Thursday, December 26, 2013

Comparing US and Canadian Healthcare

I am not sure that this is quite fair to the USA although the issues regarding healthcare are unfortunately valid, but that system is actually financially insane and hopelessly gamed by swindlers and con men.  Just thought I would put it out there to see who salutes.  Quite bluntly, if Canada can deliver the service for $4000 against $7000 in the USA, it is clear that the $3000 difference is gamed into the system by the insurance industry and the drug industry by way of financial engineering ala Wall Street while a full third of the population refuses service because they cannot or will not pay for it.

The big question that needs to be addressed when comparing apple to oranges is that Canada downloads much more of the social contract items to its provinces and this produces real healthy competition between jurisdictions.  We can do better, but looking south we also see how to do much worse.

There is little wrong about the Obamacare program that could not be well resolved by this same trick.  The USA has loved to produce national programs which provide maximum political problems for Washington with scant support on the ground.  Dumping everything except National Defense onto the States will make the states far more important, but also fully involved settling issues.

Canada has not perfected good government, but it has been able to learn several valuable lessons that are well worth emulating in the USA.

Recall that in Canada today, if you collapse on the sidewalk, an ambulance will come and get you and the full weight of modern medicine will jump into action.  Nothing else will matter at that time.   This holds true if you simply go in for a checkup.  You will be in the system.

My sister in law, collapsed with bleeding in the brain, was stabilized, then flown 2000 miles to the best surgeon in Canada were a major brain surgery opened her skull to correct a dangerous tangle.  It was successful and she is going strong years later.

Just how many Americans have a plane standing by to fly them to the Mayo Clinic?  In Canada, effectively we all do.

In my own case, a major heart attack led to resuscitation, emergency stenting, later corrective stenting and about thirty days of hospitalization including nine days in an induced coma.  It also meant 20 minutes without a heartbeat, but with continuous CPR, yet full recovery.  My real point in all this is that I never saw a bill nor will.

By the way, I do not think that our medical personnel are paid less money either particularly since they have no need to pay to collect bad debts ever and they all get to take vacations and properly manage their hours.

Canada spends about the same as the US for government but has universal healthcare, mostly balanced budgets and less than half the debt per person
DECEMBER 15, 2013

The charts below show that Canada has federal government spending at about 14% of GDP and the US is at 24% of GDP.

Canada's debt to GDP ratio is about 33% vs 75% for the USA.

Canada has a government deficit this year of about $6 billion vs $600 billion for the US and had deficits of $25-40 billion during the crisis while the US had over $1 trillion deficits each year.

Even if multiplying by nine times for population adjustment Canada is still way lower in terms of spending and deficits.

Canada has universal healthcare at the provincial level.

The US has plenty of financial strength to turn things around.

The military spending could go from 5% down to 2% of GDP with no chance of not having enough military to handle any terrorist threat or any issues with countries like Pakistan, Afghanistan, Iran or North Korea. China, Russia and the US will not have a shooting war. If there was the US still would have way more military and can get some help from NATO. In that kind of war the US could mobilize and scale up as needed. Also, the military spending that the US has now is on equipment for something like World War 2 or Vietnam. Any future war between big powers would be more cyber war and other new kinds of conflict.

Less than one in 200 Canadians go to the US for healthcare and Canadian doctors are happy and the high Costs in the US are making about 35% of the people avoid needed procedures
DECEMBER 15, 2013

healthcare study surveyed America’s 20 “best” hospitals — as identified by U.S. News & World Report — on the assumption that if Canadians were going to travel for health care, they would be more likely to go to the best-known and highest-quality facilities. Only one of the 11 hospitals that responded saw more than 60 Canadians in a year. And, again, that included both emergencies and elective care.

Finally, the study’s authors examined data from the 18,000 Canadians who participated in the National Population Health Survey. In the previous year, 90 of those 18,000 Canadians had received care in the United States; only 20 of them, however, reported going to the United States expressively for the purpose of obtaining care.

Canada spends about $4000 per person per year on healthcare and the US spends $7500 per person per year.

About 1 in 200 Canadians go to the US for elective care , but there are a few who end up in US emergency when they are on vacation or traveling to the USA.

Doctors are happy in Canada and More doctors are coming to Canada now

There are waits in Canada but more people avoid needed procedures in the US because of high costs (Rationing by costs versus waits)

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