Friday, August 19, 2005

Canadian Bacon?? No, Thanks...

I'll stick to American Beef!!

You know, for a brand new site, I already have some of the smartest readers of any blog! Here is a letter that SAJ wrote to her local paper as a reply to some (liberal) person who wanted "free health care like they have in Canada." I'm sure everyone has heard that song and dance before. Anyway, this is a very well written argument against the insane myth of "free health care."

[[ [[ Editor:

In response to a recent letter to the editor, I want to make some points about the Canadian healthcare system which people in this country think is so great, and many Americans think we should adopt.

While Americans may be flocking across the border of Canada to buy cheaper prescriptions, Canadians are flocking to the U.S. and even as far away as India to have MRI's, CT scans and major surgery. The reason: basic economics tells us that if a commodity is offered at zero price, demand will increase, supply will drop, and a shortage will develop. Many people believe that this is the reason Canada's healthcare system is in crisis. Canada has a shortage of doctors, nurses, hospitals, and basic modern healthcare technology, like MRIs. As a result of these shortages, in Calgary, for example, there are about 25,000 Calgarians waiting for surgery or scans at the city's four major hospitals. Calgary Health Region estimates waiting times for surgery are growing at a rate of 12 to 18 percent every year.

Here are some examples from 2004 of waiting times in Calgary from Alberta Health's website:

- 62 weeks for a hip replacement

- 62 weeks for general surgery

- 30 weeks for MRI scans

- 54 weeks for knee replacement surgery

- 11 weeks for cardiac surgery

In Montreal's two pediatric hospitals, there are a combined 5,500 children waiting for corrective surgery.

The president of the British Columbia Medical Association estimates that Canada's healthcare system is 5 to 10 years from the breaking point. Even with the billions of dollars promised by the Prime Minister for healthcare, he estimates that it will only cut in half the currently 75,000 to 80,000 British Columbian's waiting for surgery.

Americans are drawn to the idea of a system like Canada's because it is free. But is it really? In Quebec for example, it costs $1,200 per year in taxes for each Quebec citizen to have access to the public health system. This means that the average family with two children pays close to $5,000 per year in public health insurance. And this number will continue to rise as the government struggles to pay for "free" healthcare. Canada's population of citizens 65 and older is growing, and with that age group requiring 4 times more healthcare, it's Canada's senior citizens who suffer the most from this shortage.

I'm sure that there are people who have benefited from socialized medicine, but I don't believe most American's would stand for a system like Canada's here. Imagine it being illegal to buy private health insurance like it is in Canada, so that if you didn't want to wait 18 months for a hip replacement, you could go to a private clinic. Imagine your child being forced to wait 2 1/2 years to have an MRI after already losing one kidney to cancer as one boy in Newfoundland has had to do.

There certainly are problems with our system here in the United States, but the answer does not lie in Canada. And as much as people like to constantly talk about millions of Americans without health insurance, no one is denied healthcare, not even illegal alliens who stream across our borders to have their babies free of charge in our hospitals, courtesy of American taxpayers.

It was also curious that the writer of the letter I referenced wrote that we sure could use Thomas Jefferson today. I wonder if she realizes that Jefferson was a staunch proponent of limited government and that it should not be "taking from the mouth of labor the bread it has earned." During his administration, he cut the size of government. I don't believe he would have approved of the government forcing its citizen to pay into a failing social security system. He also believed government should be "wise and frugal." Therefore, I also doubt he would have believed in the government spending billions of tax dollars on socialized medicine.




Blogger Barbara said...

I love America!! And, I was bothered, having to wait for a hip operation for 2 1/2 days, after an untimely fall 4 years ago!!

"Here are some examples from 2004 of waiting times in Calgary from Alberta Health's website:

- 62 weeks for a hip replacement"

I had a total hip replacement, and was out of the hospital 4 days later! IF I had to have waited 62 weeks, forget it - I would be in a wheelchair by now! But, as it happened, I only used a walker for 8 days! Of course, I thank God for all that. But, still, I don't want ANY part of Canada's health plan! I have friends in there, and they wait, and wait, and wait!

19/8/05 23:07  
Blogger husker_met said...

If you ever want to find out how HillaryCare will actually work, talk to a Canadian. No one there likes socialized medicine, except the corrupt pols that profit from it.

The way I always think of it is like this...

Imagine your local DMV and how efficient and results-oriented the people who work there are. Now imagine putting your life in those people's hands. And there you have socialized health care.

19/8/05 23:13  
Blogger kmg said...

That's not scary at all, Husker_met... geez...


19/8/05 23:30  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hey guys,

I didn't even have room to go into the people in the Canadian newspapers I read about who have become drug addicts (pain meds) because of the obscene wait times! I also didn't have room to mention that cardiologists in Canada are complaining to their government that their patients are dying before they can have surgery. I would have needed to write another letter to talk about how the Canadian government is trying so hard not to have a two-tiered healthcare system that that is exactly what they do have!! The rich people are leaving the country to have surgery and diagnostic procedures while the poor have to stay and endure the wait because they can't afford to leave.


20/8/05 06:18  
Anonymous Tsar Lazar said...

"I also didn't have room to mention that cardiologists in Canada are complaining to their government that their patients are dying before they can have surgery."

I think the GovSpeak euphemism for this is "proactive cost control." Cheaper to lose 'em than to treat 'em. That's cynical, I know, but that's probably on their minds on some level.

Pomoze Bog.
Tsar Lazar

20/8/05 13:45  
Anonymous Anonymous said...


From what I have read, they are struggling financially to keep their system afloat. Therefore, I believe also that that is true on some level as much as I hate to believe it.


20/8/05 14:03  
Blogger kmg said...

Of course it is true... how could it be otherwise?

The theory and practice of "acceptable losses" is not only indigenous to military planning, you know.

20/8/05 14:32  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

If its for the "greater good" then the liberals will do it- whatever it is. thats the kool aid they are drinking.

21/8/05 00:23  

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