Taking Care of Youngsters and Mothers

  1. You have chosen to ignore posts from TarheelChief. Show TarheelChief's posts

    Taking Care of Youngsters and Mothers

    It was interesting when a spokesman for McCain questioned the wisdom of providing prescriptions for viagra,but not providing prescriptions for birth control. Did they know it takes two to tango?
    In any case,universal coverage is around the corner,and those Republicans and Democrats who will not make the leap will be left behind,as they should be. I cannot imagine how people who say they want to protect the unborn can turn about and say:
     Infants,pregnant women and youngsters need not have health care
     coverage,but middle aged men must have viagra.
  2. You have chosen to ignore posts from lnmonster. Show lnmonster's posts

    Taking Care of Youngsters and Mothers

    Instructive to see how France has achieved a globally acclaimed health care system and barely half the cost of our dysfunctional one.

    France's model healthcare system

    MANY advocates of a universal healthcare system inthe United States look to Canada for their model. While the Canadianhealthcare system has much to recommend it, there's another model thathas been too long neglected. That is the healthcare system in France.

    Althoughthe French system faces many challenges, the World Health Organizationrated it the best in the world in 2001 because of its universalcoverage, responsive healthcare providers, patient and providerfreedoms, and the health and longevity of the country's population. TheUnited States ranked 37.

    The French system is also notinexpensive. At $3,500 per capita it is one of the most costly inEurope, yet that is still far less than the $6,100 per person in theUnited States.

    An understanding of how France came to its healthcare system would be instructive in any renewed debate in the United States.

    That'sbecause the French share Americans' distaste for restrictions onpatient choice and they insist on autonomous private practitionersrather than a British-style national health service, which the Frenchdismiss as "socialized medicine." Virtually all physicians in Franceparticipate in the nation's public health insurance, Sécurité Sociale.

    Theirfreedoms of diagnosis and therapy are protected in ways that would maketheir managed-care-controlled US counterparts envious. However, theaverage American physician earns more than five times the average USwage while the average French physician makes only about two times theaverage earnings of his or her compatriots. But the lower income ofFrench physicians is allayed by two factors. Practice liability isgreatly diminished by a tort-averse legal system, and medical schools,although extremely competitive to enter, are tuition-free. Thus, Frenchphysicians enter their careers with little if any debt and pay muchlower malpractice insurance premiums.

    Nor do France's doctorsface the high nonmedical personnel payroll expenses that burdenAmerican physicians. Sécurité Sociale has created a standardized andspeedy system for physician billing and patient reimbursement usingelectronic funds.

    It's not uncommon to visit a French medicaloffice and see no nonmedical personnel. What a concept. No back officearmy of billing specialists who do daily battle with insurers' arcaneand constantly changing rules of payment.

    Moreover, in contrastto Canada and Britain, there are no waiting lists for electiveprocedures and patients need not seek pre-authorizations. In otherwords, like in the United States, "rationing" is not a word that leavesthe lips of hopeful politicians. How might the French case inform theUS debate over healthcare reform?

    National health insurance inFrance stands upon two grand historical bargains -- the first withdoctors and a second with insurers.

    Doctors only agreed toparticipate in compulsory health insurance if the law protected apatient's choice of practitioner and guaranteed physicians' controlover medical decision-making. Given their current frustrations,America's doctors might finally be convinced to throw their supportbehind universal health insurance if it protected their professionaljudgment and created a sane system of billing and reimbursement.

    Frenchlegislators also overcame insurance industry resistance by permittingthe nation's already existing insurers to administer its new healthcarefunds. Private health insurers are also central to the system assupplemental insurers who cover patient expenses that are not paid forby Sécurité Sociale. Indeed, nearly 90 percent of the French populationpossesses such coverage, making France home to a booming private healthinsurance market.

    The French system strongly discourages the kindof experience rating that occurs in the United States, making it moredifficult for insurers to deny coverage for preexisting conditions orto those who are not in good health. In fact, in France, the sicker youare, the more coverage, care, and treatment you get. Would Americaninsurance companies cut a comparable deal?

    Like all healthcaresystems, the French confront ongoing problems. Today French reformers'number one priority is to move health insurance financing away frompayroll and wage levies because they hamper employers' willingness tohire. Instead, France is turning toward broad taxes on earned andunearned income alike to pay for healthcare.

    American advocatesof mandates on employers to provide health insurance should take note.The link between employment and health security is a historicalartifact whose disadvantages now far outweigh its advantages.Economists estimate that between 25 and 45 percent of the US laborforce is now job-locked. That is, employees make career decisions basedon their need to maintain affordable health coverage or avoid exclusionbased on a preexisting condition.

    Perhaps it's time for us totake a closer look at French ideas about healthcare reform. They couldbecome an import far less "foreign" and "unfriendly" than many heremight initially imagine.

    Paul V. Dutton isassociate professor of history at Northern Arizona University andauthor of "Differential Diagnoses: A Comparative History of Health CareProblems and Solutions in the United States and France," which will bepublished in September.

  3. You have chosen to ignore posts from brat13. Show brat13's posts

    Taking Care of Youngsters and Mothers

    [Quote]Instructive to see how France has achieved a globally acclaimed health care system and barely half the cost of our dysfunctional one.[/Quote]

    Be careful what you wish for. Most affluent French have private insurance that gives them access to private hospitals which give better care. The waiting in France is not any better than here and emergency care is below our standards.

    "Ordinary French patients pay for their care with a mixture of state fundingand private insurance. For those without private insurance, treatment forcostly or rare conditions may be limited. There is not enough capacity inthe system because of the classic problem of “bed blocking” that is just asfamiliar in Britain – old people who can’t be discharged from hospitalbecause intermediate care or convalescent homes no longer exist."
  4. You have chosen to ignore posts from Mattyhorn. Show Mattyhorn's posts

    Taking Care of Youngsters and Mothers

    [Quote]Some novel ideas for you to consider.

    People are supposed to take care of themselves. The more that people take care of themselves the sooner we can start paying off our $10 trillion national debt. In addition when more people take care of themselves more resources are available to people that really need help.

    Viagra is a cure for a medical disfuntion for which the sufferer has no non-medical options.

    Birth control does not cure a physical ailment. A woman has other choices that are free or low cost to prevent herself from getting pregnant. Why should a woman ask her neighbors to pay for her birth control pills when she can avoid getting pregnant by other methods which cost nothing or very little like a condom?

    The chickens of unabashed spending are coming home to roost. Soon people will be glad for the days when they could feel OK whining about getting their birth control pills covered by insurance.[/Quote]
  5. You have chosen to ignore posts from TarheelChief. Show TarheelChief's posts

    Taking Care of Youngsters and Mothers

    The recent downturn in the markets are due in large part to funny accounting principles.
    Without some reform of the present health system one can easily see many corporations and not a few munipalities fall into bankruptcy.Thus, do not be surprised if the solution to our many financial problems lies in one of two options.
    Option one would maintain the present health care system by rolling back fees, drugs,equipment investments,and other costs to 1999 levels and revoking the special position held by non-profit health providers. This can be done using the cost analysis models of previous years.
    Option two would be to create a universal health care system which pays for the overhead and education of health care professionals, underwrites the nationalization of the drug companies,and uses the Swedish system of arbitration of malpractice claims.
  6. You have chosen to ignore posts from TeddyffromNH. Show TeddyffromNH's posts

    Taking Care of Youngsters and Mothers

    I am sick of you lefties declaring what a human right is