European Style Socialism
Hattip to Ed Morrissey at Hot Air. John Stossel is an anomaly: he is a libertarian in a profession, journalism, dominated by liberal democrats. Here is a column he wrote which summarizes the video, which spent quite a bit of time discussing the shortcomings of Canadian health care.
The experience of Canada under national health care is intriguing. A battle is raging over the net with opponents of ObamaCare pointing out its shortcomings and proponents rallying to the defense of the Canadian system. One often overlooked feature is the role of private medical clinics in Canada. Recently such clinics have been made legal based upon a Canadian Supreme Court decision and are becoming increasingly popular. A good article on the subject is here. Here is another article on the clinics.
I found this quote from the last article linked to curious.
“It’s obviously extra billing and queue jumping,” says David Eggen, executive director of Friends of Medicare. “If this goes on unregulated, it’ll spread like wildfire and we can see it, even in a recession, starting to expand here in Alberta.”
Now why would these clinics spread like wildfire if the Canadians are as enamored of their national health care system as the proponents of ObamaCare say they are? Here is a story from 2006 on the subject which appeared in that notorious right-wing rag The New York Times. As we debate changing our health care system to something approaching that of the Canadian system, we should also understand that there is a debate in Canada about broadening the availability of private pay health care.
There’s been much discussion of late about what other country’s health care apparatus the US should consider emulating, and in such discussions France is often mentioned. Now, all cheerful ribbing against the French aside, their health care system is not nearly as “socialized” or nearly as afflicted by treatment denials and waiting lists as those of the UK or Canada. It is also rather more like the system that the US already has, in that it is a hybrid public/private system, though in their case there is a guaranteed base level of coverage everyone has through the government (funded via a hefty payroll tax — not unlike Medicare) which most people supplement with private coverage. Most doctors are in private practice, and 25% do not even accept the public plan, just as some practices in the US do not accept Medicare. However, everyone does have that minimum level of coverage, and the French spend a lower percentage of their GDP on health care than the US (11% versus 16%) which when you take into account that France’s GDP per capita is a good deal smaller than that of the US (which is the polite, economist way of saying it’s a poorer country) works out to the US spending about twice as many dollars per person on health care, while still not having universal coverage.
So what are we waiting for? Why don’t we go enact the French system here right now? Why doesn’t Obama put on a jaunty beret, dangle a cigarette coolly from the corner of his mouth, hoist a glass of wine, and just say, “Oui, nous pouvons.”
In light of Zach’s stellar posting which generated over 240 comments ranging from anarchism to Oscar Romero and which inspired a posting by Michael Denton. These comments, although informative to a certain extent, may have detracted from the original intent of the posting. Henceforth in regards to said activities being done on Zach’s posting concerning Representative Chris Smith, I am starting a new tradition here at American Catholic, the open thread.
So feel free to comment to your hearts delight that isn’t related to any other postings on this website.
The comments policy is still in place so don’t forget to treat each other as brothers and sisters in Christ.