Monday, January 01, 2007

Single Payer Health Care

NYT reported What is the most pressing problem facing the economy?

Health care does not affect the economy; taxes vs tax cuts, and increased vs reduced regulation affects the economy. And the most pressing problem facing the country is dealing with the threat of Islamofascism. If the Islamofasists turn the world into an 8th century society, we are not going to have 21st century health care available.
A good case can be made for the developing health care crisis. Soaring costs, growing ranks of uninsured and a steady erosion of corporate health benefits add up to a giant drag on the nation’s future prosperity.
Not as much as Sharia Law.
While the outlook seems scary, it doesn’t have to be. There is a solution, proven effective for hundreds of millions of people: single-payer health insurance.
Yes, single-payer — that much-maligned idea that calls for everyone to pay into one insurer, typically the government or a public agency. The insurer then pays doctors, pharmacists and hospitals at preset rates. Patients who want unapproved procedures and doctors not willing to accept the standard payment remain free to deal with one another directly, outside the system.
Not in Canada. If you want to pay for a test or for surgery, you must come to the US; they will not treat you even if you are willing to pay. They would rather see you die.
Such a system makes it much easier to deal with the growing costs of medical care, like administrative expenses and prescription drugs. It could also reduce the mountains of paperwork plaguing the current system and provide insurance coverage for the 46 million Americans now doing without it. What’s more, as demonstrated in France, Britain, Canada, Australia and other countries with functioning single-payer systems, significant savings can come without hurting the overall health of the population.
I dont know about Europe or Australia, but many patients come into the US from Canada for healthcare they can't get in Canada. Canada may have good drug prices (we have people going over there to get their prescriptions filled), but you may have to wait months just to get a diagnostic Cat Scan or MRI done, and you may have to wait months, or even years, to get in line for surgery.
There’s only one catch. Most Americans just don’t believe it can be done.
They have seen too many Canadians coming here for health care they cannot get in Canada.
The health care crisis may turn out to be more of a problem of ideology than economics.

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