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US vs. Rwanda | 355 comments | Create New Account
Comments belong to whoever posts them. Please notify us of inappropriate comments.
US vs. Rwanda
Authored by: Anonymous on Saturday, June 30 2012 @ 06:38 PM EDT
However, what they do get is the type of basic preventive medicine and medical treatments ...

"Basic preventive medicine and medical treatments" are generally relatively cheap and affordable. If that's all that was required, Catholic Charities alone could probably supply universal health care to most of the US. Yes I'm exaggerating, but not by much.

It's when you need advanced drugs or treatments that cost $100 or $1000 or more a month or even a week that really breaks the bank.

Things like transplant operations start out as expensive and can easily run over a million dollars. Who can afford that? But if we need a heart transplant, we want to get it and somebody has to pay for it.

When somebody points to places like Rwanda as having universal health care the key word is basic.

[ Reply to This | Parent | # ]

US vs. Rwanda
Authored by: mupi on Sunday, July 01 2012 @ 04:50 AM EDT
---
However, what they do get is the type of basic preventive medicine and medical
treatments that improve the quality of life for the majority of people and
reduces the overall cost burden on their society as a whole.
---

I'm pretty sure that if we are comparing quality of life, the quality of life
for the poorest of the poor would have to go WAY down, before the level of
"basic care" in rwanda could possibly be seen as an
"improvement".

Consider such basic things as infant mortality or aids.

Whenever the US government gets involved, the costs seem to skyrocket.

PJ article quoted repeatedly the $1000/year figure. But the hospitals wouldn't
have to charge as much to make up for those patients if it wasn't for Medicare.
Medicare pays 60% of the "usual and customary" rate. They define that
as the rate that most insurance companies pay on their contracts, which is
usually about 80% of the "cash" rate. If medicare would pay the same
as other insurance companies, then at least 25% of that $1000 would simply go
away; medicare would be paying that. In reality, since most hospitals are
non-profits, and thus no allowed to make a profit from year to year, the 80% is
probably pretty darn close to the break even point. That means that Medicare's
60% payment is actually contributing to the $1000 in recapture of unfunded
costs, so really, the number is much higher, and will continue to grow as the
number of people medicare grows.

[ Reply to This | Parent | # ]

  • US vs. Rwanda - Authored by: Anonymous on Sunday, July 01 2012 @ 12:18 PM EDT
  • 80%??? - Authored by: Anonymous on Sunday, July 01 2012 @ 06:41 PM EDT
    • 80%??? - Authored by: mupi on Wednesday, July 04 2012 @ 03:40 AM EDT
US vs. Rwanda
Authored by: Anonymous on Sunday, July 01 2012 @ 08:36 AM EDT
It should be pointed out that a similar fraction of the USA has health insurance
(or Medicare or Medicaid) even before Obamacare goes into effect.

Your point was?

[ Reply to This | Parent | # ]

Works for the rest of the world!
Authored by: mupi on Wednesday, July 04 2012 @ 04:17 AM EDT
There's another interesting point here, and since nobody else has mentioned it,
I think I will bring it up. One of the reasons that health care in Rwanda (or
other places) can be had much more cheaply than in the US, is because as was
pointed out, they don't have "whiz bang" diagnostic tools.

I would imagine there aren't more than a handful of MRI machines in Rwanda,
technology that is considered very basic here, to the point where many rural
communities without direct access to an MRI have MRI vans. But where did those
handful of MRI machines (or even ancient Xray machines) come from? Most of the
time, they come from hospitals in other places, that are using the money they
get from commercial insurance to replace aging equipment. This older equipment
is then sold to smaller hospitals looking to upgrade, but can't afford the
newest machines, so they sell or donate their even older equipment, until
eventually it winds up donated to places in the third world.

Because those third world places paid a fraction of what the equipment cost when
new, if they paid anything at all, they can afford not to charge as much.
Because Doctors an Nurses donate time to go to missionary hospitals in many of
those places, they don't have to hire as much staff. In fact with lower
standards of care, they can have more patients/nurse, for example, than is
commonly acceptable here.

Because drugs don't have to go through years and years and years of clinical
trials, it costs a lot less to bring drugs to market, and because of looser
prescription requirements, a lot of drugs that require a Dr visit in the US, can
be purchased over the counter in Canada, Mexico, and most of the rest of the
world. Are those tradeoffs we are willing to make, to "reduce the cost of
medical care"? If the goal is to put into place "more affordable
care" (isn't the title of the bill the "Affordable Care Act"?)
then shouldn't all options be on the table? After all, if the argument is that
this more "socialized" style of medical care "works for the rest
of the world", and those other standards "work for the rest of the
world", too, why not?

Heck, why stop there? The Middle East doesn't have a problem drilling anywhere
there's a drop of oil. Cuba, Venezula, Brasil, pretty much every country with
offshore oil reserves allow deep water drilling, "it works for the rest of
the world!" Municipal water standards? The rest of the world doesn't seem
to need them, "It works for the rest of the world!" Emission
standards, mileage standards, clean air standards? Maybe we should do what China
does, rather than FIX the air in Beijing, they just stop anybody from writing
about the air quality in Beijing. Too much pollution in your city? Stop
reporting it, and nobody will know! "Works for the rest of the world!"
Here's another sensitive subject: strict immigration laws. Enter Mexico
illegally, your children aren't automatically citizens, just because they are
born there. And you're lucky if "all" they do is deport you. North
Korea, Iran, Cuba, China? Google them, you might be surprised what the penalties
are. Hey, "it works for the rest of the world,", right? Anyone want
to touch minimum wage?

[ Reply to This | Parent | # ]

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