Ameirca’s health care system is messed up. Agreed. It is a bizarre amalgam of public and private, with government spending and tax policy creating counterproductive incentives which have created an employer-based system of health insurance that has tended towards cost-plus medicine. But while U.S. medical treatment tends to be expensive as a result, it is available. Not so in the foreign systems so often lauded by health care ‘reformers” in America.
The website www.biggovhealth.org helps remind us that the wrong sort of “reform” in America could leave us all far worse off. It includes a list of case histories of people victimized by nationalized health care systems. Consider the case of Lindsay McCreith, for instance, who almost certainly would have died had the Canadian not jumped the queue, so to speak, by coming to America for diagnosis and treatment:
Lindsay McCreith, 66, was told he had a brain tumor but that he would have to wait four and a half months to obtain an MRI to rule out the possibility that it was cancerous. Unwilling to risk the progression of what might be cancer, Mr. McCreith obtained an MRI in Buffalo, which revealed the tumor was malignant. Even with this diagnosis in hand, the Ontario system still refused to provide timely treatment, so Mr. McCreith had surgery in Buffalo to remove the cancerous brain tumor in March, 2006. In Ontario, Mr. McCreith would have waited eight months for surgery, according to his family doctor. Eight months is enough time for a cancer to worsen, spread and progress to an irreversible stage. Had Mr. McCreith not paid $26,600 for immediate care, he might be dead today.
Whatever we do in the U.S., let’s not forget that if we ruin health care here, we won’t be able to run across the border to America as an alternative!