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Japan, U.S. hold TPP talks on autos, insurance

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This should be a real gas!

0 ( +0 / -0 )

So Japan has universal health care, while the US does not. The US wants to get into this very lucrative market, while there's nothing in it for Japan. Naturally, if TPP is passed then Japan's health care will become like the US's: only the rich will have access to the best health care. The rest will be unaffordable for the poor.

1 ( +7 / -6 )

Japan is doomed if they open up the health insurance industry to wean away from their Universal coverage. The vultures are ready to pounce on this juicy market. TPP supporters have not read the fine print and the people will pay a very high price in the future, especially the generations to come.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

It seems that Japan would not accept that TPP on American type insurance. Japan is a longtime socialism state taking care of people's medical costs and public pensions for all people. The Doctors Association is completely against the TPP from the beginning.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

TPP is good. Cheap food comming :) Don't want to pay 2000 percent tax for the rice!

-2 ( +2 / -4 )

Japan is a longtime socialism state taking care of people's medical costs and public pensions for all people

I think Japan is very far from socialism. Do you understand what socialism? You sound like some right wing nut case on an American cable news network. Better all the poor people die on the streets or maybe we could bring back the workhouse.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

@ Paul

My perception on term "socialism" is just different from yours. Japan has been a socialism state since the end of the war. That's why there are many public good things for all people. Government takes much care of people's health and pension. It proves that people living under government's welfare can have about 150,000 yen for 1 person and 210,000 yen for 4 member family every month until death. That is a part of socialism.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

So Japan has universal health care, while the US does not. The US wants to get into this very lucrative market, while there's nothing in it for Japan. Naturally, if TPP is passed then Japan's health care will become like the US's: only the rich will have access to the best health care. The rest will be unaffordable for the poor.

Japan has "universal healthcare"? Japan's univeral healthcare costs me more than my private insurance did in America, yet it covers only 70% of medical costs, when my American insurance covered 100%. Even with Japanese "universal healthcare", I have to fully pay for the costs of treatment up-front, and wait to get my 70% reimbursed. My inusrance in America paid from the get-go, and I didn't have to pay a penny for treatment.

In Japan I have to wait a long time for medical treatment, in America major treatments are performed immediately. In Japan, an emergency room can turn you away if they don't want to accept another patient, in America, all emergency rooms by law are required to accept any emergency case, at any time, an ambulance can go to the nearest emergency room, rather than run from hospital to hospital, as often happens in Japan,

Lastly, if you aren't paying for your "universal healthcare" in Japan, good luck getting treated if you don't have the cash to pay. In America, all patients are treated, regardless of their ability to pay, or whether or not they have insurance. America does not have "universal healthcare", but it does have universal treatment.

A few years ago my mother went to an American emergency room with pain in her chest, she was quickly diagnosed with stage 3 breast cancer, she underwent surgery the next day. Last year a Japanese coworker was diagnosed with stage 3 breast cancer, she had to wait 6 weeks for surgery. No one with half a mind can argue that Japan has a good "universal healthcare system". It is as ineffective and bureaucratic as the rest of government-administered programs.

3 ( +6 / -3 )

@sangetsu

Japan and America seem to have more or less some kind of problems about hospital and medical costs. Things is that if you like American treatment, then go to America and If you like Japanese, then go to Japan. That's all about it. At least it seems that Japanese people like Japanese treatments very much. Remember rich Japanese go to America for best treatments but very expensive on treatments.

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

sangetsu03Aug. 08, 2013 - 10:36AM JST

Everything you have written about the Japanese system is 100 percent correct. I don't know how people think that everything is so great in Japan. Even if you pay your health insurance, don't end up in hospital for any time because it will cost you a small fortune. I suspect that the percentage that you pay is on an inflated price right from the beginning.

" It is as ineffective and bureaucratic as the rest of government-administered programs." How right you are ! Perhaps when TPP comes in, japanese people will see how they have been ripped off with their strange taxes, health and pension systems, and overpriced products.

1 ( +4 / -3 )

"That is a part of socialism."

You don't understand what socialism means. It refers to state ownership of enterprises and the other means of production. Japan is NOT a socialist state.

-3 ( +0 / -3 )

On the Health Care scenario in Japan. I arrived here with my wife (who is Japanese) and new born son to introduce to the family here. My wife requested we pay into the Government Medical scheme which for the family amounted to around 50,000 yen for the year. I remember the amount to add me in was minimal so I was happy to do so. Let me tell you that 50,000 yen for the year is cheap compared to everywhere else I have lived except of course for the UK.

Unfortunately my son developed a urinary reflux problem and subsequent kidney infection. To make a long story short the care and professionalism shown by the staff at the hospital we were admitted to was second to none. I could not buy that type of health care even if I were a millionaire. The hospital we attended on several occasions and for stays up to 3 weeks at a time was phenomenal and I have nothing negative to offer. We both commented on the difference between the care offered in the UK and the care here. Sure you pay in, but the amount is negligible when compared with the level of care received.

Shortly after our son was healthy again I managed to break my leg snowboarding in Hokkaido. I broke my Tibia outright and shattered my Fibula. Again I experienced firsthand the extremely high level of care at another Japanese Hospital in a completely different part of Japan. I was operated on the following day and my friend who was boarding with me sent the x-rays (before and after) to his father who is also a very respected Orthopod. He commented that it was a "perfect" result and he could not have done better himself. I must comment that the genuine kindness I was shown by the hospital staff went way beyond what is expected of any staff member. Something I have not experienced in a hospital before and I have had 4 major surgeries prior to this going back as far back to when I was a young boy. Such was the level of service we recently sent cookies and cakes and a letter of thanks to all the staff on my ward in gratitude for the service and help I received. They restored my faith in human kind which had begun to waning somewhat with experiences I had experienced outside of Japan.

I also received back at least 90% of the money I paid in for the operation.

I too have read the reports on some woeful stories with regards Japanese Health care but I wanted to add my two very very positive experiences.

8 ( +8 / -0 )

Let me tell you that 50,000 yen for the year is cheap compared to everywhere else I have lived except of course for the UK.

It's also very, very cheap for Japan. Are you sure there isn't a zero missing? Perhaps you had no earners in the family for the year?

I'm with you on the level of care, mind. Had a few minor skirmishes with the small one-man clinics, but the general hospitals are on the whole very good.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

America does not have "universal healthcare", but it does have universal treatment.

Ridiculous on two levels. First, it is not true except for cases of lifesaving treatment. Try showing up uninsured at an emergency room with influenza and see how they treat you. Second, it is one reason why US healthcare is so expensive. Hospitals must pass on the cost of "free" treatment to others - but to whom, and how? This results in vast amounts of money wasted on accountants and complete disassociation from billing fees with actual procedural cost.

It is another reason why the AMA and most other American hospital groups support the ACA. Just too bad it doesn't include a public option, which would more approximate the Japanese system.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

I'm pretty sure when the article says insurance market they mean the life insurance and property markets and not the health insurance market...

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Right, Upgrayedd - I was about to mention that. No sane person living in Japan would enroll in American health insurance.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

My perception on term "socialism" is just different from yours. Japan has been a socialism state since the end of the war.

There is no perception of socialism, it is a political ideology. You can't say something is socialism just because you say so. If you think that a social welfare system is a bad thing then that is your opinion but labeling Japan as a socialist country is ludicrous. You sound like 1950's America. There is a difference between having a social welfare system and socialism.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Please understand that "unify automobile standards" is a code word for "please lower your safety and polution standards so we can sell our cars in Japan". I guarantee, nobody is going to by an unsafe gas guzzling car. They cannot even sell their quotas of 2000 for each model now, or last year even with the yen was at 76. And there is the image problem that the only people who consistently buy US cars are yakuza mafia types (go to Kabukicho to see US cars).

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

TPP was supposed to be to the benefit of all participants but Japan and US already dominating and holding bilateral talks . In the end the smaller nations will get the shi++y end of the stick.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Cleo,

Yes this is possible as we had just arrived and had not been living in Japan prior to coming. As you say it may get more expensive should we remain and I start working. But the care we recieved was so good I don't mind in the least should I need to pay in more.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Please understand that "unify automobile standards" is a code word for "please lower your safety and polution standards so we can sell our cars in Japan".

But how long before the Japanese media and propaganda machine stop maligning them based on standards that used to be true but haven't been for some time. Give them a fair crack of the whip and stop bad mouthing them at every single opportunity and they may have a chance, they don't stand a chance in such a hostile environment where half truths are constantly regurgitated by a compliant media to a docile public. My guess is though that they have already given up on this market as they have a fair chance in greener pastures across the sea from Japan. You'll tell us next that American cars are too big for Japanese roads, even though I see plenty of Mitsubishi, Toyota and Suzuki SUVs in my neighbourhood.

The TPP is only going to lead to bitterness, tears and recriminations somewhere down the road because the Japanese business model and mindset is incompatible with true free trade, not least the spirit of free trade where foreign goods which are in competition with a Japanese equivalent are simply maligned out of business here.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Japanese sovereign debt is snowballing and I foresee the following on the horizon.

1) The sales tax was designed to rescue 3 big items such as National Pension, National Health Care, National Long Term Cares as you know.

2) You are supposed to be paying for all three items under the law. That's your legal obligations as a citizen while the government has NO obligations to you.

Having said that, I would not be too surprised if your government wants to keep insurance on the table, so that they can eventually shift these responsibilities to the private sectors. AFLAC was already awarded to sell "Cancer Insurance" for Japanese postal savers , and Abe is talking about shifting your hard earned pension money in stock market. I hope I am wrong.

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

Disgusting how Americans are now trying to export their putrid health care system. I wouldn't wish the US's health care on my worst enemy.

-3 ( +1 / -4 )

"Disgusting how Americans are now trying to export their putrid health care system.

Those little Japanese children who have traveled to the US to get life-saving organ transplants is a case in point. How dare the "putrid" and "disgusting" American healthcare system attempt to save the lives of Japanese children who would have zero hope of survival in their own country.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

The US govt wants us all on Obama Care driving Fords, yeah right, that aint happening dick heads.

How about the US Stop telling everyone else whats is happening, how about the US sorts its own festering mess hole up first, how about the US Govt gets sued for allowing the bank of america and its cronies to rob and steal and for allowing the financial crisis to take place with its bent corrupt practises.

How about everyone collectively give the middle finger to the US and tell it what we all want.

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

Those little Japanese children who have traveled to the US to get life-saving organ transplants is a case in point. How dare the "putrid" and "disgusting" American healthcare system attempt to save the lives of Japanese children who would have zero hope of survival in their own country.

45,000 Americans die every year because they can't get access to health care. For the US to provide organ transplants to Japanese children, but yet deny health care to its own citizens says everything, doesn't it? Profit, profit, profit, the religion of the USA.

1 ( +2 / -2 )

The US's market system has completely failed with their market fundamentalist dogma, and now they're trying to force their market system onto the rest of the world with TPP.

-4 ( +3 / -7 )

USA insurance companies - a majority only pay when you use doctors and hospitals in their territory area. If you use emergency care in other places, you will be out of luck. Especially retired old folks.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

It's ludicrous to think Japan can continue to shut out American and foreign auto makers. U.S. should of never agreed to accept Japaneses auto imports from the start unless it. was given the same access to Japan. If TPP is rejected soon after Abe's stimulus money will run out too and Japan will be drowning in sea of surplus again. It's time for Japan to completely open it's doors and unconditionally participate in free trade market.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

tokyodoumo: Which Japanese cars are exported to USA? Are you sure Japan is ready to import left-side handle wide and large cars to Japanese roads use? Which automakers in USA? Ford? GM? Toyota USA? Nissan USA? Honda USA? And all Japan Inc. automakers in USA?
0 ( +0 / -0 )

Dear the Japanese government and all: Never let American politicians push you into agreeing anything. The American politicians are good at doing so. The American politicians work for the greedy industry, but not for the people. The American insurance companies are almost like a criminal. They would not cover the people who are ill. Kaiser's insurance, for instance, will not cover you if you have any history of illness. I had breast cancer almost 10 years ago and it had been cured completely. When I applied Kaiser, they told me that they would not provide me with any insurance because I had breast cancer in the past. American insurance is for healthy people so that the company can make a lot of money. Once you become sick, they will tell you all kinds of reasons to deny your coverage. They provide you with a 100 pages fine printed policy and you are supposed to read them and understand all. If you miss anything, then, they tell you that it's been written in the policy. Don't let them push you. Sincerely.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

The big American Insurance companies usually have agreements with small companies. When you use out of one of such small company;s territory, they refuse to pay even small amount of medicine cost. Old retired fplks are supposed to be covered, but no. Later, company assigned attorney's office will threat you to sue you. You can;t trust American Health insurance companies trying to muscle into Japan.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

toshikoAug. 08, 2013 - 09:47PM JST

USA insurance companies - a majority only pay when you use doctors and hospitals in their territory area. If you use emergency care in other places, you will be out of luck. Especially retired old folks.

You've got everything all screwed up here. I just cannot let it go.

First, you are paying for monthly premium for health care insurance. In addition to that, you will be paying co-pay for medical care and doctor's visit if you use them.

Second, it depends on type of health care insurance you are carrying through your employer. If you are getting a decent major health care insurance such as Kaiser Permanente, United Health, Blue Cross Blue Shield, Humana, Physician's Mutual from your employer, that is extended to all other states.

toshikoAug. 12, 2013 - 09:51PM JST

The big American Insurance companies usually have agreements with small companies. When you use out of one of such small company;s territory, they refuse to pay even small amount of medicine cost. Old retired fplks are supposed to be covered, but no. Later, company assigned attorney's office will threat you to sue you. You can;t trust American Health insurance companies trying to muscle into Japan.

No, it is not true. You may check your coverage once more. Do you have a HMO, PPO? What type of insurance do you have? That's why people want to work for the best US corporations. They usually provide you the best of best coverage.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

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