Leading policy-makers and scholars explain how market forces, deregulation, and consumer choice can work to improve health care for all Americans.


The "Choo-Choo Man" Party on the Outs
David Gratzer, National Review Online, 11-28-05

Gratzer, in our second article this week by a Manhattan Institute senior fellow, describes how the fall of the Liberal government in Canada was occasioned by widespread corruption and incompetence—particularly in Canada’s much vaunted (in the U.S.) health care system.

In a recent poll, more than 80 percent of Canadians rate the [health care] system “in crisis.” People wait for practically any diagnostic test, surgical procedure, or specialist consult. The doctors’ shortage is so severe that, in Norwood, Ont., winning the town lottery isn’t a ticket to material wealth. With just one family doctor to service the entire town, the physician takes only 50 new patients a year. As a result, the town holds an annual lottery with the 50 winners getting an appointment with him.
The plight of Norwood is not unusual. According to Statistics Canada, approximately 1.2 million Canadians don’t have a family doctor and are looking for one. American companies now routinely advertise in major Canadian dailies, offering timely health care — in the United States. And north of the 49th parallel, private health services are a booming business despite the fact that many operate in violation of federal law. The prime minister’s own family doctor, incidentally, runs the most successful chain of private clinics in the country.

Gratzer reminds us that the much touted virtue of the Canadian health care system, universal access, is more honored in the breach than it is in reality. Giving consumers more choices, more options, and more access, should be what health care is about—and that is exactly what market driven health care can do. Gratzer is hopeful that, over time, new Canadian leaders will expand the market’s role in Canadian medicine.

Project FDA.
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