Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Cuba, the Next Health Care Paradise?

Today I listened to Canada's version of "All Things Considered" highlighting the inaugural speech given by Dr. Brian Day, the new chief of the Canadian Medical Association. In his speech, he said that the National Health Care Act that was "created when the Berlin Wall was being built" is outdated and needs to be revamped. Day backed his calls for change with studies showing Canada to be 30th in health care quality—the bottom of developed countries—and at the top in terms of costs. He said that the government wait list system causing people to wait months for tests and simple procedures was unacceptable to Canadians and the doctor shortage caused by the government system had to change. He also pointed out that 70% of the population had access to private care leaving the 30% without it forming a lower class of citizens. His calls for greater privatization were overwhelmingly supported by the association.

The fact that the Canadian system was a bad one has been well-known for decades by anyone living close to our northern neighbors. People waiting over a year for CAT scans and other common procedures seemed to end up in the USA when they decided it was either go to a private system or die.

So now where will Clinton, Obama, and Edwards turn when pushing their various forms of HillaryCare? Now that Canada admits its system is broken, will Cuba become the next health care paradise for Democrats?


Sirocco said...

I don't believe a fully socialized approach is necessarily any better than a full privatized one.

What I would like to see is some model where a certain minimum level of health care is guaranteed for everyone (regular checkups, access to prescriptions, etc.), with those who want more and are willing to pay for it having the ability to do so.

AZAce said...

Checkups and routine doctor visits are not the problem, are they? Isn't the problem more with catastrophic illnesses that will clean out patient's savings accounts? I can pay for everything, even up to my $4000 deductible, if I have to. But $100k plus is another story. Prescriptions and lab tests, likewise, can occasionally be savings account drains.

Sirocco said...

Well, people who are uninsured entirely have trouble even paying for routine health care.

It's well documented the costs involved with preventative medicine are far, far cheaper than the costs of dealing with a problem that has occurred, but the uninsured don't receive even very basic care.

Anonymous said...

The problem here is that market fixes do not work in our non-market economy. What Republicans have sought to do is to use tax breaks and savings accounts for small deductible medical expenses when so few can afford to put away the money. I was not always upper middle class and it is only now that I can even consider putting away $1000 bucks to be tax sheltered for medical expense. What would someone half my income do?

Also, I think that insurance is a major problem. None of what Republicans have offered is a true market fix. The insurance companies have great market advantage by carving out government programs and regulations that benefit them to the exclusion of start ups that would provide competition. Finally, the fact that they are much safer from being sued than ever means that they really have no checks. No real competition for the big ones, govt. policies that benefit them, and ultimately no real regulatory checks or legal checks to keep them from screwing over a consumer that pays their premiums.

Sounds like we really have a hybridized system between market and government that just doesn't work.

Anonymous said...

France delivers the best health care of any country. They are number one. They are proud of their system, and not even Sarkozy wants to change it.

In all the other industrialized countries, conservatives not only support health care for everyone, but consider it a benchmark of the health of the nation itself.

General Franco and his fascists provided health care and social security to everyone. That makes them more compassionate than the people posting here. They consolidated the regime with pension and medical care.

What are we? A homeland of fear, or a nation that cares for its sick?