What's Wrong with Healthcare?

Thinking inside and outside of the healthcare box. After 41 years of family practice, what's happened to Canada's healthcare system?

Saturday, March 20, 2010


I must say, I am amazed. It looks like the U.S.of A. is heading down the road to socialized medicine. Perhaps I shouldn't be amazed since Obama was elected in a frenzie of worship reminiscent of Trudeau's ascent to power. All the idications were that Obama was extremely "left leaning" and quite frankly, I always felt the U.S.A. would be the last bastion of capitalism; but Obama care and other Obama policies would indicate he is taking the country in a totally different direction.
The part that most amazes me is the talking point by the Democrats that Obama care will save the country money. Perhaps it is true that the average American knows squat about Canada, but surely they would be interested enough in the finacial impact of government run healthcare to make some enquiries of their neighbours to the north. Healthcare in Canada has been taking an ever larger slice of our provincial government's budget and there is no reason to believe it will be any diferent in the U.S.A.; and once an entitlement is given it is almost impossible to take it away, as our Canadian governments well know. Most informed politicians in Canada know that our present system is unsustainable, the just hope they are not at the helm when we up here hit the iceberg of baby boomers.
The bottom line is that governments in a democratic society have many responsibilities that we, the taxpayer, expect them to carry out. We, the people, provide them with the financial ability to do this through our taxation systems. Governments do not, as a rule, produce a product that will generate revenue on the open market.
When governments "take over" or "add-on" to their list of social responsibilities the entity becomes a part of many competing priorities. In Canada we are faced daily with what is termed a "scarsity" of healthcare resources. This, however, is not an absolute, but rather in this context (being a government monopoly) is a societal "choice" and must compete with other societal demands such as education, justice, defence, welfare, infrastructure, and so on. So if a government takes on a "new responsibility" what other area of responsibility will be financially usurped? the military perhaps, research? The most common way is to levy increases in taxation; albeit ways that are not evident to the voting public.
I certainly do not know what is in this Obamacare bill (but don't feel bad since most of the U.S. Senators and Congress persons don't either), but from what I have heard, it will be a significant step down the road to socialized medicine. As a Canadian I have mixed feelings; pleasure at the idea of more affordable holidays in the winter with our strong Canadian dollar, and trepidation at the thought of our good and stong neighbour to the south heading into finacial demise and healthcare mediocrity.