# National education & health care

1. Mar 17, 2004

### Nereid

Staff Emeritus
Are you sure kat?

"WASHINGTON - The number of Americans who don't have health insurance rose sharply in 2002, mainly because of unemployment increases and two straight years of cuts in employer-provided health coverage.

The number of uninsured Americans jumped by 2.4 million to 43.6 million last year, the U.S. Census Bureau reported Monday. That's 15.2 percent of the population, compared with 14.6 percent in 2001.
" This is from a 30 Sep 2003 Knight-Ridder news item.

AFAIK, "uninsured" in US-speak, when referring to medical insurance, means that the full costs of *any* medical treatment - even a visit to the local GP - must be paid by the patient ... and even a 15 minute local GP check-up may 'cost' over US$100. But then, what do I know? 2. Mar 17, 2004 ### kat Yeah, I'm pretty sure. Here's a wealth of information http://www.statecoverage.net/who.htm If you scroll down you'll see a tan box that has a good outlay of who isn't covered. You'll note that in the first box there are 14 million people uninsured who are eligible but have not accessed available programs. Of those 14 million-13 million have an income less then 200% of the poverty level (or less then about 37k for a family of 4. 1 million of that first 14 million(who are all eligible for state/federal provided insurance programs) have incomes in excess of 200% of the poverty level. The 9 million people who fall in the middle column are those uninsured who have an income greater then 200% of the poverty level. Then the final column are the 18 million uninsured individuals who have moderate to high incomes. Last edited: Mar 17, 2004 3. Mar 17, 2004 ### kawikdx225 This is not true. I grew up in a lower class home and my parents didn't have money to put me through college so I went to the state of Pennsylvania for help. They told me my parents made too much money for me to get a grant or partial grant so they gave me a school loan instead. I had a six year grace period before I had to start making payments on the loan and they stretch the loan out over 10 years. If my parents were really poor then I would have qualified for grant money. I think anyone who wants an education in the USA can get it. 4. Mar 17, 2004 ### Monique Staff Emeritus Yeah, well.. here in the Netherlands education is free. It doesn't cost$30.000 for a single year, no, it costs €1.500 for a year (in the US that could be a single class). The government pays for that too, including the cost of living and transportation. Ofcourse the trick is that you have to gather enough credits for it to become a gift instead of a loan.

Look at Belgium for instance, public transportation is completely free for every citizen of the country.

In Detroit they had to threaten to close down the major receiving hospital, because most of the incoming patients don't have insurance and the government doesn't pick up the bill. It was up to the hospital to help these people and pay everything out of their OWN pocket, leading them to the edge of bankrupty!

How about social security in the US? What happens when you get laid off? What happens if you have back problems and can't work? Will the government pay up to 70% of your income?

A socialist government provides for its citizens, gives subsidies and runs businesses. The US government would be exactly opposite. Why do you think taxes are so low in the US? In western Europe they are notoriously high.

5. Mar 17, 2004

### phatmonky

Absolutely.
I recently quit a successful business to make what I was making 4 years ago. My last years tax return puts me too high for aid, but I don't make enough right now to cover school. Loans it is! No big deal.
I prefer that it is not free. Higher education for free is like giving pearls to swines - none will appreciate it (just as they don't appreciate the 'free' education you get until that point). Those that wish to go to school will pay for it, and will succeed at it because they don't want to waste their money.

6. Mar 17, 2004

### phatmonky

1>Only in med school. My medschool is slated to be roughly that each year. It's only about 20,000 for my entire 4 years of undergrad, and I'm still looking for some grant money considering a specific situation I am enduring.
2>cool!

3>Each state handles it's own unemployment insurance. In Texas there is a percentage up until a maximum. Also, there is an account labeled for you with XXXX dollars in it. When that account goes dry, you're out of luck. That account is paid for, in Texas anyways, by the businesses, not the employee. It's all setup as an initiative to make people not just ride the clock waiting to get a new job. You can alos work while being unemployed and make an extra 75bucks each week. That works like this: If you get 400 a week for Unemployment, but also work, you can make 475 a week. You make 300 at your job, you only take 175 out of your account. You make 200 at your job, you only take 275 out of your job. This gets people moving to atleast part time jobs while they are searching for the job they really want.
4>I agree. :) Do you prefer socialism despite it's inefficiency? Prefer capitalism? Or would you like to see a combination of both?

7. Mar 17, 2004

### Staff: Mentor

Thats a logical fallacy (I guess thats what the smiley was for), unless of course you choose to define "poor" and "rich" in relation to each other (a flawed definition) - which we do in the US, instead of defining them by an absolute standard of living. As a result, the categorization "poor" has lost all meaning in the US: someone who is "poor" today is vastly richer than someone who was "poor" 40 years ago. And if you really want to make it comical, start comparing "poor" in the US to "poor" in other countries.
I mostly agree, except where you say you were in a "lower class home." Clearly, by the state definition, you were not. I was in what you (and the state) would call a "middle class home," and my parents also had difficulty with paying for college for me and my sister (though not as much as yours). They essentially bribed my sister into going to state school instead of private school.
Well, of course you know, Monique, "free" is a relative term. SOMEONE has to pay for it: what is your marginal tax rate? That word - I really hate that word. Its a lie fed to the public by politicians. And like candy,* people eat it up even though its not any good for you.

*My local grocery store now sells jelly beans in 5lb bags. Boy, am I screwed now.

Last edited: Mar 17, 2004
8. Mar 17, 2004

### kat

Hmmm.....
It would seem that it's not free at all....

9. Mar 17, 2004

### Staff: Mentor

Kat, you and I apparently have some weird telepathy thing going...

10. Mar 17, 2004

### phatmonky

The largest health problem with our nation's poor is.....OBESITY! honestly, and that's morbidly comical.

11. Mar 17, 2004

### Monique

Staff Emeritus
Undergrad, that would be bachelors? How about a master?

Socialism is good on the citizens, it gives them a confortable live and nothing much to worry about. As I mentioned, the money has to come from somewhere so taxes are high, but it gets distributed evenly across the nation, so I am all for that.

The thing lacking is incentive. You mentioned it too, if education is free, you take it for granted. If you fall into unemployment, you still make a decent living. If you feign to have a back problem, you get even more money. That is one of the biggest problems at the moment: wáy to many people are in 'unemployment disability welfare'. The taxpayer is providing all these people with a living, while all these people would be perfectly able to find a job themselves, but why wóuld they? So very soon the government is going to implement more rigorous reexaminations of all people in disabilty (under the age of 55).

But yes, I still like a government who takes taxes and uses it for the things I mentioned.

12. Mar 17, 2004

### kat

Great minds and all that...

Last edited: Mar 17, 2004
13. Mar 17, 2004

### Monique

Staff Emeritus
I am a student: yes it is free! When you start to earn a living, do you get to pay taxes and do you start to provide the country with the means to provide a service like that. As I said: taxes are higher, but they are not equal to all.

14. Mar 17, 2004

### Nereid

Staff Emeritus
efficiency and outcomes

Onto our favourite (oops, 'favorite' for phatmonky and Russ ) topic, yes?

Re health: the US's ~14% of GDP spent on health produces what ~100% better health outcome than the Netherlands' ~7% of GDP spent on health?

Life expectancy at birth? (no)
5-year survival rate from major cancers? (no)
Incidence of heart disease? (no)
Average years of old age spent in rude health? (no)

[Edit: fixed typo]

Last edited: Mar 17, 2004
15. Mar 17, 2004

### Monique

Staff Emeritus
Re: efficiency and outcomes

Not sure what you mean to say there..

US
Life expectancy at birth? 77.14 years
Death rate: 8.44/1000 (median age 36)
Infant mortality rate: 6.75/1000
Literacy: 97%
GDP per capity: $36300 (2002) Unemployment rate: 5.8% NL Life expectancy at birth? 78.74 Death rate: 8.66/1000 (median age 38) Infant mortality rate: 4.26/1000 Literacy: 99% GDP per capity:$27200 (2002)
Unemployment rate: 3% (underestimation)

taken from the CIA website

16. Mar 17, 2004

### phatmonky

Re: efficiency and outcomes

I'll humour (;) ) you.

First answer this:
Does the Netherlands' have the queues that Canada, Australia, and England have for doctors visits and surgeries?

I'm trusting an honest answer here.

17. Mar 17, 2004

### Monique

Staff Emeritus
We don't directly step the the specialist, so cases that don't really require a specialist relieve the burden there. Also, what I have heard is that the General Practicioner to population ratio is especially favorable in NL (although there still is a shortage). Yes, there are waiting lists, but only for specialists. If I wished to I can show up in my doctor's office any time.

18. Mar 17, 2004

### Nereid

Staff Emeritus
Re: Re: efficiency and outcomes

Last time I was in England and Australia (and Hongkong, and several other countries), there were no queues for doctor's visits or surgeries. Last time I was in the US, I couldn't go to see a doctor or a surgeon without having a) a valid credit card, and b) proof that I belonged to a health plan (quite an unnerving experience!)

In all cases, except for emergencies, I needed to make appointments. In only one case have I had difficulty making a doctor's appointment (that I can recall), and that was in the US.

Fortunately, when I've been in the Netherlands and Canada, I've not needed to visit a doctor (touch wood).

So, how about those figures on the ~100% increased average (health) benefit in the US, for the 2x greater health spend? Monique has already given us data on
> life expectancy: NL 1, US 0

19. Mar 17, 2004

### Monique

Staff Emeritus
Re: Re: Re: efficiency and outcomes

Oh don't get me started about US health care system, especially for aliens. I don't have a license and a passport is not a valid method for identification in the US, apparently :S I had proof that I belonged to a healthplan, but it was Dutch: soooo: they don't take it. Having to wait for HOURS in the waiting room, having to wait another hour in the small waiting room. Not getting service, having to pay... how much was it? \$75 I believe for a 10 min consultation.

Last edited: Mar 17, 2004
20. Mar 17, 2004

### phatmonky

Re: Re: Re: efficiency and outcomes

Well I'm glad you have had such a great luck with those countries. My girlfriend from Toronto has been through the system and I know it all to well with great detail. But I will leave this alone, as I do not need to worry about the queues for my case. It was an attempt at just an extra point. BTW, what US city were you in?

1> Diminishing returns. A smaller country will cost less per person to keep well. Transport, population density, etc. all have to factor in. Again though, this is just to take in to account. I'm just knocking away at that 100% percentage difference right now.

2> Looking at your figures, you mention the infant mortality rate.
This is up for grabs. At the end of 2003 the EU, via Peristat Research, found that the mortality is actually 7.4/1000. Still not 100%, but we are working on showing where that extra money is going. Now why is it 7.4? Well the research points to lifestyles...ohh, that's a good one for my next point!

3>Dealing with life expectancy. You cannnot pin lifestyles or outside influences on the healhcare system. The US murder rates are 4 times that of the netherlands, with the aggravated assault rates 20 times. This all factors into the cost.

.....
WOAH, I'm not continuing.....

Well I'll be. While I was sitting here reading some figures I came to this....
http://society.guardian.co.uk/futureforpublicservices/story/0,8150,687030,00.html

15 months?! 6 months?! 3 months is a goal?! Granted, this is England, before finding this, you would have me believe that their system is fine and dandy.

Then I come across australia http://www.smh.com.au/articles/2003/10/15/1065917483680.html?from=storyrhs

Then research on waiting in Canada and the fact that they use US hospitals to alleviate some of the wait...
http://oldfraser.lexi.net/publications/critical_issues/2000/waitingyourturn/section_07.html

Sadly, as a smaller country, not a lot of statistics about the netherlands could be found easily.

http://www.google.com/search?q=cach...ve+surgery+waiting+netherlands&hl=en&ie=UTF-8

But looking at that, the netherlands has 15.2% of patients waiting for more than 12 weeks.
On the other hand, the US only has 5% waiting over 16.

Know someone interested in this topic? Share this thread via Reddit, Google+, Twitter, or Facebook

Have something to add?