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

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

What annoys me about Canada is that an international student, I still have to deal with shitty private health insurance companies instead of being able to opt into government healthcare. I pay twice as much as any Canadian and don't get half the things every Canadian does. I can't go to my preferred doctor and I always have to think whether something is covered or not. It's super annoying. I would actually be fine paying a bit more than Canadians but being on the government program. Canada's private healthcare industry is run by international students and they love to rob us blind in every scenario. I guess human rights stop at the border for Canada. Plus Canada has a long way to go. It needs to cover prescription, hearing aids, dental and drugs as well. Way better than the US but a long ways to go and the path is clear on how to get there. Trudeau government lied about doing all those things. If only the people of Canada weren't so annoyingly convinced their country is a 1 party system when it's not. They only vote for liberals or Conservatives when they can vote NDP or the Green party.



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Eagle367 said:

What annoys me about Canada is that an international student, I still have to deal with shitty private health insurance companies instead of being able to opt into government healthcare. I pay twice as much as any Canadian and don't get half the things every Canadian does. I can't go to my preferred doctor and I always have to think whether something is covered or not. It's super annoying. I would actually be fine paying a bit more than Canadians but being on the government program. Canada's private healthcare industry is run by international students and they love to rob us blind in every scenario. I guess human rights stop at the border for Canada. Plus Canada has a long way to go. It needs to cover prescription, hearing aids, dental and drugs as well. Way better than the US but a long ways to go and the path is clear on how to get there. Trudeau government lied about doing all those things. If only the people of Canada weren't so annoyingly convinced their country is a 1 party system when it's not. They only vote for liberals or Conservatives when they can vote NDP or the Green party.

It's the annoying first past the post voting system that's to blame for that. A lot of people vote for the 'opposition' instead of for the party they actually want to vote for, just so that the other guy doesn't get the most seats in parliament.

Canada has a long way to go indeed. It's practically norm here to go to the ER for first aid since an appointment with your regular doctor can take months. There aren't enough general practitioners. Our doctor should have retired long ago, pretty useless by now. But then what. I wouldn't mind paying if I could actually get an appointment with a doctor the next day or two. I never had these issues in the Netherlands, where it was also covered. Heck when I was young, the doctor still made house visits. Same morning, the doctor came by. Saved me from a nasty bacterial infection that could have cost me my leg if it hadn't been discovered as soon as it was.

I'm not impressed by Canadian healthcare. Emergency response is well organized, usually fast and efficient. Yet anything beyond ER is pretty bad.



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Pemalite said:

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.

Dude, the people that talk about giving free heathcare or REALLY entertain lowering the costs are in power.

At some point you have to consider asking what's actually going on that prevents healthcare from changing in this country. Maybe its corruption, maybe the politicians have interests that aren't the people?

This is partly why I am a libertarian, there is little we can point to that our government actually does well. I certainly can't point to much where government plays a big role and it works well. If it does work fairly well, its often extremely inefficient/expensive. Our healthcare is not the free market people think it is either, its heavily regulated by government and that is a big reason prices stay high.



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Mr Puggsly said:
Pemalite said:

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.

Dude, the people that talk about giving free heathcare or REALLY entertain lowering the costs are in power.

At some point you have to consider asking what's actually going on that prevents healthcare from changing in this country. Maybe its corruption, maybe the politicians have interests that aren't the people?

This is partly why I am a libertarian, there is little we can point to that our government actually does well. I certainly can't point to much where government plays a big role and it works well. If it does work fairly well, its often extremely inefficient/expensive. Our healthcare is not the free market people think it is either, its heavily regulated by government and that is a big reason prices stay high.

Rhetoric of "Government is shit at doing anything" is part of the reason why Universal healthcare can not and will never become "good" in the United States.

To many opponents rather than everyone putting their big-boy pants on and getting on with the job.



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Mr Puggsly said:
Pemalite said:

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.

Dude, the people that talk about giving free heathcare or REALLY entertain lowering the costs are in power.

At some point you have to consider asking what's actually going on that prevents healthcare from changing in this country. Maybe its corruption, maybe the politicians have interests that aren't the people?

This is partly why I am a libertarian, there is little we can point to that our government actually does well. I certainly can't point to much where government plays a big role and it works well. If it does work fairly well, its often extremely inefficient/expensive. Our healthcare is not the free market people think it is either, its heavily regulated by government and that is a big reason prices stay high.

Nope! The big reason it's inefficient and expensive is because of private healthcare and convoluted systems that are only made for profit and not for healthcare and thus cause a lot in administrative costs. The other developed countries with more streamlined systems are cheaper and the ones with single payer are the cheapest and the ones with nationalized healthcare are even cheaper. The government does do them well. When the NHS was only public and properly funded (Before the Tories), it was the best system in the world. M4A would cost less than the current US system. Look at Cuba's system currently. Netherlands, Finland, etc. The government does healthcare well and "free market" is just an illusion it's just who is regulated and how. 

The private healthcare system is the most inefficient way to deliver healthcare in the history of humanity because profit is primary and healthcare is secondary and that bloats up cost. It's also why no country that has gone single payer has ever come back nor has any party tried to run a campaign on bringing it back to an archaic system. It just works. It's been proven in many countries in many situations and it just works. It's cheaper, better and more efficient. Of course a corrupt government can ruin anything like how Tories are ruining the NHS. But man, libertarianism(The US one, not the capital L one) is so stupid in my opinion. It just doesn't work in a village with thousands of people let alone a country with millions. Government isn't bad, it's who the government works for that determines whether government is good or bad. US government works for it's oligarchs and that's what makes it bad. Government by it's nature is necessary to manage huge groups of people.



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Pemalite said:
Mr Puggsly said:

Dude, the people that talk about giving free heathcare or REALLY entertain lowering the costs are in power.

At some point you have to consider asking what's actually going on that prevents healthcare from changing in this country. Maybe its corruption, maybe the politicians have interests that aren't the people?

This is partly why I am a libertarian, there is little we can point to that our government actually does well. I certainly can't point to much where government plays a big role and it works well. If it does work fairly well, its often extremely inefficient/expensive. Our healthcare is not the free market people think it is either, its heavily regulated by government and that is a big reason prices stay high.

Rhetoric of "Government is shit at doing anything" is part of the reason why Universal healthcare can not and will never become "good" in the United States.

To many opponents rather than everyone putting their big-boy pants on and getting on with the job.

Again, look who is in power and their rhetoric. But when they got power, their attitudes towards a lot of things changed.

What more would you like people to do? Would you like to see citizens burning down cities to get free healthcare? Well I got news for you, people are already doing that to end racism.

What I'm trying to tell you is the people deemed opponents of socializing healthcare or lowering costs are not in power. Part of the reason many voted for liberals is to "fix" healthcare. But now even our liberal media is admitting the people in power are full of shit because clearly they cater to others. Trillions of dollars being thrown around and I am not seeing anything that really benefits me or will lower my bills. Cost of living is going up though, so great!



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Mr Puggsly said:
Pemalite said:

Rhetoric of "Government is shit at doing anything" is part of the reason why Universal healthcare can not and will never become "good" in the United States.

To many opponents rather than everyone putting their big-boy pants on and getting on with the job.

Again, look who is in power and their rhetoric. But when they got power, their attitudes towards a lot of things changed.

What more would you like people to do? Would you like to see citizens burning down cities to get free healthcare? Well I got news for you, people are already doing that to end racism.

What I'm trying to tell you is the people deemed opponents of socializing healthcare or lowering costs are not in power. Part of the reason many voted for liberals is to "fix" healthcare. But now even our liberal media is admitting the people in power are full of shit because clearly they cater to others. Trillions of dollars being thrown around and I am not seeing anything that really benefits me or will lower my bills. Cost of living is going up though, so great!

How many people in power have been vocally supportive of Universal Healthcare? 1%? 2%? What are you on about?