No 37

by Richard on September 18, 2009

PamBG got this first. But I can’t resist sharing it too.

{ 15 comments… read them below or add one }


Micky 09.18.09 at 11:19 am



Wood 09.18.09 at 12:46 pm

HAH. We’re only 18, I note.

Although San Marino’s going to have a fantastic system. Only about twelve people live there.


DH 09.18.09 at 2:45 pm

Well the reason why America has a higher cost for healthcare is because we spend all of the money developing new drugs and new medical technology which is good so that the rest of the world can have cheap generics. Maybe all of these nations need to start “fitting the bill” that we in America pay?


Tony Buglass 09.18.09 at 4:29 pm

Hmmm. I suspect it’s ‘cos you have such an unhealthy lifestyle, you corporately spend much more on treatment. Do you really think you are the only nation in the world which develops drugs and technology? This is not about the drugs industry, but about the health-care system, and you pay more for less than 36 other countries - some of which are definitely third world.


Kim 09.18.09 at 5:57 pm

I guess the only way we will ever know if DH ever ceases to be a chauvinist jerk is if he never says anything.


DH 09.18.09 at 8:10 pm

Tony, I didn’t mention solely drugs but also medical technology as well. Whether it is drugs, medical proceedures or what not the same thing applies. Also I didn’t say that we were the only nation that develops drugs and technology but America does spend more on these things and has been more successful in coming up with these things and the cost of these things happened to be factored into the comparisons people use in the “cost of healthcare”. Which includes cost of drugs. The fact remains in an overwhelming case America comes up with many more drugs/technology and spends much more money in R&D on these things than any other nation and other nations get the advantage of the generics. If the show was switched I would have said the exact same thing. However the numbers, dollars,etc. do not lie. Saying America spends more money on the health industry cannot be oversimplified without recognizing the overwhelming amount of technology development that America spends that is cutting edge and how other nations get the benefit of generics or use of proceedures without paying royalties. You take your pick.

How is what I said “chauvinist”? Please explain.


Allan R. Bevere 09.18.09 at 10:41 pm

I almost hesitate to wade into this discussion… but….

An entertaining video to be sure, but I have alway been suspicious when it comes to ranking health care systems. First of all, more than a few have accused the WHO of bias in their work. Whether or not that is the case I have no idea. I have not looked into it because frankly I could care less where the WHO ranks anyone. Americans tend to be too critical of the UN to be sure, but Europeans tend too far the other way.

I have no idea where the US or any other country ranks in health care for that matter. It is a complex thing, but I am not about to accept the verdict of the WHO on this or any other matter. It seems there are more important matters to discuss in reference to health care than where the WHO or any other organization thinks a country ranks.


Allan R. Bevere 09.18.09 at 10:43 pm

One other thing I forgot. I really became suspicious of the WHO when they ranked Cuba’s health care so high. I have been to Cuba– no one wants their health care.


Richard 09.18.09 at 11:39 pm

Of course, any attempt to rank different healthcare systems is going to be fraught with difficulties. Someone has to decide which factors to include, and how to weight them. But looking at your President’s attempts to reform US healthcare, it appears from this side of the Atlantic that many of his opponents are approaching the ‘debate’ with a complete refusal to accept the facts as they are. A funny video isn’t going to change anyone’s mind, but it might just cause a few people to question their assumptions.


Allan R. Bevere 09.19.09 at 12:11 am


Of course, but the refusal to “accept facts as they are” come from the perspective of those who come from the context national health care. Thus the “facts” are not clear to others. That is not to say that those who come from your perspective should not have a voice. It is always helpful to have differing points of view, but there are others who see the “facts” differently. It is far from a refusal.


PamBG 09.19.09 at 2:17 am

I think there are a lot of “facts” that have been falsified.

The most laughable and “humorous” - in a dark sort of way - was Sarah Palin’s statement that Stephen Hawking would not be alive today if he had been under the care of the NHS. Which, of course, he had been. I presume that Ms. Palin assumed that Hawking is American.

Most of the “facts” that have been presented about the NHS do not look anything remotely like facts to anyone who has had first-hand experience of the NHS and it appears that if the British system of healthcare is more highly ranked by WHO than the US system. So, if the NHS is not better than the US (non) system, we can probably presume that it is not worse. And certainly not the death-trap that the right has whipped up.

Other non-facts. That the President was “lying” when he said his proposed system was not intended to cover illegal immigrants. “Lying???” As in “Yes, we fully intend to cover all illegal immigrants in the President’s system and we are telling you an outright untruth”? As opposed to “OK, some people might slip through the net”?

And then, of course, there was the “fact” that this is all a big conspiracy in order that the government will decide who to kill off. Just like other “socialist” healthcare systems do.

And now suddenly the Right has decided that Obama - who hasn’t even had a year in office - is personally responsible for the deficit. So basically it’s OK if you say you are against deficits but then run them up to huge levels a la Regan and Bush.

Damn, we Democrats put up with a President for eight years who we can’t be 100% sure was actually properly elected and who was just a puppet for the guys who already had 8 years in office under his daddy. And we didn’t throw the temper tantrums the Right is throwing now. So pardon me if I don’t buy all the BS about “personal responsibility”. It seems to mean more like “I had good luck and I want to believe that good luck is of my own doing. If you haven’t had good luck, then tough.”

I was going to say “sorry for the rant” but I’m not sorry.


Richard 09.19.09 at 6:32 am

Allan - the facts I had in mind aren’t the product of anyone’s perspective. I meant actual objective facts. Real ones. Like, for example, the assertion that has been constantly repeated in conversations here that no one is denied healthcare in the US because they’re poor. I call that a refusal to accept the facts as they are. Similarly, the constant mantra that the US has the best healthcare in the world, despite having infant mortality rates higher than almost any other developed nation.
But mostly it’s the lying about what healthcare looks like in a country that has “socialized medicine” that gets on my pip…


Allan R. Bevere 09.19.09 at 2:04 pm

Yes, of course, and you will note in my first comment, I did not say that the US had the best health care in the world, I was questioning how one ranks the complexities of any health care system. That is all.


Richard 09.19.09 at 3:43 pm

I recognize that, Allan. But others have been saying such things here and that’s the context I write in. I wasn’t ascribing such views to you.


J 09.21.09 at 3:04 pm

“I think there are a lot of “facts” that have been falsified”

Yes, like the “fact” that Sarah Palin made the Steven Hawking remark. I know you hate her, but let’s not make stuff up. Actually, that one came from Investors Business Daily. The (airbrushed, alas) editorial can be found here:

“Like, for example, the assertion that has been constantly repeated in conversations here that no one is denied healthcare in the US because they’re poor. I call that a refusal to accept the facts as they are”

Look in the mirror Richard. In the US, the poor get health insurance, paid for by the government, unless they’re in the country illegally. Even then, a hosptial can’t deny them treatment. We’ve been over this.

Can you find anecdotes that say otherwise? Probably, just as I can find anecdotes that “prove” the NHS is one big death panel out to exterminate the sick and elderly.

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