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American healthcare vs U.K. Healthcare

Discussion in 'Diabetes Discussions' started by mc9, Dec 15, 2016.

  1. mc9

    mc9 Type 1 · Well-Known Member

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    Which do you think is better and what would you change about them
     
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  2. noblehead

    noblehead Type 1 · Guru
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    Don't have any experience of the healthcare in the USA so its a difficult one to answer, but I'm happy with my care under the NHS........although there could be some improvements made here and there such as waiting times for appointments.
     
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  3. Bluetit1802

    Bluetit1802 Type 2 (in remission!) · Legend

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    The NHS. It's free.
     
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  4. DavidGrahamJones

    DavidGrahamJones Type 2 · Well-Known Member

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    Having recently ended up in a US hospital, having been told that I was having a heart attack, stupidly saying I was insured and then undergoing several expensive (US$16,000) heart tests and being told I needed a triple bypass, I'm pleased I mentioned that I didn't think my insurance stretched to bypasses, I was discharged within 2 hours. My travel insurance were very good in that they were all set to get me flown home with a nurse and everything, until I explained that the first test which indicated a heart attack (which I didn't believe anyway) was not confirmed by three further identical tests (troponin levels) which I had in hospital.

    My GP reviewed all 38 pages of documentation she received from the hospital and said she had paid careful attention to the cardiologist's comments and said I didn't need a bypass. I already knew that the tests had shown my heart was as strong as an ox, but my arteries were that of a 60 year old (goody, I'm 64).

    I'm not suggesting that all US MDs are corrupt, but there are several cases ongoing where MDs have referred patients for unnecessary surgery.

    Give me the good old NHS any day, they are not influenced by money, probably because there isn't any.
     
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  5. Shar67

    Shar67 · Guest

    People still die with either system. The NHS changed so many lives, but has been taken for granted by people who never seen the previous medical set up.
    The USA system is so multi layered I don't think the average person in UK would know exactly how it works.
     
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  6. Robinredbreast

    Robinredbreast Type 1 · Oracle

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    I have never been to the US, so I can't make a comment about their hospitals or Gp's. We have (or had ) an American in the xray department at my local hospital and he called me ma'am, I love the accent :happy:
     
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  7. Tipetoo

    Tipetoo Type 2 · Expert

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    Have a watch of Micheal Moore's documentary movie called Sicko, he shows who has the better health services.

    You will be surprised who is best.



    I prefer the service we have in Australia, you can either pay into a health insurance fund and get treated quickly in a private hospital. Or you can go into the public system and wait for anything up to two years for non urgent surgery.
     
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  8. AndBreathe

    AndBreathe I reversed my Type 2 · Expert
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    I saw the Michael Moore docufilm on a long haul flight (today's piece of useless information). I was somewhat horrified by the treatment of those damaged in the 911 incidents. Spending quite a bit of time overseas repeatedly reminds me how lucky we are to have what we do. Yes, absolutely it is significantly flawed and struggling to cope, but it is there and we don't have to think how we will pay to see a doctor at the times when we are least able to rationally do that thinking.
     
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  9. Freema

    Freema Type 2 · Expert

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    the USA system is a money machine... if you are rich enough you can get any treatment you want almost... the limit is money and that science haven´t gotten a cure for everything yet..... but well would the american medicine companies want us to be healthy anyway ?
     
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  10. Tipetoo

    Tipetoo Type 2 · Expert

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    We always made sure we had travel insurance when we went overseas, best to pay a bit of money out than get financially bankrupted by medical costs.

    A bit off topic but I found my old NHS card dated 1948 the doctors name on it was Laver, it was supposed to be handed in when I left the UK in 1970. :meh:
     
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  11. TorqPenderloin

    TorqPenderloin Type 1 · Well-Known Member

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    I live in the USA and truly believe that I have access to the best healthcare in the world. I'm in a fortunate situation that my employer offers very good healthcare benefits. That means my healthcare costs are also (what I consider to be) extremely reasonable.

    I pay somewhere around $5000usd/year for all of my healthcare costs. That may sound like a lot, but that includes:
    -Dexcom G5 CGM and I change my sensors every 7 days
    -Never worrying about having enough insulin, test strips, or medical supplies
    -I can call a doctor and see them within the week. If I didn't like my doctors, I could switch to other ones (and there's several hundred to choose from in my area).

    There is a misconception that the poor here in the USA are the ones who suffer the most when it comes to healthcare. That's largely untrue. We actually have fairly respectable government programs for the poor, the disabled, and the elderly.

    The people who suffer the most are those who make just enough money to not be considered poor and don't have access to health insurance through their employer. The only options they have are to go through our ACA (Affordable Care Act) exchange and buy a health insurance plan that often can cost $500/month. That's nearly impossible to do for someone who takes home $2000/month and has children to feed (and insure).
     
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  12. JohnEGreen

    JohnEGreen Other · Master

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    @TorqPenderloin And what would happen if you lost that good job and along with it your healthcare benefits I wonder?
     
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  13. Mep

    Mep Type 2 · Well-Known Member

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    I haven't experienced either of your healthcare systems, just read about it. :)

    I'm in Australia and we have a public system and a private health system. I pay for private health insurance. There is pros and cons to everything though. I do like that we have subsidised medications and subsidised diabetic supplies. I get my needles free, but everything else I pay for. The downside is if you use the public health system, you can't claim through private... plus vice versa. Eg. today I will be paying $190 up front for a visit with my clinical psychologist. I will get $75 back in a week or two... whenever they process it. So I pay $115 out of pocket for the next 8 visits after today (if needed), then I can't claim through public health. I see my neurologist and pay $450 and get about half of it back, etc. Quite often I find the difference between public and private rebate is very marginal... like $1 extra through private or whatever. My private is great for my dental and ambulance as I have almost full coverage for both. Plus it covers most of hospital costs, medication isn't covered at all. I had a bill for that last time I was hospitalised in a private hospital.
     
  14. TorqPenderloin

    TorqPenderloin Type 1 · Well-Known Member

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    Great question.

    The easy answer would be to then go on my fiance's health insurance plan through work (though we work for the same company now).

    If that weren't an option, here in the USA we also have another federal benefit referred to as C.O.B.R.A. If I were to lose my job, I would have the option to continue the same level of coverage I had with my employer at no more than 90% of the total premiums' cost (the part that my employer would normally pay). The cool thing about it is that it can be retroactively started within 60 days of losing my job meaning that I have 60 days to find a new job and wouldn't have to pay any money for 60 days unless I needed the insurance. I could also continue this coverage for up to 18 months if needed.

    I actually used this benefit earlier this year when I changed jobs. I made sure I had extra insulin, test strips, etc just before I left my old company. I then took about 5 weeks off to travel before starting my new position. Fortunately, I didn't have any health expenses during that time, but if I did it would have cost me about $590/month to activate my COBRA benefit.

    In layman's terms, if I lost my job, I could keep my health insurance for a year and half without finding a job. If I didn't find a job by then, I could potentially go on Medicaid (government benefit often for low income people)
     
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  15. Dark Horse

    Dark Horse · Well-Known Member

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    Comparing government spending on healthcare per capita, the USA spends more than twice the amount that the UK does, for no better health outcomes. See the chart on this page:- http://www.commonwealthfund.org/publications/fund-reports/2014/jun/mirror-mirror Note that the UK ranks 1st out of the 11 first-world countries compared in the chart whereas the USA ranks 11th.

    Coverage is 100% in the UK whereas in the USA there are many people who are uninsured and do not qualify for Medicare.
     
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  16. Robinredbreast

    Robinredbreast Type 1 · Oracle

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    I watched a lot of the video and I sat here at my dining table with disbelief and my jaw dropping, It was heartbreaking to watch how people are treated to save the health insurance companies money :wideyed::mad::mad: Horrific.
     
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  17. Bluetit1802

    Bluetit1802 Type 2 (in remission!) · Legend

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    In the UK we also have private health care schemes, and many employers and unions offer schemes. We can also chose to pay to see a Consultant if we want to jump the queue and then continue with any necessary treatment on the NHS . Prescription medicines are free to the over 60s, the under 18s still in education, diabetics on medication, and people on benefits. There may be more categories eligible for this that I don't know about. Ambulances, first response medics - all free. Dental treatment is free to under 18s still in education and there are NHS dentists around if you can find one where treatment is subsidised. GPs and Health Centres are free, hospital treatment is free, maternity is free.

    I say "free" but we do pay for all this through our taxes. Do we pay more in taxes than the USA or Australia? I have no idea.
     
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  18. chalup

    chalup Type 2 · Well-Known Member

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    Here in Canada you might have a very long wait for a surgery or procedure that is elective and for a non life threatening condition but if you need acute care you get it immediately. The stereotype that is often presented of Canada's medical system, which is very similar to the UK, is just plain ludicrous. The idea that Canadians want a system like the states is just plain wrong. Yes, you can go to the states and get an immediate face lift or tummy tuck if you have enormous amounts of money. Canada's health system won't pay for things like that, but if you are living on a street corner and need cancer treatments you will get them right away. Awesome video, Thanks for posting it.
     
  19. TorqPenderloin

    TorqPenderloin Type 1 · Well-Known Member

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    Again, another very reasonable question. Obviously, it depends on what bracket your income places you in each country.

    I was actually curious about this myself so I used some of the income tax estimators. I'd pay about $36k (roughly 29kgbp) more in taxes if I lived in the UK than if I lived here in the USA. Now, I live in Texas where we don't have state or city income taxes. If I lived in New York city, I'd likely pay about the same (or possibly even more) in taxes than if I lived in the UK.

    Note: I think I may have offended some people with my previous post when I said that I believed I had access to the best healthcare in the world. I was only sharing my personal experiences and opinions in response to the original question. I certainly think that the NHS has qualities that the US can learn from, but to say one is truly "Better" on a macro-level would be unfair imo. They're completely different if you ask me.
     
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  20. Tabbyjoolz

    Tabbyjoolz Type 2 · Well-Known Member

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    NHS all the way! It has its flaws and I am a harsh critic when it comes to T2 diabetes care. However, if I totted up the cost to the NHS of each blood test, examination, etc.- not just for diabetes, but for my entire life - I'm sure I'd be shocked.

    Last month I was hospitalised for the first time in my life with appendicitis (at the ripe old age of 53) and the care I received was second to none.
     
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    #20 Tabbyjoolz, Dec 16, 2016 at 11:08 AM
    Last edited: Dec 16, 2016
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