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Fri Dec 28, 2012, 05:04 PM

Quality of U.S. medicine: The 'best' health care depends on your perspective

Quality of U.S. medicine: The 'best' health care depends on your perspective

http://www.oregonlive.com/opinion/index.ssf/2012/12/quality_of_us_medicine_the_bes.html

Is the American health care system "the best in the world"? If so, perhaps Oregon is spinning its wheels trying to fix a health care system some U.S. congressmen say isn't broken. Let's hear what these national leaders say and then check reality.

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell says, "We do start with the notion, however, that we have the best health care in the world." If McConnell had diabetes, he might pause. American diabetics suffer twice as many foot amputations as diabetics in Europe because they cannot afford care to prevent foot infections from turning deadly.

House Speaker John Boehner says we have "the best health care delivery system in the world." But there are 35 other countries in which a pregnant woman and her baby have a better chance of surviving the pregnancy. The United States leads the industrialized world in deaths preventable with timely care. There are 15 other nations providing every citizen with lifesaving treatments denied to many unfortunate Americans.

During one of his presidential debates, Sen. John McCain said the U.S. offers "the highest quality of health care in the world." Did he overlook statistics on lung disease? Americans with emphysema are 25 percent more likely to need hospitalization than people in France (the country with the best record). Asthmatics suffer worse: American asthmatics are eight times more likely to need urgent care than those in France.

Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell insisted, in a GOP response to President Obama's 2010 State of the Union address, that the U.S. enjoys "the best medical care system in the world." But 25 other countries have more doctors per capita, hospital beds per capita and doctor visits. And these countries spend less than we do. In fact, we have the most expensive health care in the world.

(more at link)

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Reply Quality of U.S. medicine: The 'best' health care depends on your perspective (Original post)
abelenkpe Dec 2012 OP
freshwest Dec 2012 #1
dutchroll Dec 2012 #2
Melissa G Dec 2012 #3

Response to abelenkpe (Original post)

Fri Dec 28, 2012, 05:48 PM

1. The plutocratic puppets don't see what those of us further down the food chain see...



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Response to abelenkpe (Original post)

Fri Dec 28, 2012, 07:07 PM

2. My doctor wife worked in a US hospital for a year. She was not impressed.

My wife is a surgeon and went to work in the US for a year doing some further specialist training.

It is fair to say that the USA has some of the best surgeons in the world (though other countries do too). She went there to work under one of them. It is also fair to say that it has some of the best medical technology and research in the world (though other countries do too). What you most definitely can not say about it, is that it is the "best healthcare system" in the world.

Some of these nutbag politicians (who appear predominantly Republican, whereas most Democratic ones we heard over there at least acknowledged the US healthcare system has serious problems) simply cannot comprehend that "best technology" does NOT equal "best system of delivery" or "best application" or "best availability" or "best distribution".

What she saw was treatments costing double or more the price of what they would cost back home for the exact same treatment (home is Australia, btw). She saw little old ladies in severe pain have their booked surgery rejected at the last minute by insurance companies, citing pathetic excuses or "clauses" in the insurance premiums which allowed them to essentially get out of jail free. She saw exhorbitant private payment quotes which were completely unjustified. She saw people stuck in total dead-end jobs because no insurance companies would cover their pre-exisiting conditions if they changed employment and moved up in the world. She saw people (one of whom is my niece) who had to restrict their college education to a solitary college choice due to a pre-existing medical condition which no other college health insurance plan would cover. To have healthcare determine your education choices would cause massive street protests in any other country!

She worked with a fellow doctor studying under the same specialist as she was, who was a card-carrying hardcore Republican voter who had his head so far up his own ass that he seriously believed "his" healthcare system was the world's greatest and everyone else's sucked, but not only had he never been outside the USA in his entire life, he'd also hardly ever travelled outside the mid-west!

It was an interesting, but often surreal experience for a year!

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Response to dutchroll (Reply #2)

Sat Dec 29, 2012, 09:49 AM

3. Thank you for your insight.

good points. I hope they get to our president and congress.

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