Wednesday, August 30, 2006

Universal health care

Sometimes I think about how many Americans work in dead-end jobs or in positions that totally stifle their ability to contribute to society because they need health care. I won't bore you with the details of universal health care; they're readily available with a quick Google search. One of the biggest arguments used in America against a move toward health care for all (which we are currently subsidizing anyway through social security disability, Medicare and various state-run medical access programs for the poor, most of them working) is that Canadians, who enjoy universal health care, come to the United States because the medical care in Canada is so poor.

Non-partisan research does not appear to support this conclusion. I think Canadians come to the U.S. because they're freezing their butts off and while they enjoy our warmer winters, they also use the U.S. system of medical care. In a 1996 Canadian study of 18,000 respondents, only 90 people had received treatment in the U.S. in the past year and only 20 came to the U.S. for that express purpose. (See www.amsa.org for more details.)

Much of the wait times in Canada are for elective procedures, according to some research. In America, if you have insurance, you have a shorter wait time. If you don't, you may not even get the procedure which certainly knocks you out of the box for any statistical record-keeping.

I'm not an expert on this subject, but as I struggle each month to pay my health coverage premium, I think about the future, a future where all Americans will have health care coverage, like they do in virtually ever industrialized nation in the world except the good old U.S.A. I also think of the possibility of hundreds of thousands of future entrepreneurs who, if they could obtain health coverage, would leave their jobs in a screaming minute to pursue their dreams. And wouldn't our country be better off for this?

1 comment:

Woof said...

Amen.