I Can’t Count That High

So AP reports that the health care bill will cost $1.2 TRILLION to implement.  Can you imagine a trillion dollars?  Even I can hear the cachink cachink of the coins hitting the empty piggy bank.  But where are those coins coming from?  The president’s original prediction was $900 billion (like we even have that) and Nancy Pelosi repeatedly referred to it as a cost of $894 billion.  But $1.2 trillion? That’s way higher than they told us.

 

I would love to see affordable health care but someone has to pay the $1.2 trillion.  Guess who?  Still us.  Only instead of paying a doctor we’ll be paying the government.  Can you say Canada?  (Keep in mind I’m a New Yorker who also lives in Toronto, Canada most of the year so I know what it’s really like up here.)

 

Don’t let anyone fool you when they quote all those happy Canadians who love their health care system. Sure, lots do and those in favor of socialized medicine will dig them up to quote them.  But lots don’t and we have good reason.  Too many people have to wait far too long to get life saving treatment or tests.  Too many people don’t get the medical service they need at all.  Many people in Ontario don’t have a family doctor because there aren’t enough.  The emergency rooms and walk in clinics have obscene waiting times.  Doctors are limited in what they can do because there is a cap on what they can bill the government. The government decides who gets what and the papers here are full of the system failures.  It’s not all bad, but it’s sure not ideal.  There has to be a compromise and I think both countries can do better.

 

And how do you think socialized medicine is paid for? Super high taxes, of course.  Canadians do pay for health care.  They just don’t pay the doctor – some pay very, very high taxes.  And yes, many do it happily because they’re so grateful to have “free” health care.  Until they find out how how much the government decides for them and how many things have been de-listed as in you still have to pay that out of your pocket.

 

Take my audiologist in Toronto.  I have to pay to go see her.  That visit used to be covered but it’s been de-listed.  (Many services have been de-listed, like eye doctors, optometrists, etc.)  The government kicks in a whopping $500 towards my hearing aids every five years and not one day sooner.  Have you seen the price of hearing aids lately?  Will the new $1.2 TRILLION dollars for health care pay for that?

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