Here are a few comments about the Canadian system, especially from experience with my mother:
- When you're sick and need to be in the hospital, there is no wait. They take care of you and keep you as long as necessary. The quality of care is very good, just as good as the U.S. The cost is minimal, unless you choose to pay extra for a private room.
- Poor people and rich people are treated the same.
- There is a waiting list for elective stuff like hip transplants. Rich people can go to other countries if they want it done quickly.
- I've heard that certain equipment (MRI?) is much less plentiful in Canada.
- No paperwork. No insurance companies aguing about everything. This is a big cost saving, and a huge time saving for the consumer.
- The doctors make less money, and some leave for the U.S. to make the big bucks.
- Some people have a hard time finding a doctor who will take new patients.
- Nobody goes bankrupt because of medical bills. This factor alone justifies using the Canadian system.
- People retire early because they don't have to worry about medical costs. This is a huge difference. People in the U.S. are afraid to retire before 65 when Medicare kicks in.
- The government decides when and where new hospitals are built.
Earlier: Sicko: Is Michael Moore right?