5 misconceptions about health care

  • Article by: SHANNON BROWNLEE AND EZEKIEL EMANUEL
  • Updated: December 7, 2008 - 8:10 AM

With Congress ready to spend $700 billion to prop up the U.S. economy, enacting health-care reform may seem about as likely as the Dow hitting 14,000 again before the end of the year. But it may be more doable than you think, provided we dispel a few myths about how health care works and how much reform Americans are willing to stomach. 1. America has the best health care in the world.

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caladanDec. 7, 0810:10 AM

Those who fear change are doomed to join the ever increasing bankruptcy lines. Change is beyond necessary, it is critical! Doctors are only a very small part of the problem and not intentionally. Drug producers are far more cancerous in their impact on the dysfunctions of the rapidly failing system now in place. Take some responsibility and get answers, do a little research, join forces with your doctor and find cheaper, more intelligent solutions to your own health care. And one other thing, quit using the emergency room for every little cough or scrape.

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leg620Dec. 7, 0811:17 AM

Cherry picking stats from Europe doesn't have any validity. And do you really need a prescription to get aspirin in LA? Has California gotten to that point? And, if so many people are uninsured, how is health insurance lowering wages? But there's no way that cutting administration costs could help, that's the proverbial drop in the bucket. No wonder the population thinks that we're in a health crisis, anxiety cultivators like these two are regularly published in the media. The best way to lower the costs of medical care is to get government out of the health care business entirely. Just one thing. True story. Remember the lady in Canada? She's about to have quadruplets and no Canadian hospital is willing to have her give birth in their facility. Yet here, in the health care inferior USA, she's accepted and the four babies are delivered successfully. At the Mayo Clinic or Loveless Clinic or Johns Hopkins? No, at that world leading health facility Great Falls Community Hospital, Great Falls, Montana.

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notquiteDec. 7, 0811:25 AM

Why do clinics and hospitals charge an uninsured person twice or three times as much as an insured person? Why did reducing my dislocated shoulder in ER double in price in two years? Why did a clinic visit double in price in the last year? Why does one pay 110 dollars for a 10 minute visit with a doctor who doesn't know anything about you and couldn't care less? Why to I give a grade of "failure" to our lousy medical system?

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digalvinDec. 7, 0811:49 AM

more cops = fewer robbers. Medicare & insurance /billing fraud are a huge drain on precious resources. A relatively small investment in auditors/investigators would be a valuable ROI AND increase public/political faith in the system.

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jahlgren54Dec. 7, 0811:56 AM

Who are they and why do I care? You compare our system to theirs. So what! How does it compare to Countries NOT in the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development? My bet is VERY WELL but, why compare it. Good filler RED STAR

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bikemilesDec. 7, 0812:31 PM

Prescriptions of aspirin? Last time I checked 500 generic asprin was under $3 at Wal Mart without a prescription!

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dvaljeanDec. 7, 08 2:33 PM

High cost for one often means high profit for another. Whose pockets are getting overly filled from those high prices?

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mklundDec. 7, 08 2:42 PM

Overall statistics speak for themselves. We have a situation in which insured people are over-served and uninsured are over-charged. The answer is to include everyone in the risk pool with premiums based on income - as Medicare now does. Administration of public insurance (Medicare and Medicaid) should be taken back from private insurers. Premiums for private insurance should be capped and basic health conditions should be covered. Clinics should monitor treatment vs. outcomes and opt for the least invasive and least costly best practices. We can do this as well as other industrialized countries!

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pdxtranDec. 7, 08 3:07 PM

I have no doubt that we'd compare favorably to Liberia or Mexico in terms of health, but in terms of general standard of living, we're closer to Western Europe, Canada, and the East Asian "tigers," than we are to the countries that do poorly on health. It's fairer to compare us to other countries with large middle classes, high rates of literacy, clean drinking water, large industrial and business sectors, etc. than it is to compare us to countries with no significant middle class, high rates of illiteracy, impure drinking water, and a mostly subsistence agriculture economy.

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jk12345Dec. 7, 08 4:39 PM

The reason life expectancy is below that of other countries is the obesity problem, not the quality of healthcare. This article is offensive to every nurse, doctor, and healthcare worker due to the ignorance of the author.

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