Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Learning a lesson from Canadian health care

Federalized Health care is not a good idea, and, if we are smart, we will not only learn from history, but from the failures of others.

Right now there are no lines in the U.S. for people waiting for heart surgeries or any other essential surgery, but in Canada, which has nationalized health care, the lines are long. Some people either die waiting in line, or they come to the U.S. where surgeons have an incentive to work — profits.

“Free health care, and everyone loving it, makes me laugh,” wrote a friend of mine from Canada. “It takes months here to get a cancer diagnosis, and can take months more to get in for treatment. It takes years (And I mean YEARS — My mother waited five years to SEE a surgeon for an assessment for a knee replacement, then waited a whole year in between her first botched surgery and the one to fix it — and after a year the damage is permanent from the botched surgery) to see doctors, and people die waiting. I’m not kidding. And we can’t sue because of the Canadian medical system.

“Some day,” she continued, “I’d rather pay the thousands of dollars, if only to be able to SEE someone.”

Do we want this in America too.

Assuming our government makes socialized medicine law, you’ll have the government taking over prescription drug companies. As soon as the government starts to feel the pinch of paying for all these drugs, they will have to set prescription price controls. When this happens, prescription drug companies will see their profits drop.

Right now, what do you think is the incentive for companies to spend billions of dollars a year just gambling that they will discover a new drug? The answer: money. Money is the best incentive to discover and invent. Money — profits— is the best incentive. In a free market health care system, the hope of making HUGE profits is great if a new medicine is approved by the FDA.

However, once prices are controlled, and profits go down, that incentive will be gone. The only people who will suffer by this are ALL Americans. Whatever drugs are on the market today, the same drugs will be on the market ten years from now. Hope for an improved quality of life for people with diseases will be dimmed.

Because wages will be set, students will have no incentive to go into medicine. And those in medicine will have no incentive to specialize in high risk specialties like brain surgery, neurology, cardiac surgery and neonatal surgery. Likewise, research in these areas will be compromised due to lack of government finances to pay for it.

In socialized medicine, there will be no incentive for taking on this extra stress of operating on someone‘s brain or heart because the pay will be just ordinary. And, such doctors will be far and few, just like in Canada.

If you don’t believe me, my friend from Canada will confirm it: “Proof the health care system in Canada sucks, people are waiting in long lines to get to specialized doctors. See, just like I wrote earlier, people who would have been doctors are now going into other fields where the money is better. The U.S. health care system may need to be improved, but socialized medicine isn’t the answer.”

Hospitals will be jammed packed, and the care will be compromised.

What we need to do is determine the real reason why health care costs are so high. To find the answer, all we need to do is refer to our economics 101 book:

“When demand for widgets goes up, and supply stays the same, the price of widgets will go up.”

In other words: when the government gives away free medicine to Medicaid and Medicare patients, they will not think twice about going to the doctor for that mole on the penis, or cold, or simple rash on his skin. He will go to the hospital, take up a bed, and never even see a bill.

There are only so many nurses, so many stitches, so many band aids, so many beds , so many knives to operate with. And, when the demand for these object increases because it’s free, the price of medicine has to go up for those who do pay. This is what happens when government interferes with the free market.

If, on the other hand, the government would make each of these people pay at least $5 for a visit to the emergency room, perhaps they’d think a minute before wobbling into the hospital. Demand would go down, and the cost of medicine would go down too.

Most Americans know this, and most politicians do too. But politicians also know that when they create new feel good health care programs, like the prescription drug program, they get more votes from seniors. So, even though they know the hazards of doing this, they do it anyway because they know more seniors vote than anyone else.

The way it stands right now, Hospital cannot turn anyone down, regardless of whether or not they have insurance. Thus, even if you cannot afford it, you will never be turned down. You could take the bill, toss it into the trash, and that same hospital, by law, has to care for you the next time you go there — even if it’s for a mole on your penis that’s been there all your life.

So, if you don’t think we have the best health care system in the world right now, just wait until Uncle Sam controls all the rest of it.


Nikki said...

Hey great post I thought I would check to see what was happening over here and I didn't expect to see anything cuz I knew you were on vacation......this was very informative to me. Of course I am always against the Hillary and Obama healthcare bullcrap and for sure it was because I dislike them....haha and of course John Edwards is a nice little ambulance chaser driving up mal-practice insurance prices for doctors with his frivolous lawsuits. I think this is an important post and it helped me put some umph into my disagreement with universal healthcare. I may just read it again!!! :)Nikki

Nikki said...

hey if you don't mind I would like to have this post be my next featured article....I would like to post it Sunday or Monday.....very informative...thanks Nikki

Freadom said...

Go for it.

Mike said...

Freadom, to balance the points made against Canada's health care system, check out this site, from someone else who lives in Canada.

Freadom said...

Thanks Mike. We need need to be as well informed as possible.

icanseeclearlynow said...

i found this post informative and well written. we could ALL use a little refresher on economics 101. god knows most of us weren't paying attention when it was being taught.



ba and the boys said...

hi-i am visiting thry nikki's blog.
i am so over this 'national health care system'. i have worked in the billing part of health care (in the er at the childrens hospital here in salt lake city utah) and the WORSE payers are the medicare/medicaid/mail handlers (what most military have)/VA. all government ones. if we go to a system where the government is in charge, i guarentee no one would want to be a dr because the gov ins agenceys pay the worse, pay the slowest and will try to get out of paying the stuff that they are suppose to pay for.
am i in love with my insurance? no. i just shelled out $537 for my part of a CT scan. but i got in with in hours of my dr saying that i needed one asap. i could have been in sooner but you have to have an empty stomach. i cant imagine waiting for a ct scan thinking that you have a blood clot and could drop over any minute.
and i know that this might upset people but think of the drs. yea, some have huge houses and cars and wives with boob jobs, but the one my family goes to lives in my neighborhood, his kids go to my kids school and they live with in their means because with the 'M.D.' behind your names comes a mountain of college bills. i am certain that they are still paying on those. (he is a young dr...mid to late 30s) and malpractice ins isnt cheap either.
am i happy that there are plans out there for those single moms who arent getting child care payments? HECK YEA! and the vets? FOR SURE! but to have every person automatically get ins from the gov because they live here?
i wish i could run for office, but im too smart for that.
thanks for the post!
beth anne