It All Depends on Which Question You Ask
A friend forwarded me this anti-health care reform propaganda piece. The people who made the video make the biggest deal out of the fact that when they sought medical care in Canada, they found that the clinic they went to was closed on the weekend and there was something like a 10-hour wait at the hospital’s emergency room. To state the obvious:
- the video is non-systematic in its reporting
- health care clinics in America may be closed on weekends
- emergency room waiting times in America are long as well
However, apart from this, the video seems to pose this implicit question: Americans, are you willing to have a health care system like the Canadians do and wait for hours and hours at the hospital?
I’d like to change the question. Note the following statistic:
Per capita health spending in the U.S. in 2006 was $7,129—more than double Canada’s spending of $2,956 (U.S.) per capita.
So, let’s ask this question instead: Americans, are you willing to pay $4,000 to reduce your wait time from 10 hours to 1 hour? That’s for the low price of only $444/hour.
Of course this is too simple—there are far more variables that go into wait times and the cost of health care. But I think it is fair to bring into our considerations one more variable that the present propaganda is leaving out.
Also, as I keep telling my Republican family member who presently has zero health insurance: for you, it doesn’t matter how bad health care might be under a new system, because any health care is better than no health care.