Friday, June 12, 2009

Debunking Canadian Health Care Myths

Link is here, but you know what they say. People who aren't basing their decisions on facts can't be dissuaded with facts.

However, I still thought this was a good article. This is the trope I always hear from people who care less about numbers and facts than they do about adhering with all proper fanaticism to their superstitious devotion to the unregulated market.

Myth: Canada's government decides who gets health care and when they get it.

While HMOs and other private medical insurers in the U.S. do indeed make such decisions, the only people in Canada to do so are physicians. In Canada, the government has absolutely no say in who gets care or how they get it. Medical decisions are left entirely up to doctors, as they should be.

There are no requirements for pre-authorization whatsoever. If your family doctor says you need an MRI, you get one. In the U.S., if an insurance administrator says you are not getting an MRI, you don't get one no matter what your doctor thinks - unless, of course, you have the money to cover the cost.

And you know what? Here's why private health insurance companies are scared of what it will mean to be competing with a government health care plan (because you can bet they're not opposing it for your benefit):

Myth: Canada's health care system is a cumbersome bureaucracy.

The U.S. has the most bureaucratic health care system in the world. More than 31 percent of every dollar spent on health care in the U.S. goes to paperwork, overhead, CEO salaries, profits, etc. The provincial single-payer system in Canada operates with just a 1 percent overhead. Think about it. It is not necessary to spend a huge amount of money to decide who gets care and who doesn't when everybody is covered.

The last thing private insurance companies want is for our health care system to look like Canada's. And do you know why? Because it'll put them out of business. Because they don't love "free market" competition as much as they persuade their prostrate worshipers to love it.

But that seems to be how it goes. That's where blind faith in the "invisible hand" of the "free market" gets you. It gets you working your ass off to help people screw you over, all the while congratulating them on managing to be so much more worthy of your money (or your rights, in many cases) than you are.

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