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Sept. 18 (Bloomberg) -- Opponents of overhauling U.S. health care argue that Canada shows what happens when government gets involved in medicine, saying the country is plagued by inferior treatment, rationing and months-long queues.
The allegations are wrong by almost every measure, according to research by the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development and other independent studies published during the past five years.
Technology partly explains the cost discrepancy between the two nations. There are 67 percent more coronary-bypass procedures in the U.S. than in Canada and 18 percent more Caesarean sections, OECD data show. In 2006, the U.S. had more than four times the number of magnetic resonance imaging units - - 26.5 for every million residents compared with 6.2 for every million in Canada -- making Americans three times more likely than Canadians to get a scan, according to the OECD.
In the U.S., technology is “overused” because doctors have to justify equipment purchases with revenue, according to Gerard Anderson, a professor of public health and medicine at Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore. Canada in the 1960s was about as expensive as the U.S., he said.
“The real difference has been their ability to control technology costs,” said Anderson, who directed reviews of health systems for the World Bank and developed U.S. Medicare payment guidelines for the Health and Human Services Department. “The only thing the U.S. is consistently No. 1 in when it comes to international comparisons with Canada and other OECD countries is cost.”
Less technology and, according to a 2007 report from the World Health Organization, 20 percent fewer doctors in Canada than in the U.S. have led to longer lines north of the border.
In 2008, 20 percent of chronically ill Canadians surveyed by the Commonwealth Fund reported waiting three months or more to see a specialist. Five percent of Americans polled said they had to wait that long.
Obama administration officials are trying to use the public option as “a bridge” to a system like Canada’s since “they realize it isn’t politically acceptable to go directly to that,” said Phil Kerpen, the director of policy for Americans for Prosperity.
In both the U.S. and Canada, 26 percent of people interviewed told the Commonwealth Fund survey of chronically ill adults they got a same-day appointment with a doctor when they were sick -- the lowest number in any of the eight countries polled by the foundation. Thirty-four percent of the Canadians said they had to wait six days or more, compared with 23 percent of the Americans.
The U.S. leads industrial countries in the portion of the health-care dollar devoted to processing claims and paying providers, the Commonwealth Fund said.
Administrative costs in the U.S. are 12.7 cents of a dollar, and as high as 18 cents for some companies, said Karen Davis, president of the Commonwealth Fund. In Canada 4.2 cents is spent on administration.
“If we lowered our administrative costs to that of the lowest three countries with mixed public-private health-care systems, we could save $50 billion a year,” Davis said. “This would go a long way toward financing coverage for the uninsured.”
Originally posted by jdub297
Anytime a third-party comes between the vendor and customer, the customer loses.
Originally posted by Wormwood Squirm
reply to post by Beefcake
Didn't you bother to read the Key Points in Kiwis article? I guess not.
Everything is corrupt eh Beefcake. Your comments don't make any sense to me whatsoever.
Canadians do not cram the ER with runny noses! Nor are wait times like what the crooked Americans are telling you.
I have lived my whole life back and forth between the 2 countries. I grew up in Indiana and live in Canada.
My American friends either don't have insurance, are slaving for a corp to get BS insurance only to have large deductibles and insurance companies that deny deny deny or they are near Bankrupt trying to pay for a medical bill.
Don't believe the propaganda currently spewing from the American PTB. It all complete BS.
What makes you think wait times have tripled? That is also bull crap.
[edit on 19-9-2009 by Wormwood Squirm]
Originally posted by radio_for_peace
So let's send all the illegals over to Canada, and see if their health care doesn't go down significantly. America's completely different from Canada,