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Commentary

BOOKS: Why Canada isn't the answer to health care
Elizabeth Whelan, Washington Times, 11-14-04

This is a book review of Miracle Cure: How to Solve America’s Health Care Crisis and Why Canada Isn’t the Answer, by Sally Pipes, President and CEO of the Pacific Research Institute, a San Francisco based think tank.

Whelan says that Pipes knows that “for most Americans access to health care and inexpensive drugs are considered an entitlement” that all should receive at “little or no cost”. As a former Canadian herself, Pipes catalogues the serious shortcomings of Canada’s single payor system, and this allows her to illustrate how government regulations and interference in health care markets adversely impacts medical care in the U.S.

Pipes also puts America’s health care crisis into perspective: most Americans spend only about 6% of their income on health care costs (about the same as dining out and entertainment) and seniors only spend about 3% on prescription drugs – not what you would call terrific hardships. Her prescriptions for improving American health care are elegant and simple. Educate the public about real health care costs and convince them that health care isn’t an entitlement; increase use of health savings accounts (HSAs) and high deductible insurance policies; and complete real medical malpractice reform. Taken together, her advice would significantly improve the cost and quality of health care for all Americans.



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