Left-wing Democrats in Congress have decided on a new version of Medicare for All. Turns out its going to be nothing like the Medicare program seniors are used to. What they have in mind is what we see in Canada.
Everyone (except American Indians and veterans) will be in the same system. Health care will be nominally free. Access to it will be determined by bureaucratic decision making.
Heres what to expect.
Overproviding to the Healthy, Underproviding to the Sick.The first thing politicians learn about health care is this: most people are healthy. In fact, they are very heathyspending only a few dollars on medical care in any given year. By contrast, 50% of the health care dollars will be spent on only 5% of the population in a typical year.
Politicians in charge of health care, however, cant afford to spend half their budget on only 5% of the voters, including those who may be too sick to vote at all. So, there is ever-present pressure to divert spending away from the sick toward the healthy.
In Canada and in Britain, patients see primary care physicians more often than Americans do. In fact, the ease with which relatively healthy people can see doctors is probably what accounts for the popularity of these system in both countries.
But once they get to the doctors office British and Canadians patients receive fewer services. For real medical problems, Canadians often go to hospital emergency roomswhere the average wait in Canada is four hours. In Britain, one of every ten emergency room patients leave without ever seeing a doctor.