Americans like to think that our health care system is very different from “socialized medicine” in Canada. In fact, the two health care systems are far more similar than they are different. In Canada, when people go to the doctor the visit is free. In America, it’s almost free.

On the average, every time Americans spend a dollar at a doctor’s office only 10 cents is coming out of our own pockets. The rest is paid by an employer, an insurance company or government. Like the Canadians, we do not primarily pay for health care with money. We pay with time.

According to a Merritt Hawkins survey:

  • The average wait time to see a primary care doctor in the United States is almost three weeks.
  • In Boston (where we are told there was universal coverage even before there was Obamacare), the average wait is more than two months.
Compare that with how long you have to wait to get your cellphone repaired.

Waiting in the US is becoming more like waiting in Canada and in some cases it can be worse. For example: