Reading Ezra Klein’s blog the other day, I noticed he had this to say about government-run health care:
What’s fun about the universal health care argument is how many facets it has. A good plan would be more efficient, more just, more economical, and more effective.
I was reminded of that when reading this article about Canada’s health care system. To keep its health care budgets under control, Canada has to ration care and as a result has long-wait times for surgery and cancelled surgeries. These can result in death, as in the case of Diane Gorsuch.
Another result is that private clinics are now popping up like wild flowers in Canada. As the article notes:
In British Columbia, the health care budget is ballooning and the provincial government is under fire for bed shortages and long waits in emergency rooms.
In recent months, the B.C. New Democratic Party has attacked the provincial Liberal government for not cracking down on doctors it says have allowed patients to pay for access to private clinics.
In some cases, patients have been able to use their access to the private clinics to get to the front of the line for diagnostic tests, saving months or even years of waiting.
So, what’s the government’s response? Why, close down private clinics, of course:
A showdown over the future of medicare is expected to unfold in Vancouver today as the B.C. government threatens to shut down a private clinic that may start charging patients for services that should be free under the health care system.
”We need to ensure universal access to health care is maintained in this province,” B.C. Health Minister George Abbott said Thursday.
In what Abbott called ”an extraordinary move,” the B.C. government pushed through a cabinet order Thursday that will empower government auditors to enter the premises of the Urgent Care Centre that has promised to open its doors today in Vancouver.
Yep, government going to make sure everyone has universal access, even if that means universal access to a waiting list.
Sounds pretty efficient, just, economical, and effective to me.