Canadian health care as good as American, 47% cheaper
Foes of health care reform are making up all kinds of scurrilous nonsense about Canada's universal health care system.
Canadians have slightly longer life expectancy than their American counterparts and are just as likely to survive heart attacks, breast and cervical cancer, and childhood leukemia:
Sept. 18 (Bloomberg) -- Opponents of overhauling U.S. health care argue that Canada shows what happens when government gets involved in medicine, saying the country is plagued by inferior treatment, rationing and months-long queues.
The allegations are wrong by almost every measure, according to research by the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development and other independent studies published during the past five years. While delays do occur for non-emergency procedures, data indicate that Canada’s system of universal health coverage provides care as good as in the U.S., at a cost 47 percent less for each person. [Bloomberg]
The U.S. had the highest rate of deaths preventable by health care in the entire OECD, 110 deaths per hundred thousand people. Canada had the sixth-lowest rate, 77 deaths per 100,000.
Canada covers everyone with results as good as, or better than, the U.S. health care system, all for 47% less per person.
I grew up in Canada and I can attest that the system offers excellent care--equaling or surpassing any medical care I've received in the states, and with none of the bureaucratic nightmares of the private insurance system.
Opponents of single payer hold up the specter of waiting lists in Canada. You might have to wait a few extra weeks to get an elective knee MRI, or for elective surgery. But you will get it, and you won't get a bill, or be told that it's not covered after all, or find out that your rates are going up because the test unearthed a preexisting condition.
Long waiting lists are hardly the norm, however. Let's not forget that the U.S. system makes a lot of people wait, too.
How many times have you put off treatment while you searched for a specialist that covered your kind of insurance, or delayed treatment because you didn't have insurance, or even had to wait for a procedure in the hospital while your caregivers wheedled and bargained with an insurance company bureaucrat? I know I've spent more time in insurance-induced limbo in the U.S. than I ever did waiting for health care in Canada.
In B.C., where I grew up, premiums are about fifty bucks a month. Your rates don't go up if you're older, or if you have a preexisting condition. At fifty bucks a month, a family of four would pay $2500 a year for insurance. In the U.S. it would cost $13,000 a year to provide less comprehensive, less secure coverage for the same family.
Opponents of health reform talk about freedom and lower taxes. Well, think of the financial freedom that comes with saving thousands of dollars a year on health insurance. In Canada people are free to pick the jobs they want instead of the jobs that have health insurance. Canadians can start their own businesses without having to worry about the spiraling cost of health insurance for their employees.
And no, Big Brother doesn't try to micromanage our lifestyles in order to save public money. Unlike here in the U.S. where companies are assigning insurance company "life coaches" to badger their employees to lose weight and quit smoking.