Essays On Socialized Medicine

Essays On Socialized Medicine-28
Americans can count on 60 years of life without disabilities; Canadians can count on 66 years. .) And yet the American people are paying a higher percentage of their income to the specialist doctors to live less long or healthily than Canadians! But let us go back and take another look at the American "capitalist" model of healthcare.

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Now like most people in North America I believe in capitalism; that is, in the private (or corporate) ownership of most property. this argument is an assumption, and perhaps an unwarranted assumption. Surely, the evidence of what is known must be more convincing than a mere analogy with other businesses, and we must rely on the evidence of what is known.

And I believe that capitalism -- so-called private or free enterprise -- should be running most businesses and services. There is clearly a case for capitalist health care. It goes like this: It is clear that private business runs most businesses and services better than government. It assumes that the health provider situation works exactly as other capitalist business situations do. So what is known about private delivery of health services in systems of healthcare?

(69% once had such insurance, but say it was too expensive.) This number is rising by one million per year. (They are still licenced by authorities in each state, of course, and to some extent controlled by bodies of doctors like state medical associations and the American Medical Association.) Among American doctors, medical specialists at least make much more money in the United States than they would in Canada. But note that American medicine's having so many expensive specialists has nevertheless not improved the average health of the American masses (if I may use a convenient Marxist term).

Now it might be argued that the American system is nevertheless freer and more productive than the Canadian system, and, indeed, in some narrow respects it is. The broad American middle-class just doesn't live as long as Canadians. (Incidentally, a recent study indicated that American homeless people don't live as long as Canadian homeless people. I presume that the reason is that most Canadian homeless have access to medicare.

(They usually go swiftly broke and disappear.) But collectively, especially in small business, free enterprise does a wonderful job. Because between small businesses of every kind there is rampant, almost rabid dog-eat-dog competition. Goods and services are continually brought to consumers at lower and lower cost, with greater selection and convenience, and continually greater productivity. We know also that it is generally true that private enterprise (capitalism, if you like) is very good at ingeniously reducing costs and making goods and services broadly available -- much, much better than government is. Well, it is obviously clear that there is and should always be a role in the healthcare system for capitalists.

Through supermarkets, after all, capitalist organizations provide healthy food, soap, vitamins and health supplements.Thus the cost of benefits to employees is significantly less to private companies in Canada than it is to private companies in the United States.(But taxes to pay for medicare -- especially income taxes -- are therefore higher in Canada than in the United States.Canadian medicare has caused a more active, healthier work force.This force is thus available to potential investors and employers, who, because of medicare, can build businesses in Canada without having to complexly negotiate with unions and insurance companies to insure their employees for most surgical or medical expenses.So, could this be an indicator that the Canadian "socialized medicine" scheme of health care might be better than the American capitalist one?Or, if the standard of success of a medical care system is fiscal economy, the book pointed out that Canadians spend a lower share of their GDP (Gross Domestic Product) -- 10%, as compared to 14% -- on health care than Americans.Health care costs in the United States have greatly increased in recent years. In Canada, on the other hand, as in most of the most advanced countries, there is a single-payer health care scheme run by an agreement between the federal and provincial governments.Therefore a number of cost-containment measures have been taken, including the gathering together of doctors and other health care providers and hospitals in HMOs, Health Maintenance Organizations. Doctors, hospitals and other health care providers submit their bills to the local provincial government's health department.These products help prevent illness and soaring medical costs.Through private architects and construction companies, private enterprise builds hospitals and other facilities.


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