def jeff

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Tom Daschle just said that the U.S. ranks 29th in infant mortality (WHO statistic?). Why is this true?
 

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Tom Daschle just said that the U.S. ranks 29th in infant mortality (WHO statistic?). Why is this true?


The US tries to save more longshot babies than other countries. Many of them die anyway. Bingo bango bongo, higher "mortality rate."

Yay statistics.
 

Scean

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Exactly, we save more babies than anyone else that could not possibly be saved anywhere else, every year.
 
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Dedikated2liftn

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^That and the fact that a great deal of the infant moratality occurs in poorer populations (i.e. those who can't afford insurance). While Medicaid may help a little here, it's not enough to bring us up to par with other industrialized countries in this regard.
 

xanthomondo

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Not only do we try to save every baby possible, there is no standard for recording infant mortality.

This country reports ALL babies that die, other countries use very loose standard, such as babies born less than a certain weight are considered abortions (and low birth weight babies have extremely high mortality rates). This alone will scew the statistics like crazy.

I really hate when people try to use this stat as a way of showing how broken our healthcare system is. It's not a real-picture statistic
 

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Exactly, we save more babies than anyone else that could not possibly be saved anywhere else, every year.
I'll probably regret asking this, but, I'm curious what type of babies you think can be saved in the US that couldn't be saved in Canada or Western Europe? What technology do we have that they don't have, especially technology that would have an impact on the infant mortality rate?

Note that this question is peripheral to the OPs question....I'm not interested in debating the issue of why our infant mortality rate is higher than other western countries. I'm just curious what type of babies we save that COULDN'T (as opposed to wouldn't, which is also a different issue) be saved in Canada or much of Europe (also, Japan, Israel and a few other places with advanced technology for neonatal care).
 

bjolly

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I believe we have a higher teen pregnancy rate than most other Western countries, which probably plays a part as well.
 

Pinkertinkle

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Btw the WHO is a socialistic organization with a grudge against american healthcare.
 

def jeff

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I really hate when people try to use this stat as a way of showing how broken our healthcare system is. It's not a real-picture statistic
Tom Daschle is not just "people." He is the new Secretary of Health and Human Services, basically in charge of the country's health policy.
 

def jeff

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Just interested, how many countries would you estimate do have the technology to save the youngest of the young?


I'll probably regret asking this, but, I'm curious what type of babies you think can be saved in the US that couldn't be saved in Canada or Western Europe? What technology do we have that they don't have, especially technology that would have an impact on the infant mortality rate?

Note that this question is peripheral to the OPs question....I'm not interested in debating the issue of why our infant mortality rate is higher than other western countries. I'm just curious what type of babies we save that COULDN'T (as opposed to wouldn't, which is also a different issue) be saved in Canada or much of Europe (also, Japan, Israel and a few other places with advanced technology for neonatal care).
 

oldbearprofessor

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Just interested, how many countries would you estimate do have the technology to save the youngest of the young?
The basics that are needed technologically to save 24-26 week preterm infants are:

1. Ventilators that work
2. Surfactant
3. IV nutrition (TPN)

These are available in some form in essentially all industrialized countries of the world. They are available in somewhat more limited or less ideal form, or only available to private/government insurance (not public system) patients in many if not most of the countries in Latin American and Asia that are "developing." They are not widely available in Africa outside of South Africa.

The decision on which babies in the 24-26 week range to provide this care to is highly variable by country and within countries.

A small number (probably not enough to affect infant mortality numbers) of infants who are not extremely preterm but have other major health issues will need technology including inhaled NO, cardiopulmonary bypass (ECMO) or advanced cardiac care to survive. These are available in most industrialized countries, and very rarely in Latin America. These are expensive technologies and tend to be used more in the US than elsewhere, but this affects only a very small number of babies.
 

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Btw the WHO is a socialistic organization with a grudge against american healthcare.
It's interesting how trying to increase access to health care is now equated, knee-jerk style, to socialism, and by extension to all things bad.

I'm not sure it's a "grudge" so much as pity.
 

def jeff

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The basics that are needed technologically to save 24-26 week preterm infants are:

1. Ventilators that work
2. Surfactant
3. IV nutrition (TPN)

These are available in some form in essentially all industrialized countries of the world. They are available in somewhat more limited or less ideal form, or only available to private/government insurance (not public system) patients in many if not most of the countries in Latin American and Asia that are "developing." They are not widely available in Africa outside of South Africa.

The decision on which babies in the 24-26 week range to provide this care to is highly variable by country and within countries.

A small number (probably not enough to affect infant mortality numbers) of infants who are not extremely preterm but have other major health issues will need technology including inhaled NO, cardiopulmonary bypass (ECMO) or advanced cardiac care to survive. These are available in most industrialized countries, and very rarely in Latin America. These are expensive technologies and tend to be used more in the US than elsewhere, but this affects only a very small number of babies.
Hmmm. Very interesting and informative.

Why do you think our statistics are so low on infant mortality?
 
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leviathan

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The US tries to save more longshot babies than other countries. Many of them die anyway. Bingo bango bongo, higher "mortality rate."

Yay statistics.
Read the recent TIME article about how the infant mortality rates are highest in people without proper access to prenatal care, which is about 20% of the US. Not surprising...
 

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The US has a large illegal immigrant population who do not have access to health insurance and other preventive care. They go to the ER as a last resort. I suspect the high infant mortality and uninsured population would have something to do with the immigration issues in the US. Canada and the rest of the Western nations do not have this problem because they don't reside right next to Mexico.
 

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Additionally, just because other countries DO have the technology to save the youngest of the young does not mean they do. Many countries have the technology but make the cost control decision to not save preemies under X number of weeks. That is a decision made for the common good. We currently because of both cultural and legal reasons do so in this country. Thus higher mortality rates because we count these deaths, while other countries do not.
 

masterofmonkeys

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As someone else pointed out, the whole discussion is moot without any kind of real generalizable statistics. The US counts babies where others count abortions. The mortality rate for VLBW babies is incredibly high and definitely skews things. Another aspect of it is that in some countries a baby that dies within 24hrs was never a baby at all.

When an organization as large and authoritative as the WHO actually attempts to present anything resembling a quantitative evaluation of infant mortality using data this disparate, I think it's not a bad idea to question why they would let it happen, whether due to gross negligence and stupidity or malice.
 

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The US has a large illegal immigrant population who do not have access to health insurance and other preventive care. They go to the ER as a last resort. I suspect the high infant mortality and uninsured population would have something to do with the immigration issues in the US. Canada and the rest of the Western nations do not have this problem because they don't reside right next to Mexico.
*Dons flamesuit for this one*

This hasn't been the experience of some OB/GYNs I've worked with. I'm in an area with a high (not critical mass, but definitely high) immigrant population as well as a high urban African American population AND low income rural white population which dominate the low income, teen pregnancy, going to "free clinic" for OB/GYN care population.

The experience I've noticed is that, if there are adequate translational services, Mexican and Central American immigrants tend to do much better with prenatal care than low income African Americans and equal or better to the rural whites. Now, the "Latin" population definitely has teen pregnancies, and many children (likely Catholic influence) but they (once again, anecdotal) do much better at showing up at their appointments, and take doctors advice better about stopping smoking and drinking. I think it has to do with more reverence for the medical profession I notice in this group relative to blacks and whites (who always think we're trying to pull something on them).

Once again, this is kinda racially biased AND based on anecdotal evidence, so I probably deserve what flaming I get, but just wanted to report my experiences. And of course, this is just one place. If there was a place with less translators and more worry about deportation, it may be different. Obviously, illegal immigration does increase our preterm birth rate AND mortality, but I wouldn't make them a scapegoat.
 

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Btw the WHO is a socialistic organization with a grudge against american healthcare.
lol funny quote! Even if you dislike the UN, I think the WHO is difficult to hate...they did squash smallpox and have been workign to eliminate polio. Those damn Europeans and their cost effective ways!

Anyway, not to answer the original post with another statistic but: take a look at our stats on who gets prenatal care in this country (USA). It's not good. Part of this answer has to do with is what other people have already mentioned: hospitals in the USA will work hard to save EVERY baby. But as a country, we do very little in making sure that every WOMAN who is pregnany gets the care she needs, folic acid supplements, etc. A lot of women deliver in the ED without EVER having a prenatal visit. This is a very important statistic, you should look it up

I think this answers another point about our system: namely, why it's so damn expensive AND inefficective, dollar for dollar. Take a look at our system in general. We spend the majority of healthcare dollars taking care of people in the latter parts of their life. By that, I mean their last month of life. We do not spend enough on preventative medicine which is cheaper and far more cost effective. Take a look at that JAMA article that I linked to above for more info.
 

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I am interested in hearing more from Old Bear Professor on this (i.e. whether he/she thinks the infant mortality statistics comparing various countries' infant mortality rates are accurate for the sake of comparison, vs. inaccurate).

I agree that if other countries are using different measurements/statistical methods (if they don't "count" babies born alive but below a certain number of weeks gestation, or if they don't "count" ones who live <24 hours) then it would be fraught with danger and inaccuracy to try to compare their infant mortality rates to ours.

I think it might be more useful to compare infant mortality rates among different subgroups of our population (i.e. different ethnic groups, income levels, and maternal ages) to see where we can improve, vs. comparing our rate to other countries' rates if they are not calculated in the same way we calculate our infant mortality rate. When you do that, you see that the infant mortality rate is disparate among different groups in our population (i.e. African American infant mortality is > caucasian).

One thing nobody has mentioned is that we have assisted reproductive technology, etc. here which allows more older and probably less healthy (i.e. with chronic medical conditions like diabetes, morbid obesity, etc.) mothers to become pregnant. I don't know the stats on their complication and infant mortality rates, but I know they are higher.

We do have room to improve on primary care, including prenatal care, in this country, but much depends on the choices of the mothers as well...pretty much all states that I know of offer Medicaid type insurance for pregnant women, so it's more a matter of awareness than access, most likely.
 

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I'll probably regret asking this, but, I'm curious what type of babies you think can be saved in the US that couldn't be saved in Canada or Western Europe? What technology do we have that they don't have, especially technology that would have an impact on the infant mortality rate?

Note that this question is peripheral to the OPs question....I'm not interested in debating the issue of why our infant mortality rate is higher than other western countries. I'm just curious what type of babies we save that COULDN'T (as opposed to wouldn't, which is also a different issue) be saved in Canada or much of Europe (also, Japan, Israel and a few other places with advanced technology for neonatal care).
I'm sure Canada and W. Europe could save the same babies we do, but its my understanding that many of the really premature babies we try with they won't spend the money/time to try the same.
 

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that a fact that the mortality rate occurs at the poorer countries..!in other country they have enough money to ensure and insure and infanity..and prevent to decrease the mortality rate..!
 
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I love all the gut-think going on in this thread. It must be just a reflex at this point.

"What's that? The US has a terrible ranking by a prestigious apolitical international organization? Why, they're liberal socialist elites! They don't understand America! We try to save everyone! You see, all these statistics just further prove how awesome we are!"

I mean, patting ourselves on the back due to a 29th ranking? Saying that hospitals in Europe or Japan just toss pre-mature babies in the trash can because it "costs too much"? Are you guys out of your ****ing minds?
 

Instatewaiter

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I love all the gut-think going on in this thread. It must be just a reflex at this point.

"What's that? The US has a terrible ranking by a prestigious apolitical international organization? Why, they're liberal socialist elites! They don't understand America! We try to save everyone! You see, all these statistics just further prove how awesome we are!"

I mean, patting ourselves on the back due to a 29th ranking? Saying that hospitals in Europe or Japan just toss pre-mature babies in the trash can because it "costs too much"? Are you guys out of your ****ing minds?
Saying the WHO is apolitical is flat out wrong. They clearly have a socialist agenda. Chapter 2 in their yearly report is entitled: "Advancing and sustaining universal coverage." Apolitical huh...

This left leaning also is blindingly apparent in their rankings. For example one of the factors included in the rankings is "fairness in financial contribution." To the WHO a system is only fair if someone else is paying for your healthcare. That reeks of socialism. Clearly the US does not do well with what the WHO thinks is fair. This leads us to have a ranking that is just 2 spots above Cuba. That is hard for me to believe.

The WHO rankings have more to do with what liberals think is paramount in a health care system (fairness, equality, etc.) than what most Americans think is paramount (quality, access, efficiency, innovation, convenience).


As to the assertion that western countries will not save preemies- I would like to see some proof of that b/c that is pretty hard for me to swallow. If anyone has a link that talks about other countries not including infants that do not live 24h i would like to see that too.
 

MOHS_01

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First lesson -- don't enter into discussions with certain members on this site.

As pointed out multiple times above, statistical comparisons are only valid when endpoints, definitions, and criteria are constant for what is being measured. That clearly is not the case in this instance.

There are a number of reasons why the US's rates suffer. Higher rates of diabetes, obesity, drug use, etc. Then there are cultural factors such as the decreased value of prenatal care as perceived by inner city and rural populations. There are many reasons why the rates cited may be disparate.

Lastly, you do realize that some posters on here find themselves left of these "social justice" organizations, right? Their failure to recognize leftist agendas and propaganda is directly related to their frame of reference....
 

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I'm sure Canada and W. Europe could save the same babies we do, but its my understanding that many of the really premature babies we try with they won't spend the money/time to try the same.
There are some differences in approaches to infants < 26 weeks gestation, but not much for the most part. There are some hospitals/doctors that commonly provide care for 22-23 week gestation infants in the US and this is very uncommon elsewhere, but this isn't a large number of babies. Recall that the original assertion I challenged from a different poster was that we save babies that they couldn't save.
 

VA Hopeful Dr

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There are some differences in approaches to infants < 26 weeks gestation, but not much for the most part. There are some hospitals/doctors that commonly provide care for 22-23 week gestation infants in the US and this is very uncommon elsewhere, but this isn't a large number of babies. Recall that the original assertion I challenged from a different poster was that we save babies that they couldn't save.
Fair enough, I'll defer to your experience in this one.
 

dragonfly99

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so, oldbearprof,
what do YOU think are the reason(s) the US doesn't do well in the infant mortality rankings?
 

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This thread is hysterical! I love how silly Americans are convinced that their way of doing thing is the only way and the rest of the world can't be as good!


I also love how apparently no one knows the definition of socialism!

Angry rant edited so that I will not be lynched...

I suppose next you'll say that they reason our education system is a joke compared to the rest of the world is that "No one else understands that we give even stupid children a chance!"




My two cents: America has this idiotic notion that sex is evil and children should be hidden away from it. That leads to all sorts of issues with disease, but also pregnancy. On the news the other night they mentioned how Tyra Banks has a website talkshow thing and they polled a bunch of high school girls. Nearly 1 in 4 said they aspried to be teen mothers! (granted only people who answered are counted, but still the idea that even one girl said that is horrifing!) I think how difficult we make aborition, especially for teenagers, and the lack of information and assistance with contraception leads to unwanted pregnancies with mothers who are not exactly concerned with prenatal care.

Holland, for example, begin sex ed in elementary school. They teach contrception and all those "evil" things. Did you know they have one of the lowest rates of teen pregnancy in the world? (data from a project I did 4 years ago, could be slightly different now, but I doubt drastically different) The average age of first sexual encounter is also 4 YEARS later than America. That is huge considering the teenage years. COincidence? I think not...

That is only one of hundreds of factors that put the US in 29th. Not that we save every baby, but that or health care system is a joke as is education about health. The giant mass of people with no access to healthcare helps too! Medicaid does not approve everyone...You pretty much need to do nothing at all to help yourself to get approved by anything like that. Have something decent like a job or spouse and don't even bother...(yeah, I'm bitter about that!)




Hopefully, in time, our healthcare system will begin changing to catch up with the rest of the developed world. Hopefully, everyone will have access to proper care. It is a long way off I fear, and Amreica's ranking will not be raising anytime soon. We need to care less about ranking anyways, and focus more on getting help to those who need it.
 

xscpx

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Socialism: any of various economic and political theories advocating collective or governmental ownership and administration of the means of production and distribution of good. Sound like people were right on the mark.

The health care system is only involved in taking care of people, not in holding their hand. I work at a hospital that serves the indigent people of the area. I cannot tell you how many people choose to spend $150 on designer jeans, $200 on new phones and $100 on cigarettes PER MONTH but refuse to buy a $10 medicine for their child or pay even a dime for health care. There are fewer "victims" than people would have you believe. There is an idea of entitlement that is not present in other countries. People make choices to suit themselves right now and then cry fowl when there are consequences for those choices.

The difference between the US and holland (or any western european country) is so multifactorial you cannot assign it to just one thing; is it average education level, level of personal responsibility, demographics, social situations/preferences/attitudes, immigration, sex education or the host of other factors? There is a portion of the population in this country that sees absolutely nothing wrong with teen pregnancy because everyone around them gets preganant in their teens and then drops out. Simple sex education is not going to do much to change this as it is ingrained in their culture.


And on a side note, I live in the south and even here an abortion is pretty damn easy to get. Please stop spitting out the crap you hear other people say, because usually it is wrong. The US ranks 6th in abortions per capita behind russia, bulgaria, hungary, cuba and sweeden.
I actually agree with everything you said. Perhaps you misunderstand me. I used the thing about Holland to illustrate one of hundreds of differences. It was an example, not anything more.

I referred to abortions for teenagers. In the state I live they are illegal without parental consent. The difficultly I was speaking of was not just in procuring one. The stigma placed on it makes it incredibly difficult in a moral sense as well. And women and girls, who should not be having children, may second guess their decision due to what the media says is right and wrong. I'm a firm believer that having children should not be a commodity and many people out there should not be parents.

I agree, majority of americans are stupid, for lack of better word. I see many people come into my pharmacy buying beer with their food stamps and refusing to buy their kid's medicine while making sure to fill their own oxy's. It's disgusting...

I wasn't talking about that population of people. I even said only the scum get help. I was refering to someone like me, 23, two jobs, college, Crohn's disease, and no ability to afford or attain medical coverage. (Universities here don't offer free coverage to their students, what they have is a clinic you can go to for free, but they cannot treat anything major) Do I not deserve health care because I don't have a string of illegitimate children? Our government seems to think so...

I'm not "spewing" anything that I have no experienced first hand. The entire point of my post was the many difference between us and the countries ranked higher on the list. Our entire infrastructure needs to be reworked politically, socially, and every other way possible.

Try actually reading my entire post before jumping down my throat. I even said "one of hundreds" I was simply mentioning a part of our cutlture that I feel compltely affects the topic and that wasn't brought up previously.

Please try and keep up. If you did, you would realize I was agreeing with you.
 

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I'll preface this by saying that I'm a vet student not a med student...slow day on the vet SDN boards and I started wandering...

I found this thread because of the title and the fact that I'm currently 21 weeks pregnant. I scanned the thread and there's a lot of discussion about the fact that the US is so low because we're compared with poorer countries, but I was wondering if anyone could comment on how the US infant mortality rate compares to developed countries? Say, how do we rank against England, Western European countries or Australia? That, I think, would be a more "fair" comparison. Obviously still not normalized if the statistics aren't being gathered in a similar fashion, but I would imagine it would be closer to the "truth" than comparing to third world countries. Does anyone know?
 
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The demographics of America are so different compared to Western Europe and Japan its flat out ludicrous to compare figures like these.

Another thing the U.S. gets bashed on is life expectancy. It's politically incorrect to point this out, but this varies a lot in between races. For example, you could give Japanese American kids in California the same diet as Scandinavian kids in Minnesota, but they still wouldn't grow up to be the same average height. Likewise, even after diet, healthcare, etc. are accounted for they still find variations in life expectancy. African Americans in particular tend to live about 10 years less than other groups in this country. What's interesting is that even though Hispanics have the same socioeconomic status as blacks, they tend to live about as long as whites do.

You have to account for these vast demographic differences between the U.S. and Europe before you make such comparisons. What might make more sense IMO, is to compare some place like New Hampshire to Belgium. Or compare Hawaii to Japan. The demographics may be more approximate in those cases.
 

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Lastly, you do realize that some posters on here find themselves left of these "social justice" organizations, right? Their failure to recognize leftist agendas and propaganda is directly related to their frame of reference....
And I guess everyone else who disagrees with the WHO statistics (how they are collected, how they are compared etc...) are apolitical intellectuals who have the ability to immediately spot faulty data due to their innate wisdom.
Give me a break,
R u telling me that you, and other posters on this board don't let your political, nationalistic, cultural (whatever else you want to name here) stances affect your viewpoint.
Basically, every single post on this thread has been conjecture and opinion, obviously people are going to argue this issue depending on their views.
The US healthcare system is dysfunctional, some people can't bring themselves to admit this. The disease oriented nature of US health care delivery often discourages mothers from seeking pre-natal and post-natal primary health care.
 

medisforme

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Saying the WHO is apolitical is flat out wrong. They clearly have a socialist agenda. Chapter 2 in their yearly report is entitled: "Advancing and sustaining universal coverage." Apolitical huh...
Ok, put on your bib so I can spoon feed you some definitions.

Universality - "Encompassing all of the members of a class or group"

Socialism - a broad set of economic theories of social organization advocating public or state ownership and administration of the means of production and distribution of goods, and a society characterized by equality for all individuals, with a fair or egalitarian method of compensation.

Ok, now listen carefully. Universal healthcare has absolutely nothing to do with socialism! Ie. The United States could easily provide universal healthcare for its citizens (if it really wanted to) without dismantling private for-profit health care delivery.

The only country that I am aware that has socialist health care (ie. doctors are employed directly by the state to provide healthcare to its citizens for relatively little compensation compared to their training and expertise - the important point being the state determines the doctors income) is cuba (maybe north korea who knows).
Conversely a myriad of countries provide universal healthcare to its citizens without resorting to socialist medicine. (ie. Canada has a single payer system whereby physicians bill the government on a fee for service basis).
What is my point?
Just because the WHO has the audacity to have a mission of providing health care to as many citizens of the world as possible doesn't make it some sort of institution whose goal is to advance socialism.
 

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And I guess everyone else who disagrees with the WHO statistics (how they are collected, how they are compared etc...) are apolitical intellectuals who have the ability to immediately spot faulty data due to their innate wisdom.
Give me a break,
R u telling me that you, and other posters on this board don't let your political, nationalistic, cultural (whatever else you want to name here) stances affect your viewpoint.
Basically, every single post on this thread has been conjecture and opinion, obviously people are going to argue this issue depending on their views.
The US healthcare system is dysfunctional, some people can't bring themselves to admit this. The disease oriented nature of US health care delivery often discourages mothers from seeking pre-natal and post-natal primary health care.
This is nit-picking, I know, but if you're going to argue a rational point please use real words. This isn't your cell phone.

In addition, many posts here have citations attached to their facts, like that snipet from a 2006 USN&WR article.

We all know that the way health care runs in this country is unsustainable, we all just differ on what we think should be done about it.

Ok, put on your bib so I can spoon feed you some definitions.

Universality - "Encompassing all of the members of a class or group"

Socialism - a broad set of economic theories of social organization advocating public or state ownership and administration of the means of production and distribution of goods, and a society characterized by equality for all individuals, with a fair or egalitarian method of compensation.

Ok, now listen carefully. Universal healthcare has absolutely nothing to do with socialism! Ie. The United States could easily provide universal healthcare for its citizens (if it really wanted to) without dismantling private for-profit health care delivery.

The only country that I am aware that has socialist health care (ie. doctors are employed directly by the state to provide healthcare to its citizens for relatively little compensation compared to their training and expertise - the important point being the state determines the doctors income) is cuba (maybe north korea who knows).
Conversely a myriad of countries provide universal healthcare to its citizens without resorting to socialist medicine. (ie. Canada has a single payer system whereby physicians bill the government on a fee for service basis).
What is my point?
Just because the WHO has the audacity to have a mission of providing health care to as many citizens of the world as possible doesn't make it some sort of institution whose goal is to advance socialism.
Countries with pure socialistic health care. In England, unless you work for a private hospital, you are a government employee. The VA, government employee. I would not be surprised to find that other parts of W. Europe are similar but I just don't know.
 

medisforme

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Countries with pure socialistic health care. In England, unless you work for a private hospital, you are a government employee. The VA, government employee. I would not be surprised to find that other parts of W. Europe are similar but I just don't know.
Being a government employee does not = socialism, I am not really sure why you think that. Many different people in many different industries work for the government, that does not in any way imply that it is a socialist government.
 

VA Hopeful Dr

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Being a government employee does not = socialism, I am not really sure why you think that. Many different people in many different industries work for the government, that does not in any way imply that it is a socialist government.
I that that because you said it was. I'll quote...

medisforme said:
The only country that I am aware that has socialist health care (ie. doctors are employed directly by the state to provide healthcare to its citizens for relatively little compensation compared to their training and expertise - the important point being the state determines the doctors income) is cuba (maybe north korea who knows).
I was using your exact definition of socialistic health care. I then gave examples of where your own definition is applicable.
 

medisforme

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ok friend I will make this reasoning as simple as possible for you.

All clouds are white, but not everything that is white is a cloud.

now lets apply this lesson to the previous posts.

In socialism basically everyone works for the government or is provided for by the government, however just because people work for the government in a given country does not make that country socialist.

Do you see where I am going with this?

Just because some health care workers are government employees in England doesn't mean its a socialist health care system (if you give me a day or so, when I have more time to research this, I will provide some links about the actual nature of englands health care system).

Maybe an example closer to home will help you understand better.
The government often directly employs private companies in defence contracts to produce artillary shells etc... However, you would think it laughable if I suggested that the US government has a socialist agenda. So you see, being a government employee does not = socialism.
 

Instatewaiter

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Ok, now listen carefully. Universal healthcare has absolutely nothing to do with socialism! Ie. The United States could easily provide universal healthcare for its citizens (if it really wanted to) without dismantling private for-profit health care delivery.

The only country that I am aware that has socialist health care (ie. doctors are employed directly by the state to provide healthcare to its citizens for relatively little compensation compared to their training and expertise - the important point being the state determines the doctors income) is cuba (maybe north korea who knows).
Conversely a myriad of countries provide universal healthcare to its citizens without resorting to socialist medicine. (ie. Canada has a single payer system whereby physicians bill the government on a fee for service basis).
You are not realizing an impt distinction: Socialism and socialized health care are not the same thing. Socialized health care is any system controlled by the gov't or publicly funded.

If the government provides health care that in and of itself is socialized. Forget the connotations of the word. Forget that they don't technically employ the doctors. By paying for everyone in the system, the in effect employ the doctors. The former infrastructure may still be in place but the end result is the same.

Technically we already have socialized health care: the VA, medicare, medicaid etc. It is just not universal. For the system to be universal the gov't has to take a more administrative role which will socialize our system and essentially make everything like the VA (which would be a disaster. Trust me i have worked at the VA) You can sugar coat it all you want. The end result is socialized health care.

That a doctor can bill by pt does not make a system any less socialized. You are basically just playing with semantics at this point.
 

VA Hopeful Dr

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ok friend I will make this reasoning as simple as possible for you.

All clouds are white, but not everything that is white is a cloud.

now lets apply this lesson to the previous posts.

In socialism basically everyone works for the government or is provided for by the government, however just because people work for the government in a given country does not make that country socialist.

Do you see where I am going with this?

Just because some health care workers are government employees in England doesn't mean its a socialist health care system (if you give me a day or so, when I have more time to research this, I will provide some links about the actual nature of englands health care system).

Maybe an example closer to home will help you understand better.
The government often directly employs private companies in defence contracts to produce artillary shells etc... However, you would think it laughable if I suggested that the US government has a socialist agenda. So you see, being a government employee does not = socialism.
I never said this county, or any country, was socialist. I said that certain health systems were socialistic. The health systems I mentioned (England and the VA) definitely qualify as socialistic.


Main Entry:
so·cial·ism Listen to the pronunciation of socialism
Pronunciation:
\&#712;s&#333;-sh&#601;-&#716;li-z&#601;m\
Function:
noun
Date:
1837

1: any of various economic and political theories advocating collective or governmental ownership and administration of the means of production and distribution of goods

In the VA system, everything is owned by the government and everyone working there is salaried by the government. Policies determined by the government dictate every aspect of care there.

Your defense contractors work differently. They are private companies paid by the government to make/do something. The government doesn't interfere in the inner workings of said companies nor sets the salaries of the companies employees. Just like when I employ the services of Pizza Hut, I do pay them to make me something but I don't determine workplace policy.
 

medisforme

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Your defense contractors work differently. They are private companies paid by the government to make/do something. The government doesn't interfere in the inner workings of said companies nor sets the salaries of the companies employees. Just like when I employ the services of Pizza Hut, I do pay them to make me something but I don't determine workplace policy.
This is how health care delivery works in single payer systems that offer universal healthcare. Private entities (ie. physicians) perform a service and bill the government for it. The government doesn't interfere with the practice of physicians (ie. there is no pressure to order certain tests or peform certain procedures - the government has no control over direct practice) nor does it directly pay them any sort of direct salary (in most cases).
It's difficult to argue that this is socialized medicine

on a sidenote
I must plead ignorance over the VA system, because I honestly do not have much knowledge about how it is run. I was only discussing so-called "socialized" medicine in the context that its meaning is debatable (and i think we have about run this argument into the ground) with some people equating universal healthcare with socialized healthcare.
 
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MOHS_01

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The knowledge void goes further than the VA system, but you are correct about one thing -- universal healthcare does not absolutely equate socialized medicine; however, single payer, government sponsored or subsidized healthcare constitutes a socialized construct. Many have likened a single payer system to being akin to defense contracting or road construction; this is a very different system than a single payer system. In both of the preceding instances the private company places bids on a project stating what they are willing to provide the service for; in the healthcare model the government sets the price and, as a provider, you have no choice in the matter.

This road only leads to one end; for those who are too blind to see this neither I nor anyone else can help or lead you. To advocate for such "change" is disturbing to anyone who holds an understanding or appreciation of the principles laid out for us by our Forefathers, those things that have made us great and propelled us to the top
 

meister

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This road only leads to one end; for those who are too blind to see this neither I nor anyone else can help or lead you. To advocate for such "change" is disturbing to anyone who holds an understanding or appreciation of the principles laid out for us by our Forefathers, those things that have made us great and propelled us to the top
This is where you reveal your ignorance. Tell me, what do you think Thomas Jefferson would make of TARP or megaconglomerates? Having a permanent military? Having a president go to war without a formal declaration? Half the other **** that we currently do?

This "principles of our forebears" canard is pretty nauseating considering that most of them wouldn't have identified with pretty much anything that is currently going on with either major political party in the US.
 

MOHS_01

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This is where you reveal your ignorance. Tell me, what do you think Thomas Jefferson would make of TARP or megaconglomerates? Having a permanent military? Having a president go to war without a formal declaration? Half the other **** that we currently do?

This "principles of our forebears" canard is pretty nauseating considering that most of them wouldn't have identified with pretty much anything that is currently going on with either major political party in the US.
Uh... I did not support the TARP plan, nor do I agree with many of the things that go on today. Actually, it was Jefferson who said that a central bank is more dangerous than a standing army... the "permanent military" is nothing new -- we had standing, practicing militias following the Revolutionary war. On another point, we lost "these United States" that was envisioned a long time ago... and traded it for "the United States".... statists saw to that in the 1860's....

The current two party system leaves many of us out in the cold. Perhaps if you spent more time studying and less time stoking the ire of those on here you would not have to sell a kidney to get >230.....
 
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The US tries to save more longshot babies than other countries. Many of them die anyway. Bingo bango bongo, higher "mortality rate."

Yay statistics.
What I find frightening is that you're a medical student. 1 death = 1 death. If we did not try to save them the statistics against would be even higher.

Since you're such a cheerleader for statistics, here's some for you. For non-African Americans the mortality rate with infants is 5 per 1,000 while African Americans rate is 10 per 1,000 births. It boils down to one main factor. Access to health care.

I love how we try to label a groups statistics as being "haters" of the U.S. system when it does not produce the results we wanted. We do critical care best.
 
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