I found it quite amusing watching Michael Moore in Sicko doing his thing as he spoke to Canadians about their universal healthcare. Everyone loves it, like a vacation to Florida. Unfortunately, the issue with Moore is that he only presents one Very Biassed side of the argument and while that makes complete sense, it’s as mythical as the unicorn. The following reasons explain why the Canadian system would not work in the US.
1) We have over 311 million people, Canada has just over 34 million, roughly 1/10th of the population.
2) We have a much larger group of illegals than does Canada. By all estimates, Canada is home to as many as 200 thousand illegal immigrants, the US between 15-20 million. Of course the exact number is unknown. How are we paying for that? The argument that everyone pays something is a complete fabrication.
3) Canadians do not have better healthcare than we do. If a Canadian needs a non-emergency MRI for example, he or she can wait months. Some of their best doctors come to our side of the border because medicine doesn’t pay nearly the same as it does in the US. Doctors salaries are regulated by the government of Canada. I was just there last week and the discussion going on was how much of a raise doctors should receive. The discussion revolved around the belief that doctors are more than fairly compensated. That’s not what I want my government to be involved in. Quite frankly, that is just “Un-American”.
4) Canadians pay incredibly high taxes. In Ontario for instance Canadians can pay as much as 50% of their salaries to taxes essentially to fund healthcare as well as all of the other services. On top of that, they pay HST of 13%. In Nova Scotia it’s 15%. Canadians are being taxed to death. That’s just a fact. It can not be disputed.
5) Finally, Canada, even with their healthier economy is staring at a major financial crisis. Their healthcare system is bleeding them to death, not to mention pensions and all of the other handouts given in a system of entitlements. Canada cannot continue doing business as usual and remain financially solvent. That is also a fact. The problem is that you can’t tax people to the point that they can’t afford housing just to give them health insurance. The whole thing is backwards.
Yes I agree that our system needs to be fixed. But just as we have always led the world in other areas, we need to lead again. We need to provide healthcare to all US citizens but we need to do it through our businesses, not through government. The government can regulate the industry just as it does now in so many other areas, but the only way to make healthcare viable is through profit. Remember, governments don’t earn money. They take their money through taxes. That is the completely wrong approach.
I do recognize that insurance companies have no conscience. That is why the industry needs regulation. It won’t regulate itself. The insurance companies love to take our money, but they hate paying it out when they have to. So we need to exercise some control while allowing the free market to do its thing. It is truly the only way to fix this ailing industry.