We face a health-care crisis in America. Costs are astronomical—and rising—while, in significant respects, quality of care is declining.
We’re told that the health-care entitlement programs created decades ago were necessary to make care affordable. Yet, despite continued expansions of these programs, health care has never been more expensive. Nonetheless, proponents of such entitlements advise that we follow Canada, the United Kingdom, Sweden, and others into the brave new world of “universal health care.”
Many commentators have pointed out the practical failings of such programs. The all-you-can-use buffet of “universal health care” has led to a dearth of quality and affordable care, rendering the very meaning of the phrase absurd. Imagine, for instance, you’ve just found out that you have cancer. Naturally, you want to start treatment immediately. However, the doctor tells you it will be nearly a month before you can start, which is the current average wait time to begin cancer treatment in Canada.1 Is this the health care we want in America? . . .
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1. Fraser Institute reports that patients “waiting for medical oncology begin treatment in 3.8 weeks.” See Bacchus Barua and David Jacques, “Waiting Your Turn: Wait Times for Health Care in Canada, 2018 Report,” Fraser Institute, December 4, 2018, https://www.fraserinstitute.org/sites/default/files/waiting-your-turn-2018.pdf, iii.
2. Barua and Jacques, “Waiting Your Turn,” iv.
3. Sonja Puzic, “‘It’s insane’: Ont. Patient Told She'd Have to Wait 4.5 Years to See Neurologist,” CTV News, November 2, 2017, https://www.ctvnews.ca/health/it-s-insane-ont-patient-told-she-d-have-to-wait-4-5-years-to-see-neurologist-1.3661114.
4. “Swedes Face Problems with Health Care System,” Business Times, September 4, 2018.
5. “Guide to NHS Waiting Times in England,” National Health Service, https://www.nhs.uk/using-the-nhs/nhs-services/hospitals/guide-to-nhs-waiting-times-in-england/ (accessed December 14, 2018).
6. Ceylan Yeginsu, “N.H.S. Overwhelmed in Britain, Leaving Patients to Wait,” New York Times, January 3, 2018, https://www.nytimes.com/2018/01/03/world/europe/uk-national-health-service.html.
7. Ayn Rand, "Man's Rights," The Virtue of Selfishness: A New Concept of Egoism (New York: Signet, 1964), 110.