Socialized medicine sucks
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Thread: Socialized medicine sucks

  1. #1

    Angry Socialized medicine sucks,,

    Woe, Canada

    It wasn't all that long ago that Hillary Clinton and Ira Magaziner tried to sell Americans on the virtues of Canada's state-run health care. Well, a new report from the Vancouver-based Fraser Institute ought to send anyone who still harbors that illusion into the hospital, but only if it's a U.S. hospital.

    Despite spending more money per capita than any other country with a similar "universal" (aka socialized) system, Canada ranks right up there with Turkey, Hungary and Poland in the quality of care its citizens receive. The study ranks countries according to seven health-care indicators. Four concern access to high-technology medical equipment: Canada ranks 18th in access to MRIs, 17th in access to CT scanners, eighth in access to radiation machines, and 13th in access to lithotripters (for kidney stones).

    Canadians do somewhat better when it comes to actual results -- 10th in the percentage of life expectancy without disability, seventh in death by preventable causes, and sixth in breast cancer mortality -- but partly because they can come to the U.S. for services that would be unavailable or dangerously delayed at home. The median Canadian wait from initial referral for an MRI was seven months in 2001 -- a long time to wait for what has become a basic diagnostic tool of modern medical care.

    Moreover, the authors note, all of the countries that beat Canada in outcomes have parallel systems of private health insurance and care delivery operating alongside the government system: "Canada is the only country in the OECD with monopoly public provision of health insurance."

    What this means is that Canada lacks even limited market mechanisms to respond to patient demand or technological change. So the Canadian system produces doctor and equipment shortages, long waiting lists for certain procedures and insufficient investment in new treatments. Problems are addressed, if they are at all, only when they become political issues.

    The Fraser Institute is hardly a lone critic of the Canadian system. Six in 10 Canadians told the Canadian Medical Association in a recent survey that they expect the quality of care to worsen over the next five years. Nearly half (49%) say they would welcome a new approach that blends public and private care.

    We don't note all of this to gloat over the misfortunes of our neighbors to the north. Our point is that many American politicians and lobbies (such as Families USA) continue to push the U.S. toward the same Canadian socialist model, albeit in salami-slice stages. Witness the Senate's failure to add a drug benefit to Medicare this year, mainly because Tom Daschle and Ted Kennedy insisted that it be provided through the Health Care Financing Administration, arguably the worst bureaucracy in the world.

    Or notice liberal opposition to reforms that would actually do something about Americans who lack health insurance, such as relief from costly insurance mandates or equalizing the tax treatment of employer-provided and patient-purchased policies. Sometimes we suspect that the Kennedy-Daschle strategy is to make today's U.S. system worse so the public will end up clamoring for the government to do something.

    Americans receive the best health care in the world, and any reforms designed to control rising U.S. costs need to keep that in mind. The next time an American politician touts the superiority of Canadian care, ask him whether he'd fly to Toronto to have his hip replaced.


    I don't know whether to agree with the "Americans recieve the best health care in the world" bit, but it's becoming clear that socialized health care is an idea that is on it's way out. Almost every country that has social medicine is struggling to maintain, and the real challenges haven't even made themselves felt yet.

    I myself think Canada should ditch the sacred cow of socialized medicine and go private before we are forced to regardlessly.

  2. #2
    Administrator Array adamantium's Avatar
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    Feb 2002
    I wish.
    While I partially agree. Part of me wants to hold back, and hold on to what we have. I read a lot, and have seen a lot of movies; I say this beacuse I see the privatization of a lot of things, and I see major companies running our countries as apposed to a government of any sorts. Freaky a little. Mind you - government always seems weak to outside enfluences admitted or not.

    It does create a 'the rich get the best treatment' phillosphy, but I suppose that's already where we are as they can go down south or slip in some other way for treatment (and they're private clinics in town for such things). I do however hate paying for meidcal attention to bums who think they own our streets and should get a cut of the 'movie rent' they film companies pay to the city. We pay a lot of tax in this country for even 1/2 of what you've said to be true. And it's not just medicare where the problem is.

    I read earlier this year somewhere that our Ottawa government spent $200 000 on a grant through Arts Canada to produce a book on 'Dumb Blonde Jokes'.

    BCSB- Administrator

  3. #3
    Ride Solo Array GSP's Avatar
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    Aug 2002
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    I don't think that I'd trust the Fraser Institute to provide an objective assessment of public health care any more than I'd trust Glen Clark to commission my next yacht.

    The truth is out there...

  4. #4
    Registered User Array SpideRider's Avatar
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    Jul 2002
    Fraser Valley
    The Fraser Institute's comments must be taken with a bag of salt. If you want to read the other side's opinion, check out the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives.
    Very intelligent individuals write papers on hundreds of topics of interest. I get their press releases here at least once a week. They have a Web site, but am unsure of the address.
    Just my two cents...
    Cry in the dojo, laugh on the battlefield
    Sparring speed is a matter of simple physics:
    The height of your flight is inversely proportionate to the mass of your ass.

  5. #5

    The Emporor has no clothes

    I'm suffering from a host of chronic problems and have been seriously let down by the public system, I've spent the last 6 years of my life being jerked around by doctors-turned-accountants while my condition steadily grew worse. It's caused me to miss many opportunities {including what probably was my most important} and put my education on hold and has basically screwed my life up irrevocably.

    The only real evidence of "help" I've recieved to date from the vaunted public health system was a botched operation that I didn't need, that put my life in danger, coming after more than 9 months on a waiting list. It was only last year when by finally seeking private care and accordingly spending a lot of my own money that I was finally able to see some improvement.

    Now at least I can reasonably function where before I was barely capable of holding an easy job, the coming year promises to be even more expensive {there goes my bike money}, but what choice do I have? I've talked with a lot of people and found my situation isn't particularily unique.

    I think Canadians need to stop seeing "private care" as a dirty word and realize how much better it really is when it comes to treatment waiting times and effectiveness. BTW Adam, I hear you on the bums that abuse the sytem, nothing like going though all the trouble that I have only to hear about the junkies who regularily OD and are brought back to do it over and over again at taxpayer's expence, or those who purposely inject themselves with HIV in order to recieve better treament...

  6. #6
    California dreamin' Array KatRider's Avatar
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    Mar 2002
    Vancouver Island
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    What I've heard is that the advantages and disadvantages of the Canadian vs. the US system depend upon where you reside on the socio-economic ladder. My understanding is that if you are a middle income earner (realizing that there's lots of way to define it) or higher the US system would be or is better. However, if you're in a lower income bracket then the Canadian system is better.

    I agree with what others have said though -- we need to get past this phobia of private health care. News flash -- it's already here, it's just that it's at a small scale right now.

  7. #7
    Which way is up? Array Hoser's Avatar
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    May 2002
    '02 R1 & wife's '02 ZX-6R
    Only people that have no health problems think the canadian system is good. As Rosco said, try to get some treatment when you really need it and see what happens. Go and see a socalled specialist and find out that you know more about your particular problem then he. And as for treatment, all you are is a labrat that they use to test drugs on. Sorry about the negative attitude but someone very dear to me has a severe medical problem and I have seen first hand how well this wonderful system works. I'm sure that every system has it's faults but ours cant get much worse. Change is needed and soon.
    ...if Harley Davidson built airplanes. Would You fly in them???

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