Posts Tagged ‘Healthcare’

US Healthcare Is Too Corrupt And Too Drunk, To Fight This Epidemic Optimally

July 14, 2020

Right now the epidemic is under control in Europe (except England). Yet Europeans have to test and track more, as in South Korea… And as Germany has been somewhat doing.
Part of the problem in the USA: it’s an UNION of STATES, which do as they please. Compare with Europe: the UK, or more exactly England, has been doing terribly, with a death rate more than 50% higher than the USA. Reason? The scientific council in charge, as in Sweden, believed, all too long, in “herd immunity”. The results were even worse than Sweden. By contrast a strict Germany has been doing way better, with a death rate less than a fifth that of England.

Then there is the problem of US for-profit healthcare. A characteristic of this is that healthcare is viewed in the USA, but for the old, as one more privilege from employment (instead of a human right, as in all other advanced countries). The idea, apparently, is that employers will not just give you the pursuit of happiness, but also will provide you with life itself.

Doctors can do a lot against COVID. Problem: in the US, people do not have the habit of going to see their doctors… until it’s too late. And that has to do with the greedy, lawyery, private insurance dominated nature of the US medical system…

The for-profit aspect has been going from very bad to even worse in recent years (18% of GDP in healthcare; Europeans don’t go over 12%; the difference between 18% and 12% is all corruption, for want of a better word.) Conclusion: in this crisis, US patients have been reluctant to see doctors. It’s not just the “co-pays”, and “deductibles”. Now there are “facility charges” (even while seeing your old doctor)… which can be hundreds of dollars.

Inconvenient truth? The US vision of healthcare is too greedy, and too drunk, to fight this epidemy optimally.

Patrice Ayme

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P/S 1: The preceding was a comment sent to NYT Krugman (who had written an essay with some of the usual “Trump = Devil” stuff). To my surprise, the comment escaped the censorship terrorists ate the NYT and was published fast (not the usual 24 hours plus delay; my recent comments to Krugman were all censored… This was recommended by 43…)

JPH
USA

@Patrice Ayme US health care quality is ranked number 38th. But its cost is number 1 in the world. As comparison French health care’s cost is 34th world ranking but quality is number one.

Reply23 Recommend
Answer: Patrice Ayme
Berkeley | Pending Approval
@JPH So we agree. I actually had a very difficult pregnancy with my daughter. After finding French doctors in an Alpine hospital very disponible and helpful by phone (whereas Californian doctors couldn’t be reached!). We flew there and then directly, three hours after landing, to the hospital. A young doctor (who was Italian) looked at the US file, and gave a clear and precise conclusion: although this hospital was proud of its very low C section rate, in this particular case, a C section was extremely likely (that was news to us). Then he proceeded to examine the patient. The expert delivery was made by a lady surgeon. I have no doubt the baby would have been lost in the US. Besides the (public) hospital was like Club Med, with great Alpine scenery, a huge private room and bathroom, and a stay of nine days… And it cost much less than a normal delivery in the US… People who can fly to France buy their US prescribed drugs there, as they cost less than US copays (French pharmacists, who are private owners with doctorates, both by law: pharmacy monopolies are illegal in France have the freedom to prescribe, and accept US prescriptions as if they were written in France). The French healthcare system is a mix of private and public, and the US healthcare could be morphed into it (that is, differently from the UK, Sweden or Canada, the French system is not 100% socialist; what happens is that fundamental healthcare is 100% covered; private health insurance supplements services).
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P/S 2: The New York Times, a private media company, is the newspaper of record of the USA. New York Times opinion columnist and editor Bari Weiss published the resignation letter she sent to Times publisher A.G. Sulzberger on her personal website. The Sulzberger family has controlled the New York Times since the nineteenth century (through a special share arrangement). The preceding Sulzberger had banned, apparently from my opposition to the Bush-Biden Iraq invasion (which NYT encouraged).

Bari said:, “Showing up for work as a centrist at an American newspaper should not require bravery.” She wrote she was bullied by colleagues in an “illiberal environment,” “Stories are chosen and told in a way to satisfy the narrowest of audiences” and “intellectual curiosity” is a liability at the Times, among a variety of other devastating feedback.

 

Progressive Medicare For All, Or How And Why To Morph US Healthcare Into French Healthcare

April 22, 2019

European universal health care systems vary, from fully socialized (UK, Sweden) to mixed (France) to rather peculiar (Germany, universal health care from Bismarck, before 1880). The best and most expensive systems (Germany, Italy, France) amount to 12% of GDP, UK only 8%.

As the achievements of the US are objectively inferior (say relative to the UK NHS, and all other European systems), one can deduce that more than half of the US healthcare system is profits.

The European health care systems all have this in common: they are not profit centers. instead, they center around care. In the USA, in 48 states out of 50, the wealthiest profession is Medical Doctors. The naive will think that brings the best. In truth, it tempts those who are the greediest to become MDs.

 

Life Expectancy peaked in the USA in 2015 (above). Since then, it has been going down, demonstrating Obama’s Affordable Care Act didn’t work.[1]

The US system as it exists, with HMOs, was organized by president Nixon, under the guidance of his good friend, plutocrat Kaiser. (who founded the eponymous HMO, thanks to Dick’s help: dicks help dicks). Some US contemporary tycoons, such as Warren Buffet, one of the world’s wealthiest men, have made billions, personally, by investing in US healthcare. Buffet is revered in Democratic circles, but his advice may not be beyond any suspicion, as he and his ilk can only be grateful of the rewards US “care” brought them.

The French system provides a universal coverage of basic healthcare. The US equivalent would be Medicare For All, completed by private insurance for elective services and procedures. Average French doctors attached to public hospitals have often a private practice attached to a private clinic (say for a surgeon). When publicly serving. Fees are limited by law. In private practice, payments can be much higher (and are then paid with a mix of public reimbursement and private insurance, or more often, “mutual” insurance… The French are always comparing those “mutuelles”).

A progressive instauration of Medicare For All (as an elective in the beginning) would allow to morph the US healthcare system into the French one… without the dramatic, hence impossible, change that going to a socialist system like the Canadian, British or Swedish system would force.  

All this is current and hot. Nancy Pelosi, the quasi-Prime Minister of the USA (she decides the US budget, Trump proposes it) recently was claiming that Obama’s ACA was much better than Medicare For All. Sure. For her and her class of the .01%.

Medicare For All is the only reasonable solution for the USA. The beauty is that it can be introduced progressively, without economic disruption, a bit like better mileage for cars…

Patrice Ayme

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The preceding was a comment sent to NYT which had compared US healthcare with Singapore’s. Singapore’s population is mentally enslaved, obedient, and 1.7% of the size of the USA. It’s a mix of disciplined Han Chinese, grateful to exist thanks to their government, considering the enormous alien countries around, and foreigners also grateful to have been allowed in to enrich themselves… Plus 1.7 million quasi slaves for underclass work…

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[1] Obama’s ACA was supposed to have a Public Option offered, the prospect of which handily enabled to dodge the threat to the plutocracy presented by Medicare For All. Once socialist Medicare For All was safely taken care of, profits for professional politicians, lobbyists and plutocrats turned out to be more important than the health of citizens. Overall, ACA is disastrous: a member of my family died from it, he was 45. What the pseudo-“Democrats” will not tell you, is that doctors, or their groups, or organizations, will refuse to see you, when on the local version of ACA, like “Covered California”. So Obama covers you with words, while he drinks martinis on a yacht, watching the sun set among the paradise tax haven islands he loves. My brother-in-law, a proud, but somewhat destitute artist, who refused my personal financial assistance got a complication of heart disease, and got minor treatment after a second major heart attack, then was sent back home. When he started to die, the hospital rejected him, because he was no juicy profit center, but a drain, after a few more stents. He died at 2 am, in a parking lot, in his car, close to another hospital he tried to drive himself to.

Mention any of this to pseudo-Democrats, and they will bleat, as the good Sheeple they are. None of them is on Obama’s ACA. Their leaders, the great pseudo-Democrats, is immensely wealthy (more than 60 million dollars admitted), while her colleague great pseudo-“Democrat” Feinstein is outright a billionaire (she made it so that her husband was a go-between with China, while she oversaw business with the PRC, from the Senate…)

Drug Usage For Mental Obliteration: A Win-Win Situation

January 6, 2018

The USA is the most greedy of all advanced societies. Want a proof? Want to know why it drives the country crazy? Want to know why such crazy, increasing drug usage?

Look at the US healthcare system: it is arguably the most barbarian in the world. In the sense that it’s headed by barbarians. US healthcare uses 18% of US GDP, yet performs, overall, at a level corresponding to below 8% of GDP. The USA performs in “causes of death amenable to healthcare“, that is, avoidable deaths, at the exact same level as Estonia and Montenegro.

http://www.thelancet.com/pdfs/journals/lancet/PIIS0140-6736(17)30818-8.pdf

So, just from healthcare, one gets an amount equal to 10% of GDP in sheer corruption (10 = 18 – 8). (No other country in the world spends more than 12% of its GDP on healthcare; and some of these countries also do remarkable, massive, groundbreaking medical research; for example France, where, besides pasteurization,  metformin was found in the 1930s, psychiatric drugs were discovered in the 1950s (chlorpromazine, etc.), and deep brain stimulation, more recently, among hundreds of other major discoveries.)   

My brother-in-law just died from said corruption of the US healthcare system: after a heart attack, five stents were put inside his heart’s coronary arteries. Right. However, that’s a very delicate operation: anticoagulants and anti inflammatories have to be used in large amounts, under constant supervision, in the first few weeks. His heart attack and operation happened December 1, 2017. However, my unfortunate relative, who lived in Alaska, had no health insurance (because of the colossal “deductibles” of Obamacare; they made Obamacare “insurance” useless, he said; those “deductibles” can be above 15% of the median family income!) An appointment was made for him to see a cardiologist on January 29, 2018. In other words, my brother-in-law didn’t get proper care, he had to wait eight weeks. And this lack of care was deliberate: the doctors or the system, whatever you want to call it, were not interested in taking care of someone who was not going to bring them (considerable) income. He was in great pain for weeks. His heart stopped forever on December 30, 2017, in a parking lot. He was 45 (forty-five) years old.

Considerable income? A friend of mine, an engineer and MD, who spends his time singing the praises of Google and Tesla, consulted by the former, driven by the second, had a cold. He went to Stanford Medical Center. The MD listened to his lungs, told him he was OK, he could just take some over-the-counter standard painkillers. He was charged $5,600 (a rounding error for him, or more exactly his health insurance). That’s like $1,000 per minute…

Faced with such a monstrous system, all over the greed fest known as the USA, US citizens are driven insane and desperate by ambient propaganda. The citizens are told that, if they don’t do well, it’s because they didn’t work hard enough, or they ain’t “leaders”, can’t be trusted, are not smart, and, or should be put in prison, made homeless in the streets. Or then, simply, they are not educated enough. And they tend to believe, deep inside, like good Lutherans and other Calvinists used to believe, that, indeed, their infortune is caused by their ineptitude, just like they believe that, if they want not to be viewed a sore losers, they have to say that there are no conspiracies (in particular no conspiracies of US billionaires against low US lives). And they have to reiterate that the system of greed unchained is most fair.

Illicit drug use death rate: orange is highest, green is less, greyish and grey are best

So they do drugs. Indeed, what’s left to those US citizens who belong to the non-winners, the lamentable 90%, if they don’t want to feel crazy? Or rebellious? So what’s left to them, to optimize what’s left of their minds and happiness?

Mental obliteration, hence drugs to effect that.

Already in 2012 study in the Lancet showed US Americans were more than three times more drugged out than Western Europeans.

http://www.thelancet.com/article/S0140-6736(11)61138-0/fulltext

At the end of Obama’s reign, inequality in the USA was the highest ever (yes, higher than under G. W. Bush). Infuriatingly, though, voters were told they lived in the best of all possible worlds. As the plutocracy has augmented, always more crushing, so has the addiction, ever more the only way to forget reality. Under the last year of Obama the make believer, 63,000 US citizens died of opiate addiction. Anything to not see his face again?

The rate of death for 100,000 inhabitants by illicit drugs in the USA is now 6.96. It’s the third in the world, and significantly higher than Iran (6.28) which is fourth. By contrast equalitarian France, which has Medicare For All, has a death rate from illicit drugs of 1.08 (and marijuana is not legal in France).

http://www.worldlifeexpectancy.com/cause-of-death/drug-use/by-country/

Some will scoff. Ponder what’s the big deal. Question my motivations. 

Yet, it is now clear that the Third Reich was fully addicted on methamphetamines. This changes much of what we know about the second world war. Between May 10, 1940 and May 15, 1940, the German Panzerdivisionen advanced like a torrent inside France, a lava flow of steel, and the French commanders couldn’t believe it. What they didn’t know, and didn’t foresee, is that the entire Nazi army was high on amphetamines, and just won’t sleep, advancing all day and then all night, day after day, night after night. They had been at it three days before that and would go on for several more days afterwards.

Actually, it is likely that the general addiction of Nazi Germany to hard drugs was an important factor of its murderous insanity. It enabled it, incited it, and fostered this folly. Germany had become literally mentally criminally insane, not just culturally, but from mind obliterating hard drug addiction! One can consult “High Hitler: how Nazi drug abuse steered the course of history” by German writer Norman Ohler. 

Now the French and US armies use methamphetamines systematically. (Coffee creates jitters, and is much less effective.)

Sick countries get high on drugs: this is what the plutocrats and tyrants who own them want. Hard drugs decerebrate (and so do alcohol and marijuana). Decerebrated people are easier to dominate, subjugate and exploit. Hence the subjugated dream of electric sheep, while their exploiters jet set around the world, watching the sun rise, as if they owned it, and all planets were for them to do as they please.

If they go low, we shouldn’t get high. When they go low, we should get smarter, more knowledgeable and subtle, and this means keep our mental faculties as best as they can be. The most fundamental human right is not to have to lose our mind, to keep on living.

Patrice Ayme’