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This piece was originally posted at The North Carolina Conservative.com
We hear a lot from some legislators working hard to bring us peace in the world, jobs back to the U.S, higher wages for everyone, an end to terrorism and the health care we deserve. Of course, you know that health care is defined as somebody else paying for it and "free" health care is bound to cost more than anyone can afford.
When Hillary and her cronies failed to take over our health care system in 1993, they never gave up. They have been inching toward universality ever since. During that debate in 1993, we heard a lot about the Canadian Health Care system and how that should be our model. According to later articles in The New York Times and The Washington Times, the wonderful Canadian Health Care system developed serious problems.
Long waits are customary in Canada and sometimes death
intervenes while awaiting the care one needs. In Toronto, overcrowding one day forced hospitals to turn away ambulances at 23 of the cities 25 hospitals. The New York Times said that a Toronto man distraught over his sick infant's condition, took a doctor hostage at gunpoint to avoid the long wait to see a physician. The police arrived and shot the man to death. No word on whether or not the infant received the care his father was seeking for him.
A 58-year-old woman who had been waiting for open-heart surgery for five years, spent the night prior to her surgery on a gurney in the hallway of the hospital. 66 other patients, spending the night in the same hallway joined her. In Vancouver, some reports are that delays are so serious that 20% of heart attack patients who need treatment in 15 minutes, are forced to wait one hour or longer. Many Canadian doctors are urging their patients to come to the United States for treatment. You don't suppose we Americans will be forced to pay for Canadians health care too, do you? Just asking.
In Canada, however, there are no problems or long waits for dental care or veterinary care. You guessed it. Both of these services have not been taken over by government and allow for private treatment. People who are required to wait for long periods of time to receive MRIs, are going to their local vet clinic in order to get them right away. In Canada, one can receive treatment for a toothache much faster than for cancer. The demand for free health care has outweighed the supply. Unable to reduce the demand, the suppliers have had to reduce the services. Results ---- long waits. It's not rocket science, folks. Lets call it The Law of Supply and Demand 101.
Remember when you hear someone say, "everyone deserves health care." Where do you draw the line? If you fall into that trap, then doesn't everyone deserve food, shelter, clothing, perhaps a new car? Our healthcare system is the best in the world. But it will eventually collapse under its own weight. It doesn't have to be this way. Most insurance covers everything from doctor visits to heart transplants and everything in between. Therein, lies the problem.
What I want is low premiums and coverage for catastrophic illness. I'll pay my own doctor visits and routine costs, thank you very much.
This started me thinking. My homeowners insurance and auto insurance is such a plan. When my plumbing goes out, I call the plumber and I pay him. I do the same with the HVAC. But if a fire or tornado comes through, I'm covered. It's the same with my car. I pay for oil changes, brakes, transmission repair, etc. I even replaced my engine a few years ago and never depended upon my insurance company. Imagine that. But, once again, if an accident happens, my insurance is there. I'm in "good hands."
Why can't health insurance be the same? Companies always pass through the cost of doing business. When you lower the cost to the consumer..voila…more is consumed. Low co pays for doctor visits equals more doctor visits and someone else paying for it (insurance companies). Then insurance companies recoup the costs in increased premiums. Around and around we go.
We haven't even mentioned the additional cost to the healthcare industry by lawsuits and skyrocketing malpractice insurance costs. Many communities across the country have no physicians because of this very real problem. We'll have to save that for another day. Just remember nothing is free. So when it's "free", we certainly can't afford it.
Joyce Krawiec is a businesswoman, political activist and free lance writer in Kernersville, N.C. Her columns have appeared in the NC Conservative, Charlotte Observer, Greensboro News and Record, Kernersville News and various other publications. She can be reached at email@example.com
12 Jun 2006 by Editor