[ExI] Healthcare and governments thinking long range

Stathis Papaioannou stathisp at gmail.com
Tue Jun 23 13:14:29 UTC 2009

2009/6/23 Rafal Smigrodzki <rafal.smigrodzki at gmail.com>

> ### Yeah, doesn't this tell you something? Huh? Why does cutting
> tissue to make you pretty get better and cheaper all the time, while
> cutting the same tissue to make you live longer or healthier gets more
> and more expensive? Can you connect the dots?

I'm not familiar with cosmetic plastic surgery in the US. I suppose if
you get rid of cumbersome health insurance intermediaries and
deregulate who can work as a doctor, it would get cheaper. But the
medical profession are a very powerful lobby and resist anything that
might increase competition and decrease their income, claiming that it
would put peoples' health at risk.

> > Singapore has an extensive public health care system. They have means
> > testing for certain public hospital services:
> > (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Health_care_in_Singapore).
> ### Read it again (pay attention to the terms "catastrophic care" and
> "medical savings account"), compare to predominantly
> government-controlled programs elsewhere, do an extrapolation and
> think over its implications.

"Singapore has a universal health care system where government ensures
affordability, largely through compulsory savings and price controls,
while the private sector provides most care. Overall spending on
health care amounts to only 3% of annual GDP. Of that, 66% comes from
private sources.[1] Singapore currently has the lowest infant
mortality rate in the world (equaled only by Iceland) and among the
highest life expectancies from birth, according to the World Health
Organization.[2] Singapore has "one of the most successful healthcare
systems in the world, in terms of both efficiency in financing and the
results achieved in community health outcomes," according to an
analysis by global consulting firm Watson Wyatt.[3] Singapore's system
uses a combination of compulsory savings from payroll deductions
(funded by both employers and workers) a nationalized catastrophic
health insurance plan, and government subsidies, as well as "actively
regulating the supply and prices of healthcare services in the
country" to keep costs in check; the specific features have been
described as potentially a "very difficult system to replicate in many
other countries." Many Singaporeans also have supplemental private
health insurance (often provided by employers) for services not
covered by the government's programs.[3]"

Would the "compulsory savings from payroll deductions" count as a tax?
In Australia they try do something similar by making everyone pay a
flat rate "Medicare levy", which then allows you to access either
public or private services, but really it's just another tax.

Stathis Papaioannou

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