Mixed Bag Medicine

Just a week ago I posted about why I think American healthcare will stay broken. The more I dialog with others about reforming healthcare in America the more I think that the issue is one complicated mixed bag of problems, solutions and opinions. Here are a few thoughts from my cyberfriends:
  • "Yep, and those of us with chronic conditions and who are older will be tossed away."
  • "Having a government-run ALTERNATIVE and allowing to keep their plan, if they are happy with it sounds like a good compromise between a free market system and a nationally sponsored system to me."
  • "Also, tort reform needs to be addressed as well. The cost of the liability insurance that hospitals and doctors have to pay is ridiculous."
  • "I do personally know (well through the Internet) friends in Ireland and Canada and both say they are happy with their medical coverage. And, Bob, one of the guys is in his 60s, the other in his 50s."
  • "My friend in Ireland is in his 60s and was diagnosed with leukemia a couple of years ago. He has been quite happy with his coverage."
  • "The United States is the only wealthy, industrialized nation that does not have a universal healthcare system. 47 million Americans are uninsured and medical expense is the primary cause of personal bankruptcy."
  • "France was good to me with routine care and even Morocco was great for prescriptions, routine care. Not so great with major med."
  • "My aunt lives in Italy (has for 35 years) and they've had births and major medical care. been great, according to her."
  • "The result of all of this is that not only are insured-taxpayers paying through the nose for social security for the uninsured, we also are paying for the uninsured through our insurance."
I wonder if healthcare experiences in other countries is similar to the ones here.. sometimes people have good experiences and sometimes they do not.. I know my experiences have been a mixed bag.

The four years before my first wife died she had about 40 docs that attended to her (and billed me).. some of the docs/surgeons were excellent but some were awful.. I had to confront many of them.. I told one surgeon I would not pay him unless he actually spoke to me in person.. he wrote off the surgery.

I wonder if we generalize too much about the quality of the healthcare in other countries? Maybe it is just too complex to generalize?

What do you think? Have you have any bad experiences with government run Medicare or Medicaid? Ever had a procedure denied by them? Do you think that an Insurance Company would have treated you better than those organizations?


  1. If you look hard enough you can find horror stories about anything, health care, PC use, Mac use, Tupperware, etc.

    It's clear that what we have right now in this country is far from perfect, and when it comes to the poorer in our society it's much worse.

    I will gladly pay higher taxes if it means someone less fortunate than me can have medical care.

  2. I've never been to another country, and cannot speak for their health care...
    But this I know: In Feb. I was diagnois with breast cancer, I had numerous mammograms, sonograms, a needle biopsy two surgeries, and the only money out of my pocket was today, when I picked up my medical records from the St. Joseph's Breast Center $20.00 to take to the Radiation Center Monday to start my 6 weeks of radiation. I have been very happy with all the doctors I have seen, and at 68, am glad I live where I do, and have the insurance I have!
    Very interesting the different comments on your post...

    Take Care Bob....


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