Capitol Hill Blue
Posted By: jgw American Healthcare - 02/10/21 07:09 PM
62% of bankruptcies in the USA are due to medical bills. Almost 4/5th of these people had health insurance but went bankrupted anyway because of co-payments, deductibles and uncovered services. Others got so sick that they lost their job and then lost their insurance.

Best healthcare in the world my *ss.
Posted By: pondering_it_all Re: American Healthcare - 02/10/21 11:32 PM
Better health care than most countries, if you are White, employed, smart enough to actually get real health insurance, and lucky.

Great health care if you are rich and powerful: They even send a helicopter to get you to Walter Reed, so you don't get stuck in traffic, then pump you full of new treatments that have not been approved by the FDA outside of clinical trials.
Posted By: jgw Re: American Healthcare - 02/11/21 09:23 PM
I have medicare, medigap, and the VA so I am dandy. I think the pandemic has pretty much demonstrated that, for the richest country in the world, pretty bad healthcare. Hell, both Canada and Mexico do better than we do. I think the Mexican system costs something like 35.00 a year. On the other hand the United States is, pretty much single handed, support most healthcare tourism operations in the world (Mexico, Thailand, India, etc) One interesting thing about the Indian operation is that the doctors who own that one were all educated in the United States!

A story. Several years ago we were in Mexico (Guadalajara) and we were shopping,. My wife was talking to the girl working there and then said to her: "What part of Texas are you from". The girl just kinda stared at her for a bit and then said; "Why would you say that?" and my wife replied; "Because you are speaking Mexican with a Texas accent". The girl smiled and said a town in Mexico (forget which). Then they started talking. The Girl was attending medical school in Mexico and then planned to go back to the states to practice. We checked later and there are a LOT of kids down there going to medical schools. Same is true in Cuba which also supplies a lot of doctors to America. You gotta have a lot of money, or big debt, to be trained in America but, apparently, you can get the same training a lot cheaper some place else.
Posted By: TatumAH Re: American Healthcare - 02/12/21 02:11 AM
Originally Posted By: jgw
to be trained in America but, apparently, you can get the same training a lot cheaper some place else.

I would argue with getting "the same training" as in America. Cuba schools emphasize public health and the diagnosis and treatment with the limited advanced support of labs and diagnostic instrumentation, as is often the case in undeserved rural practices. This is cost effective, and after all most thing that need treatment are not very complicated. This is not well matched to practice in America, for better or worse. I see lots of internests with sub-specialties that dont know how to look into an eye, or know what end of a stethoscope to look into. Physicians trained without lots of echos, MRIs, etc know how to do excellent physical exams, because often that was all they had to work with.

There is considerable variability among American schools, and some specialize in training cookies, as opposed to training the next generation of Academic physicians, or cookie cutter schools.

To get licensed in America you have to pass Board Exams, and FMGs (foreign medical graduates) have a harder time passing them. Frankly the exams are a very low hurdle and only about 3% of American grads fail. Do you know what they call the very bottom of the classes and are just above the 3% fail percentile, the second time they take the exams?
Yep! Doctor!

Posted By: pondering_it_all Re: American Healthcare - 02/12/21 10:05 PM
Not exactly on topic, but somewhat illustrative:

My wife's Vet School class was filled with people who never got a B in their high school or undergraduate classes. They were so driven to perfection, that more than one dropped out when they did get their first B! And these were people who were aiming to be Vets, not MDs. Very much a lower paid profession.

My wife never even picked up her grades, or checked her ranking in the class. She sat for her board exams, and passed the first time. But she did have a great advantage over most of her classmates: I came to visit about once a month for the weekend. The rest of the time she lived a quite monastic life of classes, study, sleep, eat, and a daily walk. No need to spend time socializing, dating, drinking, etc.
Posted By: TatumAH Re: American Healthcare - 02/13/21 12:31 AM
Originally Posted By: pondering_it_all
The rest of the time she lived a quite monastic life of classes, study, sleep, eat, and a daily walk. No need to spend time socializing, dating, drinking, etc.
Yeah Right ROTFMOL She sees a wild and crazy guy 2 days/nights a month and then goes back into the nunnery??! ROTFMOL
Let me tell you that a whole lot of "socializing" happens in Med or Vet school, when you are trapped with a hundred other students for 45 hrs a week! Plenty of time for a little daily walk on the wild side, as these students are excellent in "time management", read quickie grin And, who says you cant drink alone, not like its hard to find another drinking "buddy", particularly after exams, unless your visits were carefully scheduled around the exam schedule! Predictability also facilitates apartment cleanups and destruction of evidence.
Makes a good story though grin
Posted By: logtroll Re: American Healthcare - 02/13/21 12:58 AM
Bad, bad Kitty!
Posted By: TatumAH Re: American Healthcare - 02/13/21 02:39 AM
I get that a lot, for no apparent reason! grin
Posted By: jgw Re: American Healthcare - 02/13/21 06:42 PM
I agree, I didn't explain very well. "same training" was wrong. People coming from foreign schools tend to perform, in medical boarfd exams, approximately 10% less than those trained in the United States. Apparently, however, if you can pass the tests you are ready to setup practice.
Posted By: pondering_it_all Re: American Healthcare - 02/13/21 10:58 PM
I lived with my wife for 10 years before she went to vet school, so I know what she likes and doesn't like VERY well. She's pathologically shy of other men, never gets drunk, never goes to bars, on and on. Practically Amish. And having sexy-times once a month was fine with her after 10 years of being together. She was 32 when she entered vet school, not 22.

Passing board exams in vet school or med school, technically lets you go setup a general practice. Almost nobody does that now. They all either go to work for an established general practice, or get into a residency program if they can, so they can get board certified for specialties. Typically they don't have the million dollars needed to go independent.

Often the top of the class will go on and get a PhD and go into academia. My wife apprenticed in a well-established small animal practice for a couple of years, and then entered a pathology program at Purdue. She was far freer than most of her classmates because she had no debt.
Posted By: jgw Re: American Healthcare - 02/14/21 07:02 PM
Its interesting. I have a granddaughter that is trying to be a vet. She has wanted to be one for, literally, years. I think she has made it to some kind of technical job so far. In her quest she seems to have also gathered something like 5 degrees in this and that. Her husband was killed in the army, by the army (as was his entire unit given the title of "bad luck outfit)) She also has two male children.
Posted By: TatumAH Re: American Healthcare - 02/14/21 08:33 PM
My Niece got her degree at Penn. It may be harder to get into Vet school than Med Stool!
And, probably more expensive than Med School.
For those entering veterinary school in the US in the fall of 2018, the estimated total cost of attendance (tuition+fees+ average living expenses), for four years ranges from $148,807 to $407,983. Your cost will depend on your state of residency or choice to pursue a private veterinary school education.

Adding insult to injury, vets are not payed anything close to physicians, even very bad ones! So it would take even longer to dig out of school debt.

While on the subject, you previously referenced the USMLE exam for getting Med License. As I mentioned before, passing this exam is a VERY low hurdle, and most Medical Educators, who are actually MDs think that the USMLE has had a deleterious effect on medical education.
The reason that it is so pernicious is that it leads weaker schools and students to: Teach to the USMLE as a primary goal, rather than get a good medical education, and incidentally pass the USMLE, which, have I mentioned is a low hurdle!
This has generated a whole market of books, courses, flash card with bullet points. Students may use these to brush up for the exam, but they tend to emphasize correlation rather than causation.
For a exaggerated example, they may know that diabetes and coronary disease are related, but may think coronary disease causes diabetes.
I will paste in a link to USMLE study guides. Who needs Med School if you buy these and pass the exam?

USMLE INDUSTRY Scroll down to see the extent of the problem!

University students have already played into this market while trying to get INTO medical school by getting high scores on another barrier to education, the dreaded MCAT medical college admission test, similar to the LCAT for Law Stool!! Damn bad bad CATS!
offtopicThere actually are no bad cats, just bad cat staff!!


And, the MCAT a much larger market for students wanting to get INTO med School, compared to the USMLE for students wanting to get OUT of med school!
Posted By: TatumAH Re: American Healthcare - 02/14/21 09:09 PM
I just looked up some requirements for admission to Vet School.
Standardized tests? Again? And you thought that was over when you finished high school! The Graduate Record Examination (GRE) is required by most veterinary schools, and some also require the Biology GRE. The Medical College Admission Test (MCAT) is also accepted by some schools in place of the GRE. Find out where you can take the exam and what preparation you need to succeed. For a listing of each accredited veterinary school's requirements, go to the AAVMC site at More information can be found at

Ha, grin Appropriate that some Vet schools accept the MCAT
Posted By: pondering_it_all Re: American Healthcare - 02/14/21 11:58 PM
My wife had the great advantage of working in the County Vet's department with an esteemed graduate of UC Davis vet school who was rather a mentor to her. He actually invited her to apply after working with her for a while. She also volunteered at a local vet practice after working in research with animals. She did have to take a few classes she had poor grades for in college. She aced them. Her undergraduate years were difficult, since she had to work and send money home to take care of her siblings.

My work in research with the Chief of Surgery at the local UC medical center (and Prof. at UCSD School of Medicine) got me his invitation to apply to the medical school.

These kind of relationships help immensely in getting into the professional schools, even state-owned professional schools. They have a long list of 4.0 GPA people applying. They look beyond GPA and entry exam scores. My advice is, if you want to get in such a school find a doctor or vet actively associated with the school and volunteer to work with him or her. This might take a few years, but it's better than going to Grenada or Mexico.

But you should be realistic: Maybe you are not equipped for either of these programs. No shame in RN, PA, or AHT careers.
Posted By: Greger Re: American Healthcare - 02/15/21 04:23 AM
My oldest daughter wanted to be an equine vet, got a masters in biology and a handful of lesser diplomas. But vet school eluded her. She became a horse masseuse/chiropractor. Learned acupuncture and applied it to horses. So in the end she got to do what she most wanted to do without going to vet school. She's now got a degree in Chinese herbal medicine and I have no idea what she's going to do with that...
Posted By: jgw Re: American Healthcare - 02/15/21 07:21 PM
My granddaughter has some things that give her support. She has her husband's GI bill for starters. The problem is that she is also raising two kids whilst going to school. She seems to be progressing as well. Sometimes I think she likes going to school more than reaching any goal, however. She is also pretty smart.

She also gets jobs with practicing vets as this and that which, I think, also helps. Her problem is that she doesn't stick with it. Oh well, its her life and she seems to be coping so I am keeping my mouth shut.

I noticed that I said "granddaughter" actually she is a great grandaughter!"
Posted By: jgw Re: American Healthcare - 02/15/21 09:19 PM
I came across this and it seems to pretty much explain stuff:

My own thought is that the Democrats should, under Biden, start to sell a better and less expensive system of healthcare with the emphasis on cost rather than the change necessary to put our healthcare on a much better footing based on how the rest of the industrialized world deals with it.
Posted By: TatumAH Re: American Healthcare - 02/16/21 03:14 AM
Cost of Dementia Care

Cost of dementia 2030

The cost of dementia care will double from 2020 to 2030 to $2,000,000,000/year!
We prolong "life" of those who dont know who or where they are, as long as someone is making money off of that "care". Some insensitive physicians refer to these facilities as vegetable bins, and the patients are classified as having positive fly signs, meaning that they have their mouths open with flies wandering in and out.

My modest proposal, that I have already activated for myself, is a dead-man switch. I have contracted with a cheap hitman, it should be an easy job, to come and kill me by "accident" if I dont send in my life prolongation postcard every year on my birthday. I may want to add a late card, phone confirmation clause, as I have never been very good at timely paperwork, or a thirty day late waiting period.

But seriously, if there are objections from, lets say, White evangelicals, who love the brain dead, we should allow their churches to fully sponsor care for the demented of color. Who could object to that?

We elderly have met the problem, and it's us, but we may not remember it!
Swiftly yours
Posted By: pondering_it_all Re: American Healthcare - 02/16/21 03:41 AM
I'm still doing 6 star sudoku puzzles, so I think my body will give out before my mind. Dementia doesn't seem to run in my family.
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