From one of the very few intellectually honest people at ABC:
Stossel on Socialized Medicine
ABC’s John Stossel has spent his career documenting government waste, fraud, and lies. He has exposed the political motivations behind many actions taken by government that are ostensibly done for our “health.”
Stossel has a winning column in RealClearPolitics today that demonstrates why our system – expensive and wasteful at times – nevertheless is far superior to Canada’s or Great Britain government run nightmare:
In America, people wait in emergency rooms, too, but it’s much worse in Canada. If you’re sick enough to be admitted, the average wait is 23 hours.
“We can’t send these patients to other hospitals. Dr. Eric Letovsky told us. “Every other emergency department in the country is just as packed as we are.”
More than a million and a half Canadians say they can’t find a family doctor. Some towns hold lotteries to determine who gets a doctor. In Norwood, Ontario, “20/20” videotaped a town clerk pulling the names of the lucky winners out of a lottery box. The losers must wait to see a doctor.
Shirley Healy, like many sick Canadians, came to America for surgery. Her doctor in British Columbia told her she had only a few weeks to live because a blocked artery kept her from digesting food. Yet Canadian officials called her surgery “elective.”
“The only thing elective about this surgery was I elected to live,” she said.
It’s true that America’s partly profit-driven, partly bureaucratic system is expensive, and sometimes wasteful, but the pursuit of profit reduces waste and costs and gives the world the improvements in medicine that ease pain and save lives.
Polls show Canadians like their government run system. But Stossel points out most people aren’t sick when responding to the pollsters questions. And the world is almost totally dependent on American medical innovations for things like drugs and new technology because a government run system discourages it.
But here’s the kicker; in Canada, there are patients who do indeed get immediate tests and no waiting to see the doctor:
[W]e did find one area of medicine that offers easy access to cutting-edge technology — CT scan, endoscopy, thoracoscopy, laparoscopy, etc. It was open 24/7.
Patients didn’t have to wait. But you have to bark or meow to get that kind of treatment. Animal care is the one area of medicine that hasn’t been taken over by the government. Dogs can get a CT scan in one day. For people, the waiting list is a month.
Better start practicing your Deputy Dawg imitation.