We met on a sunny day at the hospital. I looked her in the eye and I stole her heart.
No, literally. The line was too long and I had a lunch meeting scheduled at noon. So I stole her heart.
Statistics are fun. Figures below are quoted in or converted to the mighty American dollar.
People in Canada spend, on average, $3,895 per year on health care. Meanwhile, Americans spend $7,290. The United States has about 2.4 doctors per thousand people. Canada has 2.2. The United States has 10.6 nurses per thousand people, while Canada only has 9. Clearly, our system is better.
Or is it? The life expectancy in Canada is nearly 81 years, while in the United States it's about 78. The Canadian government spends about 16.7% of its revenue on health care, while the American government spends about 18.5%. (This part is blind speculation, but one might attribute that to our large "baby boomer" population, since their health care costs are greater.)
Nonetheless, it certainly does seem as though the Canadians, despite their "evil" single payer system, are spending less and getting more for their dollar. And even if they were spending more, what would you pay to spend three extra years (on average) with your mother, son, father, or daughter? As far as the United States is concerned, the statistics seem to point out that we're very well equipped from a logistical perspective. It's just not evenly distributed, though, is it?
I think it's hilarious that there are all of these complaints about what basically amounts to triage, which is a practice that nearly every developed medical system engages in. Even those used by Americans who are lucky enough to have insurance.
But, hey, single payer systems are bad because "big government" is going to "socialize your wealth" and "destroy the American dream." Seeing as the average American has no wealth and only debt (at 24.99% interest, despite the bank bailout -- thanks, guys), what would be wrong with socializing that? We already do it for AIG. ; )
In addition to some of them having been bashed over the head with the idea that good health care practices are bad, people have been gradually indoctrinated by billions of dollars in advertising dollars that were spent by the health care industry. These efforts reach at least as far back as the 1960s. More recently, it's gone completely unchecked as the media outlets that were supposed to work for us surrendered to the will of the machine. There are reasons our more "capitalistic" (i.e., greedy) tendencies used to be more heavily regulated.
I'm pretty sure the parent post was meant in jest. But, at the same time, the United States might be the only developed nation in which such a huge chunk of the population could be so blindly frightened and misinformed. How the people formed such a masochistic relationship with the big corporations -- one so strong that they'll stand in the street and protest against their own interests -- is beyond me.
Maybe this entire American health care "debate" could be summarized with an infamous quote from a man protesting a perceived intrusion on his lifestyle by Obama: "Keep your government hands off my Medicare!"