In perhaps the most amusing effort to discredit US President Barack Obama's plan for nationalized health care - if not the most ridiculous - US financial newspaper Investor's Business Daily has said that if Stephen Hawking were British, he would be dead. "The controlling of medical costs in countries such as Britain through …
Denied? I know people have been refused treatment for a smoking related condition because you know, they didn't quit smoking, but thats logic. People have also been refused medication because its too expensive and NICE cannot justify the cost. But the NHS won't turn away anyone in an emergency, they won't check your wallet to see if you have valid insurance, indeed, they will send a helicopter to pick people up! Can you imagine how much that would be put on a bill in the US if you were not insured?
And yes, Hawkins is brilliant, and ours, maybe they should change his voice box to a English accent though, as it seems to confuse people! Also I'm thankful Hawkins is still alive today, he should be an inspiration to everyone of what a person with the most severe handicaps can do in life.
Bloody Americans :P
Honestly, what is it with their fear of anything even remotely close to almost being considered socialist?
Thing is, they won't even discuss it with you (I've lived with lots of them for the last year). As soon as you question a neo-con's 'beliefs', they'll respond with a one sentence snappy rebuttal like "Because I shouldn't have to support spongers" or something equally stupid.
Honestly, love their country, hate their politics!
I'm not surprised ... The subject is not exactly IBD's forte, now is it?
That said, near as I can tell Obama's plan will just ad another layer of bureaucracy to what we have now. Worse, it'll be a GOVERNMENTAL bureaucracy ... Tell me again how this is going to streamline things and bring healthcare costs down to where everyone will be insured?
Dumb as Hitler.
In America "Liberal" is an insult. It basically means you're inviting terrorists in to blow up "the best nation on Earth".
A small step backwards and maybe they'd see that you don't have to milk someone dry for healthcare. I mean $9,000-17,000 to deliver a baby. Or upto $25,000 to have a C-Section. It's insane, how the system has lasted this long I've no idea.
(Wolfram Alpha tells me our health system works so badly we live 0.9 Years longer on Average)
Re: Bloody Americans
I have a perfectly sane, in most respects, American friend who has lived in many countries around the world. One time he overheard me saying something like: "Chomsky is interesting and has some useful things to say" to another friend and he exploded into a tirade about Chomsky using Marxist rhetoric. The strange thing was that I was talking about Chomsky in terms of Grammar trees not his politics.
going around speaking with an amerkin accent
How much of The Reg's stories now originate on Reddit?
Even if it were so...
Would the statement constitue a decent argument even if it weren't an sterling example of farsical, culpable, ignorance?
Assuming the NHS were so poorly funded that health provision had to be strictly rationed, and further assuming that increasing the funding to humane levels was not possible for whatever reason, would dying on a waiting list be better or worse than dying because you simply couldn't afford treatment?
Is his statement simply that inequity is only intolerable when rich, influential people suffer?
"Dumb as Hitler".... they are worst... at least he knew where Britain is located on a map, granted, it had a big red X drawn on it, with model planes and tanks scattered around, but still... you get the point.
The UK spends 8% of GDP on health care. The US spends 16%.
People in the UK live longer and we have a much lower infant mortality rate. We are only a bit less fat.
That seems pretty efficient to me and we don't ever worry about medical bills.
Iraq war $1T - 4330 Americans Dead - over 30,000 wounded. Reason: catch-Osama-but-he's-to-smart-for-you-dumb-shits-so-mission-waste-of-time. ( we'll discount all those evil Iraqi scum that are also dead and wounded - yes, sarcasm ) - amount of debate before the bombs dropped - almost nothing - amount of debate now - almost nothing. People dying wholesale. NO PROBLEM.
Healthcare reform - even if it saves one persons life and costs $1T, I see it as being worth more than the war - this should be a NO BRAINER - and I AM the sucker that's going to be stuck with the bill of paying for all those acid popping, dope smoking, 60's reprobate hypocrite's disposable diapers cause they can't got to the shitter on their own, while listening to Rush and waiting for death in their little retirement home in Kentucky .. ( I almost feel sorry for them :) )
Seems people dying is the American way - Healthcare is completely contrary to the American spirit of arrogance, ignorance and entitlement.
Another thing that I wonder about is why they don't talk about the privatization of education? Its so broken ..
That's just the tip of the iceberg
We're being bombarded by TV ads saying how horrible Obama's health proposals are, and how all the senior citizens are going to be euthanized the moment it takes effect, and how it's going to usurp Social Security (without mentioning that SS is basically bankrupt, of course)
As one that doesn't give a damn either way, it's very annoying. I just know our current system isn't working, and I'll welcome pretty much any change.
It doesn't help that American doctors are the most arrogant and clueless assholes around, with the biggest entitlement attitude you can imagine.
"I'm thankful Hawkins is still alive today, he should be an inspiration to everyone of what a person with the most severe handicaps can do in life."
Indeed... Although American's don't seem to have a problem with handicaps, especially mental ones. They put them in places of power and authority!
Hawking. That's HawkinG. HawkinS is that bloke with the trousers that are too tight,
If you have an emergency in the US you will be treated. The reasons the bills are so high is because so many people don't pay thier bill. The hospital has to cover that cost. Remember the first child to die in the US of Swine Flu was Mexican and her parents took her to an American Hospital for treatment.
England's NHS doesn't have millions of people who can just come across the border for treatment.
I would like to ask Obama about Steven Hawking.
Just goes to show why Americans are so ill-informed. Its not their fault: all their news sources have agendas to which they twist what little news they convey before lies are added to make sure the message gets rammed home. Well, maybe it *is* their fault. I've heard it said that a nation gets the newspapers they deserve.
I worked for a year in NYC back in the mid 70s, which then had four thick, respectable daily papers, but only one of them, the New York Times, carried any foreign news at all and 80% of that was about Israel.
The really amazing things about this story are that enough Americans have heard of Hawking to get his name in a paper and the ease with which the unavailability of health care to poor Americans was kicked under the carpet.
 I've never forgotten watching the prime time ABC news in LA one evening. It was nominally an hour of news but 50 minutes of that was sport. The remaining 10 minutes covered five stories. Four were the sort of stuff that would make it into a local rag on a quiet night here (a row of four shops on fire in Ventura was the lead) and the remaining one was a Washington DC story that was covered the way the BBC might cover an Albanian election.
Like Hawkins, if it were not for the NHS I would be dead. Several times over. Unlike Hawkins I am not a brilliant scientific mind, just a plain and simple farty working man. Yet the NHS and the tax-payuers of the UK have spent probably hundreds of thousands of pounds on me, my wife, my kids, including maternity care and post natal care etc.
And that is the thing about the NHS. It cares not who or what you are, we are all equal in the eyes of the NHS. Sure there are some things that can be a 'Postcode Lottery' like fertility treatment, but the real life saving stuff is free (well tax funded), always and to everyone.
Die early in the UK
... it is beyond dispute that treatment in the US is better. Diagnosed with prostate cancer and want to survive for the next five years? In Britain you have a 74 per cent chance. In the US, it is 98 per cent. For leukaemia, the American survival rate is close to half, while in Europe it is a third.
eat the rich!
Pharmacists on strike in Ireland, Fred-the-shred's bonus , gay house of commons members complaining about their salaries and lack of perks, russian economy down 11% in the last year, ......the americans should be glad the airports are still open and not sold off in a foreclosure to the chinese IMHO. Fatcat american doctors might want to start making housecalls again,before the borders close- bring your own tamiflu.
The economy can only be rebuilt by people.. they can't do it if they're sick. ...so wtf?
People are living in their cars cos their houses are reposessed.... wtf? and these guys are still protecting a gravy train?.... Wrong time, wrong place.
I can see castro dancing a jig from here!
I may be wrong...
...but I was under the impression that the proposal Obama is suggesting is that there is a state-run alternative to Medicare. That is, the government will provide competition in the marketplace for medical insurance, thus aiming to cause Medicare to offer better deals. As I recall, people will still be free to use Medicare if they wish, but their premiums may go down if a lot of people choose the state run option (since Medicare will want to entice customers back).
I haven't heard how much the state-run outfit will be subsidised by taxpayers, but I really doubt it'll be as much as we pay for the NHS in the UK: in 2008 National Insurance payments in the UK were typically 6.8% of your income (http://www.nav.no/page?id=7264).
"England's NHS doesn't have millions of people who can just come across the border for treatment."
I suspect that millions of Scots and Welsh might have something to say about that.
As an American, and not ashamed of being one, I usually make some attempt to defend my nation even when it does something not overly bright (which does happen, sometimes discouragingly often.)
This time, I can offer no defense and no excuse. IBD is just plain WRONG and just plain STUPID. Remember that Forrest Gump said "You just can't fix stupid." These guys just can't be fixed. Someone tell them about fact checking PLEASE, before they embarrass us again.
They probably also highly recommended investing in Bernie Madoff's funds . . .
Lets have a big hurrah for fact-free journalism!
I'm really interested in the American health care system and their opinion of the NHS. Not!
Re: Die early in the UK
And what is the US survival rate for people who can't afford health insurance? Put up, or shut the fuck up. Idiot.
So much for research...
and a having a social conscience.
I do however have a strong belief that all not Americans are fucking retards.
I was wrong (kind of)
Just realised that I'd referenced a Norwegian web page for the National Insurance figure.
The correct one is 11% of the first £595 a week you earn, then 1% of everything above that. So, someone earning £30k (~$50k) a year will typically pay £3300 a year in N.I. since their weekly gross income is roughly £575. Of course, this is still less than the £5000 in income tax that would be paid.
Correct reference this time: http://www.statistics.gov.uk/STATBASE/ssdataset.asp?vlnk=7434
(and http://www.hmrc.gov.uk/rates/it.htm for the income tax bit)
FAIL icon for my previous research abilities...
But the NHS are still very crap !!
...but not due to the Doctors and Nurses in the hospital. The problem is (as always) in the crap management, subbing out to the cheapest (and usually most inexperienced) contracters. I've been waiting 4 years for surgury which i was promised would be completed 2 years ago. Other surgury I've now had over 16 years as a really crap GP didn't actually do anything at all for 8 years (i changed my GP and then i was put on a 6 year waiting list) - i could go on
try suing a crap GP for neglegence, it's impossible
what the NHS really need is a public inquirey into expenditure for the last 20 years to see where all the money they should have got actually went to.
for the same amount we pay on N.I. each year in the UK, we would get the best possible service in the USA
@ Bruce 9
98% survival IF you can afford or have health insurance to get an annual physical to diagnose it in the first place and get treatment in time.
The article you link to doesn't cite any sources to back up its claim. What was your point again?
You say social security, I say...
I for one am glad that the SS is bankrupt.
... also they're forgetting
that we've got Private medical stuff over here, too. So you've got the "socialist" stuff available to help the people who need it (ya know, so they don't die when turned away for having no insurance), and those of us who can afford to put a bit away get to skip the queue, get the best treatment, etc.
Sounds like any True American would love our system- if they adopted our system the ones who pay more would get the best treatment, the Doctors and Hospitals would get lots of money. And the poor would get the NHS treatment- which means no/fewer innocent Americans die for lack of insurance. Though they may have to wait longer. It's not like no-one would sign up either- in a country of 29 million workers (the UK) Bupa alone has 3Million customers- and covers the spouses/young children of some of them. So that's over 10% of the country voluntarily pays for insurance even when there's a free alternative.
Glad to hear Hawking is alive, even if he is a creepy computer voice.
US Not Socialist?!
Hmm, then what might we call the bailout packages to the top US banks/industries, to the tune of $27 trillion so far, all told? The US has long had taxpayer supported programs- the so-called 'Military-Industrial Complex' the best known of them before the current credit debacle once again has proven that the rich look after their own ass and your ass is theirs anyway so learn to like it.
Meanwhile it's taxpayer support of mere humans that the US Immoderate Right despises so much. Those neighbourly folks believe that God and 'the Church' are just fine looking after the parts that need looking after and the rest won't matter to God anyway once He comes back and fixes things up good.
And He's coming soon so don't expect and money at all for schools, hospitals, brilliant or for that matter mediocre physicists or any such secular evils! When we're all in heaven and God has revealed His Mercy and Love the Knowledge of Good, Evil and just about anything else will be completely unecessary. So we all ought to be working for the Second Coming Right Friggin Now and none of this caring for your neighbour through taxpayer supported programs.
Can I hear Halleluiah! Palin 2012!
Rent a crowd?
How many of the people we saw on the news arguing rabidly against Obama's plan were funded by the health care insurers and other vested interests? I live in Oz and would gladly pay a little more towards improving public health even if some other poor bugger has to use it and not me.
I'd rather have the NHS and not need it, than need the NHS and not have it.
In your face right-wing nut-jobs from across the pond.
too right Adnim
i look at the NHS and such social health care systems and a measure of how much a country cares about it's own people.
it seems to me that our American cousins STILL have a post McCarthy hangover with "socialism".
now i am now a socialist and wouldn't consider myself a liberal BUT i certainly DO believe in the NHS and support it fervently.
all this moronic crap being said in American should be enough to make most Americans blush(at least).
why don't they try and "sell" this to the money mongers by telling them a simple truth.........
a healthy workforce is a happy and productive workforce.
seems to me that the HMO's have a very very very heavy lobbying tactic that seems very effective.
i think a way to fix the lobbying problem there is to make a change to the political donations system there.
this would help end industry having such a heavy heavy hand in political decision that should have damn all to do with them,.
As to the comment about just "England", well the NHS in Wales even gives prescription medicines to patients free and this is coming to Scotland too.
What does make me laugh my ass off is that a fair amount(by no means all) of americans consider "liberals" to be "socialist" when liberals are in the center in the spectrum and to the left of thatis socialism and then further left of that the farce that is communism.
mind you both communism and fascism ate different end of the same stick in totalitarian terms , however it seems most Americans seem to very much confuse liberal with socialist......
again i suspect this is a post McCarthy thing leaving the whole counytry with a hangover of the fear of anything near center and left of center.
such a shame.
posters above stated that this is the time when there are people in need of a system of social healthcare that works due to them losing homes and jobs and suffering most due to the economic decline caused by greedy lying banking bastards.
these people are spot on.
or is it just fair to assume that the American dream really is "I AM JUST OUT FOR ME AND FUCK EVERYONE ELSE"?
The point is that people needing health care in the US will no longer need a credit card check. Along with the high murder rate, this is one of the most disgusting things about our ex colony.
"England's NHS doesn't have millions of people who can just come across the border for treatment."
I believe EU citizens would be legible for treatment.
Stephen Hawking both???
I didn't know there were two of him!!!
Individually lovely people - collectively thick as shit in the neck of a bottle, daft as brushes and ugly as a bag of chisels.
//Signed another pauper saved from corpsedom by the NHS.
Re: Die early in the UK
It's the 5year survival rate and is based on the number screened. You die on average at 72,
Detect prostate cancer in 15% of 67year olds and your statistics say 85% survival rate.
Screen everybody at 60, tick prostate cancer on their chart, do nothing, they die at 72 - you have a 100% cure rate.
It's the printing of news stories the like of this one that ensure any rational, detached discussion of the affairs of nations is trodden beneath the feet of the panicked masses.
While communal health care is a fine and noble end, a government run insurance program alone is insufficient to serve the needs of the populous in an ethical and transparent manner.
I would have little contention if the there was a realistic plan to build state owned and operated medical infrastructure, both to provide care and possibly to train medical personnel, but sadly there is not. To my mind this is the only way to ensure both maximum efficiency, and to provide the kind of direct and appropriate oversight needed in all public institutions.
Most people would be appalled if the government started handing out FedEx coupons in lieu of running the postal service, or if the armed forces were to be disbanded in favor of hiring operatives from Blackwater, but they are more than willing to stand by and watch as their government shunts off their medical needs onto what amount to private contractors and subcontractors. At best this will turn those private medical institutions into what massive defense spending turned Raytheon and General Dynamics into, and at worst spawn a never ending struggle between medical ethics of medicine and science and the caprices of Washington pencil pushers.
Furthermore (and this is directed at the A/C appearing at 21:34 GMT of Wednesday), Hitler may have been a dangerous, unstable, amoral son of bitch, but he was most certainly not "Dumb."
That is, however, precisely the kind of response I would expect from some gormless troglodyte lacking the ambition even to go by a proper title, let alone wage war on the powers of Europe.
(And before you claim party prejudice, I am most definitely /not/ a Republican, I'm an Anarchist)
Well, I've said my piece, let the confederacy array themselves.
@ AC 13th August 2009 00:12
You fail to understand the key aspect of the proposed health care "reforms" being pushed by Obama and his minions: the main purpose is to buy votes. Actual health care is secondary.
My viewpoint is that any program that isn't good enough for Congress, isn't good enough for me.
@7mark7, et ali
"The UK spends 8% of GDP on health care. The US spends 16%."
Whatever the numbers, re-read what I said.
I never said I was against nationalized health care. What I said was that it seems to me that the Obama plan allows the CURRENT system to continue, and then ADDS another layer of bureaucracy to help those who can't afford health care. In other words, it'll INCREASE the total cost. That ain't the way to fix the system, no matter how you look at it.
"People in the UK live longer"
I very much doubt that. MY friends in the UK, most of whom I went to high-school with, all look 10-20 years older than I do, and all of them are constantly complaining about health issues. I feel fine, no major issues (other than my British dental work all needing major R&R over the last 20 years). This age group is 50ish. But then I'm a sample of one, and all of my Grandparents made it into (or past in one case; Mom's dad made it to 104) their late 90s. Around here, folks are saying "50 is the new 30, and 60 is the new 40".
"and we have a much lower infant mortality rate."
I wouldn't doubt it. I don't know if that's a good thing or a bad thing in the current global economy. I also don't know if that is a fact, or something you pulled out of your ass.
"We are only a bit less fat."
Isn't that kinda like "a bit less pregnant"? Fewer calories & more exercise ... should be a mantra in all of the more developed nations ...
"That seems pretty efficient to me and we don't ever worry about medical bills."
Instead, you worry about when you can get fit in for whatever procedure you need to survive ... and if you can get fit in on time. I once lived with a very painful molar, to the point of being unable to drive (or sleep!) for several weeks. This was in Yorkshire. In this country (USA), Emergency would take me in even without insurance without notice on my part.
There is an answer, probably some hybrid of the two systems. But I'm not smart enough to figure it out. On the bright side, I'm glad all the commentards above are such experts on the subject. With all of them on the job, it'll surely be straightened out shortly & we can go back to discussing important things, like how to release a paper airplane from a weather balloon at 100,000 feet.
It's not one way or another
Reading the article that is linked, it's a little less sensationalist than made out. The NHS isn't a bottomless pit of money, and so yes, there are times where it has to make decisions to get the best value for treating the most people. There will be some unfortunate consequences to that, but it's not inherently wrong.
Where the article completely misses the mark is that it assumes you can't have a mixed model - private treatment for people that can afford it, but a good standard of 'free' care for everyone that can't.
Whilst some cases of denied treatment exist with the NHS, there are far more cases in the US of people that can't afford healthcare, are denied health insurance, or worse, where the insurance companies find loopholes to get out of paying for treatments.
The problem isn't healthcare
What gets spent on healthcare has practically nothing to do with who pays. It's the bloody ambulance chasing lawyers and their "I'm a victim" clients driving a doc's insurance rates up to stupid levels and the asinine parents who insist on taking their little "bundle of joy" chitlins to the docs, or worse the ER , every bloody time they get the sniffles and insists on getting the latest and greatest antibiotic that will be useless against the virus their little petrie dish is spreading around.
That said, much of what both sides say on the subject is utter bollocks. The part I don't like is this mandatory insurance crap based on the theory that if you force healthy or wealthy people to buy insurance then costs will be lowered for everybody. I'm sorry the concept of fining someone who is willing to pay his own medical bills isn't freedom of choice. They feel by calling it "buying insurance" people will feel better about it than if it was called what it really is, Medicare 2.0. Other than that, I have no opinion on the subject except to say that Singapore has a nice system, can't we start with that?
@Rent a crowd?
Here here Mike. As an Oz resident also I echo your point.
The best thing we did was vote out the "Republican Lite" Liberal Party (ironic name) government of Bush's favorite arse-licker, J Howard. That dishonest shifty, lying, little fucking turd wanted to make Australia a mini version of the US, from his "reforms" to work place laws and attempts to coerce all workers to buy health insurance to wanting to portray Australia as a deputy to the US in east Asia.
I would rather accept a lower standard of living overall and pay more tax to fund a universal health system, if indeed it requires more tax than the alternative, to look after me and my loved ones even if were riding high at the time or caught at a bad time when an illness, tragedy hits.
That Americans's don't want similar shows how brainwashed they are. Kim Jong-Il would be proud of the snow job the US health profiteers have done.
Free doesn't help if you are dead
"And what is the US survival rate for people who can't afford health insurance?"
The figures were for all people in the US, insured and uninsured.
If you are implying that the death rate is higher for uninsured, that would imply the death rate for insured is even lower and the NHS is even crappier.
For ignorant morons in the UK, the US has three major " public insurance schemes, Medicare, Medicaid and Medigap.
Of course they are all going to go broke soon.
By the way, many of the "uninsured" choose to do that becasue of free choice. They spend their money elsewhere.
"At least 44% of the uninsured are uninsured by choice, and the number could be much higher than that. An Urban Institute study found that:
•One in every four uninsured persons is eligible for Medicaid or SChip, but has not enrolled.
•One in five has a family income in excess of $58,000 and presumably can afford coverage.
This is a minimum estimate. Of those who earn less than $58,000, there are undoubtedly many who can afford coverage because:
•They have access to an employer plan, (almost one in five uninsured turn down employer coverage.)
•Even if their employer does not provide health insurance, they have opportunities to work for employers who do, but choose not to.
•They are young and healthy or live in rural areas and face premiums much lower than the $9,961 annual premium assumed by the Urban Institute scholars.
•They are near retirement and can draw on assets to pay premiums until they become eligible for Medicare."
The problem with socialists and their misunderstanding of history
Jeremy 2 asks, "Honestly, what is it with their fear of anything even remotely close to almost being considered socialist?"
Americans have a healthy fear of government wielding the power of the gun, taking their money, taking their property, taking their lives, taking the lives of others, taking the goods of others, and giving all the stuff they work for to others for politicians' political gains.
Where did it come from?
Americans spent a half century shedding their money & blood because of European love for Socialism:
- Hitler was a Socialist
- Stalin was a Socialist
- Eastern Europe was enslaved by Socialists
- America spent a half a century accepting refugees from countries because of socialism gone bad.
- Americans spent a half a century sending food to countries because of socialism gone bad.
- There would not be individual countries in Europe or free countries in other parts of the world if Americans did not have a healthy fear of Socialism.
Common Americans would rather give something freely to someone in need out of their poverty rather than have it taken from them at the muzzle of a gun wielded by the Socialist Government Tax Man.
The Socialist Americans give less freely from their own wealth to the poor.
Socialists believe no one else is giving (because they don't give from their own wealth), and thus encourage the government to take it from others (including themselves) at the muzzle of a gun through mandatory taxes on people (just like them), to relieve themselves of the guilt, and feel like they and others like them are being punished adequately for their moral inadequacies.
The Socialist mindset is just sick to the Common American - their ancestors fled Socialism at the muzzle of guns and their children continually return to fight it ,wielding guns of their own, in a mostly volunteer army.
The problem falls to one or both of the following two issues:
- Socialists refuse to acknowledge history & modern facts - don't try to understand the American mindset
- Socialists are just too ill-educated to understand history & modern facts - just can't figure it out the American mindset
Instead of foul-mouthing, bad-mouthing, and posting hate of freedom loving Americans out of ignorance, perhaps Europeans should enjoy their Socialism, try to understand Americans, and allow ex-patriots Europeans to become Americans and allow emigrants to bear the fruit of their decision with dignity due them.
FAIL for the Socialist misunderstanding of history and modernity.
FAIL for ignorant posters using foul language and hate against Americans who fled Socialist countries.
FAIL for ignorant posters using foul language and hate against Americans who shed their blood generation after generation for bailing out millions from Socialism-gone-bad.
@Stephen Hawking both???
Yes, there ate 2 of him.
This is the result after a few of his earlier experiments with 'time'.....