VIEWPOINTS: The Case for Medicare for All

By Wornie Reed, Ph.D.

The United States is the only country in the industrialized world that does not provide medical care for all of its citizens. This approach is called by several different names — “Single Payer,” “National Health Plan,” “Universal Health Care,” “Medicare for All,” etc. All operate similarly as all citizens are provided medical care, and no intermediary insurance company is involved.

Opponents of universal health care coverage often mischaracterize Canada as an example of what we should not want. Nothing could be further from the truth. The Canadian plan would be significantly better than Obamacare, which is better than the “system” we had before. 

Ralph Nader discussed 25 reasons the Canadian system is better than ours. Here are some of these explanations:

  • In Canada, everyone is covered automatically at birth — everybody in, nobody out. In the United States 28 million Americans are not insured.
  • In Canada, coverage is not tied to a job or dependent on your income; rich and poor are in the same system, the best guarantee of quality.
  • In Canada, health care coverage stays with you for your entire life.
  • In Canada, you can freely choose your doctors and hospitals and keep them. There are no lists of “in-network” vendors and no extra hidden charges for going “out of network.”
  • In Canada, the health care system is funded by income, sales, and corporate taxes that, combined, are much lower than what Americans pay in insurance premiums directly and indirectly per employer.
  • In Canada, the government negotiates drug prices, so they are more affordable.
  • In Canada, the government health care funds are not profitably diverted to the top one percent.
  • In Canada, there are no required co-pays or deductibles in difficult to understand contracts.
  • In Canada, delays in health care are not due to the cost of insurance.
  • In Canada, the system is simple. You get a health care card when you are born. And you swipe it when you go to a doctor or hospital. End of story.

The data says the Canadian health care system puts America’s to shame.

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