2004-09-17 11:38:30 UTC
socializing medicine. Just imagine all the new regulations they could use
to boss people around, all the new government workers who'd probably vote
Democratic, how much they could raise taxes, and the enormous growth of
government that'd result. It's like the holy grail of liberalism!
But socialized medicine isn't working out so well for our old buddies up
North in Soviet Canuckistan according to this article from Reuters....
"Canada often boasts its universal health care program shows it is more
caring than the United States, but the system is creaking alarmingly, with
long wait lists for treatment, and shortages of cash and doctors.
And far from criticizing the United States, some people are choosing to go
south of the border to pay for operations in private hospitals --
institutions that are forbidden in Canada by the law that set up the
publicly funded system.
..."Few would dispute the prevailing reality of our time: people in this
country are increasingly anxious about their ability to get in to see the
right health professional at the right time," Prime Minister Paul Martin
said on Monday.
"Meanwhile, financial pressures are increasing as our population ages, as
medical knowledge...expands, and as beneficial but expensive new treatments
become available," he told a top-level meeting designed to rescue
Boy, it really sounds like socialized medicine solved all of Canada's
health care problems doesn't it?
"Medicare eats up C$85 billion ($66 billion) a year in public funds alone
and the provinces continually demand more money, with no strings attached.
Ottawa says it is prepared to contribute more but insists the provinces
agree to benchmarks to ensure the funds are being spent properly."
Let's see, 66 billion dollars a year for what everyone admits is poor
service (more on how poor later in this post). Plus, you have to remember
that the US has roughly 9.5 times as many people as Canada. So if we spent
about the same amount per person as Canada, that means the government would
spend about $627 billion dollars a year on health care. Then toss in our
out of control, lawsuit happy culture, the fact that we don't have
presciption drug price controls like Canada, and the fact that it would
cost a little more to get a system like this started than it would after it
had been running a few years, and let's figure it would be about....
oh...$700 billion a year (and somehow, someway, knowing what I know about
how government programs work, I'd bet it would end up being a lot more).
Given that we're already running more than a 400 billion dollar deficit a
year, that would mean we'd have roughly a trillion dollars a year to make up
for somehow. That doesn't sound like such a great deal, especially when you
get this kind of service...
"As the politicians bicker, Canadians spend more time waiting in line. A
study by the right-wing Fraser Institute this month said that average
waiting time for treatment in 2003 rose to 17.7 weeks from 16.5 weeks in
...Some delays are much longer. Patients in Ontario who require major knee
surgery can wait six months to see a specialist and then another 18 months
"When I started work 30 years ago it took three weeks to get a patient into
a specialist's office. Now it can take six months. There is a lot of
inhumanity built into the system," one unhappy family doctor told Reuters."
Just imagine having a severely injured knee. You're walking around on
crutches, you're slamming down Tylenol like tic-tacs just to take the pain,
and you have to wait TWO YEARS to get it fixed. You also have to keep in
mind that it's only going to get worse...
"Experts say the shortage of doctors will only get worse as an increasingly
elderly physician population starts to retire over the next decade. And as
medical expertise becomes ever more sophisticated, so will the demand and
Don't let liberals snow you. Despite the problems with our current health
care system, socialized medicine would be a huge step backwards from what
we already have.