The Ghost Of Health Care Yet To Come

During this entire health care takeover debate we have been deluged with the supposed support for the plan among the nation’s health care professionals. The prop doctors at the White House provided a stunt to show all the “support” out there among the medical community. The AMA board gave its support to the plan after some deal making even though most of the members oppose it (and keep in mind the AMA only accounts for about 18% of doctors in this country). The AARP came out in favor of the bill because it will get rid of Medicare Advantage and seniors will need a Medi-Gap plan. The AARP happens to have one of those and it will make a ton of money by selling it to seniors.

Let us not forget that the pharmaceutical industry was against this until Obama made deals with it, deals that favor the industry and go against what Obama promised.

Then we have the Mayo Clinic in Arizona. The clinic, which Obama touted this “as a national model for efficient health care”, has stopped accepting Medicare patients (unless they pay for their own care) because the government does not reimburse enough to cover expenses.

The Mayo Clinic, praised by President Barack Obama as a national model for efficient health care, will stop accepting Medicare patients as of tomorrow at one of its primary-care clinics in Arizona, saying the U.S. government pays too little.

More than 3,000 patients eligible for Medicare, the government’s largest health-insurance program, will be forced to pay cash if they want to continue seeing their doctors at a Mayo family clinic in Glendale, northwest of Phoenix, said Michael Yardley, a Mayo spokesman. The decision, which Yardley called a two-year pilot project, won’t affect other Mayo facilities in Arizona, Florida and Minnesota. Bloomberg

Obama has said that the amount of money that doctors and hospitals are reimbursed is used as a safety valve by Congress to control costs. In other words, the doctors are screwed out of money by Congress in an attempt to balance the books (they never balance). Many doctors do not accept Medicare because of the reimbursement problems and now the model clinic will follow suit.

Imagine now if health care is run on a national scale by the US government. The government will set reimbursement rates and doctors and hospitals will begin dropping patients because the reimbursement is too low. This will lead to rationing of services and it will lead to more out of pocket expenses for those who rely on government. If a hospital or doctor refuses to accept the patients in the government plan then it matters not whether they have coverage.

Mayo’s hospital and four clinics in Arizona, including the Glendale facility, lost $120 million on Medicare patients last year, Yardley said. The program’s payments cover about 50 percent of the cost of treating elderly primary-care patients at the Glendale clinic, he said.

“We firmly believe that Medicare needs to be reformed,” Yardley said in a Dec. 23 e-mail. “It has been true for many years that Medicare payments no longer reflect the increasing cost of providing services for patients.”

No matter what they do to reform Medicare the purse will be controlled by Congress and as long as Congress can decide the reimbursement all the reform in the world will not make the situation any better. Yes, Congress could enact some reform but nothing can stop it from fixing prices in the future. This is true for any other government run health care.

Maybe the doctors and hospitals in Nebraska should contact Ben Nelson and tell him they will all stop accepting Medicare patients because he sold his soul to the devil. That would negate much of his sweetheart deal and it would keep the rest of us from having to pay into our Medicare and for theirs as well.

Health care needs to be reformed but not in the manner that government proposes. We need to scrap this whole mess and do some common sense things that will fix the problem and not enslave the people to government.

You people in Massachusetts can help. There is a special election this month for Ted Kennedy’s seat. The corrupt politicians in your state manipulated and changed laws to put a Democrat in there in the interim so that the majority would have 60 votes. If you vote the Republican candidate into office he will deny the Democrats their filibuster proof majority. The Senate will not have the 60 votes it needs to get closure. It is up to you to fight back against the corruption that your state has engaged in. Remember, if they had not changed the law (a law that existed until they changed it to prevent a Republican from being appointed by Romney should Kerry win the presidency) then the bill would have been dead.

Instead we have billions of dollars used as bribes for Senators, we have middle of the night legislation, and we have corruption at the highest level.

Massachusetts, you have the opportunity to keep the bill from passing by electing a Republican to the Senate. Look at Romney care and see how bad it is. Then you will see what it will be like for the country. Do us all a favor and elect the Republican. Besides, the Democrat has demonstrated that she is an unethical person who should never hold elected office.

Well, the Mayo Clinic in Arizona has fired the first shot across the bow of the government takeover of health care. They will no longer accept Medicare patients and this is being looked at in their other facilities and by physicians around Arizona. You can be sure that this is taking place across the country as well.

Seniors, this affects you. Get out in full force and vote these bums out of office. Especially you seniors in Massachusetts. Vote for the Republican in the Senate race that takes place this month. If you don’t step up then you have no right to complain when they are denying you care or doctors stop accepting Medicare.

“Before I draw nearer to that stone to which you point,” said Scrooge, “answer me one question. Are these the shadows of the things that Will be, or are they shadows of things that May be, only?” –Source

Like Ebeneezer Scrooge, the future of health care can change. It all depends upon heeding what the ghost of health care yet to come has shown…

Big Dog


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30 Responses to “The Ghost Of Health Care Yet To Come”

  1. Darrel says:

    Bigd: “We need to scrap this whole mess and do some common sense things that will fix the problem”>>

    Lot’s of whining but not a single solution put forward. You constantly complain about deficit spending and nothing drives this like medicare, especially in the near future. Yet, at the same time, in the above you complain that government is even *trying* to control costs (the only possible hope).

    You can’t have it both ways.

    How do YOU solve the coming medicare fiscal crisis? I mean, besides calling Obama names and lowering taxes on the super rich.

    Let’s see you do it without cutting doctors fees and without setting yourself up to appear like “Scrooge.” Somethings are impossible, this is one of them. Surely most Americans are smart enough to know complaining is not a solution. It’s easy to complain, much harder to actually fix the problem, and fixing the problem is not an option. An adult actually has to do it.

    Bigd: “Do us all a favor and elect the Republican.”>>

    What is the republican plan for solving spiraling medicare costs? Pay doctors more? I am not being sarcastic. What have you got?

    General Physician Salaries – International Comparison

    Excerpt (constant US dollars, 2005):

    U.S. average salary: $8,189

    France median salary: $3,620


    • Big Dog says:

      I have laid out my plan on a number of occasions. It is based on a sound approach to the problem and it does not involve overhauling a system that already covers 85% of the population and has a high approval. I have been talking about reform for years and actually have more experience in the health care arena than some of the so called adults you hold in high regard.

      Obviously, cutting the cost to doctors and hospitals will not fix the problem. They will just stop taking Medicare patients. That is pretty simple to see. So what will you do when all the seniors can’t get a doctor? It will also not solve any problems if Congress keeps hiding the costs in other budgetary items. You act like not paying people for their work will not have repercussions but it will. The Mayo shows that as do the number of physicians who are no longer taking Medicare.

      I don’t care what the average salary for a French physician is. What is the labor cost there, what is the cost of union employees and what is the cost of malpractice insurance. There is no comparison in that regard but even so, we are the US, not France. If people want to be treated by French doctors then they should move to France. Since this is the US then people should be able to make what they can. If doctors feel they are not being reimbursed enough by Medicare then they are free to drop Medicare patients. What will government do, make them take the patients? I don’t think that will be legal.

      One cannot use the Medicare system of reimbursement as a safety valve and this is exactly what will happen under government care.

      There have been a number of proposals for fixing the system by people from all parties and different organizations. The Democrats are fixated on their idea and will not listen to any other proposals and that is just the fact of the matter. 15 years ago Cato published its opinion and many studies and ideas have been released. I happen to believe that everyone should not be automatically enrolled in Medicare. Some folks have insurance from their retirement plans so they should get some compensation maybe to pay their premiums (they paid in so they should get their money). Raising taxes and decreasing physician reimbursement will not work so the brain trust had better come up with ideas that are better.

      If they want my plans (I have provided them to my Congressman) then they can hire me to work on the commission. If we eliminate a lot of the administrative waste and decrease the number of agencies we can save lots of money. I would be happy to wield the red pen that Obama promised to use for cuts but has so far kept in the drawer.

      It is a difficult process and any fix is likely to be painful for some portion of the population One thing is certain, it is unsustainable as it now stands and cutting physician reimbursement will mean more seniors without health care providers.

      • Adam says:

        I’m not really seeing any “overhaul” in the health care legislation anymore. Which parts are being overhauled?

      • Darrel says:

        Bigd: “I have laid out my plan on a number of occasions.”>>

        I don’t recall you ever mentioning any plan to fix medicare’s fiscal problems specifically and I don’t see it in the above.

      • Darrel says:

        Bigd: “What is the labor cost there [France]…”>>

        Mal-practice would be a tiny fraction of US cost. Education debt would be much smaller since the government covers much of this. Here are some other stats on France:

        • Best performance in “Mortality Amenable to Health Care.” –The Healing of America, pg 49

        • Life expectancy at age 60 = 23.3 years, (In the US = 17.9 years). –ibid, pg 49

        • More doctors, more beds, same wait times, more choice. –ibid, pg 50

        • Less cost: $3,165 per person vs. $7,000 in US. –ibid, pg 52

        • 67% less administration. –ibid, pg 59

        • Fixed prices for care are one third to one quarter of US prices. –ibid, pg 61

        France gets excellent results for a fraction of the cost because their government (like all of our peer countries) steps in and controls cost and administration.

        All of our peer countries have figured this out as well. You can have robust competition hold down the price of piano tunings but for some reason this does not work in the category of basic health care delivery. The US is a textbook case of failure. As I mentioned, a very close friend just got out of a three day event at the hospital (supposed to be one day). One small surgery, no ICU, no big deal. Eight-seven thousand dollars, at a “non-profit” hospital.


        • Big Dog says:

          I have not specifically addressed Medicare. I told you that a number of others have been addressing it for decades and it has been ignored. I have addressed the regular health care a number of times.

          Life expectancy in the US compared to France has nothing to do with health care, it has to do with lifestyle.

          The French model is based on this:

          To grasp how the French system works, think about Medicare for the elderly in the U.S., then expand that to encompass the entire population. French medicine is based on a widely held value that the healthy should pay for care of the sick.

          I don’t think the healthy should pay for the sick and the French tax rate approaches 60% for people because of this.

          Our peer countries should invest in innovation. Nearly ALL innovations come from the US and our investments.

          If you screw up a piano it sounds bad. If you screw up health care people die.

          Many French doctors, in fact, earn more by increasing their patient load, or by prescribing more diagnostic tests and procedures—a technique, also popular in the U.S., that inflates health-care costs. So far France has been able to hold down the burden on patients through a combination of price controls and increased government spending, but the latter effort has led to higher taxes for both employers and workers. In 1990, 7% of health-care expenditures were financed out of general revenue taxes, and the rest came from mandatory payroll taxes. By 2003, the general revenue figure had grown to 40%, and it’s still not enough. The French national insurance system has been running constant deficits since 1985 and has ballooned to $13.5 billion.


          The French run deficits and how many fewer people do they have than we? They run up charges (our doctors do that especially in Medicare so they get paid).

          I don’t know about your take on malpractice insurance but I know a lot of doctors and this is a major concern. It is running some of them out of business.

          I have never had problems getting seen, getting care or being taken care of. I pay my part and the insurance pays its part. I don’t expect it to all be paid for. I expect to have a portion to pay. I also do not expect to pay for anyone else (outside of my family).

        • Darrel says:

          Bigd: I have not specifically addressed Medicare.>>

          Exactly my point. Yet you criticize Obama for trying to control costs and increase efficiency, the only things that will work. And you, like the republicans, have nothing.

          Bigd: Life expectancy in the US compared to France has nothing to do with health care, it has to do with lifestyle.>>

          Rubbish. Notice the above stat *specifically* refers to longevity at age 60. Please explain how French life after 60 differs so much from American life that they should live over five years longer. It doesn’t.

          And they smoke us in the category of “Mortality Amenable to Health Care.” They’re number one. Here is where we come in:

          “Preventable mortality: The U.S. fell to last place among 19 industrialized nations on mortality amenable to health care—deaths that might have been prevented with timely and effective care. Although the U.S. rate improved by 4 percent between 1997–1998 and 2002–2003 (from 115 to 110 deaths per 100,000), rates improved by 16 percent on average in other nations, leaving the U.S. further behind.”

          Also: “Up to 101,000 fewer people would die prematurely each year from causes amenable to health care if the U.S. achieved the lower mortality rates of leading countries.”

          Results from the National Scorecard on U.S. Health System Performance, 2008

          Bigd: Nearly ALL innovations come from the US and our investments.>>

          What complete horse manure. This is just the disease of American exceptionalism based upon pride and wishful thinking.

          Let’s just consider that tiny country to the north (since I have some stats handy):

          “Canada has produced a disproportionately large number of major biomedical breakthroughs…”

          See the list here

          In contrast, the US industry spends more on advertising their drugs than they do on R & D. Canada doesn’t have that waste at all. No drug ads. Zero.

          “Big Pharma Spends More On Advertising Than Research And Development, Study Finds”


          Nearly twice as much on advertising as R & D according to the above study.

          Bigd: If you screw up a piano it sounds bad. If you screw up health care people die.>>

          A very good point. Which reminds me, the US gets it’s behind kicked in this category BIGTIME:

          “…the United States has below-average life
          expectancy (Figure 24) and mortality rates (Table 5). The United States has the
          third-highest rate of deaths from medical errors (Figure 25) and the highest infant
          mortality rate among the eight countries that report this metric similarly (Figure 26).” -pg. 65


          Healthgrades,… an examination of 37 million patient records from all 50 states, representing 45% of all US hospital admissions, found 195,000 hospital deaths from preventable medical errors annually between 2000 and 2002,.”


          Bigd: The French national insurance system has… deficits… and has ballooned to $13.5 billion.>>

          Ha ha, $13.5 billion? We should be so lucky! Peanuts. One month in Iraq.

          Bigd: I have never had problems getting seen, getting care or being taken care of.>>

          Me either actually. Here is something a friend just posted to our forum half an hour ago.

          $900 bucks to see a doc for five minutes in emergency and get general antibiotics. Incredible.

          It’s not the doc’s fault, or the insurance’s fault or the hospital’s fault or the drug companies fault or the government’s fault. It’s that the entire system is completely, f-ing, broken and should have been fixed years ago.


  2. Big Dog says:

    No Darrel, I would be happy to help get Medicare straightened out. There have been plenty of proposals to fix it in the past, as I have said, and what Obama wants to do has been tried and has not worked. It will not and it cannot.

    Lifestyle up to 60 tends to mean you will live longer after 60 or is that hard to understand? They walk more and they exercise more though at the rate they reproduce there will be no French in 50 years anyway so it does not matter.

    Their deficit is based on a smaller population. And they pay a lot in taxes. Americans are not willing to pay 60% in taxes so that those who pay no taxes can get “free” health care. If I am forced to pay for someone else’s care I want to be consulted before they get any treatment so I can decide if they need it and if I am willing to pay for it.

    If you want to fix Medicare then privatize it. Make it open market and allow companies to compete. There is no competition in government.

    I think we should take the Olberman approach, refuse to get it or pay for it.

    And this person has a cough for over a week and instead of making a doctor’s appointment decides that this should be treated in an emergency room when it IS NOT AN EMERGENCY and wonders why he has to pay more. He paid for the time of an emergency trained physician who gets paid a lot of money to take care of EMERGENCIES (all that special training) and who pays a lot in malpractice because he handles EMERGENCIES.

    Yes, insurance companies generally require you to contact them unless it is a true emergency and if it is not they let you know that you are going to pay more out of pocket.

    If your car needs a new battery and you can get it at the local shop for 100 dollars but you decide not to make an appointment there and just waltz into the dealer then you will pay a lot more than 100 dollars.

    Emergency room are for emergencies, not a cough or an earache or a sore throat. Those are for your doctor which this guy says he should have made an appointment to see.

    A hospital costs more to run than a doctor’s office and the emergency department is staffed with people who have special training. They are going to cost you more.

    • Darrel says:

      Bigd: Lifestyle up to 60 tends to mean you will live longer after 60>>

      Show this applies to the French.

      Bigd: They walk more and they exercise more>>

      And they smoke more and they drink more.

      Bigd: at the rate they reproduce there will be no French in 50 years…>>

      The population of France has increased 24% in the last 40 years and is steadily increasing.

      Bigd: Americans are not willing to pay 60% in taxes>>

      It’s higher than here, but it’s more like 45%.
      They spend far less per capita for healthcare than us. Their system is far more efficient and achieves better results.

      Bigd: If you want to fix Medicare then privatize it.>>

      And why would private, for profit companies be interested in providing low cost medical care to old poor people? How absurd.

      Bigd: There is no competition in government.>>

      The VA is 100% government, socialized and provides far better service with superior outcomes and satisfaction than the US private system. It’s an excellent model. Note:

      “This recent study of the government-run VA medical system shows that contrary to those doubters, government-run healthcare leads in nearly every measurable category.”


      Bigd: the emergency department is staffed with people who have special training. They are going to cost you more.>>

      True, but it’s highly exaggerated in order to pad this department and cost shift loss into this area so it can be a right-off for government subsidy purposes.

      Japan has more for profit hospitals than the entire US. But their costs are set. The above would have probably cost $30 in Japan. And they do it at a profit.

      “…the United States now ranks last in preventable mortality, just below Ireland and Portugal, according to the Commonwealth Fund’s analysis of World Health Organization data. The leader by that measure is France, followed by Japan and Australia.”

      New York Times.

  3. Tamara says:

    Apparently emergency room docs are worth about $10,000 an hour according to Big Dog.

    Woof! Now I know what field I am going into. Wow, in one year (allotting for a 2 week vacation of course) I would have over 20 million buckaroos! I could work just that one year and retire. Oh, happy day!

    • Darrel says:

      Emergency room costs are bloated beyond recognition so that when the person doesn’t pay the $900 bill for the five minute visit the hospital can benefit in two ways:

      1) have a huge write off

      2) be partially compensated from the government (at a bloated rate) for not turning them away as per the law.

      Another good friend just chimed in with his recent $35,000 appendectomy.

      Remember as I just referenced: “An appendectomy costs 18x as much in the US, as in France.”

      We don’t need no stink’in overhaul!


  4. Big Dog says:

    The population of France is increasing with non French births. French women are marrying men who are not French. There is no 2.5 births of the French. At the rate they are going France will be a Muslim country in 50 years.

    • Darrel says:

      Bigd: “At the rate they are going France will be a Muslim country in 50 years.”>>

      This assumes such a rate is linear, which is not true. Also, there is no incompatibility between being Muslim and being French.

      “America is something like a dumb puppy that has big teeth–that can bite and hurt you, aggressive.”
      –Johnny Depp, American actor who lives in France, in an interview with a German magazine. He later said the quote was taken out of context and that he merely meant the US is “a very young country, and we are still growing as a nation.” –TIME

  5. Big Dog says:

    Tamara, one is not only paying for the doctor’s skills and service. One pays for a person to be there at any time. One pays for the emergency equipment and immediate access to all the things needed to treat an emergency. One pays for skilled staff to provide care sometimes at a one to one ratio.

    I might not know anything about that though having spent nearly 20 years working in emergency medicine.

  6. Big Dog says:

    There is no law that says people can’t be turned away from an ER.

    The law says that the person has to be evaluated by a doctor to determine if it is an emergency. If it is not then the person can be sent away.

    Most doctors figure if they have to evaluate the person they might as well treat them and they do not want to be sued by slick lawyers who can make anything an emergency.

    Labor costs, facility costs, equipment costs. That drives up the cost of care. Add malpractice and you have high costs for appendectomies.

    Of course if people were allowed to shop around and compete for insurance and procedures then this would be different.

    • Darrel says:

      Bigd: “Labor costs, facility costs, equipment costs. That drives up the cost of care.”>>

      That’s the same everywhere, yet other countries have learned to deal with this much better. Perhaps we could learn something from their experience? Or are we too good for that?

      Limbaugh just said on the Tee Vee that based upon his experience in one Hawaiian hospital, America has the best medical care in the world. Oy.


  7. Big Dog says:

    Johnny Depp, the bastion of intelligence.

    What it the malpractice procedure in France? What is their labor cost? Do they have SEIU medical workers who demand more money?

    What are France’s costs for innovation? What medical equipment and drugs have they developed on large scale?

    I have no problem with the care I receive. If people like that of France better then they should move there like Depp did. You came here from Canada, there must have been a reason. Go to France and you can have what you want.

    • Darrel says:

      So we get slogan’s and the old “love it or leave it.”

      Bigd: “What are France’s costs for innovation? What medical equipment and drugs have they developed on large scale?”>>


      French medical technology industry in the vanguard of innovation

      THE French medical technology industry has several major innovations to its credit and a prominent international profile.

      Over 20% of the projects supported by France’s National Council for the Promotion of Research in Industry (Oséo-ANVAR) concern breakthrough global innovations, i.e. Global or European firsts.

      The country’s cutting-edge medical technology has now placed France in the forefront of quality healthcare.

      Cardiovascular medicine entered a new era with the advent of drug-eluting medical devices (prostheses that also release a drug). The new generation of coronary stents is a typical example of French industry’s new inventions: these metal-mesh “tubes” not only preserve arterial patency, they also release an active substance that prevents restenosis (recurrence of arterial lumen narrowing).

      Parkinson’s disease is now treated at deep-brain level using electric neurostimulation where electrodes implanted in the brain are connected via a subcutaneous wire to a small pulse generator inserted just below the clavicle.

      Surgical robots coupled to 3D simulators allow surgeons to practise and refine the most complex surgical procedures. The main innovations involved in this system are an artificial wrist and a 3D camera, which were created by a french company.”


      And what do we get? The world looks on in horror as we flop around like a destitute third world nation:

      Lessons of a weekend of free health care

      AP National, Sun Jan 3


      “The 26-year-old mother of three has waited “pretty much as long as I can remember” to escape the pain throbbing through her jaws. Jack lost his road construction job a year ago and health insurance is out of the question. If the answer to Hannah’s misery lies behind those doors, what’s 10 hours more?

      Out in the dark, the Hursts have plenty of company. Even before 10 p.m. on this Friday in late fall, nearly 50 cars ring the lot. By 6 a.m. Saturday, more than 400 men and women stand tightlipped and bleary-eyed under the Big Dipper.

      By day’s end, as long as they keep tempers in check and sleep from their eyes, they will win the privilege of care from a dentist or a doctor.

      In a country convulsed over health care, the scene is alarming. But it is always the same, Stan Brock says. For 17 years, Brock has piloted a nonprofit called Remote Area Medical, offering free health care to the uninsured, the underinsured and the desperate.

      Brock has seen so many crowds like the one outside Union County High School he chides himself for losing track of whether this is RAM’s 578th expedition or its 587th. Yet in every crowd, there are hundreds of Hannah Hursts, each a unique testament to the nation’s ragged pursuit of health care answers.

      Over the next two days, RAM’s volunteers will examine, extract and prescribe hundreds of solutions for individual aches and afflictions. They will, in the few moments left, attempt to convince patients they’ll probably never see again of the virtues of healthier living and continuous care. They will try to answer Hannah Hurst’s prayers.

      Ronnie and Debbie Erwin have driven 2 1/2 hours from Johnson City. Insurance from her job covers his care for spinal stenosis. But the prescriptions caused his teeth to disintegrate and infection followed. Insurance doesn’t cover that.

      “My doctor said you’ve got to do something or it’s going to kill you,” Ronnie says.

      Melissa Hayes, a home health aide from nearby Luttrell, has waited since 11:30 p.m. with her daughters, aged 5, 7 and 10. Her oldest, Brittney Prince, can’t see the board at school, but the family can’t afford glasses…

      Finally, Hannah Hurst is called to a chair and explains why she’s come.

      In pregnancy, her mother suffered from a calcium deficiency. Hannah’s baby teeth decayed fast. It was even worse with her permanent teeth and disease filled her gums, swollen with abscesses. Insurance either wasn’t enough or dental wasn’t covered. Four years ago, Hannah saved enough to reach a dentist’s chair, when her phone rang. Her aunt, hospitalized with cancer, had taken a turn for the worse. She rushed out, even though a spring breeze can trigger pain that knocks her to her knees.

      Back home in Campbell County, worshippers at Sled Creek Holiness Community Church have prayed, even fasted, to help Hannah heal.

      Today Hannah is ready to embrace the answer.

      Please, she asks, pull them all out.”

      This is your “best healthcare in the world.” It’s a GD national disgrace.

      Best to read the rest too.


      • Big Dog says:

        Darrel, first of all we can find stories all day from all countries about people who waited or were denied care or whatever. There are horror stories. Princess Diana died because she had the accident in France:

        When rescue workers arrived, Diana was conscious…although she had suffered internal injuries, she did not arrive at the Parisian hospital for 110 minutes — too late for the surgery that some speculated could have saved her life. Her last hour — in cardiac arrest and bleeding to death — was spent in a mobile medical unit parked a few hundred yards from Pitié-Salpêtrière Hospital, where an emergency team followed French protocol and administered treatment at the scene of the accident and en route…many people surmised that had a U.S. ambulance responded, Diana would have been rushed to the nearest emergency room, where a full set of professionals and diagnostic equipment might have revived her. ABC

        Secondly, your link says that France is involved globally and supports these innovations. Did it actually invent all this stuff or was it part of an international group that invented it? Especially since the page is North American Technology Releases. Is it a group the French are part of? Inquiring minds want to know:

        SNITEM membership includes over 200 member firms, ranging from small and medium-sized manufacturers to large French companies and international groups, all serving a highly diversified platform of needs in healthcare technology and medical devices. SNITEM accounts for 85% of the total turnover in this industry.

        When I look at the main website and read the list of companies I see a lot of American ones there.

      • Darrel says:

        Bigd: “can find stories all day from all countries about people who waited or were denied care or whatever.”>>

        False. As my article noted this Remote Area Medical group, travels around the US offering free health care to the uninsured, the underinsured and the desperate. Their intent was to help the third world, now, since we are starting to qualify as that in the medical category, they focus on the US.

        Show that our peer countries like Canada, France or Germany have such groups. You can’t because all of our peer countries provide such services to all.

        Bigd: “Princess Diana…”>>

        As your source says:

        “An emergency team followed French protocol and administered treatment at the scene of the accident and en route…”

        A reporter doing a Monday morning quarter back routine. If she had had the surgery and died they would say the opposite and there would be hell to pay for going against protocol.

        Another good friend adds this account regarding Medicare waste:

        “Savings in Medicare. Allow me to give you one simple example from local experience. My girlfriend is a RN. She worked for a Home Health Agency (HHA) for six months making house calls. It’s a practice that was supposed to have reduced costs for Medicare patients by sending them home from hospital care several days earlier. Girlfriend was paid $30 per home call. She could always do two calls per hour. That’s a good hourly rate for a local RN. If supplies like bandages, tubing, meds, filters, etc were required the HHA billed those as extras. Girlfriend was paid .45 per mile for travel outside of the city. The HHA billed Medicare $297 per visit. They had 3 people in the local office running things. One was an RN the other were clerks.

        There are lots of savings to be made from our for-profit medical delivery system.”


        • Big Dog says:

          It is not false Darrel, we can find horror stories all around the world relating to health care.

          Some group goes around providing a service that it politicizes to help get single payer health care to the US.

          I have done the same thing as part of the US Army in South America.

          It has been my experience that an ambulance and forward surgical team is not as well equipped as a hospital. I have served in all three areas and that has been my experience.

          So the socialized medicine in France is terrible at emergency care.

          I wonder what the bill was for Di’s care.
          Big Deal.

          Not convinced about your little group and its politically motivated BS trips.

        • Darrel says:

          Bigd: “we can find horror stories all around the world relating to health care.”>>

          Of course. Single anecdotes. This differs entirely from what I am discussing which is how the entire US health care system is broken. So broken that a group like this needs to go around the wealthiest country in the world and serve desperate and suffering people.

          As I posted months ago, Sixty Minutes did a video presentation on this. It can be viewed here:

          Health Care Fails US Workers, 3rd World Clinic Alternative

          Is this something to be proud of?

          “A recent study (PDF) found that 90 percent of Canadians support universal, single-payer health care. A poll taken last summer shows 82 percent of Canadians believe their health care system to be better than the US’s, despite constant grumbling about waiting times for treatment of non-life-threatening conditions.” Link

        • Big Dog says:

          It is a group with a political agenda of making things seem so bad that we need single payer here. Who cares about polls that ask how people feel? Oooh, 80% of Canadians feel there health care is better. How do they know? It is a question about their feelings.

          If 95% of Americans said they felt Canada should give its land to us would you support that? Don’t base your stuff on how people feel.

          The majority of Americans are satisfied with the health care they have. That is their assessment of what they have. Let the free market work without government interference (other than the minor regulatory rules) and prices will come down while services go up.

          Government screws everything up.

      • Darrel says:

        Bigd: “Did [France] actually invent all this stuff or was it part of an international group that invented it?”>>

        See the first and second sentence of the article in question. See also the very long list of links on the right side of the page with much more reading on this. For example:


        Regarding innovation consider:

        5 Myths About Health Care Around the World

        The one you are floating here is #4:

        “4. Cost controls stifle innovation.

        The United States is home to groundbreaking medical research, but so are other countries with much lower cost structures. Any American who’s had a hip or knee replacement is standing on French innovation. Deep-brain stimulation to treat depression is a Canadian breakthrough. Many of the wonder drugs promoted endlessly on American television, including Viagra, come from British, Swiss or Japanese labs.

        Overseas, strict cost controls actually drive innovation. In the United States, an MRI scan of the neck region costs about $1,500. In Japan, the identical scan costs $98. Under the pressure of cost controls, Japanese researchers found ways to perform the same diagnostic technique for one-fifteenth the American price. (And Japanese labs still make a profit.)”

        T.R. Reid, “The Healing of America: A Global Quest for Better, Cheaper, and Fairer Health Care,”

        • Big Dog says:

          I believe that many of the companies are American companies based in France in order to avoid US taxes. Also, the inventions were not all done there and were a congolmeration of other companies from other countries.

          I already pointed out the problem with TR Reid in the past. He started with a conclusion and fixed the facts to support it. Like global warming. Hide that decline…

        • Darrel says:

          Bigd: “American companies based in France in order to avoid US taxes.”>>

          They went to France, for lower taxes.

  8. The citizens of Gardner, KS are currently working to recall two members of their City Council. The recall is tied up in the courts at the moment, but it should go to a vote in March of 2010.

  9. Big Dog says:

    Yes, in France they would not have to pay US corporate taxes which are the second highest in the world.

  10. Blake says:

    You libs are idiots- you do not deserve to debate anyone.