Canadiana… and Health Care Musings

by on September 2, 2009 · 12 comments

I ponder Canadian health care and directions for U.S. reform on the Convergence Law Institute Blog here.

  • mwendy

    Good piece, Solveig. I am befuddled by the idea, seemingly in vogue, that a big government bolt-on is the only way out, representing real healthcare “reform”. Lost in this debate is the irony – unlimited government (Medicare, Medicare Drug Benefit, Medicaid, SCHIP, etc.) will be made to become smaller / more efficient through…unlimited government (in this case, an even larger government program). It just never ends because it can't – the Congressional commons, as well as all the administrative appratus, is not designed to be this “irrational”.

  • Name

    Ah-hem:

    “The Technology Liberation Front is the tech policy blog dedicated to keeping politicians' hands off the 'net and everything else related to technology.”

    Isn't the practice of Medicine nothing but the implementation of advanced technology?

  • http://enigmafoundry.wordpress.com eee_eff

    Note that the blog at Convergence Law Institute does not accept comments apparently. Whether that is because I particularly am filtered out or whether comments in general are not allowed, I cannot tell and do not have the time nor inclination to research.

    Solveig notes in her post:

    What interests me today is the popularity of this health care system in spite of such things. Most people are healthy most of the time. And they know the health system is there, and that everyone dealing with it is in pretty much the same boat (People naturally tend to compare their lot with those around them–See Axelrod on this phenomena in game simulations). So the system feels good. It provides security. It does not result in disturbing disparities. It feels damn good.

    Congratulations on at least acknowledging that the Canadian system is popular. The press in USA has uniformly produced such a deluge of mis-information on this fact, that is very encouraging that there exists a right-wing commentator who sees outside of the reality distortion field. My family also originates in Canada. They are generally very conservative, and not in favor of big government. The present healthcare system of Canada is though very popular with them all.

    However, that is where my agreement for your post ends.

    The reality is, the feeling of security that this system creates is itself a social good that has a very real value. The evidence of this is the depth to which support for this government program has penetrated into the local social & economic fabric, as you have documented in your post.

    When you say “Competition and choice are the main mechanisms by which hard cost and choice problems get solved.” you would probably be surprised that I generally agree with that statement. However, what you do not realize is that you have circumscribed 'competition' and 'choice' to mean competition and choice within your free market dogma. Competition and choice happens at many different forms and scales. A scale of competition would be to measure, as a whole society, how much a society spends on healthcare. We find here that USA spends more than Canada, making the Canadian system as a whole more competitive than the US system. Another example are friends of mine, including a quite talented photographer, and two Architects, all who have immigrated from Poland. They are all talented, and all started their own businesses in: Canada. A decisive reason was the healthcare situation, which in USA would have been problematic.

    Re the coverage of the Canadian healthcare system by US press, why has the US press never covered it's popularity?:

    http://enigmafoundry.wordpress.com/2007/08/12/b

  • http://enigmafoundry.wordpress.com eee_eff

    Regarding the persistent non-reporting of the popularity of the Canadian healthcare system in the US media:

    http://enigmafoundry.wordpress.com/2007/09/19/c

  • http://enigmafoundry.wordpress.com eee_eff

    Note that the blog at Convergence Law Institute does not accept comments apparently. Whether that is because I particularly am filtered out or whether comments in general are not allowed, I cannot tell and do not have the time nor inclination to research.

    Solveig notes in her post:

    What interests me today is the popularity of this health care system in spite of such things. Most people are healthy most of the time. And they know the health system is there, and that everyone dealing with it is in pretty much the same boat (People naturally tend to compare their lot with those around them–See Axelrod on this phenomena in game simulations). So the system feels good. It provides security. It does not result in disturbing disparities. It feels damn good.

    Congratulations on at least acknowledging that the Canadian system is popular. The press in USA has uniformly produced such a deluge of mis-information on this fact, that is very encouraging that there exists a right-wing commentator who sees outside of the reality distortion field. My family also originates in Canada. They are generally very conservative, and not in favor of big government. The present healthcare system of Canada is though very popular with them all.

    However, that is where my agreement for your post ends.

    The reality is, the feeling of security that this system creates is itself a social good that has a very real value. The evidence of this is the depth to which support for this government program has penetrated into the local social & economic fabric, as you have documented in your post.

    When you say “Competition and choice are the main mechanisms by which hard cost and choice problems get solved.” you would probably be surprised that I generally agree with that statement. However, what you do not realize is that you have circumscribed 'competition' and 'choice' to mean competition and choice within your free market dogma. Competition and choice happens at many different forms and scales. A scale of competition would be to measure, as a whole society, how much a society spends on healthcare. We find here that USA spends more than Canada, making the Canadian system as a whole more competitive than the US system. Another example are friends of mine, including a quite talented photographer, and two Architects, all who have immigrated from Poland. They are all talented, and all started their own businesses in: Canada. A decisive reason was the healthcare situation, which in USA would have been problematic.

    Re the coverage of the Canadian healthcare system by US press, why has the US press never covered it's popularity?:

    http://enigmafoundry.wordpress.com/2007/08/12/b

  • http://enigmafoundry.wordpress.com eee_eff

    Regarding the persistent non-reporting of the popularity of the Canadian healthcare system in the US media:

    http://enigmafoundry.wordpress.com/2007/09/19/c

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