[ExI] Yet another health care debate

Bryan Bishop kanzure at gmail.com
Mon Sep 22 19:21:09 UTC 2008

On Monday 22 September 2008, Damien Broderick wrote:
> At 12:10 PM 9/22/2008 +0000, Tom Nowell wrote an excellent open-eyed
> summary of UK Health system.

Meep. It's nice to have insider perspectives. Now what about those 200 
other countries? Hop to it.

> very aspects that USians point to with pride in their own setup:
> >some hospitals have tried to outsource everything possible, leading
> >to lower standards of cleanliness (from using cheapest bidder
> >cleaners) which conflicts with the clinical need to avoid
> >hospital-acquired infections, less flexible meals for patients
> >(cheapest bidder caterers) which can conflict with individual
> >patient needs, slower laboratory test results (sending lab tests
> >offsite to a cheaper lab across town rather than having a lab
> > onsite).
> The market at work! Hallelujah! (Or am I misunderstanding the
> invisible hand again?)

You sure are missing it, it's coming to smack you upside the head.

> >In the NHS, you either have to be totally public funded, or totally
> >private funded. ... People with cancer have offered to pay for the
> >cost of the drugs, only to be told that they will then have to fund
> >the rest of the treatment costs as well if they do - so they would
> >have to pay the hospital costs, pay for the doctor to administer the
> >drugs, and the rest, all massively increasing the cost.
> Not sure about this one, but here in TX I pay a lot of insurance
> against the chance of catastrophic illness or accident, and have to
> do all the above as a matter of course (since I'm not a derelict
> throwing myself on the mercy of the ER). Hallelujah!

From my inexperiences of never having to deal with hospitals much here 
in TX, but from scoping out the situations of others, it seems that you 
pay out of pocket most of the time, and hope that the insurance 
companies get back to you quickly enough to pay off the bills for your 
big operations. I.e., there's not really a preventive system where the 
insurance company gives you some mechanism upfront to soundly, 
financially approach your health woes, more often it's reactive.

- Bryan
Engineers: http://heybryan.org/exp.html
irc.freenode.net #hplusroadmap

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