Critical care: Satire on socialized medicine?

Discussion in 'Star Trek: Voyager' started by JirinPanthosa, Jan 5, 2013.

  1. Guy Gardener

    Guy Gardener Fleet Admiral Admiral

    Apr 15, 2000
    In the lap of squalor I assure you.

    Medical insurance.

    You constantly put more money into a communal fund which everyone else uses more of than you do unless something very very horrible happens to you. More importantly there's a huge deductible and if you do use your insurance, they hike your rates after there's finally nothing wrong with you in preparation for the next time you become difficult.

    How is insurance better than taxes?

    You can lapse taxes and still get your hernia fixed.

    If you have the wrong plan, they won't touch your hernia no matter how many thousands you've given your carrier, and if you change your plan, it's a preexisting condition.
  2. teacake

    teacake Fleet Admiral Admiral

    Jan 20, 2007
    inside teacake
    I cannot understand why anyone in my country has private insurance. People are going to the exact same hospitals, having the exact same treatment, sleeping in the exact same beds and paying a ton of money for it because they have private insurance. And me, it's free.

    The lucky ones go to nicer looking hospitals with nicer menus. So that's a very expensive meal.
  3. teya

    teya Vice Admiral Admiral

    Jun 20, 2001
    2 mi S of Capt Braxton's shopping cart
    I wouldn't take what happens on a TV show as truth. It's intentional hyperbole.

    ED waits depend on a multitude of factors. I've had 2 ED visits at a major urban medical center in the last 2 years. One was 6 hours: I wasn't bleeding or in imminent danger of death, and 3 major freeway accidents just happened to occur that afternoon. People getting choppered in take priority.

    For the second--a broken bone in my foot--I was in, x-rayed, casted & out the door in 45 minutes. It took longer to fill my prescription at the drugstore than it did in the ER.

    The biggest problem in US EDs is that so many people go for treatment that would better be taken care of in an MD's office--but they don't have insurance, so they go to the ED. Technically, under the law, we don't have to treat non-emergent conditions in the ER. But tossing them out on the street leads to PR nightmares because Americans believe they deserve what they want when they want it. Who cares if the hospital eats the visit?

    An example of where the US system completely fails is this:

    My SIL was born with a dislocated hip. She had what was state-of-the-art treatment in the 1970s--casts & later surgery. The hardware is breaking down, and a pin has dug a groove in the head of her femur. The cartilage is gone. Every step she takes grinds bone away. It's excruciating.

    In Canada, she'd get a hip replacement.

    But, since she's in the US, her insurance company has to authorize it. Because of the hardware in her pelvis, there are only 2 places in the country she can go for a hip replacement (doing it wrong could shatter her pelvis). Fortunately, one is 40 miles from her home.

    But her insurance company won't authorize it. Why? Because she's only 42 years old & artificial hips don't last forever. They'd need to replace the artificial joint within her lifetime. So, she has to wait until she's 55 before they'll authorize it.

    By that time, she'll be in a wheelchair & unable to work.

    I really fail to see how it benefits the country to declare her permanently disabled & pay her SSI rather than treat her and let her go back to nursing patients...
  4. MacLeod

    MacLeod Admiral Admiral

    Mar 8, 2001
    Great Britain
    ^Using the example above just how does an insurance company know how long an individual is going to live? Sure in countries with Universal Health care youmight have to join a waiting list for the surgery and that might mean waiting a year or so, but at least you would know that you were going to have the surgery at say somepoint in 2014.

    Like with any system Universal Health care isn't without it's problems.
  5. robau

    robau Lieutenant Commander Red Shirt

    Apr 19, 2012
    There have been stories of fire departments refusing to do anything because the homeowner didn't pay.
  6. iguana_tonante

    iguana_tonante Admiral Admiral

    Sep 15, 2006
    Italy, EU
    Funny how reality disagrees with you. It's almost like you are so blind in your ideology than you can't see the facts.

    Stole my words.
  7. DeepSpaceWine

    DeepSpaceWine Commander Red Shirt

    Jun 2, 2010
    At the time, Critical Care seemed to be a scathing take on HMOs. It's not "socialized medicine" as was the subject of the 2010 debate, it's different levels of health care based on socio-economic class, thus how the rich in the episode got life-saving medicine that was on short supply on the bottom level for extraneous beauty/longevity treatments. The comparison was the rich can pay for top-notch health care but the general public could not, especially when health care costs rose like a runaway train relative to inflation.

    I remember "Critical Care" was part of a rising chorus in tv/film sort of approaching the issue of health care, complaining about it. Health care costs were just starting to soar over the mid-late '90s (there's a 1997 film with Jack Nicholson with a one-liner complaining about health care and it was widely reported that line got applause from people in theaters even though it was just a one-off line, not intended to play for laugh/cheers/applause). It's sad to think over the past 12-15 years, health care still isn't fixed and with the kerfuffle in 2010, that was still just a patch on a system with deep-running problems. After 2000, the subject just disappeared. I think it went off the radar even before 9/11.

    ... and then there's things like this which expose problems in the system. So much of the insurance/copay factor should not be a concern for someone and their family going through this:
    Last edited: Jan 8, 2013
  8. Greg Cox

    Greg Cox Admiral Premium Member

    May 12, 2004
    Lancaster, PA
    "Bread and Circuses"--with its gags about commercials and ratings for televised gladitorial death matches?

    And, btw, I'm pretty sure all medicine in Star Trek is socialized.

    When was the last time you saw Dr. McCoy billing somebody or arguing with an insurance company? :)
  9. Guy Gardener

    Guy Gardener Fleet Admiral Admiral

    Apr 15, 2000
    In the lap of squalor I assure you.
    Quark "Bashir? How good of a doctor can he be? He doesn't even charge for his services!"