Topic: Free/universal healthcare (non Americans)

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Posted on: Feb 8, 2021 03:57PM

Posted on: Feb 8, 2021 03:57PM

illimae wrote:

This is not a political debate post but as the US considers future healthcare options, I have questions for those of you from countries that already provide it.

1. What country are you from?

2. Are you able to choose your doctor and hospital or are you assigned to one?

3. Are tests and results scheduled in a timely manner, like two weeks?

4. Do people generally agree that the higher income tax rates are a fair trade for the medical benefits? (I only ask this because I can’t see how it would be possible to provide it without raising taxes)

5. What’s the best/worst things about your healthcare system?

Thanks for sharing your experiences :)

Diagnosed at 41 Stage IV De Novo Dx 11/16/2016, IDC, Left, 5cm, Stage IV, metastasized to bone, Grade 3, 3/13 nodes, ER+/PR-, HER2+ Chemotherapy 1/2/2017 Abraxane (albumin-bound or nab-paclitaxel) Targeted Therapy 1/2/2017 Herceptin (trastuzumab) Targeted Therapy 1/2/2017 Perjeta (pertuzumab) Surgery 6/26/2017 Lumpectomy; Lumpectomy (Left); Lymph node removal Radiation Therapy 8/10/2017 Breast, Lymph nodes Dx 10/5/2017, IDC, Left, 5cm, Stage IV, metastasized to brain, Grade 3, 3/13 nodes, ER+, HER2+ Radiation Therapy 10/20/2017 External Local Metastases 10/20/2017 Brain Radiation Therapy 4/18/2018 External Local Metastases 4/18/2018 Brain Radiation Therapy 5/23/2019 External Local Metastases 5/23/2019 Brain Surgery 1/22/2020 Radiation Therapy 2/17/2020 External Local Metastases 2/17/2020 Brain Radiation Therapy 7/20/2020 External Local Metastases 7/20/2020 Radiation therapy: Bone Radiation Therapy 12/4/2020 External Local Metastases 12/4/2020 Brain Targeted Therapy Tukysa (tucatinib) Chemotherapy Xeloda (capecitabine) Hormonal Therapy Tamoxifen pills (Nolvadex, Apo-Tamox, Tamofen, Tamone)
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Feb 12, 2021 09:18AM - edited Feb 12, 2021 11:23AM by flashlight

MinusTwo you make a good point. I have a Medigap policy and haven't had any trouble finding doctors who accept Medicare and I don't live in a big city. My husband has more of an "advantage" policy and doctors who accept his plan are few and inbetween. I think that is the difference. They accept Medicare, but not your supplement. Also some of the doctors I worked with either went into a concierge practice, retired, or went to work for an insurance company. If any of you are getting ready to go on Medicare make sure you study the plans before starting that hour long phone call. Long term care is another troubling issue. My brother plans on buying into an independent living apartment, when the time is right. He hopes to find one that has an assisted living and long term care on their campus where they guarantee a resident a bed. My MIL is in an assisted living with hospice care. Medicare part B helps with the hospice cost.

Dx 11/15/2018, IDC, Left, 1cm, Stage IA, Grade 2, 0/1 nodes, ER+/PR-, HER2- Dx DCIS, Left, <1cm, Stage 0, Grade 1, 0/1 nodes Radiation Therapy Whole breast Hormonal Therapy Tamoxifen pills (Nolvadex, Apo-Tamox, Tamofen, Tamone) Surgery Lumpectomy: Left
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Feb 12, 2021 01:33PM celand wrote:

I have been very fortunate in my lifetime of always being covered by medical insurance - my parents when I was a child until young adult, then when I was a young, single adult employer based coverage, then thru my husband's employer based coverage when I got married. Although at some point in time my husband got a single policy and I covered myself and our two girls on a family policy because it was cheaper for us to do that.

Now I have also been fortunate in that I was relatively healthy when I was younger other than an occasional cold, virus only going to the Dr for my annual wellness check up.

But once I turned 51 my breast cancer diagnosis, surgery and treatment changed all of that for me. Once again, I am fortunate that I am covered under my employer based health insurance plan, all of my dr's are in network and I have managed to be able to pay my co-pays and very little more. (One of our family physicians became concierge practice so had to switch to another PCP as our family could not afford her fees)

Now what frightens me is what my 30 yr old daughter is going through with getting medical coverage. She makes too much money to qualify for help with expense of coverage but cannot afford to buy a policy! She did pay for the cheapest ACA policy which was $35 per month but $8000 deductible! She reasoned that she could not afford the deductible so discontinued that policy! She has not been to the dr since age 26 when my insurance stopped covering her. I fear for her and others in the same situation as her. She has gone to Urgent Care a couple of times for minor things and luckily a mental health professional will see her every 3 months for $80 to prescribe her depression medication (Good RX). The USA will have to come up with some type of public health option for people in this situation.

My younger daughter is disabled and over age 26 but my meducal insurance has included her on my policy for life although she still gets Medicaid but my insurance is her primary so private drs will still see her.


Dx 10/17/2016, DCIS/IDC, Left, <1cm, Stage IB, Grade 1, 0/5 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- Surgery 10/28/2016 Lumpectomy; Lumpectomy (Left) Radiation Therapy 12/14/2016 Whole breast: Breast Hormonal Therapy Arimidex (anastrozole), Tamoxifen pills (Nolvadex, Apo-Tamox, Tamofen, Tamone)
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Feb 12, 2021 06:28PM sondraf wrote:

Just to flag - but today the UK govt body that selects drugs to be made available on the NHS has provisionally rejected the use of Verzenio/Fulvestrant as it has "not been found to be a cost effective use of NHS resources". This means that an NHS doctor cannot prescribe that combination to MBC patients, though it can be accessed privately. They haven't yet assessed Ibrance/fulvestrant and Kisqali/fulvestrant is under review. So something that is considered a solid second or even third line in other countries cannot be accessed on the public option here due to cost considerations. A lot of times I see people skip right through to Xeloda or Piqray when there could be an opportunity to squeeze on some more time on endocrine therapies.

When you get down into dealing with MBC and the vast range of responses to drug types, its a little bit more difficult to accept limitations on drug availability due to cost, though its possible to see why limitations have to be placed. However, this is something many countries in the world face, is really just the US where for the right price you can acquire anything.

For various reasons we want to return to the US in the next 18 months at some point, though I do worry about health insurance and I am too young for Medicare (and nor do I want to quit working before I have to in order to access it). We aren't in a bad situation here, but it isn't home.

"The closer we come to the negative, to death, the more we blossom" - Montgomery Clift Dx 9/27/2019, IDC, Right, 5cm, Stage IV, metastasized to bone, Grade 3, ER+/PR+, HER2- Hormonal Therapy 11/29/2019 Femara (letrozole) Targeted Therapy 11/29/2019 Ibrance (palbociclib) Surgery 11/28/2021 Lymph node removal (Right): Underarm/Axillary; Mastectomy (Right) Targeted Therapy 3/1/2022 translation missing: en.treatments.targeted_therapy.targeted_therapy_medicine.short_options.lynparza
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Feb 12, 2021 07:00PM moth wrote:

SondraF, I think in my province verzenio/fulvestrant didn't get approved till May 2020. It's back to the "needs of the few vs needs of the many" calculations that publicly funded health plans have to make. It's frustrating when it's *us* that are the few. I heard in chemo room gossip last time I was there that a gyne cancer pt was driving over to the US for trodelvy for something like 20k/month. Eeek.

I take weekends off

Initial dx at 50. Seriously?? “Sometimes the future changes quickly and completely and we’re left with only the choice of what to do next." blog: Never Tell Me the Odds

Dx 12/2017, IDC, Left, 1cm, Stage IA, Grade 3, 0/5 nodes, ER-/PR-, HER2- Surgery 12/12/2017 Lumpectomy; Lumpectomy (Left); Lymph node removal Chemotherapy 2/14/2018 AC + T (Taxol) Radiation Therapy 8/13/2018 Whole breast: Breast Dx 2/2020, IDC, Left, Stage IV, metastasized to liver/lungs, Grade 3, ER-/PR-, HER2- Chemotherapy 3/18/2020 Taxol (paclitaxel) Immunotherapy 3/19/2020 Tecentriq (atezolizumab) Chemotherapy 11/26/2020 Abraxane (albumin-bound or nab-paclitaxel) Radiation Therapy 12/9/2020 External Hormonal Therapy 12/16/2020 Femara (letrozole) Radiation Therapy 3/3/2021 External Local Metastases 3/3/2021 Radiation therapy: Bone Targeted Therapy 1/1/2022 Trodelvy (sacituzumab govitecan-hziy) Chemotherapy 6/1/2022 Other

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