Wednesday, January 9, 2008

Amurikkka the great

I really get tired of hearing the ignorant proles spout all that nationalist bullshit like "the Eunited state of amurikkka is the best country in the world." "we got us the most democratic country in the world" etc., etc., ad nauseam.
Most of these ignorant rubes have absolutely no clue how the other parts of the world live. Sure, there are places where life is continuous squalor and tyranny rules the people, but there are also places where people are just as free as we are, are MORE democratic and have much better health care. Don't believe it? Take a look at this:

France is healthcare leader, US comes dead last: study
Tue Jan 8, 4:45 PM ET
WASHINGTON (AFP) - France is tops, and the United States dead last, in providing timely and effective healthcare to its citizens, according to a survey Tuesday of preventable deaths in 19 industrialized countries.
. . .
The study, entitled "Measuring the Health of Nations: Updating an Earlier Analysis," was written by researchers from the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine. It looked at death rates in subjects younger than 75 that could have been prevented by timely and effective medical care.

The researchers found that while most countries surveyed saw preventable deaths decline by an average of 16 percent, the United States saw only a four percent dip.
. . .
"It is startling to see the US falling even farther behind on this crucial indicator of health system performance," said Commonwealth Fund Senior Vice President Cathy Schoen, who noted that "other countries are reducing these preventable deaths more rapidly, yet spending far less."

The 19 countries, in order of best to worst, were: France, Japan, Australia, Austria, Canada, Denmark, Finland, Germany, Greece, Ireland, Italy, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Portugal, Spain, Sweden, the United Kingdom and the United States.
. . .
"It is notable that all countries have improved substantially except the US," said Ellen Nolte, lead author of the study.

Had the United States performed as well as any of the top three industrialized countries, there would have been 101,000 fewer deaths per year, the researchers said.


Even though the US spends more than anyone else on healthcare, we still are at the bottom of the heap in providing services. Welcome to our world of market driven corporate healthcare.

A good friend of mine recently spent five days in the hospital. Sadly, during that period of time, he was diagnosed with 3rd stage liver cancer. After many tests and procedures, he was released. The hospital and doctor bills for that five day period have not stopped coming in, but so far, the total is well over $60,000. He has no insurance and is getting the bills straight from the providers. I wonder how much a good HMO or insurance company would be charged for those bills. I can guarantee you that their "negotiated price" would be substantially less. Probably half. But those without insurance pay full price.

But back to the subject at hand. . . how can we claim to be the greatest nation in the world with the worse healthcare of any developed nation? With information like that at our finger tips, how can any conscious moron even think to say such ignorant tripe? How can our leaders feed the proletariat masses so much dumb fucking propaganda and still sleep at night?
Leaders, propaganda, proletariat. . . never mind.

Tell ya what, next time when the topic of healthcae reform comes up and some uninformed buffoon begins spoutiing off about "socialized medicine" and how bad it is in Britain and Canada remember what the results of the above study state. Also remember this about the Eunited States of Amurikkka. . . Heres from a post I wrote back in August:

The infant mortality rate in the United States of America is about 6.5 deaths per 1,000 births. That means, for every 1,000 children are born in this country, 6.5 die in the process. That’s by far the worse infant mortality rate in the developed world. Every single western nation has a better record than that. Japan is 2.8, Spain is 4.3, Canada, 4.6 Portugal, 4.9. With all our technology and billions of dollars spent on wars and corporate welfare, more babies die at birth here than in any developed country in the world. WTF?

So shut the fuck up all you "love it or leave it" types who go around with your heads up your ass and your brains on ice. Fuck you and all your nationalistic garbage. YOU are what's wrong with this country. YOUR ignorance is what is destroying us from the inside. You and all the pitiful fucks you elect, especially from the party of the non-thinkers.
Remember in the words of Tom Delay. . . the bad moderate republicans are 'those who think too much."

file under: fucking idiots

17 comments:

The Practical Pundit said...

Speaking of ignorance and non-thinkers, your post detailed a study regarding health care, but I missed the evidence regarding the "just-as-free-as-we-are-and-MORE-democratic" countries. I hope France wasn't your example there, too.

Just a few non-thinking reactions to your well-researched and documented opinion:

What is the study model used by the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine? And did you make that up? C'mon, really... Hygiene and Tropical Medicine?

The researchers found that while most countries surveyed saw preventable deaths decline by an average of 16 percent, the United States saw only a four percent dip.

What were the previous levels of success in treating preventable deaths? What if the US was already more successful? Broad hypothetical: if the rate of success in treating preventable death in Portugal were 50 per 100, 16% improvement would bring them to 42. If the US rate of preventable death were already lower, at 20 per 100, 4% improvement would reduce the number to a fraction over 19. Less of a decline, yes, but still better than your odds of dying in Portugal.

Without knowing how the study was conducted, knowing the statistical result is practically meaningless. But of course, you're no mindless, ignorant, uninformed, buffoon prole, so you probably considered this. Uh... didn't you?

Even though the US spends more than anyone else on healthcare, we still are at the bottom of the heap in providing services.

Cannot be logically concluded based on the article you posted.

The infant mortality rate in the United States of America is about 6.5 deaths per 1,000 births. That means, for every 1,000 children born in this country, 6.5 die in the process. That’s by far the worse infant mortality rate in the developed world.

Clarification: That doesn't mean 6.5 die "in the process" of being born. The infant mortality rate, as reported by the CDC, is the rate at which babies less than one year of age die.

Die of what? You need to break down this information for it to be meaningful. Do they die of fetal alcohol or drug-affected syndromes, or from maternal smoking or poor nutrition and the resulting pre-term, low birth rates (which point to societal, not exclusively medical, problems)? What about SIDS or shaken baby syndrome (again)? What percentage are untreatable, congenital abnormalities? You have to know these details in order to compare apples to apples.

But you're no mindless, ignorant, uninformed, buffoon prole, so you probably considered this. Uh... didn't you?

SagaciousHillbilly said...

PeePee, Do you really think that a study such as this which has been given peer review is THAT shallow?

You're used to reading stuff put out by the neo-con propaganda machine, aren't you?

Come on PP. You really should get out there and avail your services to the RNC. They make good use of propaganda specialists like you. The proles swallow shit like you spew as if it's manna that daddy brought home.

The Practical Pundit said...

ShillBilly

Nice, non-substantive ad hominem deflection. You could have just said you don't know how the study was conducted, which is obvious.

No, I don't read stuff put out by the "neocon propaganda machine." I read the actual studies, which is why I would know the methodology, and you don't. Do you smear every opposition you fail to comprehend with some "neocon, prole, corpo-fascist" nonsense?

If you just posted the methodology instead of this pointless, evasive blather, I'm sure it would have been beyond reproach, shutting me up with it's unassailable scholarship. But then, you'd have to actually look it up, which is so bothersome when you can post moronic, transparent attacks straight from the hip, like any self-respecting hillbilly should.

SagaciousHillbilly said...

Post the methodology? WTF are you talking about PP? I don't have to post the methodfuckingology employed by every survey, poll or study I reference. WTF kind of anal retentive bullshit would that be? Do you see the best political commentators citing the methodology of the stuff they reference?
Get real man. You're using esoteric bullshit to discredit that which you don't like.
Now if you want to cite some other study that shows that your Amurikkka is in fact the grrrrreatest country in the whole wide world, then do it, but don't tell me I have to go to the root of every little fact and figure I post and prove it's validity here on MY blog.
Geez, if I cite some fact of science do I have to also discuss the history of the research that made it so?
Get real bubba.

The Practical Pundit said...

I don't have to post the methodfuckingology employed by every survey, poll or study I reference.

And I don't have to post profanity to obscure the fact that I don't have an adequate response.

True, you don't have to post the methodology, but it would be useful if you were actually aware of it, so you could answer questions regarding it should someone express an interest. You clearly have no clue regarding the methodology of this particular study.

Do you see the best political commentators citing the methodology of the stuff they reference?

Depends on what they're referencing, of course, but the best do, yes, particularly when proffered a direct question regarding said methodology. Do you pay attention?

Ironic that you would cite "the best political commentators", with whom you have nothing in common, in defense of the the lazy, superficial "commentary" you disgorge.

SagaciousHillbilly said...

PP, I spent an entire career immersed in scientific research. Proper "methodology" and procedure were something I lived for over 30 yrs. I don't need some hack telling me about methodology and it's importance or whatever your anal retentive fantasy happens to be about such processes. Go get yourself a degree in some type of science be it technical or social, do research for 30 yrs and then come here and tell ME about "methodology." When you do, I still won't give a flying fuck.

I can cuss and use whatever fucking language I want to use around here when I spout lazy and superficial commentary. You see, I'm not trying to impress anyone with my intellect, charm or wit. That's your bag.

This is my blog. It's a place where I say whatever I want whenever I want about whoever I want. It's not supposed to be an example of academic excellence or advanced social discourse. It's just me screaming and yelling. If you have a problem with it, go somewhere else. If not, stop by again.

The Practical Pundit said...

Methinks the lady doth protest too much. Look, Einstein, you opened up your blog for comments, which also gives me the ability, and the right, to say anything I please about your lunatic ranting. Since I am capable of intelligent discourse, I don't have to camouflage such deficits, as you do, with profanity and bombast. I'm not trying to stop you from being bellicose and wrong, I'm merely pointing it out.

You see, I'm not trying to impress anyone with my intellect, charm or wit.

Of course you're not. That's why you chose the most public medium available rather than sit at home, privately, scribbling, "Dear Diary..."

TED VELVET said...

health care is the issue that will knock the GOP back into the cellar for the next decade or so. their party brand is not keeping up with the current lay of the land and they're gonna pay

TED VELVET said...

as for your current argument, I think it's clear that if you cite statistics you open yourself to having those statistics questioned, but it can get to a ridiculous point when all stats and methodologies are questioned if thier conclusions conflict with someone's beliefs. Statistics can always be manipulated and any methodology questioned but then you'd never get to the heart of the problem. And the main question never gets answered. Is it the job of the US Government to protect its citizens? I think we'd all say the answer is yes. Should that protection include the government making sure that its citizens can recieve afforable quality healthcare? If you think that the answer is yes, then has our government been doing enough to achive this? if you don't think it's the governments responsibility to ensure the health of it's citizens then the US is doing great, if you believe they should do be doing more, then our government has failed miserably. Semantics, statistics, name calling, all good fun, but nothing gets answered, and nothing gets solved. It's all an obfuscation. That's been the the legacy of the last 8 years. Answer nothing, attack all.

The Practical Pundit said...

Here's the thing, Ted. SagHill and I have a long history. We both post on another site where we have an amiably contentious relationship. He plagiarized my alias from that board to create his blog here. Also, most all of his derogatory references to Iowa and the Iowa caucuses were intended for me. He likes to provoke me, but he's not so jovial on the receiving end. What's sauce for the goose....

Nevertheless, I find the study dubious for a number of reasons. SagHill, however, can't answer the objections, because he read only a third-party article summarizing the study, which aligns with what he already believes. He never actually looked up the study.

I did:
http://www.commonwealthfund.org/publications/publications_show.htm?doc_id=640980

From paragraph three, "For this study, the researchers used data from the World Health Organization on deaths from conditions considered amenable to health care, such as treatable cancers, diabetes, and cardiovascular disease."

The problem with the WHO mortality data is that the WHO itself acknowledges the data is inconsistent:

http://www.who.int/healthinfo/statistics/mortdata/en/index.html

Particularly note the Problems in Accuracy of Records section:

"Accuracy in diagnosing causes of death still varies from one country to another. In addition the process of coding underlying causes of death involves some extent of misattribution or miscoding even in countries where causes are assigned by medically qualified staff. Main reasons are incorrect or systematic biases in diagnosis, incorrect or incomplete death certificates, misinterpretation of ICD rules for selection of the underlying cause, and variations in the use of coding categories for unknown and ill-defined causes."

Also, a well-known axiom in statistical assessment is the higher the number of variables, the lower the threshold of reliability.

Do we have health care problems? Without doubt. My father was a small businessman who was encumbered with enormous expense in order to provide health care for himself, our family and his employees. The fact is, however, we do have better health care than most industrialized nations. The problem isn't the quality of care in the US, the problem is equality of access to it.

In the Commonwealth Fund study, was there any break down by income? How many victims of "mortality amenable to health care" were low income individuals with restricted access to quality care?

I'd also be interested to know how many were attributable to patients refusing treatment due to religious beliefs.

Anyway, welcome to the fray.

SagaciousHillbilly said...

Sag1, If I were so offended or troubled by your rantings, I'd simply delete your bullshit. It stays. Yes, I opened the blog up for comments and welcome them from all sides, but don't expect to come here and walk away unscathed from my acerbic spew if you disagree with me.
That's really great that you would take the time to research my references. I really don't give a shit one way or another and have too many other things to do than to spend time verifying every little piece of bullshit I put out on my blog. IF you'd like to do it and call me whatever derogatory names you'd like when you find some chink in the data, that's fine. Again, I just don't give two shits.
bellicose profanity and bombast. . . that about sums it up. So what? IS that so much different from your arrogant pompous tripe?
Hope all is well . . . cornboy.
SH

Dusty said...

According to the Institute of Medicine, "lack of health insurance causes roughly 18,000 unnecessary deaths every year in the United States. Although America leads the world in spending on health care, it is the only wealthy, industrialized nation that does not ensure that all citizens have coverage." Insuring America's Health: Principles and Recommendations, Institute of Medicine, January 2004.
http://www.iom.edu/?id=19175

The United States is ranked #37 as a health system by the World Health Organization.

* "The U. S. health system spends a higher portion of its gross domestic product than any other country but ranks 37 out of 191 countries according to its performance, the report finds." "World Health Organization Assesses The World's Health Systems," Press Release, WHO/44, June 21, 2000. http://www.who.int/inf-pr-2000/en/pr2000-44.html

Is the P.P saying we have a great system of healthcare for the masses? Because we don't. It's disgusting that people can't get treated for a life-threatening illness in America, treatment that would make their lives better, not to mention able to live longer and still be a contributing member of society. The poorest of the poor have health insurance, its the folks between them and the middle-class that are caught in this trap of no health insurance that is affordable and actually protects them from catastrophic illnesses.

The 2006 United Nations Human Development Report's human development index states the life expectancy in the United States is 77.5, and the life expectancy in Canada is 80.2. Human Development Report 2006, United Nations Development Programme, 2006 at 283.
http://hdr.undp.org/hdr2006/pdfs/report/HDR06-complete.pdf.
As for how our citizens rank in living compared to other industrialized nations:
The 2006 United Nations Human Development Report's human development index states the life expectancy in the United States is 77.5, the United Kingdom is 78.5, France is 79.6, and Canada is 80.2. Human Development Report 2006, United Nations Development Programme, 2006 at 283.
http://hdr.undp.org/hdr2006/pdfs/report/HDR06-complete.pdf.

We suck at protecting our citizens against the debilitating results of health problems and medical illness. Its ridiculous that we as a nation find this acceptable.

The Practical Pundit said...

dusty

Is the P.P saying we have a great system of healthcare for the masses? Because we don't.

"The P.P." said exactly what he meant, and answered your question before you asked it. Try reading the post, then try comprehending it.

Dusty said...

The post isn't yours, I am responding to a comment you made PP.

Don't jerk my chain pal. Unless that is your whole reason for commenting here in the first place, then it's understandable.

I addressed several shortcomings in the American healthcare system and how we stack up to other industrialized nations and provided links to where the info was from.

We as a nation see no reason to provide a basic neccessity that would keep our citizens working and contributing longer.

Instead we take care of them after the fact through disability claims and they spend the rest of their lives living off the federal government, or worse, they just die.

The Trash said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
The Practical Pundit said...

The post isn't yours, I am responding to a comment you made PP.

Ah, a hair-splitter. Obviously I meant the comment I posted.

You asked: Is the P.P saying we have a great system of healthcare for the masses?

A question which, if you'd bothered to read my comment in it's entirety, and understood it, I had already answered thusly: The problem isn't the quality of care in the US, the problem is equality of access to it.

One can extrapolate that, no, I don't think we have a great system of health care for the masses, if the masses can't afford and access it.

A strict assessment of medical facilities, medical technology, medical knowledge, medical education... demonstrates the US has available the best medical resources in the world. But that's small consolation to the people who don't have, or have only substandard, insurance, or whose insurance company plagues them with burdensome hoops and qualifications for receiving appropriate treatment.

SagaciousHillbilly said...

OK, here's the real thing here.
I have a friend. He has worked hard all his life. He's highly certified in the craft he practices.
A while back, he ended up on the short end of a stick and lost his job and his health insurance. No problem, he regrouped, got his shit together and was scheduled to begin working for a company the first of the year making $19/hr.
He had three other standing offers out-of-town but even though these jobs will pay him over 100k/yr, it would have required him to live out of a suitcase and not see his daughter for long periods of time. He was trying to decide which of the standing offers he would take come summer time or later.
Two days before xmas he was diagnosed with 3rd stage liver cancer.
Here's the kicker:
Yesterday, the local medical center cut him off except for emergency treatments. Seems the DHHR has failed to process his medical card even though SS has approved his disability and his medicaid.
DHHR won't be processing his card till this Wed. and it will take a week to 10 days for him to get the card. In the meantime, his chemo therapy has been suspended.

Fuck anyone who tries to tell me about what a great fucking healthcare system we have in this country.
Now, I have to call my daughter who works for SS and see what other shit I can stir to see if we can get his treatment NOT suspended. He will die sooner if that happens!