Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Joining the Health Care Debate Once Again

Let me start off by listing some facts for you comparing the US health care system to France:

- The World Health Organization (WHO) ranked the U.S. 37th in the world in health care.
- France was ranked #1 (

- U.S. was ranked 24th in average life expectancy (70 years)
- France was ranked 3rd (73.1 years) (

- According to the CIA Fact Book, the U.S. has the 43rd lowest infant mortality rate (6.3 deaths/1,000 births)
- France has the 6th lowest (3.36 deaths/1,000 births) (

- American citizens were ranked 72nd in overall health.
- French citizens were ranked 4th. (

- As of 2002, the U.S. spent $5,267 per person per year on health care. $2,364 (or 45% of that money) came from government spending on mainly Medicaid and Medicare.
- As of 2002, France spent $2,736 per person per year on health care. $2,080 (or 76% of that money) came from the government. (

- In 2007, there were 45.7 million uninsured Americans. (
- In France, there are ZERO uninsured citizens.

Remember... Those are FACTS. They're just STATISTICS and the links to the sources and studies that provide those statistics. Unlike the people who oppose nationalized health care, I actually use STATISTICS to back up my claims. Notice the lack of anecdotal evidence that the opposition is so fond of using. Notice the lack of unsubstantiated opinions. I provide facts so that when I do give my opinions on the subject, you'll understand that I'm not talking out of my ass.

There are 45.7 MILLION uninsured people in this country. That's roughly 1/6th of our population. People who oppose nationalized health care seem to have no problem with this though. They have health insurance, so who gives a fuck about those 45 million people who don't? After all, if they were worth caring about, they'd have insurance, right?

It seems like people only care about ME ME ME in this country. "I have a job. I have health insurance. Why should my tax dollars go towards giving everyone health insurance?"

I guess their right because those freeloaders on Medicaid we all love to rant about must make up maybe 1 or 2% of those 45 million uninsured citizens. Jeez, we wouldn't want to help out all the other outstanding citizens of our nation because a very small fraction of that money might go to someone that's trying to abuse the system. You know what they say... One rotten apple spoils the bunch. Because we are so loath to support fat, lazy, smokers who might need health care, the other 99% of those without insurance will just have to die or go bankrupt if they happen to get sick.

Clearly, the way to go is privatized health care. I mean, why wouldn't you want to put your health in the hands of giant corporations whose sole priority is to make money? Corporations that actually set goals for the percentage of rejected claims they should have. Corporations who will deny you coverage or send your premiums through the roof if you have pre-existing conditions.

You know what the hilarious thing is? There's no other country that has a similar model of health care as us. You can't look at some wealthy European country and say, "they have privatized health care. Look how good they're doing." Pretty much every other country in the industrialized world has nationalized health care, and statistically speaking, in nearly every way you can measure, those other countries put our health care system to shame. Again... This is statistically speaking. Not anecdotally speaking.

I used France in the statistical comparison for two reasons. One, France has the best health care system in the world and 76% of it is funded by its government. Secondly, Americans love to bash on the French. Well, the French are kicking our ass in health care. It's not even close. They spend roughly half of what we do per capita, and they get far better results in just about every meaningful way you can measure health care results.

Obviously, looking at the numbers, the problem lies in our system. It needs to be radically overhauled to eliminate the waste. There's no reason we should be spending twice as much as everyone else and getting worse results. The process needs to be streamlined. That means we need to bulldoze the whole fucking system right to the ground and start all over again.

Only this time, maybe we can put our American egos to the side and ask the French for help on this one because they surely know how to make a health care system better than we do.

We won't do that though because it's un-American to approve of the French in any way. We'll just continue going on bitching about Canadian wait times (which pretty much every study shows are greatly exaggerated)and how it's "immoral" to have to pay taxes to support fat, smoking slobs who develop heart and lung problems. That's the American way, and it must be great... because American is great... Right?


Lovely, CPhT said...

I totally agree! Great post! I love it when people use statistics. :)

Anonymous said...

dead on!

Anonymous said...

Very impressive sir. While I love following the many pharmacy blogs out there, I was extremely annoyed with The Angry Pharmacist's opinion on this issue. Of course, everyone has the right to have their own opinion. Even though I worry a lot about how the new program would run (if we ever get one, that is) I still think we would all be much better off without the insurance companies dictating how healthcare is run. The problem is, I don't think we will get a system that would be much better, or any better at all, than the way things are running now. Seriously, if you think that the insurance companies won't all join forces to lobby against this, you're dreaming. Put together, their combined budget can compare to the GDP of a large modern industrialized nation! They will NOT allow this to happen. Guaranteed! This is the perfect example of what happens when you let a corporation get too big.. the same thing goes in other industries (i.e. CVS/Caremark, Bank Of America, GM, etc..) There is such a thing as too big!! You either let corporations (insurance or otherwise) get as big as they want and let them end up controlling you, or we've got to make sure they don't get that big to begin with! I'm no economist, and I have no idea how one would do that fairly, but that's a very basic problem that needs correcting.
Sorry I got sidetracked in my thoughts. Great post, really.. love all the stats and links, too. By the way, to all the French bashing public out there, why don't you venture out of your state first, let alone travel out of the country, before you trash-talk. God Bless the USA... AND Vive La France!!

Anonymous said...

Hey...lets get rid of those greedy insurance companies and have the government pay for healthcare for all Americans. Wait a minute? Look at all those docs making all that money, lets set a salary for them...lets cap it at say $75K per year. While we are at it, lets put those greedy Wal-Mart, Walgreens, and CVS out of business...lets have a government run pharmacy. We are sure to cut a lot of costs. Lets cap pharmacist salaries at say $40K per year and that is being good to this is the ones that have not made it to the unemployment lines. Yes, lets turn over everything in America to the government. They are already running GM... they need to take over Ford and all the rest of the auto companies in America, and give every person a new, fuel efficient car. Now, just a minute...people cannot live without food. It is a RIGHT for people to have FREE food. Lets give them Food, the government and open their own grocery stores...put Kroger and all the rest out of business. Now, people cannot go around naked....give them free clothes....put those big apparel makers out of business. Housing....people have to have shelter. Free shelter is a Right....lets give everyone that does not have one a home. Now, with free healthcare, free food, free clothes, and free housing...I think I will just stay home and never go back to work. By the way, everyone needs to be on the give them a free computer! By the way, I need a new computer. Given enough time and this will be the condition in France.

Pharmacy Mike said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Anonymous said...

Sicko featured the French healthcare, and how Michael Moore summarized this (stemming from The days of the French revolution). In U.S., the people fear the govt. In France, the government fears the people.

Anonymous said...

Great post, Mike. Appreciate the rendition a well-constructed set of logic for this perspective. Actually, couldn't agree more, from both the argument and my own (loud and boisterous vehement) sense of fairness.

Jen said...

Ahhh, I think you're my soul mate. Bravo!

Anonymous said...

Universal Health care...great in theory. Unfortunately, I don't trust the gov't to implement this plan even sorta logically.

I work for the gov't, trust don't want it's amazing efficiency. It will often take several days, and multiple people to order a $3 part.

pharmer said...

I love your post, great work!