Friday, 31 July 2009

André Picard on Universal Health Insurance: "Americans Can Only Dream of Having Such a System to Bemoan"

Today I’d like to thank André Picard, the health system writer for The Globe and Mail, for his excellent story yesterday about that woman who says she had to go to the State to get treated. check it out yourself if you have time, but if not just read the last few paragraphs.

“ The question is: Can insurers (and providers) delay and deny care, and can they limit and deny coverage?

Of course they can, and they do so all the time. In the United States, health insurance is expensive and it is often tied to employment. Even those with good insurance see their claims denied because of “pre-existing medical conditions,” insurers' attempts to hold down “medical losses” (the industry term for paying for care), and caps on total payouts.

Ironically, for all her lauding of private insurance, someone like Ms. Holmes would find it virtually impossible to buy insurance, given her medical history.

The infamous ad claims that Canadians have long waits and are denied all manner of care because the “government says patients aren't worth it.”

On the contrary, medicare – universal state-financed health insurance – means everyone is worthy of care and entitled to care.

If nothing else, Ms. Holmes' foray into the U.S. health-care debate should remind us of how medicare, despite some shortcomings, is worth it.

Americans can only dream of having such a system to bemoan.”

No comments: