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Forums - Politics Discussion - Non-Americans Stunned By American Health Care Costs

spynx said:
curl-6 said:

Over the last 19 months I've received diagnosis, numerous scans, radiation therapy, complex surgery, and months of post-operative therapy for nerve sheath cancer and it cost me a grand total of $0, it was all covered by Medicare.

I shudder to think what would've happened if I lived in the US. Universal health care should be a human right.

Wow. Which country?


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Never paid for a single doctors visit, medical/physical checkup, vaccine, medication. etc' in my entire 35~ year life.

Universal healthcare is absolutely awesome, Americans are being conned... And it will *never* change while you have people screeching "socialism" left, right and center.

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Ka-pi96 said:

We're talking about being expensive to the consumer though, so it definitely isn't expensive outside the US. Not to mention all of what you said there is often not the case. I'd argue that things that require specialised care, machinery or a lot of doctors/nurses are the minority of cases.

The US cost is also definitely not double. It's orders of magnitude higher than other countries where people pay for healthcare, and effectively infinitely higher than countries with free healthcare. As an Englishman living in Japan I'm shocked at how expensive healthcare is here, yet every American I've ever met here raves about how cheap it is.

Yeah - that's not how the world works.  You may not get a bill at the end of your hospital visit, but the doctors still get paid, etc.  Roughly speaking, healthcare is 10-15% of GDP in most countries.

It's well known that per-capita expenditure, the US spends approximately double what other countries do.  There are lots of reasons why that is true, but mostly it's inefficiency of all the people arguing about who pays for for what when you're dealing with medical insurance.

Free or affordable healthcare = socialism
Socialism = bad

Chrizum said:

Free or affordable healthcare = socialism
Socialism = bad

This is Capitalism misleading propaganda

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I'm an American who's very much for single-payer. If privatizing healthcare in America further than it is already increased coverage and lowered cost, I'd be all for it. But it doesn't. So despite what faults it has, I'm for single-payer like the rest of the industrialized world. It may cause more government spending, but it lowers overall healthcare spending.

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Barozi said:

I'm privately insured since I'm a civil servant in Germany, so I'm receiving all the med bills and pay them before I send them to my insurance company and get my refund.
Before the private insurance I wouldn't get any bill at all so I had no clue what treatments really cost.

Some examples:
Tooth Extraction - 46 Euro
Coloscopy and lab analysis of "materials" - 900 Euro
10 min talking to doctor - 20 Euro
Cavity filling - 150 Euro

Not very different from here (Canada). Dental care isn't included here. Last time coast me 278 Euros (CAD 414) for 2 cavities for my youngest son.
Chiropractor visit (also not included) is CAD 1600 a year (1074 Eurs) for weekly visits.
When I got hit by a car, ER treatment, tetanus shot was all free. Bike delivered home by the police. Only cost CAD 45 co-pay for the ambulance ride. Plus they never cared about ID or health card, no paperwork, just my name and address and everything was sorted.

Doctors give out a lot of samples here for medication to keep your costs low (meds not covered) and we also have alternative cheaper meds. It's still expensive though.

Just so you guys in the US know, Universal healthcare is normally not a very easy or fast thing to implement. Especially during the crisis you guys are going through after being run for 4 years by one of the most incompetent national leaders history has recorded since the Great War over 100 years ago.

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Wman1996 said:

I'm an American who's very much for single-payer. If privatizing healthcare in America further than it is already increased coverage and lowered cost, I'd be all for it. But it doesn't. So despite what faults it has, I'm for single-payer like the rest of the industrialized world. It may cause more government spending, but it lowers overall healthcare spending.

Australia actually has a hybrid system where *everyone* is covered, but if you are over a certain tax threshold, you will get hit with a big tax or you can find insurance with another company.
Business's and organizations also provide their own insurance that contributes to the health system.

Our approach has resulted in superior quality of care to that of the US... And it is far cheaper per-capita as well.

No one has to question if they will be covered, it's assumed, even if they are from overseas.


I think COVID has really showed us which healthcare systems are the most flexible and efficient in the world, it's not just managing the disease, but educating the public as well with various messaging.

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Here in Luxembourg doctor visits are first paid in full, but you get 80-100% of your money back (generally 80%, and if you're very poor then the government will cover the costs without you having to pay for it first).
For dental, we got 56 Euro free each year (the price of a routine checkup) and anything above you'll pay the bill, but again you get 80-100% of your money back depending of insurance.
Hospital visits, unless it's just the urgency and not a stationary treatment or a specialist, are fully covered and paid for by the healthcare. You do get a copy of the bill to check if everything is correct (at least they did so 15 years ago during my last stay, not sure if it's still the case)
Blood analysis and vaccines are fully covered and you won't even see a bill here.
As for medication, it depends what they do. Coverage in percent:

  • 100% for specialized drugs and treatments for a disease.
  • 80% for wide spectrum antibiotics
  • 60% for other, nonviral/bacterial treatments (like diarrhea treatments)
  • 40-20% for symptoms relievers like painkillers or cough syrups (depending on effectiveness and availability of generica versions. Non-generica if there are generica available will always be 20% for instance)
  • 0% for food supplements, vitamins, teas and stuff relying on the placebo effect.

Since Luxembourg has a pretty small population, they have also a small negotiation power towards pharma companies. So our health ministry puts the pressure on them by flat-out forbidding to sell some non-essential medicines (most well-known example is the Vicks VapoRub) and threatening to do so with other products if the pharma companies don't accept the prices Luxembourg is willing to pay. Also most medicines are generica to further allow to lower the prices.

Oh, and Luxembourg has private insurance companies. You automatically enter the CNS, our national healthcare, if you live or work in Luxembourg. And even if you don't (or opted out, which is possible at any moment), you can get the same coverage by paying 120€ per month, which is well below the price of premiums in the US while those give you less coverage. The thing is, private insurances are not trying to replace the CNS here. Instead, they act like an add-on or DLC by extending your coverage or giving you better meals/beds in hospitals. I think this is a model that could work in the US too, since it gives good coverage to everybody but also lets private insurance companies do their stuff and compete for clients, thus not infringing on the capitalistic model so many seem to swear upon...

Last edited by Bofferbrauer2 - on 29 April 2021