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Old 06-24-2007, 07:05 PM   #91
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Originally posted by financeguy



The thing that jumps out at me from this graph is how much lower male life expectancies are by comparison to female, for both races.

But to merely draw attention to this is to invite ridicule from the so-called liberals, as we've seen in other threads on this forum.
you are pretty consistent

looking out for us oppressed males
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Old 06-24-2007, 07:07 PM   #92
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I'm fine with the women on top.
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Old 06-24-2007, 07:08 PM   #93
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Originally posted by financeguy



The thing that jumps out at me from this graph is how much lower male life expectancies are by comparison to female, for both races.

But to merely draw attention to this is to invite ridicule from the so-called liberals, as we've seen in other threads on this forum.


Draw attention to it all you want, just don't make ridiculous inferenences that it means males in general are discriminated against.

And if "so-called liberals" means someone who uses logic, then call me a "so-called liberal".
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Old 06-24-2007, 07:13 PM   #94
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Could this be a contributing factor?

Quote:
CDC: Men have 3 times more sex partners

By John Lauerman
Bloomberg
Article Last Updated: 06/22/2007 11:54:42 AM MDT

Almost one in three American men say they've had sex with at least 15 partners in their lives, triple the rate of similar behavior found in interviews with women, according to a government survey.

The results, reported today by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta, came from surveys that probed the sexual habits and drug use of 6,237 people age 20 to 59 who answered questions from 1999 to 2002. About 4 percent of adults overall, and only 11 percent of unmarried adults, said in the survey that they never had sex.

President George W. Bush's administration has tried to promote sexual abstinence among unmarried people in the U.S. as a way to prevent diseases such as HIV, which are spread by intimate contact. The survey results, which are the first collected by the CDC on the number of lifetime sex partners, suggest the abstinence message may not be enough.

"To rely on just one strategy for something is just bad; the more options you have, the more likely people are to use one of them," said Bean Robinson, a psychologist and sexual behavior researcher at the University of Minnesota Medical School's Program in Human Sexuality in Minneapolis.

The average number of female sexual partners for men was 6.8, said Kathryn Porter, a medical officer for the CDC's National Center for Health Statistics in Hyattsville, Maryland, and one of the study's co-authors. Women reported an average of 3.7 male sexual partners, she said.

or maybe
we have sub-groups skewing this number, too.
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Old 06-24-2007, 07:36 PM   #95
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Initially there was a hodge podge of coverage. You had some private insurance, some employer co-pay insurance (much like in the US), and then the poor would be admitted to hospital on a charity basis, essentially. The way it evolved was basically like this: first, in Saskatchewan, a pilot program was started giving every citizen of SK free hospital coverage only. Then, a second program in a smaller town (can't remember which one off the top of my head) provided all the citizens in that town with complete, universal health insurance. When other provincial governments saw that this was functioning well and efficiently, a national commission was established with the view of expanding it throughout Canada. In 1958, every Canadian had free hospital services and 10 years later, the Medical Care Act was passed. This was eventually modernized into the act we have to day, The Canada Health Act, which establishes an agreement between the provinces and the federal government, outlining the five criteria which the provincial healthcare systems had to meet to qualify for a full federal cash contribution.

I will give you some statistics, as well so that you can see that this private healthcare by no means guarantees you more service or better service.

The OECD published a study in 2003, outlining health expenditures. The US health spending is 15% of total GDP (compared to Canada 9.9%, UK 7.7%, France 10.1%, Germany 11.1%, Japan 7.9%, Denmark 9%, etc). However, when you look at the # of acute beds per 1000, the US has less than all those countries. It has 2.8 acute beds/1000, compare to Canada 3.2, Germany 6.6, France 3.8, UK 3.7, Japan 8.5, Denmark 3.4. The US does have more MRIs per million than the UK, Canada, France and Germany, but lags behind Denmark (9.1 vs. 8.6) and REALLY lags behind Japan (8.6 v. 35.3).

The same study looked at other comparisons. The US has a lower life expectancy at birth than Canada (both men and women), a higher infant mortality rate, comparable cancer rates, considerably higher rates of cardiovascular deaths, higher rates of diabetes, obesity and smoking. I won't even compare to European countries because there the disparity is enormous. Plus, Canada and the US have more similar societies than the Europeans.

So that's just a quick overview for you.
Thanks anitram, that was really fascinating. Do you happen to know anything about what the level of resistance from private insurers, pharmaceutical companies and so on was like? As you pointed out earlier, that's obviously a huge factor in the political debate here...those are enormous, usually deep-pocketed, politically powerful actors with extensive interests of their own to protect and little reason to prioritize the longterm 'common good' over those.

Personally I've never been impressed by the it-would-break-our-backs-financially argument against changing anything, but fair enough it does exist. Although I think fear of giving the state too much power is generally a more influential line of criticism here (though of course there's some overlap between the two).
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Poor people do not see the doctor as often, and preventive medicine plays a small role in their overall wellbeing.
Inarguably true, though I can't help but find it a sad commentary that our collective lifestyle habits are such that preventive medicine (as opposed to a reasonably sound lifestyle to begin with) are that necessary in the first place.

The last time I went back to my hometown in Mississippi for a visit, a black friend of mine who's now a public health nurse showed me a recent study of US centenarians which, among other things, included the ironic finding that while black Southerners today are on the whole just about the worst-off socioeconomic group from a health standpoint, they nonetheless at that time accounted for almost 17% of all US centenarians--in other words, way overrepresented in that category. She had her theories as to why this might be true (based primarily on dietary, secondarily on other 'lifestyle' changes), but at any rate, it clearly wasn't a question of their having received superior healthcare. Of course centenarian studies don't provide the best basis for generalizing about things like that, but it was an interesting discrepancy.
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Old 06-24-2007, 07:52 PM   #96
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Originally posted by yolland

Thanks anitram, that was really fascinating. Do you happen to know anything about what the level of resistance from private insurers, pharmaceutical companies and so on was like? As you pointed out earlier, that's obviously a huge factor in the political debate here...
I'm not an expert here but I don't believe the major resistance came from pharma and insurance companies. Remember, back in the 1960s, our level of private insurance was nowhere near what you have in the US, nor did they ever have the same amount of political leverage.

The largest opposition came from the Canadian Medical Association (and obviously their primary concern was with billing potential, regardless of how they disguised it). Universal healthcare was a political process here - once citizens of other provinces saw that the SK model worked, the NDP became a much more viable political entity. Although, certain provinces did not want federal intrusion into what they saw to be the provincial sphere (this is an issue of federalism which is tedious and boring and I won't get into it). In fact, Quebec flatly refused. But, the Canadian government hiked federal taxes by 2% in 1968 under the guise of social development, when everyone knew that the extra revenue would contribute to the national universal healthcare plan. Because every citizen would be paying this tax, the standout provinces like Quebec joined in, as they saw no benefit in opting out.

It's interesting that all the political strife and struggle happened a mere 40 years ago. And yet today, no national party could run on a platform of privatizing healthcare without a revolution in the streets. It's something Moore discussed in the movie, but using the UK model - how it's unthinkable to even suggest private healthcare over there. It's completely unacceptable to the population and that's why it just won't be viable. There has been talk of a two-tier system in Canada for a long time, usually it's in Alberta, but under the current model, resorting to such ideas would mean that you'd lose out on federal payments (if you institute things like user fees, the feds will not pay out your full amount of health transfer, since you are profiting in other ways).
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Old 06-25-2007, 02:40 AM   #97
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Just wanted to apologise for my greedy = obesity comment. I don't agree with that sentiment, and it was poorly worded. I mean to say that the Us (and most 1st world countries) are very much 'i want it NOW!' societies, which is a very big product of greediness.

Relly my whole point in my comments we that i feel so bad, and anguished for families and people who are screwed over by medical companies, and doctors when i believe giving people a fighting chance at life is such a basic human act.
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Old 06-26-2007, 09:21 AM   #98
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PETA blasts Michael Moore for eating meat
Animal-rights group says filmmaker is the true ‘Sicko’
By Jeannette Walls
MSNBC
Updated: 3:11 a.m. ET June 26, 2007

PETA has a message for Michael Moore: You’re the Sicko.

The animal-rights group is blasting the filmmaker as a hypocrite for criticizing the U.S. healthcare system in his new documentary, “Sicko,” because they say he’s in such poor health himself.

“There’s an elephant in the room, and it is you,” PETA president Ingrid Newkirk wrote in a letter to Moore.

Newkirk urged the rotund Moore to become a vegetarian, which many nutritionists say is a good way to lose weight, and visit PETA’s Web site GoVeg.com for veggie recipes.

Writes Newkirk: “As they say at Nike (sorry!): ‘Just do it.”
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Old 06-26-2007, 10:14 AM   #99
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^ oh fucking spare me, PETA.
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Old 06-27-2007, 12:20 PM   #100
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so i've been doing some reading around on this topic, which includes the bad parts of genuinely socialized medicine, and it seems to me that something is always lost and something is always gained no matter which model one chooses. at this point, what seems to make sense to me is what Romney (!!!) proposed in Mass, where health insurance is required of all citizens, in a manner similar to car insurance. perfect? no. but i think it's a step, a bridge to universal coverage, as opposed to socialized medicine.

what also struck me as interesting is that it seems that high prices in the US market for pharmecutical drugs actually lower prices in the rest of the world. without the US cash cow, you'd all be paying a whole lot more for your Valtrex. it does make sense that a profit-motive does spur innovation, and we've seen some starting innovation over the past 10 years, not least of which has been HIV medication, which will ultimately trickle down to keep more Africans alive. it does seem true that the US health system is subsidizing -- at least when it comes to pharmaceuticals -- other countries when it comes to both lower prices and higher innovation.

so what do we do, assuming the above is (generally) correct?
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Old 06-27-2007, 12:57 PM   #101
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Quote:
Originally posted by Irvine511
at this point, what seems to make sense to me is what Romney (!!!) proposed in Mass, where health insurance is required of all citizens, in a manner similar to car insurance.
Don't be fooled, Irvine, it wasn't Romney but the legislature that came up with the proposal. Don't let him take credit for it when he tried to undercut it in several ways while it was being passed. He wants to take credit because of his presidential ambitions - just another case of him using and abusing Mass for his run.
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Old 06-27-2007, 01:11 PM   #102
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so what do we do, assuming the above is (generally) correct?
I don't really think it is totally correct. Because what you don't consider is that the governments of a lot of nations are subsidizing drug costs to make up the difference. And considering that the US pretty much has the lowest taxes of anyone, then the conclusion to be drawn is that from the grossly higher tax rates the rest of the western world is paying, a part goes to drug subsidy costs. The US citizens spend enormous amounts on prescription drugs because the government fails to regulate and fails to subsidize. The reason many other people pay less is because their government covers part of the cost. This could, of course be doable in the US, but you'd have to substantially raise taxes, which probably wouldn't fly.

Also, let's not forget that Americans are on average more medicated than other Western nations. If you have one patient in France and one in California, with the same conditions but the one in France is on 3 medications and the one in California is on 15...that is a fact you have to consider in looking at exactly why Americans are a cash cow for pharmaceutical companies.

We are not as "medicated" in Canada, but we are more medicated than Europeans. At one point I had a grandmother in Europe and one in Canada, both of whom suffered from the same stage of Alzheimer's. One also had diabetes, the other had cholesterol problems. The one in Europe was on 4 medications per day, the one in Canada was on 11. The difference was that the one in Europe wasn't prescribed sleeping pills, wasn't prescribed pills to keep her bowels regular, wasn't prescribed a pain killer in addition to an anti-inflammtory for her arthritis, etc. So in that sense, is it fair to say that one is subsidizng costs for another? Or is it a difference in how the medical system treats patients?
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Old 06-27-2007, 01:27 PM   #103
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We're dealing with the Massachusetts situation in my department at work. Interesting stuff.
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Old 06-27-2007, 01:40 PM   #104
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[B]

I don't really think it is totally correct. Because what you don't consider is that the governments of a lot of nations are subsidizing drug costs to make up the difference. And considering that the US pretty much has the lowest taxes of anyone, then the conclusion to be drawn is that from the grossly higher tax rates the rest of the western world is paying, a part goes to drug subsidy costs. The US citizens spend enormous amounts on prescription drugs because the government fails to regulate and fails to subsidize. The reason many other people pay less is because their government covers part of the cost. This could, of course be doable in the US, but you'd have to substantially raise taxes, which probably wouldn't fly.

but how much farther could European countries continue to subsidize if the profit generated by the American market were to begin to shrink? would they somehow pick up the slack? does government subsidization have the overall effect of depressing the incentive to innovate?

i really don't know -- i'm new to much of this, just curious.



[q]Also, let's not forget that Americans are on average more medicated than other Western nations. If you have one patient in France and one in California, with the same conditions but the one in France is on 3 medications and the one in California is on 15...that is a fact you have to consider in looking at exactly why Americans are a cash cow for pharmaceutical companies.[/q]


but isn't the end result the same?

i'd agree that americans tend to be overmedicated as there's tremendous pressure on doctors to perscribe more and more medications for every possible ailment by drug companies. my father, a doctor, can testify to this.

but, to take a market view of this, perhaps this functions much in the way a movie studio might function. they need their big block buster $300m grossing movies to feed the studio so that a smaller, artier, better movie can be made with the cash that was generated. so maybe your pain can be managed as well with Tylenol, or almost as well, but it's the purchasing of the non-generic that generates the revenue that can then be invested into better, more expansive cancer research?

i suppose i'm just wondering if it's the lucrative American market -- no matter how it becomes lucrative, whether that is good or bad -- that has built an industry that is, down the line, keeping Africans with AIDS alive.

i think it's not so much that one is subsidizing the other, and more that we're all reaping the benefits from the American pharmecutical market, and the one's picking up the tab are Americans themselves.
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Old 06-27-2007, 02:26 PM   #105
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Originally posted by Irvine511


i suppose i'm just wondering if it's the lucrative American market -- no matter how it becomes lucrative, whether that is good or bad -- that has built an industry that is, down the line, keeping Africans with AIDS alive.

i think it's not so much that one is subsidizing the other, and more that we're all reaping the benefits from the American pharmecutical market, and the one's picking up the tab are Americans themselves.
To be honest, I think this is so overly simplistic that it ends up being inaccurate. For example, if you pay $40 for a medication in the US and I pay $10 for it but the government pays the other $30 our of my twice-as-high taxes...are you more of a cash cow? That's why I think that yes, your market is lucrative in terms of exploiting the people who are paying for the drugs and overmedicating them, but it's not necessarily more lucrative per drug. Does that make sense?

As for who is keeping Africans alive, probably nobody is doing it well. The drug companies will not do anything for free so they do have to make up the difference somewhere. But whether that drug company sells it to an American who is paying for 100% of the costs or to a Frenchman who is paying 25% but his government pays the other 75%....does it really matter to them from a business perspective?

I just think that once you adjust for all the quirks of the different systems, you'll find that we may not be reaping the benefits of an American market the way you think we are.

As far as innovation goes - I don't feel bad for big pharma at all because I'm very familiar with how they operate. And for all their whining and moaning about costs of R&D and decreased innovation, they behave the same way as Nike et al in outsourcing their work and making ridiculous profit margins. But for some reason, the media doesn't report on it and most people have no idea so they've been able to construct this narrative of "we must make billions of dollars of profit or everyone will die because we won't be able to make any new drugs." What a load of crock, honestly.
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