Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Canadians Speak Out Against Socialized Medicine IV



Special interests, union protectionism, over-regulation, contradictory government policies: When politicians and bureaucrats make health care decisions rather than doctors and patients, the results aren't pretty. From the Mackinac Center for Public Policy.

31 Comments:

At 10/14/2009 7:34 AM, Blogger Finance said...

Please don't drag us into your bloody fight.

Its so bad here that one women complained that a specific cancer drug would cost here brother $400 a month, in fact the drug cost nearly $1,200 per month, but 70% is paid by Canada's socialized drug program, imagine, he has to pay (out of his own pocket $400 a month for life saving medicine) -- oh and the rest of the treatment was free.

Yes I am being ironic, our health care is far less expensive than yours and covers 100% of the population. Is it perfect, of course not! Since its a life and death matter there are always shortfalls.

BTW we really don't care what you do with your health care, just stop buying prescriptions here, after all you are number 1!!!

 
At 10/14/2009 8:30 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Just remember, Canada is a democracy.

Repeat, Canada is a democracy.

If their health system were bad, they would change it.

Other industrialized democracies have similar systems to Canada's. If it were bad, they would change it.

Use reason instead of emotion.

 
At 10/14/2009 9:03 AM, Anonymous Peter said...

How can the free market alone ensure that everyone gets access to health care?

 
At 10/14/2009 9:12 AM, Blogger bob wright said...

"Just remember, Canada is a democracy. "

Just a reminder: people expressing their opinion is what a democracy is all about.

 
At 10/14/2009 9:17 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Peter should everyone have access free food? What is more fundamental than life sustaining food?

Actually I think you are asking the wrong question. The question should be: Who better to provide your healthcare; the government or you? For the answer I suggest you spend several hours looking into how Singapore answered that question.

 
At 10/14/2009 9:33 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Bob,

I agree. Democracy is all about people expressing an opinion.

Just remember, Canada is a democracy and they chose their healthcare system and have the power to change it if they want.

Minorities in Canada have a right to express their opinion. It is a democracy.

 
At 10/14/2009 10:01 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

But as noted in the poll those Canadians who don't like their system are in a minority.(91% like it) From all indications if you are having a heart attack you will be treated well in Canada, emergencies get priority. However if is a chronic item like a possible knee replacement its may be another matter. Waits to see specialists in the US can be 4 or months also.
Further one has to consider that the two countries have a somewhat different heritage, with Canada not being as wild west as the US.
If the Canadian Health care system were explained properly to Americans, I suspect that a significant minority to a majority would opt for it over the US system.

 
At 10/14/2009 10:44 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

"...stop buying prescriptions here, after all you are number 1!!!"

Oh, the poor-mouthing country cousin attitude has once again surfaced--it permeates your entire thinking. No one thinks of you as inferior except yourselves.

 
At 10/14/2009 11:04 AM, Blogger bob wright said...

To expand on the thought by Anonymous 9:17...

Other things I believe should be provided free to every citizen:

1. Food. What good is free health care if I starve to death?

2. A car/truck. What good is free health care if I can't get to the doctor?

3. Gasoline/petrol. What good is free health care if I don't have gas for my car to get to the doctor?

4. Automobile Insurance. What good is free health care if I can't get a license to drive my car because I don't have automobile insurance?

5. Vehicle maintenance/Oil changes What good is free health care if my car is broken down in the driveway and I can't get to the doctor?

6. Electricity and fuel oil/natural gas What good is free health care if I freeze to death in my home in February?

These, among many other items, are basic human rights.

It is the responsibility of every government to provide these, free of charge, to their citizens.

What else would you add to the list?

 
At 10/14/2009 11:45 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

... oh and the rest of the treatment was free.

What is it with you leftists, you believe that everything that's paid for by taxes is "free". Canadian pay through the nose for their "free" health care. More than 22 percent of all taxes collected go to "free" health care.

Further, Canadians are restricted from purchasing the health care they desire. These restrictions distort any comparisons with the American system, since Americans can purchase all of the health care they are able to afford. And while Canadians pay exorbitant taxes for access to health care waiting lists, Americans pay for access to actual care - the best care the world has to offer.

So, stuff your arrogant north of the border attitude. Keep your third world prescriptions. And remember, you're not even number 2.

 
At 10/14/2009 12:16 PM, Blogger bob wright said...

This health care legislation is FUBAR!

 
At 10/14/2009 12:18 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

But as noted in the poll those Canadians who don't like their system are in a minority.(91% like it)

Legitimate surveys show the satisfaction levels to be about the same, but since most Canadians cannot afford to travel to the US for care they have no standard for comparison. That is why testimony from Canadians, like those in these interviews, is important. They have had experience with both and hence do not suffer from captive delusion.

From all indications if you are having a heart attack you will be treated well in Canada, emergencies get priority.

This is just complete crap. Hospitals in the US have been handling the overflow of Canadians unable to get the necessary care in their own country for decades. Notice that Americans are not shipped off to Canada for such services.

Waits to see specialists in the US can be 4 or months also.

Liar.

If the Canadian Health care system were explained properly to Americans, I suspect that a significant minority to a majority would opt for it over the US system.

"I would think that if you understood what communism was, you would hope, you would pray on your knees that we would someday become Communist."
- Jane Fonda, The Detroit Free Press, Nov. 22,1969, Michigan State University speech

That's it, all we need is for it to be explained "properly".

 
At 10/14/2009 1:03 PM, Anonymous Grant Langdon said...

I do not favor a single payer system for the US. However the references to the Canadian system are misleading, at best.

Much debate is like these videos - bald comment without any substantial backup in the form of hard data. Commentary based on isolated anecdotes without any real attempt to determine whether the anecdotes are typical of the system is disingenuous at best and potentially misleading. No medical system is going to satisfy 100% of the population. In a system with 30 million potential patients, like Canada, even a 99% satisfaction rate, which would be phenomenal, leaves a vast number of complaints to be exploited. Especially when complaints are taken at face value without independent objective verification.

The essential facts are that:
1. The Canadian health care system generally provides adequate health care to all its residents at a far lower cost than in the US;
2. According to opinion surveys, Canadians are as satisfied as Americans with their heath care, and
3. Objective measures of health care outcomes do not appear to be any worse in Canada than in the US.

For what it is worth, I will add my anecdotal evidence to the discussion. I lived in Vancouver until I was 42, and then moved to Phoenix 12 years ago. Although I do not use much medical care, care I received in Canada was as prompt and as good as I received in the US.

In Canada I was a trial lawyer and did a fair amount of personal injury law. As such, I dealt with many clients undergoing medical care, and rarely saw any occasion where medical treatment was unduly delayed or denied.

About four years ago we moved back to BC for the winter. Four days before Christmas my 8 year old daughter was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes by a GP at the ski resort where we were living. He reported the diagnosis to Vancouver Children's Hospital that day, and we immediately had an appointment at 8am the next morning for a thorough 3 day long review and education session with a leading endocrinologist, a diabetic nurse and a dietitian. I was impressed.

My father, who still lives in Canada, has had a number of medical procedures over the last three years, including an arterial bypass, two colonoscopies, and surgery to remove bowel polyps. Although none of the surgeries were urgent and he is not a prime candidate to be at the top of any waiting list (mid 80s, overweight, sedentary, heavy smoker) he was seen promptly in every case and his surgeries were all set within a couple weeks.

In comparison although I live in a large city (Phoenix) I have not found the care or availability of physicians to be noticeably better than in Canada nor do doctors here appear to be any better than in Canada.

Canada does not have some issues. One problem is the availability of physicians, particularly specialists, in remote cities. The cause is not funding, as doctors are paid just as much or more to practice in remote areas, but rather that the remote locations are not generally to attractive to highly educated urban professionals. Rural areas in the US have a similar problem, but the degree of remoteness is far greater in Canada than in the US.

Arguably Canada has the third worst medical system among the major industrialized nations (ahead of only Britain and the US), but it does provide some useful benchmarks. Culturally, Canada is a closer analogue to the US than is any other country, and it does show that adequate medical care can be provided far less cost that what is now being spent in the US, perversely without the benefit of private enterprise and incentives. On the assumption that private incentives, if allowed to work, will allocate resources and find efficiencies more effectively than a system run by bureaucrats one should expect an US system should be capable of providing care equivalent to that in Canada at lower cost. The question should be why the US spends so much more for little or no extra benefit. Unfortunately that is not the direction the debate or policy is going.

 
At 10/14/2009 1:51 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

1. The Canadian health care system generally provides adequate health care to all its residents at a far lower cost than in the US;

Again, this is nonsense. The fact that Canadians are not allowed to purchase the health care they desire, while Americans are able to purchase all that they can afford distorts these comparisons. "Adequate" is a subjective term which may be "disingenuous" and "potentially misleading". More than 10000 breast cancer patients recently sued the Canadian government over delayed care - I'll bet if one of those women was your wife, mother or sister your definition of "adequate" would change immediately. Once more, slowly, Canadians pay taxes for access to health care waiting lists; Americans pay for access to actual care. The Canadian Supreme Court has had to rule that "access to waiting lists, is not the same as access to care". Get it?

2. According to opinion surveys, Canadians are as satisfied as Americans with their heath care, and

So, what? Unless you have experience with both - and I don't mean in a casual way - these polls are meaningless. Show me the videos of Americans running to Canada for health care.

3. Objective measures of health care outcomes do not appear to be any worse in Canada than in the US.

This statement is completely false. The US leads the world in favorable outcomes for most diseases and conditions including cancers and heart disease. Dr. Perry has blogged about this in the past, you can search this site for the info.

 
At 10/14/2009 2:12 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hoping to capitalize on patients who might otherwise go to the U.S. for speedier care, a network of technically illegal private clinics and surgical centers has sprung up in British Columbia, echoing a trend in Quebec. In October, the courts will be asked to decide whether the budding system should be sanctioned.

[...]

"What we have in Canada is access to a government, state-mandated wait list," said Brian Day, a former Canadian Medical Assn. director who runs a private surgical center in Vancouver. "You cannot force a citizen in a free and democratic society to simply wait for healthcare, and outlaw their ability to extricate themselves from a wait list."

Yet the move into privatized care threatens to make the delays -- already long from the perennial shortage of doctors and rationing of facilities -- even longer, public healthcare advocates say. There will be fewer skilled healthcare workers in government hospitals as doctors and nurses are lured into better-paying private jobs, they say.

LA Times

As I said, Canadians spend less on health care because greater spending is restricted or forbidden by the government. In the US, we are free to spend what we can afford. And what about the doctors and skilled health care workers currently having their wages restricted and their potential stifled? I think Ayn Rand said it best:

I quit when medicine was placed under State control...Do you know what it takes to perform a brain operation? Do you know the kind of skill it demands, and the years of passionate, merciless, excruciating devotion that go to acquire that skill? That was what I would not place at the disposal of men whose sole qualification to rule me was their capacity to spout the fraudulent generalities that got them elected to the privilege of enforcing their wishes at the point of a gun. I would not let them dictate the purpose for which my years of study had been spent, or the conditions of my work, or my choice of patients, or the amount of my reward...Men considered only the 'welfare' of the patient, with no thought for those who were to provide it. That a doctor should have any right, desire or choice in the matter, was regarded as irrelevant selfishness; his is not to choose, they said only 'to serve'...Their moral code has taught them to believe that it is safe to rely on the virtue of their victims. Well, that is the virtue I have withdrawn. Let them discover the kind of doctors that their system will now produce...It is not safe, if he is the sort of man who resents it--and still less safe, if he is the sort who doesn't.

- Ayn Rand, Atlas Shrugged, 1957

 
At 10/14/2009 2:22 PM, Blogger Finance said...

Dear Americans:

Pleas stop comparing our system to yours, whatever congress approves will bear no resemblance to what we have up here in Canada.

Although we share many common values long ago, on health care, we took divergent paths. Our system will not fit your needs, and as such is irrelevant to your debate. Please stop "bitching" about our system since we wont change it! (despite what a few think tanks seem to believe)

As for "the poor-mouthing country cousin attitude" (anonymous at 10:40), sorry you may have missed the irony of the comment. Drugs are cheaper in Canada (and no they've not all been developed by American firms).

 
At 10/14/2009 2:37 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Drugs are cheaper in Canada because the Government (Gasp) negotiates the price. If one opposes government involvement in health care and buys drugs in Canada, then are being inconsistent, saying I'll take government when it benefits me. If you truly believe that government should not interfere then you should buy your drugs in the US.

 
At 10/14/2009 2:52 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Our system will not fit your needs, and as such is irrelevant to your debate.

That's where your wrong, it serves as a perfect example of what to avoid.

 
At 10/14/2009 3:40 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Note that the 4 month wait to see a specialist happened in the US to see an allergist in a major city. So here we have a anecdote about the US system.

 
At 10/14/2009 4:14 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

"So, stuff your arrogant north of the border attitude. Keep your third world prescriptions. And remember, you're not even number 2."

I'm gonna let you in on a little secret: when people see angry posts like this they, consciously or unconsciously, see you as unsuccessful. Really, nobody who is doing well in life would post the way you do.

You should recognize whether you lost your job, your wife's leaving you, you're a lousy parent, or you're eating tv dinners over the sink, none of it is because of leftists, taxes, or Canadians. So nut up, nancy-boy, and grow a pair.

 
At 10/14/2009 4:15 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Note that the 4 month wait to see a specialist happened in the US to see an allergist in a major city. So here we have a anecdote about the US system.

Too, funny. Unlike Canada, this person - if legit to begin with - could have called their primary care physician an gotten an immediate referral to another allergist. So, here we have an anecdote about leftist gullibility.

 
At 10/14/2009 4:17 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm gonna let you in on a little secret: when people see angry posts like this they, consciously or unconsciously, see you as unsuccessful.

Save your breath, you'll need it to blow up your girlfriend.

 
At 10/14/2009 4:29 PM, Blogger juandos said...

"If their health system were bad, they would change it."...

You're right, people get the government they deserve...

"How can the free market alone ensure that everyone gets access to health care?"...

Why should the free market ensure anyone anything other than what they can afford to pay?

"If the Canadian Health care system were explained properly to Americans, I suspect that a significant minority to a majority would opt for it over the US system"...

No, not really... Such obvious and rank parasitism is self-explanatory...

 
At 10/14/2009 7:01 PM, Anonymous Peter said...

"Why should the free market ensure anyone anything other than what they can afford to pay?"

My point exactly. Which is why the free market shouldn't be left on its own to handle access to health care.

 
At 10/14/2009 7:32 PM, Anonymous Peter said...

@bob To add to your list of 6 things:

Frisbees.

It is a human right to have access to this most enjoyable toy.

 
At 10/14/2009 7:42 PM, Anonymous Peter said...

Anonymous asks:

"Peter should everyone have access free food?"

Everyone should have access to food.

 
At 10/14/2009 7:51 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

The fundamental issue the US has to resolve is whether or not universal health care is a basic human right. Here in Canada, as well as the rest of the western world, that issue has long ago been settled in the affirmative. There isn't a snowball's chance in hell that we are ever going to go back. As a casual observer of the ongoing debate in the US, we shake our heads in amazement that this should even be an issue.

 
At 10/14/2009 10:49 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

The fundamental issue the US has to resolve is whether or not universal health care is a basic human right. Here in Canada, as well as the rest of the western world, that issue has long ago been settled in the affirmative .... As a casual observer of the ongoing debate in the US, we shake our heads in amazement that this should even be an issue.


Is there anyone in Canada who isn't a sanctimonious blowhard?

 
At 10/15/2009 9:28 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Peter should everyone have access free food?"

Peter said, "Everyone should have access to food."

Peter, you should check out how that is working out in Cuba. Also see how well that worked in the Soviet Union, and China under Mao.

By the way Peter, everyone in the USA has access to food. Again whether or not it should be "free" is another totally different question. Finally, nothing is ever "free." You do understand, don't you?

 
At 10/15/2009 10:04 AM, Anonymous Peter said...

Yes. Food and health care are products and services that require resources to produce and deliver.

Everyone needs access to health care and food. The free market alone cannot meet this need.

 
At 10/17/2009 3:42 PM, Blogger juandos said...

"My point exactly. Which is why the free market shouldn't be left on its own to handle access to health care"...

O.K. explain why you Peter shouldn't pay for what people can't buy on their own in the free market place?

"Everyone needs access to health care and food. The free market alone cannot meet this need"...

Free market sans government interference can do and does a masterful job of providing food and health care to those willing to pay what the the market will bear...

 

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