Health Care, Once Again


Originally posted on Half an Hour, September 1, 2009.

Responding to this bit of propaganda from the Fraser Institute published in the Times & Transcript:

All very well to talk about what health care costs Canadians, but consider:

- we still pay less that half what Americans pay, and
- we get better health outcomes (longer lives, lower infant mortality, etc)

Also, when comparing our insurance with Americans', keep in mind:

- we don't pay health care premiums
- we don't have deductibles to pay when we get injured or sick
- insurance pays 100% of the cost, not 80%
- there is no maximum coverage in the Canadian system
- your health insurance doesn't expire or disappear for any reaosn, not even for pre-existing conditions, not because you turned age 50, not because you live in a rural area

Also, the Fraser Institute has a history of opposing health care in Canada, and this is reflected in the way they misrepresent the data.

For example:

- the incomes listed are taxable incomes, not gross or even net incomes. Thus, the *actual* income of someone paying $9,873, for example, is much higher than the $96,217 stated in the article

- not all government revenues are derived from personal taxes. There are corporate taxes, tariffs, and royalties on resources like oil and minerals, among other things. So it is a misrepresentation to suggest that individual taxes pay for the *entire* cost of Canadian health care

- the numbers listed are not per *person* but rather are per *taxpayer* - this means that the $9,873 paid by a person pays not only for the person's health care, but any dependents and children, as well as for people on income support (such as pensioners, the unemployed, and welfare recipients).

Finally, regarding 777 777's assertion that government run health care involves higher administrative costs:

As we see here and in *numerous* other references, administrative costs in the U.S. system are much higher.

This doctor notes, "Even the U.S. Medicare program has 80% to 90% lower administrative costs than private Medicare Advantage policies."

Using actual data, and not political platitudes, shows: "Single-payer systems reduce duplicative administrative costs and can negotiate lower prices.

The actual savings are significant. "Health administration costs totaled at least $294.3 billion in the United States, or $1,059 per capita, as compared with $307 per capita in Canada."

More - "USA wastes more on health care bureaucracy than it would cost to provide health care to all of the uninsured."

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