NCPA - National Center for Policy Analysis


November 30, 2007

Under presidential candidate John Edwards' universal health care plan, physician choice will not exist.  Americans will be assigned a doctor, or allowed to choose from a small group, much like those who are part of the managed care systems -- the same ones that are so derided by those who support nationalized health care, says Investor's Business Daily (IBD).

This is not a fevered right-wing fantasy.  There are examples:

  • Under the British system, held up as a model for the United States to follow, patients don't see the doctor of their choice.
  • Britons who use the National Health Service (NHS) can visit only designated family physicians, whose practice is located near their homes.
  • Yes, the British can see doctors outside of the NHS, but at added cost (Edwards' plan goes further, doing away with all private-practice doctors).

Canada is another example, says IBD:

  • Canadians think they have physician choice, but in reality long waiting times, which are well-documented, make a mockery of choice.  
  • The growing exodus of doctors from Canada doesn't help matters either.

Government interference as proposed by Edwards, Sen. Hillary Clinton or any of the Democratic candidates will never produce the quality of care nor the medical advances that have been generated by a system that rewards excellence.  Destroying private medicine in this country is not the way we're going to save health care.  The best path is to enact public policy that increases competition.

Source: Editorial, "A Comrade's Medical Plan," Investor's Business Daily, November 30, 2007.


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