Both Freadom and Djanvk have been recently blogging about the cost of healthcare in the United States. In Freadom’s post he questions whether the United States should move to socialized medicine. Well each system has its own drawbacks and benefits and I honestly don’t think either system is the perfect system.
I live in Canada, the land of socialized medicine. It does have some advantages, the major one; it is free. The downside to that is wait times are normally incredibly long even to go see your family practitioner. In the ER, the wait times are even longer. Another problem is finding a family practitioner. There are so many people who don’t have a family doctor and therefore are forced to use the emergency room or the walk in clinic (and further increase wait times). Then there is the whole wait time for specialized tests or specialists, but that is a whole other can of worms.
No system is truly free, I mean I don’t pay anything upfront, but the money has to be recovered somehow. In the States, the cost is recovered through private insurance or through patient dollars. The money in Canada is recovered through taxes, we do have higher taxes, but everyone gets the same quality of medicine. In the United States, unless you have the dollars or the insurance you will not be receiving the same quality of care as Mr. Jones down the street.
Another thing about socialized medicine is the ability to choose. You are at the mercy of your doctor. If you doctor does not feel like you should have an MRI then you will not be able to get a MRI. Whereas, in the States and you want to have a MRI then you go ahead on get one. I guess this could be good or bad depending on how you look at it. I mean your Doctor did go to school for a least 8 years, I guess the more informed person should be making decisions. It can also be considered because no one is perfect and what if there was a misdiagnoses.
The other positive thing about living in Canada is the opportunity to take advantage of the State’s health care program. I mean if someone doesn’t want to wait and has the financial means available they are free to go to the States to have to their surgery or treatment done.
In the end though, even if we do spend billions of dollars on health care whether through our own pockets or through our governments, it may not matter. The mortality rates and morbidity rates have not really changed drastically since the innovation of public sewer systems. We are simply prolonging the human life span and the longer we expand it, the greater medical problems and the greater the costs.