Socialized Medicine Will Be A Disaster For The US

The debate never seems to go away. It may drop off below the radar now and then, but it always pops up, particularly the closer we get to an election year. And so it has come up again.

I am talking about, of course, health care.

To hear the Left talk about it you'd think that all we have to do to solve the health care problem is to socialize medicine, much as it has been in Canada, the UK, France, Sweden, and host of other European countries. The only problem with that scenario is that these countries have found out that socialized medicine doesn't work. Yet here we are, our liberal legislators talking about making the same damn mistakes that other nations have, as if our effort to socialize medicine won't fail as miserably as it has elsewhere. To repeat one of my favorite sayings: “Insanity is defined as doing the same thing over and over again, but expecting the results to be different this time.” It appears that when it comes to health care, the Left is insane.

But maybe a wake up call is in order, one from a Canadian that can tell them that their idea is indeed mad. As David Gratzer asks, “Who's really 'Sicko'?”

"I haven't seen 'Sicko,' " says Avril Allen about the new Michael Moore documentary, which advocates socialized medicine for the United States. The film, which has been widely viewed on the Internet, and which will officially open in the U.S. and Canada on Friday, has been getting rave reviews. But Ms. Allen, a lawyer, has no plans to watch it. She's just too busy preparing to file suit against Ontario's provincial government about its health-care system next month.

Her client, Lindsay McCreith, would have had to wait for four months just to get an MRI, and then months more to see a neurologist for his malignant brain tumor. Instead, frustrated and ill, the retired auto-body shop owner traveled to Buffalo, N.Y., for a lifesaving surgery. Now he's suing for the right to opt out of Canada's government-run health care, which he considers dangerous.
Ms. Allen figures the lawsuit has a fighting chance: In 2005, the Supreme Court of Canada ruled that "access to wait lists is not access to health care," striking down key Quebec laws that prohibited private medicine and private health insurance.

In the U.S., 83 House Democrats voted for a bill in 1993 calling for single-payer health care. That idea collapsed with HillaryCare and since then has existed on the fringes of the debate--winning praise from academics and pressure groups, but remaining largely out of the political discussion. Mr. Moore's documentary intends to change that, exposing millions to his argument that American health care is sick and socialized medicine is the cure.

It's not simply that Mr. Moore is wrong. His grand tour of public health care systems misses the big story: While he prescribes socialism, market-oriented reforms are percolating in cities from Stockholm to Saskatoon.

Mr. Moore goes to London, Ontario, where he notes that not a single patient has waited in the hospital emergency room more than 45 minutes. "It's a fabulous system," a woman explains. In Britain, he tours a hospital where patients marvel at their free care. A patient's husband explains: "It's not America." Humorously, Mr. Moore finds a cashier dispensing money to patients (for transportation). In France, a doctor explains the success of the health-care system with the old Marxist axiom: "You pay according to your means, and you receive according to your needs."

It's compelling material--I know because, born and raised in Canada, I used to believe in government-run health care. Then I was mugged by reality.

Gratzer goes on to deconstruct Moore's assertions that everything is hunky-dory with Canada's health care system. And it's true...but only if you're healthy. If you get sick, you're out of luck. As one Canadian physician put it, “This is a country in which dogs can get a hip replacement in under a week and in which humans can wait two to three years.” It's no different in the UK.

I don't know about you, but that isn't the kind of medical care I want. I doubt that you would either. But that's exactly what the leftist Democrats want to give us – poor or non-existent health care.

We can hope that they will see the folly of their plans. But if history is any indicator, they won't. They will sail full-steam ahead into the waiting minefield of socialized medicine, much to the detriment of us all.

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