Aortic dissection & aortic aneurysm information support group

Aortic dissection, aortic aneurysm - The aorta - Life after an aortic dissection

Hi All..


There's a fiesty little thread on this subject over on our sister website: Mechanical Heart Valve. Feel free to wade right in...the more the merrier..why is it as Richard says that the NHS is regarded as the modern day scourge of Health Systems by the US? Anyone care to comment?





Tags: america, best, global, health, nhs, system, us, worst

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That I am aware of, most concerns over the new health care bill has to do with what is all included in the over 800 pages of the bill and where the funding will come from.  I happen to live in the midwest of the US, and the healthcare we have here has been wonderful so I have been lucky to benefit from it.  Yes at a dollar cost for my family insurance wise, and that is where the concern comes in for most here - how to have affordable health care.  With the events of my situation that led up to my finding out about my dissection, within a NHS based upon what I read from your thread, would I have been put on hold for my original catscan, as I had gone to urgent care for a cough, and the doctor there wasn't sure of what he was seeing on the xray, especially due to my younger age?  I think that is what people in the US are concerned about in regards to NHS - what might be missed or postponed --- does that make sense, as again, I only know the health care system we have.

I don't know of anyone that has been turned away for medical care here if they can't pay.  You can walk into any ER and get treatment.  I do know there are people that don't opt for health coverage as they don't think they'll need it, and then end up with cancer or other diseases and then get to benefit from our system at no cost to them, but are covered by the fees the others pay.  The ones I have met have this air about them that they are owed this or are entitled to it, but yet they have never paid anything into the system and got to use their extra cash that they didn't use towards health insurance for whatever else they wanted to, while the rest who do pay for insurance, still have to cover all their other expenses above and beyond that.

If our government could help regulate how much insurance cost, cap medical fees and prescription fees, it might just encourage some regular good ol market competition and in turn make health care affordable for everyone, but also have everyone help by putting money into the pot so everyone could afford health care.

I appreciate that I can see any doctor at any time especially with my condition.  I don't abuse the system, but there are those who take advantage of our health care system so things do need to change.

I tend to appreciate different parts of both the Republican and Democratic platforms.  From the Republican point of view in regards to controlling spending versus just hiking up taxes - I tend to agree with them.  At some point, over taxing decreases business development as you price everyone out and at some point, who would be left to fund all the programs for those living off the system?

There just isn't a quick fix answer, and pushing the health care bill through so quickly was a concern. 

Our media doesn't help either - as can be seen with the event that took place in Tucson.  The man who shot all those people was not in his normal mind - whatever political side he leaned towards, but as usual, the media likes to stir up the pot.  Even former President Reagan had been shot at but I don't recall them making it a political issue, but concentrated on what truly was the issue and that was that the person involved was responsible for his actions and was just not right in the head to begin with.

I don't like how the media portrays Americans, as it doesn't represent me, my family, nor my friends.  We are normal caring people as I think most people are.  We don't sit around and trash other countries nor their systems.  We discuss how maybe things can change or improve here for the better of everyone.

Hey Cheryl,


good post. Couple of points... No - I dont think if you had your aneurysm here you would have been 'put on hold' for your catscan' using the NHS..if ANYTHING out of the ordinary is suspected by a doctor or by the emergency admission at a hospital here nothing is left to chance...usually... the real problem is both here and in the US AD and AE is so incredibly take a lottery ticket in any country in the world on that.. the churchyards are full of misdiagnosed AD patients..sadly no second chances... My initial doctors initially thought it was gallstones (!) but a young savvy lady doc pegged it and im here today because of that...a bit like your story.. I must say however that AD, AE, AAA and in general anything to do with the aorta is MUCH more prominent now than a few years ago as the real magnitude of this awful killer sinks in to the medical profession... I also hope in some small way that our site has helped..  


To me its simply about training...both in the medical profession and in the genral populace in at least knowing a lot more about AD..

And yes we have our spongers and useless leeches off the state as well...much worse than the US as we have to take in ANY EU national and give them FREE health cover and often housing and unemployment benefits as well.. and don't get me started on the refugee rorting that goes unemployed 'single' mothers...they earn over 30k a year on benefits...aghhh!!!!   

Yes your media needs reining in..the latest episode is dreadful... it is starting to tear your country apart.. thats something (political polarisation) that the brits don't follow thank goodness... 


Yes tax is dearer here than the US - and it covers our NHS system.. (i worked in the US for a few years) but tax generally is only more expensive than the US only for the top earners here as it only starts to really hurt over £40k a year as it really ratchets up - 40%  - but my thoughts are that tax has been too low for the higher earners in the US for too long compared to the rest of the world (?)  .. probably get flogged for saying that but its my view...  


As you say its a fine balance..a publically funded health care system and the taxation needed for it to work.. but I think the UK has it right..even with the dreadful amount of sponging we have off welfare! 

 take care..





hey cheryl,

i wrote this answer at work today and intended to post it earlier, but meetings got in the way. also when pasting it in here some of the spaces just upped and disappeared, which i have tried to correct, but may have missed a few...

this was one of those threads that i wasn't sure about initially... the possibilities for ignorance to prevail are quite high, and the danger that it just develops into a pissing contest is also fairly high. as an example - before broaching this subject with my american friends i was under the impression that no insurance equalled no treatment, even if your leg had been cut off by a train and you were bleeding to death. i was unaware that methodist hospitals offer treatment with no guarantee of payment and also that the federal government covers unpaid medical bills. what i still find difficult to swallow, though, is the profit motive being so fundamental to this entire model - which i believe simply perverts the whole system to such a degree that the best interests of a patient are not served if a more profitable course of action is available.

what saves the thread (hopefully) it is the fact that both sides have just as many misconceptions about the other and we can tackle each of those as they arise, so to answer your question about whether you would have had to wait fora cat scan: no, absolutely not. the interesting part for me though is whether or not you would have been x-rayed for a cough - would that possible avenue of diagnosis been missed? to tell you the truth, i have no idea but if the cough was serious enough then there would definitely be a need to exclude other conditions that can only be done via x-ray, so i think not, but cannot say for sure - like graeme said though, the diagnosis is a real lottery regardless of country and how much healthcare costs you... one thing should be made clear though - if something needs to be done in the uk, it will be done with no concern for the theoretical cost even if you need to be bundled into an ambulance and driven to a free operating table/machine/consultant.

i think you have put forward the main crux of the debate very eloquently - that there is no government (for the people, by the people) regulation within the healthcare/pharmaceutical/insurance industries in america and that there are also an almost immeasurable number of people that will kick the arse out of the system wherever possible. this, however, doesn't account for the fact that a drug that costs someone $100 in the US could be available in the UK for £6 (or whatever the prescription charge is nowadays) or in germany for "free", regardless of personal circumstances.

the next misconception i would like to tackle is: the nhs is not free. it is also not funded by tax money (graeme), but by part of the national insurance contributions each salaried member of the population has to pay (it used to be voluntary in the form of stamps, but not since the end of the 70s i think). the national insurance contribution also covers a state backed pension (albeit a pittance) as well as unemployment benefits. the current rate of national insurance is 11% which is taken from your salary at the same time as tax, employers also have to contribute on your behalf for benefits in kind (company cars, bonuses etc.) and they also pay a secondary contribution percentage for you of your total taxable salary. somewhere in the charter of the nhs, written at its introduction in 1948, was that tax revenues cannot be used to fund the system (which used to infuriate me each budget round when i smoked as the justification given for hiking cigarette prices each time was that smokers would need more healthcare in the future, so should pay for it per packet, in advance). to give an idea of scale - the national insurance revenue in 2006 was £90bn and the total budget for the department of health in 2008 was £98.7bn. compare this figure with the money that was used to bail out the banks last year, and then with the money the banks are paying out in bonuses this year and you can see that somewhere someone in charge must have their priorities completely wrong.

as a comparison to the uk, in germany i pay 13.6% of my salary to health insurance, which my employer then adds another 50% to bringing the total healthcare contribution to around 20%. i used to work in france, and there i paid about the same as i do here in germany, however i am not sure how much my employer paid additionally.

in europe the only thing we know for definite about the us healthcare system is that none of our state controlled healthcare plans cover us for treatment in the us, so we need to go looking for additional cover. what little rest we think we know was told to us by michael moore in sicko...

i need to get to bed, too much food and too much drink...

take care,


ooowa..too much drink... ?? thought that was only me and my INR dance... :-)  sorry for my broad statement on NHS funded by tax me NI is still a 'tax' ... but shud have qualfied it is separate to 'income tax'.. good point .. sleep well and a cracking post if i say so myself! 





Nice to meet you by the way - a definite plus to the internet as just today I was trying to explain to my 10 and 14 year old daughters that not everything is kosher on the internet and what to be careful for on facebook. 

But for this site - I say thank you to the internet.

You are so well versed in information.  Mine comes from personal experience and from what I know around me.  I realize that there can be differences amongst states as to the medical systems but if you are on a plan that is carried across the country(like BlueCrossBlueShield), you can be treated anywhere for anything without issues.

I did learn from a friend of mine who just had breast cancer that in Minnesota they are obligated to offer and perform reconstructive surgery asap after surgery as per the patients wishes.  They don't have to wait months or years.  I didn't even know that that wasn't an option throughout our country.  So I learn bit by bit myself as time goes on also.

I totally agree that there are misconceptions (even within one's own country) and not just in the medical arena.  I agree financial greed truly ruins the fundamental basis of what the medical system I think was originally formed for and that was to help people heal, save lives, and help to cure diseases.  (Kind of like the political arena -- I think most wanted to do good, but get caught up in the greed once again).

I think insurance companies were originally set up for good intentions, but as the money poured in, greed did too. 

Welfare serves a saving basis for those who truly need it, but those who abuse the system, ruin it for those who really need it (as for example our latest welfare card for food purchases).  Some use it to buy cigerettes or liquour instead of buying necessities like food for their kids --- too hard to monitor everyone --- too bad people just can't be responsible instead of riding the wave.  It just causes huge frustrations for those whose taxes pay for the welfare system to exist.

There is no perfect system --- and if there was, I'm sure it would get manipulated and abused.  Our 800 plus page new medical care bill is next in line and it's really too bad, just a sad reality.

Thanks for the thread though as it keeps us on our toes - makes us have to think and to research and learn more!











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