Canada, Dialing 9-1-1…

In an earlier post on nationalized healthcare I wrote that that the only way to control the cost of health care was for individuals to assume more financial responsibility for their own health-care.  Fact is that if we as consumers are not held responsible for what we what we consume we do not care how much a product costs or how wasteful we are with it.  It doesn’t matter if that product is Gasoline, junk food, or healthcare.  An excerpt of my earlier post is below.   

Medical costs are expensive, but the only way to achieve any type of happy medium in affordability and in high quality is to assume individual responsibility for our own health-care not letting the federal government assume that responsibility for us.  Creating a whole new bureaucracy to manage health-care costs will actually increase the costs to society and reduce the quality of the health care available.

Today’s Patriot Post has an article that pretty much reinforces my earlier comments.  

Canada’s current health-care system is the perfect example of why government should not be responsible for the health of its citizens. According to Paying More, Getting Less, a recent study published by Canada’s Fraser Institute, health-care costs will consume over half of Canada’s total revenues by 2020, and all revenues by 2050 “in six out of 10 provinces if current trends continue.”

“The way public health insurance is currently structured in Canada is not financially sustainable,” according to the study’s author, Brett Skinner, Fraser’s Director of Health, Pharmaceutical and Insurance Policy Research. “Provincial health spending has grown faster than revenue for a long time. We are nearing the limits of our capacity to pay for necessary medical care through public funds alone.”

In order to maintain its financial footing, the system has limited recipients’ choices of insured care. “This has produced unacceptably long waits for medical services; reduced access to health professionals and high tech equipment; fewer hospitals… withdrawal of public insurance coverage for previously insured medical goods and services; and the delay or outright refusal to provide public insurance coverage for new treatments and technologies available in other countries,” the study found.

Suggested changes to the system include requiring patients to make co-payments, allowing citizens the right to choose private-insurance providers and to permit free-market competitiveness among health-care providers. “As health-care spending swallows a larger and larger share of revenues every year,” Skinner wrote, “provincial governments will be forced to spend less on other public priorities or impose economically harmful tax increases and further limit access to necessary medical treatment.”

Posted to Stop the ACLU’S Friday The 13th Free For All 


  1. Doubtless.

    But tell it to all the Americans who can’t even visit the doctor when they’re desperately sick, much less afford badly needed and even life-sustaining medications, because they don’t have
    adequate health insurance.

    Believe me, I hear you. Government sponsored health care is a bummer. But then, so is no health care at all.

  2. Reid Morgan

    Just so we’re all really clear about this report on the health care system in Canada. The report cited is from the Fraser Institute, which happens to be one of the most conservative policy think tanks in Canada. It is frequently considered to hold opinions that are on the far fringe of public consensus. This is not to say that our health care system is perfect, in fact, I believe it needs some serious creative attention; however, privatizing, or creating “two-teer” healthcare ought to be an absolute last resort.

  3. Peter Bond

    I would like to remind American readers of the great benefits of healthcare systems such as Canada’s.

    Because healthcare is free (no co-payments, no deductibles, no insurance paperwork), people get regular check-ups and problems tend to be detected and treated at an earlier stage – reducing direct and indirect costs. The fear of the financial implications of health incidents is also eliminated.

    I returned to Quebec City, Canada last year after 15 years residence in the States. My hernia became worse and my doctor made an appointment with a surgeon who (even though I delayed the operation) performed this elective procedure within 2 months. In spite of my poor French, I was treated with great care, courtesy and professionalism throughout. Comparison with a similar procedure performed on my brother in the States suggests that, if anyhing, my experience was better on all counts and there were absolutely no direct costs (unless you count the car park fees!)

    Healthcare in Canada remains more efficient and cost-effective in the States and is universal. Of course, like everything else, it could be improved – but it works.

  4. The Madhatter

    I say, let the numbers speak for themselves…

    Health Spending as a % of GDP:

    Canada- 9.2
    US- 13.9

    Life Expectancy:

    Canada- 85.26
    US- 82.91

    Infant Mortality Rate:

    Canada- 4.75
    US- 6.5

    I think we’ve all heard the efforts to portray nationalized health care as inefficient, wasteful, and foolish. But, as usual, facts do not support these claims. The overall US healthcare system is closer to those of the poverty-stricken Eastern European nations than it is to other weathy, industrialized nations, virtually all of which adopted nationalized health care years ago.

  5. Bob;

    Affordable healthcare is avaiable to the vast majority of Americans, mostly through workplace health insurance, or other group health plans. Unfortunately many choose to not take advantage of those health plans until serious health conditions arise. Government does have a role to play, especially in cases of catastrophic illness or injury but expanding that role to cover every aspect of healthcare will only reduce the quality of the care received and increase the actual costs.

    Thank you for your comments


  6. Reid;

    Many Canadian’s actually come to the US for needed procedures and medical care because the waiting list in Canada is too long. Privatizing Canadian healthcare will allow more incentive for Canadian Doctors, Nurses, Researchers & Corporations to invest their time effort and money into a market in which they can get a decent return on their investment. Without that incentive Corporations will invest elsewhere and the doctors, nurses, etc.. will pursue a career in a field other than medicine.

    Thank you for your comment.


  7. gcblues costa rica

    kinda funny how people defend an obviously unsustainable system. they just wanna believe free is real and possible.

    free is rationing with no regard to ability to pay. unless you leave the country.
    pay for service, is you get what you pay for.

    i prefer to pay for me and not a bunch of deadbeats waiting for free cheese.

    there is no such thing as a right someone else is required to pay for.

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