As the healthcare debate cranks up, we’re gonna be hearing lots of stuff about Canada’s healthcare system. It has a lot of dysfunctionalities, and will be used to scare people about the idea of government healthcare. Actually, nobody’s proposing a plan like Canada has. America’s private healthcare system is well-developed, and you build on what you already have (not scrape everything clean and start over).
CNN did a report on Canada’s system, trying to determine if what we hear is really accurate (ahh, actual reporting! what a concept!). Some is accurate, some not. In any system, you can find negative anecdotal stories. You can find them about Canada’s system (in which every person is, at least, covered), and you can find them in our system (where people forgo needed medical procedures because they can’t afford them, or because insurance companies refuse to cover them). We’ll soon be engulfed in Dueling Anecdotes.
A wonderful article in the New Yorker talks about the path several other countries have taken (England, France, Switzerland). Each country is different–and none relate well to where the US is right now. It’s a very pragmatic piece, written by a doctor.