• United States: $5,267 on health care/ $2,364 is government spending.
• Canada: $2,931 on health care / $2,048 is government spending.
• France: $2,736 on health care / $2,080 is government spending.
So what is this supposed to imply? That if we changed to the French system of socialized medicine, we’d pay less for healthcare?
The most important point I can make here is that the United States already has socialized medicine: (1) Prices for medical procedures are set by Medicare, and most private insurance companies follow the same price schedules. (2) Hardly anyone actually pays there own way for healthcare. Whether they have Medicare, or an employer provided plan (which receives a significant tax subsidy—meaning that the government pays for part of that as well), they get to consume medical services without paying.
Prices set by the government? People get services without paying anything? That sounds close enough to socialized medicine to just call it that!
I don’t know much about the French medical system, but we might very well have better healthcare at lower cost by changing to a socialized system like the French one. It might be more efficient than our current socialized system. Who knows?
On the other hand, I am nearly certain that we’d improve our healthcare by de-socializing it. I previously wrote about pay at time of service healthcare where people pay the doctor at time of service. Doctors are able to provide health services at much lower costs when they don’t have to pay for a staff of people to bill the insurance companies. I am also convinced that quality would improve. Imagine seeing the following ad on TV: “At the Smith health center, if you wait more than ten minutes after your scheduled appointment time, your visit is free.” That kind of service sure isn’t going to happen under our current system.
I don’t understand why people are so attached to the model of all doctor visits being paid for by insurance. The healthcare system would be so much more efficient if there was free market competition between healthcare providers. High deductible insurance would still be there if you got really sick. That’s the real purpose of insurance: to pay for what you can’t afford.