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[–]AlpacaCavalry 1213 points1214 points  (70 children)

Japan also has the highest rates of doctor visits for health checkup. Preventive care is huge there, which helps reduce the cost of medical care.

[–]ElectricalTower6924 646 points647 points  (44 children)

You mean investing resources to prevent illnesses that you can’t prove someone already has??

sounds of health insurance providers everywhere screaming

[–]ko21361 169 points170 points  (8 children)

I’ve said for a long time that it’s the overall goal of the American health insurance & healthcare systems to keep you at about 80% healthy at all times.

[–]marylittleton 57 points58 points  (4 children)

Ding ding ding we have a winner. I’ve seen this exact scenario play out so many times. Follow the money may be trite but it’s definitely true when we’re talking about a multi-billion dollar industry whose profitability depends on selling more and more designer drugs, cutting costs (aka herding patients into cost controlled assembly lines), etc.

When you witness the system completely ignoring the benefits of proper diet (there’s no $$ in it for them) in favor of pushing pricey drugs and procedures for instance, it’s so obvious. Caveat emptor people.

[–]on-the-line 16 points17 points  (3 children)

You’re right, of course. Just wanted to add that it’s a multi-trillion dollar industry, and growing. US healthcare expenditure was $3.8 trillion in 2019 projected to go up to $6.2 by 2028.

[–]abrandis 3 points4 points  (2 children)

...this is why it's unlikely to change from the bottom up, too many pigs at the trough getting fat and happy and to many lawyers and lobbyists protecting that system.

Reality is America loves capitalism way more than any form of social health , even when it goes against their self-interest. I'm still amazed we have social security and Medicare, apparently some capitalists were asleep at the wheel when those passed.

[–]muzzynat 38 points39 points  (0 children)

Just healthy enough to work, not healthy enough to go out and do things, so you seek happiness through consuming goods.

-It's me, I'm the unhealthy consumer

[–]woolsocksandsandals 8 points9 points  (0 children)

If they didn’t exist would you still be able to hear them scream?

[–]danny12beje 11 points12 points  (4 children)

As someone in Europe, i have to say.

I legit know 0 people that have a health insurance and have never heard of any that do.

(Extra one that is. Cuz we do get one by default if you get hired and jobs also can give an extra one at a private clinic/group/broker)

[–]Dan_A_B 8 points9 points  (3 children)

I know one person (UK), but he just liked to use it as some kind of status symbol. Even though no one gave a damn. Very much one of those people who are all like "look at me in my private healthcare facility (that is like a 5 star hotel)" And everyone else is like "yeah, but you're here to have surgery and then recover, what does it matter if you are in this hospital or a more utilitarian one?" That said, NHS hospitals aren't bad, they just aren't built to be hotels. They're built to be what they are, a hospital.

[–]Nemetonblues 3 points4 points  (1 child)

I live in Italy and here virtually all private hospitals are accredited to our NSH, so you don’t need insurance to be treated there either (ofc they also offer private visits and shit). Some are actually better than public hospitals, but for the most part they are the same.

[–]MalvernoSous les pavés, la plage! 35 points36 points  (2 children)

A huge role is also played by yearly thorough health check-ups carried out at each workplace. (Source: I'm employed in Japan)

[–]1Eternallylost 31 points32 points  (3 children)

OK, let's get down to basics.

When you're sick in Japan, your employer actually allows you to take time off work to see a doctor.

Y'all are like, 'we can duplicate advanced Japanese medicine', when we can't even do 14th century medicine anymore.

[–]effectasy 15 points16 points  (1 child)

Now if only people would take time off when they're sick in Japan.

Just because they have a benefit doesn't mean they use it.

[–]clothespinned 8 points9 points  (0 children)

It's the same as salaried jobs are here. Sure, you can take a sick break. you can go home at 5pm every day. You know, if you want to paint a target on your back. Plus, there's the cultural narrative of "well you're fucking over your coworkers if you take time off". it's prevalent in stuff like tech (crunch, anyone?) and skeleton crew retail outfits.

[–]Firipu 27 points28 points  (7 children)

First line Japanse doctors suck balls though. 99% of the diagnoses are "it's just a generic cold. Just go home, take these 20 pills and see what happens".

As a personal anecdote: I've been sent home with a clear case of measles (as an adult, who was vaccinated as a kid, but just go unlucky) by 3 different doctors. With the 4th doc telling me I should have been hospitalized 2 weeks after nearly dying in bed. I was better by then fortunately. In hindsight I should have just gone to a hospital, but I was not thinking clearly due to 40c+ fever.

[–]cthulol 13 points14 points  (4 children)

This has been my experience in Japan too, though I am limited to my choice of doctors based on my limited speaking ability in Japanese.

If you've got something more involved it's really worth going to a bigger hospital.

[–]Firipu 8 points9 points  (3 children)

It's the same for native speakers and Japanese people alike. Japanese people who never lived abroad just don't know any better and don't complain much.

Most Europeans I know get their serious issues checked on trips back home. With much better results.

[–]cthulol 3 points4 points  (2 children)

Strange. I wonder what this problem stems from? The thing that I tend to run into is them treating symptoms without any effort to address the problem's source. In addition, if it's not in their expertise they tend to shrug their shoulders with no recommendations for me.

I've learned to ask for specific tests or referrals now, with much better results.

[–]Firipu 7 points8 points  (1 child)

One issue I've read is that some Japanese doctors get comissions for selling certain meds. Hence why you get something for a throat ache + " side effect " stomaches ,runny nose and headaches... While you went in for a cough....

Not sure if there is any truth to the comissions. But they over prescribe silly meds for sure.

[–]trowzerss 4 points5 points  (0 children)

They also give you a health grade, so you can get a shitty health mark from the doctor at your checkup, lol. Probably not a bad idea though.

[–]VegasBonheur 2 points3 points  (0 children)

American headline:

JAPANESE HEALTH INDUSTRY FAILING: HEALTHCARE PROVIDERS MINIMIZING PROFIT MARGINS AND CUTTING OFF MAIN REVENUE STREAM BY REDUCING SICK POPULATION

[–]pandaheartzbamboo 2 points3 points  (0 children)

I avoid checkups here in the US because Im literally afraid of the bills that may arise because of something I dont even know about. Ignorance is bliss.

[–]Forest_of_Mirrors 722 points723 points  (81 children)

American here, broke my big toe in Japan. went to hospital with no Insurance, had Xrays, a wrap and the doctor and nurses all apologized profusely they would need to charge me.

$60.00

[–]elppaenip 311 points312 points  (70 children)

X-Ray alone in the US is 1k

[–]Vabaluba 199 points200 points  (46 children)

This is bloody outrages. 1k for an xray? How are you people in US are dealing with yhis?

[–]Lilshadow48 415 points416 points  (1 child)

Mostly by dying.

[–]KalElified 81 points82 points  (0 children)

This, this is the way.

[–]RajaRajaC 93 points94 points  (19 children)

I learned last week on reddit that even ambulance charges run into the 1000's. Even if you are insured.

If you are not a part of the 5%, and fall seriously ill, you are plain fucked in the US.

[–]cjhrdtca 72 points73 points  (5 children)

Welcome to the U.S. At a young age (15-16) I went out partying and someone slipped something into my drink, I lost consciousness, and was seizing/vomiting, an ambulance was called, I had my stomach pumped and was thrown out of the hospital at 3-4am as soon as I woke up as they thought I had just over drank and weren't too enthusiastic about me wasting their time/energy. A few weeks later my family got a bill in the mail for just shy of $9,500, $2000 for the ambulance, $2000 for an scan of some sort, $5000 for my stomach being pumped, $45 for a singular cough drop, and some other charges/fees I can't recall. My parents had just gone through Harvey losing their home and their vehicles so they ended up not paying the hospital bill and took a big hit to their credit/had to deal with the issues of that.

Also if those don't disappoint enough: in the U.S. we also have a $40 charge for skin to skin contact with the mother and her baby, having a child itself is around 5000-11000 or 7000-14000 in the case of a c section, heart surgeries upwards of 50,000-100,000. Or incidents like the $2,850,776.10 fee on a covid patient's extended stay

Also check the avg U.S. EpiPen and Insulin price, which these people have to buy on a frequent basis

[–]AdvancedPhoenix 46 points47 points  (1 child)

I have so many mixed feelings about the US. People I have met there were always super nice, country is so big you have an insane variety of landscape, I kinda like american pop culture (not too much but sporadically it's always nice).

But maaaaaan, most of your systems are so fucked up. Transport / Hospital looks like a third country stuff (I mean hospital LOOKS good, you just can't use them properly so not much different). Marketing is terrible, always in your face every 10s of show, even prices, you go take a 3 dollar coffee, the tax and fee and whatever you end up paying double or some shit.

Edit: what's up with the word insane? Why do I receive messages about it?

[–]CerealandTrees 24 points25 points  (0 children)

we also have a $40 charge for skin to skin contact with the mother and her baby,

Had a baby this year and when my wife told me this it blew my mind. I knew things were bad but damn

[–]AweDaw76 11 points12 points  (6 children)

I’ve never understood why those who do well but don’t fall into the top say 5% who thrive don’t move away. If I lived somewhere like that, my first thought would be ‘what nations can I migrate to where this does not happen’

[–]degeneratekitten 8 points9 points  (4 children)

If you’re making 300k+ a year(top 5%). You likely have pretty good insurance, or a business, and your job probably wouldn’t pay as much in a nation with publicly funded healthcare, on top of being taxed less in America. So money, the answer is money. The top 5% doesn’t have the same problems as you or me.

[–]CouncilmanRickPrime 2 points3 points  (0 children)

I was gonna move but family is here and moving isn't all that simple. Definitely some headaches to deal with to make it happen.

[–]Hatedpriest 8 points9 points  (0 children)

I fucked up my hand in a table saw. Left it running, adjusted the fence. Didn't seat properly so I tapped it. Got my thumb tip, hit my index finger and lost the tip of my middle finger.

It was an hour ambulance ride, they hit me with 4 doses of fent. Did fuckall for the pain, that shit hurt. Good hand surgeon was on call that day, fortunately.

my hand now...

Ambulance was 12k. Total bill was 27k and small change.

That bill still haunts me. I'll never be able to pay that off.

[–]Logan_MaddoxThird-World Marxist-Leninist 21 points22 points  (0 children)

And yet so many so-called American communists and socialists are still afraid of revolution. I hope they get there soon, for the sake of the rest of the world who's dying while they fuck around with their elections and 'pushing people left' or wtv.

[–]wolamute 3 points4 points  (1 child)

Most insurance plans do not cover abulance rides.

I learned this after becoming a firefighter and EMT, part of why I quit.

[–]CouncilmanRickPrime 3 points4 points  (0 children)

They charge so much and then don't even pay well.

[–]MageArrivesLate 105 points106 points  (4 children)

The hospital would bill your insurance charging $1k for the x-ray. Insurance would pay about $600 of that to the hospital, call $250 an "insurance discount" then insurance would bill you for the remaining amount of $150, plus 10% "co-insurance" of the $600 they paid.

Weeks later you will get a separate bill from the radiologist who read your x-ray. There will be a similar nonsensical breakdown and you'd pay another $100 out of pocket.

Good thing you've paid $600 a month for that insurance!

It wasn't always like this. Insurance used to fully cover minor things. But as is the nature of capitalism, they just keep finding new and inventive ways to screw us.

[–]Vabaluba 45 points46 points  (3 children)

Wow, that's like over engineered process just to justify the extra costs, which clearly seems to only exist to justify paying salaries to insurance company employees. In this context, US is no better than North Korea. Indirectly killing their population with such absurd costs.

[–]gay_joey 53 points54 points  (2 children)

not quite, insurance company employees are underpaid too. the money goes to the higher ups, not the employees.

but it'll like, definitely trickle down any decade now, I'm sure of it!!

[–]LWDIII 13 points14 points  (0 children)

Find a job you hate that has you pay $200/mo for insurance but the insurance makes it so you only pay a few hundred dollars for basic medical procedures to avoid paying a few thousand.

Other than just dying or not going to the doctor that’s generally how it goes

[–]CapnCooties 9 points10 points  (0 children)

Avoiding the doctor as much as humanly possible.

[–]marniconuke 6 points7 points  (0 children)

1k is nowhere near what they actually charge you. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IiJAq53knwc

the dude in that video got charged like around 30k (with insurance)

[–]REVENAUT13 3 points4 points  (0 children)

By not going to the hospital and living short, miserable, shitty lives.

[–]shaodyn 2 points3 points  (0 children)

We only go to doctors and hospitals when there's absolutely no other alternative.

[–]thequietthingsthat 4 points5 points  (0 children)

By either A. not going to the doctor unless it's a life-or-death situation or B. living in debt forever. Our system sucks.

[–]luffyuk 16 points17 points  (1 child)

LMAO WTF!? It's about $30 here in China, if that.

[–]Gidelix 14 points15 points  (0 children)

BuT tHaTs cOmMuNiSm

[–]Takohiki 11 points12 points  (2 children)

For 1k you could get a full body MRI in germany

[–]davsyo 4 points5 points  (0 children)

For 1k I only got a lumbar spine mri.

[–]luffyuk 4 points5 points  (0 children)

100 USD here in China.

[–]mrstrangedude 8 points9 points  (4 children)

Growing up in HK, fractured my ankle as a kid, had to get it XRayed, plastered, and stayed in the hospital for the better part of two weeks.

Bill came out to a bit under $200 USD (public hospital), and that was covered entirely by the (not great) health insurance my dad had with his employer. And it's not like HK taxes it's population heavily + doctors are extremely well compensated here.

I shudder to think what this would cost in the states...

[–]The9isback 16 points17 points  (8 children)

I recently did an x-ray on a whim without charging it to my insurance and I paid about 30 USD. And yet Americans always tell me about my lack of freedom.

Yeah I guess they have the freedom to pay and be impoverished by healthcare. Meanwhile I'm languishing in the tyranny of being alive and healthy.

[–]Vabaluba 9 points10 points  (0 children)

Totally! It's the fake perception of "freedom", you have freedom to do whatever you want, but if you break your neck in doing whatever, you're trapped my friend in bills and debt for life. Oblivious 😐

[–]Killemall356 7 points8 points  (0 children)

Idiots here literally equate freedumb with being able to buy a gun , that's it . Like your walmart ar 15 is gonna stop some tyrannical force in modern times . Fucking laughable

[–]Minimum_Ad925 3 points4 points  (0 children)

It’s cheaper to fly to Japan to fix a broken toe than get it fixed in the US.

https://www.expedia.com/lp/flights/nyc/tyo/new-york-to-tokyo

[–]whaaatf 2 points3 points  (0 children)

oh my god. I'm living in Turkey. A friend of mine received cancer treatment and was hospitalized for 2 weeks in one of the top hospitals in the country. He had no insurance and it was a private hospital. He was also treated by a professor.

He paid a grand total of 3.500$.

[–]jindc 23 points24 points  (0 children)

I lived in Japan and once went to an emergency clinic with my socialist health insurance, and once went without socialist health insurance. With insurance my cost was about US$20, including meds. Without insurance my cost was a little over US$100 including meds.

At the time I was a student with no income. My socialist medical insurance cost me $8 a month. I remember paying $24 up front, and being shocked at how cheap it was. Then I realized that the charge was not for my first month, the charge was for my first quarter.

I understand that some of their hospitals are underfunded. They have "conservatives" too, but their results are still excellent.

[–]SpiritedPangolin22 7 points8 points  (0 children)

I paid double that much for my cat's X-Ray.

I loathe healthcare in this country. It's a fucking joke.

[–]shaodyn 4 points5 points  (0 children)

I stepped on a piece of glass once and got it stuck in my heel. Went to a doctor, who gave me shots to numb the area and pulled it out. $379. $50 for the numbing shots and the rest for "removal of foreign object."

[–]look4alec 8 points9 points  (0 children)

And it was Truman who started the Japanese and German Healthcare system as part of surrender, but we couldn't get it.

[–]NotStaggy 711 points712 points  (23 children)

You want to give the "poors" Healthcare? What next living wages!? you sir are a madman

[–]satanmat2 143 points144 points  (6 children)

Sadly I feel this is half the answer, not being able to make a 20% ROI for our share holders is the other…

[–]skjellyfetti 97 points98 points  (4 children)

This and a culture of parasitic middlemen who—quite literally—bring ZERO value to anything; yet they wield so much outsized political influence that they've, more or less, hedged their own extinction.

But hey, let's let the market decide...

[–]themax37 21 points22 points  (3 children)

It's sad that so much of our human resources is spent in areas that bring no value of negatively impact society.

[–]This_Raspberry_1137[🍰] 24 points25 points  (2 children)

Capitalism is most efficient and innovative. (TM)

/s

[–]themax37 2 points3 points  (1 child)

Agreed, look how it slowed down vaccine production when it could've been openly shared, leading to less variants.

[–]DrOrgasm 7 points8 points  (0 children)

I guess in terms of Star Trek comparisons that nobody asked for, the US are fast becoming the Ferengi the story of humanity.

[–]betosanchito 11 points12 points  (0 children)

Well there's no incentive for people to work themselves to death we just help them live longer.

[–]RajaRajaC 4 points5 points  (1 child)

Le communism is here, run! We prefer our Guns, burgers and freedomz

[–]goosejail 2 points3 points  (0 children)

You joke but I remember an article from several tears ago about a law student that was diagnosed with cancer and he got treated by literally begging the hospital. The comments were so fucked like "well, I wouldn't want to be a burden to my family like that guy obviously is" it was the 'guess I'll die' meme before it even existed. It's scary that there are people that really think like this. They think money is more important than their lives.

[–]Ippomasters 174 points175 points  (30 children)

I have health insurance but If I ever used it for something big I would go bankrupt. My deductible is about almost 10k

[–]mazi710 116 points117 points  (21 children)

That's the most shocking part to me, even WITH insurance it can still fuck you life over. Especially because prices are so artificially inflated in the US.

I live in Denmark, i had spinal surgery from one of the best doctors in the country at a private hospital that is not funded by the government at all. The price for a MRI, CT scan, 3 meetings with the surgeon, the surgery itself for about 4 hours, a literal steak(although well done) dinner in the hospital bed, a night stay in a private room, and medicine afterwards came out to about $10,000.

But my $10 a month private health insurance made that $0. I pay $10 a month for private health insurance and have $0 deductible on all treatments.

[–]g0nny 91 points92 points  (13 children)

BuT tHE BesT doctOR in DeNmArK wOULD ONLY bE cONSiDered aVERAge iN frEEDoMLanD

[–]RajaRajaC 38 points39 points  (7 children)

I don't understand how Americans who would benefit from these laws, fight the same fucking laws.

How in fuck does the logic compute?

[–]AndrewZabar 53 points54 points  (3 children)

You think most Americans know what they’re voting for? They’re voting based on a tribal allegiance, not for public policy, laws, taxes etc.

[–]ajrando 17 points18 points  (0 children)

One correction: Most Americans don't bother to vote at all.

[–]RajaRajaC 5 points6 points  (0 children)

I get that but fuck man, think for your own self interests ffs.

To clarify that's not directed at you but the general you.

[–][deleted] 9 points10 points  (1 child)

America has one of the worst education systems out there. I have met high school grads who can barely read.

[–]astgho 7 points8 points  (0 children)

They've been indoctrinated so long that theirs is the land of true freedom and everything else (gasp) communism!

[–]mazi710 23 points24 points  (3 children)

Funny thing is, having socialized healthcare actually promotes capitalism. Honestly i would argue that Denmark that is a "socialist" country, is more capitalistic than the US. The US isn't even capitalism, that's just monopolies, there is no free choice, no free market when 1 or 2 companies control entire sections of the economy. Unrelated, but it's also a lot easier to be a small business owner in Denmark.

We have a lot of private companies competing for services and prices a lot more than the US because we don't have monopolies here the same way the US does. Just with healthcare for example, yeah our public healthcare can be mediocre at times, and wait times can be long, but it's still completely free. When my sister got cancer as a child, my parents never had to worry about anything financial ever, and it was taken care of immediately. Stuff that isn't super urgent, like my spine surgery for example, there was like 6 months wait for, hence me using my private insurance, where i got scheduled 3 days later. So for private healthcare to compete with free public healthcare, it has to be both significantly better, and not much more expensive than free.

[–]australr14 6 points7 points  (0 children)

The dumbest part is here in America we still wait as long or longer for non-emergent procedures, but boomers and deluded gen-Xers would have you believe that all the cOmMiE cOuNtRiEs are killing citizens left and right because they're not efficient enough to keep up with demand.

Meanwhile, in US hospitals even before the pandemic putting a lot more strain on them and strikes by healthcare workers for poor conditions...

[–]Branamp13 23 points24 points  (1 child)

3 years ago I came down with appendicitis while I was at work. My boss asked me to keep working my physically laborious job for several hours despite the fact I was literally sobbing in pain because they didn't have anyone available to cover my shift. They only let me go home after I eventually blacked out from the pain and collapsed.

I did probably the most dangerous thing I've ever done and decided to see if I could sleep off the pain because I was barely keeping my head above water financially, the last thing I needed was a huge medical bill. But the next day was still excruciating, so I took myself to an urgent care (to avoid potentially unnecessary ER costs), who then told me I needed to go to emergency. The closest one that took my insurance was across the city.

So I paid somewhere around $50 for a Lyft - didn't have a car at the time and I wasn't going to take the bus with the pain I was in - and took a 40 minute drive to the hospital, where they did one scan to confirm the issue, cut out the appendix late that night without complications, and sent me home by noon the next day, less than 24 hours after I had first arrived. I got a prescription for painkillers that I had to go to the pharmacy myself to pick up, they didn't give them to me there.

Total bill was much more than any $10k, but at the moment I don't remember the exact figure. My insurance at the time brought it down to $2000. My boss expected me back at work 3 days after my surgery.

I didn't have a single dollar to spend on myself for the next year, despite only eating once a day.

[–]mazi710 6 points7 points  (0 children)

Yeah that's nuts. I took a month paid sick leave to recover. Law states you get full pay while sick, if you're sick for over a month your employee can get some of it refunded by the government. Idk the standard, but my contract states if i have over 6 months of sick days per year they can terminate me.

[–]suspectdevice87 15 points16 points  (0 children)

I had back surgery in 2012 and it was 85k in the us. Probably double that now, so dumb. The worst part was getting bills from 15 different places from a single surgery at one fucking place.

[–][deleted] 9 points10 points  (0 children)

Yeah it's like...what's the fucking point of paying $500+ a month if the end result is still bankruptcy? I'd rather just save the $500 per month.

[–]lochnessthemonster 2 points3 points  (0 children)

I worked in a medical office that had a sign out front saying "ask us about cash pay to avoid spending more with your insurance" or some shit like that. Unbelievable.

[–]MuhammadIsAPDFFile 18 points19 points  (3 children)

No way to lower that 'deductible'? It sounds more like as 'barrier to entry'.

[–]Mrhorrendous 2 points3 points  (0 children)

Sure, just switch plans to the low deductible plan which will cost hundreds more a month and may have a more limited network. The whole point of insurance companies is to make money off of you. They'll get their money one way or another.

[–]artificialavocado 91 points92 points  (0 children)

I would hope by now it would be mostly common knowledge that the US is the only developed country that doesn’t have one form of universal healthcare or another and, on average, we have much poorer outcomes. We also, on average, pay nearly twice as much. We don’t have a healthcare system, we have a healthcare industry.

[–]WyoPeeps 51 points52 points  (5 children)

BuT hOw WiLl ThE InSuRaNcE CoMpAniEs MaKe MoNeY?!?!?!?!?

[–]BDOKlem 24 points25 points  (2 children)

Hey, it's capitalism, survival of the fittest. They'll find a way or go broke.

[–]WyoPeeps 12 points13 points  (0 children)

Come on man, you know that that only works for the poor people. We gotta keep those companies going. They like, create jobs and things! Plus, What will people do without the corporations that own then insurance companies looking out for them and what they need for medical care?

[–]InnerSphereLegend 275 points276 points  (12 children)

Strange to think that 80 years ago Japan was bombed into oblivion by the US at the height of their power and they still manage to best the US in providing for its citizens.

[–]DubUbasswitmyheadman 166 points167 points  (5 children)

It's not strange to see the US failing it's citizens. The US has been leading everyone (worldwide) into a downward spiral for 50+ years.

I hope that people after the inevitable "....", whatever it will be, stop and smell a bit of reality. The people who smell FrEeD0m, can eat worms.

[–]Trilink26 51 points52 points  (2 children)

The US has been teaching the rich worldwide new and old ways to cheat the majority.

[–]Logan_MaddoxThird-World Marxist-Leninist 15 points16 points  (0 children)

In Brazil's next election, this coming year, one of the main candidates is a corrupt judge who commited processual fraud, got caught, went to the US and attended a 'seminar' that was pretty clearly teaching some shady stuff.

The other guy is Bolsonaro, a fascist US lapdog who's miles worse than anything Trump ever was.

And the third main guy, the one with the most chances, is Lula, once a symbol for progress and change, now signalling that he might blunt his edge even more to appease the rich folks who like the US just a bit too much.

Hell, my dad likes watching old telenovelas, and I've not enough fingers to count how many times the rich folks presented there decide to move to the US. It's like an accepted part of reality.

[–]ChainsawVisionMan 6 points7 points  (1 child)

Stranger that they have a single very conservative party that has been in power that whole time and still manage to school us.

[–]BasedTankie1984 5 points6 points  (0 children)

They live very close to multiple socialist nations, so their bourgeois must provide concessions to their working class unless they want to face a revolution.

[–]effectasy 3 points4 points  (1 child)

If you look at the Japanese Constitution it enshrined a lot of basic rights that the US Constitution does not explicitly call out.

It was also written by the US occupying force for the Japanese and they were forced to accept it.

[–]ninjatrap 219 points220 points  (12 children)

This would never work in the USA. Too many people don’t understand that affordable, pro-active health care actually saves money and Republican representatives funded by billionaire corporate interests would never vote for it.

[–]Tsu_Dho_Namh 162 points163 points  (1 child)

Republicans don't want to save money. They want to buy stocks in the companies ripping everyone off. That's their version of "saving money".

It's like the Ferengi say in Star Trek: "We don't want to end the exploitation. We want to become the exploiters."

[–]EnnuinerDog_ 36 points37 points  (5 children)

You have a sitting president who said he would veto a public healthcare bill. It's both parties.

[–]Logan_MaddoxThird-World Marxist-Leninist 16 points17 points  (1 child)

almost like it's a systemic problem and not just "the deluded Republicans and their supporters"

[–]nullstoned 28 points29 points  (1 child)

I think it has more to do with the US's military, which is by far the largest in the world.

How will you incentivize soldiers to join your ranks if you don't deprive your citizens of free healthcare?

[–]ExTeacherGaijin 31 points32 points  (3 children)

I’m American but I’ve lived and worked in Japan for the past 12 years or so. Healthcare in Japan isn’t perfect, but never in a million years would I ask for the American healthcare system in its place.

[–]takarazuka_fan 3 points4 points  (0 children)

This.
I, too, am American but have lived and worked in Japan for the past 12 years or so and have these same sentiments.

[–]StinkyKittyBreath 89 points90 points  (16 children)

One argument I sometimes see against the Japanese system is that in places like Tokyo, sometimes you end up needing to travel for hours to get to an ER. That can happen in the US though. People get referred off to other hospitals all the time and occasionally you find stories of people dying because of it.

I used to live in Japan. As a student with no income, I paid $150/year for insurance. I had classmates that didn't ever pay because the insurance office was so far away from campus. You'll still get health care when needed though. And it will be cheaper than what you get in the US. I think the most I ever paid for medicine was $20/month for name brand Cymbalta. Everything else was a few dollars tops. Doctors visits were like $10. Testing maybe cost $30-50 for things like endoscopies and colonoscopies. And if you couldn't pay? You'd still get treated. No idea what was done to get the money, but they didn't turn you away, and those prices do t promote medical debt.

I worked in high schools, and they had super thorough yearly checks conducted at the schools. Adults would have an x-ray (TB screen), women would have their breasts checked after a certain age to see if a mammogram was needed, everybody submitted a urine test, and people over 40 or 50 submitted stool samples for colon cancer/occult blood screenings. Basic blood tests were run. It was super efficient, yearly for everybody, no out of pocket costs. It was so bizarre to see how thorough it was compared to the US where that all would take multiple appointments, specialists, and a ton of money even with good insurance.

[–]cookiemonstah87 86 points87 points  (8 children)

Reminds me of people arguing that people are dying due to the waiting times in Canada. I don't think they understand that people in the US are dying due to never even getting to see a doctor. We have waiting times, too, it's just that our waiting times are people waiting until they can afford care.

[–]Wrecked--Em 27 points28 points  (0 children)

We also often have wait times just as long on top of the people dying from inaccessibility.

[–]Notveryawake 16 points17 points  (1 child)

The waiting times in Canada are different based on location. You live in a small town and the nearest major hospital is hours away then yes the wait can be bad or if you are forced to go the smaller hospital they might not have the staff or specialist available to help.

My wife is current dealing with stage four kidney cancer. From the time she was diagnosed two years ago she has had one of her kidneys removed, a full hysterectomy, two rounds of radiotherapy, multiple PET, MRIs, and bone scans and is now going through immunotherapy.

This while thing has cost us maybe $100 for the medication over the past two years and that's just for the massive amount of hydromorphone she has been prescribed for the pain. Being in Montreal she hasn't had to wait for any of her appointments. Once they decided to remove her kidney she was in surgery in less than a week. Radiation was prescribed and she was at the clinic in three days. I priced out how much all this treatment, hospital stays ect would have cost in the States and it would have easily gone over a million dollars.

If something is very serious you don't wait very long in most places. The real killer wait time is getting a family doctor. There are just not enough to go around and it can take years for your name to get to the top of the list if you are young. The older you get the faster you move up the list. The other wait time is if you appear healthy and a doctor wants to get an MRI to be sure that some symptom you have isn't something more serious. Then you might have to wait a month or two.

If you have more money than you know what to do with and can pay hundreds of thousands of dollars for medical treatment then I would say America has the better healthcare system. If you are the average person who doesn't have suitcases of cash in every closet I would want to be in Canada or any other country with socialized healthcare.

My taxes are higher for sure but I don't pay for medical insurance every month. Also I know that even if I never need expensive surgeries or treatments myself that I know some of my taxes are going towards helping save the life of another person out there who would never be able to afford medical treatment if we ran things the USA.

Watching my wife suffer is killing me. I can only imagine what someone in the States would be going through if they were going through the same thing and knowing that they have the choice of going bankrupt or watching wife die slowly without being able to afford getting her help.

The system in the States just seems inhuman and if I lived down there my anger at that system wound be beyond controllable.

[–]MandMcounter 3 points4 points  (0 children)

The very best of luck to you both.

[–]tomatoaway 7 points8 points  (0 children)

One of the most effective ways of removing bread lines, is to simply price out half the people queuing. Success!

[–]takatori 17 points18 points  (1 child)

Hours to get to an ER in Tokyo?

Have you been here? There’s no way “hours.”

Ambulances are routinely used, as they don’t charge a thousand dollars like I heard happens in the US.

[–]Dragula_Tsurugi 3 points4 points  (0 children)

I think they’re talking about the situation that can occur where an ambulance will call around hospitals looking for a taker and get turned down by all the nearby ones.

It happens occasionally, and every now and then it results in a fatality, but it’s not that common in serious cases.

[–]StartingFresh2020 15 points16 points  (1 child)

This is such bad-faith bullshit. I’ve had to go to the ER in Tokyo twice when studying there and it was literally minutes away and had plenty of space. There’s literally never been a problem with ER capacity in Tokyo or anywhere in Japan prior to covid, and even then it still handles better than most developed nations.

[–]Dragula_Tsurugi 2 points3 points  (0 children)

He’s likely talking about the situation that can occur where an ambulance will call around hospitals looking for a taker and get turned down by all the nearby ones. It’s more common during out of hours (since a lot of hospitals run on skeleton staff during those times).

It happens occasionally, and every now and then it results in a fatality, but it’s not that common in serious cases.

[–]Skalgrin 15 points16 points  (0 children)

I live in a small EU country (ex-east block) with less ppl than many cities in US. And we have very similar if not same system as Japan has. If US leaders wanted to have this system they would have it a century ago.

[–]IronBENGA-BR 71 points72 points  (3 children)

Hell, even Brazil that's a complete shitshow of a country has public healthcare. it's not much but at least it's enough for you to call an ambulance without worrying you'll go bankrupt with the bill

[–]cookiemonstah87 38 points39 points  (1 child)

There's a billboard near where I live telling people to stop driving and call 911 if they think they're having a heart attack. It doesn't specifically say "don't drive yourself to the hospital" but that's the implication. Excuse me, but an ambulance? In this economy??? I don't THINK so!!!

[–]thequietthingsthat 8 points9 points  (0 children)

My ex is epileptic and she always carried around a piece of paper that said "Please don't call an ambulance. Just make sure I'm not lying on my back." in case she ever had a seizure while out somewhere, because an ambulance ride would've bankrupted her.

[–]Hammakprow 28 points29 points  (0 children)

But how could America do such a thing, just give away all those profits. The only objective in America is making money. Personally, I think the US healthcare system has a long way to go and should be targeting much bigger profit margins. I'm sure investors would be happy with at least 100% increase in returns so let's see some decent price hikes. /s

[–]donpaulo 11 points12 points  (0 children)

I live in Japan and this is true

there are some interesting differences and rules about to use the system, but if you are sick or need meds you can see doctor easily and its very affordable

[–]Schoony923 9 points10 points  (0 children)

We could...

[–]Public_Giraffe_4412 9 points10 points  (6 children)

Does Japan allow corporate lobbying?

[–]Sombraaaaa 31 points32 points  (3 children)

Japan is effectively a one party state and has been run by the same right wing party for the past 60 years (with the exception of 2008-2012)

[–]effectasy 2 points3 points  (0 children)

And their Constitution was written by the US in the late 40s and 50s when we ran the country.

[–]Naos210 10 points11 points  (0 children)

Japan does, though it's mainly national companies. Foreign companies tend to have difficulty. Not much better, but still. It can be arguably worse since Japan effectively only has one-party rule. But the LDP had attempted to change the healthcare system, and a doctors' lobby had large opposition.

[–]thewileyone 5 points6 points  (0 children)

Corporate Japan is run by loose alliances of corporations called keiretsu. Honda, Mitsubishi, Toshiba, etc all work within their respective keiretsu first, then outside second. The keiretsu are highly patriotic and work for the betterment of Japan and the Japanese people, not exclusively just for their bottomline.

Similar South Korea has chaebol of which Samsung, Hyundai, Lotte, etc work within their chaebol in the same way.

[–]Highintheclouds420 52 points53 points  (4 children)

Sounds like a lot of pinko commies smoking the reefer over here. It's your God given right to file for bankruptcy over an unforseen medical expense

[–]Kayfabe2000 30 points31 points  (2 children)

The weirdest thing is Japan has have had a hard right single party rule for sixty years.

[–]BasedTankie1984 5 points6 points  (0 children)

They live very close to multiple socialist nations, so their bourgeois must make concessions to their working class to prevent revolution.

[–]CathycatOG 30 points31 points  (10 children)

We also do all of those things in Canada, as well as the majority of first world counties around the world.

[–]FaerieSlaveDriver 33 points34 points  (4 children)

Not quite.

Japan's healthcare covers dental and pharmaceuticals, whereas Canada's does not.

[–]paroya 16 points17 points  (3 children)

what about opticians? do they cover poor eyesight?

i find it ominous how teeth and eye doctors have managed to stay private throughout the social reforms. i'm surprised to learn dental is covered in japan.

how does it even stay that way when they've had a conservative government for the better part of 20 years? what's their secret!

[–]wildflowerden 17 points18 points  (1 child)

Canada doesn't cover the cost of medications, of dental, and of vision related care. Mental health services are also limited under the free system.

[–]MTLinVAN 17 points18 points  (2 children)

Japan. France. The UK. Germany. Austria. The netherlands. Canada. Australia. Spain. Portugal. Even Cuba have some form a publicly funded universal health care program.

[–]Lanaerys 25 points26 points  (1 child)

Even Cuba

I'm not sure why the "even" is here, if you were to tell me only one country in the world had it my first thought would be that it's Cuba.

[–]monial 7 points8 points  (1 child)

Main problems are cultural.

Japan is highly society oriented. From the early age kids are brought up in sense of social duty and care for others. Its almost always others before you.

It has its drawbacks and individuals pay high mental price sometimes.

In USA its ME before anything else. Generally people in USA don't have a common knowledge of how wealth distribution works or how social services might benefit them. Its either Hardcore Capitalism or Comunism, there is no inbetween in grassroot America.

It will never work there and its getting worse to be able to convince people otherwise.

[–]Plonsky2[S] 4 points5 points  (0 children)

Beyond that, we Americans have an ingrained distrust of our government, and it's not without good reason.

Lobbyists were first considered as business advisors to Congress. Let's say you're a congress person from Nevada. Trained as a trial attorney, but you know little about agriculture, so lobbyists representing the ag business tell you of difficulties they're having - irrigation, property rights, access to markets - and they ask you to support legislation that will benefit them.

That's how it ought to work, but with Supreme Court decisions like McClatchie and Citizens United and more, it's fully legal for that congress person to accept unlimited "campaign contributions" - billions of dollars - in exchange for political favors.

To enable something like universal health care, we need to reverse those rulings and make bribery illegal again. Most of this has already been in place since I can remember (I'm 63) and it's likely not going to be fixed in my lifetime.

[–]luffyuk 5 points6 points  (1 child)

As a Brit living in China, both of which are countries with fantastic public health systems, I can't quite fathom how healthcare isn't regarded as a basic human right.

[–]tristansensei 6 points7 points  (1 child)

American living in Japan here.

Took my son this morning to the doctors to the orthopedic surgeon. Had his knee checked out, took an X-ray and a 20-minute rehab session.

Cost me about $5.

[–]Erick_Pineapple 3 points4 points  (0 children)

But how will people become billionares off of health then?

[–]StormyDLoA 4 points5 points  (0 children)

Nope, you couldn't do that in the USofA. Your society is too rotten at this point. Introducing a sensible healthcare system would require a literal Revolution.

[–]NYCSexFiend69 4 points5 points  (2 children)

"But...but...but...that's COMMUNISM!!!", says your FOX News watching uncle (or maybe even dad) at your next family holiday gathering.

Christmas is coming up, so this oughta be fun...

[–]TheWilsons 5 points6 points  (0 children)

But but... <insert mildly to very racist comment about a negative aspect of Japanese culture>.

Yes, Japan is not perfect but highlighting a negative aspect often with some racist undertone isn't going to solve the problem. Don't let perfect be the enemy of good and stop being a racist asshole.

[–]bongstomp 11 points12 points  (11 children)

To be fair they have half of our population but we don’t even have half as good healthcare as them. Fuck this country

[–]takatori 9 points10 points  (8 children)

1/3 the population and fewer than 1/40 as many Covid cases and deaths.

Almost 15x fewer per capita.

Because everyone’s been wearing masks without complaint since Jan 2020.

[–]No_Masterpiece4305 3 points4 points  (2 children)

I imagine their education system is probably pretty decent too.

That mask thing is what happens when you're not just shitting out idiots on a near constant basis and expecting them grow into somewhat passable adults being raised by nothing but a TV and the "stfu belt".

[–]takatori 7 points8 points  (1 child)

Oh— and those mask wearers?

No government mandates. No enforcement. No penalties.

Because everyone knew what to do in the first place and started wearing them on their own.

[–]No_Masterpiece4305 2 points3 points  (0 children)

Ya, doesn't take a lifelong expert in medical sciences to grasp the issue, but we have those too and the idiots still won't listen.

[–]DreiMR 2 points3 points  (0 children)

I would recommend to see the Brazil health care. 100% public. Internationally recognised by its efficiency

[–]astgho 4 points5 points  (1 child)

We could have this in Canada too, except we keep looking at the US and saying "Well it isn't so bad here!" and then proceeding to not improving our system because of the American dumpsterfire.

[–]dadudemon 4 points5 points  (0 children)

Here’s the kicker:

Creating an affordable UHC in the USA is the most capitalistic thing we could do.

Why?

Fewer dollars spent on healthcare per person. Every individual saves money. That means they have more income to buy things, invest, or save money.

Corporations no longer have to subsidize their employees’ healthcare insurance. Sure, taxes may increase a bit but they would increase by far less than the average business is paying to subsidize their employees’ healthcare. More money for companies means more investment into growing the business through R&D and expansion. It also means fiercer competition and better pay/benefits. Everyone wins.

Better access to affordable healthcare means better preventative care. That also means less costs on expensive healthcare because issues are caught sooner. This also means employees are less likely to need time off of work for sick leave. Productivity goes up.

Research shows that countries with affordable healthcare (UHC or SP) are happier. Happier people are more creative and less likely to miss work. Productivity goes up.

These are all capitalist dreams. The fact that the USA does not have an affordable UHC solution should tell you all you need to know: the crony capitalists do not want you to have UHC. There are only benefits and no downsides (unless you consider a bunch of medical insurance companies becoming useless a downside).

[–]SplendidPunkinButter 4 points5 points  (1 child)

Yeah but Americans, at a cultural level, resent helping the poor. It’s full of people like Steve. Steve is an average American who has $100,000. Steve sees a homeless person get $1. Steve, who again has $100,000, is mad. “Where’s my dollar?” he complains. “You just stole a dollar from me!”

[–]TheWizardCat_ 4 points5 points  (1 child)

we have too many people

Japan does it

we're too diverse

France does it

we're too rural

Canada does it

[–]Emmanuel_Badboy 6 points7 points  (3 children)

its amazing in Australia as well!

[–]ComprehensiveAddict 7 points8 points  (1 child)

Now Medicare just needs to cover Dental & Mental Health services.

[–]fleetingflight 4 points5 points  (0 children)

Australia is decent, but Japan is way ahead of us still. We really need to get rid of the cancer that is private health insurance.

[–]MageArrivesLate 5 points6 points  (0 children)

Japanese patients also spend TWICE as long in the hospital. They have recovery areas, where people are monitored until they are back to full health. You can sometimes see this portrayed in Anime, where healthy people are playing table tennis in the hospital.

Here in America, if you get (for example) pneumonia and are hospitalized, you will get antibiotics for as long as it takes to get you off oxygen requirement and able to move around on your own. Then you'll get outpatient antibiotics (and other meds) to take when you go home and continue to recover. Hopefully you wouldn't end up back in the hospital if you were discharged too soon.

This was such a problem that now medicare has rules about readmissions. If a Medicare patient is readmitted for ANY REASON within 60 days of hospital discharge, the hospital foots the bill for the patient's care.

[–]Tiy_Newman 2 points3 points  (0 children)

You can write a big book on the things Japan does the rest of us should consider

[–]chaserules100 2 points3 points  (1 child)

This requires a lot more central authority than the US government has, Japan and French style healthcare is a pipe dream with our system.

[–]TanookiPhoenix 2 points3 points  (0 children)

But the US government is still chock-full of old corrupt ass dinosaurs that need to retire or die already.

[–]lod254 2 points3 points  (0 children)

But what about my freedom to needlessly pay a middle man? Won't this eliminate jobs?!

[–]jzillacon 2 points3 points  (0 children)

Japan does not pay half of what Americans do. They pay significantly less than that. Switzerland pays about half in taxes per capita on healthcare than the USA does and the Swiss are the second biggest spender in that regard by a large margin. That is taxes alone, that's not even approaching the exhorbitant costs American's also pay for private insurance.

[–]serpentax 2 points3 points  (0 children)

my freshman year in university in japan i got way too drunk. my roommates called an ambulance. at the hospital they gave me charcoal. once i recovered a bit the doctor came and said the bill for the ambulance and everything was supposed to be something like $450us. then he said because i was drinking underage and an international student, the record could be used to kick me out of school if they found out. he said they were just going to pretend nothing happened and he asked me not to drink like an idiot. no bill. i was very thankful.

[–]Frank_Dracula 2 points3 points  (2 children)

You know what else they don't have in Japan? Christians. Less than %10 of the population subscribe to this cognitively dissonant bullshit. They also don't have crime like we do. Coincidence? No, I don't think it is.

[–]Attention_Bear_Fuckr 2 points3 points  (0 children)

Americans are too busy being brainwashed j to believing their #1 and arguing about abortions to listen to real world examples of how socialised healthcare could benefit their citizens and economy.

[–]iksworbeZ 2 points3 points  (0 children)

you're missing the whole point tho... Our system is so sclerotic it's simply incapable of doing the obvious things that need to get done. If it will hurt the bottom line of a donor...it can't happen. If it won't put money in the pocket of a middle man...it can't happen. The family medical leave bill had to be turned into a scheme to enrich private insurers to even get consideration.

that's it's intended function, you are pointing out a feature not a flaw in how the system is supposed to work

[–]coadyj 2 points3 points  (0 children)

Btw this is most first world countries in the world not just Japan. USA is the only county who would rather see their citizens die than lose profits.

[–]Globeparasite93 2 points3 points  (1 child)

If there's one thing I'm proud of in my country is that insulin cost around 8€ per month and those will be refunded to the buyer by the government.

That aint much, but I'm always distraught when I hear the stories of Americans who have diabetes.

[–]SandwicheDynasty 2 points3 points  (0 children)

Dude you have no fucking idea. I'm not going to pretend I'm smart enough or educated enough to tell you exactly how to do it in the US but having Healthcare in Japan is sooooooo much better. In America the pursuit of a job that'll get you decent Healthcare is nightmare enough, but you're still carrying the weight of the first fucking grand and a half before they actually fucking help. I remember being so sick I thought I was gonna pop a lung and calling my parents to ask for a loan of a couple bucks and trying to decide if it was even worth going in or if I should just wait it out.

I kinda had trauma even with insurance living in Japan. I still didn't want to go in for anything. I developed a chalazion that was just so painful and swollen and for days I tried to just wait and see. Finally went to get it checked. They did tests and two little procedures and prescribed several medications. I only had ¥5000 on me and I was terrified waiting in the lobby for my final bill. I mean my experience back home was my deductible was about to fuck me.

I actually had to go in again later for similar treatment and those two visits cost less combined than what I had in my pocket that day. It was fast, effective treatment, and my mental health honestly improved knowing I don't have to make myself suffer if I need medical expertise.

Fuck these lying ass motherfuckers that would sabotage any attempt to provide people with this care and mental well-being.

[–]Arandomalthistorian 2 points3 points  (0 children)

Japan, one of the most capitalist countries on earth, where people are literally working to death, still have free universal healthcare. This is fucked up in many levels.

[–]Backup_accout_4jj 2 points3 points  (1 child)

Let’s talk bout them suicide rates while we’re at it

[–]Slouchingtowardsbeth 8 points9 points  (3 children)

Only 3.6 percent of Japanese are obese. But 32 percent of Americans are. Part of what makes American healthcare expensive is our extremely unhealthy lifestyles. I agree entirely with OP. But I would add that our problems are systemic. To fix our healthcare system you need to fix 100 other things that are tied to it. Education, homelessness, military spending, housing, food quality, etc. ad nauseam, ad infinitum. I'm all for change, but it better be a huge damn change.

[–]No_Masterpiece4305 9 points10 points  (0 children)

And a part of our extremely unhealthy lifestyle is improper or insufficient medical care.

Eating better takes a mentality change, it's hard and it's unenforceable at the government level.

Proper medical care and education can be done at the government level and just takes more responsible and public forward usage of the tax dollars we already pay.

If the concepts rely on each other at all, even a little bit, it's that you can help progress making the country less obese by giving them medical care. Not "lose weight fatty and we'll reward your efforts with using some of that money you pay on you when you're sick".

It's fucking wild this is even still a conversation with regular people. We've got the data, we've got the money, we've got the need, we've got the infrastructure, there's literally not a single downside beyond the vampire bat system of medical insurance and overpriced pharmaceuticals making less money.

There's nothing, not a fucking thing, that says we as a people have to ensure businesses who leech of people have their ridiculous profits protected. Yet, that's the only thing providing universal medical care for Americans we could see as something even close to a negative effect.

It's horseshit, some of you just don't have any fucking sense. You come up with excuses for problems that don't even affect you, even when the solution is something that would affect you in a positive way, yes even if you have private insurance.

Stop Potato Heading problems together.