Posts Tagged ‘National Health Service’

How the US lags peer nations in health care

June 10, 2017

Click to enlarge

Americans pay more for medical care than citizens of other advanced nations, and get less in return.  Our health outcomes are worse.   So far as I can tell, enactment of the Affordable Care Act in 2010 hasn’t changed this.

Health care spending per person

United Kingdom, $4,003

France, $4,407

Canada, $4,607

Germany, $5,267

United States, $9,451

Percentage of population without medical insurance

United Kingdom, 0.0%

Canada, 0.0%

France, 0.1%

Germany, 0.2%

United States, 9.1%

What patients pay to see a doctor

United Kingdom, free

Canada, free

Germany, $5 – $11

France, $25, most of which is reimbursed later

United States, $30 to $200, depending on insurance


The fear of thinking about death

June 10, 2011

The conservative columnist Cal Thomas visited Great Britain, and thinks the nation is going downhill, especially in regard to immigration and health care.  For example:

Cal Thomas

The [Daily] Telegraph now reports that the “terminally ill” will be asked by their doctors how they would like to die and to write it down so the NHS [National Health Service] will know.  Will government then assist them to stop the care meter from running?  Death panels, anything?

Let’s see.  If I am terminally ill Briton, and I tell my doctor that I would rather spend my last days in a hospice, being visited by my loved ones, instead of hooked up to life support machines, there is a danger that the National Health Service will do as I wish.

This reminds me of Sarah Palin’s claim that “death panels” would be created by  a provision in the Affordable Care Act (which was removed) to pay for physicians counseling patients on their options concerning living wills, health care proxies and other preparations for the end-of-life.

I can see an objection to the federal government paying for something that physicians ought to do routinely and as a matter of course.  I made out a Living Will and a Health Care Proxy many years ago, and recently updated it.  But this is not the basis Cal Thomas’s and Sarah Palin’s objection.  They seem to object to even thinking and making plans concerning terminal illness until it is upon you, and then to doing anything except maximizing the use of medical technology.  This is just my interpretation of what they are saying, but it is not a far-fetched interpretation.

Cal Thomas and Sarah Palin are conservative, evangelical Christians.  Their doctrine is that, for people of faith, death is a doorway to eternal happiness with God.  I would expect evangelical Christians to be better able than atheists and agnostics to face the fact that human life is finite and that we all are going to die someday.  Refusing to face the fact of mortality isn’t going to make you immortal.  And refusing about thinking about end-of-life issues isn’t going to make things easier when the time comes.