In light of the recent push for socialized medicine, or “Medicare for All”, A recent article (click here) looked at Canada’s socialized medicine program with the following findings:

  1. Long waits plague patients in other countries with government-run health care. Take Canada, which outlaws private health insurance for anything considered medically necessary, just as “Medicare for all” would. The median wait for treatment from a specialist following referral by a general practitioner is 19.8 weeks, according to the Fraser Institute, a Vancouver-based think tank. In 1993, the median wait was less than half as much – 9.3 weeks.
  2. Waits are far longer for some specialties. For orthopedic surgery, the median wait for specialist treatment is 39 weeks.
  3. On the other side of the Atlantic, the United Kingdom’s government-run, 70-year old National Health Service, is proving similarly incapable of providing quality care. The system is currently short 100,000 health professionals – doctors, nurses and other workers. It’s no wonder 14 percent of procedures were canceled, right before they were scheduled to occur, during a one-week period in the last week of March 2018. The NHS sees this as an anomaly and an NHS spokesman said, “Actually, only a tiny minority of operations — just 1 in 100 — is canceled on the day.” But still, last July, 4.3 million patients were waiting for an operation – the highest figure in a decade. During the winter, the system goes into crisis mode. Between December 2017 and February 2018, more than 163,000 patients waited in corridors and ambulances for more than 30 minutes before being admitted to the emergency room. To deal with the crunch, officials ordered hospitals to cancel 50,000 operations.

So what about claims that it would cost less?  It sounds too good to be true because it clearly is.  The proposed system in one NY bill presented would cover everyone, with no copays or deductibles and no premiums;  it would be financed by much higher payroll taxes on Employers and Employees alike.  How high is a good question, but when you have eliminated any cost sharing by those covered, all cost containments being eliminated, and the massive disruption to the health care industry you can expect them to be in the range of the proposal by Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez- 70% marginal tax rates.   In fact, every financial evaluation I have seen shows it would not lower cost, but raise them dramatically for all users.