It's an admittedly large topic and I highly doubt anyone will change there mind on the subject after today's exercise, but it should be interesting.
IMHO our healthcare system is seriously flawed. My reason may surprise you but I think any system that begins with a new practitioner up to his/her eyeballs in debt because of loans required to get through medical school is doomed to place an emphasis on profit first and care second. No matter how noble our freshly minted MDs and DOs may be - the magnitude of their debt is simply stunning. The next generation of U.S. physicians is being saddled with record debt amid a looming shortage of doctors needed to cope with a rising elderly population (that'd be me). How does a median cost of $278,455 sound? Two of my very best friends have daughters who have just begun their careers. I suspect they feel like they're carrying me around on their shoulders. Is it any wonder the number of GPs is declining? Their average $200,00 in annual earnings doesn't sound like so much when their expected incomes around $200K per annum. Add to that the burden of fighting a myriad of insurance companies with different paperwork requirements and different rate scales to make ends meet doesn't sound so appealing. How many new doctors went into medicine to be business men and women? Is it any wonder the primary focus on their practice becomes the business of the practice rather than patient care?? Oh sure - some can handle the juggling act.
The question is should they have to? Wouldn't a single payer system make so much more sense? Clearly there is no perfect system but Canada seems to run fairly well and it's probably the most culturally similar country to the U.S.A.. Unfortunately I think there's more of a "we're all in this together" mindset in Canada and an "I'm looking out for me, myself and I " here in the U.S..
Rumor has it you might have to wait a couple of months to see your doctor in Canada for non-essential treatment. Imagine that. Oh - by-the-way - last time I made an appointment here with my GP I had to wait 6 weeks. Damn - that extra 2 weeks could be a killer. My wife's uncle was a big-time chemist with Standard Oil in California but he spent half of his professional career in eastern Canada, Several of his kids were born there. He had nothing but praise for the Canadian health system. What do some American MDs think of the Canadian system? Try this article American MD visits Canada.
Obviously there are two sides to the issue but you first have to be open for discussion on the matter and too many folks here simply are not. It's somewhat similar to gun control. Sure you'll hear Canadians are flocking to the US for treatments. Hmm - 99.39% don't. A higher percentage of Canadian Doctors are happy with their professions than American. Here's an article that debunks 5 myths about Canadian healthcare . Check it out.
I have NO problem with anyone who can afford the price to pay whatever it costs to get whatever procedure they desire, I do have a problem with healthcare being an exclusive club that forces uninsured folks to bury our emergency health system because in most places here an ER cannot turn someone away. They are forced to treat everyone. Any wonder ER rooms are closing all over the country? They aren't profitable it seems. They have too many non-paying customers and I hate to rain on your collective parade, not all of those patients are illegal or members of a minority group.
I've barely scratched the surface of this issue and I can only say we need to explore single payer or some sort of hybrid system before it's too late. There's no time to dawdle.
Subtle eh? A canadian band closing out the post. What do my LBC cohorts think? Check them out - some come from places far away and have single payer national plans - I can't wait to hear what they have to say.