12 October 2010

health care meme, dead on arrival

Considering it's actually far more common for Americans to go abroad to get dental surgery (to India or Eastern Europe) than it is Canadians to come here to get health care.... I was kind of wondering when this would come up as a proven myth. I don't think I've ever bought this hype, simply because it was easy enough to see Americans trying to buy pills from Canada or Australia or England and being foiled by our protectionism of American pharmaceutical firms and wonder what else was wrong with this direction of the flow perspective that people have for American health care. The real appeal of this as hype was to continue to convince people that America was exceptional because obviously we must have wonderful health care if people were coming here to use it instead of their silly socialistic systems.

I still think those socialistic systems are silly myself, but I'm not convinced that our system is so wonderful that it wouldn't have been potentially improved by adopting some manner of their operations. I prefer something a little more like a free market, which, contrary to popular belief, we haven't really tried in the modern era for a whole litany of reasons. But that would require blowing up a lot of sacred cows to the American way of life (employer provided health benefits, first dollar health insurance/prepaid health care in my view, most medical licensing laws, etc). And obviously the American people were not prepared to do these things over the last year, much less the last several decades where they installed and perpetuated these things as the cornerstones of the health care system that we desired rather than as the fundamentally flawed aspects of a system that cannot sustain itself that they really are. If we really wanted Canadians to come here instead for competitive world-class medical care, we'd have fixed this stuff, or abandoned it in favor of the direction that it more obviously heads (ie, that silly socialistic stuff).
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