A five-minute argument against single-payer health care

A five-minute argument against single-payer health care

While you’re considering who to vote for this November for president and Congress, keep in mind the current liberal movement toward “single-payer” healthcare, where “single payer” means the government, which is what Canada has. Want to understand why you probably don’t want a Canadian “free” health-care system? Apart from the confiscatory taxes, there’s the specter that when you’re diagnosed with a potential tumor in your brain, you may be told you have to wait four months for an MRI and another four months for a neurosurgeon’s consult.

That’s what happened to this Ontario man who decided instead to cross the border into the US and pay for his lifesaving treatment out of his own pocket and get it done in four weeks.

Also, keep in mind that the original “Hilarycare” proposal back in the Clinton administration would have made even going to another country and buying medical care with your own money illegal.

So while proponents of socialized health care tout it as a great social justice tool that brings medical care to those without, it’s really just a power grab by liberals and bureaucrats to make everyone suffer from the same terrible health care.

Or as I like to say, “Health care, from the same people who brought you the DMV.”


  • Yes…  I understand the logic, but still think something has to be done about healthcare costs.  A family plan in California can cost over a thousand dollars a month.  Between that and rent and daycare, it’s no wonder so many people are in debt.  Even when an employer pays a portion of an employee’s premium, that’s an expense to the employer that comes right out of the payroll budget, and consequently out of your salary, one way or another.

    Insurance companies get away with charging high premiums because they’ve been able to drive healthcare costs up with the way they bargain.  Individuals can’t do this, so they pay inflated prices for healthcare, making it cheaper for all of us to carry insurance, even at jacked-up prices.

    I wouldn’t object to a well-run national healthcare plan, as I think it has the potential to be cheaper and more efficient than the current insurance system.  From what I’ve seen so far, though, what we’ll probably wind up with is some sort of government contracts with insurance companies.  Government would basically just be the middleman between the taxpayer and HealthNet, with the same cost to me and you, and the same profit to the insurance contractor.  The only difference would be that we’d now be pairing government inefficiency with corporate greed, and there’d be no way for a taxpayer to opt out.

  • I don’t think the government can negotiate lower prices. It’s never happened in the past and it won’t happen in the near future.

    The problem is that we became used to this as an employer-paid benefit. There’s no reason for employers to pay health insurance and not, say, car insurance or rent, for that matter.

    When price and choice are removed from the consumer this is what happens. If this had been a free market, all the costs would be lower now.

    That knowledge doesn’t help with the situation we have now, of course.

    As for your suggested plan, we have that in Massachusetts now. Wouldn’t you know it, but individuals and small businesses are being bankrupted by government-mandated requirements to carry insurance and there are already massive cost overruns. And we’ve only been at this for a year!

    That’s not the way to go.

  • I don’t think that national health care is the way to go either, esp if a Dem ends up as PODUS.

    As I understand it, the health plan when done through employers is cheaper than a self plan because it’s done within a group. Risks are lowered when lots of people pay in, but not everyone uses all that is paid into the system. That would not transfer over to car payments or rent/mortgage payments, I would think.

    However, I do believe that it is the Insurance companies that are our problem. Doctors have to carry such high rates to cover themselves for liabilities as well, yet another cost given to the consumer.

    I don’t know what the answer is, but what we have isn’t working much better than the DMV. Esp when we DO have so many that do not have health insurance and can’t afford it. I think, in Christian charity, we have to think about those who do not get it with their jobs. It’s a great perk that I’m not crazy about giving up, but if it would make the system more fair and keep nannyGovt from regulating it, it just may be the way to go-individuals picking up their own insurance.

    How we get there-no idea.

  • 1.  We already *have* socialized medicine in this country.  It’s called Medicaid and Medicare. In most states, there are several avenues to getting Medicaid, which covers most of those who hae legitimate reasons to be uninsured or to need “better” health care, but at least they give the patient *some* control.

    2.  Every person I’ve ever spoken to who either comes from, or has lived in, a country with “universal health care” admits that there are waiting lists for specialists, surgeries, etc.

    I would be dead if I’d lived in Canada or the UK.

    3.  I was once chatting online with a friend from Canada, who’s a lawyer. He said, “I’m a conservative on all issues except health care.”  When I was doing my taxes, I mentioned to him what we were “getting back”, and he was like, “What’s a tax deduction?”

    So I tallied all of our tax and health care related costs.  We paid like 0 taxes plus got a big check due to child tax credits.  So I added our health care premiums and total health care costs, then subtracted the extra money in our tax return from the chcild tax credits.

    Then we converted my family’s income into Canadian dollars.  He determined what my taxes would be in Canada (where they have local, provincial and federal income tax) to have “free” healthcare.  Then we converted that amount back to US dollars.  This was not including the approximatley 20% sales tax they have in Canada.

    It turned out that we paid far less here than we would there.  And that with our secnod cchild having been born during that tax year, and with all of my medical bills.

    Or we could pay far more money in Canadian taxes, for a system where msot of the tax money goes to “health care,” and where I’d have to go on a waiting list to see the cardiologist, where, here, I can basically see the cardiologist whenever I want to.

  • Anecdotal evidence is useless in science and not very helpful in political discourse.  Or, “hard cases make bad law.”  The fact is that Canada has vastly increased Federal funding flowing through to the provinces ever since the later Chretien years, and continuing through the Martin government and into the present Conservative government of Stephen Harper.  A recent study in Macleans, Canada’s leading newsmagazine, shows waiting times have greatly shrunk and continue to shrink.
        The great beauty of the Canadian system is that no one need be made destitute by medical expenses, nor need anyone keep a dead-end job because it is their only access to health care—and the medical care can’t be too shabby as Canada’s life expectancy, the gold standard of measuring medical quality, is about two years longer than in the US. 
        Also, JC’s post contains serious errors:  1} there are only provincial and Federal income taxes in Canada, no local income taxes; 2} in no province is the sales tax near 20%.  The lowest rate is 0% in Alberta, up to 10% in Prince Edward Island, plus a 5% Federal Goods and Services Tax, effectively a national sales tax.  And remember this:  Canada has balanced its Federal budget for the past eleven years, something only Bill Clinton has done of the last six Presidents south of the 49th.  Sounds like a pretty great country to me!

  • Sounds like a pretty great country to me!

    Yes, if you like a nanny government that imposes confiscatory taxes that take more than 60 percent of your income in taxes and fees. How else have they “vastly increased ” federal funding.

    The question iswhether you want to make your own choices or rely on government to provide everything for you.

    This is more than anecdotal evidence. This video illustrates one story, but there is much evidence to back this up at the site where the video originated and elsewhere on the Net.

  • OkieCatholic,

    Just to my defense, I am merely relaying the statistics that my friend, who lives in Canada, cited to me.

  • Lived in several European countries and saw medicine there—no thank you.

    Canadian colleagues (who have lived on both sides of the border) also very frustrated with their health care system and prefer the US system even with its flaws.

    My brother works for a German firm in Communist China and has access to the best of their health care, still not as good as what you find in an average US city.  And we are talking basic medical and surgical care.

    US costs would drop with tort reform, and less government paperwork.  Check with your local health care provider, hospital, etc., and find out just how much goes for malpractice, and the unnecessary portion of government mandated paperwork.  I have, and it is shocking, especially for the specialists.

    Finally, shouldn’t US health care be somewhat expensive?  As a family man, I truly wish it were not, BUT, the high standard of medical care was responsible for our 2 1/2 pound preemie and my wife surviving a deadly medical emergency.  I was able to walk, even resume fencing, after severe damage to a disc.  Having an MRI one day later, seeing the surgeon shortly after that, and his scheduling surgery for the next day made this recovery possible.  Couldn’t have happened elsewhere in the world.  I think pretty much everyone can cite amazing medicines, surgeries, etc., that result from an expensive health care system.

    So we have less because of our insurance/health care costs—we don’t need cable, frequent vacations, etc.  I’d rather spend the money to have access to better health care.

    It is true though, that as Catholics, we do have a responsibility to others, so we must make sure that the poor have access to health care.  That is a subject that is even more complex.