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Re: “Single-payer system would take the profit out of illness,” by Deborah A. Baro, Tuesday:
It’s amazing how the liberal left socialists have fallen in love with the single-payer health care plan. Just like kids on Halloween night going to a house because they are handing out free Snickers bars, and when they get home, find out the Snickers are full of rat poison.
In her recent letter, Ms. Baro goes into insurance company profits, which I won’t address in this letter. She says insurance companies should not determine doctors, procedures, reimbursement rates, copays or deductibles. She says this is immoral, but she neglects to tell the readers that the single-payer system does just that.
She uses Canada as a shining star for the single-payer system when in fact it is just the opposite. All one has to do is go to the Fraser Institute website, which tracks health care wait times and costs in Canada, and you can find the rest of the story.
Referrals to a specialist went from 3.7 weeks in 1993 to 8.7 weeks last year and in some Canadian provinces, the time is 28 weeks. The wait time after seeing the specialist until the actual treatment is performed went in one year from 10 weeks to 11 weeks. So if you need heart surgery, the total time from referral to surgery can be 19 weeks. Simple procedures that we take for granted such as a CAT scan takes 4.3 weeks, 10.6 weeks for an MRI and 3.9 weeks for an ultrasound.
Baro says insurance companies determining doctors, procedures, etc., is immoral. What does she call the government setting target wait times of 84 days and setting priorities on who gets medical procedures and when based on age and need? But please don’ t forget all this grand and wonderful care is free — or is it?
The Fraser Institute’s best estimate is that a family of four pays about $13,000 in taxes for health care with the additional cost of time waiting. If you are in need of back surgery and cannot work, the wait period can exceed $5,860 in lost wages.
In addition, the Canadian family of at least two or more will pay total taxes of $52,675 a year. Does this sound free?
Last year, 63,000 Canadians came to the United States for medical treatment. Why?
The Fraser Institute concludes that “wait times for medically necessary treatment are not benign inconveniences. Wait times can, and do, have serious consequences such as increased pain, suffering and mental anguish. In certain instances, they can result in poorer medical outcomes, transforming potentially reversible illnesses or injuries into chronic conditions or even permanent disabilities.”
If Ms. Baro and her socialist friends are dissatisfied with our health care system, maybe they should give the Canadian system a try.
William E. Biddle