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Make up your own mind: Canada and UK

Before I get into today’s entry, I want to be very clear about one thing. The health insurance legislation currently before Congress is NOT about total government takeover of the health care industry. The legislation (HR 3200) doesn’t say that and is chock full of references to private insurer practices. These references would not be needed if the legislation simply proposed to eliminate private insurance.

HR 3200 also does not plan to give us a system like Canada or Great Britain, despite commercials to the contrary.

But since scaremongering commercials about the non-existent danger of being converted to a Canadian or British model do exist, I thought it might help to give you the end user links for Canada and UK and give you the opportunity to decide for yourself how scary (or not) these systems are:

National Health System (UK)
http://www.nhs.uk/choiceinthenhs/Pages/Choicehome.aspx

Canada Health Care System
http://www.hc-sc.gc.ca/hcs-sss/index-eng.php

What do I think? I haven’t checked because single-payer isn’t on the table in this country. But people do have longer life expectancy in both Canada and Great Britain, so those system don’t scare me.

And save the horror stories. Every system, including our current one can produce them. Besides, no Canada/UK story is really relevant because their systems are just not on the table for us. Read the bill and see. It’s legitimate to wonder whether a strong public option, if implemented, would compete well enough with private coverage to bankrupt private insurers. I don’t see this happening, but it’s an arguable question. But the bill as of August 21, 2009 doesn’t outlaw private insurance. Anyone telling you that is lying to you.

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2 Responses

  1. Thank you. Librarians are the best for REAL information.

  2. The health insurance legislation currently before Congress is NOT about total government takeover of the health care industry.

    It’s the prelude, the introduction, the warm up.

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