Micheal Moore made a movie about the American health care system, called Sicko, that pointed out all of the inadequacies and shortcomings in the current system. His solution: copy Canada's system. Reading this short article sure makes it seem like not such a good idea after all. Granted, this is only a snapshot from Quebec, but I wouldn't be surprised if there are similarities in the other territories of our Northern neighbor.
Canada's crazy health care system
#30460336 - 10 years ago
#30460337 - 10 years ago
I'm honestly torn on this issue. Also, I don't consider Michael Moore to be a credible person, honestly. He tends to portray incredibly skewed perspectives in his movies in a way that is biased towards his agenda.
In any case, universal health care does tend to work, but the countries it's shown to work in don't have near the population of the United States. Even if that turned out not to be a factor, there's still our INCREDIBLY ridiculous defense spending to contend with. Corners HAVE to be cut, regardless of what is address in health care.
On the other hand, I think our current system would work if there wasn't so much potential for corruption. Honestly, I don't know how that would be fixed, if it would require certain regulations or universal standards, or what.
I've heard horror stories from both camps. When private medicine you have the horror stories of people with pre-existing conditions not being covered due to some lame ass technicality. Then, on the side of free health care, you have the stories about people getting shitty care or being put on some wait list.
#30460338 - 10 years ago
Believe me, I was in no way endorsing Mr Moore's views. Just pointing out that a major motion picture was produced on the subject. And probably herded a few head of cattle towards his way of thinking. What I was implying is that Canada's system is by no means perfect. I believe that, for America, a blending of the two would have to happen to have any chance of improving how things currently are.
#30460339 - 10 years ago
Quebec is a really, REALLY skewed sample to discuss for oddly cultural reasons. Most French-speaking( Quebecois) self-identify as Catholic and never consider Anglo-Protestant medical services as "available", even though they tend to be of higher quality and decidedly not-overstretched. Not to mention that the Catholic portion has traditionally been the less well-off and thus less able to support development of medical infrastructure, unlike the until-the-1970s-much-wealthier Anglo Quebecois, who had been very clear on the benefit of strong healthcare and donated ridiculous amounts of their money to the construction and expansion of medical facilities.
#30460340 - 10 years ago
Like I said before, a lot of the problem with our system is the fact that you can get boned so easily by the insurance companies. However, most people are on employer-based health care, which means you don't really get a say in anything. Therefore, the privitization aspect loses all the benefits of being capitalistic because there's nothing to drive demand/innovation/customer service. If you don't like your provider, what are you gonna do? Pay for you own? That shit's expensive.
#30460341 - 10 years ago
Been reading and following up on this a lot.
We're fucked. I've been reading on German, Japan, and some other countries and have learned that their insurance companies aren't ALLOWED, by law, to profit. Their incentive is based on the amount of patients they cover. The government pays them, based on this and other factors which keep competition high. Conversely, in American, when you get cancer and run up a $250k bill, you might get dropped because you are cutting into their profits. Which, therein lies the problem with our system: too much for profit. Too much like a business. They are there simply to make money and when you cut into that, they will bone you hard.
Now, it's not perfect abroad. Not by any means. England's problem is that they often have atrocious waiting times. Tony Blair worked to lower those times and he did. Their government is still working to do so and it's getting better. I did, however, come across some instances where people were performing their own dental work because they couldn't get in to see a dentist.
In Germany, everyone has health care, but the rich can opt out if they choose. Wait times are typical of American health care and the insurance companies are not allowed to profit. It's good, it's solid and it works for the most part.
Japan's health care is interesting, I've found. Everyone is mandated to have coverage and they pay premiums (usually through employers). The strange thing with Japan is that the government sets the prices for EVERYTHING. They have a huge price index that's put out every 2 years and the government sets the price for every possible thing you can imagine. Of course this price isn't for the citizens, it's for the doctors and government. It's been working well, but it's beginning to falter because, put simply, it's TOO cheap. What happens is that, for instance, people can elect to have anything done. MRI? Got it. However, when MRIs become frequent, they may raise the price of MRIs in the next indexing. It's a balancing act to make everything still fall within the health care budget for the country.
Taiwan had a fantastic system. Since they only recently (in the past 15 years) became a moderinized country, they have ZERO administrative overhead. Everyone has a health care card that gets swiped when they visit the doctor. From there, any doctor can instantly see the patients entire medical history. They can visit the doctor anytime they want and as many times as they want. However, if someone is going too many times they will get a "visit" from the government and be talked to. Don't know what all that involves, but the fact is they do track things like that.
One thing that was mostly common is that the poor are covered, regardless. Even in the countries which still require premiums (Switzerland) the poor are covered regardless, if they can't afford it. A lot of Americans like to scoff at this, but we already do it. We have medicaid and medicare. It's virtually the same thing, we just lump it into a difference service so no one sees it the same. It is.
I'm tired of typing. Discuss.