. I don't claim any special insights into the American health-care situation. I can only draw conclusions from reports mentioned on the internet and other sources.

Wikipedia is certainly not an infallible source of information, but at least it allows corrections and amendments to its articles from people who think they have a more reliable or more in-depth understanding of the subject.

I'll quote the following fairly long extract from Wikipedia because I find it quite revealing of the difficulties in getting accurate information. If you disagree with the position represented in the article, why not amend it or add to it with more reliable information?

Essentially, what I understand from this Wikipedia article is that the number of uninsured Americans who die each year as a result of a lack of insurance is roughly equal to the minimum estimate of the number of insured Americans who die as a result of medical errors. But no-one has of course a reliable and accurate estimate of the true number of deaths each year due to medical error. Some estimates are in the hundreds of thousands. How could anyone possibly determine what the actual figure is. If every medical practitioner were to admit or confess when he/she had made a mistake or had been negligent, then we wouldn't need such an expensive legal system to try to get to the truth.

Quote
Enjoyed the pics!

At least you have impeccable taste. ;D

Quote
A study published in the American Journal of Public Health in 2009 found that lack of health insurance is associated with about 45,000 excess preventable deaths per year.[27] One of the authors characterized the results as "now one dies every 12 minutes."[28] Since then, as the number of uninsured has risen from about 46 million in 2009 to 48.6 million in 2012, the number of preventable deaths due to lack of insurance has grown to about 48,000 per year.[29]

A Hearst Newspapers investigation called medical error "far more deadly than inadequate medical insurance."[30] The number of Americans with access to care who are killed by medical errors is estimated from 44,000[31] to hundreds of thousands each year,[32][33][34] and the New England Journal of Medicine published a study finding that American hospitals injured around 20% of all patients every year from 2002-2007.[35] Notably, Representative John Murtha, who had voted for the House healthcare reform bill in 2009, died from a surgical error in 2010.[36] Moreover, the best predictor of longevity is education; in study after study, money and health insurance "pale in comparison."[37]

A survey released in 2008 found that being uninsured impacts American consumers' health in the following ways:[38]

More of the uninsured chose not to see a doctor when were sick or hurt (53%) vs 46% of the insured.

Fewer of the uninsured (28%) report currently undergoing treatment or participating in a program to help them manage a chronic condition; 37% of the insured are receiving such treatment.

21% of the uninsured, vs. 16% of the insured, believe their overall health is below average for people in their age group.

The costs of treating the uninsured must often be absorbed by providers as charity care, passed on to the insured via cost-shifting and higher health insurance premiums, or paid by taxpayers through higher taxes.[39]

On the other hand, the uninsured often subsidize the insured because the uninsured use fewer services[40] and are billed unfairly.[41] 60 Minutes reported, "Hospitals charge uninsured patients two, three, four or more times what an insurance company would pay for the same treatment."[42] On average, per capita health care spending on behalf of the uninsured is a bit more than half that for the insured.[17]

A study published in August 2008 in Health Affairs found that covering all of the uninsured in the US would increase national spending on health care by $122.6 billion, which would represent a 5% increase in health care spending and 0.8% of GDP. The impact on government spending could be higher, depending on the details of the plan used to increase coverage and the extent to which new public coverage crowded out existing private coverage.[43] Massachusetts' law requiring everyone to buy insurance has reportedly caused costs there to increase faster than in the rest of the country.[44]
Title: Re: National Health Systems
Post by: RFPhotography on October 29, 2012, 07:43:40 AM
I was a bit leery about jumping in on this one, but thought it may begood to clear a few things up.

First, Canada is not a single payer system.  Health care is administered by the provinces.  While there are minimum requirements for service provision laid out in federal law, not all provinces are the same.

Second, I don't know if Michael pays for any supplementary health insurance, but there is a limit to what is covered by the government.  Once the 'normal' treatment regimen associated with a particular diagnosis or procedure is finished then any additional costs are, indeed, borne by the patient or the supplementary insurance policy.

Most supplementary insurance policies offered as part of a benefits package by employers will not have exclusions for existing conditions.  But it is common to have deductibles or co-pays.  If an individual pays for his/her own supplemental policy, there will also be exclusions for existing conditions as well as co-pays/deductibles.  Many supplementary policies, whether employer provided or self paid will also have annual and/or lifetime caps on coverage.

Lastly, and most importantly, I hope for you a speedy and complete recovery, Michael.
Title: Re: May we ask how Mike is doing?
Post by: Steve Weldon on October 29, 2012, 11:39:45 AM
Considering funding as information to be used in evaluation of the research would be reasonable -- but that is not what you have done.

You have repeatedly claimed the research is biased without having any knowledge of the funding source, or showing anything that suggests bias.

That cynical dismissal is just as much an enemy to reason as naïve approval.
We have no knowledge of funding because they have selected to provide none.  This is unacceptable and irresponsible considering the current climate of their industry.   It doesn't take a genius to surmise why.  They have a responsibility to do so lest their studies appear tainted.  As a responsible consumer of their product how can I ignore this?

"As information to be used in evaluation", and considering they elected to  give none, wouldn't we consider the driver who refused a Breathalyzer to be under the influence (in fact most laws close this loop for us), or the person on trial who refused to speak in their own behalf to at least be hiding something?   This is no cynicism my friend.  It is due diligence.   
Title: Re: National Health Systems
Post by: Steve Weldon on October 29, 2012, 11:57:47 AM
Steve,
Ultimately, one can only go along with what makes sense and what seems credible. I don't claim any special insights into the American health-care situation. I can only draw conclusions from reports mentioned on the internet and other sources.

Wikipedia is certainly not an infallible source of information, but at least it allows corrections and amendments to its articles from people who think they have a more reliable or more in-depth understanding of the subject.

I'll quote the following fairly long extract from Wikipedia because I find it quite revealing of the difficulties in getting accurate information. If you disagree with the position represented in the article, why not amend it or add to it with more reliable information?

Essentially, what I understand from this Wikipedia article is that the number of uninsured Americans who die each year as a result of a lack of insurance is roughly equal to the minimum estimate of the number of insured Americans who die as a result of medical errors. But no-one has of course a reliable and accurate estimate of the true number of deaths each year due to medical error. Some estimates are in the hundreds of thousands. How could anyone possibly determine what the actual figure is. If every medical practitioner were to admit or confess when he/she had made a mistake or had been negligent, then we wouldn't need such an expensive legal system to try to get to the truth.

At least you have impeccable taste. ;D


1.  This is all anyone can do.  Especially when the numbers are influenced by so many factors and variables that we might/might not agree should be used.  Most often their conclusion that someone died from lack of health insurance isn't at all that they were turned away.. but often because they died from something that 'should' have been caught during a normal checkup (not from acute symptoms), but by the time they found it.. they died from it because it was beyond treatable.  Now.. did this guy die because he had no health insurance, or because he didn't spend for a checkup?  Consider that in most cases checkups aren't covered, often either are they covered for the insured,.. but the treatment would have been picked up by medicare or some charity group had they known he needed to be treated.  It's a catch-22.. kinda boils down to "if he did have insurance would his insurance have covered the checkup" and "would he have gone for the checkup (the number who don't is staggering)" and "Considering insurance doesn't routinely cover checkups shouldn't he have paid for this himself like everyone else does?"

Now.. we know they're talking about a great many things other than this.. so how can we refute?  I certainly have no interest in refuting what I consider a meaningless bit of writing.   However, if you want to read it and draw conclusions supporting your worst fears than you will.. but no matter what you or I do, it doesn't make this report any more or less true.   In other words it's chaff.. thrown out there knowing no one will specifically refute it.. to serve a purpose for one side of the debate.

2.  Exactly.  And the more educated you become on the tactics of both sides of the issue.. the more accurate your conclusions will be.  But this will take a while before you begin to sort them out.

3.  This conclusion though kinda goes along with what I've been saying..the number is small enough to be in there with the mistakes and errors and not necessarily because evil is being done.
Title: Re: May we ask how Mike is doing?
Post by: Steve Weldon on October 29, 2012, 11:59:36 AM
Why should anyone need to show that Steve Weldon's repeated claims of bias are untrue?


Issac - let's leave our discussion with your final response.  It represents your position very well.  Thank you for your time.
Title: Re: May we ask how Mike is doing?
Post by: Bryan Conner on October 29, 2012, 04:15:25 PM
Why should anyone need to show that Steve Weldon's repeated claims of bias are untrue?

Why should others suffer the burden of showing that frivolous claims are untrue?

The burden is on Steve Weldon to show supporting evidence for his claims.



Steve Weldon has repeatedly claimed that no information was provided about funding.

Here's the information I linked - How Canada Performs > Details and Analysis > Health (http://www.conferenceboard.ca/hcp/details/health.aspx)

There's a menu item at the top of that page About HCP (http://www.conferenceboard.ca/hcp/AboutUs.aspx) which leads to information about data sources, methodology and --


There was no need to get defensive by asking your questions.  I was not attacking your person or your opinion.  I merely wanted to know the answer.  The burden to provide proof should be equal on both parties when statements are made.  I simply chose to ask you the question because I believed you would have the answer.  Thanks for sharing that answer and information with me.  I do not know how a person could come to the conclusion that the study was biased based on the source of the funding.  This does not mean that those conducting the study were completely honest in their findings.  Maybe they were, maybe not.  If the general consensus of multiple independent studies supports the same conclusion then chances are it was an unbiased finding.

I think that sometimes studies are biased from the time the idea is formed.  If a person wants to provide information supporting any given theory or opinion, information can be found from somewhere or from someone. 

Title: Re: May we ask how Mike is doing?
Post by: Steve Weldon on October 29, 2012, 09:47:22 PM
Not as-well-as my final response (http://www.luminous-landscape.com/forum/index.php?topic=71738.msg570391#msg570391).
You've exceeded yourself Isaac.  Congratulations on finding a regular list of sponsors.  I found them the first time I looked on the site. These companies are not listed as funding the study in question.  

I'll ask you.  If you knew about this several posts ago and thought it showed who paid for this specific study why didn't you point it out then?  And show that it did?

About the list.  No where does it say this list is inclusive, nor do they say it's not but I think it's safe to assume they wouldn't turn away funding.  But if we go just by the 26 which is a waste of time until they say directly where the study was funded.. surely you've at least.. on the surface.. checked them out?   Until you do I'm not sure what you think you've accomplished.  It's all pretty half baked don't you think?
Title: Re: May we ask how Mike is doing?
Post by: Steve Weldon on October 29, 2012, 10:13:29 PM
There was no need to get defensive by asking your questions.  I was not attacking your person or your opinion.  I merely wanted to know the answer.  The burden to provide proof should be equal on both parties when statements are made.  I simply chose to ask you the question because I believed you would have the answer.  Thanks for sharing that answer and information with me.  I do not know how a person could come to the conclusion that the study was biased based on the source of the funding.  This does not mean that those conducting the study were completely honest in their findings.  Maybe they were, maybe not.  If the general consensus of multiple independent studies supports the same conclusion then chances are it was an unbiased finding.

I think that sometimes studies are biased from the time the idea is formed.  If a person wants to provide information supporting any given theory or opinion, information can be found from somewhere or from someone. 



1.  I don't agree.   The source of funding is used to support charges in courtrooms, politics, and reasonable mindfs everywhere.

But what this is all about was one comment (among many) I made saying if a research/study group is not disclosing the source of their funding, then it leaves the door open to think all kinds of things, if proving nothing.  But even if the authors of this funding told us they were funded by "Make Canada's Healthcare Look Great Lcc" all we could say is the same thing..  I think they're biased, I think they're not.  It's an opinion, not a charge.  But if they are funded by a questionable source I think someone we know.. names starts with I..  might be more obliged to agree.. :)
Title: Re: National Health Systems
Post by: Ray on October 30, 2012, 03:40:20 AM
 Now.. did this guy die because he had no health insurance, or because he didn't spend for a checkup?

C'mon now, Steve. Be honest with yourself. If a guy doesn't have private health insurance in a country such as America where there is no universal public health insurance for everyone, it's presumably because he considers that he can't afford it, or if he can afford it, he chooses to spend the money on other things.

As a result of being reluctant, or unable to spend money on health insurance, is it not likely he will be equally reluctant or unable to spend money on check-ups or visits to the doctor for the slightest ailment? Is it also not likely that his pride might cause him to be reluctant to visit medical charity organisations? Is it also not likely that such medical charity organisations will not be well-equipped and adequately funded for the services they attempt to provide?

In Australia, our national health system is called Medicare and the cost of the system is supported by an additional tax on everyone's taxable income, except those who are too poor to be eligible to pay income tax. Even those who have their own private health insurance have to pay the additional tax, which is 1.5% of their taxable income. Those who are on a high income but who have opted to rely upon the public health system, are obliged to pay an additional Medicare levy up to a further 1.5%, as I understand the system.

The result of such a system is that no-one need feel discouraged from visiting a doctor in case he is landed with unaffordable medical bills. Generally, men tend to be more reluctant than women to visit a doctor when they have a problem that they think is not serious, and I'm a bit like that. I was once persuaded by a female friend to visit a doctor to get a prescription for antimalarial drugs before visiting Cambodia. She thought the country might be rife with malaria-carrying mosquitoes.

Just to humour her, I went along with the suggestion, but felt a bit silly. As it turned out, there were no outbreaks of malaria in any of the regions of Cambodia I visited, which included a flight to Phnom Penh from Bangkok; a river cruise along the Mekong from Phnom Penh to Siem Reap; a couple of weeks photographing the ruins around Angkor Wat, and an adventurous trip by road from Siem Reap to the Thai border through some very heavy flooding.

I stopped taking the tablets soon after arrival in Cambodia. However, what I found interesting was the thoroughness of the female doctor in Australia who had prescribed me the antimalarial drugs. Before prescribing the drugs she recommended I have a blood test, presumably to check if I had any condition which might interfere with the antimalarial drugs, and/or any unrelated condition which might need attention. The total cost to me for two consultations with the doctor, a blood test and the antimalarial pills, was insignificant. As I recall, just $10 or $20 for the subsidised antimalarial pills. What a great system!

Title: Re: National Health Systems
Post by: Steve Weldon on October 31, 2012, 12:11:26 AM
C'mon now, Steve. Be honest with yourself. If a guy doesn't have private health insurance in a country such as America where there is no universal public health insurance for everyone, it's presumably because he considers that he can't afford it, or if he can afford it, he chooses to spend the money on other things.

As a result of being reluctant, or unable to spend money on health insurance, is it not likely he will be equally reluctant or unable to spend money on check-ups or visits to the doctor for the slightest ailment? Is it also not likely that his pride might cause him to be reluctant to visit medical charity organisations? Is it also not likely that such medical charity organisations will not be well-equipped and adequately funded for the services they attempt to provide?

In Australia, our national health system is called Medicare and the cost of the system is supported by an additional tax on everyone's taxable income, except those who are too poor to be eligible to pay income tax. Even those who have their own private health insurance have to pay the additional tax, which is 1.5% of their taxable income. Those who are on a high income but who have opted to rely upon the public health system, are obliged to pay an additional Medicare levy up to a further 1.5%, as I understand the system.

The result of such a system is that no-one need feel discouraged from visiting a doctor in case he is landed with unaffordable medical bills. Generally, men tend to be more reluctant than women to visit a doctor when they have a problem that they think is not serious, and I'm a bit like that. I was once persuaded by a female friend to visit a doctor to get a prescription for antimalarial drugs before visiting Cambodia. She thought the country might be rife with malaria-carrying mosquitoes.

Just to humour her, I went along with the suggestion, but felt a bit silly. As it turned out, there were no outbreaks of malaria in any of the regions of Cambodia I visited, which included a flight to Phnom Penh from Bangkok; a river cruise along the Mekong from Phnom Penh to Siem Reap; a couple of weeks photographing the ruins around Angkor Wat, and an adventurous trip by road from Siem Reap to the Thai border through some very heavy flooding.

I stopped taking the tablets soon after arrival in Cambodia. However, what I found interesting was the thoroughness of the female doctor in Australia who had prescribed me the antimalarial drugs. Before prescribing the drugs she recommended I have a blood test, presumably to check if I had any condition which might interfere with the antimalarial drugs, and/or any unrelated condition which might need attention. The total cost to me for two consultations with the doctor, a blood test and the antimalarial pills, was insignificant. As I recall, just $10 or $20 for the subsidised antimalarial pills. What a great system!



Ray -

1.  I am always honest with myself.  And with you.

2.   :)  I was saying they weren't going, you're giving us reasons why.  Okay, I can see where all of your scenarios would be valid and I can think of 10x more.   But life is about making choices and I'd recommend everyone put their health care right there near the top.  Wouldn't you?

3.  This is where I disagree.  Just because healthcare is free doesn't necessarily mean that block of people finding excuses not to seek preventative care would all of sudden decide they would..  If you read more on the subject you'll see that preventative car (lack of people seeking it) is an issue even in one-payer systems.  Equally so to my surprise.  But the information is out there if yo care to seek it.

A good example would be dentists.. what is it about dentists where we wait until we can't avoid going in.. to go in?  I'll bet most of us can relate to that one.  Unless you know something is wrong and must be treated, or your symptoms are so painful you can't avoid it, there are a great many people who will avoid seeking treatment regardless of payment.

4.  Is there a cap on that 1.5%?  For instance, we already pay more than double that just for our social security, but it max's out, or you don't pay more, after $110,000 is reached.   

How would you feel about this if your country was charging you 4.6% for social security, laying another 6.2% on to your employer for the same thing, and then charging you 1.45% for medicare (medical for people over 62 of 65), and then they kept telling you both of these systems (social security and medicare) were broke, running dry, and by the time you retired they system would be broke and everything you put in it would be used up?  This is what we're told.  And on top of that they want up 35% more for income tax, up to 20% more for state income tax, and we haven't even got to sales tax rates where 10% states aren't unusual, tax on gas of up to 69.6 cents per gallon  (NY), tire tax, phone tax, and frankly the list of taxes we're subject to might fill a book.   

SO.. you're paying all these taxes and being told Social Security will probably be broke before you can draw on it, you hear constant bickering among politicians on how underfunded Medicare is and how it's not enough and our seniors aren't getting adequate car.. and they're raping your pay check before you get it.. and with sales/consumer taxes after you get it.  Now.. someone knocks on your door and says "Mr. Ray, we want to take more of your pay check and buy everyone healthcare insurance including those who are in the country illegally.   How much do you have left Ray?  And how much more are you willing to give?

I'd like to do away with all of it except the essentials.  And while I'm trying to figure out what's essential to me, I'm being told it's essential to pay for the healthcare and college tuition of those who are here illegally. 

Meanwhile.. not one credible agency is saying a one-payer health-care system will result in less cost.   In fact, it's already been estimated Obamacare will cost more than double what he promised it would.

So you tell me Ray.. what are you up for?
Title: Re: May we ask how Mike is doing?
Post by: Steve Weldon on October 31, 2012, 12:35:59 AM
The "study in question" is "How Canada Performs: A Report Card on Canada" -- "Health" is one of the six aspects that are examined.

The companies are listed under the heading "Investors in How Canada Performs" in the description "About How Canada Performs", following the explanation -- "Twenty-six companies invested in the project this year, providing invaluable financial, leadership, and knowledge support."

Please tell us why those twenty-six companies - listed as providing "financial, leadership and knowledge support" for the "How Canada Performs" study - are not, what you would describe as "listed as funding the [How Canada Performs] study..."




It took an hour for the Director of "How Canada Performs" to confirm "There were no other sources of funding." apart from those listed.


Thank you for helping me really grasp, how truly destructive cynicism is to reason.

I think it's quite clear that you have not shown any reason for thinking there actually is bias in the information presented by "How Canada Performs".

1.  Would it help if we changed the name of "How Canada Performs" to "Research Group Inc?"   You do realise this is the name of their program and not their company?  This is a program specifically namedd, built and funded to show Canada in the best possible light.   Can you see it now?  Do you REALLY stand that there is no bias?  It's not a research company Isaac.. it's an entire program aimed at making Canada look their best.  So of course that's what they'll do.


2.  So you called the Directory and an hour later he got back to you and claimed there were no other sources of funding than those 26?  Impressive response I'll admit.

3.  I've shown multiple reasons.  Over and over again.  What you're trying to say is if we haven't caught the red-handed then we had no reason to investigate in the first place.  It's a good thing real research groups don't operate under the same rules or their studies would be worthless.  So would police departments.

4.  And I'm sure you've done your due diligence and checked out the political and other leanings of the group of investors they did reveal?  If so, please tell us about the first one.  Grainger Inc.  They're based out of Chicago and very well known to Americans.  We know which political parties they support, how much they donate to candidates, and we also know they're heavily involved with the business of health care.  Just a bit more than they're up to their ears with the Chinese.    But I'll bet.. that if some reporter digs up credible links showing Grainger to be corrupt or unduly influencing whatever.. that director will be the first to say "well, all of our investors aren't necessarily funding every study..

Isaac.. I understand there's a ostrich mentality out there.. they just want to believe in what they want.. and they never want to look for problems or issues.  I'm just not part of it.   We find out every day just how illegally involved certain companies and individuals are where they shouldn't be.  We all read the papers.  You just choose to wait for the final verdict.. and that's okay. 

But I do have plenty of reasons to suspect a program (not a company, but an actual program aimed with it's entire purpose being to show Canana performs well) called "How Canada Performs" is probably heavily invested to show it performs well.  And that they'll cherry pick information, ignore other information, manipulate statistics, or do whatever they can to justify their very existence and with it their funding.
Title: Re: National Health Systems
Post by: Ray on October 31, 2012, 07:46:00 AM
 But life is about making choices and I'd recommend everyone put their health care right there near the top.  Wouldn't you?


Absolutely! But I think I might have news for you, Steve. Putting health care at the top begins with a healthy lifestyle, and that means eating wholesome and unprocessed foods which have a lot of fibre content; eating fresh fruit and vegetables on a regular basis, and exercising on a regular basis, including aerobic exrecise such as brisk walking or jogging, and anaerobic exrecise such as lifting weights in the gym.

Putting health care at the top also means avoiding harmful substances such as tobacco and other recreational drugs, and refraining from excessive alcohol intake.

It also means avoiding many of the foods recommended by the weight-loss industry, such as low-fat milk and margarines containing polyunsaturated vegetable fats. These are highly processed foods which are not natural. Saturated fats, as in full cream milk, butter, cheese, bacon and eggs, etc should be no problem provided one eats them in moderation. Moderation is the key word. Energy input should not exceed energy output.

If everyone were to follow my advice, I predict there would eventually be massive redundancies and unemployment amongst doctors and nurses. No work for them. We wouldn't want that, would we?  ;)

Quote
SO.. you're paying all these taxes and being told Social Security will probably be broke before you can draw on it, you hear constant bickering among politicians on how underfunded Medicare is and how it's not enough and our seniors aren't getting adequate car.. and they're raping your pay check before you get it.. and with sales/consumer taxes after you get it. Now.. someone knocks on your door and says "Mr. Ray, we want to take more of your pay check and buy everyone healthcare insurance including those who are in the country illegally. How much do you have left Ray? And how much more are you willing to give?

Look, Steve! All governments can only operate with the taxes they are able to collect. Small taxes tend to equate with small governments, and large taxes tend to equate with large governments. There's always an ongoing discussion about which services should be funded by taxes through the Government, and which should be privately controlled.

I think everyone would agree that a nation's Armed Forces should be controlled and funded by the government, from everyone's taxes, because the armed forces are basic services which are fundamental to the security of the nation, and the life and death of its citizens.

Likewise, it is my view that medical services in relation to any life-threatening situation that might apply to any one of a nation's citizens, whether rich or poor, should be freely available, and paid for by general taxes.

When it comes to frills and niceties, that's a different matter. No-one has ever died of a tooth ache, as far as I know, and for that reason dental care is not free in Australia.

Also, basic dental treatment such as tooth extractions and fillings are not particularly expensive. If you think they are, then take a trip to Thailand. I had a tooth extracted in Bangkok a few months ago. It cost approximately $30. My only concern was that the rather attractive, but rather slight and demure female dentist, didn't look strong enough to tug out my massive tooth. But she managed okay.  ;D


Title: Re: National Health Systems
Post by: Steve Weldon on October 31, 2012, 10:12:12 PM
Absolutely! But I think I might have news for you, Steve. Putting health care at the top begins with a healthy lifestyle, and that means eating wholesome and unprocessed foods which have a lot of fibre content; eating fresh fruit and vegetables on a regular basis, and exercising on a regular basis, including aerobic exrecise such as brisk walking or jogging, and anaerobic exrecise such as lifting weights in the gym.

Putting health care at the top also means avoiding harmful substances such as tobacco and other recreational drugs, and refraining from excessive alcohol intake.

It also means avoiding many of the foods recommended by the weight-loss industry, such as low-fat milk and margarines containing polyunsaturated vegetable fats. These are highly processed foods which are not natural. Saturated fats, as in full cream milk, butter, cheese, bacon and eggs, etc should be no problem provided one eats them in moderation. Moderation is the key word. Energy input should not exceed energy output.

If everyone were to follow my advice, I predict there would eventually be massive redundancies and unemployment amongst doctors and nurses. No work for them. We wouldn't want that, would we?  ;)

Look, Steve! All governments can only operate with the taxes they are able to collect. Small taxes tend to equate with small governments, and large taxes tend to equate with large governments. There's always an ongoing discussion about which services should be funded by taxes through the Government, and which should be privately controlled.

I think everyone would agree that a nation's Armed Forces[/b] should be controlled and funded by the government, from everyone's taxes, because the armed forces are basic services which are fundamental to the security of the nation, and the life and death of its citizens.

Likewise, it is my view that medical services in relation to any life-threatening situation that might apply to any one of a nation's citizens, whether rich or poor, should be freely available, and paid for by general taxes.

When it comes to frills and niceties, that's a different matter. No-one has ever died of a tooth ache, as far as I know, and for that reason dental care is not free in Australia.

Also, basic dental treatment such as tooth extractions and fillings are not particularly expensive. If you think they are, then take a trip to Thailand. I had a tooth extracted in Bangkok a few months ago. It cost approximately $30. My only concern was that the rather attractive, but rather slight and demure female dentist, didn't look strong enough to tug out my massive tooth. But she managed okay.  ;D




1.  I'd be surprised?  No.. I've advocated healthy living since I can remember. I've never smoked or done drugs and I have never drank much with my last drink over 12-13 years ago.. I'm pretty much into live whole foods.   And I definitely agree lifestyle greatly affects overall health.

I don't think anyone wants to pay for the healthcare costs that come from a persons bad habits such as smoking or obesity or drinking..   In fact, when I said earlier in this thread that I'd definitely go support a one-payer for children and maybe even full time college students I had this in mind, young enough to not be able to be responsible for their own care.. and not yet old enough where their bad habits would cost the general populace.

2.  Yes, there will always be discussion on how best to use resources.  Unfortunately when a countries taxes are taking 50-75% or more of a persons pay check it just might be we've over stepped and gone to far.  That we lost our sense of responsibility.

3.  Why?  Should the government also pay for life-threatening conditions to our homes, cars, and other aspects of life?  Or should we really just strive to be responsible for ourselves and keep our hands out of our neighbours pockets as much as possible?  Where I come from putting your hands in your neighbours pockets quickly becomes a life threatening condition..

And btw.. Anyone in our country and yours can walk into a hospital at any time, including non-citizens, and be treated for life threatening conditions.  We've covered this many times in this thread.   So if that's the case, you are happy?

4.  With you being the exercise and diet guru and all.. not sure how to break this to you.  People die from toothaches and other dental related issues all the time.  Many doctors would tell you.. you can't separate the health of the body from dental health.  Infection carried to the hearth, going septic, blood conditions.. all dental related.  In all seriousness, I cannot see from a medical standpoint how any one-payer system can claim to be treating their patients thoroughly WITHOUT also covering dental.  But Australia and the UK don't.. not sure about Canada.

5.  Really?  I'll have to make it over there one of these days.. enlightening!

5. 
Title: Re: May we ask how Mike is doing?
Post by: Steve Weldon on October 31, 2012, 10:29:29 PM
You've told us -- "Congratulations on finding a regular list of sponsors.  I found them the first time I looked on the site. These companies are not listed as funding the study in question."

It would help if you told us why those twenty-six companies - listed as providing "financial, leadership and knowledge support" for the "How Canada Performs" study - are not, what you would describe as "listed as funding the [How Canada Performs] study..."


I think you're having some trouble understanding how this company is set up.  It's not per say a "research company."  It's merely a defined program aimed towards "How Canada Performs" on a variety of subjects.. healthcare included.  They list the 26 companies as providing support on the whole.. not for individual studies.

I've always assumed you were familiar with reading studies but maybe not.  If you were, it would be expected for you to have the same issues with funding I have because funding, biases, etc, have become real issues.   They way any credible study deals with it is usually right up front in the preface or somewhere easy to see.. you don't need to go look for it.    They'll say "this study was funded by.."   And they list who funded the study.  Now.. if the person funding the study could be anticipated as being controversial.. then they'll address that right up front by saying something like "though companyx is a known supporter of Y, we are still accepting their funding but not their input or direction or some word to that effect.

What's been amusing in this conversation with you.. is that a program that defines itself by showing how Canada performs against other countries could be anything less than biased.. it's the purpose of their very existence.. to examine certain areas and show how Canada performs.   

Now.. if you think "but if they weren't performing well they'd just tell us that.." I'd say "show me an example."  If they regularly do this and you can show us examples of them doing so, and not just the token example.. then I'll admit I was wrong about them.

But come on Isaac.. it's a company who states right up front what their purpose is.. to make Canada look good in these areas.  So of course that's what they're going to do.

Anyway, whether or not I'm right or wrong on such a small area of the total discussion pales in comparison to the total itself.  I'd gladly concede to being wrong if it would just move us forward.  Whoever is right or wrong about this just doesn't matter when it's distracting from the bigger picture.
Title: Re: May we ask how Mike is doing?
Post by: Steve Weldon on November 01, 2012, 06:39:49 PM

This is an expression of cynicism -- an emphatic negative judgement made before investigation, a kind of prejudice.


'When debating any issue, there is an implicit burden of proof (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Philosophical_burden_of_proof#Holder_of_the_burden) on the person asserting a positive claim. "If this responsibility or burden of proof is shifted to a critic, the fallacy of appealing to ignorance is committed".'

The burden rests with you to show that you have found examples of actual bias in "How Canada Performs".

All you've done so far is express a cynical prejudice.


As you prefer cynical prejudice to logical thinking on such a small area, where we can easily check your statements, there's no reasoned discussion to be had.


Isaac.. can we at least try to be reasonable?

1.  This is an expression of realism.  If you choose not to live in this world that's okay.. I understand there's a certain number of people who will deny the obvious.

2.   Okay.. so you found a rule book.  Unfortunately my copy must have got lost in the mail.  Perhaps we could call it a "discussion" as in "discussion forum" where people can give well reasoned statements without the affidavits? 

3.  Saying it over and over again doesn't make it true.

4.   Sure there is.. we could discuss the other 99% you've been conveniently ignoring.

Obviously somewhere along the line you've got in a snit and I'm okay with that.  Let's have some fun instead:

If you're really unable to see how a program specifically started to show Canada in a good light might be biased let me create my own "Program" called "How is America Doing.."

How Is America Doing

We have secured funding of like minded companies who have a vested interest for or against certain areas of government as we do.  We are not a research group so we don't have to adhere to normal practices and ethics for research groups.  We'll call it a "program" because that can be whatever we want it to be.

We won't do a lick of our our research.  Instead we will mine published statistics and find the ones that show things in our favor.. and ignore those who don't.  Most people who agree won't look further because they're hearing what they want to hear, and most who disagree won't look further because they're lazy and don't care anyway.

We will create reports showing pre-determined views and plaster then all over the internet in an attractive package and carefully worded so those who think as we do will not question us.  In fact, they'll use this to support us in other areas.  We all know, if you hear it enough times then a certain percentage of people will think it's true.  Heaven help the poor fools who try and reason with these people for they are damned for all of eternity.  All others will be classified as cynics.

Isn't America great?  For $29.95 you can obtain written permission to use our program to show your country in any damn way you want.  Win any debate, show any program to be healthy and thriving, show any candidate to be winning, if you've got a horse in a race anywhere.. then let's show that horse in the best possible way.  For $29.95 you can do this and more.

But wait.  For a limited amount of time you can buy one program for $29.95 and get another program for free.  Heck, see this nice list of counterpoints?  We'll through in a set of those too.  All that AND free shipping!  How can you not afford to send in your $29.95 now. ..


Whew.. no one can find anything wrong with that without being labeled a cynic..  ???


Title: Re: National Health Systems
Post by: Ray on November 02, 2012, 12:09:12 PM
I don't think anyone wants to pay for the healthcare costs that come from a persons bad habits such as smoking or obesity or drinking.. 

I think we can agree on that point, yet it is my belief that most of the costs of health care are for that very purpose, wherever the money may come from. We live to be merry, and that includes eating and drinking for pleasure with narry a thought for the consequences.

Quote
Should the government also pay for life-threatening conditions to our homes, cars, and other aspects of life?

You're referring to inanimate objects here, aren't you? In so far as these inanimate objects are life-threatening, then of course the Government has a role to play. Roads should be designed and constructed so they are safe to drive on. Houses should be built in accordance with certain standards to withstand the onslaught of hurricanes and floods, if they are situated in areas frequently subjected to hurricanes and floods, and when infrequent disasters of record-breaking severity occur, as recently with Sandy, then the government has to step in, as your great President Obama has vowed to do, without interference and delays from red tape.

Quote
Many doctors would tell you.. you can't separate the health of the body from dental health. Infection carried to the hearth, going septic, blood conditions.. all dental related. In all seriousness, I cannot see from a medical standpoint how any one-payer system can claim to be treating their patients thoroughly WITHOUT also covering dental. But Australia and the UK don't.. not sure about Canada.

Just for the record, I might have misrepresented the situation regarding dental care for the uninsured in Australia. I suspect dental care in Australia for the uninsured is probably similar in quality to the general medical care in America for the uninsured. You state,
Quote
Anyone in our country and yours can walk into a hospital at any time, including non-citizens, and be treated for life threatening conditions.

In Australia, that also applies to any dental situation which any individual thinks is an urgent problem, such as a tooth ache or a filling which has dropped out. Our hospitals have emergency dental clinics. To get attention one has to turn up at the dental clinic at 7am, or earlier if you want to be first in the queue. The clinic will probably open at 8am or 8,30am, and you might be lucky to see a dentist by 10am. The problem tooth will be extracted or refilled, but any other matters that need attention will require one to be put on a long waiting list for an appointment. By long, I mean 6 months or more.

This situation is far different from a visit to the doctor for whatever reason. Those who do not have private insurance in Australia do not have to self-diagnose themselves as having a life-threatening condition before getting a speedy appointement with a doctor. Nor do they have to queue up for long hours in the early morning, at least not where I live.

All that is required is a simple phone call to make an appointment, which can usually be the same day. Sometimes there may be a slight wait beyond the time of the appointment; sometimes not. The problem can be quite trivial, such as ears getting a bit blocked up with wax, a cough that won't go away, or a pain in the arse. One usually has to pay a small amount for any medication that is prescribed.

Hope I've managed to enlighten you, Steve, on the qualities of a good health system.  ;D

Title: Re: May we ask how Mike is doing?
Post by: jeremypayne on November 02, 2012, 01:08:08 PM
3.  Saying it over and over again doesn't make it true.

Ok ... then I will say it.

All your numbered lists have shown us is how uneducated and cynical you are. 
Title: Re: May we ask how Mike is doing?
Post by: Bryan Conner on November 02, 2012, 01:30:30 PM
Ok ... then I will say it.

All your numbered lists have shown us is how uneducated and cynical you are. 

And your reply above have shown us how mature you are.
Title: Re: May we ask how Mike is doing?
Post by: jeremypayne on November 02, 2012, 01:42:27 PM
And your reply above have shown us how mature you are.

Maturity is over-sold.  Some of my best friends are little kids who can't even say maturity.

... and if you and Steve are mature and I am not ... I can definitely live with that.

Title: Re: May we ask how Mike is doing?
Post by: Bryan Conner on November 02, 2012, 02:41:25 PM
Maturity is over-sold.  Some of my best friends are little kids who can't even say maturity.

... and if you and Steve are mature and I am not ... I can definitely live with that.



I am not agreeing with Steve...or you completely for that matter.  I was simply stating my opinion on you making the debate personal.  You were doing well with your points and your reasoning until then.  I know that I am not always mature, I think that sometimes that is a positive thing.  In this case, it is not. 
Title: Re: National Health Systems
Post by: Steve Weldon on November 02, 2012, 05:21:54 PM
I think we can agree on that point, yet it is my belief that most of the costs of health care are for that very purpose, wherever the money may come from. We live to be merry, and that includes eating and drinking for pleasure with narry a thought for the consequences.

You're referring to inanimate objects here, aren't you? In so far as these inanimate objects are life-threatening, then of course the Government has a role to play. Roads should be designed and constructed so they are safe to drive on. Houses should be built in accordance with certain standards to withstand the onslaught of hurricanes and floods, if they are situated in areas frequently subjected to hurricanes and floods, and when infrequent disasters of record-breaking severity occur, as recently with Sandy, then the government has to step in, as your great President Obama has vowed to do, without interference and delays from red tape.

Just for the record, I might have misrepresented the situation regarding dental care for the uninsured in Australia. I suspect dental care in Australia for the uninsured is probably similar in quality to the general medical care in America for the uninsured. You state,
In Australia, that also applies to any dental situation which any individual thinks is an urgent problem, such as a tooth ache or a filling which has dropped out. Our hospitals have emergency dental clinics. To get attention one has to turn up at the dental clinic at 7am, or earlier if you want to be first in the queue. The clinic will probably open at 8am or 8,30am, and you might be lucky to see a dentist by 10am. The problem tooth will be extracted or refilled, but any other matters that need attention will require one to be put on a long waiting list for an appointment. By long, I mean 6 months or more.

This situation is far different from a visit to the doctor for whatever reason. Those who do not have private insurance in Australia do not have to self-diagnose themselves as having a life-threatening condition before getting a speedy appointement with a doctor. Nor do they have to queue up for long hours in the early morning, at least not where I live.

All that is required is a simple phone call to make an appointment, which can usually be the same day. Sometimes there may be a slight wait beyond the time of the appointment; sometimes not. The problem can be quite trivial, such as ears getting a bit blocked up with wax, a cough that won't go away, or a pain in the arse. One usually has to pay a small amount for any medication that is prescribed.

Hope I've managed to enlighten you, Steve, on the qualities of a good health system.  ;D



1.  We can and further I agree.   Most doctors I've observed spend a good 70-80% of their day treating self-inflicted issues.  Diabetes, heart disease, respiratory diseases, hypertension, addiction, and more..  mostly brought on a poor lifestyle.

2.  I suspect our President is finding it's not so easy when the shoe is on the other foot, even with a relatively minor disaster when compared to Katrina.   Again, I don't blame the Presidents at all.  Not even for the perceived lack of response.  I blame the people (as I do for healthcare) for not being prepared and having the discipline to have backup plans and supplies in place THEY can effect.  This includes a minimum 2 weeks worth of supplies to include foods, cooking fuels, medicines, and so forth.  For the first two weeks following a disaster we should only be hearing from the injured, elderly, or those who have been victimized n some way.  Everyone else should be sucking up not being able to watch television, staying out of the way so emergency crews can work, and living off their supplies.   And of course it's the same people who haven't prepared by having health insurance who haven't prepared for disasters..

3.  It's nice you have the dental service.. wonder what it costs your government?   Our family visited the dentist twice this year.  In each case I was curious if it would be cheaper to pay for it out of pocket like some guy walking in off the street without insurance.. or paying whatever my insurance required.  Well.. they wanted $920 for a veneer for me and $2700 for four wisdom teeth extracted on my son.. walk in prices that the clinic would have billed a customer/patience without insurance.  We chose insurance.  A few weeks later we got a bill from the clinic(s) that they charged my insurance $182 for the veneer and $423 for the oral surgery.   This is a major part of our problem.  People who could otherwise afford their own dental without insurance can no longer do so because the prices are inflated.. I asked why?  They said to cover the cost of those  who said they'd pay and didn't, or couldn't, etc.  I asked why that cost isn't shared among the insurance as well.  They said they refused.  But a guy without insurance can't refuse.  It's a broken system that heavily pushes people to participate in the insurance game.

4.  And it's appreciated.  I'm sure there are pieces of your system we could use in our own, and maybe pieces of ours you guys could use.  Our countries are very different. so not all will translate.. but there's nothing wrong with getting what you can.
Title: Re: May we ask how Mike is doing?
Post by: Steve Weldon on November 02, 2012, 05:25:31 PM
I am not agreeing with Steve...or you completely for that matter.  I was simply stating my opinion on you making the debate personal.  You were doing well with your points and your reasoning until then.  I know that I am not always mature, I think that sometimes that is a positive thing.  In this case, it is not. 

There was nothing to agree with, no information presented, no reasoning, no nothing.. just insults.  This happens when they have run out of everything else.  I don't take it personally.
Title: Re: May we ask how Mike is doing?
Post by: Steve Weldon on November 02, 2012, 05:46:29 PM
The definition of realism is not a judgement made before investigation.

The definition of cynicism is an emphatic negative judgement made before investigation.

You wrote "...is that a program that defines itself by showing how Canada performs against other countries could be anything less than biased...".

That denial, without investigation, of even the possibility that it "could be anything less than biased..." is by definition an expression of cynicism.


You made a definitive statement - "We have no knowledge of funding because they have selected to provide none."

The problem is that we can all see that they did provide the information and you found the information -- your definitive statement cannot be true.

There is no "well reasoned" when you start from a statement that cannot be true.


You claim that it's "a program specifically started to show Canada in a good light" but that is not how the program describes itself -- "How Canada Performs (http://www.conferenceboard.ca/hcp/default.aspx): A Report Card on Canada—assesses Canada’s quality of life compared with that of its peer countries."

We don't need you to tell a story about "might be biased".

We need you to show that you have found examples of actual bias in "How Canada Performs".

1.  I did investigate all that was needed.  I pointed out my investigation time and again.  Just because you personally don't accept it.. doesn't make it untrue.

2.  Again, there have been tons of investigation.  Maybe not the type you'd agree with, but with all the information out there to read and take it, if it isn't presented in a way that meets my personal filters for acceptance then it's "investigation enough."  Credibility is a scarce resource.  I find this study has none.  It's entirely self-serving in concept so I won't be wasting my time further.  Sorry, but next time you try and support an argument use a less biased resource.  Otherwise I personally won't accept it.  And don't fool yourself by thinking I'm a minority.  It's a piss-poor way of presenting information UNLESS and it did this very well.. unless you're catering to your base. And Canada is it's base. Most people in Canada want to believe their system is great and their taxes are being used wisely.. works well there.

3.  You're wrong.  There has been plenty of good solid reasoning and debate, but like a dog with a bone you've ignored it all, refused to answer questions, all in an attempt to make a point you'll never make.

4.  Come on Isaac.. have you been that much programmed that you can't see they're one and the same?   The only reason I've allowed this to go on so long is in the smallest hope you'll see this one point.   

5.  No.  The "study" hasn't earned that much.  In review it fails on it's concepts.  It's as simple as that.  It has to make it through one filter before it goes through another.  This doesn't pass the first smell test.


Anyway.. we're never going to agree on this.. that we can agree not to agree and leave this particular subject behind?   
Title: Re: May we ask how Mike is doing?
Post by: jeremypayne on November 02, 2012, 06:26:16 PM
There was nothing to agree with, no information presented, no reasoning, no nothing.. just insults.  This happens when they have run out of everything else.  I don't take it personally.

Oh please.  I participate in meaningful ways in meaningful conversations.

This has been one long exercise in typing.  I have rarely seen so many words wasted on nothing.
Title: Re: May we ask how Mike is doing?
Post by: Steve Weldon on November 02, 2012, 06:44:39 PM
Oh please.  I participate in meaningful ways in meaningful conversations.

This has been one long exercise in typing.  I have rarely seen so many words wasted on nothing.
We were in this thread.. and you have participated only through insults in this thread.  Surely you knew I meant this thread?  I mean, who would think they've built up enough "points" for meaningful conversation in one thread that they were allowed to only insult in another?

Try this.  Choose a point you agree with concerning the subject matter and tell us what you think.  Try to separate your view on the subject matter from your view of the person.  Who knows, through discussion you just might change your mind about something. 

We've actually learned a lot about the health care systems of each others countries.  We've expressed views.  So far better than most threads. 
Title: Re: May we ask how Mike is doing?
Post by: Steve Weldon on November 03, 2012, 01:27:07 PM
Of course, you are free to decide that no investigation is "investigation enough" for you -- and now we can judge your opinions accordingly.


Without your cynical prejudice we can learn -- "...that relative to its peer countries, Canada’s performance is weak on key indicators. ... Canada has the third highest mortality rate due to diabetes among the peer countries, and diabetes prevalence continues to increase. This should be raising alarm bells, not only among Canadian policy-makers but also among the public."

No "show Canada in a good light" and "assesses Canada’s quality of life" are not "one and the same".

1.  Yes you can.  Thank you.

2.  Well through your home court prejudices we learn that the Mortality Rates Due To Flaws Inherent in Countries Current Health Care System aren't even being discussed.  Have you reached the point yet where you realize what isn't included in a "program outcome" can actually invalidate the entire result?  (come on Isaac.. I've been helping you the entire way, you can do it..)  Kinda like what you don't say can become a lie?   If you put an "outcome" out there masquerading as a "study" and it doesn't even mention the most controversial issues surrounding the subject in question.. well.. that's my number #1 filter.  

If you can't even acknowledge there might be a flaw in the system.. then the system itself isn't being evaluated.  What's being evaluated instead is a list of self-selected indicators which may or may not have anything to do with the program itself.   Even a relatively dull person has to be asking why these indicators and not others: are they (the indicators) balanced, redundant, germane, measuring our greatest concerns, showing our greatest needs, etc, etc.. I'm sure by now you can see some areas of concern on your own.  

In other words Isaac.. and I do thank you for hanging on and the resultant discussion.. if you're going to put a "study" out there for debate.. pick one that means something.  Not just the first one that shows up on Google that supports your personal views.


3.  Ah, but now you can see how it really is.  Or at a minimum how I do.
Title: Re: May we ask how Mike is doing?
Post by: Steve Weldon on November 04, 2012, 09:59:47 PM
Yet another baseless claim. You make stuff up -- and now we can judge your opinions accordingly.

I'm a California resident - I have no association at all with Canada.


Why do you have to be so hostile?   Who said anything about Canada?  If I'd wanted to say Canada then I would have.  Is this the extent of your critical reading skills?  I don't know what position you're coming from because you have refused to answer a single question, so I came up with a generic "place" you're coming from.  I've tried (patiently) to answer every single question you've asked.  You've answered none I've asked.   I've waited patiently for a single piece of reasoned opinion or logic coming from YOU on the subject, while providing plenty of mine.  And again you haven't met the challenge.  If we want to judge opinions accordingly then I say we go with that.


Isaac, stop being lazy for gawds sake.  You took such a lazy man's route to taking a position by posting such an encumbered (biased) study that wouldn't pass the filters of a competent grade school student.  It is that hard to just say what you believe?  No one is trying to win, no one trying to insult, no games are being played.  It's an adult discussion forum.  Let's discuss.  I really don't believe the best you can do is post some study that contributes so little and says not a word about your own beliefs. 
Title: Re: National Health Systems
Post by: BlasR on November 08, 2012, 09:49:22 AM
I did my part, I light a candle for Michael.

About Ins, in Canada, its better then US?

I am moving to Australia, its no one there, just in the middle, no see anyone, in spend my life away from anyone control my CASH, or tell me to work hard the others need me to to get free stuff, I just wish another BHO don't go there..I can't even write his name.

He, was in Chicago, waiting for those the don't like to work, in want ME to pay for their ins, food,tabaco,drug in U name it, they got it all, are those the vote for him...well the luck stop I quit my job...I want free as well. even so, I hate it..BUT maybe Jeff can send me his check?


Michael,  U will be just fine.

God Bless!
Title: Re: National Health Systems
Post by: Slobodan Blagojevic on November 08, 2012, 10:29:31 AM
Judging by your eloquent writing, you've already spent your life "away from anyone," especially schools (I guess you missed the memo they are free).
Title: Re: National Health Systems
Post by: BlasR on November 08, 2012, 01:08:24 PM
I can fly airplane..I went to school for that!  I can write in Spanish so well, I had been a news paper Journalist for over 24 years..Went to school for that as well!(wow)

i was a professional jockey, work like a dog( but a white dog), to earn money, then a professional Boxer (didn't lose a fight in 11 fights) So i can kick your ass as well.  I start working when i was 4 years old..if anyone ask for a favor, I did the favor, no gift can be accepted..A favor was a favor...My father die, because we didn't have money to pay to the Doctor, so he send him home to die..At 43 he was gone..16 kids one Mom..Lets go to work..No favor from NO ONE,,LETS GO TO WORK..Work, like a DOGs,,(I'm the poor one, in still alive 13, in I'm rich) went to war as a Journalist, see the worse, but nothing like now, putting the thing to be president..oh lord! help us all!!!!!

Tmy hard work, I can rest, in now he saying give it to you to smoke?  Get lost!..., now stupid people like U, believed the  my hard working MONEY, I should give to them,(I'm sure 100% plus, U are one of them)..As, I think the only people it doesnt scare and who Obama hussein will be celebrating are the radical muslims, terrosists( look Libia) groups and of course the American commi's as well as the people who are depressed and need someone to hold their hand.  and those the want my hard working money, to use drug with it.

HE IS A LIAR and is BAD for America.

May God bless all.

Oh I forget..I can take photos as well..No bad!

Send me a check, noooo,stick it.....I hate free things..Never accept it, never will...never want it in I will DIE first, if I will jealous of those the work, make million or billion or a cent, in I want to be like them.

Be you, no someone else.
take a shower U need it!!!!!



Watch obama 2016..I did,  look his own Brother, or just find out of the uncle(drunk one) the is here in MA< ask, if Obama help him..Obama want we all be the same..BUT no him...

so why to work anymore?  we should always just drink, in wait for the next check to come...to the hell your F**** Ass will get anything else from me.

I just wish, Michael, feel better don't U?

enjoy life!
Title: Re: National Health Systems
Post by: Slobodan Blagojevic on November 08, 2012, 01:38:58 PM
... My father die, because we didn't have money to pay to the Doctor, so he send him home to die..At 43 he was gone...

Isn't it something BHO's healthcare could have helped with?
Title: Re: National Health Systems
Post by: BlasR on November 08, 2012, 02:18:56 PM
NOPE..NOTHING FREE.work for it, or die  with hussein, he work hard, lets take from him, and , lets give it to someone else....Watch Obama 2016, oh BTW, he only give what he take from someone else, no what he got..people are just plain stupid, ...who will pay for it?  We paying over 20,000 since the jerk took office...less then 10, before..gas? over 4, less then 2...like i said in stay "I think the only people it doesnt scare and who Obama hussein will be celebrating are the radical muslims, terrosists groups and of course the American commi's as well as the people who are depressed and need someone to hold their hand.those the don't want to work, in expect the free things, from those the work to be someone"...why to work now?

before someone did a favor, a thank u, was all the ask for...now is can u do me a favor, will cost u an eye..But I understand, free things MUST be great for people like U...So, to bad, will not last

HE IS A LIAR and is BAD for America.

May God bless all
Title: Re: National Health Systems
Post by: jeremypayne on November 08, 2012, 02:29:02 PM
{blah blah}

PLEASE move to Australia. 
Title: Re: National Health Systems
Post by: BlasR on November 08, 2012, 05:41:38 PM
U going to be to much in  PAYNE..OPS PAIN, IF I do that...but trust me working people will be gone, before u open your eyes...Soif u ever work, come back to work.

Your messiah, just bring to you fire ,and then ICE...Ops must be what Al Gore said,,another liar, to get free cash, but, just look where he live.nice house...To bad, I'm paying for that as well!

Australia here I come..

I will tell U if U never been out of NY,...find a job,  U should take a trip to NZ or Australia, very nice places..In I will tell you this as well, who in the right mind, will even think to go in  vote for gay people get marry?, lets them get marry, should be all the same..Only problems, the world will end, how they can have kids..I guess like the guy in jail  want to be a woman in WE HERE IN MA have to pay for that as well.

My Infinity cost me 80,000..I want hussein Obama send me a check..Why not he giving free phone..In for me will not be free, I am paying for that as well.  BUt you don't think this should be about Asking God, (real one) to take any sickness away from Michael?  So keep your Messiah, in lets play to God, the U can open your eyes, and stop taking free staff

GOD BLESS US ALL.
Title: Re: National Health Systems
Post by: michswiss on November 08, 2012, 08:05:48 PM


Australia here I come..

{snip}

GOD BLESS US ALL.

Me thinks you might have been too hard on the sauce the last couple of days.  If you think that Australia is some right-wing, libertarian, or conservative bastion, you need to do a little more research.

Our Prime Minister is a woman, atheist and she's not even married to her (male) partner, who by the way is a hairdresser.  As much as I loathe him, the leader of the opposition, a conservative by our standards, would be considered a left-wing nutcase if dropped into an election in most of the USA.  Several of our senior parliamentarians are openly gay or lesbian.  One is even married to a FtM transgender.  Let's not forget our national healthcare system, mandatory contributions to Superannuation Funds, and multiple additional social safety nets.  Same sex civil unions are recognised across the country and it is widely accepted on both sides, despite the recent loss in parliament, that marriage rights will be extended as well in the not too far future.  Although, we do have a history of being a racist bunch sometimes.

So yeah, do your best to get a residence and working visa here.  Come on down, I'm sure you'll fit in swimmingly.

ps. And in case you're wondering, New Zealand is probably worse!
Title: Re: National Health Systems
Post by: Bryan Conner on November 09, 2012, 12:43:36 AM
I can fly airplane..I went to school for that!  I can write in Spanish so well, I had been a news paper Journalist for over 24 years..Went to school for that as well!(wow)

i was a professional jockey, work like a dog( but a white dog), to earn money, then a professional Boxer (didn't lose a fight in 11 fights) So i can kick your ass as well.  I start working when i was 4 years old..if anyone ask for a favor, I did the favor, no gift can be accepted..A favor was a favor...My father die, because we didn't have money to pay to the Doctor, so he send him home to die..At 43 he was gone..16 kids one Mom..Lets go to work..No favor from NO ONE,,LETS GO TO WORK..Work, like a DOGs,,(I'm the poor one, in still alive 13, in I'm rich) went to war as a Journalist, see the worse, but nothing like now, putting the thing to be president..oh lord! help us all!!!!!

Tmy hard work, I can rest, in now he saying give it to you to smoke?  Get lost!..., now stupid people like U, believed the  my hard working MONEY, I should give to them,(I'm sure 100% plus, U are one of them)..As, I think the only people it doesnt scare and who Obama hussein will be celebrating are the radical muslims, terrosists( look Libia) groups and of course the American commi's as well as the people who are depressed and need someone to hold their hand.  and those the want my hard working money, to use drug with it.

HE IS A LIAR and is BAD for America.

May God bless all.

Oh I forget..I can take photos as well..No bad!

Send me a check, noooo,stick it.....I hate free things..Never accept it, never will...never want it in I will DIE first, if I will jealous of those the work, make million or billion or a cent, in I want to be like them.

Be you, no someone else.
take a shower U need it!!!!!



Watch obama 2016..I did,  look his own Brother, or just find out of the uncle(drunk one) the is here in MA< ask, if Obama help him..Obama want we all be the same..BUT no him...

so why to work anymore?  we should always just drink, in wait for the next check to come...to the hell your F**** Ass will get anything else from me.

I just wish, Michael, feel better don't U?

enjoy life!
Title: Re: National Health Systems
Post by: Steve Weldon on November 09, 2012, 09:33:31 AM
Isn't it something BHO's healthcare could have helped with?
Questionable.  So far there hasn't been any real progress made with dementia..
Title: Re: National Health Systems
Post by: Philmar on November 09, 2012, 01:03:25 PM
Get well soon Michael. A Torontonian here pulling for you!!

I guess all these years of my complaining about the higher prices of camera gear here in Canada are put in to favourable perspective. CRAP it's getting cold here now but I can better accentuate the positives thanks to this thread.

once again - get well soon.

ONE thing that is bad about the Canadian health care system is the substandard food in the hospitals. orange flavoured drink instead of real orange juice for example. Try to get some friends to bring you food. The over processed hospital food is not conducive to healing...