“I hate it that people think that the “coverage denied” problem exists only in private (or quasi-private as exists in the United States) medical systems.People in Canada (where I live) are denied medical care all the time. There is no garantee whatsoever that you will get the medical care you need. When there is a shortage of care (which is common), the government simply denies some people medical care. You can’t legislate away scarcity.
The thing that systems like Canada garantee is that you will not be billed for health care. People still go without health care as much or more than the U.S., but no-one is going to lose their home, or their automobile, or not get a job, because of their health problems. No one has to make the decision not to go on vacation or forego buying that big plasma TV in order to pay for their health insurance.If you want to argue that modern medical treatments like Chemotherapy, MRIs, etc., have very little effect on life expectancy (most of our increased life expectancy comes from immunizations, antibiotics, plentiful food, and floride / dental care), and that finacial security should be the overriding concern when comparing medical systems, then we can have a rational discussion. Maybe state-run health care IS better at providing people a feeling of financial security. Perhaps state-run health care can make better decisions on who should be denied health care than the market (i.e. state-run systems tend to let older citizens die off without a bunch of expensive treatments… perhaps it is more “ethical” to deny old people care instead of people who have less money).
However, as long as people keep presenting the myth that poor people in Canada or the UK or wherever have greater access to medical treatment, that they aren’t just as likely to be outright denied coverage, then there can’t be any sort of rational discussion.
The discussion isn’t about “making sure everyone has access to healthcare”, because there has yet to be a system that provided everyone access to healthcare. What we should be discussing is how hard we should protect people from the choice of bankrupting themselves in order to pay for expensive treatments.”