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Obama's healthcare plan
The brutal truth about America’s healthcare
An extraordinary report from Guy Adams in Los Angeles at the music arena that has been turned into a makeshift medical centre
‘In the first two days, more than 1,500 men, women and children received free treatments worth $503,000 (£304,000). Thirty dentists pulled 471 teeth; 320 people were given standard issue spectacles; 80 had mammograms; dozens more had acupuncture, or saw kidney specialists. By the time the makeshift medical centre leaves town on Tuesday, staff expect to have dispensed $2m worth of treatments to 10,000 patients.’

Guy Adams - Independent 15/08/2009

Healthcare compared
Health spending as a share of GDP
US 16%
UK 8.4%
Public spending on healthcare (% of total spending on healthcare)
US 45%
UK 82%
Health spending per head
US $7,290
UK $2,992
Practising physicians (per 1,000 people)
US 2.4
UK 2.5
Nurses (per 1,000 people)
US 10.6
UK 10.0
Acute care hospital beds (per 1,000 people)
US 2.7
UK 2.6
Life expectancy:
US 78
UK 80
Infant mortality (per 1,000 live births)
US 6.7
UK 4.8
Source: WHO/OECD Health Data 2009

This is why love the NHS
Europe as a whole gets better health care for less money than in the USA.  The fact that every US doctor has a financial interest in ordering expensive treatments whether they are needed or not, is an obscenity.  The fact that over 40 million Americans have no insurance is an obscenity (see The brutal truth about America’s healthcare).
DC’s Improbable Science 15/08/2009

It’s that statistic that is so horrendous.
The wealthiest country in the world and 40 million of it’s population do not have the insurance to gain access to health care.
From Aneurin Bevan’s ‘
In place of fear

Modern communities have been made tolerable by the behaviour patterns imposed upon them by the activities of the sanitary inspector and the medical officer of health. It is true, these rarely work out what they do in terms of Socialist philosophy; but that does not alter the fact that the whole significance of their contribution is its insistence that the claims of the individual shall subordinate themselves to social codes that have the collective well-being for their aim, irrespective of the extent to which this frustrates individual greed.

It is only necessary to visit backward countries, or the backward parts of even the most advanced countries, to see what happens when this insistence is overborne. There, the small well-to-do classes furnish themselves with some of the machinery of good sanitation, such as a piped water supply from their own wells, and modem drainage and cesspools. Having satisfied their own needs, they fight strenuously against finding the money to pay for a good general system that would make the same conveniences available to everyone else.

And it’s that fear that many forget.
That moment in ‘Slumdog Millionaire’ when eyes are burnt out.
watching the news reports from the hospitals in Afghanistan.

Andrew commented on
DC’s Improbable Science Blog
Surely the most important difference between the USA & the UK health care systems is coverage ? The figure I have seen quoted is 45 million or 15% of folk in the USA have no health cover in exachange for 16% GDP. I don’t know how many have adequate health cover. We are virtually 100% for 8% GDP.

Aneurin Bevan
A free Health Service is a triumphant example of the superiority of collective action and public
initiative applied to a segment of society where commercial principles are seen at their worst.

Our English MEP in America

But more disturbing is this kind of argument

Universal Healthcare is a terrorist recruitment tool.

And for a little light relief

Michael Moore - Sicko

one person responding to sicko

Ralph Nader suggests that Obama is actually surrendering to the Insurance and Drug companies

and of course we still live in a world where a bottle of coke is easier to get than any medicine.

In Katine, a Coke is easy to buy. Medicine isn't
In Uganda and across Africa people are dying of diseases such as malaria and TB because they can't get the drugs to treat them

Sarah Bosely - Guardian 20/08/2009

Dying for affordable healthcare — the uninsured speak
In a week of claim and counter-claim about the merits of healthcare provision in the US and UK, Ed Pilkington travelled to Quindaro, Kansas, to see how the poorest survive

Ed Pilkington - Guardian 21/08/2009

‘Eventually his lack of motor control interfered with his work to the degree that he was forced to give up his practice. He fell instantly into a catch 22 that he had earlier seen entrap many of his own patients: no work, no health insurance, no treatment.’