Heartlessness of Socialized Medicine in Canada

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December 26, 2006 | 7,784 views

In A Short Course in Brain Surgery, filmmaker Stuart Browning shows the callousness of "single-payer," government-run health care systems as practiced in Ontario, Canada. His film highlights the plight of Lindsay McCreith, an Ontario man with a cancerous brain tumor who went to Buffalo, NY to receive the timely medical care that is rationed in his home country. 

Canadians worry that if the United States adopts a "single-payer" system they'll have nowhere to turn when their care is denied.

In the United States, there is clearly no question that there is an ever-increasing insurance crisis for medical coverage. Please don't let the media persuade you otherwise -- this problem is only going to get worse.

But socialized medicine is not the answer to these health-care problems.

Until there is a radical change in the paradigm, health care costs will continue to escalate, whether the bill is paid at the doctor's office or in the form of taxes. As long as the demand for drugs, along with drug prices, continues to rise, the pharmaceutical companies will get paid and you will be left paying for the extra costs.

The solution is to change the entire system. Unless we change the system, drug companies will continue to extract hundreds of billions of dollars from our economy with virtually no benefit -- other than making themselves richer.

The solution is to redirect the spending to care that will build the health of the country and provide people with the energy to be more productive. we need to place our focus on health and wellness and not treating disease after the fact. The extra productivity would theoretically create more than enough additional wealth to pay for all the health care that we would need.

The major reason to pursue such a goal is that much misery and pain from disease could be avoided and people could start to experience what it means to live life full of joy and vitality.

Although cost savings are really one of the least signficant benefits, when the United States starts focusing on health and wellness, rather than disease treatment, the total cost of providing medical care would dramatically decline, because healthy people require fewer medical resources.

This article generated quite a discussion on the blog at Vital Votes. One reader, Pat, has a perspective from Fujinomiya, Japan:

"In Japan, we have the best of both systems. There are doctors off of the medical insurance system who charge a lot but take a real interest in their patients. The salaried doctors, meanwhile, are generally too busy to care, listen to your symptoms for less than a minute, then prescribe you something you probably do not need, but they're just the ticket for broken bones.

"With an epidemic of diabetes here, however, I wonder how long the government will be able to afford putting so many people on dialysis, which is what happens when patients follow the standard advice, and the medical industry pockets the profits. The key anywhere is to take charge of your own health. This site has many good tools for that."

Other responses to this article can be viewed at Vital Votes, and you can add your own thoughts or vote on comments by first registering at Vital Votes.