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Can private health insurance and publicly funded basic care co-exist?

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JayMusgrove Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Aug-08-09 03:51 PM
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Can private health insurance and publicly funded basic care co-exist?
 
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Can private health insurance and publicly funded basic care co-exist?

Has anyone lived in Canada, the UK, France, Germany, Japan, Italy, or any other modern nation for a time long enough to learn how to get cared for when sick or injured?

I think we all know this information is NOT getting out to Americans, one has to ask WHY NOT?
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nightrain Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Aug-08-09 04:14 PM
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1. do you actually think that the health insurance and drug makers would
be real non-profits? That would be a closer comparison. I doubt it. No money in it for the greedy execs.

While you're at it, check out Taiwan's transition to single payer and how successful that has been. Watch Frontline's show--"Sick Around the World".

http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/pages/frontline/sickaroundthewo...
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JayMusgrove Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Aug-09-09 08:06 PM
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4. THANKS FOR ALL YOUR ANSWERS and your
suggested reading and other links!
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stray cat Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Aug-08-09 06:01 PM
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2. Of course - many countries have such a tiered system
basic government care for the poor and individual payed care for anyone with any money who wants to pay extra to get decent care.
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JawJaw Donating Member (574 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Aug-08-09 06:02 PM
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3. From a UK Perspective
Edited on Sat Aug-08-09 06:03 PM by JawJaw
Public and private healthcare does indeed co-exist in the UK

In fact, the right to continue private practice in parallel with NHS work was a compromise that finally brought the medical profession around to accepting the NHS when it was introduced in the 1940s, despite the initial fears that the NHS would bring in "socialism" and "Government control" (sound familiar!?)

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/health/7405526.stm


In general, I would say that the average person's perception of the difference between the two is that if you go privately you will probably be treated more quickly and stay in your own room, rather than on a ward.

Due to various conditions that members of my family have experienced over the last few years, I think this perception is not always accurate. Many NHS hospitals have facilities that rival private facilities. Sometimes, patients can be seen very quickly, particularly when there is a cancellation.

The system isn't perfect of course. There are periodic media reports of people being left for hours on trolleys, and patients contracting viruses like MRSA from poor cleaning standards - although you could argue that the latter is a direct result of the privatisation of hospital cleaning services that started during Thatcher's era.

But on balance, even though there are long waiting lists for some treatments, most people take it for granted that they will get good treatment that will cure them. The whole idea of whether that treatment will ruin you financially just does not come into the equation at all! Some of the scare stories that the US health insurance companies are disseminating through the wingnuts are truly weird and offensive, and really have no basis in reality - e.g. old people being euthanised on the whim of a committee, or Palin's latest suggestion that Downs syndrome babies would be disposed of by "death panels" - Just how lower can these monsters go?

The one area of The NHS that has started to take retrograde steps in recent years is dentistry. In some areas it is now very difficult to find a dentist that offers NHS treatment. The dental insurance plans seem to be far more lucrative option for practitioners.
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