The Truth About Canadian Healthcare

By Alain Lambert

Why can’t America’s healthcare system be more like Canada’s? Here’s a better question: why would you want it to be? French-Canadian entrepreneur Alain Lambert has first-hand experience with both Canada’s and America’s healthcare systems, and he offers some cautionary tales. Canadian-style healthcare might not be as good for your health as you think.

Please watch the VIDEO.

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Why the U.S. Postal Service Keeps Losing Money Year After Year

Craig Eyermann, Independent Institute – Re-Blogged From Headline Wealth

The government-run U.S. Postal Service began in 2020 with a dubious track record. It has lost money in each of the past 13 years.

In 2019, USPS made $514 million more in revenue than it did in its previous fiscal year, thanks to increases in postage rates and its package delivery business. But the agency also recorded a net loss of $8.8 billion, with 80 percent of that loss attributable to employees’ health-care benefits after retirement.

Losses stemming from retirement-benefits have occurred annually since 2006 when the U.S. Congress passed a law requiring the Postal Service to pre-fund the cost of providing its retiree health benefits, similar to how many businesses in the private sector are required to do.

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Radical Leftist Bill Seeks To Deny Life-Saving Surgeries To Adults Over The Age of 70

The latest attack on human rights is geared towards the elderly and you won’t believe what liberals want to do now.

Yet again determined to falsely assume the role as God, liberals are attempting to decide who lives and who dies.

And if the radical left-wing party in the Netherlands get their way – those who are older will lose access to medical care permanently.

Pyramids Of Crisis

By John Mauldin – Re-Blogged From Silver Phoenix

In an increasingly divided world, we all share one great desire: self-preservation. Not just humans, either. The survival instinct exists in almost every living thing. Humans simply have greater ability to do something about it.

In fact, we have been doing something about it for many thousands of years. An inverted pyramid of geniuses and giants, modern medicine, nutrition, sanitation, and assorted other innovations has extended our lifespans and helped more of us live to ripe old ages. That’s wonderful… but it’s also a problem many of us still don’t fully understand.

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Is Canada’s Health Care System Better Than Ours in the US?

By Carlin Becker – Re-Blogged From IJR

Health care is always on Americans’ minds, and the politics around keeping people insured and healthy, cutting costs and providing high-quality care remains a critical issue.

While some have argued for deregulating the health care industry, insisting less red tape and more competition would yield better results, others on the political spectrum have pushed for a government-run system reminiscent of our neighbors to the north — but is Canada’s health care system really better than ours?

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Enemies of Humanity

By Steven Lyazi  Re-Blogged From http://www.WattsUpWithThat.com

Mosquitoes and uncaring environmental activists perpetuate poverty, disease and death

After being infected again with malaria last July, I spent almost a month in a Kampala hospital. Paying for my treatment was extremely difficult, as it is for most Ugandan and African families. I was lucky I could scrape the money together. Many families cannot afford proper treatment.

Where and how can they get the money to go back to the hospital again and again, every time a family member gets malaria, when they also need food, clothes and so many other things – or malaria makes them so sick that they can’t work for weeks or even months? Many parents can do nothing except watch their loved ones die in agony, and then give them a simple burial.

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If You’re Going to get Sick – Better do it Before Single Payer

By The Common Constituionalist – Re-Blogged From http://www.iPatriot.com

On his radio program  Monday evening, Mark Levin was discussing the ghastly way the Republican Party has treated us regarding the whole healthcare debacle. Mark said, “It’s amazing to me that a man can remain the Majority Leader, McConnell, when the man controlling the Senate, for all intents and purposes, is Chuck Schumer.”

Levin said, “we thought Republicans would repeal ObamaCare – we thought that would be a no-brainer.”

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How to Run a Medicare Surplus Without Raising Taxes or Cutting Benefits

By Chuck Bolotin – Re-Blogged From Newsmax

The numbers are hard to ignore.

According to the 2016 report from the Boards of Trustees, Medicare Part A will run out of money in less than 11 years. As a country, the United States is experiencing “deer caught in the headlights syndrome”; We’ve been alerted to a grave impending danger, but we’re frozen into inaction.

Whether we choose to accept it or not, something has to give. The truck is barreling down the road, and if we don’t do something soon, we’ll all be roadkill. Why don’t our leaders act? Because they can’t come up with a solution that doesn’t either cut Medicare benefits or raise taxes, or both, and what politician wants to run on a platform of cutting benefits and / or raising taxes?

I am proposing a third solution, one that will not only eliminate the Medicare funding deficit without raising taxes, but will do so without cutting benefits: Provide Medicare recipients with a voucher for 75% of what Medicare would pay for their procedure in the U.S. and then let them receive their healthcare services anywhere in the world they choose.

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Rand Paul: Establishment Attempting to “Pull the Wool” over President’s Eyes on Obamacare Lite

By Onan Coca – Re-Blogged From Freedom Outpost

Senator Rand Paul (R-KY) recently sat down with Breitbart’s Matthew Boyle to discuss the bill that he calls “Obamacare-Lite,” and why it is that Republicans should be against it.

GOP leadership has long known that their “plan” for dealing with Obamacare would meet stiff resistance in Congress and on Main Street, which is why they did their best to hide the bill until the last moment possible. Now that it’s been made public, opposition has stiffened as conservatives begin to realize that this bill actually means that Obamacare will likely never be repealed, only retooled to satiate Republican opposition. How is it that the Republican Party, once opposed to socialized medicine, has now seemingly embraced some aspects of socialism? It’s a tremendous change from the way Republicans have been campaigning for the last 5 or 6 years, with their promises of repeal now giving way to simply offering mild adjustments to Obama’s healthcare disaster.

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Why Inflation Is Unlikely To Return

By Rick Ackerman – Re-Blogged From http://www.Silver-Phoenix500.com

Is it possible that wage inflation is re-emerging in the US after a 35-year hiatus? That’s what the experts seem to believe, but there are good reasons to think they will be wrong. Consider the substantial pay increase that minimum-wage workers received in many cities and states where this issue was on the ballot in November. In theory, they will have more money to spend, and this will push the prices of goods and services higher.  In practice, because their employers, particularly those in the fast food business and brick-and-mortar retail, are in a last-ditch fight for survival, it is far more likely that a vast number of low-wage jobs will be eliminated. Even now, we are seeing workers who received raises in 2017 ask their employers to reduce their hours so that they can continue to qualify for food stamps and Obamacaid.

This is the reality of the minimum wage world, and arbitrarily boosting hourly pay to $15/hour will only make things worse for employers and employees.  At best, the economic result will be a push with the broad benefits of higher wages offset by a reduction in entry-level and low-paying jobs. In any event, the day is surely coming when McDonald’s will be able to operate a busy franchise with just two or three employees behind the counter. Amazon is already making similar strides in the grocery-store business. And Uber, having already made taxicab medallions worthless in many cities, could someday displace half the taxi drivers in America with driverless fleets like the one they are testing in Pittsburgh.

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The UN Poll

By Willis Eschenbach – Re-Blogged From http://www.WattsUpWithThat.com

A while back I discussed the UN Global Poll regarding what people around the world think is important to them. At that point there were about six million respondents. The people taking the poll are asked to choose (just choose, but not rank) the six issues that matter most to them from the following list:

BETTER JOB OPPORTUNITIES

FREEDOM FROM DISCRIMINATION AND PERSECUTION

ACTION TAKEN ON CLIMATE CHANGE

SUPPORT FOR PEOPLE WHO CAN’T WORK

ACCESS TO CLEAN WATER AND SANITATION

PROTECTING FORESTS, RIVERS AND OCEANS

RELIABLE ENERGY AT HOME

AFFORDABLE AND NUTRITIOUS FOOD

AN HONEST AND RESPONSIVE GOVERNMENT

A GOOD EDUCATION

EQUALITY BETWEEN MEN AND WOMEN

PHONE AND INTERNET ACCESS

POLITICAL FREEDOMS

BETTER TRANSPORT AND ROADS

PROTECTION AGAINST CRIME AND VIOLENCE

BETTER HEALTHCARE

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Now, Even Democrats Can See the ObamaCare Death Spiral

NY Post Editorial – Re-Blogged From http://nypost.com

Another day, another Democrat finally owning up to the fact that ObamaCare is a disaster. And another state facing the implosion of its health insurance market.

Minnesota Gov. Mark Dayton — once one of the Affordable Care Act’s most enthusiastic champions — is the latest Democrat to publicly eat crow for that support.

With good reason: Tens of thousands of Minnesotans are losing their coverage next year. And premiums on individual plans — which enroll 250,000 North Star State residents — will rise an average 50 percent to 67 percent.

“The reality is the Affordable Care Act is no longer affordable for increasing numbers of people,” Dayton admitted last week, calling the situation in his state “an emergency.”

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Bernie Sanders Says We Should be Spending Less on Health Care

By Ryan McMaken – Re-Blogged From http://www.mises.org

In the announcement of of his new health care plan this week, Bernie Sanders claimed that the US spends more on health care than any other country, and he said it as if it was a bad thing.
The claim that the US spends more than anyone else can indeed be true, depending on what measurement you use. As a dollar amount for all spending, Americans are near the top.  If you accept the World Health Organization’s, data — something that may or may not be advisable —  then the spending breakdown looks like this:
According to WHO, the US per capita spending is $8,467, followed by Norway at $6,106 and Luxembourg at $6,020.
Most of what puts the US above everyone else in this case is private spending. Rich countries in general spend more on health care since, even if one has access to taxpayer-financed health care, those with the means will often elect to pay for even more services (if the law allows). This isn’t just out-of-pocket, by the way. This is all spending in the private sector, so it includes the services already covered by a private insurance plan.  Although health care is among the most regulated and subsidized industries in the country, most government transactions are technically “private”:
Even after all that private spending, though, there’s still a whole lot of spending done by the government, and we find that in terms of government spending, the US is not an outlier at all, but is among the spendy-est of nations:
In this case, the US comes in at $4,047 behind Norway ($5,198), Luxembourg (5,061), and the Netherlands ($4,070), and is also quite comparable to Denmark ($3,801).
Wait, So Is Spending Now a Bad Thing? 
Here’s where it gets silly, though. When we’re talking about government spending on social welfare programs, the US is often condemned for not spending enough. Americans are stingy, we’re told, and are so greedy, in fact, they refuse to tax themselves to pay for more welfare programs.
The truth, however, is that the US is among the biggest spenders on welfare in general, and on health care in particular.
By this measure put out by the OECD, in terms of direct government spending on welfare as a percentage of GDP, the US comes in at 19.2 percent, which means it spends more than Australia, Canada, and Iceland. Switzerland is nearly equal to the US at 19.4 percent, and Norway is at 22 percent. So, we’re apparently to believe that this alleged “free market” and social-Darwinist system in the US is defined by a 2 to 3 percent difference in spending when compared to Norway or the United Kingdom (21.7%).
And this doesn’t even take into account all the tax breaks that the US commonly uses to reduce the tax burden on low-income households. If those are taken into account, the OECD notes, then social expenditure in the US is even higher than Norway, Luxembourg, and many others.
Nor does the government neglect health spending as part of all that spending. The US, which spends 20.3 percent of government expenditures on health, ranks with Switzerland (21.1%), New Zealand (20.3%), and Japan (19.4%):
So, if the US is spending nearly as much as, or even more than, the “generous” welfare states of northern Europe, why are we be constantly lectured about the need for more taxes and a larger role for government in everything?
Well, that’s when the advocates for even more taxpayer largesse change gears. “Don’t get me wrong,” they say. “We definitely need more taxes, and lots of them, but we need to spend those taxes differently.”
And that’s where the Bernie Sanders plan comes in. Sanders would like to overhaul the US health care system for the second time in five years, but this time, after instituting universal health care via a single-payer system, he’ll eventually make health care spending drop, and then we can cut taxes spend that tax money on something else.
How to Lower Costs: Revoke Choices for Patients
How will Sanders make the cost of health care go down? Well, that’s where things get murky, because the entire “plan” for doing this is about four pages long, and just based on the idea that administrative costs in the US are too high.
Writing in The New Yorker, James Surowiecki, who is hardly an advocate for laissez-faire, remains skeptical:

The answer in the document is vague: “Reforming our health care system, simplifying our payment structure and incentivizing new ways to make sure patients are actually getting better health care will generate massive savings.” The general idea seems to be that moving to the single-payer model will lead to a huge drop in administrative costs, and will also allow the government to use its leverage to drive down the prices of drugs and medical devices. According toan analysis that the campaign released by Gerald Friedman, a professor of economics at the University of Massachusetts at Amherst, costs in the new system would also rise much more slowly than they do today. Sanders claims that, all told, his plan will save ten trillion dollars across ten years.Neither the plan nor Friedman explains where those ten trillion dollars would come from.

Surowiecki concludes:

The truth is that if you want to save a trillion dollars a year in health-care spending, you can’t do it solely by cutting administrative costs and drug prices.

The fact of the matter is that high health care costs in the US are a byproduct of US consumer choices and a variety of factors far beyond the fact that administrative costs are high. Victor Fuchs writes in The Atlantic:

Why does the United States spend so much more? The biggest reason is that U.S. healthcare delivers a more expensive mix of services. For example, a much larger proportion of physician visits in the U.S. are to specialists who get higher fees and usually order more high-tech diagnostic and therapeutic procedures than primary care physicians.

Compared with the average OECD country, the U.S. delivers (population adjusted) almost three times as many mammograms, two-and-a-half times the number of MRI scans, and 31 percent more C-sections. Also, the U.S. has more stand-by equipment, for example, 1.66 MRI machines per 6,000 annual scans vs. 1.06 machines. The extra machines provide easier access for Americans, but add to cost.

Similarly, occupancy rates in U.S. acute care hospitals are much lower than in OECD countries, reducing the likelihood of delays in admissions, but building that extra capacity adds to cost. Aggressive treatment of very sick elderly also makes the mix expensive. In the U.S. many elderly patients are treated in intensive care units (ICUs), but in other countries they would receive only palliative care. More amenities such as privacy and space in hospitals and more attractive clinics also add to U.S. costs.

While the U.S. mix of services is disproportionately tilted toward more expensive interventions, the other OECD countries emphasize a “plain vanilla” mix. Compared with the U.S., the average OECD country has 30 percent more physician visits and more than 30 percent more hospital days per capita.

One can agree or disagree from a medical perspective as to whether or not all those C-sections and tests are a good thing, but the fact of the matter is that Americans seem to have no problem with taking advantage of all these “extra” health services. Old people are free to refuse intensive efforts to save their lives, and opt for the European model of letting very-ill old people die sooner rather than later to save money. But many choose procedures designed to prolong their lives instead of merely ease their pain.
These are choices that real people make, and the only way to truly cut the cost of health care such a system is to diminish the ability of people to make these choices.  Rather than leave these decisions up to the individuals, who may opt for more expensive options, these choices would instead have to be made by administrators who are primarily concerned with keeping costs under control.
Now, even if one has no particular problem with government control of the health care system, anyone whose honest about any political decision knows that there are both winners and losers, and upsides and downsides. There are upsides to single-payer type health care if all you need is some antibiotics and a hernia surgery.
However, if your problem involves difficult diagnostic problems, you may opt for the more “expensive” health care system.
But What About Outcomes?
Having been robbed of the idea that the US welfare state is unusually stingy, the advocates for more welfare must then fall back on the idea that the outcomes are worse, so, therefore, the US taxpayers must both spend more and spend differently.
The problem is that it is not at all obvious that the outcomes would be significantly different after some additional tinkering with the system.
After all, the divergence between US outcomes and the outcomes in the supposedly superior systems of western Europe can be quite small.
Here’s a map of life expectancy at birth for Europe, using OECD data. It ranges from the mid-70s in Russia and Eastern Europe, to 83 in Iceland and Switzerland. Government-provided health care is the norm throughout Europe, including Eastern Europe:
 Below is the same scale imposed on North America.
It ranges from a high of 82 in British Columbia, Ontario, and Quebec, to 75 in West Virginia, Alabama, and Oklahoma. (Nearly all of Mexico is below 76 years.)
Most of the northern and Western US, however, has life expectancy levels at or above 80, putting is in the same category with Denmark, the UK, Belgium, and others.
Moreover, what we find is that, while all the US health care law is dominated by federal law, the differences in state life expectancy statistics can range by several years depending on regional factors. In other words, health care law in the US is nationwide, but health care outcomes vary significantly by region.
Logically, this would lead us to believe that health care outcomes depend on something more than mere public policy, including obesity rates, foreign born populations, and ethnic makeup. (See here for more.)
These issue can have profound effects on health outcomes, and although its been recently implied in the context of migrants that Europe is very ethnically diverse, the reality is that European countries are far more ethnically uniform, far more “white” than the US, and definitely less fat.
Indeed, if the US had an ethnic mix like Canada, where the largest non-white group is Asians (who have higher life expectancy than whites), and where the percentage of immigrants is higher than it is in the US, the life expectancy of the US would immediately increase significantly. (In North America, immigrants are healthier than natives.) Like Europeans, Canadians are also less obese than Americans.
Conclusions
None of what I say here should be regarded as an endorsement of the American health care system which today is largely a hodgepodge of government regulations and historical accidents that led to the creation of a system driven by huge insurance conglomerates in a response to federal public policy after World War II. It’s a system that encourages more private spending on health care, by the way.
There is, of course, nothing “free-market” or laissez faire about American health care.
However, we should also be realistic about the effects of the suggested alternatives, which seek primarily to replace a highly regulated system with a totally centrally-planned one. Both are very sub-optimal, and a shift from the current system to a new system will bring both costs and benefits for different groups.
But, this idea that a move to a European-style system of health care will slash costs is based on nothing more than pure speculation, which is why no details are provided. In the meantime, taxpayers will be expected to pay far more in taxes.  And in the midst of it all, there’s no reason to believe that outcomes will be changed significantly in light of the realities of lifestyle, demographics, and geography.