While I've never gotten sick in Canada, why is Canada constantly lampooned as "the socialized medical system we DON'T want"? I'm not being facetious. I'm truly asking. The radio pundits constantly say "Candians always come to the US for treatment". While I have never witnessed throngs of Canadians coming for bariatric sxurgery
It's a fear tactic employed namely by Americans as a way to prevent the adoption of a more egalitarian health care system. By overgeneralizing that a great portion of Canadians go to the United States to get treatment, they can persuade people into believing that the adoption of a more socialized health care system will lead to the decline in medical innovations that can only be achieved in the United States' current privatized health care system.
The problem is, the majority of Americans know absolutely nothing about the Canadian health system, and that's what makes this argument quite sad. The most evident fallacy is that there aren't actually very many Canadians crossing the border merely to get 'better' treatment. The Canadians who do go to the United States do so because certain advancements or practices are not yet available in Canada. The same applies to Americans who come to Canada for medical treatment. Essentially, each and every country tends to focus on different areas of research, which enable them to specialize in certain domains better than other countries.
The second argument is that a socialized health care system leads to longer waiting periods, so these supposed Canadians cross the border for faster treatment. The obvious flaw with this is that Canada does have a private health care sector. If someone with the money really wants to get something done as soon as possible, they can. Taxes make no difference, since a Canadian will still be paying taxes for the main health care system, whether he goes through the local private sector or abroad. Thus, the private sector exists as a complementary system. The other flaw is that wait times are merely a parallel to how hospitals are organized. Some hospitals in the United States have much higher waiting periods than most in Canada, while many in Canada can be slow due to being understaffed (in regards to the population) and disorganized.
In reality though, most Canadians are quite proud of their health care system. Abuse occurs when people come in and bring their children all the time to the hospital for every little symptom, or when paranoid people return every so often to check up on whether a new treatment is miraculously available. Some Canadians would like to see these nuisances scared off by requiring a minimum fee (even if as low as 5$), so that people with actual issues can obtain faster service.
Great post! If only all Americans knew how the Canadian system really works...