On Anniversary of Medicare, Don't Look to Canada

By Aaron Rice
August 26, 2005

This year marks the 40th anniversary of the Medicare and Medicaid programs, and some people say we should expand these programs that pay for health care, even to the point of being like Canada, where the government pays for everything.

Actually, you might agree with those people if you need an MRI and don�t mind waiting� 4-to-8 months to get it, or if waiting 5-to-12 months for a hip replacement is OK with you.

These are the actual waiting times that were front-page news in Calgary, Canada, when I was there last year. Canadians wait more than four months between a referral from their local doctor and receiving treatment from a specialist.�

These delays occur because Canada has a single-payer system, and the single payer - the government - limits access in order to save money.����

A free-enterprise approach is the only way to balance the cost of health care with the quality of care Americans have come to expect. A true free-enterprise system would free people to choose the health coverage that meets their own family�s needs, rather than being tied to the choices made for them by their employer or the government.


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