The Practical Philosopher's Blog

Using the practical application of timeless wisdom to address modern issues

A Tale of Two Types of Health Care

I would like to offer a perspective on the health care topic from someone who has lived in both private (US) and government-run (Canada) health care. 


I lived in Canada for 2 years recently. The experience for me and my family was terrible.


‘Free’ health care- isnt! At least 20% of the over-burdening tax load up there goes into the blackhole of health care spending. 

When everyone believes they have a ‘right’ to health care from the government, they demand all and any treatments. You could easily spend a million dollars a head with this ‘rights’ approach. The only problem is that no government on earth can afford it. The system also becomes over burdened because people go in for every little ailment and/or because they want someone to talk to or give them attention (a symptom of a lonely, aging baby-boomer bulge of people). This approach lacks an understanding of human nature and practical outcomes.


Due to the above, the bureaucracy becomes a force for rationing. How would you like a bureaucrat to decide you were too old to waste money on for surgery? This happened to my wife’s grandmother. 83 and have stomach cancer? Too bad! (she lived to 89 in poorer health) These choices should be made by the affected person and their family’s!


The quality also plummets because there is no free market mechanism to allow people to vote with their feet and their dollars. The doctors have no repercussions for poor service like they do in US. The only backstop would be malpractice.


The bottom line is that there are no practical outcomes with socialized health care. It’s based on fundamentally flawed Socialist theories. You give up critical choices around your health. The costs will skyrocket (like they have in every foreign country or failed US state attempt at socialized health care) while access and quality plummet. The dirty secret is that politicians and wealthier Canadians typically pay for private health care so they don’t have to wait forever for care with the masses. If it’s timely critical care, cutting edge treatments, or drugs needed, surprise!- they come to the US for our ‘failed’ health care.


We need to change the system we have now, but Socialized ‘health care’ is the last thing we want to inflict on ourselves here in the US.

Filed under: Health Care, , , , ,

4 Responses

  1. pino says:

    Philosopher, well said! While maybe free, it would certainly be substandard.

    • pracphilosblog says:

      Pino, thanks for your comments.
      One thing I have to stress, though, is that socialized medicine is NOT free! You wouldn’t believe how many times I heard Canadians go on about their ‘free’ healthcare. They pay an enormous amount of taxes and it is always about 100%-300% or more short of the demand.

  2. perspicio says:

    “These choices should be made by the affected person and their family’s!”

    I agree that they should absolutely be permitted to pay for it out-of-pocket. Oh, wait, you were advocating using redistributed wealth (insurance) to accomplish this?

  3. Philosopher says:

    Perspicio, not sure what your question or point was here, but the phrase of mine you quoted was about the individual having the choice over their own life and care, not some bureauocrat. It could mean your life or death.

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December 2008
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