Right now, I have the misfortune to be “learning” about national politics from a whole bunch of liberal college students. Today, we “learned” about health care, and a variety of misconceptions were presented.
1. A Public Option will not hurt the insurance companies.
Okay, let’s look at this from a logical standpoint. The reason that we (allegedly) need a public option is because some people can’t afford a private option. Therefore, the public option needs to be cheaper, or we have the same problem. If it’s cheaper, and just as good (which it would have to be because the goal of this is for all people to have equal ability to keep themselves alive) then people are going to opt into it. Even if you can afford the private option, you will take the public one: it’s cheaper.
2. There are no long lines in Universal Health Care Countries.
Brits pull out their own teeth—http://www.cnn.com/2007/WORLD/europe/10/15/england.dentists/index.html
At any given time in Great Britain, there are over half a million people waiting to get into a hospital for treatments.—http://abcnews.go.com/2020/Stossel/story?id=7938095&page=1
Canadians wait a median of six weeks to see a specialist following a referral from their family doctor. They are then forced to wait about another seven weeks to receive the treatment the specialist recommends. Should they need a CAT scan, the median wait is five weeks; for an MRI, 11 weeks. In America, you can get an MRI for your family pet within a day or two.—-http://www.heritage.org/Press/Commentary/ED032202.cfm
The Canadian Medical Association reported last year that 121 patients in Ontario scheduled for bypass surgery had been permanently removed from the waiting list. The reason: They had waited so long they were deemed medically unfit to undergo surgery without an unacceptable risk of dying.
The World Health Organization estimates that 25,000 people in Britain die unnecessarily of cancer every year – people who would likely have survived had they been in the United States. For a British man with colon cancer, the five-year survival rate is 41 percent; in the United States, 64 percent. For lung cancer, the survival rates are 6 percent and 13 percent, respectively. Women with breast cancer in Britain survive in 67 percent of cases after five years, compared with 84 percent of American women.
3. People in Universal Health Care Countries like their system, so it’s good.
While this one should be self explanatory, let me mention a few things. First, people support systems for a variety of reasons. In Canada, the main reason people support the system is that they think it is promotes equality (http://abcnews.go.com/Health/PrescriptionForChange/story?id=2582976&page=1). They like to think that their country allows everyone free and fair access. This doesn’t mean that the system is good, though arguably a system where everyone suffers equally is fair.
I hope that’s enough to debunk those misconceptions. If not, feel free to comment.