Sunday, September 16, 2007

On whose side of the border is the healthcare grass greener?

Posted by R. Bobak on David Catron’s site, “Health Care BS. Cleaning the Augean stables of the health care debate”, (Aug.27, 2007):

From a Canadian perspective, so-called “universality”, which in practice here is a government-run, single-payer health monopoly, is not sustainable, and has lead to increases in taxes plus additional government premiums, resulting in less coverage and more waiting times. Politicians make our healthcare decisions on our behalf, as they (the government) are the only legal payer for medical services: they decide (ration) where the funding goes, or doesn’t go. If your cancer is deemed politically-incorrect, that is, unworthy of coverage, “universality” is meaningless - and yet, concurrently we are banned from buying private insurance to cover what the state, through ignorance or negligence, fails to provide! We have no consumer choice in healthcare! Many Canadians are forced to travel to the States for cancer therapies that Canada simply dismisses as experimental, others, (as one Supreme court challenge, Quebec’s 2005 Chaoulli ruling found) just die on waiting lists. The point is our system has no competition; it has no incentive, no reason to do more than it has to, other than the minimum to maintain its inertia and protect itself. The patient is viewed and treated as a liability to the health system, in that because hospitals are given finite budgets by the government, one patient more means automatically another gets less. Don’t insultingly treat the fact, as some pro-Michael Moore types do, that Canadians escaping for their lives to the States for treatment which their own so-called “universal” health system can’t provide for them at home, is just “anecdotal” and unworthy of mention in your new socialist healthcare plans. Don’t look with envy at what 40 years worth of socialized medicine has done to Canada’s healthcare system. No one deserves that. R. Bobak

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