Lets begin by calling a spade a spade. The term universal healthcare sounds better, but what it means is Government Healthcare. Proponents don't like to use that term though, because it sounds bad. Why? Because the general perception in America is that something produced by the government is inferior to that which is produced privately. Take a walk through a few VA hopsitals. Compare the US Postal Service to FedEx. You'll find the perception is well earned.
But now that we have our terms straight lets examine the real question. Should America adopt Government Healthcare?
Its a bit of a trick question of course, because we largely already have through Medicare, Medicaid, and state programs like TnCare. But lets look at it... and why don't we use our neighbor to the north, as proponents of Government Healthcare love their system so much.
Let's start with a quote:
"I spent two years and more trying to locate a regular doctor to manage my mother's declining health. I did not find one in time... the public should be aware that if we do not return to a favorable doctor-to-patient ratio in this country soon... we will be sold short and people will die before it is really their time." - Norm Richards
Canada is running painfully low on doctors. Why? Several reasons, the largest of which are time and money. Young people simply aren't choosing to be doctors in Canada because the work hours, educational investment, and time commitment don't balance out with the pay. Doctors are starting to be seen as martyrs.
There was a canadian kid that went through residency with my wife. He loved Canada and desperately wanted to go back there, but wouldn't. He told me he loved being a doctor to much to go home.
Enough of that silliness. Lets have some hard numbers.
There are 2.1 doctors per 1000 people in Canada. There are 2.8 doctors per 1000 people in the US.
Nurses in the US make an average of 50% more than Nurses in Canada. Doctors earn 100% more on average. On top of that, canadians face a tax rate that is nearly double that of the US.
Canada has 4.6 MRI scanners per million people. The US has 19.5.
Canada has 10.3 CT scanners per million people. The US has 29.5. Think about that. In terms of availability, its easier to get an MRI in the US than it is to get a CT in Canada.
American women are 30% more likely to develope breast cancer than Canadian women, but the Canadian mortality rate for breast cancer is higher. Its not just breast cancer. In every case Americans are more likely to develope cancer, and in almost every case, the American mortality rate is lower, in spite of the fact that in Canada everyone has a health insurance card.
You see in America we have more doctors, more nurses, and more technology. In Canada they have more insurance cards. I don't know about you but I've never been treated or diagnosed by an insurance card.
What compounds the Canadian problem even worse is the very thing that so many love about it. Its cost to the patient. Its free. That's great right?
Well no. No not really its not great. Because when something is free, its abused. You scraped your knee? Better go to the ER and have it looked at. Why not? Its free. Why not take an ambulance ride there? Again... its free.
Think it doesn't happen? I've got news for you, it happens here in Tennessee with TnCare patients.
The Candian HealthCare System looks great on the surface, but a deeper look reveals a rotting corpse that's bankrupting the country and threatening to finally collapse completely. The plain truth is the government just can't afford to keep the system up and running. Canadian news services are widely declaring the system broken beyond repair.
Its true... in Canada everyone has equal access to healthcare; practically none.
This is what you want to emulate?