It is one of the painful signs of our times that millions of people are so easily swayed by rhetoric that they show virtually no interest at all in finding out the hard facts. Any number of other countries already have government-controlled medical professions. Yet few Americans show any interest in what actually happens to medical care in those countries.
Cancer survival rates are higher in the United States than in Europe. A recent report by the Fraser Institute in Vancouver estimates that annually tens of thousands of Canadians seek medical treatment outside of Canada, even though treatment is free inside Canada and they have to pay themselves for treatment elsewhere.
Other studies show that waiting times for surgery are months longer in Canada, Britain and Australia ó all countries with government-controlled medical care ó than in the United States.
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and how politicians make existing insurance more expensive by blithely mandating coverage that people would not voluntarily pay for with their own money, if it was left up to them.
In various states, these mandated coverages include alcoholism, acupuncture, breast reduction and treatment for baldness, among other things. You may just want insurance to cover you in case you get hit with some big-time medical problem, but many state laws will not allow an insurance company to sell you that "major medical" coverage, without all the add-ons that politicians and special interests have come up with.
The net result is more expensive insurance, which in turn can mean more people being uninsured.
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The lure of something for nothing may be seductive when you are in good health. But it can become a bitter irony when you are waiting for months for surgery to relieve your pain or when your life hangs in the balance while some bureaucrat decides whether you can get the best medication or something older and cheaper.
"The Top Ten Myths About American Medical Care" can literally be a life-saver. What it reveals is unlikely to be told by the mainstream media or by other enthusiasts for the magic phrase "universal health care."