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Thread: Life Expectancy and Health Care Spending

  1. #11
    Quote Originally Posted by Foolish Old View Post
    If wishes were horses, beggars would ride. You can argue adjustments to the US statistic all day. The system is what the system is - broken and unsustainable.

    No, I am not arguing against care of very sick people, but you made the point about "quality of life, just not the duration". I made the point that if you removed the years of life diminished by serious illness, the US longevity statistic would compare even less favorably to other nations.

    I continue to disagree with your statement that the difference in longevity between nations is insignificant, especially as a measure of value.
    I think we'll probably just have to disagree on some points

    I'm sure there's stats all over, "proving" all sorts of things.

    My main point though, is that what may be different in the US from the other nations, is that there's a group of people who get imo excellent health care. And a group that does not. In the other nations, it's perhaps more even.

    If the US moved everyone into the first group, I truly believe we'd increase longevity. Hopefully that will one day occur.

    As far as years spent in poor health - this study doesn't address that - there could be lots of people spending years in poor health in the other countries as well.

    And I truly believe that the lifestyle choices in the US are a huge contributer.

    As far as costs being unsustainable, true enough - but we are not the only country with that problem.

  2. #12
    Quote Originally Posted by ian View Post
    Considering also that in some countries euthanasia is allowed and in others discreetly unofficially practised, this also must have a significant effect.
    I understand what you're saying - but do you really think the numbers are high enough to make a difference in this overall statistic? You think there are that many?

    Not saying you're wrong, but the idea really raises my eyebrows I guess.

  3. #13
    Senior Member ian's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by TAM63 View Post
    I understand what you're saying - but do you really think the numbers are high enough to make a difference in this overall statistic? You think there are that many?

    Not saying you're wrong, but the idea really raises my eyebrows I guess.
    Universal health care systems dont have unlimited resources so medical professionals are faced constantly with the decisions of where and who to allocate the resources they do have, this is the bitter truth about socialised health.

  4. #14
    Senior Member Foolish Old's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by TAM63 View Post
    I think we'll probably just have to disagree on some points

    You are always welcome to change your view to a more evidence based conclusion.

    I'm sure there's stats all over, "proving" all sorts of things.

    But only the most tortured of statistics argue that we have a health care system that delivers good value.

    My main point though, is that what may be different in the US from the other nations, is that there's a group of people who get imo excellent health care. And a group that does not. In the other nations, it's perhaps more even.

    Yes, that is a good feature of their systems that gives them a higher longevity statistic. I imagine that on average the rich in other countries are also among the most long-lived of their citizens.

    If the US moved everyone into the first group, I truly believe we'd increase longevity. Hopefully that will one day occur.

    Yes, and if we housed the homeless, the statistic for homelessness would go down. But again, it is what it is.

    As far as years spent in poor health - this study doesn't address that - there could be lots of people spending years in poor health in the other countries as well.

    Then you agree that if you raise QoL as a problem in other countries, that we must consider that we have patients in the US with the same concerns?

    And I truly believe that the lifestyle choices in the US are a huge contributer.

    As far as costs being unsustainable, true enough - but we are not the only country with that problem.

    The notable difference is that other countries are providing health care to ALL citizens - and at a much lower percentage of GDP.
    .....
    Foolish

    "We have met the enemy and he is us."-POGO.

    "I have great faith in fools; self-confidence my friends call it."~Edgar Allan Poe

    "Dream big, you might never wake up!"- Snoop Dogg

  5. #15
    Quote Originally Posted by TAM63 View Post
    My personal belief is that lifestyle and the availability of medical care is causing the difference in years - and I still think that the difference in years (really 1 to 2 or3 in most cases) is not that significant. I suspect it's probalby entirely accounted for by the lifestyle and availability of care. If the best care here was available to everyone, and lifestyle factored in, I suspect the US would do very well indeed on such charts as far as longevity.

    Cost, yeah, it does cost a lot.
    The difference in years may be only 1-3 in most cases, which may seem insignificant, but when the difference is TWICE the money spent, then it does become significant.

    For example, while the UK spends under 3000 per L.E. of <79 and the U.S. spends more than 7000 per L.E. of >78, the difference in Life Expectancy is less than 1 year, but the U.S. spends MORE than double in Healthcare than the U.K.. Spending more than twice the monies for such insignificant gain, is very significant.

  6. #16
    Quote Originally Posted by ian View Post
    Universal health care systems dont have unlimited resources so medical professionals are faced constantly with the decisions of where and who to allocate the resources they do have, this is the bitter truth about socialised health.
    I do understand that, thank you Ian.

  7. #17
    Quote Originally Posted by chick View Post
    The difference in years may be only 1-3 in most cases, which may seem insignificant, but when the difference is TWICE the money spent, then it does become significant.

    For example, while the UK spends under 3000 per L.E. of <79 and the U.S. spends more than 7000 per L.E. of >78, the difference in Life Expectancy is less than 1 year, but the U.S. spends MORE than double in Healthcare than the U.K.. Spending more than twice the monies for such insignificant gain, is very significant.
    Well, one could get into the philosophical argument of what is a few years of life worth to you I suppose. My friend's little girl died of cancer - I'm sure a zillion dollars was spent, and she did die in the end. But I'm sure her parents would have found the money very well spent.

    Having said that, yes, the amount of money spent does matter.

    But we're paying not just for longevity - we're often paying for comfort. People do seem to appreciate the difference. If you think they shouldn't (we should have wards, not private rooms - we shouldn't have TVs in the hospital rooms, etc. etc.) that's fair enough - but some people do want these things.

    And again, I think it's too simple to say x amount of money spent for x years. Are some problems addrssed faster than in some socialized systems - I think yes. And does our lifestyle have a huge impact - there, I think yes also.

  8. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by ian View Post
    Universal health care systems dont have unlimited resources so medical professionals are faced constantly with the decisions of where and who to allocate the resources they do have, this is the bitter truth about socialised health.
    Correct on the first part as such, but not necessarily on the second part, -the standard over here is that health care directors each fiscal year pulverizes the governments original budgets.

  9. #19
    lol Foolish Old, I saved the best for last. But drat, the way you did it the quote won't work.

    I give you a for the humor on the evidenced based conclusion stuff.

    But there is all sorts of evidence rattling around - evidence on obesity. Evidence in the increase of diabetes. Evidence that the smokers are now getting older. Evidence of the sedentary lifestyle. There are many many factors that influence longevity, not just a healthcare system.

    The thing is - America does deliver the highest quality of care, pretty much. A World Health Organization study rated the US #1 for quality of care. A pretty credible evidence-based organization, wouldn't you agree?

    They also rated it much lower for access to care. Fair enough, hopefully we will be improving that.

    As far as quality of living due to slow/lack of medical care - sure there are some in the US. Generally not the ones with good insurance. Again, hopefully we are addressing that.

    Yes - other countries provide care to all citizens. Not necessarily the same quality care as the US. But regardless, of course that is a worthwhile goal for the US to achieve - without sacrificing quality.

    Cost - I honestly don't know just how to reduce the cost, while improving acceses and keeping up quality. I wish I did.

    btw - I am not "bashing" any other country, nor saying they have lousy care or anything. But in the only study I've seen directly comparing quality - the US was said to be #1. Overall, the US ranked much lower, due to the lack of access to care.

  10. #20
    Quote Originally Posted by TAM63 View Post
    I think that with the US only 4 years from the top, considering the diet and sedentary lifestyle here, this chart probably shows that the US medical care is pretty good.
    Diet and exercise are definitely factors, but they are not likely to account for the great difference between the U.S. and Japan.

    Japan spends less than 2500 in HC for a LE of ~83 yrs. whereas the U.S. spends more than 7000 in HC for a LE of ~78 yrs. Thus, the U.S. spends almost 3 times MORE in Healthcare for 4-5 LESS life expectancy years than Japan.

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