NPR had a story on this today too.
I am SO FUCKING TIRED of hearing, as a talking point in the US healthcare dramarama, how unsatisfied Canadians are with our healthcare and how awful our system is and how we have to wait for years to get simple check up and blah blah blah blah fucking blah.
I am a Canadian and I love, appreciate and feel totally satisfied with my healthcare. I do not doubt our system is imperfect in some ways—but personally I have nothing about which to complain.
It is free, it is universally available and it is working. And if you’ve never experienced it, please do not presume to tell me your opinion of its quality.
Yes…there are problems. And, yes, patient satisfaction is not bad at all in Canada or the UK. Most of this likely stems from the fact that you simply cannot be financially ruined by medical bills. Being financially ruined by medical bills is very fundamentally different than receiving efficient, equitable, low-cost, high-quality medical care. Health insurance is only one component of healthcare. And the definition of health insurance in America is “poorly micro-managed, bureacratic, increasingly inaccessible healthcare purchased for you by an oligopoly in bulk at prices that are twice as much as they should be.”
However, one component of this person’s statement is dead wrong and makes me write off the entire statement. Healthcare in Canada is NOT FREE. You, and the other 33 million, pay your government taxes to function like a government and inefficiently run the business of healthcare delivery. Your government has solved the risk of financial ruin. They have not solved the issue of delivering efficient, equitable healthcare. I’ve worked in the government before. I know the difference between government run things and privately run things. The best solution to this is a mix of private and public resources that reins in capitalism. Because “capitalism is what people do when you leave them alone.”
Our problem is that our leaders, who are alarmingly in bed with the profiteers of the Sickness Industry, want to mandate that all citizens purchase a product that is criminally expensive and so poorly run as a service that we should all be up in arms in anger. Is this even constitutional? The government should mandate that I, as an individual, purchase healthcare insurance to protect the pool of covered lives from financial ruin. However, purchasing health insurance in America also requires that I purchase painfully inefficient and ineffective healthcare services. The insurance companies have equated the two in the past 30 years and duped our leaders into thinking that their processes of healthcare delivery will markedly improve. In reality, mandating “health insurance” is the single largest handout to an industry that, for the past 30 years, has shown they are absolutely inept, and criminally so, at doing anything to improve the health of our nation as a whole. Health in the US, for the most part, is now measured by the incidence of chronic disease (obesity, heart disease, diabetes, etc.), before I pay a goddamn penny to the insurance industry of my own hard-earned money, I want to see them reverse the trend of worsening health in America. Otherwise, we are simply being mandated to pay for something that’s doing the country very little good. The insurance companies will continue the same processes, especially now that they have federally-mandated guaranteed markedly increased revenues. It’s as simple as that.
Don’t forget, we may be mandated to pay twice as much money as any other country in the world to receive healthcare ranked 37th in the world. Therefore, I say, please don’t force me to purchase shit from oligopolies.