Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Sick of the Health Care Debate

By Klaus Rohrich  
For all those people wanting the United States government to provide them with “public option” healthcare, be careful what you wish for; you just might get it.  America isn’t the first nation that’s been seduced by the siren call of publicly funded healthcare.  In fact, the U.S. is one of the few civilized nations left on earth that doesn’t have a public healthcare system—for good reason.

All the objections raised by foes of a public, government-run healthcare program are more than valid in that their predictions have come to fruition in nations where publicly funded healthcare is the norm.  The talk about rationing?  It exists in most nations with a public healthcare system, leaving those covered at the mercy of bureaucrats.  The biggest and simplest difference between the current system within the U.S. and those countries where healthcare is a government responsibility is that under the current American system the patient is a customer, while under publicly funded healthcare the patient is an expense.

Going on the experience of the Canadian healthcare system, with which I am intimately familiar, I can only say that all publicly funded healthcare systems eventually degenerate into bureaucratic quagmires in which the patient and the doctor take a back seat to the bureaucrat.  In the 25 years since the enactment of the Canada Health Act, which essentially made healthcare in Canada “free”, the quality of care and the outcome of treatment have steadily declined.

In order to curtail costs governments have resorted to limiting enrollment in medical schools, creating a shortage of primary care physicians.  And like Obama and the Democrats, successive provincial governments have vilified doctors as being greedy in order to gain support from the tax drones paying for the system.

Prior to enactment of the Canada Health Act, Canada had a perfectly functioning healthcare system, most of which was covered by government insurance.  The crucial difference is that under the old system, participation was not mandatory and doctors as well as patients could choose to opt out of public healthcare.  Once “free” healthcare became the law of the land, doctors became civil servants and many chose to emigrate to the US, as they realized that government mandated “free” healthcare was neither free, nor particularly healthy. Read the rest here.