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  • Nov 13th, 2014 @ 8:38am

    Another perspective.

    I'm an American living in Tokyo.

    I have a certain health issue which requires regular doctor visits. My daughter was born here three years ago with several complications.

    So I have some experience with the US and Japanese systems. Here are some of the differences:

    All ambulance rides are free of charge.
    All hospital fees are set each year by a government panel. So when I need my yearly MRI it costs $150 no matter what hospital I go to.
    The co-pay is 1/3 of the bill. So my MRI is $50 to me.
    There are caps on what hospital can charge for extended stays. My wife had to stay in the hospital for a month, C section, then my daughter needed surgery and she was in the hospital for 3 months. When the bill came I was surprised that we only had to pay $600. After you stay in the hospital over a certain number of days, they can't charge for additional days.
    Healthcare is basically free for children under 15.
    My individual insurance costs me about $60/month.
    And, somehow, amazingly, the healthcare is excellent.

    The only reason it is so expensive, so convoluted and exasperating in the US is because it has been politicized.

  • Apr 5th, 2014 @ 3:19am

    The more things change...

    I first saw this Lilly Tomlin SNL skit almost 40 years ago and it still rings true I guess.

    Now I live in Japan. I have a fiber to the home connection with synchronous 100mbit speeds for $40 a month. Too bad Japanese TV is so bad though.

  • Jan 31st, 2014 @ 2:19am

    The problem

    It seems to me the root of the problem is

    "we protect our own."

    I see at least one video like this every few days.

    Planting evidence (drugs, drugs and drugs)
    Excessive force
    Aggravating a situation instead of calming things down.

    The way police are being trained and the illegal activities accepted from them, it is an us and them situation.