THE COMING HEALTH CARE WAR
June 19, 2007
The Hillary Clinton-led forces that tried to socialize medicine in the United States 13 years ago are mobilizing for war, this time with the help of Michael Moore. Their goal is to show Canada, Britain, France and even Cuba as medical fairy wonderlands where doctors, hospitals and medicine are free or cost a pittance. Unfortunately, this view is far from reality, says Investor's Business Daily.
- This month, Britain's Health Department found that 12 percent of patients have to wait more than a year for operations, and an additional 30 percent wait over 30 weeks.
- In Canada, the Toronto Star told of how Canadian journalists at the Cannes Film Festival spoke of the long wait times Canadians face for health care -- much longer than the few minutes Michael Moore suggests about the country in his new movie, 'Sicko.'
- In Washington in 2001, Phillip Maniere, editor of the French business journal L'Expansion, described most French state hospitals -- another Moore favorite -- as "managed in a way that is reminiscent of the old USSR."
But while socialized medicine is certainly not the answer for American health care, neither is the current system, says IBD. According to John Goodman, president of the National Center for Policy Analysis, the current U.S. system smothers potential cost saving competition.
Regina Herzlinger, a Harvard Business School professor, agrees, and offers as a model for reform Switzerland's long-standing, market-based, consumer-driven health system. Further, the Swiss system directly subsidizes the poor, says IBD. The overall result is that costs and inflation rates are 40 percent lower as a percentage of the economy than in the United States.
Source: Editorial, "The coming health care war," Investor's Business Daily, June 18, 2007.
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