Inundated with medical terminology and ill equipped to navigate the options available, most people probably could use a little health-care-system guidance.
With extensive experience in the field and an at-times controversial outlook, Pipes brings her knowledge to the public, breaking down the myths about health care and getting straight to the facts.
Sally C. Pipes
Sally C. Pipes is president and chief executive officer of the Pacific Research Institute, a San Francisco-based think tank founded in 1979. Prior to becoming president in 1991, she was assistant director of the Fraser Institute, based in Vancouver, Canada.
Pipes addresses national and international audiences on health care, women's issues, and the economy.
Tad Taube serves as president of the Koret Foundation. He is chairman and founder of the Woodmont Companies, a diversified real estate investment and management organization; and was chairman and CEO of Koracorp Industries (successor to Koret of California) from 1973 until its merger with Levi Strauss in 1979.
He is a governor of the Hebrew University in Jerusalem and has served as trustee of Notre Dame de Namur University and of the University of San Francisco.
You did not pay NOTHING for your health care, or . . . perhaps you did. Do you pay taxes to support this system? Do ALL Canadian citizens pay taxes? If you pay no taxes, then your neighbors payed for your son's health care. I understand your relief, but see tremendous moral hazard.
Please list the life saving pharmaceutical drugs or medical devices created in your country. Name the state of the art medical centers for orthopedics, cardiac care, cancer treatment and other life saving, technologically advanced centers where those around the world come to receive care when there is no other hope. Where does the world turn its eyes for hope when a pandemic breaks out or a new disease is ravaging people across the globe?
Your ratio of high tech medical diagnostic and therapeutic equipment per citizen is woeful. An average small town in America has a more advanced trauma services, CT Scanners, MRI machines and other high tech services than large urban centers in Canada. THis costs money, but Americans are willing to pay and expect the best care.
Sarah the Green,
Of course those who can pay cover the expenses of those who cannot. I do not believe many Americans have a problem with helping the truly indigent. We are a generous people. What we object to is paying for the health care of those who can pay for their own. The often quoted statistic of those "without health insurance" in the United States is only relevant to a point. Dig deeper and the number of people who truly cannot afford medical insurance is far smaller than the 47 million citizens reported by universal care supporters. And of those, many can afford to pay cash for their medical care. They just hacve other, short sighted priorities. Does it make sense for an able bodied, employed citizen to have a large home payment or car payment, to take vacations, etc., etc., etc., to have NO responsibility for his medical care? HOw can this be morally justified? Almost 50% of Aerican workers pay NO Federal income tax. Is it just that these peoples' health care should be paid by their fellow citizens through taxation? What is the moral justification? Legal justification? If I do not take care of this most important of all responsibilities of being a citizen and a free individual, how can I be considered responsible or free at all?
As Mrs. Pipes stated, 80+% of Americans are happy with their medical care/Medical Insurance - Insurance that they either pay for completely, partially or receive as a part of their compensation from their employer. What about the 0ther <20%? Catastrophic coverage for the truly indigent, with legally required means testing on an annual basis (since very few people are perpetually indigent their entire life) would solve this problem to a large degree. Government intervention NEVER makes things more effective, more efficient and less expensive. Every Government heathcare related activity is either running out of funding or already bankrupt.
Deregulate, return the consumer to the driver's seat, end employer based medical insurance, end interstate restrictions, government mandates and let Drs., Insurance companies and health care providers compete and patients choose.
This woman is arguing for maximizing profits for the insurance companies.
She wants insurance companies to be able to shop for the state with the least regulation as the credit card companies have done. Is our credit system healthier than when they were deregulated?
She wants the government to take care of the sick people "high risk pools" mean sick already.
Can we trust insurance companies to look after our best interest?
If you think so then insurance reform is not for you.
I agree that the Canadian healthcare system waiting periods are too long. So, the not-so-wealthy people suffer, and the wealthy travel and pay for private care in the US and other places. Indeed, many vacations to Mexico include trips to a much less expensive dentist.
But, the fundamental premise supporting our health care system is that no one is excluded. So, I ask: what's better for a society mediocre healthcare for everyone or unreachable healthcare for the poor and fantastic healthcare for the wealthy.
The greatest strength about the Canadian healthcare system is that it is much less influenced by lobbyists. We do the best we can with what we've got, rather than channel huge profits towards pharmaceutical companies and insurance companies.
As for liability insurance for healthcare practitioners... I wish someone would calculate the effect of lawyers on our inflation rates so we can place blame appropriately. Even further, un-circle the wagons of the medical association so that incompetent healthcare practitioners can be weeded out and removed.
I think big business -- Walmart is a great example -- is ignoring the fact that the majority of people are waking up, even if slowly, to the fact that they are merely slaves to influential capitalists... freedom and the pursuit of happiness; my ass. Only free speech from the majority will inspire a workable solution.
There is talk of change to the HealthCare system here in Canada, but it's mostly just casual at this time. If/When change comes, it certainly won't be to the current US system, but more likely towards the system in France or Germany.
The problem I see here is the need to include the 'affordability' of health care- any society that can actually tincture not just staying alive but the idea of being healthy with what you can afford has got problems. She mentions over and over again what country all the rich people from other countries come to: the US. And she hits the nail right on the head- a nation that can provide everything rich foreigners needs because they can afford it before it simply gives those needs to its own citizens because they are their neighbours fellow citizens and because they are responsible to the immediate humanity around them- a government which supports its healthcare allowing people who are not citizens of their nation to recieve immediate treatment without citizenship for such things that are not injuries incurred while visiting is irresponsible. Maybe the US healthcare would flourish for more people if it wasn't so willing to whore its pacemakers out to italians before it gives them to people who need them who were born in its country first.
Coming from Canada, I have just recently become a father- my son was birn with a cleft lip and pallet, neither myself or his mother have insurance- the government is paying for everything practically minus right now two thousand dollars out of a possible eight, we will not be in debt or resubsidised or mortgaged, or in the hole because of my sons condition and our financial circumstances- he will have full care of therapy, treatment, speach lesson orthdontic work all done for next to nothing, the government footing seventy five percent of everything at the least.
I also have an eye abnormality which entitles me to one anuual, or biannual eye exam free of charge, without any registered health plans because of my unique need.
I found this to be a fascinating look at some of the issues confronting us. As a Liberal-minded individual, some of what Ms. Pipes had to say was an affront to my ideals. I think that this video should be much higher rated (2 stars, as of this post). I believe that we liberals do ourselves a disservice when we fail to look at these contentious, emotional issues with at least a modicum of critical reasoning. I am no expert, I do not know that her numbers are accurate (and we are all aware that statistical data can be skewed to fit a particular agenda). Most of what she said seemed plausible and her conclusion sound. Any reasonable human would have to admit that there is no such thing as a 100% solution to ANYTHING. While I am disturbed that the profit motive would generally seem to be at odds with the consumers well being, I recognize that it is the only reliable engine for innovation and efficiency. No matter what the system, people WILL fall throught the cracks. I have worked in public healthcare for over twenty years. Abuse and waste IS rampanrt. Defensive care IS a problem. Doctors DO have mprtgages too. Education is absolutely key as the majority of consumers are woefully uninformed.
I don't necessarily agree with Ms. Pipes, nor do I think that anyone else should necessarily agree with her. I do think that what we should take away from this wis MORE questions. We need to EDUCATE ourselves so we can make the best descisions we can for our own healthcare and how we are going to maximize the value of whatever it is we will be paying. It's all too seductive to just chalk it up to "coservative agenda" and be done with it. This is a complex issue and it doesn't seem likely that any solution is going to be pretty (or cheap).
There was an excellent two part piece on, "This American Life," on NPR on 10-09-09 and 10-16-09 that is well worth listening to.
Animals don't receive the same treatment of people because they don't have the same afflictions of humans, including an average lifespan of almost 80 years. The solution for my elderly dogs ailments was euthanasia, not a life support system.
This is just more propaganda from the for-profit insurance industry. Healthcare in this country is terrible. I'm sure that some folks would rather be on a waiting list than not having insurance. SOME healthcare is better than NO healthcare.
Hospital emergency rooms only stabilize people and then send them home. They do not treat people's diabetes long term or give them the chemo they need to stay alive, or do any other treatment that can keep them out of emergency rooms with catastrophic but treatable illnesses (often far too late to save their lives). 45,000 people die each year because they don't have access to the health care they need. Millions of people lose their homes and go bankrupt because of medical bills they can't afford to pay.
It's a lie to say that people without insurance can get the medical care they need, because they cannot. I know because my husband and I are not able to get insurance because we are self employed and we have pre-existing conditions. If we could get medical care without going bankrupt, we would do it. We can't.
And who do people think are paying for the emergency room visits that the patients can't pay for? Everyone is paying for their care. And that kind of care costs a lot more than providing those people with adequate care up front *before* they become catastrophically ill, and in a setting like a clinic or doctor's office where care is far less expensive than in a hospital emergency room.
The kind of health care system that Ara advocates is far far more expensive than making sure that everyone has access to good care, and that's why people in the US pay more for health care than any country in the developed world. Twice as much as the next most expensive country.
I'm going to repeat that number I gave earlier, just to shame those who think everyone in the US has access to adequate medical care.
EVERY YEAR, 45,000 PEOPLE IN THE US DIE BECAUSE THEY DON'T HAVE ACCESS TO ADEQUATE MEDICAL CARE.
Shame on you, those who think we don't need universal care in the US.
That has been my argument. I've waited, on seperate occassions, for 4 months, 8 months, and 1 year to have in order - a torn ligament in my ankle looked at, a new inhaler prescribed, and a normal checkup because my dad lost his job and I lost my insurance... I'll wait weeks on a list, it's better than waiting a lifetime.
This woman seems like a right-wing plant