Healthcare: USA Zigs While Canada Zags

Written by Wes Walker on October 31, 2013

I’m not here to say I told you so.  I gave my ObamaCare warnings a long time ago.

Instead, I’m reporting on something you *may* wish to think about as USA tries to figure out how to unstick itself from the ugly mess its leaders have ensconced themselves in. While you’ve dug yourselves into a hole, countries who’s “Universal” (??) Health Care you’ve coveted and copied moved on.

And by moving on, of course, I mean flailed about, trying to fix an inherently broken system.If Universal Health Care is so good, what about wait times, and de-listed services, or why are dental and prescriptions not likewise “universal”. Wait times? De-listed services?  Don’t worry, they’ll be familiar terms soon enough.

Where was I?  Right.  While you guys scramble to switch to Single-Payer health care, (You realize that’s the plan, right?) countries who HAVE single-payer are backpedaling and looking for solutions.

The Boomers are living longer.  That’s great news for the Boomers.  (My parents included.)  But logistically, for the hospitals, it’s a problem.  They’re aging, and are beginning to put a significant strain on hospital resources.

Wait times have skyrocketed in the last 20 years.  Conservative Think-Tank, Frasier Institute said:  “This edition of Waiting Your Turn indicates that waiting times for elective medical treatment have increased since last year. Specialist physicians surveyed across 12 specialties and 10 Canadian provinces report a total waiting time of 18.2 weeks between referral from a general practitioner and receipt of elective treatment.”  (In 1993, the median wait time was 9.3 weeks.)

So what remedies are being proposed in Canada?

Free-Market ones… sort of.  Despite the fact that many services or tests are only available by paying out-of-pocket (when they are available at all), they dare not break our communal illusion of Canadians having “universal” health care.

There are always proposals to lighten the strain on the Public Purse, none of which seem to solve the problem of the broken system.  The latest?  Introduce Private Options alongside the Public ones to shorten the wait.  Just using the phrase “Private Options” must have had Canadian reporters tasting bile, but here we are.

Over time, we will likely either continue de-listing tests and services until we have skeletonized our “Universal” system, the health-care surtax will continue to spike, or we will have no alternative but to narrow the State-provided medical assistance to people who are truly destitute.

Meanwhile, your plan is bankrupt before anyone has signed on to it.  How far are you going to follow us down this road before you notice the “bridge out” sign?