16 November 2008

Be optimistic?

The NY Times has a good article on the growth of medical tourism in South Korea. Americans are traveling abroad for healthcare. It's little wonder--we have the most expensive healthcare system in the world yet have appalling health with a system that is steadily declining. Countries with national plans (France, Sweden, the UK) spend the least among industrial nations. And yet it's absolutely taboo to mention a national plan in the U.S. (I honestly believe there's a conspiracy. I've listened to call in programs on multiple occasions where callers were immediately silenced after asking why we don't have a national plan.) To return to South Korea, a woman giving birth can stay in a hospital afterwards in a private room for 3 or 4 days with nice meals provided, even with family members joining her, for the price of a hotel room. In the U.S., the same room for the same time would cost the price of a car (and not a cheap car, at that). And yet we still have smirking George on the news yesterday telling us that if we just wait a little bit longer the markets will take care of it all. Kind'a brings to mind an old Shirley Temple song: "Be optimisitic..."


Tom Harper said...

Well, we're all set then. We don't need that there socialized medicine here in America. Sick people can just book a flight to South Korea or Europe. Just so it isn't a medical emergency, what with all these 8-hour flight delays.

Comrade Kevin said...

Decades and decades of fears of communism or socialism in any form mean that any nationalized plan is automatically assumed to be anathema---except, of course, when it's time to bail out failing companies.

Karlo said...

When there's a much better option next door, how much longer do we need to let this system drag on? At this point, I think they should nationalize the health system lock, stock, and barrel--pay to have the doctors trained, pay for the hospitals, and offer services completely free. I can't imagaine it being worse or more expensive than the current system.