Canada Has Big Single Party Healthcare System Problems
Stanley Feld M.D., FACP, MACE
There are big problems in Canada that have been undisclosed by Democrats to the public in the United States.
There were two articles in American newspapers in 2011 that applaud the Canadian system.
Article 1. Debunking Canadian health care myths – The Denver Post .
Article 2. Everything you ever wanted to know about Canadian health care in one post. Washington Post.
Both articles are opinion articles and lack concrete evidence. The articles contain both misinformation and disinformation. The articles are in essence fake news designed to mislead the American public into believing that a single party payer system is the answer to America’s healthcare systems problem.
The articles are precisely why the American public should not and does not trust politicians and the traditional mass media.
The Fraser Institute is a well-respected Canadian think tank. Its research is considered accurate, with a libertarian slant.
Its 2011 report contradicts the statistics in both the Washington Post’s and the Denver Post’s articles about the Canadian government healthcare costs.
Article 1. “Ten percent of Canada’s GDP is spent on health care for 100 percent of the population. The U.S. spends 17 percent of its GDP but 15 percent of its population has no coverage whatsoever and millions of others have inadequate coverage. In essence, the U.S. system is considerably more expensive than Canada’s.”
Article 2. “In 2009, Canada spent 11.4 percent of its Gross Domestic Product on health care, which puts it on the slightly higher end of OECD countries.”
This is not true according to the Fraser report. Six of ten Canadian provinces are on track to spend half of their revenues on health care, according to the Frazer Institute. To be specific, in 2011, health care spending consumed 50% GDP in Canada’s two largest provinces, Ontario and Quebec.
“Total federal, provincial and territorial government health spending has grown by 8.1 percent annually, while the national GDP in Canada rose by only 6.7 percent during the same period.”
The provincial governments have raised taxes and rationed care, while increasing patient wait times.
“Provincial drug plans have also more often refused to pay for most of the drugs that are certified as “safe and effective” by Health Canada.”
“Unsustainable rates of growth in health care spending crowd out the resources available for other purposes including education, public safety, and economic growth-enhancing tax relief.”
One has only to think about the Obama administration’s initial propaganda and the stunning reality we are facing presently.
The VA is now asking for additional funding to clear up its disaster.
The problem is entitlements are too expensive for governments. Entitlements do not work because governments cannot legislate behavior by directives. Individuals must be responsible for their health and healthcare dollars.
The other problem is government entitlement programs generate a large bureaucracy. The bureaucracy stimulates the development of inefficiencies and corruption. The new bureaucracy practically guarantees the failure of the entitlement.
The government never gets to the core problems that must be repaired when they try to construct a healthcare system that is efficient, cost effective and will benefit consumers.
The primary stakeholders are consumers of healthcare. Physicians are a close second. Secondary stakeholders are hospital systems, healthcare insurance companies, drug companies, malpractice insurance companies, and the government.
In order to Repair America’s Healthcare System, the government must focus on the primary stakeholders’ (patients’) needs and ways to satisfy those needs. The key is to set up a system that provides the primary stakeholders (consumers of healthcare) with incentives to maintain their health and conserve their healthcare dollars. This applies to healthy consumers as well as patients with chronic diseases.
Patients with chronic diseases must become professors of their disease. They must understand the latest techniques and use the latest tools to prevent the progression of their disease.
The healthcare system must help consumers be prosumers (productive consumers) of their own healthcare.
The Canadian system is not the answer to our healthcare system’s problems. The United States has a much larger population than Canada. The Canadian government cannot support its universal healthcare system.
How will we? Bernie Sander’s state of Vermont has abandoned its “Medicare for All” program.
The only way the portion of our population in favor of Medicare for All is going to believe it is unsustainable and destined for failure is going to experience its failure. It seems Bernie and his followers have little interest in learning from previous experience.
The opinions expressed in the blog “Repairing The Healthcare System” are, mine and mine alone.