Canadians are having to flee the country in order to get healthcare.
In 2016, the number of people leaving the country in need of treatment skyrocketed an incredible 40%, to well over 60,000 Canadians. All across Canada’s provinces, the number of people leaving is increasing. In fact, only three of the nation’s 10 provinces saw a decrease in the disturbing figure. Many people in need of medical treatment simply grew tired of waiting, and felt forced to finally seek treatment abroad.
“Considering Canada’s long health-care wait times, which can result in increased suffering for patients and decreased quality of life, it’s not surprising that so many Canadians are travelling abroad for medical treatment,” said Yanick Labrie, Fraser Institute senior fellow and co-author of the study.
The average Canadian is currently having to wait an average of 10.6 weeks to see a specialist. That is a month longer than what physicians deem reasonable.
According to the studies estimates, Canadians are not traveling thousands of miles to see specialists either. The Frasier study estimates Canadian patients (9,454) traveled abroad for general surgeries, more than any other treatment.
This fact even made it into the presidential last year when, at the time, Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump brought up health care during a debate. Trump called the Canadian health care system “slow” and “catastrophic,” going on to say that “when [Canadians] need a big operation […] they come into the United States.”
The facts show that the future presidential winner was correct.
This exodus of Canadians seeking treatment because they are unable to see someone in their city, or even their country, flies in the face of the healthy dose of praise heaped on America’s northern neighbor by liberals. Democrat politicians and liberal voters often cite Canada, Sweden and the UK as proof that socialized medicine can work.
What is not mentioned is that these populations are much smaller, and less diverse, than America’s. The combined population of the United Kingdom (69.5 million), Canada (33 million) and Sweden (9.8 million) is barely more than one-third (33%) the size of America (321.4 million).
For perspective, Sweden, the homogeneous Nordic nation that liberals often rave about when the subject of socialized health care is broached, has the population of Georgia, Michigan or North Carolina. America is 33 times larger. Canada, another example of a working single payer system for the left, is about 10% smaller than California, in terms of population.
Imagine if Californians were having to flee to Nevada, Oregon, or further, for general surgeries. Yet recently, California decided to emulate the Canadians by passing their own single-payer health care bill. There was just one problem: money.
The $400 billion single-payer bill passed California’s Senate, 23-14. It now will be advanced to the Assembly, where they will work to find ways to include the taxes necessary to pay for this state handout.
When analysis of the bill was released estimates were that the state would have to raise $200 billion each year to pay for it. The solution proposed was more state taxes, this time in the form of a 15% percent payroll tax.
That is simply a job killer, and will force more jobs to flee the state. So as Obamacare has driven premiums up, financially ruined some families, cost millions of other Americans to lose their doctors and stifled job creators, Democrats are pushing for an expansion upon this system that is not working for many Americans.
Mrs. Stephanie Woolhandler, co-founder of Physicians for a National Health Program believes that in the long run, things will be better. “Government spending on health programs would initially rise, but it would later be offset by a reduction in premiums and out-of-pocket costs”. There were not many details given to back that assertion, but she goes on to claim that “What we have now is not a solution. We still have people dying. We still have people not getting care.” Again, there was no fact backing up this claim.
One advocate, Kitty Kennedy, of the Arizona Alliance for Retired Americans, suggested that allowing safe importation of drugs from abroad could make it easier for Americans to afford prescription drugs. This is a popular idea among voters on both sides because it introduces free markets, which conservatives love, and lower prices, which both sides are demanding.
California once again has taken the lead on becoming a socialist utopia. By being the first state to pass a single-payer system, even though it cannot fund it, and with New York working on its own single-payer system and Coloradans set to vote on such a ballot initiative in November, the left is trying to advance this single-payer medicine ball state by state. But will single-payer ever really come to America?
We’ve seen the Democrat base move the party very left in rapid order, but Democrat leaders are skeptical that the nation is ready to go this far left. During the election, Hillary Clinton said it was not feasible, Obama stated it would have to be done incrementally and even uber liberal San Francisco Democrat, Nancy Pelosi, flatly said “No.” when asked about running on socializing medicine in the next election cycle.
Avik Roy, who has advised Mitt Romney and other Republican candidates on health policy states “The real obstacle to a true single-payer system in America is not politics, in the sense of voters, Republicans blocking such a bill. It’s doctors and hospitals who would stand to be paid a lot less money”.
As it stands, the Democrat base want less free markets and more universal healthcare. There is no guarantee that that will solve anything, but it does guarantee that taxes will go up. That does not sound like a good deal for America and Americans.