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With both British and Canadian health care models taking on water, why do Democrats STILL push for single-payer?
The hard-left ‘Squad’ and their fan-boys rally behind the phrase ‘health care is a human right’. Fetterman used that very line in his Senate campaign. What they really mean is that the government should pay for unlimited health care.
They never stop to ask how things are working where that has been tried before. Canada, for instance.
It is assumed by people like Bernie Sanders, AOC, or Fetterneck, that Canadians have health care every bit as good as Americans. Canadians are too proud to admit any kind of inferiority directly, but the sheer number of Canadians coming to the US for medical treatment speaks for itself.
Defining the problem
Here is the screenshot a headline from one of the National Post, one of Canada’s national papers, a couple of months ago:
From that article:
The think-tank reports a median wait time of 27.4 weeks for Canadians to get treatment, longer than the 25.6 weeks reported in 2021 and significantly longer than 9.3 weeks the institute recorded in its first wait time survey in 1993.
The wait time includes the time period between when a patient is referred by their family doctor to a specialist, the consultation with that specialist and when they are ultimately given treatment or surgery.
…“Excessively long wait times remain a defining characteristic of Canada’s health-care system,” said Mackenzie Moir, Fraser Institute policy analyst and co-author of the report. “And they aren’t simply minor inconveniences, they can result in increased suffering for patients, lost productivity at work, a decreased quality of life, and in the worst cases, disability or death.”
Physicians in the survey also reported to the institute that patients were waiting an average of six weeks longer than was clinically acceptable.
The survey broke down the wait times based on medical specialities as well, with the shortest wait there for radiation treatments to treat cancer, which took on average 3.9 weeks. The longest wait time was for neurosurgery, which took 58.9 weeks, but there were also long waits for plastic surgery, which took 58.1 weeks and orthopedic surgery where patients waited on average 48.4 weeks. –NationalPost
Going back to the study itself shows the long wait in diagnostics, too.
Patients also experience significant waiting times for various diagnostic technologies. This year, Canadians could expect to wait 5.4 weeks for a computed tomography (CT) scan, 10.6 weeks for a magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scan, and 4.9 weeks for an ultrasound.
Crucially, physicians report that their patients are waiting over six weeks longer for treatment (after seeing a specialist) than what they consider to be clinically reasonable. — FraserInstitute
Defining the cause
The reason for such wait times is a pretty simple issue of supply and demand. Patient demands exceed health care capacity.
But why is that kind of wait time a problem in socialized medicine but not in pay-for-procedure systems? The answer to that is contained in the question itself.
Pay-for-procedure systems are self-funding and can therefore can self-regulate to meet the needs of capacity requirements just like any other industry. Government systems, on the other hand, are constrained not by the limits of capacity and ability of the customer to pay, but by capacity and the GOVERNMENT’s ability to pay.
When you’re working from a fixed budget, even if it’s a government one, you have to make certain decisions.
Socialized medicine uses the exact same centralized bureaucratic logistics that produced Soviet-era breadlines. This is a principle that comes into play everywhere it is tried — even in America. Applied to medicine, they produce the same disastrous results — just ask anyone using the VA during Obama’s administration. Even CNN admitted it:
What does a government like Canada do to stay within budget?
When you have a supposedly ‘free’ system, telling people not to use the system excessively is not an option. You have to be more creative in how to put brakes on the funding and ultimately, the use. For example, you could limit which procedures are covered [vision, dental and chiropractic medicine are pay-per-use in Canada, and (therefore) do not have wait times].
But there is another way that is directly responsible for this wait time crisis: restricting access to care. For that, we’ll be tapping into another recent headline from one of Canada’s national papers, the National Post.
While Canadians are increasingly warm to the idea of private options to alleviate a worsening crisis of health-care wait times, it won’t do much unless Canada can also break its onerous controls on health-care supply.
At the same time as politicians of all stripes condemn the country’s worsening doctor shortage, it is government policy to keep that shortage in place.
Canada maintains top-down limits on the number of students entering medical school each year. Provinces are also notoriously obstinate about approving foreign credentials in order to avoid overwhelming health-care budgets.
Until that system can be liberalized, any government contracts with for-profit providers will just be drawing from the same artificially small pool of clinics and physicians.
Canada stands alone among developed nations in maintaining an outright ban on private health insurance for anything covered by the Canada Health Act.
This is why Canadians can purchase insurance to cover emergency dental surgery, but if they get cancer they’re restricted either to getting in line – or paying cash in a U.S. hospital. — National Post
Why this matters in America
Feel free to bring this conversation up with your favorite rabid Democrat friend or coworker.
When they get defensive — and they will — ask them what their utopian plan has to say about this news from the Health Care leadership Council, late last month:
The federal health program that serves seniors and individuals with disabilities is losing doctors who’ll see its patients.
The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services says the number of doctors who’ll take Medicare patients is falling.
A combination of constant battles over reimbursement rates, red tape and payment below what services actually cost has simmered for a long time.
Medicare now faces the same tell-tale signs of trouble as Medicaid, the low-income health program. One-third of primary care doctors won’t take new patients on Medicaid.
While the number of Medicare decliners remains relatively small, the trend is growing. If it continues, that could make it more difficult for seniors to get timely treatment.
More doctors are reducing their dependence on Medicare. They’ve done this in several ways. At the same time, the Medicare population is growing because of the retirement of baby boomers now and over the next couple of decades.
The number of doctors not accepting Medicare has more than doubled since 2009. Some 9,539 doctors dropped out of Medicare practice in 2012. That’s risen dramatically from 3,700 in 2009. –HLC
Medicare and Medicaid are suffering the same indignities that Obama’s VA suffered.
How did Trump resolve that problem? He did so by letting VA recipients access… the public system.
What are the Dems proposing? They are proposing that we turn the entire system into Medicare/Medicaid. Look back up at the section form the Health Care leadership Council to see how that could go wrong in a hurry.
It didn’t work well for Canada. The UK is dealing with massive strikes.
What makes them think the old soviet Centralized control model will be any more successful in the United States of America?
Healthcare Leadership Council