Kind of says it all, doesn’t it?
My friend’s 88 year old father lives in Canada. His doctor is a gynecologist. No other doctors had space on their roster for him.
- end of initial entry -
George M. writes:
I noticed at your website a comment about a gynecologist serving I guess as a general practitioner within the Canadian healthcare system. I take it this entry at VFR was supposed to ridicule the Canadian system.
I was born and lived in Canada for 35 years. About a decade ago I was transferred by my company to the U.S. I am now an American citizen (a dual citizen really), and have been able to observe both healthcare systems. For the record, I had to visit my doctor three times in 20 years for a variety of ailments in Canada and spent a week in a hospital for an operation. My wife saw doctors approximately 10 times during this same period and had two operations. At no time did either of us have to wait an inordinate amount of time. Our doctor’s visits were within a number of days (from the time we’d ask for an appointment) and we waited for less than a week to be admitted to hospitals when surgery was prescribed. Most of our friends have had similar experiences.
I’m sure that American conservatives will find “horror” stories just as I can find “horror” stories within the American healthcare system. Seek and you shall find. What you haven’t told your readers is that no one in Canada has asked that the system be thrown out. Why not?
Any system has inefficiencies and can be improved. If Americans are so enamoured with their healthcare system, why the outcry against it? You have not answered that! The conservative media cite certain polls. The liberal media cite other polls. One poll contradicts another. Who do I believe—FOX News or the Huffington Post? Actually I believe neither one. Most Americans I have worked with in the past ten years are deadly afraid of the American healthcare system whether they are covered or not by their employer. Even those that are covered by some type of insurance plan are totally insecure.
No Canadians that I know are at all insecure that they will be at the mercy of bankruptcy, illness or death the way Americans are. Americans live with these fears daily; Canadians do not.
If the conservative side is right about healthcare, how comes it that it lost the last election when healthcare was at the center of the political debate?
I have met Europeans working in the U.S. that are covered by their country’s healthcare plan. None of them want their health coverage reversed in their country and are amazed at the fear and insecurity here. Please explain to me why the vast majority of Europeans and Canadians prefer to keep their country’s healthcare systems and not trade it in for the American model? After decades of socialized healthcare, if it were that bad, you’d think there would be a revolt against it … But in fact where is the noise and dissatisfaction happening if not in America?
I thought at first that you were trying to open up a sincere and legitimate discussion on the issue. But then you wrote:
“Most Americans I have worked with in the past ten years are DEADLY AFRAID of the American healthcare system whether they are covered or not by their employer.”
I’m sorry, but that “deadly afraid” comment suggests such a slanted, biased, unreal view of the matter that it tends to discredit the rest of your points.
And here’s another ridiculously tendentious point by you:
“If the conservative side is right about healthcare, how comes it that it lost the last election when healthcare was at the center of the political debate?”
Are you serious? Are you really so lacking in basic thinking ability that you think that the fact that a candidate lost an election proves that the policy enunciated by the other candidate is the “right” policy? So, according to you, every party that has ever won an election was, ipso facto, the “right” party.
Dave V. writes:
With respect to George M.’s post, you wrote, “I’m sorry, but that “deadly afraid” comment suggests such a slanted, biased, unreal view of the matter that it tends to discredit the rest of your points.”
Actually George M. is quite right, although he might have exaggerated in using the descriptor “deadly.” Many Americans fear the current healthcare system—being one illness away from financial bankruptcy.
It appears that you are the one afraid to engage George M.”s assertions. I really would like to hear from you why neither Canada or any European countries have dismantled their healthcare systems if they are as inefficient as conservatives claim..
For every story that an American posts about the Canadian system, I could post about the American system.
D. from Seattle writes:
George M. says:
“Most Americans I have worked with in the past ten years are deadly afraid of the American healthcare system whether they are covered or not by their employer. Even those that are covered by some type of insurance plan are totally insecure.”
I wonder which doctor George’s acquaintances were visiting when they are so deadly afraid: Dr. Mengele or Dr. Frankenstein?
I have been covered by employer-provided health insurance for about decade and a half, and have also been on COBRA when I was in grad school between jobs, and I have never been afraid of the health care system, nor can I think of any reason why I should be afraid of it. In all those years I also don’t recall talking to anyone who had health coverage but was afraid of it. Granted, the sample size is only the people I know, but that’s still at least several hundred people without fear of the American health care system.
Just to make it clear where I stand on this, I think my employer-provided health plan is an overkill; it’s not really an insurance plan (even though it is called that), since there are practically no out of pocket expenses, it works more like a prepaid health plan. I would actually prefer to get paid higher salary and have the ability to buy a cheaper (say, 1/3 the cost) real health insurance plan, with a good size annual deductible (say, $2-5K) and coverage for hospitalization or similar events. I don’t mind paying $150 for a doctor office visit and buying generic drugs out of pocket if I know that, should I end up in a hospital and have a $100K bill as as result, the insurance covers that expense 100 percent.
When examining the Canadian socialized medical system we should look less at what people say and more at what they do. Many Canadian who can afford it buy American health insurance and have their annual checkups and health care at Mayo clinic and other American health facilities. This includes the head of the Canadian health care government system who a few years ago came to america for an operation. When asked why he opted out of treatment in Canada he answered by saying that the “wait was to long” in Canada. In Britain the socialist government run health program is a total failure. Englishmen who can afford it buy private insurance and go to private doctors and hospitals. This means they pay for health care twice, once in taxes for the government system and again for a private medical system.
Posted by Lawrence Auster at December 21, 2009 01:30 AM | Send
Many Russian immigrants who came to the United States needed to have their operations redone. A neighbor and friend of mine who was both a doctor and a socialist went to Russia with a group of doctors to inspect Soviet medicine. When he returned he told me that the Soviet medical practice was fifty years behind what we had in the United States. Nevertheless, this did not dissuade him from his belief in socialism.
At first a switch over to socialist medicine has little effect on the quality of care because doctors, nurses, technicians do not suddenly drop out of the profession. But what does happen is that the quality of future doctors and nurses declines. People who become doctors are highly intelligent, motivated and determined. These types of people do not gravitate toward a profession where government bureaucrats will tell them how to practice medicine, how many patients to see and regulate their income. When young people ask them if they should go to medical school they will advise them against it. Gradually as the current generation of professionals age and retire the next generation will be a poor substitute. I have spoken to Canadian doctors who have told me this. Recently I was hospitalized. One of the physicians who came to see me was a German. He was very proud of the fact that in Germany the government pays for medical education and the graduating student has no huge student loan to repay. Yet, he left Germany and came to America to practice medicine. Germany educated him and paid for him but lost him because after graduation there is more money to be made in America. Altruism only carries a society so far. Self interest is the stronger force.
To paraphrase President Lincoln, a society cannot be half free and half socialist. After Pelosi finishes with health care I predict she will go on to “Cap and Trade” as a way of further socializing America.