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Paul Krugman on Health Care NYT article

"In fact, Britain's system isn't as bad as its reputation - especially for lower-paid workers, whose counterparts in the United States often have no health insurance at all. And the waiting lists have gotten shorter.

"But in any case, Britain isn't the country we want to look at, because its health care system is run on the cheap, with total spending per person only 40 percent as high as ours.

"The countries that have something to teach us are the nations that don't pinch pennies to the same extent - like France, Germany or Canada - but still spend far less than we do. (Yes, Canada also has waiting lists, but they're much shorter than Britain's - and Canadians overwhelmingly prefer their system to ours. France and Germany don't have a waiting list problem.)

"Let me rattle off some numbers.

"In 2002, the latest year for which comparable data are available, the United States spent $5,267 on health care for each man, woman and child in the population. Of this, $2,364, or 45 percent, was government spending, mainly on Medicare and Medicaid. Canada spent $2,931 per person, of which $2,048 came from the government. France spent $2,736 per person, of which $2,080 was government spending."

http://www.nytimes.com/2005/04/15/opinion/15krugman.html?

Leave the Third World behind and join modern medicine, you have nothing to lose but your chains. Its cheaper, its better for everyone, and its safer because there are no pockets of untreated illness out there

True story from my wife's practice. Lady comes into Emerg with Gall Bladder trouble. She's booked for the procedure the following day, and comes back husband and baby in tow. Staff takes care of husband and baby, orders babyfood from the Mum and Baby clinic etc. Meanwhile Mum is delivered of an enormous Gall Stone via ERCP (Endoscopic Retrograde Cholangio-Pancreatogram, now are you better informed?). Mum is no longer sick, no longer potentially life threateningly sick (Toxic Shock). Mum feels fine after the meds wear off and goes home with Hubby and Son. Did I mention that my wife is a star?? Elapsed time less than 24 hours. If you're sick you get treated, pronto. No money or any surrogate for money changed hands. No bill will be sent. All meds are covered for in hospital procedures. There are no nasty surprises.

Rob Boyter

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