Risk vs. Reward - Are You Covered?

May 20, 2014 at 15:28
by Malcolm Mclaws  

Signage to warn people of the dangers at Rampage

The 2014 MTB contest season is up and running and the FMB has announced a new format with 5 events in the Diamond category along with others in gold, silver and bronze. So riders will head back into the arena to secure a win and the prize money that comes with risking your body. If you're the overall FMB champ you'll get a cool CamelBak trophy and some cash as long as your body can take the beating from contest crashes, and for sure you'll crash and maybe get injured? It comes with the territory, injuries, but is the risk worth the reward? After all these gladiators are doing it for fame and glory for their sponsors, right? They get looked after by contest organizers or sponsors, so prize money is just icing on the contest cake isn't it? Well the truth hurts in many ways, sponsors help out and contests provide hardly any money for winning let alone competing at these events. Kyle Strait won Rampage for his second time with a suicide no-hander and won 25K. Then again Logan Binggeli, Mitch Chubey and Mark Matthews ended up in hospital with huge medical bills to try and sort out. Martin Soderstrom came 2nd at Crankworx and won 10k along with a broken tib/fib. People say riders know the risks when they ride contests, sure they do, but at what costs? You don't need to be a pro to be injured riding, it can happen to everyone, anywhere at anytime. So let's ask who's responsible for the cost of injuries that go with riding, is it the rider, the sponsor or the contest organizer? When Zink flipped the Oakley sender for 5k for 3'rd along with another 5k for best trick was it worth it? Sure you say, it was rad! Zink has made 2 impossible tricks at Rampage, but what if he'd crashed with his pregnant wife watching? At this level a miss could be worse than just broken bones, a wheelchair is a real threat if you don't make the trick work. He competed while having his hematoma drained daily and with only one practice drop off the Oakley sender cause that's how Zink rides, all in or nothing. He is also one who doesn't hold back about contest payouts, "Pay is what it is and you can't complain, but we are paid far below our potential and other sports." So when an event like Rampage, possibly costing over $1million to stage via NBC Sports, with $100k in wooden features and photos selling for ads at $1500 each, shouldn't the riders be paid more for the risks? With that being said let's talk to some of the riders about the risk and what the contests cover if you're hurt while competing.

Kyle Strait wins Rampage 2013 with this huge no-hander from Oakley Sender

Kyle Strait won Rampage and $25k in 2013, but what about the riders that didn't land rubber side down?


bigquotesPay is what it is and you can't complain, but we are paid far below our potential and other sports. - Cam Zink

First off it was clear from all the riders that contests don't provide any medical coverage! WTF you say, a rider hucks himself off jumps and features and if hurt has to pay for his broken bones as well? Yep, sorry, thanks for showing up, next.

Sure they ask you to sign a waiver so they don't get a lawyer's letter and require the athlete to have his own insurance in case he's injured riding their contest. Truth be told the organizer doesn't check to be sure the rider is covered in a contest that involves prize money. That makes you a pro when money is involved and not a backyard jam with your bro's. So who helps you out if you're injured, the rider's sponsors, sometimes if you're lucky? Most riders rely on medical insurance that covers you in contests where prize money is involved. When I contacted the pro riders about their medical injury costs it was stunning to say the least. Most agreed they'd like the contest organizers to provide medical coverage and the organizers believe it's up to the athlete to be covered. In the case of Mark Matthews who was injured at Rampage last year and now faces $40k in medical bills, Red Bull asked him if he had coverage and because he bought travel medical coverage he thought he was. Oops, just not when prize money is involved as is the case of Red Bull Rampage. Mark just had a fund raiser to try and cover some of his outstanding medical bills and will soon have an on-line auction as well. You can donate and help him out here: www.markmatthews.ca

Let's hear from some of the high profile MTB athletes who compete and have been injured trying to win some cash. Let's not forget that payouts aren't deep in cash after trying to get on the podium at these events around the globe.


The Claw always rides hard at Rampage or anywhere.

Darren keeping the rubber side down.


Darren Berrecloth who runs his own event; Bearclaw Invitational is a Red Bull Athlete and just finished back surgery in LA. Red Bull provided the cash for his medical bills and put him in touch with a specialist. Costs..."Not Cheap" After missing 3 Rampage events and 3 Crankworx contests the Claw believes it's the athletes responsibility to have coverage. Red Bull stands behind their athletes.


Logan Binggeli one-hands the Oakley drop

Logan airing out the middle Oakley Icon sender.


Logan Binggeli rides for KHS Bikes and was injured at Rampage after flipping the Oakley drop and breaking his femur. He had to be air medevaced out to St George, which cost $10k for a 7 minute ride. His 3 days in hospital/surgery was $35k as well as another $15k for X-rays, MRI and meds to a total of $50k. His medical paid part, Logan paid $7k himself and KHS kicked in cash as well.

bigquotesThe cost of winning is very low compared to the costs of losing and I think Mountain bikers are underpaid, but I don't regret competing, and will be back at Rampage 2014. - Logan Binggeli


Mitch is removed by medical staff after his crash then medevaced to St George

Mitch being tended to post crash and pre $12K Helicopter trip.


Mitch Chubey rides for Morpheus Cycles and was another Rampage 2013 injury. He was air medevaced out as well to the tune of $12k for his 47 minute flight to St George. $28k for 3 CT scans, 7 x-rays and an MRI while in the hospital. Mitch has been injured before, $60k Euro's at Crankworx Les Deux Alps and $19k at AT's Showdown. Mitch believes that he's had over $500k in medical bills covered through his Pro Athlete policy over the years. He would like to see the athletes covered when they compete at events, but understands it's hard when you're in Europe, USA and Canada.


Martin goes for the win at Red Bull Joyride in 2013 but ended 2 nd and a broken Tib Fib

Martin put it all on the line for his podium finish.


Martin Soderstrom place 2nd in the Red Bull Joyride at Crankworx 2013, but didn't even get to stand on the podium. He broke his Tibia and Fibula on the last feature in view of the finish line. His hospital bills in Canada are over $100k. He pays for pro-coverage and has Red Bull as a sponsor who look after him. He says it would be great to get insurance with your FMB license and hopefully they can figure that out in the future?

bigquotesYou can't dodge the bullet in a dangerous sport, but insurance is worth the money you pay. - Martin Soderstrom


Kelly nails the first ever canyon flip for 2 nd place at Rampage 2013

Back flips don't get much bigger than this one from Kelly McGarry.


Kelly McGarry who back flipped the massive Canyon gap at Rampage 2013 knows about injuries. He has coverage through New Zealand BIKENZ and pays 2k NZD for his 6 months in Northern Hemisphere. McGazza has had a broken collarbone at Red Bull Joyride and a broken leg at Rampage. He destroyed his elbow in Austria at the cost of $7k and has claimed medical costs for the last 8yrs. He has medical coverage because,

bigquotesI would never want my family to deal with my medical bills if I get truly injured while riding/competing. - Kelly McGarry


Classic Andreu with a perfect superman at Rampage

Always the showman, Andreu lays out a huge Superman as the sun sets on training at Red Bull Rampage.


Andreu Lacondeguy is well know for going huge at events on his YT sponsored bike. He has had his share of crashes, but seems to get up and walk away from most of them. He says contests don't really check if you're covered or not and says you're gonna get hurt when you do 50t flips, so who cares! Apart from a $4k dislocated shoulder in USA, he's remained in good shape. He is a Red Bull athlete and says they are the best sponsor you can have along with his medical coverage for riding.

bigquotesGod bless America and their shitty medical situation. No big bills for me, I like to land on my wheels! - Andreu Lacondeguy


Jamie at Rampage 2010 on ridge one .

Jamie Goldman competing at Red Bull Rampage.


Jamie Goldman has had contests at his home in Bend, Oregon over the years. UDUG was the best grassroots brodown around, but because of insurance problems he had to tear out his jumps and close it down. While competing in Austria he suffered a concussion and was held in hospital for a week and paid out $5-7k from his own pocket. He says riders should have medical coverage.

bigquotesI think you're a Boner if you don't have medical coverage in this sport, don't risk losing you life savings over one small mistake. - Jamie Goldman


Cam Zink nails 2 big tricks at Rampage over the years

Two of the biggest tricks ever completed in the sport of mountain biking, both by Cam Zink.


Cam Zink now rides for YT bikes, but has nailed two of the biggest tricks at Rampage with a 360 off the Oakley Sender in 2010 and a massive backflip from the Big Dawg in 2013. Put any bike under his ass and you've got a winner! While competing at Rampage in 2013 he was having his huge hematoma drained daily in hospital and didn't get the practice time in for his run. In true Zink fashion he dropped it once, then a couple of run ups before his start, then it was game on. Between the $40k for knee surgeries, he's nearly broken his back twice and had to anti up $10k before a Canadian hospital would let him leave after rupturing his spleen. He believes contests should provide some sort of "gap" insurance to cover riders who may get hurt while competing because the contests makes money off the riders.

bigquotesYou shouldn't be forced to have insurance, but as a professional athlete in a dangerous sport you'd be a moron to not have insurance coverage. - Cam Zink


Mark gets sideways for the crowd during the World Whip Offs.

Mark Matthews enjoying the UnOfficial Whip Off World Champs at Crankworx.


Mark Matthews broke his femur while practicing at Rampage in 2013. He was taken by ambulance to hospital in St George and had surgery to the tune of $40k. He had purchased medical travel insurance before going to Utah, but was denied coverage because he was in a contest where prize money was involved. Mark never even got a chance to be in the running for prize money because he didn't compete, he was only practicing. He has appealed the ruling and submitted bills to BC medical, but has been left owing most of the $40k. Mark paid $270 for a policy that didn't cover him at all.

bigquotesIt's stupid not to have medical coverage, but you need to research them to insure they cover you while filming or competing. - Mark Matthews


The bottom line is the prize money they hand out to winners at comps doesn't make you rich and those who are injured are basically on their own unless you're lucky enough to be a Red Bull sponsored rider. The contests don't provide any medical coverage and seldom check if the athlete has coverage. If you're a gambler you can roll the dice and hope for the best. Most pro's understand the risks and make sure they're covered. But what about the rest of us who make those quick trips to ride in other areas of Canada or to the land of medical mayhem, the USA. A simple trip with the Bro's to ride the new Burlington indoor bike park could cost you 10's of thousands if injured? The costs for coverage is cheap through BCAA, a multi trip- 30day max is 100-200$ PER YEAR, but depends on your age as well. The pro rider coverage is another $40/yr and if you have a known injury or medical condition add on $20. So for around $250 bucks you can ride, compete and damage your body to a value of $10 million in coverage. So why risk it all for the little rewards these contests may hand out to the winners while the losers could go home broke for life? Just get complete medical coverage and ride smart.

-Words and photo by Malcolm Mclaws
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407 Comments

  • + 350
 Not having a national healthcare system is ludicrous. Thank fuck for the NHS in the UK.
  • + 84
 +1 for that. You can snap your leg in half, get a heli ride to the hospital, have as many surgeons/specialists working on you to get you back to health and stay in hospital for weeks and only worry about your loss of earnings at work.
  • + 23
 Make the most out of the NHS , infact make the most of all your public services because this government wants everything privatised , so you'll be dipping into your own pockets for everything , hospital care ,ambulance rides , fire cover , council srvices. EVERYTHING !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
  • + 16
 Well the EU representative election was yesterday and the general election will be coming up. If you want to keep the NHS as it it make sure you vote for someone who agrees on keeping it public. Every vote counts and the NHS being public is far too good to loose. Lets keep it public.
  • + 11
 Almightybenners... It is a very sad state of affairs, however, the NHS I grew up with in the 70s where you could always go and see the doctor and it didn't cost you anything are on the way out, if not gone already. I strongly suggest anyone in the UK who values the NHS to give up 30 minutes of their time and make an appointment to see their MP, where you could, in no uncertain terms, make sure they know how you feel about it. If the great British public don't start raising their voices, it'll be a case of the Joni MItchells where you don't know what you got till its gone... and it is slowing going already.
  • + 17
 I'm not sure any of those extreme sports we like would be popular if most european countries didn't have free healthcare...
  • - 228
flag Axxe (May 23, 2014 at 3:51) (Below Threshold)
 NHS sucks.
  • + 8
 @Axxe Well if you develop a serious health problem or disease and you reach the cap on you health insurance then we can see what the NHS would have done. Assuming since you're a middle aged mountain biker that you can happily afford health insurance unlike the thousands in the US.
  • - 136
flag Axxe (May 23, 2014 at 4:02) (Below Threshold)
 As I said, you do not know what you are talking about. There is no cap on my insurance, and then there is Medicaid and Medicare. Everybody in US can afford insurance, as those who do not have Medicaid.
  • + 17
 Main wording "MY health insurance"
  • + 24
 Well, universal health care doesn't really help most riders at big events like these, since most of them are international riders. If a Canadian breaks his leg in Canada, everything will be free, since he's payed taxes and part of those taxes goes towards health care. But if an Englishman breaks his leg in Canada, he'll be stuck paying from his own pocket, since he doesn't pay Canadian taxes. Since there are so many intl riders, universal health care doesn't help much.
  • - 98
flag Axxe (May 23, 2014 at 4:09) (Below Threshold)
 As I said, spudlord, you do not know what you are talking about.
  • + 17
 Then please explain to me how many people in the US who can't afford a health insurance plan as robust as yours cannot afford health treatment even with medicare?
I admit I do not know as much as you about your system but I have seen and heard nothing but horror stories from it apart from one benefit of marginally shorter wait times.
  • + 11
 Also, their hospitals are cleaner, because they can afford more janitors, as they charge 5000% markup on some things
  • + 13
 Air Ambulances aren't funded by the NHS though, most are charities. They are absolutely invaluable and need our support! You never know when you might need to be airlifted off a remote Welsh hillside.

But yeah, had to visit hospitals many times due to bike related incidents, tore a shoulder ligament a couple of years back and I must have either been lucky or had the right physiotherapy since I have no lingering pain or movement problems and would say my shoulder is 99.9% what it was. I am VERY thankful of the NHS!
  • + 5
 Oh bearing in mind we also have a private healthcare system... you can pay the premium for premium service, you don't have to use the NHS if you don't want to...
  • + 13
 We have seen our share of medivac situations at Plattekill Mtn and the cost is freakin insane. The closest real hospital is in Albany, you can calculate the milage on that one, but 30 mins in heli. I know here in the US DH MTB is considered dangerous or risky activity and may not be covered under a traditional policy. If you tell them up front then lookout for huge monthly premiums. Obamacare will take care of you right??? LOOOL!
  • + 5
 Couldn't agree more. The nhs had.been brilliant with me with my various breaks and internal injuries . We are solucky to have that in the UK for which a lot of us take for granted
  • + 1
 As much as I am thankful for the NHS massively and I would take this system over the alternatives, because it's constantly being squeezed they have to prioritise. There's no option for paying for a slightly better service, no competition or incentive to make the NHS improve. Private hospitals are amazing but they cost a fortune and you've already paid once in taxes. When my GF tore some ligaments in her knee it took them nearly 8 months to put her in to have it scanned, the second time we went back they had forgotten to refer her on to the right department. She was hobbling around on crutches the entire time and I had to genuinely carry her up hills because it was too painful. Two weeks after going private, had the scan, straight in for physio. That's just a tiny example of what happens and I'm sure most hospitals are far better. All the other times I've been they have been good though so it's not all bad. The NHS does a lot of good for a lot of people, and I'm sure it's employees do everything they can with what they have but with no pressure management don't have the drive to provide proper customer service like they would private.
  • + 6
 An ambulance from whistler to Vancouver costs about $1200! Glad I didn't take the heli!
  • + 4
 The NHS is ok if you are a run of the mill patient with any medical problem or trauma. But like in Australia a "free medical" system does the basics and might not be great for an athlete who needs to get back to their profession asap.This was covered late last year by the in an article by the Redbull physio (I think) who said you should really have some sort of insurance rather than rely on the NHS.
The reality is ask yourself when you get injured and need an operation do you really want some crap surgeon (even a trainee)-as in the NHS or in Australia in a public hospital potentially doing a substandard job or choosing your own surgeon and getting optimal management in a timely fashion........you get what you pay for. Pay a bit extra for insurance even in countries with "free healthcare" after all it is your only body/brain and for most of us it is meant for work as well as play. And as shitty and boring as it sounds read the fine print-it is really depressing to hear a professional athlete thought his travel medical insurance covered him in a professional contest.
So a great article which should be a wakeup call to all of us.
The next step would be to let us know which companies provides professional medical coverage. Boring but better than being in debt to the eyeballs or even being bankrupt.
And to mark matthews out there hope it is going well-I'd love to buy one of those photos on your website for above market value to help you if you are interested (PM me if so)
  • + 11
 Health is shit yes we all know but what bugged me the most about this article is he continuously said that mountain bikers are underpaid.... really you ride a bicycle in a sport that 75% of people dont even know exists for a living what do you expect? Its hard to give sympathy.
  • + 17
 Spudlord, you seem to have a much better grasp on the American healthcare system than axxe does. It is pretty much an epic disaster here. It's fine if you are lucky enough to be able to afford a decnt policy, but if not, good luck. And his grasp on how Medicare and Medicaid work is lacking. Medicare for one is only for those I think 65 or older. It's basically elderly care. And Medicaid is not simply for those people who can't afford healthcare. It's been expanded but it's essentially a program for the poor. You literally have to be living in poverty to qualify for it. And if you have any assets, say you happen to own a house but lose your job and now have no income, you can get Medicaid but the government will put a lien on your house to recoup the costs. So yea, don't be fooled, the healthcare system over is a disaster.
  • + 0
 @IH4LIFE Yeah I can see what you're saying, but I think our sport needs to be shown more on sports channels and such as well as being advertised more and make things like downhill races more exciting for the average non-mountain biker spectator. For example like in supercross, fireworks going off at the end of the race, hot chicks lining the race course, signature booths, prize giveaways, and more. Just that we need to do more things to make the average person want to see the sport on TV and maybe even be willing to drive into the mountains to watch it, or have more urban DH races or urban Dirt jump competitions. I think once we do things like this and build up the sport with more people watching, then we can focus on athlete pay, but yeah @IH4LIFE, you make a good point.
  • + 12
 redbull paid that guy 2m to jump off the casino in vegas. Cam Zinks Flip is close to that level of danger and he got 5k. Theyre making more than enough money - pay them properly or stop holding the event
  • + 0
 yeah, but I think that they still need to build up the sport more for the spectators.
  • + 1
 When I was reading I was just thinking how lucky we are with the nhs I've had 2 hospital trips including X-rays dread to think how much that would cost !!!
  • + 5
 I live in california and my ambulance ride couldnt have been more than five minutes. I believe I got a bill for 1300 (er visit was probably 10,000). I thought I might have to pick up the tab, but luckily my insurance covered it. I am one of the lucky few. People talk a lot of crap about obamacare, I can't speak on specifics, but it is is a step towards change. We need people to have coverage.
  • + 10
 While reading this article, I could only think of one thing...

media-cache-ak0.pinimg.com/736x/1c/ec/c4/1cecc4c9304db66084b1db41ead63ff0.jpg

That Axxe dude is a complete moron. If you want an example of how f*cked up our medical system is, there's a position at every hospital called the chargemaster. That person decides how much everything costs to the patient with no formula used, which is why prices vary drastically from one hospital to another. Also look into the reasons why NIXON (that should tell you something right there) pushed to privatize healthcare. Spoiler: actual recordings of him reveal he did it only to create another marketplace for him and his buddies to get massively wealthy.

We're all dead.
  • + 2
 @sod8 luckily u've been covered. I'm just curious how dare the hospital charge 1300$for a 5 minute ride. If all medical services are like this expensive, wouldn't obamacare just suck up all taxpayers?
  • - 14
flag orastreet1 (May 23, 2014 at 7:09) (Below Threshold)
 Does the NHS cover dental? Because the English have the worst teeth on the planet.
  • + 1
 Stanley- Obamacare is another market, an affordable one for millions who cannot qualify for Medicaid but are too poor for real coverage... ex. students w/ massive debt and can't find a career or disenfranchised/unlucky people who are stuck at minimum wage jobs because there's nothing else available.It's not perfect but a step in the right direction. Hospitals can charge that much for a 5 minute ride because f*ck it. If someone gets treated but cannot pay, they'll get their credit destroyed on top of debt collectors constantly harassing them and then eventually the taxpayers do have to cover those unpaid bills... the taxpayers have to suck up the losses of a hospital that's not providing services funded by taxpayers is another prime example of how idiotic privatized healthcare is.

But if you ever get a bill, always hit up the hospital and be honest. It's fairly common for a hospital to drastically cut the bill down if you cannot afford it. They're jacking the price up in the first place so they still profit and at the very least, they get the money owed to them as opposed to nothing at all.
  • + 19
 Pre-Obamacare I paid $650/month to cover me, my wife and my child and my company paid $350 for a total of $1000/month. Since Obamacare went into affect I pay $900/month and my company still pays $350/month. So to answer your question about those living in the United States that cant afford Health Insurance...I'm paying for it and so is everyone else whose insurance was raised to keep a similar policy. But lets give mega tax breaks to the rich and let the middle class foot the bill...its bullshit.
  • + 32
 @orastreet1 Does your insurance cover liposuction because you...

...ah forget it..
  • + 35
 @axxe - you must be either completely blind or ignorant of how the rest of the world works if you think that the US medical system is in anyway fair, just or ethical. It's completely f*cked. Not everyone in the US can afford insurance and even if they could Insurance company's in the US try every last trick in the book to not pay out. It is a disgusting healthcare system.

I remember reading this on Reddit and being shocked. Declaring yourself bankrupt at 24 because you got cancer. What kind of first world country allows that to happen? As if having cancer in the first place wasnt stressful enough.

www.reddit.com/r/pics/comments/1tugnm/i_never_truly_understood_how_much_healthcare_in/cebog6q

Many americans seem to live in this fantasy world that their healthcare system is the best in the world because they have some of the best doctors. And yes they do have many of the best doctors. But most people with or without health insurance will never ever be treated by them as they charge millions of dollars. So in the end they end up potentially being screwed, just to be treated by doctors of the same calibre as any where else in the world.

It's kinda similar to how they think they have the most free economy in the world because some people get obscenely wealthy while the wealth is stripped from the poor and middle class. I have travelled all over Europe, Australia and North America and never ever seen homelessness and poverty like there is in US cities.

And it all happens under a ludicrous premise that "we could get to where that guy is, we just need to work for it!". Its an amazing cycle where people actually defend a system that is built around f*cking them over. And their University system...amazing. Coming out of education with $200k of debt around your neck. Yet people actually defend the system. Incredible brainwashing.
  • + 1
 Scott Hugh that sounds fxxked up. Even premium service wouldn't cost you so much here. It's the first time I heard that u could actually negotiate with your hospital over your bills. It seems they are just selling healthcare like a commodity, and a very scarce commodity they can charge you however much they want.
  • + 5
 I guess being a Canadian competing in a Canadian event you won't have to worry about insane medical bills if you get injured as we get coverage for "free" (Paid through taxes) I don't even want to know how much a pro athlete policy costs monthly! But competing in a foreign country and getting badly injured can be a scary thing. Especially when the insurance policy you paid for making you think you'll be covered when overseas finds some loophole saying they don't have to pay for your bill.
We may pay a little more in taxes, but that peace of mind sure is priceless as all Canadians, Brits, Australians and Europeans are happy to enjoy.
  • + 11
 if a UK person is injured in another european country, they will treat you, and the NHS will foot the bill.
  • + 1
 So true. Non military is rarley turned away from er room.
There's all kinds of subsidies. It is too bad many catastrophic plans (low monthly/high deductible) are now not acceptable.
Sadly, usa vets get the short stick, very very poor coverage.
This has been the case under several presidents now.

I'm hopeful Americans may page dr. Benjamin Carson to clean up the mess.
  • + 1
 True, cuz it's free and available to everyone... Brain washed American you don't get it.
  • - 1
 Well said.
Remember, the major mandate that affects those that are not self employed...(usa)
Ie, employer sponsored (pooled) plans, got delayed by the democrats after 2014 midterm elections.
That's when the low information voter crowd will feel it, personally.
  • + 1
 Obamacare dosent really kick in until after midterm elections this year.
Not sure if the delays have been legal, but there you go.
Then, you will see employer sponsored plans go away...and as obama just said this week he will bail out the healthcare companies if/once they go broke.
Usa va system is what non miliatry can expect until someone like a dr. Ben Carson can come in, get rid if the establishment republicans and open up a free market system, competition across statelines.
  • + 0
 We have a defined poverty level but How do we define the middle class(usa)?
Wondering if I'm getn close now that I make $30k/yr, but I make too much fir subsidies, and I'm not seeing the $2500 sAvings obama promised me?
I heard that carl Marx discussed the class based system but I'm curious what the parameters are?

And yes, leftist controlled state screwel systems rob students while making the unions fat and happy, tenured teachers...
We got to get back to trades/tech schools.
  • + 10
 jrocksdh...what are you on about? That Dr Ben Carson lad you are on about is a doctor who is anti State sponsored medicine. Most likely because privitisation has made him incredibly wealthy. He is a creationist and uses made up quotes supposedly from Lenin to discredit "obamacare".

Which of those credentials makes you think he is qualified to sort out a healthcare system? Being a doctor does not mean you have any idea how to run a medical system? Being a doctor has nothing to do with running a hospital. Its like saying Aaron Gwin should be in charge of Specialized because he rides their bikes well.

Also, free markets are an illusion that are every bit as ridiculous as out and out communism. Free markets dont work.
  • + 1
 @humeroususrname - you make some great points man, the US are very blinkered about this sort of stuff.
  • + 2
 @jrocksdh "And yes, leftist controlled state screwel systems rob students while making the unions fat and happy, tenured teachers..." I'm not going to argue the robbing students part but unless you're like a head of department most schools essentially rely on masters and doctoral students to teach or they hire adjuncts for almost nothing. It's just like anything else only the higher ups make good $.
  • + 3
 I want to move to UK!!
  • + 6
 Nah the weather sucks Razz I hear Canadian residents get free healthcare and have some ok trails Wink
  • - 29
flag LiveWire199 (May 23, 2014 at 9:40) (Below Threshold)
 There's a reason the american healthcare system is one of the best in the world. Having a privatized health care system is the only way to go. Obamacare is not a suitable alternative for lowering the price of healthcare as the burden only gets placed on the middle class. Why else would people be flown around the world to receive care by american doctors?
  • + 4
 It had never even crossed my mind that riders would have to pay their own medical bills.

I think it's shocking that with all the money and resources red bull have they leave riders injured during rampage to pay their own bills. They should at the very least insist all the riders have suitable insurance (and check that they actually do) - or even better provide insurance for the athletes...

The UK's NHS might not be perfect, but you can turn up any hour of the day with an injury and you will be seen and treated free of charge.

It does annoy me though that surgeries like the fitting of gastric bands and operations of that nature still come out of taxpayers money, but whatever. It's 1000x better than the US system.
  • - 14
flag ctmtb98 (May 23, 2014 at 9:46) (Below Threshold)
 @LiveWire199 Precisely, because we have a private healthcare system, we have some of the best doctors out there and some of the best services available. Not many long lines, and such.
  • + 6
 See having only experienced the healthcare system in the US for minor injures I can't say I was blown away with it.
And the world health organisation ranks the USA's healthcare system 37th! Below the UK in 18th, up to now all I hear for the US system is no fact just personal opinion.

http://thepatientfactor.com/canadian-health-care-information/world-health-organizations-ranking-of-the-worlds-health-systems/
  • + 2
 I work in the Private medical insurance industry and can arrange for cover for anyone that wants it including Pro Sports. Cover will only be for the UK only though unfortunately. Drop me a PM.
  • - 3
 I think a lot of us here are also wanting the government to stay out of our healthcare. Usually when the government gets involved with the private sector it doesn't work out here due to being highly inefficient or whatsoever. Many would consider the fed getting involved with healthcare would violating a free market.
  • - 1
 +1 the government should not be involved. Obama care was the biggest f*ck up of his presidency and screwed over millions of people.
  • - 24
flag Axxe (May 23, 2014 at 11:14) (Below Threshold)
 You guys should stick to discussing bikes. Retard show about serious issues. Know nothing adolescent blowhards regurgitating populist drivel from liberal press. Sad.
  • + 8
 i thought this was pinkbike not healthcare politics. only politics we need to worry about is wheel size and how many teeth my cassette needs
  • + 0
 ahah well played sir... well played Razz
  • + 14
 and @Axxe you lost your whole argument when you became defensive and clearly outlined your personal beliefs and turned a dialogue to a discussion. and that is where Americans make their mistake, they argue their beliefs rather then arguing a topic. which in ends will cause the opposing party to do the same. the only way to defend something to come off when defensive and with being defensive you shut out any other possibility and the arugment is just a bunch of people yelling and crusing at eachother trying to justify why they are correct. if you want to actually have a insightful conversation, avoid "Retard show about serious issues. Know nothing adolescent blowhards regurgitating populist drivel from liberal press. Sad." Hate liberals all you want, but that just makes you a stereotype that is unproductive as well. do the hard thinking before your arugment so you actually have a chance of winning instead of always ending with calling people stupid retards and walking out with your hypocritical head held hgih
  • - 18
flag Axxe (May 23, 2014 at 11:38) (Below Threshold)
 I did not lose any argument, it requires a competent opponent to even have one, and I am not defensive in the least. I am offensive in calling out bullsh.t.
  • + 4
 Obamacare hasn't kicked in for people who are going to be on Obamacare, but those of us who already have policies and are subject to higher premiums are already paying higher premiums. My insurance provider said it would take about 4 years to see them start dropping again but the fact is over the last 8 years I saw my premiums fluctuate about $50 back and forth and this year it went up 30%. If one of you kids in college get covered because of it then good on you I guess...I didn't have that option when I was your age. I think healthcare reforms have covered some things that were lacking and loop holes to get Insurance companies out of paying claims but I got a raise this year and instead of using it to help stimulate a weakened economy Im giving a good majority of it to Healthcare...does that seem right?
  • - 1
 C4mtb,

Youre massively wrong on Obamacare. You yourself would benefit massively if your parents couldnt provide one for you. Dont be naive. Obamacare is a right step in the right direction, by raising the bar of standards. People born with something they cant control no longer have to neccesarily be discriminated. Please do your research before you start saying random shit from a Republican political ad. I dont agree a lot of costs have been passed onto Middle class as someone has said, but that is more about taxes in general.

America is terrible when it comes to medical costs and monetization. You have good doctors but the costs for the smallest and easiest things are astronomically high for no logical reason. Also, Medication is a huge profit business (and partly addiction) and the costs in America are stupidly high.

There are data-compiling websites that allow you to take the lowest cost of medication of any legal/allowed nation and ship the prescription to your door, bypassing Straight from America cost, savings 1k+ over sometime, just like price-gouging in the name of branding. My ex's dad had to go to Germany because the cost was exponentially lower and yet technology was higher to get a surgery. He himself is a straight high multi-millionaire and the owner of a successful company, yet he still alone cannot compete with the costs of the skewed medical system because it is so damn high.

America is slowly normalizing imo. Still long ways to go, but things like Obamacare have only improved and otherwised leveled the playing field when beforehand, medical/insurance were unchallenged and therefore had almost free reign of medical costs.
  • + 5
 Can't edit atm. But i did a research paper on one example of contributing factors to high health-care costs. Unfair Patenting of genetics. A company patented two breast cancer genes, Brca1&2, markers that indicate Breast Cancer. Them being the sole owners charged thousands and thousands over a test and not to mention took their sweet time as they milked (no pun) the money out of patients. A university wanted to see actually how difficult it was and found out they could do it for mere 100's and the time cut down to under a week if i recall correctly. Thankfully, a lawsuit has settled the issue over, but the overall concept remains on many levels and is another reason why costs are through the roof. Stupid.
  • - 1
 nope Wink
  • + 0
 @livewire: US care ranks 40th place. Only the top 1% benefit. Unless you are a member of the elite you get screwed and suckered.

Accidentrisk is high, average health is very poor, constant system propaganda(tv) pounds the lower classes brains. There are the 1% and then there are 345 Mio poor to very poor. Unless your last name is Gates - you are sitting in economy. Your life expectancy is that of an average Morrocan. You will spend your last years under ill health while the system tries to squeeze the last dime out of you.

Obamacare is modeled after the best healthcare system there is, with the best facilities and best staff. It's the Swiss. It's no1, by far. Private insurance scheme. It took a lot of meaningful regulation to tweak over more than 15 years. It so successful that poor are treated for free. Preexisting conditions and exclusion from coverage are illegal.It's not cheap but humanistic, cost effective and is getting cheaper again. Keyword: Federal regulation.

Opinion, talking points, agendized MSM and their pundits playing the conservative patriotic and nationalistic drum of the American way of life created your brain fog.

Read my first sentence again - that's reality and not the matrix. President Obama is one of the great post secessionist presidents. A humanist bringing health to millions. Treat him with reference.
  • + 2
 Do you prefer the community organizer type, whom voted present over and over?
Another lawyer? Lifelong politician? No thanks. Give me someone whom has been succesful in the private sector, or someone who has stood up against the progressive left (naked communist) and the establishment right (neocons).
www.biography.com/people/ben-carson-475422#awesm=~oF7s40hSc2tXOe

Thankfully, our founders provided the usa with article 5 2a to bypass these disruptors of our liberties. Once the mandate kicks in after midterm elections, the masses will come out of hibernation...hopefully. those tmz episodesre pretty good!
  • - 2
 @Spicy-Mike where do you think they money for Obama care come from? people dont work for free and money is not conjured up by fairies. Its taken from hard working people who reap the benefits of there own labor, if some lazy shit can't be bothered to make there own money why should i have have to pay for his laziness (i understand that there are extenuating circumstances and that some people do need help) but the majority just dont work because they can sit at home collecting well fare and other free benefits. ever heard of: dont feed the animals because you will make them dependent and render them useless in the wild... well thats what is happening to the american populous they are becoming dependent and useless because the government keeps giving them free shit, nothing in this world is free, someone maybe not you but someone will be paying for it.
  • + 1
 @jock:

Runbenrun.org Carson?

Bud, brain fog and riding a boxcar to fringeland...

Real issue is legislating and regulating big business, care system, rampant military-security-industrial complex racism, segregation and lobbyism and make this dump loveable/liveable for all again.
  • + 2
 To change tunes and stay on topic, why don't pro riders do this...form a union and refuse to compete in contest unless some type of coverage is offered from sponsors holding an event? MTB companies sell bikes, apparel, components, energy drinks etc. and these riders sometimes directly influence what others purchase. Maybe its not realistic but its a thought.
  • + 1
 c4mtb -

"but the majority just dont work because they can sit at home collecting well fare and other free benefits".

Do you really think that's the case? Do you think the 'free shit' the government provides to people is all that great? Yes, the government will provide for people, and yes, sometimes its too much, and yes, of course there are people that abuse the system. But to say that the 'majority' of people without jobs are just choosing to be lazy is just ridiculous and uninformed.

Listen to any politician speak these days, and what is the most common thing they talk about? JOBS!!! All they talk about is jobs and creating jobs. Why? Because there is a shortage of jobs. If there wasn't, they wouldn't talk about it so much. There are unemployed people (the majority) who do want to work and simply can't find it. You act as though people who receive government benefits (or 'free shit") as you refer to it, are living in the lap of luxury. Like the government is dropping off big screen TVs, iPads, and gourmet meals. While you can likely get by milking the government, its not an idea situation. Most people, given the choice and the opportunity of a decent job would happily take that job.
  • + 6
 All I can say is whatever this "obamacare" care is, I'm sure glad I don't have to deal with it.
  • + 8
 Do you know what is really ludicrous? Voluntarily doing a dangerous sport and expecting other taxpayers to pay your medical bills if you get injured. Nothing is free. If you get something without paying for it, it means that someone else had to pay without getting something in return.
Stop being a parasite, if you can afford to spend £2000+ on a mountain bike, you can afford to spend £50 a month on health insurance. Healthcare is a privilege, not an entitlement, especially if you want it if your injury is a result of a completely unnecessary activity.
  • + 1
 ahaha amazing point Razz actually brilliant. +1
  • + 2
 @ Extremmist fantastic, well done
  • - 1
 Extremmist, do you know what is really ludicrous, voluntarily paying $50 dollars a month for private medical insurance and expecting other customers of the insurance company to pay when you get injured. Nothing is free (it goes by the name of 'insurance premium' or 'national insurance contribution') and if you get some thing without paying for it, it means that someone else (read Taxpayer or other insurance premium payer) had to pay without getting something in return. Hell, I went to Whistler last year, took out insurance and ended up paying for some Joey who took a tumble on Goats Gully and I don't hear anyone saying I have been hard done bye, not even me.

Stop being blinkered. If you can afford the time to create a positioned that suggests the concept of a national health system is somehow unfair, you should also be able to see that the point you raise is equally able to be aimed at the concept of insurance cover. Insurance is, after all just a group of people all willing to put money into a pot such that if any one of them were to get injured, the others will pay for it and as you say, get nothing in return.

Only will they get nothing in return? No, the DO get something, as does any member of a national insurance scheme; peace of mind that you will not be faced with a huge bill you cannot pay. True for private insurance and national health schemes.
  • + 1
 Extremist, you make some good point and I think you actually raised a separate issue here and that is the question of what is acceptable risk with regards to health insurance. I would agree that if people like professional bikers are covered by a public health plan perhaps they should pay an extra premium based on their increased risk of injury. I also think orientdave makes an excellent point in comparing a NHS to private insurance. It is as he pointed out basically the same concept just on a national scale. People get their panties in a bunch about 'paying for others' but If you have any type of insurance, wether it be home, auto, even the shit cell phone insurance they try to sell, you likely have at some point paid for someone else's benefit. Every year you don't submit a claim, you cover someone else without getting anything in return. But should you need it at some point, the benefit is there. That's how insurance works.
  • - 1
 Amen Sino428. I hope I never have to have my wife claim my life insurance!!!

I have to hang out my political washing to dry here for a bit too.

I am happy to pay for street lighting so we all feel safe at night. What's the alternative? Metered lights that you put a dime into which gives you just enough light to get to the next one?

At least there is the greater potential for any money paid into any national scheme to be used to provide infrastructure for the community rather than bonuses and dividends to shareholders and directors. I love the NHS and I am more than happy to pay for it.
  • + 2
 Orientdave and Sino428...so what youre saying is you wouldn't mind paying 30% more than what you've been paying for the last decade for the good of others?
  • + 3
 C4mtb you havent even been in a position to say anything. In fact youre so wrong on this one its just bad. Obamacare doesnt give goddamn free healthcare...you still pay like any person that pays for health care whether its from a work plan or other means. You dont get it, America's healthcare and insurance is so bad for what you pay for before the new reform. Obamacare equalizes and allows you to get more for what you pay for, what you deserve for. Dude you need to read up before you say stuff that is totally wrong.
  • + 1
 If your elections are rigged as well as ours i'd be ready to lose it ;-)
  • + 0
 @spicy-mike why is it the government job to decide what you deserve, how could someone in Washington know what is best for me... isn't that why the US was created because of an oppressive government that tried to tell us what we needed from miles away... Razz
  • + 3
 @dmc619. No, not for the good of others, for the good of everyone, and you see, I'm one of everyone, as are all of us.

I don't expect anyone who doesn't get it will ever get it.
And they are all blinkered (conveniently) to the fact that the vast majority of their everyday life is littered with examples of how they benefit from collective policy then somehow come over all "I'm not paying for what I don't use!!!!!!"

Some things better serve everyone when collectively paid: Defence policy, energy policy, schools, day care centres, libraries, educational policy, policing, infrastructure, highways, environmental protection, water quality protection, the judicial system, garbage collection, penal institutions, national parks, local parks, streetlighting, traffic signals, sidewalks.

And no, I do not mind paying more than I use because the point is it gives me peace of mind that it is there should I ever need it.

Ubuntu.
  • + 2
 Orientdave...the question wasn't do you mind paying for more than what you use...the question is would you mind paying 30% more than what you have for the last decade?

While Im OK with everyone having healthcare everyone already has healthcare. Go to a state funded hospital in the US and you will get the care you need with or without insurance...maybe not the care you want but you will get the care you need. If youre not paying a cent into healthcare you cant really be choosey though right?

Im not rich by any means and Ive worked my ass off to get where Im at and working harder everyday. Why should I carry the burden of people that are just as capable as me to make something of themselves or do better for themselves?
  • + 2
 Thanks for the clarification about the question.

I have too had to pay a lot more for my healthcare recently, my healthcare premiums in the national Japanese health insurance scheme have risen massively in the past 10 years, from 13,000 yen per month (about 130 USD) to 60,000 (600 USD) that now covers my wife, daughter and me. That's a, what, 361% increase.

And whilst I do have the occasional, "Christ this is effing expensive" moment I will not lie, I am still more than happy to pay.

Why? Because I both a) can (crucial point, I can pay all that and still put food on the table and buy a Banshee Spitfire so who am I to complain, some people in the local city office obviously have trouble paying for their families healthcare) and b) believe in the universality of health care for all, even the stupid numpties who get hit by a truck whilst pretending to be Gene Kelly, quick stepping down the central reservation on their way home from the pub.

It is the universality of suffrage (which is still a long way off) and of universal ACCESS to healthcare that I personally hold out hope humanity can get around to. And yep, while I earn more than my neighbour, I will gladly subsidise them. What goes around, comes around after all. Have a good weekend all.
  • + 3
 I understand what your saying Orientdave its just left a bad taste in my mouth. I work a lot more hours than the normal person and Ive invested a ton of my time in my job and the fruits of my labor finally paid off and I got a decent raise to start this year...its frustrating when you find out the raise you've been working so hard for is now going to support someone else and its basically like you never got the raise to begin with. Like I said before...if some college kid can afford health coverage due to my hard work and efforts than good on them. Its just a bitter pill to swallow for me. You have a good weekend as well sir.
  • + 3
 @orientdave "Insurance is, after all just a group of people all willing to put money into a pot"

Yes, here's the problem. WILLING. When I'm paying for private insurance, I decide whether I'll pay or not and if I do, how much I'll pay and what do I want in return.
In a national health scheme nobody asks me whether I'm willing to put my money into the pot or not, the state just takes it from me. People should have the freedom to spend their money the way they want to (and then be responsible for all the consequences).
  • + 0
 @extremist,

There is no "should" when it comes to political preference. You might be interested in the "better life index". Check out the tax rates in countries with the "better" lives according to the index.

It appears there are quite significant numbers of people who are willing to, and benefit from, paying higher taxes. They are happy to vote for politicians who say they will tax and then provide services for all.

As I said, there is no should, it is a personal preference. You might want to try living in one of those countries and see how you like it.
www.businessdestinations.com/destinations/shiny-happy-people-the-top-ten-happiest-countries-in-the-world
  • + 0
 Insurance is simple. The more underwriter you have the better you spread the risk.The more people pay into the same moneybucket the better the chance to negotiate claims on both sides. For the US that means regulating the gouging of hospitals, docs, pharma and define standards that benefit the patient. Remember: US is 40 place. HC sucks. Obamacare will make better and cheaper care. You guys just resurgigate industry propaganda and that is a sad state of mind.You are brighter than that.
  • + 1
 On70 if you live in canada... basically fuel there and back plus the driver
  • + 1
 @orientdave: As far as I remember, the best city to live in is Zurich in Switzerland, which is a well known tax haven. So obviously it's possible to have a good quality of life even without high taxes.
Not to mention that the following countries have no income tax at all: www.cnbc.com/id/48054006 and I never heard anyone complaining about the quality of life in United Arab Emirates, Cayman Islands or Bahamas...

PS: Nobody prevents you from voluntarily paying higher taxes. If you want to, send your whole salary to the state, I don't have any problem with that. Just don't tell me what should I do with my money.
  • + 1
 Everyone of those countries is a tax haven and therefore bases their entire economy on washing other countries dirty money. If every country did it then the Bahamas and cayman islands wouldn't have the income they do. They function because they are a tax haven. The UAE is an oil rich nation so needs no taxes. They are not comparable to any normal countries that aren't resource rich.
  • + 0
 At no point Extremmist have I told you what you should do with your money. If you believe I have, please give me a quote from this thread where I have and I will concur.

As you say, some countries have no income tax, such as the UAE. However, it seems to me that you are mixing up "no income tax" with "no tax". The UAE has, according to some of the data you provided in that link, corporation taxes of around 55% which provides the revenue required for the provision of public services. And as for Switzerland, you might like to know that for example, in 2002, the overall fiscal rate was 38.5 percent of GDP. Wow!

Public services need fiscal support, you use them just by living in the country, and if you do not wish to pay a penny in tax then effectively you are leeching off the rest of us every time you open the door onto a paved street rather than a muddy puddle. A true case of pots, kettles and very dark shades of grey.

Because at the end of the day, you live in a country that has public services available to you, and someone, somewhere, somehow, has to provide revenue to the govt to pay for it. And sorry to say it, but if you want to get access to those public services, you gotta pay.

To be blunt, if you don't want to pay for any, then don't use any, but then that becomes somewhat difficult does it not.

I would suggest that if you would like to voluntarily forego all public services, never use the roads, never get your garbage collected, wear a blindfold at night so you do not benefit from streetlighting... etc etc, then go ahead. Voluntarily ensure you never knowingly use something someone else has paid for.

Alternatively, open your eyes and little wider beyond your immediate sphere of experience. We are all, you, I, everyone, prone to being myopic. Have a good Sunday and enjoy the public services you use today.
  • + 2
 @orientdave: "if you don't want to pay for any, then don't use any"

Yes, that's exactly what I want - if I'm not using a service, I don't want to be forced into paying for it. There are many services I've never used and don't intend to start using (for example social welfare). Or, to be more specific, I want to have a choice whether I'll pay for them indirectly (in form of taxes or insurance) or directly (the full price, but only when I really use them).
By forcing me to pay compulsory health insurance the state is telling me what should I do with my money, because I have no choice, I can't opt out of the public healthcare and go to a private hospital instead, or to travel abroad where the healthcare can be significantly cheaper.

If you want to compare total numbers, compare tax freedom day: en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tax_Freedom_Day
The tax freedom day in France is 3 months later than in Ireland. In other words, the amount of time the French have to work for their state is 75 % longer. Is the life in France 75 % better than in Ireland?

@humoroususername: "If every country did it then the Bahamas and cayman islands wouldn't have the income they do"
Spot on. In other words, the rich corporations and individuals would pay their taxes in their homeland rather than on some tropical Island on the other side of the world. That would be great, wouldn't it?
  • + 0
 @extremist
I understand your feelings Sir, I too balk at some of the things that I pay for, but do not use, yet I suppose we will never see eye to eye. I am happy to pay becauase I believe there are some services that are better provided by everyone, for everyone, universally and I include health care in that. Thus my initial post here way back at the top. IF you want to support the NHS, and I am not saying you have to, then make your voice known to the politicians, otherwise they will just, as we all know, "follow the money", listen to people like you, use your voice as an excuse to hide the financial reasons they are voting the way they are, and that will be the end of the NHS.

Try this, it is a piece about the House of Lords and the campaign to stop lords voting on bills in which they have financial interest. socialinvestigations.blogspot.jp/2012/02/nhs-privatisation-compilation-of.html Did you know, 1 in 4 Tory lords have interests in private healthcare companies? Your voice will be used to make them personally ever more wealthy. Is that the way we wish the future of all our healthcare be decided?

On the idea of tax freedom day, it is a useful tool domestically to compare say, the US to the US over time, however the wiki suggests that, by the way, "Due to the different ways that nations collect and categorize public finance data, however, Tax Freedom Days are not comparable from one country to another."

Honestly mate, you are free to do whatever you want. Stay in Ireland and feel persecuted for having to pay NI, move somewhere else and get a different view of the world, refuse to pay and take your case to the European Court of Human Rights. Enjoy your choice though, otherwise one just creates a negative world view, and the only person that that really brings down is, well....
  • + 1
 Sorry for the double post, however, this is interesting. http://www.highexistence.com/the-modern-da-vincis-5-rules-of-success/ 
  • + 1
 @orientdave "I believe there are some services that are better provided by everyone"
Feel free to believe whatever you want, as long as your beliefs don't cost me any money. But as soon as my net salary is decreased because of your beliefs, it becomes a problem. Please bear in mind that my beliefs don't cost you anything and I'm not preventing you from paying for a health insurance.
  • + 1
 @ extemmist "Feel free to believe what ever you want, as long as your beliefs don't cost me any money".

Extremmist mate, that is just such an impossible dream you have their, good luck with it. Society, no society, comes without costs someone, somewhere has to bear.

I have to take issue here mate: "my beliefs don't cost you anything".. Sorry? Well, how about you count the endless hours, confusion and stress sifting through the inevitable minefield of phone calls, pamphlets and advertising informing me of the many and countless ways I can save money on my health bills were I too change supplier.

Do you remember the days when we had one gas supplier and one electricity supplier rather than the multi-layered clear-as-mud, utopia of a choice of energy suppliers? You know, the one we had before our current suppliers, who have been accused of systematically overcharging customers www.presstv.com/detail/332035.html?

Since the deregulation there have been benefits and costs to all of us, in particular the socially vulnerable ("The (measured) quality of service has increased, savings have been available from switching supplier and final consumer prices have fallen. But the exercise has been costly, and consumers have not reaped all the potential financial gains available from switching, and there is evidence of remaining incumbent and oligopoly power in the residential supply markets, and low income consumers in particular may remain vulnerable." Source: competitionpolicy.ac.uk/documents/107435/107587/ccp4-2.pdf).

You and I have different views about how society best serves needs. You seem to think that whenever there is a cost to you and benefit to someone else, there is some inherent wrong involved. Sorry to say it, but you are naive. End of.
  • + 1
 ahahaha @orientdave, are you socialist, marxist, Communist, totalitarian, or any all of the above? you do know that countries run with that mindset (of the above) or they way you want countries to be run have all failed... for starters Russia and Germany, both have had total economic collapse. talk about bad living condition. and then you look at a place where the government has let of some control, china, and they have exploded with economic growth, they have the highest GDP growth in todays time (over 8 %) admittedly i do believe that china will collapse soon but thats beside the point Razz
  • + 1
 @c4mtb, Please, please, please. Do me a favour. I am in no way any of those, and I do not really like the idea of pigeon holing people but if I was pushed to answer, I'd say I lean towards humanism. en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Humanism

As I said before, people who don't get it, don't get it and instead interpret people who act out of benevolence as some kind of Trotskyite.

And don't we all have short memories people. No-one remembers "Share the ride"? Come on then please c4mtb and extremmist, could you explain to me the reasons for the existance of schemes such as "share the ride", they are, after all are they not, people paying for something that someone else benefits from?

"What the individual can do is to give a fine example, and to have the courage to uphold ethical values .. in a society of cynics."

(Albert Einstein)
  • + 3
 Germany has had total economic collapse? Sorry are you living in some sort of parallel universe and communicating through a black hole. Germany has been booming all the way through this recession unlike other EU countries and the us which are struggling. Germany has maintained economic growth for many reasons including having a weak euro to nullify their expensive manufacturing costs.

China has boomed based upon the manufacture and supply of counterfeit goods. Almost everything that is made there is a rip off of something else. Don't feel like paying for something? That's alright go to china where they will make a crappy copy. They have also purposely printed money on copious amounts to keep the currency down artificially. Oh yeah and the main reason they will collapse is the incredible amount of economic stimulus that was provided by the Chinese government in 2008 to ensure there would be no slowdown. Hundreds of billions was spent on projects that will never deliver a return. That is not sustainable.
  • + 1
 ahah Weimar Germany had such a bad collapse, that due to hyper inflation 100 german marks become with 100 trillion german marks int eh span of 5 years (that is total economic collapse). they have come back since then but dam that was one fo the worst collapses in history, could you imagine going down to the store to buy a used Xbox and bring 100 trillion marks, click the link for a visualization

http://cdn.sneakhype.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/08/usd-122_trillion_dollars-122000000000000_USD-620x1065.jpeg

china has other issues, listen or talk talk to Jim Chanos (if you know him) or talk to mr Ballentine and his Chinese economist, there is a housing bubble, credit bubble, soon to be inflation issue, corruption, and a predicted lower working age (for a blue color company that is disastrous)
  • + 2
 @orientdave: What does humanism mean to you? How would you describe it? A belief that being able to crawl out of a vagina is such a huge accomplishment that everyone who has done it is entitled to whatever he wants, of course without having to pay for it?
Why should a human being be entitled to "free" healthcare? Because he/she can walk on two legs and talk? My parrot could to the same so he should get a free vet, shouldn't he? Maybe I should create a new ideology and call it Parrotism. Every parrot that can talk should be entitled to free healthcare, social welfare, child benefits, accomodation and education.
  • + 1
 @extremmist: Your "definition" of humanism reeks of someone who has not taken the effort to find out anything about it before jumping to ridiculous conclusions. Should you wish to engage in a discussion herein, I will be glad to do so. However, you have also asked me a civil question, so I will answer your question for you.

My thoughts about my actions (as I said before, I don't like pigeon holes) are this:

What I give, returns to me many times over.
The care I give to others is no more than the care I often receive from others.
When I see others in real need, regardless of how they ended up in that situation, I will try and help. Because there are times when we all need others to help us.

There are things you have said in you recent..... post.... that show you still don't get it do you. Sorry for the capitals, but IT IS NOT FREE HEALTHCARE. It is a different model of how healthcare be organized, one of universality. Everyone pays and everyone gets. It is not free.

So, I will ask you a question (I asked you one before but you chose not to answer it).

How do you explain the existance of "share the ride". People are giving something and getting, what?
  • + 1
 but NHC does not work like that. the rich pay and the poor receive. taxes on the wealthy are at 50%. and buddy you need a wake up call, the world will not give back what you have given to others, sorry to say but the world is a bit more harsh, it will take take and take some more. your ideal utopia does not exist. Razz
  • + 0
 Sorry buddy, but the reality of nature or the world is a bit more complex than that. Even ants help each other out. In fact the vast majority of species on this planet work to some sort of mutual aid not only within their own species but with other species as well. Your world that takes and takes and takes only exists in your own head and is a fantasy created by dystopian morons, who on the one hand champion selfishness towards elevating themselves economically above others via the free market, and on the other hand hate the public institution known as government that creates all the necessary preconditions for having a functioning free market system. That system is the most unnatural system devised and it's literally treating the entire earth as a commodity with no symbiotic relationships and that in turn is destroying the ecosystems we need to live on. You're supposition that the rich pay and the poor receive should be coupled with the notion that the poor pick the strawberries, grow the tea, assemble the devices, complete most labor, and generally receive completely insignificant amounts of money for an hour of work compared to those higher in the economic hierarchy. Yet it is somehow understood by most that public schools and fire departments are worthwhile endeavors simply because you don't want the fire spreading to your place because someone couldn't pay and there needs to be a crop of people capable of working in and industrialized society to keep it functional. It's called mutual aid and healthcare should work the same way. Besides an american complaining about taxes on another country is just asinine especially since in the US we receive very little for our taxes while the country is mired in debt keeping military bases and endless wars going on around the world while subsidizing businesses and bailing out the financial industry. So just stop the nonsense.
  • + 2
 @c4mtb... then might I suggest you widen your horizons. Maybe the world you inhabit is take and take and take, however, could you explain to me this then:

www.thinkinghumanity.com/2014/04/an-anthropologist-proposed-a-game-to-children-in-an-african-tribe-this-is-how-they-tackled-it.html

There are people in the world who understand how everyone benefits from mutual co-operation. It is not my fault if you don't get it. It is not my fault if you can't see there is an alternative to the dog-eat-dog world that you seem to believe is the ONLY option. It is not the only option, but just one. Some of us prefer alternatives. Have a good day.
  • + 2
 @orientdave: No, not everyone pays. Only the taxpayers pay, people who don't work don't pay, they only get, so they get it for free. That's the first problem.
The second problem is that this "insurance" is a portion of your income (which basically makes it just another tax) so the people who earn more have to pay more, even though they don't get better healthcare than those who pay less or nothing.
When paying for private insurance, you get certain services for certain amount of money and this amount of money doesn't change, no matter whether you earn $50,000 a year or $5,000,000 a year.
If you believe that NHS is good, why don't we finance all services this way? Electricity, gas, internet, mobile phone, the almighty state would just take a portion of our salary and give you the opportunity to use these services, no matter whether you need them or not. The rich will pay more, the poor will pay less and everything is going to be shared by everyone. Great idea, isn't it? Almost as if I've already seen it somewhere;
So comrades, come rally,
And the last fight let us face.
The Internationale,
Unites the human race.
  • + 1
 Extremist,
Could you possibly answer my question?
  • + 3
 @extremist. You might want to learn a thing or two here. "Why don't the government treat electricity, gas, internet, mobile phone" the same way? Guess what, they have had to subsidise all of those things massively because the free market didn't provide them in lots of areas. How do you think Ireland became electrified? If the government didn't pay for it, it never would have happened outside Dublin and cork. Same goes for the (admittedly terrible) water network and telephones. Why do you think broadband is so poor here? Because the free market won't provide it so the government has to step in to pay for the infrastructure. Are you saying Ireland would be a better place if only Dublin and cork had electricity and water? The govt has announced it will fund an upgrade to ensure nationwide broadband. Should that not happen because someone other than you will benefit in the short term? In the long term these things have clearly been good for the country.

The same thing happens with medicine. Poorer people and medicines which are financially unviable just wouldn't be available. Free markets do not work for most things and certainly not medicne or infrastructure.
  • + 1
 As far as I know, there are a few electricity suppliers in Ireland, two of them state owned, one private. You can choose the one you prefer. But what's more important, you don't have to pay for it at all if you either have your own source (wind turbine, solar panel, diesel generator) or if you don't use it. And what's most important - even when you are supplied by a state owned company, you only have to pay for as much electricity as you used.
And that's the biggest problem with NHS - it doesn't reward healthy lifestyle. People would behave more responsibly if they had to pay for their bad choices. Now you can smoke 3 packs of cigarettes a day and if you get lung cancer, the other taxpayers have to pay for your treatment.
  • + 0
 ahaha orientdave is a communist!!!! Wink i kid but really man you have some history to learn, just look at all the nations run that way and you will see the all fail. and the countries that are most powerful are run with a free marked and not through government programs. you you get taxed 50 % then tell me how you like paying for everyone else that does not work.
  • + 1
 You don't get it yet do you. So here it is again, with feelin'. I don't mind paying when I can pay, because one day I might be on the other side of the line. Do a good deed for someone and it'll make its way back to you. Stop and help someone who needs some help. Living that way so far for 45 years and life is pretty peachy here boys! Sorry that you get so angry and annoyed that someone really doesn't mind paying NHS contributions because they can. I vote the same as you and everyone else does and our elected representatives create health policy for us. And it seems to have kept the Japanese population pretty damned healthy. And you know what, the system here WORKS. Sorry to burst your ideological bubble boys, but it works. People who can pay more, like me, pay more, and people who can't pay so much, pay less.......and everyone is pretty damned healthy, and that keeps the number of people off work sick down, and that creates wealth for the country and for the population, and if someone does get sick, they can get treatment and get back to contributing to their family, society, their company or whatever. Yeah, yippee, well done Japan!! A free market capitalist country that has been run by a right of centre party, the LDP for close to 40 of the past 50 years, and it has a universal health care system because the policy makers here are ENLIGHTENED, unlike two selfish, myopic, dogmatic people here who have still yet to answer a question I asked them. sigh...
  • + 1
 @c4mtb Are you seriously this dense? Look at unemployment in socialist countries. Vietnam, almost totally state planned economy and has 40% of its GDP from state owned enterprises. Vietnam's unemployment rate: 5%. Cuba, a well known socialist country and the unemployment rate is 1.4%. Switzerland is at 3.1%. Norway is 3.3%. Netherlands 4.4%. Japan (which only has socialized medicine really) 4.6%. US is sitting at 9%+ if you count those out of work long term. You actually have more people working in many socialist countries which means there's only a very small percentage of all the poor people you view as parasites sucking away your money. Unemployment rates aside though since you can have a low rate with socialist or market economies, but to think that being the most powerful country is some sort of good thing? Sounds like you need a history lesson. What did the founders of the US say about standing armies? Why do you think it's okay to have military bases all over the globe because it's somehow good to be a powerful country? You're also ignoring that the US is in sharp decline and failing on many fronts. Insane amounts of debt due in part to military spending and a failure to implement economically sustainable and viable policies. The need for constant war to maintain the economic state of things. An infrastructure that is obviously failing with bridges falling, and a total lack of investment to meet the needs of our own people. We have wealth inequality at very similar levels to Uganda, China, Rwanda, Mexico, Serbia, and many Sub-Saharan African countries have less wealth inequality than the US. Give it up. Some countries have socialized medicine that works while we're sitting back ranked somewhere in the 30's in healthcare globally. US healthcare is great just so long as you can afford it and unfortunately due to the terrible economy here fewer and fewer people can afford it every year while medical bankruptcies skyrocket.
  • - 1
 First of all oriental Dave Japan is curently still in the 2 lost decades soooo.... And zach are you kidding Vietnam and Cuba, have you ever seen them, the standard of living is shit in these and these country's are in ruins, the amount of poverty is rediculusly high.
  • + 2
 Whatever.
Note to self: add some names names to the "people with whom it is unlikely to be able to discuss something with any hope of progression" list. Bye.
  • - 1
 1) orientdave

enjoy your lost 2 decades.
Wink
  • + 1
 @orientdave "I don't mind paying when I can pay" - I don't mind YOU paying either, as I already said a few times, feel free to send your whole salary to NHS if you wish. Just don't force me into doing the same, all I'm asking for is the right you already have - to use my money the way I want to. I don't understand why the socialists always think that they know what's best for me. I know what's best for me.

"Do a good deed for someone and it'll make its way back to you."
HAHAHA what a bullshit, are you a christian priest or what? Big Grin No good deed goes unpunished. Give others a finger and they'll rip your whole arm off.
  • - 1
 ahaha true words Razz
  • + 1
 Extremist: Here is 45 years of my experience wrapped up in one unfortunate piece for you.

I have, so far, in my life, once, yes once, done a good deed for someone and it made its way back to me and ripped my whole arm off. That is because there are people out there that, as you say, will do that. I lent someone I worked with 150,000 yen and I have never seen it again. That is once.

The mistake you make is assuming everyone else is like that.


On every single other occasion, every single other occasion in 45 years, always, always and inwaveringly received as great a benefit or not greater from my acts of kindness.
  • - 1
 15000 that's like 148000 USD why the f*ck you you lend someone that much, if the banks wold not lend it to them that means that that the professional money people who run background check did not trust them Razz why would you trust him... That is asinine!
  • + 2
 Got your rates pretty fucked up there Mr. Explosive. 150k Yen is like 1500 USD, not 148 THOUSAND dollars.
  • + 2
 c4mtb I notice you said nothing about Norway, Switzerland, or the Netherlands. However, let me explain something to you in the good old US of A more than 16 millions children are coming up in poverty. That's 22% of all kids in the US with families making a grand total of less thank 23k per year. Now you factor in rent, healthcare, and food and something has to give. Usually it's healthcare, education, and a stable environment which ends up producing more people who don't become productive adults. So before you knock socialism in general and act like it's the rich paying for everyone else you gotta remember the inequality in these countries is soooo much smaller than the US that it means people pay in more equally too.

The applauding of inherent selfishness like it's some sort of trait to be sought after rather than a society built on cooperation is uncivilized and primitive at best. It's a bunch of Randian BS, as most of the free market is only possible because of the government as is all this most powerful country stuff you talk about. Do you complain this much about having to subsidize GE, big agriculture, or the entire defense industry? Basically you just don't want to have to pay anything to help anyone poorer and that's not something anyone should applaud. The real thieves and vultures aren't the taxes people pay towards healthcare that benefits everyone, it's the profit driven health care industry which people all across the US are having a harder time paying for while receiving worse health care. Enjoy living under your rock but one day I'm hopeful that people will realize healthcare shouldn't be a for profit industry, just like education, or providing people with any basic service.
  • + 1
 I just want to highlight this line;

"taxes on the wealthy are at 50%"

Where in the absolute f*ck are you getting that statistic? Fox news?
  • + 1
 Extremist- It's called a society. You think I like paying for your roads or subsidizing oil or paying for the out of control US military is in my best interest? The thing you don't get is that markets only exist because of governments backing money supplies, collecting debts, regulating everything from weights and measures to land usage. In a modern industrial society every society is socialist to some extent, just some socialize to the benefit of the already wealthy and the industrial powers that be while some also socialize heavily towards ordinary people. Most countries didn't develop their infrastructure that makes a modern industrial economy privately. I suggest picking up a book about pre-capitalist accumulation and the legal public infrastructure that made capitalism possible.
  • + 1
 c4mtb,

Please, if there is one thing I think you may benefit from, it would be take just a little more time to read and digest information. I have found it challenging to discuss things with you for that reason. You, I and extremmist have (in theory) been having a discussion about politics and the supply of health care in parliamentary democracies. though I am not sure whether it is only me that realizes that.

Anyway, have a good weekend you two, get out for a ride and let's all stay out of hospital and save other people money!
  • + 1
 no sherb i am talking from experience, our families taxes are just under 50% around 48, and zach i understand what you are saying but its just not true fist of all our family gives plenty of money to charity, but it is not the governments job to tell us what to do with our money if is for us to decide, for the people who work hard for it, and for the people who can not afford health care for there family, its very simple dont have kids if you can not afford them, why should i have to pay for someone else mistakes, i already pay for the occasional mistake i make errar es humanum (but that error is yours alone to bare not your neighbors, and not the rich guy who has worked hard)

and i apologies my conversions where off, i had the decimal in the wrong spot (.9 instead of .009 Razz my bad)
  • + 1
 Care to get me -any- source indicating there's a 50% tax bracket? Even just one?
  • + 0
 well im not going to show you my families tax return, buts its around 48%
  • + 0
 ...I'm not asking for your family's tax information, I'm asking you to cite literally any source indicating there's a tax bracket where people pay out 50% of their annual income back to taxes.

Why do I ask? Because I'm looking at a webpage with the taxation brackets within America and I am seeing NOTHING like that at all. Eg; "While the top marginal tax rate on ordinary income is 39.6 percent, average rates that a household in the upper income bracket pays are less."

So now responsibility of proof falls on your shoulder. You made a very large claim, you now have to back it up. Please do so.

Ps, I'm still waiting on that article about helmet safety you told me about literally weeks about. Stop bullshitting.
  • + 0
 the helmet i showed you that pinkbike article, apparently it was disproven, i did not know that.

admittedly i dont know enough about taxes but here is an article about what we where talking about earlier where the wealthy supporting everyone else, crazy stats.

www.cnbc.com/id/101264757
  • + 0
 "California, which recently raised taxes on the wealthy, now has the highest combined federal and state income tax rate in the United States. It was 43.6% in 2012 and has gone up to 47.6% this year, according to Tax Policy Center Fellow James Nunns."

there is your proof
  • + 0
 Lol, that link proves a point which has NOTHING to do with what you stated. At all. It's saying the rich, as a group, pay out more, as a final number, than the poor do. It doesn't account percentages of income nor does it say the rich pay 50% of their income to taxation. It's a horrifically skewed statistic, and kinda illustrates my point; you don't know what you're talking about.

Please stop making absurd claims.

Also, you SPECIFICALLY SAID the pinkbike article wasn't the one you remembered seeing, and that you were just posting it in the meantime. I then asked you for another article citing your bullshit. It's been weeks and you have not given anything.

PLEASE stop making absurd claims.
  • + 0
 ahah you really hate me Razz

the second post about California, shows the numbers according to cnn here is the link

money.cnn.com/2013/04/01/pf/taxes/top-income-tax
  • + 1
 Okay, so the HIGHEST tax bracket you can find is still lower than what you claimed to me, and you're saying it's proof for your example? Past that, you live in NEW YORK.

Dude what the f*ck are you smoking and where can I get some?

Ps, really enjoying you downpropping my comments as I call you out. Getting down on me for asking for proof on a claim you made. Rofl.
  • + 0
 actually i live in both cali and NY, currently i myself am in NH due to school, but cali for about half the year and NY for the other half. (family originally form cali)
  • + 0
 gave you another dow prop stings doesn't it Wink
  • + 1
 I don't hate you, I just feel sorry for people around you, like the dude you called communist. I feel sorry he had to deal with you. I also feel sorry for your fellow countrymen for every time you say something ignorant and make the country look idiotic.

You gave an example for the absolute top tax bracket for an area I doubt your family pays into. It STILL wasn't the figure your originally claimed. This also doesn't take into the tax cuts and breaks that you get as you make more money. Even the article you just posted implies nobody actually pays that tax rate, as there's "tax breaks" to take advantage of, or investing the money for further tax cuts, something people with no large sums of money can do.

It's absolutely amazing how much you're reading between the lines here to prove yourself right. You are incorrect through and through. "Woe is me, I am too rich!"
  • + 0
 I like how you're actually bragging about downprop spamming people. By god you need help.
  • + 0
 it was a joke hence the winky face listen you hate me because i got you kicked off the mod squat ahah clever name Razz but seriously you can believe me or not i really dont mid if you dont, its a figure that applies to my family and has absolutely no affect on you especially because you live in Canada, i am merely pointing out that NHC is a bad thing. there are these veteran hospitals that are a huge part for the NHC system they are the 3rd largest consumer of our national budget (dont quote me on that) and they have some of the poorest quality of treatment, why? because there is no incentive they are not a private organization and have no competition hat incentive them to work hard, resulting in really really shitty patient care. its a huge issue in the US. the government should stay out of our lives they where designed to protect out national security and it should stop there. why do you think the government should tell us what we should do with our money?
  • + 0
 this has been enjoyable in passing the time (i have been really really bored for the last few days) but training is starting tomorrow and i have to get some sleep, we can pick this banter up another day.
  • + 2
 @zachmozach: for the amount of money the state takes from my salary the roads should be paved with Carrara marble with golden curbs...

Btw talking about the roads; if I buy a car, I pay VAT, which is 23 % of the car's real value. The company that manufactured it has to pay corporate tax. When I want to drive it, I have to pay motor tax - for a car with 3.0l engine it's about €1500 a year. And every time I refuel it, I have to pay fuel tax plus VAT (basically majority of the petrol/diesel price is tax). I think it's more than enough to maintain the roads.
  • + 29
 Please note: Absurdly huge fees for a doctor visit, an x-ray or a scan are a 'feature' of US private healthcare firms that have a 5000% markup on cost.

This is not an issue in the UK where all healthcare is free.
  • + 14
 But insurance does cover things like loss of income. So still worth getting if you ride hard and have bills to pay.
  • + 19
 The NHS is a wonderful thing but it is NOT FREE - it is free at the point of delivery. We all have to pay for it through our taxes, which is why paying your taxes in so important. The NHS is a precious thing, and if we lose it we will never get it back. A bit like the BBC. Two things that make the UK such a great place. If we lose them we will regret it.
  • + 0
 Amen ddmonkey, and hence it is so important to keep the tories away from it and kick those **** out of government asap...
  • - 42
flag Axxe (May 23, 2014 at 3:59) (Below Threshold)
 NHS is not free.

My out of pocket expense in US for any injury - $0. My sons broken arm - $0. And all diagnostics and care is ten times better than NHS. My wife's knee surgery - fully covered. Two weeks wait, not six months like in UK or Canada. Much better everything.

Yes, my employers pays, or I pay if I am not working - but I would rather pay for myself, and for what I want and need. Not have it rationed to me by government bureaucrats.
  • + 32
 Axxe, the day you have to go out and buy insurance on your own is the day you will be screaming at the top of your lungs "we need universal health care in America." There is a world of difference when you have a nice, cushy employer group plan and when you have to go out and purchase it yourself. One of the major components of the ACA is to address this disparity and to help people who don't have nice group plans conveniently offered to them by their employers.
  • + 35
 Axxe, you're an idiot.
  • - 21
flag jjohnny350 (May 23, 2014 at 7:07) (Below Threshold)
 Axxe, you're right on man, these foreigners dont understand the US system, even though they like to talk like they do. Our system isn't perfect and people should be able to be covered. Obamacare sucks, but Id rather have what we have then be told by the government when we can have the surgery we need. Listen to cam zink, You shouldn't be forced to have insurance, but as a professional athlete in a dangerous sport you'd be a moron to not have insurance coverage. - Cam Zink
  • - 18
flag orastreet1 (May 23, 2014 at 7:09) (Below Threshold)
 Free? You don't give away more than half your earnings in taxes? And did you notice where the Canadian Darren Berrcloth went to Los Angeles, California (USA by the way) for his back surgery. Why not get it done in Canada? Glad he was able to get the best care available in the world! Until Obama destroys it...
  • + 7
 jjohnny- "Our system isn't perfect and people should be able to be covered. Obamacare sucks, but Id rather have what we have then be told by the government when we can have the surgery we need."

Looks like we've got another Fox parrot here with zero understanding of what Obamacare actually is... Nice contradiction in saying you want people covered but you hate Obamacare which was put in place to provide affordable healthcare to millions. Yeah some people did get screwed over but hey it's like you said, the system isn't perfect, right?

orastree- That's not due to healthcare being privatized, you moron. That's due to the US having some of the best facilities for bright minds to work/research in... which are mainly funded by the contributions of very wealthy partners of the hospitals... that is when they're actually part of the hospital and not of a local university which is mostly the case anyways. Either way, they're not funded from people paying their absurdly marked up hospital bills.
  • + 3
 Seriously..

Who do you people think PAYS for your "free" medical coverage??

I've been to the ER in Canada..(paid out of my own pocket) I literally sat in the waiting room for 4hrs with an 8" long gash to the bone, bleeding all over until I was even seen to assess the injury....After they figured out I wasn't going to die anytime soon it was back to the waiting room...Keep in mind it was 8pm and the hospital was about empty..

If politicians spent their time trying to drive down the expenses of doctors and hospitals (largely having to do with doctors cost of their insurance) everyone would be allot better off.. Instead they just cater to the low information crowd and try to appease their desire to have everything handed to them..
  • + 6
 White boys sponsored by Red bull riding 10K bikes and hucking off huge cliffs complaining about healthcare costs. LO fucking L. Give me a break. If you are a pro and dont have health insurance you're a fucking moron.
  • + 8
 Worst part of US health insurance is that over half the people who declare medical bankruptcy have health insurance to begin with. Health insurance in the US is a joke, and the only thing Obamacare did was get more people on terrible health insurance. I am lucky to have pretty decent insurance, and every time I need something, like new glasses, $100, a cavity filled $100, a dental cleaning $50 and that's from my other half's teacher insurance which all the freedom fighter righties want to complain about.

Also to anyone who want to say anything about paying half their money in taxes, I'd say at least in the UK they can pay away half they're money to taxes and still have a higher standard of living as well as actually receiving a service for that $ unlike here where we mostly just pay for military bases around the globe and our insane debt.
  • + 1
 Yes, heard the same thing Matt. Cost me 1000 cad just to walk into whistler medi center. In Hong Kong we got our equivalent of NHS. 1 week stay in hospital and all i paid was 25 USD part of which was a 15 dollar ambulance ride, which you only pay for to stop unnecessary use of the ambulances.
  • + 5
 Main Objective is of healthcare in the US is to create revenue for the companies selling it and the investors of theses companies. A Hospitals objectives are the same as any other companies in the states. Create more revenue.
US health insurance is just a product and as on any product the real costs of the product are just a fraction of what you pay.
Think about it, you are paying the TV ads your insurance company needs to air, and a lot of other stuff, to sell more product in order to earn more so the investors get higher dividends and only a small fraction of you payments go towards your kids broken leg...

It not at all about helping people who are in need. Health should not be a business.

Of course Euro medical coverage is not free, and we all pay our part but the big advantage is our coverage providers goal is not to create X-billion dollars in revenue. We are paying for medical coverage and not for Mansions and yachts of CEO's and investors.

I live in the US for 4 years now... and its freaking me out... the plans that i was offered that would cover me doing "extreme" sports would have been more than i make a month. The whole system is just a ridiculous fail.
  • - 2
 Your socialist medical system is very fortunate to have a parallel capitalist system that provides the development and progress of care that we all benefit from. Every NHS would likely still be strapping sticks to broken limbs if they were not able to benefit from the technological advancements of the free market world. The Affordable Healthcare Act will slow the progress like a pair of ice tech brakes. It's a good thing we had a free market period of development, or we would all be stuck with old standards of practice and care. It is unfortunate that the momentum of this progress will be lost. My most trusted doctor has closed his practice due to an impossible climate to conduct fair business and quality private care. Over the next generation we will see the extinction of quality private doctors and will be left with incompetent government medical agents.
  • + 8
 orastreet1, the best Drs (debatable) are in the US because thats where they get paid the most by the medical insurance companies. Its called greed. They would all move to the worst parts of Africa and risk life and limb if the money was better. Then Africa would have the best Drs in the world.
  • + 12
 Funny how Americans always use social or socialist as a "bad" word. Cold-war propaganda still goes strong 60 years later.

Social derives from the Latin word socii and means partner. So the social idea could be very simply described as doing stuff together or for each other.... Uhhh evil! watch out everyone!
  • - 6
flag Axxe (May 23, 2014 at 11:17) (Below Threshold)
 @jjohnny350: Yes, I know I am right. This mob is kinda funny, but that is to be expected.
  • + 10
 hahahah i love how every person feels the need to justify themselves. keep this gold coming guys. and fellow American's, we are the best at some things but not everything. our system is broken and full of people who cant admit it becuase they PERSONALLY lose their power. in the EU their healthcare works becuase they have realized the group is greater then the individual. our American system and ideaology makes each American believe they are a free and independent and strong individual who can live by THEMSELF. its just too different cultures and until we take a step back and realize that we can't go anywhere while we conflict with ourselves. /endrant
  • + 1
 Why dont we all agree on the fact that there is no perfect medical system, they all have their flaws in some way, and their advantages in another way, so stop fighting and go riding!
  • + 1
 @IroonWheel The assumption that money is the best incitement for devolpment is wrong. So there is no reason why research couldn't be done within an governmental institution, it would actually benefit from not being corrupted from what a company wants(i.e money), instead it would be driven from what the people actually need.

What good does it do when a company invent a medicine and the mark up is so high that people can not take part of it. Instead it could be developed with in an governmental institution and have a lower price tag(development + production). Or if you truly care about your family, neighbors and the guy living on street, it could be under subvention. OFC you would have the share the cost of other people, but when you need it, you will be thankful.

The sooner we all stop praising Adam Smith and have a look at Sen and Nussbaum the better. The great famine proved it a long time ago.
  • + 0
 "All healthcare is free". What a f*cking moron you are. Nothing is free motherf*cker. Shut the f*ck up you f*cking moron.
  • - 6
flag Axxe (May 24, 2014 at 1:45) (Below Threshold)
 @ fleisch: Annoying little simpletons they are. Just regurgitate the same propaganda nonsense from their Big Brother.
  • + 23
 Can't help but notice that no 'muricans have commented yet... That Obama care doesn't seem so bad now ae?
  • + 9
 Or because this was posted in the middle of the night. The Obama care would not help any American competing in Canada or Europe. Also you should read up on the program. It's much different from health care systems in other countries.
  • + 6
 National healthcare isn't bad, Obamacare is. Why does it matter you anyway though? You don't live here.
  • + 15
 Hey man, I am the first one to admit America has one of the worst systems in the world. It's great if you can afford it (I am fortunate enough to be in that situation). But I know people who's lives have been ruined bc of one hostipal trip and thousands of dollars in bills.
I wish we had a healthcare system similar to the rest of the developed world
  • - 12
flag RatHunter83 (May 23, 2014 at 6:16) (Below Threshold)
 Obama care is a joke. Its unconstitutional in the first place, and why do I have to pay for the crackheads insurance? You should get back what you put in.
  • + 7
 Obamacare is a compromise, and in politics, compromises always suck for the citizen.
  • + 4
 PHeller - 100% agree. Should have a single payer system. But we know that would never happen so we compromise with something that is less than ideal.

And Rathunter - that's the whole idea for the ACA. Without it, people who are not insured go to the hospitals, default on the bills and everyone else picks up the fees. We pay like 2x as much in healthcare per person than any other developed country. So the ACA forces people to be responsible and either have insurance or pay a fine that can go toward paying those outstanding bill. I'm not saying it's perfect, it's a complex issue. But atleast it's a small step forward
  • + 0
 I know bryan, I live in mass so your preaching to the choir. I have do-very-little Patrick for a governor as well.
  • + 7
 You posted this at 4AM on the west coast. Even the east coasters are barely up yet. What kind of an answer did you expect when most people are asleep?

Obamacare isn't health care. All it does is force you to buy insurance that has some minimum level of coverage whose cost is based on your income. The less you make, the less you pay and the more the government subsidizes your cost. Keep in mind that in some states, you might be covered by a public policy like Medicad/Medicare or equivalent. And in many cases, you insurance doesn't fully kick in until you've met certain deductibles-of course, there are things that are covered as a part of the policy but most people will pay some sort of deductible which could likely bankrupt a family (just the same as having no insurance would). Again, Obamacare does not do anything to control the cost of health care and some have said they believe it could increase the cost of providing care. It's worth noting that the USA spends about 18% of it's GDP on health care. Canada, 11%, Australia, 9%, and the UK, also about 9%. The claim is that if everyone has health insurance, the cost to provide care will go down.

Once again, Obamacare doesn't do anything to change the cost of providing care, it only mandates that you buy health insurance. It's also very likely you could find the doctor you've been seeing under your old policy won't accept the coverage you now have (health care providers don't have to accept your insurance).

For those of you in countries with programs like the NHS. It might be free to you but it is not free to taxpayers. So if it's no cost to people, why do so many in Australia and The UK buy private insurance policies?

The elephant in the room question that was not asked is "what if insurance providers (including public health care providers) decided your participation in high risk activities was not covered at the same level if at all by a basic policy?". Comments?
  • - 4
flag jjohnny350 (May 23, 2014 at 7:08) (Below Threshold)
 Obamacare is a freaking joke
  • + 3
 @jjohnny- I love the eloquent, well informed comment.
  • - 1
 thank you, it took me a while to come up with it. (smiley face)
  • + 1
 you are exactly right, ian48. that elephant is what needs to be looked at. the cost of providing coverage for high risk occupations can be fairly high. maybe do a follow up article that talks about realistic and current options and costs at a general level for riders in different countries, sponsors and event organisers. it always gets stupid when flags get all ruffled without proper perspective and information from all sides. we all ride. we all relate to what these riders do. i never understand the pissing match that it turns to. insurance has different levels of assurance. each system has positives and negatives and finance drives all models. it would be interesting to know what a rider like Zink's policy may look like.
  • + 4
 I might get some heat for this, but I have to say it. If the money is not enough for the risk taken, then don't take the risk. I'll still love everything the pro's do, even if they only take photos with their bikes standing still, I'll still love that.
  • + 4
 Common sense should prevail as Abzillah said, risk vs. benefit. If your not willing to invest in your health by obtaining insurance and then participating in a high risk gravity sport then your priorities are askew. Something akin to not paying your rent or phone bill so you can buy another ounce of pot for the week end.

I see and know all to many a fellow american that has embraced the "I'm entitled mentality" and want some one else to help them along or subsidize them or take care of them with no real thought of where it comes from or who really pays.

As a veteran who spent 23 yrs fighting for others freedom and liberty just to come back a to VA (absurd) healthcare system that does not work in many ways and is steeped in govt. oversight, bureaucracy, regulations and delayed treatment is a farce. The ACA will mirror it once in full implementation. GOVT. running medical business is a recipe to disaster. I pay out of pocket to ride my DH rig and live on a budget because of it.. But I pay for it! I do not let someone else cover me becuase I'm to stupid to selfish to be self reliant. "Mothers tit /big govt tit", you figure it out Kensians. Oh and I am a middle class working stiff with spouse and son...
  • + 3
 Dirtchurner strikes a chord with the VA reference. That system is an embarrassment to how health care should be run. Men and women who risked their lives to protect ours and they come home to a healthcare system that denies service, has ridiculously long wait times for treatment and now allegations of cover ups that start at the very top with Mr. Shinseki himself.

I'm all for people being able to have health insurance at a reasonable cost. But I should not be required by law to have said insurance and I shouldn't have to pay for someone else's either. If its offered through your employer, great, take advantage. If its not but you make enough to pay for it, great, take advantage. But if your a lazy sob who doesn't "feel like" getting a job then screw you. You need to get off your ass and contribute to the rest of society.www.youtube.com/watch?v=5Zov2ojMp84 this is the shit I'm talking about. Do you really want to support this kind of mentality?
  • + 2
 my brother served got cancer and it was a joke to get assistance for him thru the VA. he's since passed but being in the medical provider industry i have run into too many folks who have served and having horrible stories about that gov't run office.
  • + 2
 Imagine:

The industry you been working at the last 8 years let's you go and as the hard working man you going around trying to find a new job. The last to months been kind of rough, paying house mortgage and having two kids as a single dad has not been easy, so you bought a cheaper car and canceled cabel tv, internet and insurance. One day, out looking for a job, stepping out of the car you slip on some ice. Broken wrist in need of surgery...tough luck?
  • + 2
 Happy Birthday DirtChurner!
  • + 14
 I think it's incredible that some Americans (@Axxe) can still see our healthcare system in a positive light... It is more than obvious that the entire system is in shambles and something needs to be done. It's not gonna happen overnight and more than a few people are going to be pissed off about it, namely investors, management, and healthcare staff (doctors) because in reality, it's the greed of people in some of these positions that hinders cost savings. No one wants to take a cut in pay, especially people who go through medical school and believe they've earned it. The 5000% percent mark-ups aren't necessarily there due to amazing hospital facilities and technology, although we are lucky to have that in the US, but rather to cover the overhead costs of employing specialists that think they are entitled to 6 and 7 digit incomes. The balance of equality is insanely skewed here and general population is the one who gets the big stiffy, thus creating more financial problems for those who already don't have the means to deal with it which just adds to the debt of our society as well as our healthcare facilities. It's a spiraling disaster that isn't going to get better anytime soon.
  • + 8
 It's a complex question for sure. Is the system "in shambles?" Depends if you can afford it or not. If you've got the coin, the coverage and treatment is there, essentially on-demand. No quotas, no waiting (recall Steve Jobs' ability to jump ahead in the queue for a liver transplant?) The elite of the world travel here to have procedures performed.

However, for the rest of us, yes, it's pretty jacked; if I get hurt I'm on the hook for the first $8K or so before my insurance kicks in. And that's considering my insurance company considers the type of riding I do to be covered (pretty sure it is). My personal belief, FWIW, is that health care should not be a profit center. Neither should law enforcement, criminal justice, education, or any other basic services. And I'm willing to pay slightly higher taxes to have those services provided by competent professionals. Now you can have a huge drawn out debate whether those things are mutually exclusive, though that's going to be driven by different belief systems. And those don't change on internet forums.
  • + 5
 At least some Americans get it. Seriously, as an Irish person walking around US cities is eye opening. So many homeless people everywhere. You just dont see it on the same level in other first world countries. The poor-middle income to rich divide is enormous and just getting bigger yet some people defend it vigorously. Once you are rich it is very easy to get richer but if you are poor it is hard to even make ends meet no matter how hard you work. Even more so in the US since you wont have access to good, cheap education either.
  • + 10
 America is the wealthiest 3rd world country on earth because it is run, increasingly, as an oligarchy. We are among the highest infant mortality rates among industrialized nations. We have a, roughly, 23% poverty rate for children. We have the most expensive healthcare system on the planet, paying nearly double per capita, that of the OECD average, but in comparisons of quality of care, the US ranks pretty low. A disgusting amount of per capita spending on healthcare has nothing to do with actual treatment. The US system is an embarrassment when it comes to cost related access to healthcare. In other words, many people can't afford to get sick or hurt. Many people go bankrupt to pay hospital and treatment bills. Coincidentally, profits for private insurance, pharmaceutical companies, and many other service vendors in the health care racket, continue to climb. Healthcare and treatment of patients aren't the priority. Profits are.
  • + 0
 Do you know what defines a third world country timrippeth?
  • + 4
 @mtbrider71. I am very aware of what defines a 3rd world country. The definition in common accepted context, is quite different than the original definition of not being aligned with NATO. Perhaps I used a bit of hyperbole in my post, but we are on a trajectory to becoming what is commonly accepted as a 3rd world country by contemporary understanding. An underdeveloped nation with widespread poverty and a shaky infrastructure and government.
  • + 6
 Don't you just love capitalism ?
  • + 2
 @kevmocal Bingo, I agree. I do not think these basic services should be for profit. The idea that health insurance makes money off of their business is absurd
  • + 3
 1st and 3rd World Country are terms that aren't even used anymore in higher education, international politics or NGOs. They are a remenant of 60's cold war terminology and aren't even mentioned in academics or at the policy level and haven't been for years.

The PC terms are "Lesser Developed Countries" & "More Developed Countries" MDC/LDC which the criteria are based on the HDI (Human Devevlopment Index), GNI, things like Poverty, Infant mortality, and adult literacy, etc.
  • - 3
 These issues are way too complicated with way too many variables for you, “Me Thinger”, “timrippeth”, et al. (especially all you brainwashed foreigners dependent on your government to take care of you), to understand. Yet you spout your opinions like you are an expert on these subjects. In reality it is clear that you just do not know what the f*ck you are talking about.
  • + 0
 Let me give you a whiff of reality about “health care” in the U.S. Fred is a 48 year old male with a history of obesity, hypertension, diabetes mellitus, obstructive sleep apnea, high cholesterol, and chronic back pain. He has not taken care of himself. All of his chronic medical issues have essentially occurred from lifestyle choices. He is on disability and receives medicare (taxpayer funded) medical coverage. He claims that he is unable to perform any job in any capacity. His greedy American doctor has had the nerve to repeatedly counsel and educate him regarding weight loss, diet, exercise, and other preventive measures. The greedy pharmaceutical companies have spent millions of dollars in research and development to create medications that will treat all of Fred’s chronic diseases. Without them he would die a slow and painful death.
  • + 0
 All of the individuals who worked and toiled to develop these drugs do not care about that though, only their paycheck and profits. There have been millions of dollars spent to research and develop treatments for his sleep apnea. There have been millions spent to research and develop equipment, techniques, and methods for surgeries that Fred will need to survive his developing coronary artery disease, degenerative joint and spine disease, and renal failure. The U.S. taxpayer pays for all of Fred’s medications, doctor’s visits, procedures, and surgeries. Medicare only pays a portion of what is actually billed (Medicaid pays a fraction which leads to loss of ability to even pay for overhead), which is what we should all do the next time we buy a mountain bike. Fred refuses to use his CPAP prescribed to treat his sleep apnea. It is uncomfortable. His diabetes is poorly controlled as he does not follow his prescribed diabetic diet and is not always compliant with taking his medication. He complains that there are too many pills to swallow. His hypertension and high cholesterol have also been poorly controlled because of his diet, untreated sleep apnea, and lack of exercise. He reports that exercise and physical therapy just makes his pain worse. He is on several opiates for pain control and has been hospitalized several times for overdose. Because of his obesity he has developed severe osteoarthritis of his knee joints and had to have a total knee replacement.
  • + 2
 After his knee replacement he decides he will try to get more exercise so he takes up mountain biking even though he claims he is unable to work “in any capacity”. He crashes on his bike and suffers a concussion and some minor injuries. He undergoes a greed driven routine trauma evaluation (including a head CT) in the ER which is negative. However because of his poor health he develops sepsis with cardiopulmonary collapse. The greedy doctors and hospital staff save and maintain his life in the ICU for 2 months. He makes it out of the ICU and the greedy physical therapists begin rehabilitation therapies. He is unable to take care of himself at home when it comes time to be discharged so he is transferred to a greedy skilled nursing and rehab facility. He is debilitated not from the injuries from his biking accident but because he has so many chronic illnesses. He requires a motorized scooter to get around which is provided by the greedy medical equipment company.
  • + 2
 Several years go by and he has gained another 100 lbs. He has a myocardial infarction and his life is once again saved by the greedy American doctors. However, the greedy cardiothoracic surgeon tells him he has 90% blockage of several coronary arteries and he needs a coronary artery bypass graft procedure to survive. During the surgery he has a stroke and it is discovered that he has severe carotid artery stenosis. The greedy vascular surgeon tells him that there is a high risk for recurrent stroke unless he has a carotid endarterectomy or carotid stent placement. He has stent placement and survives but has neurologic impairments requiring permanent placement in a nursing care home. He lives for another 10 years and is able to spend quality time with his family and friends, thanks to the greedy American nurses, physicians, therapists, drug companies, local hospital, medical equipment providers, medical equipment developers, etc., and thanks to the millions and millions of American tax dollars.
  • + 2
 Now multiply this scenarios millions of times over and then tell me how the cost of health care is all about the greedy doctors, hospitals, and drug companies. What about all of you motherf*cking, ignorant, fat, selfish, risk taking, smoking, drug taking, alcohol consuming, drunk driving, unsafe sex practicing, ass holes? What about your responsibility in all of this you selfish parasites of humanity? You believe you are entitled. You want your stuff and you want it now and for free. Go to Europe and you will get your health care for “free”. But you won’t get it now a*shole. You won’t get it tomorrow or the next day. And when you don’t get your stuff, what are you going to do? You will not get the head CT you need that would be done in the U.S. immediately, when you wipe out on your bike in Canada or Europe, and your subdural hematoma will expand in your head while you wait, and it will crush your puny American brain (this happened to Liam Neeson’s wife Natasha Richardson while skiing in Canada). And then what? Are you going to sue? Oh no - you are not in the U.S. any more jackass. You are f*cked now and will run back to suck at your American mommies teat.
  • + 3
 @fleisch, while I'm not a fan of the rant, I don't disagree with your assessment of either personal responsibility, or what little I know of health care quotas and queues. And I think it would be a much more interesting conversation if the health care system in the US was actually that: about keeping people healthy. There are some serious shortcomings in nutrition, in behavior, in responsibility. Many of my coworkers think I'm a risk taker and even reckless; while I risk injury, I also sleep enough, eat well, exercise; I bought life insurance a few years ago and the company's health screen put me in the the top healthiest 1% of their program (frightening in itself as I saw the blood work results and they didn't look all that stellar to me). There's a lot of opportunity for improvement on all sides; Americans need to take more responsibility. And any system as complicated as a nation's health care will be inefficient and problematic, whether those problems are driven by maximizing profits and unnecessary duplication, or government bureaucracy, wait times, and higher taxes (though it's not like the private companies are bastions of efficiency here, either, or that we're not already subsidizing other peoples' care in unpaid hospital bills). The irony in the entire debate on health care reform is that the one thing I've been able to agree on with every other political persuasion is this: stay healthy, stay out of the system.
  • + 3
 I agree with FLEISCH and KEVMOCAL. Life is full of irony. I had been shot, stabbed, indirectly blown up, crushed a hand, severed a tricep and broken a many bones while serving our beloved country. Despite my multitude of injurious incidents and exploits, I still came out alive unlike some of my brothers. I eat right, exercise vigorously and have taken great care of my health. Even though I raise a toast of beer to my lost brethren and those who have given all to god and country. I now work another job and live a much more mortal and humble existence. Through counseling I have continued to feed my closet adrenaline need with mtn biking. My wife supports me on it. I however practice personal orm (operational risk management). I have life insurance, I pay 733.00 a month for private health insurance for my family with dental $72.00 a month separate. I did this because the VA that I earned with retirement, just does not do a good job with their process until you are finally seen. I am single income, drive one car live on a budget, have bought every one of my bikes used off Pinkbike or Ebay to support my love for DH/Allmtn riding. I have earned sick days off through my job. Last week i overshot a jump I have hit many times over successfully and bammm lawn darted. I did a L5 separation of my left shoulder which will require a $8,000.00 reattachment surgery. I will get repaired and be back riding by Halloween. However, I know that for all the great days epic screaming fun our sport brings, there is always a bad day lurking. I weigh the risks verses the benefits. I am self entitled because I take personal responsibility and pay to play and not let big GOVT or others do it for me. SO to bring this full circle. PROS SHOULD GET THEIR OWN INSURANCE OR SOLICIT THROUGH SPONSOR CONTRACT ,TO PAY FOR THEIRS. All the rest of you with your free opinions, earned by unknowns that have written the blank check for what you have, to include for some a 3 day wk end? YOUR WELCOME.
  • + 1
 Like the housing collape, many Americans don't really know why the U.S. got into this healthcare situation or why the you U.K. guys feel the NHS going the way of the Dodo bird. It's simple.......JOBS. The reducing of heatlh care cost for the public and employers relied upon purchasing group plans. The more people, the cheaper the cost. It started many years ago in the Reagan era when the repuplicans became hellbent on busting the unions, resulting in the collape of the textile industy in America. Follow that up with the closing steel mills in the 80's, Cambell Soup downsizing of the 90's and massive job out soursing in the early 2000's and the closing of many automative plants across the country. Almost 8million jobs were lost in the U.S. in 2013. Those are all people NOT PAYING into the insurance kitty but still requiring medical needs. That is why insurance co. can pay out thounsands in coverage for the hundreds that are paid by police holders. The number of payers out weight the number of claims. 8 or so yrs ago the repulicans tricked Americans into believing that small buisness could carry the economy. Well, this is the result for believing that. Co. that don't employ enough people to demand a good insurance rate.
  • + 7
 I am fortunate to have a well paying job and I have my own private disability and health insurance. However, the disability coverage obviously would not replace my entire lost income. I also have 2 young kids to provide for. As such in the risk/reward equation, being i am an amateur, I am far more risk-adverse nowadays. When i do race downhill, i am basically riding at 80%, and dont hit big/risky gaps or drops, even tho i normally would back in my youth when i had less responsibilities. I know i cant win riding at 80% but i still have great fun riding, hanging out with friends, and a taste of those competitive juices.
  • + 6
 Biased and a bit unfair of an article.

Give me a break..these guys are pros. They know what they are getting into. They want to make more money, go swing a hammer. If any of these guys that are pros or trying to be dont have health insurance they are morons...point blank.

Say what you will about the system - and it does have its problems. But those problems are FAR wider reaching than white boys sponsored by redbull riding 10k+ bikes and hucking themselves off cliffs (and complaining about getting hurt).

Not saying what they do isn't amazing, but Obama care or any sort of government aided system is not trying to help these guys...its about getting people who cannot afford it otherwise subsidized prices on health that lower ALL of our costs in the long run.
  • + 6
 It is one of the things that make living in Norway so great. Free health care, I have had a few big hits biking and needed MIRs ect. Cost me around Kr350 ($60), I paid about the same when I crashed and broke my leg 2 years back. X-rays, cast, all included.
  • + 0
 It isn't free
  • + 7
 I know it probably wasn't a serious comment, but consider this: Even though it isn't technically free, the maximum amount you have to pay in Norway in a year is ~$450. Everything exceeding those couple of hundred dollars is paid for by the government. Most people can afford to spend that limit in a year (and if they can't, the government pays for everything), and those $450 multiplied by 5 million saves Norway approximately $2 225 000 000 every year in minor medical bills (if everyone generated $450 in bills per year that is).

It also seems like the insurances you get in the US are pretty useless. My travel insurance, which cover high risk activities, has unlimited medical coverage anywhere in the world.
  • - 2
 Where does your government get the money to pay your medical bills? The magic Norwegian money tree? Moron.
  • + 4
 We pay more taxes than you Americans do. I can agree that it seems harsh to pay the insane taxes on everything in Norway, and it is expensive as f*ck over here, but it works out in the long run. I'd rather pay more taxes and spend those extra ten bucks on booze and hookers every weekend, and know that if I eat shit on my bike and have to go to the hospital, I won't have to pay more than a days pay, no matter how bad I get hurt.

What happens to the rest of our taxes? Schools, roads, care for the elderly etc. What happens to your insurance money? It ends up in the pocket of some old billionaire, who does everything he can to make sure he won't have to pay any taxes, and that healthcare stays ridiculously expensive. Because that's how he makes his money.

Because I know you're probably going to whine about oil money after reading this; check out the rest of the Scandinavian countries, who has no oil. Sweden and Denmark were doing pretty good last time I checked, and I don't recall them having any oil.

I am all for a free market, private organizations and consider myself to be liberal. But there are still some things that I think is best suited to be cared for by the government, and one of those things is health care. The idea of making a PROFIT from other peoples sickness is just wrong, no matter how much you hate the "communism" that is public health care.
  • + 2
 I guess i should have put more thought into my origianl post, at the end of the day it is not "Free" but it sure feels like it Wink I have had my shoulder rebuilt and guess what, it might as well have been free. I did not get any hospital bills ect, I don't have the insurance company telling me that wont ensure my shoulder or that it would now cost more each month because it was damaged before. We pay more in Tax but at least i can see my tax dollars at work.

Coming from South Africa where you have to have Medical Insurance, I would take this any day of the week. I have had friends in South Africa refused insurance for certain problems because it "ran in their family"? Yer, great system.
  • + 6
 God bless all of the men and women who are into action sports who risks Life and limb showing us the extreme and pushing their skills to the limit.
  • + 4
 Costs of X-Ray in Poland is about 30-90PLN (10-30USD), MRI of knee 350-450PLN (115-150USD) - these prices are from private companies (not national health care). You can do it for free (if you pay the national insurance) but the terms are far (up to 4 months for MRI).
Prices from US and CAN are from another planet :-O
  • - 4
flag fleisch (May 25, 2014 at 0:01) (Below Threshold)
 That's because we use state of the art western technology, not your 1980s Soviet Union made, 0.1 Tesla magnet MRI, powered with a hand crank.
  • + 7
 Yes, we have also polar bears and coal powered cars.
  • + 3
 Logan Binggeli rides for KHS Bikes and was injured at Rampage after flipping the Oakley drop and breaking his femur. He had to be air medevaced out to St George, which cost $10k for a 7 minute ride. His 3 days in hospital/surgery was $35k as well as another $15k for X-rays, MRI and meds to a total of $50k. His medical paid part, Logan paid $7k himself and KHS kicked in cash as well.
50 thousand dollars for broken femur...I think that prize should be at least half a million dollar so you can afford your med bills...
Land of opportunity!
  • + 3
 1ST let Me say the NHS does it's best, but after braking My right arm in 2 places the other year, waiting in a not very busy casualty for 4 and half hours, telling them I was in pain and only to get 1 pain killer, then after the x-ray, they came back, and said yes U are right it is broken in 2 places, they made up a shit sling, and asked if I had any pain killers at Home, I said no, and they said go to Tesco down the road and buy some!
After a man in a car pulling out on Me on My motorbike last year, I damaged My left wrist, I went back the same hospital waited 2 hours got 2 x-rays and they said go Home it's just bruised, that's that! The pain just got worse, but luckily I have a Great Doctor who is a keen cyclist, He referred Me to a private hospital ( FOR FREE, : ) ) right by were I live, after 8 x-rays and 1 steroid injection, since last year They operated Yesterday to find 2 ripped tendons, and a tiny bit of floating bone, and give Me a top padded sling 3 types of tablets, and couldn't do enough for Me absolutely AWESOME!!! The NHS do what they can, and the older You get the less they give a shit, I now know why, people who can afford it go private, and if I could afford it I would never use an NHS Hospital again, roll on the Lottery, and that's why all sports people get back to doing it quicker than most because they are fixed to carry on with their Sport, not just to walk up and down the street.
  • + 2
 I completely agree. After dislocating my shoulder in a non bike related accident and losing all feeling and use of my right hand the NHS told me it would be fine in a couple of weeks. Went private and ended up requiring quite complex surgery to fix it. Even so it took me over a year to regain full use of my right hand due to the nerve damage. NHS hospital and GP could not care less. What I can't fault the NHS on in my case is the care i received in accident and emergency where they got me treated and the shoulder put back in very quickly. I was very lucky with it being a quiet time of day and having good staff available. Not all people are as fortunate. The NHS have started sub contracting out a lot of operations to private hospitals. This is because they provide a superior level of service at lower cost than the NHS can do in house and are cleaned properly so people do not get infections. The UK is probably the only place in the world where any foreigner can get free medical treatment no questions asked. I am proud of that, but also disgusted by how the health system is clogged up by people being treated for self inflicted preventable conditions caused by obesity, smoking, etc. stopping people in real need getting the care they need. I live in New Zealand now and have fortunately not had to try out the medical system in four years here.
  • + 3
 Sorry but what a foolish article. These guys love to ride and happen to be damn good at it. They could be sitting at a desk right now reading pinkbike or a spectator at rampage if they felt it was too dangerous. After graduating from college I didn't have insurance for a couple years because I was a snowboard instructor and they don't give benefits to us at the mountain I worked at. Did that stop me from hitting 50 foot jumps and huge rails? Hell no! Because I loved the sport. I knew the risk was there and I still pushed myself for the thrill. Rock on all you guys, you kill it on a daily basis and work everyday to progress the sport into something great. Mad respect!!
  • + 3
 makes me think about a lot of things...
among these:
-nobody forces them to do this...they also can get a boring work at the nearest factory for 20k$ /year and stay away from potential injuries.man they primarily do this because they have fun.
we don't speak about millions of peoples il that earth that are doeing far more dangerous work only to eat.

-health insurance system is really expensive for a government or for citizens, but after all, it avoids lots of questions about medical costs.
also works for expensive medical treatments for diabetes, work accidents, etc...
the fact is that in every developped country,total medical care shouldn't be an option. you are sick, ill, wounded, etc=> everything possible should be done to get you well, no matter the cost is.
the drawback is that there is lots of abuses in this system from people that don't play the game and over-use the system.
but i definitely prefer paying tax a lil bit too high each month, and be granted to receive a 1million treatment if i need it one day...

-dropping a 50ft backflip in only helmet an tshirt is their choice. what about being less stupid and wearing a lil' bit more protections...?

'murica way of life, you got what you wanted!
  • + 2
 Besides just medical care, if you're riding in a remote area you should think about evac too. Overheard at a trailhead once, "We don't do rescues around here, only recoveries."

This can be especially important if you're really far from home: There's just been a military coup in Thailand where my friends are visiting! If you're in the deepest darkest nowhere, you might consider signing up with Global Rescue (they provide evac services for the US Ski team) or International SOS.
  • + 4
 for example, in countries where medical care is in place, AXXE would get brain microsurgery for free, allowing him to get rid of its deep stupidity...
  • + 2
 All the riders should chip in before the event and hire an equipped EMS helicopter. A small 1 patient machine like an AS350 would be perfect. And could no doubt be hired for 1500 a day. Flight time is say 1k per hour. Plus hire a pilot and some medical crew and you'd still have change from 5k daily for as many trips to the hospital as you like. Riders are covered at a fraction of the cost of the local service, it's basically a sure thing that someone would need the machine every day so it's guaranteed to pay itself off.
  • + 2
 Well, it was worth the risk when I was younger and didn't know any better, but after the medical bills from a rock climbing accident many moons ago forced me into bankruptcy (I too took one of those $10K helicopter rides) things changed drastically.

Most of the guys competing at Rampage and other venues are still in that invincible stage of their lives and the promoters and sponsors kind of count on that. Watching the stunts get bigger and bigger year after year it's not a matter of if, but when, someone will end up living as a vegetable or die after an accident. The athletes are really nothing more than pawns to sell us shit - energy drinks, bikes, parts, socks, etc., and I feel that the athlete's sponsors should provide comprehensive and global insurance to every one of their riders. Plus, RedBull should be held liable if they don't check the metical coverage of the participants before each event. No insurance (and not some $20 day of race crap where you can only die from a bee sting on a Tuesday) no ride.

Also, take it from me. It takes just a second to go from being on top of the world to buried in insurance denials, medical bills, and destroyed credit reports.
  • + 4
 American billionaires have brainwashed the masses (especially lower-classes) into acting against their own economic self-interest. Mostly by appealing to their prejudices.
  • + 2
 Isn't that how the Republican Party works?
  • + 2
 Props if you live in a country that gives you free healthcare! Living in the USA we do not have that luxury of free healthcare, but in retrospect, if we have enough money to ride $4-8k bikes on the trail, we should have enough to fork over at least $120 bucks in healthcare costs every month.
  • + 2
 I played college football and the NCAA has the same policy for health insurance. Sure teams have their own doctors and medical staffs but anything where you have to go to an actual hospital is coming out of your pocket. They do force you to be covered however. Maybe that is something these contests should adopt. Along with providing options that will provide full coverage.
  • + 1
 I hear you man. I had a $26k bill for a hamstring surgery, but 100% of it was covered between my primary and secondary (Athletics) insurance.
  • + 2
 Tattoo kits cost around $200, if you will join a tattoo contest you could win a $100k without the risk or danger. Rampage Bike cost $7000-$10000 and if you are lucky with the eyes of the judges you can only win $25k? What a sad story for Pro MTBikers.
  • + 2
 Just putting this out there...BMX Racers get paid FAR less than Mountain bikers. I know it doesnt compare to the risk of Rampage....but we hit the ground pretty hard. I'm still recovering from a blown up knee and I don't even get paid.
  • + 2
 Clearly some of you guys missed the bold part that reads "hospital bills in Canada" in Soderstroms section. Try gang raping Canada after you are done with the US.

Personally, I have insurance. And I can pay for that because i have lower taxes than most, of not all, you European folks.
  • + 10
 Well, amusingly enough, we European folks also pay for out insurance with those "taxes". The Bonus is that since the health insurance companies are very powerful, medical treatment is far more cost-efficient than in the US. Which makes insurance cheaper - especially for those who otherwise couldn't afford it.

Imagine quitting your job because your boss was a dick: Cancel your health insurance to save money (or lose it because it was a company bonus). And then you have a relatively minor bike accident - go to hospital and drop cash as if you're going to buy that place. Welcome to the burning ruins that once were your life.
In most European countries, you tell the Government "I'm currently unemployed", and they will provide you with the same insurance you've had before, for free - until you get a new job. Being put into hospital is bad enough, no one should have to worry about the cost behind this.
So these one or two hundreds a month we pay more each month buy peace of mind for the entire country. 10/10 would pay again.
  • + 2
 perfectly said Kainem! +
  • + 1
 The tax thing was exactly my point. I pay less taxes and I pay insurance. You pay more and you don't deal w. Separate insurance. I wouldn't quit my job just because my boss is a dick. That is a luxury I can't afford.... I'd also find it un ethical
  • + 1
 To quit my job and stick someone else with my bills just because I don't have any people skills
  • + 1
 Bleh. I am apparently incapable of using my phone w. Pinkbike. Sorry about the above fragments.
  • + 1
 "one or two hundreds". :-) lol
agree 100% otherwise
  • + 2
 Cost effective in EU = rationing (i.e., withholding) care, and often not providing necessary evaluation, diagnostic tests, procedures, and treatment, in a timely manner. My french brother in law's father had onset of paralysis and was scheduled for brain imaging - 6 months later! He was found to have a tumor which killed him much earlier than if he had been seen in the U.S. We would have had him tested and in the hospital in a day for surgery and chemotherapy. Your government pays your doctors dog shit. Your own people do not want to do one of the hardest jobs in the world for dog shit so you have a doctor shortage. You have to recruit from other countries where they are ecstatic to come with their 10 children and extended family and partake in your socialism. They are not trained in your country and do not communicate in your language well. It probably does not help matters given that Europeans are so racist. And finally, you have little to no choice in the matter because your government knows what is best for you, right?
  • + 2
 with all the people commenting about how they have free health insurance u forget its not free you are paying it through taxes and if you dont go to the doctor that much you are paying for other people too, not that taxes in the us right now are not absurd, also a lot of contests would shut down if they had to pay for riders injuries, like why business arent hiring in us right now, they dont want to pay for all of that so if you guys wanna have less contests and less riders being able to compete than make the medical bills be covered by the contests, just my 2 cents.
  • + 10
 Do you know the tax rates in countries outwith America with free healthcare?

Generally it is the same and if it is more it is only a tiny bit more. Seriously, the american government has done an absolutely amazing job at making you all believe that free health care means terrible service and stupidly high taxes.

Answer me this. Would you rather pay an extra 1% in taxes and be fully covered for absolutely everything - helipcopters, mri's, extensive recurring surgeries.... the list is endless.

Or would you rather save that 1% but pay an absurd amount on insurance only to be told you still have to pay a large amount because they wont pay the full 100%. Or run the risk without insurance and go bankrupt if something bad does happen?

Wake the hell up and stop listening to the 'free market' philosophy of the rich politicians.
  • + 1
 The thing is, most of the US tax money goes into war or defending the US against an invisible villain, so that they pay as much taxes as other countries, but have no NHS. In 2006 the worldwide military costs were about 900.000.000.000€, the USA had 607.000.000.000€ of it so now you know where all the money is going.
  • + 3
 Honestly my insurance isn't to bad price wise and I have great coverage. I'd much rather my taxes get smaller. They cost far more then solid insurance.
  • + 5
 US quit complaining about taxes going to healthcare. Your taxes pays for WAR. That's the most stupid thing ever.
  • + 2
 For 2013, 24.5% of my taxes went to national defense. 25.3% went to healthcare. Yes, a solid 95% of military actions we take make little to no sense, but our "privatized" healthcare system drains more through taxes than the department of defense. Hell- even pensions for gov't employees drains more money. You can be a representative for 2 years, not run for reelection, and have around 50k a year for the rest of your life.
  • - 4
flag Axxe (May 23, 2014 at 11:19) (Below Threshold)
 Exactly. People criticizing US system do not realize that it actually spends more on free care to those in need than most countries, it is actually more efficient, whatever foreign bureaucrats propaganda tells you. And it funds 85% of world drug development, that Europe and the rest of the world mooches on.
  • + 5
 Axxe, seeing you of all people talking about propaganda is the real deal, and do you know why?
Because propaganda is really the only thing you are full of.
You have not been able to even provide one single constructive point to the discussion and still you believe, that you are the smartest f#ck around here. It's not even funny how ignorant you are.

Now, why not doing some math before trying to be a smartass?
E.g. take the top10 of all pharmaceutical companies world wide, divide them into US and EU companies and add up the investments in research and development using the data of 2011. What do you find?
Oh wow, the EU companies invest more. Funny, right?!
The only thing we mooch on may be the fact, that you Americans test the drugs risking your very health for us, since the EU takes much more time to extensively test the drugs while in the US the industry is free to push deadly drugs on the market.

But then again, that may change very soon thanks to Frau Merkel who, as a slave of Germanys history with the US, is not capable of asserting national and european interests in front of the strong arm of US.
The Free Trade Agreement is going to push fracking, contaminated meat, genetically modified food, and softened regulations in every industry (which is obviously a bad thing) into Europe and it will bring nothing but negative consequences for Europeans.
Congratulations, one more "win" for you.
  • - 3
 You were saying 1 percentage point difference? Wrong! Federal income tax in the U.S. is 0 to 40%. In Australia it is 0 to 46.5% and you pay way more on sales tax in general. Great Britain is 0 to 45% and up to another 25.8% for national insurance! I am sure you are getting your moneys worth though.

So it's actually all the EU drug companies greedily shaking down the American people? Well f*ck you greedy EU drug companies! And you have it backwards mazze. Drugs are used in Europe years and even decades before being approved in the U.S. It may seem like U.S. strong arming because not only does your country owe the U.S. forever for the millions killed in the name of German superiority, but the U.S. conquered your country and still helped you to be where you are at today. That was the "win", right?
  • + 1
 Your getting paid to have fun with your buddies on bikes and be in magazines. I'm sure after a while it does become like any other job, you work hard... But.... You still ride bikes for a living. Happy to see sponsors helping with hospital bills.
  • + 1
 to you who type about great Canadian medical insurance - I live in Canada for now , taxes are insane (we have to help all unemployed pay for their booze& weed) , but medical super scary - doctors with no experience , filthy hospitals , walk-in clinics are joke don't even bother to visit cause you will not get help , waiting times for any surgery unreal .... yeah laugh to Mericans, they charge a lot but after I trashed my collarbone in Merica and was back at work in month I did have good insurance and paid just dimes for all they did for me. If you are rich Canuck you visit Merican doctors - enough said
  • + 5
 That's why I only hangout at pinkbike.
  • + 1
 lol
  • + 1
 Yep, healthcare in the US is the biggest scam. Obamacare is just a slap in our faces. If you look at what x-rays, MRI's, actual surgeries, cost in the US vs. other countries, it's ridiculous here. Well insurance companies and doctors like to get PAID here, and paid well. If medical costs were regulated and affordable, then maybe we could all afford some health insurance. Even with obamacare, if I bought health insurance, I could never afford to use it. US maybe great in some areas, but they get an F- for healthcare.
  • + 1
 Americans are being robbed by the medical "profession". Medical pirates more like it. Heathcare just plain old doesn't cost that much. 15k for xrays that would cost hundreds or less anywhere else! Capitalism left unchecked goes crazy, where does all that money go? Read the comments in this link. In some countries an xray costs as little as 5$.
blog.remakehealth.com/blog_Healthcare_Consumers-0/bid/8507/How-much-does-an-X-ray-cost
  • + 1
 Nothing is free Euro friends, and it's incredibly irresponsible to expect others to pay for our risk taking without assuming part of that risk ourselves. It's called having skin in the game, and it makes a huge difference in how one behaves, of course stuff happens and that's what insurance is for. The system needs to be revitalized in the USA, but "free" healthcare is not the answer because it's not ever actually free and encourages disregard for natural laws and consequences, which will inevitably lead to worse future problems.
  • + 2
 Give up. Everyone on PB is a socialist. We all want something for nothing.
  • + 1
 Natural laws?
  • + 2
 That's a simplistic way to see it. Maybe my risk taking is selfish and other people will have to pay for it but riding my bike keeps me in shape. The guy who takes no risk watching t.v. and ends up being stuck permanently in the healthcare system at 50yo for join problems, blood pressure problems, heart diseases or a clogged artery is probably a bigger financial burden for society than me breaking a collarbone every now and then.
  • + 1
 How about we don't force other people to bear our lifestyle costs? If you bike and get in better shape then your own life will be better.
  • + 1
 How about we don't have such a poor view on human life and start treat people as human beings.

Still curious about those natural laws your talking about Smile
  • + 0
 Who gets to decide what the value of a human life is? The poorest in America and Canada are Kings compared to most of the rest of the world. If I have the right to put my hand in your wallet to make the world better the way I see fit, then I would take your money and send it to Africa to help with agricultural education. Medicare (socialized medicine in the USA for all over 65) cost over half a trillion dollars in 2013. 65+ Americans are the richest, most well off group of people the world has ever seen since apes came down from the trees. It would cost less than 5 billion dollars to bring clean well water to the entire continent of africa.
  • + 1
 Well, you as citizen of democracy does have a saying in it. Free healthcare is not worth a regulated economy? People often talk about freedom, real freedom is not only having right to your life but also health, not only right of expression but also education. The one without the other is useless. Comparing poor people in one country to another does not justify denying people in need of treatment.

That argument falls on the way the world is built up with sovereign states, but your right about that it says something about how we value human life. If you want to help another country you should vote for that. My state has his hand in my pocket - deep - to help people in other parts of the world and I'm fine with that.

Then again, USA is country in special situation - it's easier to discuss theory then reality.
  • + 1
 Natural consequences are those consequences of action that occur without interference, for instance if I take a risk while riding and injure myself it will result in loss of income, loss of function, etc. Being mindful of natural consequences alters behavior in a way that helps to minimizes unnecessary risk taking. However, when one perceives this same scenario as I take a risk and injure myself and there's no loss of income (function varies on severity of injury) then I'm more likely to engage in said risk. The argument that by cycling one averts certain sedentary lifestyle health issues is a valid point, but the actual cost offset has not been calculated and is speculative at best though I agree with the logic somewhat. Most health issues in 1st world nations are for the most part a result of lifestyle choices, which means when one alters lifestyle they can alter their health trajectory, but risk is risk whether eating a big mac daily or sending a new gap jump. The trouble with socialism is that there are those who lose incentive to better their position because the catalyst to do so has been removed, as well as the basic premise in alternative wording is wealth redistribution or theft in most lexicons. As for the disparity of those in 3rd world nations, throwing money at them has been shown to be ineffective many time over; give a fish and feed a metaphorical nation for a day, or teach them to fish and feed them for life. True humanitarianism is taking the time to give another a hand up, not a hand out, which actually requires more resources hence welfare is more utilized than programs designed to give people the reins of their own success.
  • + 0
 It seems like you take a position that money is the best incitement for bettering your position, but that is not the case, its been proven that money only is incitement to a basic level. Wealth redistribution is indeed troubling in that way that it's your money they take, but an unregulated economy is much worse. The way companies must work in a unregulated economy makes them psychopaths from a psychological stand point. With free competition they could be paying 6 dollars a hour while making huge profit, you are not allowed to take part of what your labour is worth - modern time slavery. In a true capitalist state you could starve to death even though your country as a whole produce more then enough to feed everybody, the owner of capital would just sell to the highest bidder. Being poor goes hand in hand with poor health like overweight etc, these structures can not be denied, hence it's not a life style choice. Capitalism is often defended in the name of freedom, but that freedom is only worth something to the people with capital. n bA socialistic state gives you more control over your own situation, no matter how poor you can go to university and become a doctor. OFC you would not make the same money as in capitalistic state but as I stated earlier money is not the best incitement for development. You could choose to be a blue collar worker and still make a decent salary because its regulated, not beeing poor would make it possible to live healthier and be a more productive person.
  • + 1
 I think people like hamncheez and wasea04 fail to understand that when people do private insurance claims, not only their premium raises but the insurance will spread their loss by raising everyone else's premium too. According to that logic, it would still be selfish to do a private insurance claim but since you pay your premium to a private entity, people seem to feel it has no impact on others for some reason... but the whole point of insurance is dissipating the risk (both for the business and the client) through a big mass of people. One of the biggest differences between a public and a private regime is often who you pay (premium vs. taxes) but the basics of the system remain mostly the same.
  • + 1
 I think people like PLC07 succeed in assuming they know about strangers on the internet Smile Joking aside, your postulation does not take into account freedom of choice, a fundamental American value; one can be chosen while the other is imposed...or used to be until civil liberties in the USA were further eroded by the ACA.
  • + 1
 If socialism provides more services than free people acting for themselves for less money, why not do it for mountain biking? If having a monopoly works better, lets have a monopoly on bike components. I hate how sram is a for-profit company. Lets make it illegal to buy from them and say you can only buy from the government- the same governments that start wars, repress and spy on their citizens, and steal their tax money to give to their buddies.

If a national healthcare system is such a good idea, then why does it have to be forced? Why do police officers have to use guns to force people to participate in it? If your idea requires the threat of violence, you might want to reconsider it.
  • + 1
 Since you went on a little rant there, I'll just answer you with another rant.

1. MTBs and wars.

I think what you are going after is the right to chose? Am I right? The comparison to mtb is just plain wrong, there is no fundamental need for mtb in context of todays basic needs like health, social security, higher education for national development etc. A broken arm is a broken arm, there is no need for someone to make money out of it, driving up the prices. Then you'll say, but what about the competition that drives development? Then I'll say read the above. Then you'll say something about long waiting times, etc etc. Then I'll say so the the life of guy with a lot of money is more worth then life of poor guy? Nice. Yeah I waited like 6 hours in the ER when I broke my collar bone, single f*cks given cause during that time some poor bastard with a hart attack was saved. I survived, there was no need to panic, you don't die from a broke collar bone.

A government does not have to start wars(i.e Sweden has not in 200 years and we have 100 year long history with socialism), I understand its hard to grasp born in to a warmongering nation.

"USA alone accounts for 40% of all global military expenditure, averaging at close to $600 billion spent every year on warfare. America’s dedication to war and conflict spending is 12 times higher than what it spends on ‘aid’, which totalled less than $50 billion in year 2011."

And about all the repressing, stealing and spying. I understand you, I too would be mad having such shitty government as yours. Allowing wall street to cheat the people out of there money, then when shit hits the fan they get bailed out while people actually losing their homes..
  • + 1
 2.

National healtcare(high taxes) is not forced on anyone, in democracy you choose your leaders. Sometimes you are on the losing side of an election and have to accept that if you like the idea of a democracy, though I noticed that has not correspond so well with the republicans hence the guns.

And why is that?

I think it boils down to a lot americans definition of freedom; absence of regulation, the american dream, taxes is slavery, praise A.Smith, praise Nozick, the belief in natural right etc. And it looks good on paper, but in real life not so much.

But the bible says..forget what the bible says, it's fiction, there is no such thing as natural rights. The right to life is a social construction, the right to life is worthless with out the right to health.

How do you become a doctor if you are brought up in a poor home, the little saved for college was spent on health care cause the insurance did not cover all expenses? You don't and that is what the american dream will give you, oh such freedom.

How do you become a doctor if you are brought up in a poor home and on top of that you get sick and has no insurance? Well, the national healtcare system takes care of your illness and no need to worry about being poor, we'll give you some money to go to school and on top of that you can have a low interest loan to fund the rest. Oh by the way, there is no fees for school. You'll just pay it back later in tax revenue. That is freedom, to be able to chose your life.

But I've been in this discussion before, so I'll know you'll pick the first situation - the good ol' freedom - cause you are unable to see the difference in the freedom to actually being able to full fill yourself and the freedom to having the possibility to full fill yourself.
  • + 1
 Healthcare is a combination of service from specialized people (doctors & nurses) and refined material products (medicine). This 100% true for every commodity or thing we have in life. How does medicine differ from biking? If collectivized action of a government creates a more equitable dispersion and more efficient output, then why on earth not do it in every industry?

If national healthcare is such a good idea, do it without some people pointing guns at others.
  • + 1
 The difference is that biking isn't a basic need while health is.

"If national healthcare is such a good idea, do it without some people pointing guns at others." That's extremely funny to see such a sentence written by an american, especially in the light of recent events. Joking aside, coming from a place with a lot of governmental services, I hear a lot of complaining about high taxes and services that shouldn't exist... but "free" healthcare is hardly ever one that gets pointed out as such, quite the opposite actually, most people want broader coverage if anything.
  • + 1
 Oh and speaking of threatening people, no body is pointing anything at anybody. Public health system was instored in a democratic fashion. It is still democracy if people voted for something you don't agree with. Seeing you're from a country who wages war in the name of democracy and freedom, I would expect you'd be more familiar with the concept.
  • + 1
 If the argument that it is a basic need does not work for you could argue from an economic stand point instead. National health care ensures health in a broader way then a private insurance because people end up not being covered. A healthy person is more productive and therefor better in regards of the a nations economical development.
  • + 1
 Democracy is two wolves and a lamb voting on whats for dinner. Slavery was voted in, so it must be moral and effective! People voted for it! If a national health plan is such a good idea, make it voluntary. Surely no one would stop paying, because we can all see what a good idea it is.
  • + 1
 So what do you propose then, a totalitarian state? Anarchy? This is getting quite ridiculous...
  • + 1
 Lets look at two countries that are mostly the same culture, and the same climate, and the same history. We want to control for the best possible comparison. All other things being as equal as they can. The two economies are Hong Kong and mainland China. HK in 1960 was as dirt poor as the rest of China. However, they had liberal (classical liberal, meaning free) economic policies. 30 years later HK had leapfrogged the rich West, while China still had millions starving.

What happened to China when they started liberalizing their economy? They started getting results similar to HK.

It is possible to have a government that provides basic police, military, and disease control but still have it not interfere with the economy. This is what HK had before it went back to China, and what the US mostly had for the first 90 years of its existence.
  • + 1
 There is no denying that HK benfitted greatly from the the free trade, but comparing China with 1,3 billion people to Hong Kong with about 7 million people and HK - btw HK has minimum wage and national health care.

"It is the world's largest re-export centre. Much of Hong Kong's exports consist of re-exports, which are products made outside of the territory, especially in mainland China, and distributed via Hong Kong." They basically made money of China - good for them. In a liberalized world, would everybody be better off? I don't think so. An unregulated market only serves the ones with capital and not the ones actually producing

"Since 1979 the average pre-tax income for the bottom 90% of households has decreased by $900, while that of the top 1% increased by over $700,000, as federal taxation became less progressive." I guess the top 1 % most be offsprings of jesus christ our savior to deserve that kind of money.
  • + 1
 On the other hand, they started deregulating banks since Reagan in the US and it led to the meltdown we had in 2008, mostly because they were too greedy and failed to self regulate safely. Banks (like most companies) are not too fond of regulations and taxes... but you didn't see them preach free market theories anymore now when the government bailed banks and the automobile industry with taxpayers money now did you? I sure didn't see any CEO go "well we failed to be competitive and I guess we fully deserve going bankrupt!"

It's easy to preach the good sides of something and disregard the negatives, until it bites you in the ass.
  • + 1
 From my understanding HK does not have socialized medical care. It only had a minimum wage very recently. And if it is so unequal, so horrible for the poor why do the poor try so hard to live in HK where the cost of living is through the roof?

Also, the banking industry in the US is the most regulated industry in the economy, with healthcare being second. The "Reagan Deregulation" is a myth. There are thousands upon thousands of pages of regulations for the banking industry, written in leaglise that only a select handful of expert lawyers with decades of legal experience can begin to decipher. I agree though 100% we should not have bailed out anyone. If you suck at banking, then go away and let someone else into the market.
  • + 1
 Insurance is one of the least fun things to think about buying, but it makes a huge difference if you get hurt. Not just to cover your medical costs but also your working wages. I ended up in a wheelchair after getting hit by a car while riding on the road (wish I just stayed in the mountains), when I was in rehab there was lots of people there with no extra insurance, they were screwed. It is really expensive and if you don't have insurance your friends and family will be trying to scrape together the cash to help you, huge stress on them. For the price of a night on the town you can be covered if things don't go right. I was unlucky to get hit by a car, but lucky that the auto insurance was on the hook for everything.
You get hurt in the woods no one pays a dime for your recovery.
  • + 1
 The HEALTH and MEDICAL systems and companies mostly on 1st world countries are ruled by money and profits it's well know that these companies works a lot to make the government the way it is not providing a good public health system and a very expensive one. But here in brazil it's different treatment is not so expensive but lacks quality. My grandmother 1 month and a half Bill on a intensive care unity was 75k with all the extras and treatments, medications and stuffs she needed, it was expensive but her particular healt care plan covered all the costs. I think that MTB industry and the sports in general are not valorised as soccer, basketball, football and some others one and MTB for me is much more dangerous.
  • + 1
 It's literally a joke how much a hockey, baseball, football player make, plus full med care, and all the other little perks. Half of those pussies get a cramp in their leg or something and have a handful of people pull them out of the game, so where I am going with this is, there is nothing ground breaking about any of those sports same shit pretty much since they started, these guys are on the frontlines of athletic innovation, but the way they get paid they are better off working at McDonald's or something. Fucking disgraceful to see companies charge thousands of dollars for bikes and parts and clothes, yet these guys gotta pay out of pocket on such an underpaid amount, the greed is sickening. Bottom line the sports industry is a joke, overpaid athletes that do nothing special other than run around after balls, these guys are the true athletes..... The true athletes of modern day and they are highly under appreciated.
  • + 1
 J.F.K (for most of the Pinkbike readers: former U.S. president) once said: "Ask not what your country can do for you but what you can do for your country".

No longer is it about working hard, going to college, becoming an engineer, doctor, lawyer, etc. and EARNING a living. It's about making a half-assed attempt at life and expecting Nanny Gov't to take care of us.

Don't make enough money? Learn a skill that makes you valuable to the economy. Get an engineering degree in robotics for example, super hot field to be in. Go to medical school. Go to law school. Take initiative and do better than your co-workers, you will be rewarded. This is what successful people in the U.S., U.K., Canada and anywhere else in the world have done and continue to do in order to become successful.

-or- sit around and bitch on Pinkbike because your 30 years old, living at home, making 10 bucks an hour, and can't afford health insurance...See how long a civilization lasts composed of that type of mediocre, non-producing citizenry.

Also FFS, "free" health care (NHS, Obamacare, etc.) is paid for via increased taxation. Nothing is free jackasses.

Oh well, Who is John Galt...
  • + 1
 FYI- Atlas shrugged SUCKED! they cancelled the third movie BTW -Ayn Rand died alone- no kids no husband. think about that. Im sure when you are you down on your luck you will never ask anyone for help Smile good for you,,,jesus would be proud!

Atlas Shrugged is a GREAT example of why America is in such trouble! ..OH THE IRONY!

most Americans are complete greedy selfish idealistic retards- and thats why this nonsense continues...."go get a law degree" lol right Mitt Romeny- Im sure you enjoy smelling your own farts....

But when for profit systems fail (healthcare, housing, education)- they cry to taxpayers to bail them out! Where Was your John Gault bullshit WHEN THE MARKET CRASHED AND BANKS WANTED TO BE BAILED OUT? NOTTA- Cry like a bitch and steal taxpayer money. They got the 700billion.....capitalism for the poor socialism for the RICH! horray!
  • + 1
 Wow, the future of America... When your old enough to have to provide for a family (or wipe your own ass for that matter), perhaps then you will understand.
  • + 1
 Wow epic trollerz !!! Luckylly i live in Canada and my union insurance (which i pay from my paycheck , mandatory !!! Which i hate but there a reason for it. Unions need functuionary people to make money duh ! ) coverred it all when i busted my ankle at job. So they paid my house mortage , gaz. ,lost income , medical care like physical therapy etc. for 7 month Omg it called insurance !!!!! Get over it !!!!!f#ck Canada hell yea wooooo plus when i cant work i saved gas money to repair my bike while i was out of work hahahahahahaja
  • + 1
 can someone please explain to me once and for all, how the American health care system functions? Every time I hear about people getting in trouble after sustaining an injury, that is for sure serious and expensive to treat, but would by no mean put in debt where I live, I am having a hard time trying to understand, WTF is the problem? Isn't it so, that if You have a job, You also have medical coverage? Or is it that being a pro rider doesnt count as a job?
  • + 1
 Good luck to all, once again Pinkbike stirs the political and international pot. .....Sits back grabs the bowl of popcorn and watches the fireworks.....and then goes out and rides MAG 7 and TWE from Harzard Down while you freaks argue.
  • + 1
 These are pro athletes taking huge risk because that's how they earn a living. Y a gotta pay to play. Shit happens.
This has nothing to do with health insurance. Pro athletes would have to be insured by Lloyds of London for huge cash.
Why would any one insure a high risk. A very very high risk athlete?
  • + 1
 In terms of not being paid enough for competing as a mountain bike athlete versus a motocross, or snowboard athlete... I think they base their pay off of number of viewers - and hence the marketing potential. I'm speculating here, but I would assume that motocross and snowboarding respectively have MUCH larger audiences that would merit spending $500k for a casino flip (alluded to in above comments from a motocross rider). Mountain biking is a relatively small sport in terms of "cost per impression" or, cost per 1000 viewers. If we can help grow the sport to a broader audience, expanding markets and earnings for bike companies, and increasing spectatorship to the tune of mainstream snowboarding or motocross, then we can see these athletes get paid what they're really worth.
  • + 1
 Its just a thought... But the pro riders could get there own union started so they include health insurance and rights going into events. It would be a nightmare to get started but they would have a voice when it comes to there personal safety
  • + 1
 I have medical insurance here in NZ. Our ACC (Accident Compensation Corporation) here picked up the tab for my Dh race crash, Ambo ride, surgery, rehabilitation, set up a back to work plan and helped cover loss of earnings (for over 5 months!). Even now, a year and a half on, It'll still help out with anything I need in relation to my injury (maybe another surgery later on, or Cortisone injections, specialized footwear etc). Medical insurance paid out a little under $5000 and I bought a new bike!
  • + 1
 ACC is an expensive beast to run, but comes in bloody handy when needed. Surprised McGarry didn't mention it...my understanding is that the triple one care coverage offered at events through BIKENZ is just for onsite medics, not for rehab costs like you incurred, and had ACC pay for. Probably why NZ is full of mad buggers....
  • + 1
 I had a big crash a bit over a year ago and I was blown away about how good the medical care, rehabilitation and work support I received here in NZ covered by our government covered health care. But, the whole incident made me think about what would happen if the same thing had happened overseas – travel insurance is fine and good but you would need to check the fine print to makes sure it is not a ‘claim back’ scheme as most people can’t easily lay their hands on $10k’s for medical expenses in advance to cover medical expenses.

Also, I have a sickness and disability cover so if something really went bad (including non-bike related stuff) and I can’t work at least my family are taken care of.
  • + 1
 Suppose the best insurance - for an amateur - is to turn on his/her brain *before* letting gravity drag them downhill.
¿ Can you afford to stay home for an extended period of time with a broken limb ?
¿ Can you afford to lose your job in case you crash badly and your employer needs to have someone at your place?
¿ Can you see yourself hobbling around like a creep for the rest of your life just because you thought you could pull it off and instead you kissed mother earth?
¿ does it make sense to f*ck your family's finances up as a consequence of a fall?
The list goes on - you know it. Getting insurance is only running a game of moral hazard and but will have to live with the consequences for the rest of your lives.
As far as the pros are concerned - it's really sad that they don't realize how much they're being exploited. Yeh - don't skimp on the insurance and do make bloody sure you're reading all the fine print...
  • + 1
 Go get your coverage and pay out a lot of hard earned $ for it but then consider that it's not going to be as helpful as you want. Half the people who declare medical bankruptcy in the US started with insurance. All it takes is a big injury or two big surgeries and you're not going to be able to foot your bill unless you're upper middle class, and not strapped too much by bills etc. Even with Obamacare we still have millions uncovered and it's ludicrous that we don't have a better health care system.
  • + 3
 I hope to god this Axxe guy is a troll, and that he doesn't genuinely think America has the best healthcare system in the world..
  • + 5
 Now let's talk about your lbs that pays $12/hour with no benefits...
  • + 1
 All well and good to know what the pros do, but your average rider should also have a think about what sort of insurance they have.

I'm going down to the states in a few weeks, and will be buying some travel insurance just in case. $20 well spent.

I dont understand folks that just "hope" they don't ruing their financial lives over a broken leg.
  • + 1
 Check the small print of that insurance policy. Often 'risky' activities aren't covered.
  • + 2
 yup. these are listed in the "exclusions". mountain biking isn't one of them, but rock climbing (for example) is.

Every policy is different though, so you are right. Read it.
  • + 1
 "Logan Binggeli ... had to be air medevaced out to St George, which cost $10k for a 7 minute ride"
"Mitch Chubey ... was air medevaced out as well to the tune of $12k for his 47 minute flight to St George"

What's with the different price, and most of all, with the totally different flight time? Is one of them a typo?
  • + 1
 A helicopter flight is $6000 bucks to just get the helicopter off the pad. Flying isn't as costly.
  • + 2
 My hell cost was $50k not 12k. I flew to Vegas not St. George. Not really sure how its calculated but when the bill can it was for $50,000.00. Dead even. Haha. I think they just think up a number.

My insurance did negotiate the medical bills down from 28k to 14.7k, shows how much they over charge. 50% discount???? Probably still making bank off that.
  • + 1
 A good article for PB to do next would be the best types of year round health insurance for bikers, costs, coverage... I live in Spain and have free healthcare, but I know that private healthcare, access to sports injury specialists, surgery (unless it is deemed necessary)... Is hard through the public sector.
  • + 4
 Thank god I have insurance through my job, 100% covered on everything. I would be scared to go hard if I didn't.
  • + 2
 the US started the insurance stranglehold on the world, do not call your lovely country the greatest until you look after people at their weakest
  • + 0
 Hey all, I am a broker for medical insurance for both people coming to compete in Canada and Canadians going abroad. Or, even Canadians who mountain bike and want some coverage in case they bail and get seriously hurt. The good news is that the insurance is actually cheaper than you think. As a fellow rider who's eaten a bit of dirt, I can tell you it's not the worst idea out there to get some. If anyone wants some info, I'd be happy to provide free no obligation advice. Hit me up on PB.
  • + 1
 I work at a wilderness therapy program, so not only can I not afford insurance, but if I get injured I can't work. Yeah, I never go as big as i could because I know that. This article hurts to think about.
  • + 0
  seburkhardt (2 hours ago)

Clearly some of you guys missed the bold part that reads "hospital bills in Canada" in Soderstroms section. Try gang raping Canada after you are done with the US.
we have free health care here....we just dont pay for out of towners! If you come to whistler have insurance! Simple right!? You would be surprised how many ppl dont (mostly Americans who are used too rolling around without insurance) do your research and ask your potential insurance company all the hard, worst case scenario questions.
And axxe. ...your why most of the world dislikes americans....your an idiot
  • + 2
 Health care in Canada is NOT free (look at your or your parents paycheck) - unless you are drug addict with no job
  • + 1
 ambulance fee $80 air ambulance in Whistler $80...
  • + 1
 "Mark paid $270 for a policy that didn't cover him at all" you are cover for the price you pay !
i'm going to a competition where's their always someone going to the hospital and i think i'm covered by paying 270$
  • + 1
 Mark would have been covered if he'd paid for the policy plus the Pro rider upgrade. He also would have been covered if he had the same accident at the old Rampage site where we did the rain delay hip session because it was a brodown without contest money!
  • + 1
 pay for the coverage you need, when he ask for coverage he should said it was for a ,competition with prize money. i think some company will not honor a waranty if you break your bike in a competition with prize money.
  • + 1
 First when you buy coverage the agent is to tell you what your not covered for, its the limits of exclusions, and its states prize money but the agent didn't do this with Mark to my understanding. I don't believe any bike company wouldn't cover a bike in a competition....wait unless you bough the Zink model by Hyper from Walmart? :-)
  • + 4
 well, i live in Denmark, so i don't really give a shit...
  • + 0
 I love having free health care but the quality of that care does vary massively over the country with some services cut completely Frown
Plus an EHIC CARD covers use for most of Europe.
Get insurance though because you don't want a airlift bill for being dragged off an alp or something if the worst happens.
  • - 17
flag Axxe (May 23, 2014 at 3:56) (Below Threshold)
 For any serious injury I would take US hospitals over absolutely any place in the world, and it is not even close.

Just carry insurance, it is worth it, and yes, if you work you can afford it. If you don't, you get Medicaid. (Or ask your parents until you are 26).

Airlift insurance is like $100 a year. if your primary does not cover.
  • + 6
 Axxe you are very ignorant. My brother brings home 600 a week after tax. 500 a week goes to health insurance for his wife and 2 children. The only spending money he has is when he has over time. Thats 40 hrs a week to be covered "just in case". Thats not affordable by any means and he works his ass off for it. You obviously have amazingly good insurance through your employer and dont have a clue for the rest of America. I do agree that OUR gov should stay out of it. They the very reason health insurance inflated soo much over the past few years.
  • + 16
 "You got shot? Do you have a credit card?"
- America
  • + 2
 Axxe, please stop being up Medicaid as some sort of universal fallback for those who can't afford insurance. Not everyone qualifies for that. As I said above in response to one of your other misinformed comments, Medicaid is a program for the poor, for people living in poverty. It's not an option for most.
  • + 2
 Axxe, it's virtually impossible for a man without children to get medicaide in most states, and if you do qualify you don't have enough money for luxuries like mtb.
  • + 1
 $500 a week for family insurance….. that statement does not add up.
  • + 1
 iRossum...when it is not a high deductible plan it is very expensive for a family. i guess i should also mention that this is in the the state of New York. there is also a very serious heart condition in his family that doesnt help cost of things.
  • + 1
 I knew there was something. I'm a cancer survivor so I deal with insurance b/s as well.
  • + 0
 you should have medical coverage if you like to do risky activities. especially here in the philippines, medical costs can be extreme in private hospitals. even in gov't hospitals where some of the care is free you'd still have to pay for any meds or special equipment used on you. i had a bad accident once and was overwhelmed by the medical bills. since i was still in school, i was covered under my parent's insurance after. but since iv'e started working i have medical and life insurance. and if i can't work cause of the accident, social security will compensate you for the time you need to rest. i wouldn't want my mom to pay for the result of a mistake i make.
  • + 2
 and the american comments it with the NHS sucks! Oh man youre country sucks... sorry youre goverment sucks! Think about it and have a good one.
  • + 1
 Its crazy that it's not like ski competitions, On the freeride world tour events (qualifiers included) with every entry fee includes insurance
  • + 1
 But I'd also point out that they get to ride the best places on the planet for me that's the real reward making cash on the side is just a bit extra
  • + 1
 Im amazed that people from the US are so brainwashed. healthcare here is a complete scam. You guys in other countries are very lucky.
  • + 2
 Any suggestions for travel insurance to whistler? Heading there in a couple of weeks.
  • + 2
 I always use Travelguard - they have an optional rider for "extreme" sports and racing, which are excluded from most travel insurance policys. It's usually around $100 for a policy.
  • + 2
 Meanwhile in Japan, I don't care medical fee while riding. And this is usual.
  • + 2
 If we continue privatizing everything, capitalism does not allow us or practice sport.
  • + 1
 I wrote out some long response and then Pinkbike told me this: ERROR: Message too long. IP logged for possible spamming. Pinkbike must be communist...
  • + 1
 You should all look at this to compare international health care: www.npr.org/2008/07/02/110997469/compare-international-medical-bills
  • + 1
 Here is another article which compares the US to other major countries: www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/10/03/health-care-costs-_n_3998425.html
  • + 1
 Well, I live in Spain, so breaking my legs is free, well, it is already paid by everybody's taxes, but definitely better than pay 50k for a crash.
  • + 1
 if I am on trail that I have never been down before I say to myself hold on thight its going to be a bumpy ride YEEEEEEEHAAAAA and then am gone.
  • + 2
 thanks belgium system for that, kind of forced to have medical coverage, and for me it's pretty usefull...
  • - 1
 If socialized healthcare works so well, lets socialize the bike industry. We all pay in, and someone else gets to decide what bike we get to ride.

If socialized healthcare works so well, why do countries have to force people to pay for it? If its so great why wouldn't everyone sign up for free?

If socialized healthcare works so well, why do most western countries (including the US which is 2/3 socialized via Medicare) operate at huge deficits? Medicare, for those non-Americans, is 100% NHS style socialized healthcare for people 65+. Spending on Medicare and SS, it is estimated, will consume the entire Federal US Budget by 2050.
  • + 1
 If someone gets injured during a contest. NO ONE SAY ANYTHING and hide the footage. "And we can all agree it happen before or after the event".
  • - 2
 Ian408 .......the reason a lot of people in England pay extra for private health care is because the fuc ing government has opened the flood gates to all the scrounging European twats who are bleeding this country to death and using our NHS causing massive waiting times and over working our doctors and nurses ....
  • + 1
 I see your well informed with Facebook fed propaganda. You do realise as part of the eu we share the same privileges while abroad.
I broke my arm in Germany and was treated for free. Does that make me a scrounging European?
  • + 0
 Not on face book pal...the eu can go fuck it's self ...you can think what you want I couldn't give a shit
  • + 2
 So the next time your in morzine you won't use free eu healthcare if you need it?
  • + 1
 Someone voted ukip
  • + 0
 Lol... bang on mate
  • + 2
 Whilst on a riding holiday in the french alps, had to be airlifted off the mountain and required medical attention, all paid for by the french government, the scrounging european twats.
  • + 2
 Maybe I worded it a bit strong ...I was getting at the people that come over here just to milk everything ,they give the hard working ones a bad name ...
  • + 1
 I can appreciate that.
  • + 1
 pretty much puts it into perspective LOL. I'm hooked on the rush, but the rush can cost.
  • + 2
 Obama is ruining my "Cadillac health insurance"
  • + 1
 My buddy broke his hand at Whistler. The hospital wouldn't even let him in without $2k cash. So much for universal coverage.
  • + 2
 That's because they don't pay taxes in Canada... I can't belive how many Americans come up here to ride with no insurance at all
  • + 1
 He had insurance, but they didn't care. Wouldn't even look at his card. Of course in their defense insurance companies are so sleazy that they prob can't collect on most of their claims.
  • + 1
 yea insurance companies are lame
  • + 1
 Unless you have an account from your insurance for the medical center in Whistler to charge then and there, they can be pretty difficult. Cost me $600 just to get checked out by someone, then another $400 for X-rays to be told I'd just sprained my wrist. Had to pay on the spot. But the next visit I called my travel insurance company first and got a number to give the hospital and it was sweet. Insurance paid back the original fee, less excess. But it pays to have talked to your insurer before the visit if possible
  • + 1
 That's why insurance companies always ask you to call them (if possible) before doing anything.
  • + 1
 It would be interesting to find out how dan atherton was covered when he broke his neck
  • + 2
 Hey Axxe ....your a FUC..ING ARSE HOLE
  • + 1
 Sweden is the shit, i don't pay anything up to im 25-27, then it will cost men about 10 dollars for a meeting or something..
  • + 1
 Reading this, sent shivers down my spine!
  • + 1
 Same here DanishFreerider. Its free...
  • + 1
 i guess these means i better pay my past due covered California premium!
  • + 1
 italian living in germany...gesundheitkarte and problem solved...
  • + 1
 Thankfully I live in the UK, where this isn't an issue.
  • + 1
 people would go bigger with better prize better protection coverage
  • + 1
 you gotta pay to play, simple!
  • + 1
 "Social Security" is the way to go for US & Canada
  • + 1
 Its wrong; riders take several risk and they need a real security.
  • + 1
 'Murica!
  • + 7
 Fuck yeah!
  • + 9
 Sometimes it's hard to admit I live in a country where so many ignorant, uneducated, greedy arseholes live. The only first world country with no health insurance for it's people. They shame the poor for being poor then shame them again for asking for something that they desperately need then it makes them feel like they don't deserve what they do deserve. Alabama the poorest state in the union and had the highest votes against "The public health care act" "Obamacare"... So it seems that the rich are doing their job and keeping the poor down while they laugh all they way to the bank.
  • + 3
 Fair play dude, it's a pretty crap state of affairs where the few can cause so much misery for countless others. Can't really comment on Obamacare as I haven't been following it closely but any sort of healthcare for those that are most vulnerable in society can only be a good thing. If we're not careful in Britain the public services are gonna get stripped down and sold off by a greedy government and their cronies, it's already happened with Royal Mail. Don't really know what the answer is though, just gotta keep signing petitions and trying to make voices heard on things that are important. And keep on riding to alleviate the stresses!
  • + 3
 Here's my problem with Obamacare. It's a piece of legislation that is thousands of pages long, cost billions to launch but except for forcing people to buy insurance, doesn't really lower the cost of health care.

It would have been easier to pass legislation that enabled anyone to buy a policy that was affordable to them and for which you could not be refused. It could have been funded by additional legislation to streamline things like uniform coding, negotiating better pricing for drugs (which is what Kaiser does). Basically, start using size to drive down costs.

Anyway, it could have been way better than it is. Maybe the folks in Alabama know something we don't?
  • + 1
 Either that or their education is one of the lowest in the country and they believe the Republicans.
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