O Canada: The Epitaph for Single Payer Health Care

November 19, 2010 05:54

“[H]ealth care system is coming apart at the seams….On the ground, there is too often a glaring lack of execution: long waits, bed shortages, unequal access to medication. Those failures are compounded by the fact that the ever-rising medicare bill is squeezing out education and other social priorities.”

By STANLEY GOLDFARB at The Weekly Standard


No, that’s not from an item in the New York Times; rather, that’s from a piece in the Toronto Globe and Mail on Nov 7, 2010 about Canada’s health care system. Its problems provide a glimpse of what a fee-for-service medical care produces in a single payer system

As the Canadian system shows, central control leads to, for example, a one-year wait to have a colonoscopy in Quebec. It might make sense from an economist’s perspective, but the populace is not that happy about it and demanding better government care.

So think again about a single payer plan. It is struggling in a nation with about 1/10 the U.S. population. Plan B is needed. Ideological arguments about how we need to eliminate insurance companies and do away with a competition-based system simply do not square with the results of the Canadian experience.


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