Slightly Used Bedpans For Sale, Cheap - Ask for Ralph
This would seem to be the other part of Ralph Klein's vision for health care. Cut rate equipment, cut rate supplies - remember they do stuff like this in the U.S. Then remember why their malpractice insurance costs so much. Then remember that the unnecessary billing bureaucracy in the U.S. and their massive profit extraction causes U.S. health care to cost about 15% of GDP compared to about 10% in Canada (Christian Science Monitor - Dec 2003), and 45 million Americans have no health insurance and many more have limited coverage - estimated at around 60 million underinsured (multiple sources).
"One of the main culprits pushing up the cost of care in the United States is the expense of administering a plethora of complicated health plans. It has been estimated that any large health insurer in a midsize U.S. state spends more on administration than is spent on health administration in all Canada." (San Fransisco Chronicle - Oct 14, 2004)
The same San Fransisco Chronicle Chronicle article says "Dr. Catherine Kurosu is a gynecologist at two San Diego hospitals. A Canadian, she said the biggest differences between the two systems are that poorer Americans won't seek medical care until their problems have become serious. In addition, she said, American insurers often play games to avoid paying bills."
"When it comes to billing, the Canadian system is a simple matter of sending an invoice to the Ministry of Health, which pays on a fee-for-service basis, she explained. In the United States, there are so many insurance companies, each with its own rules covering not only the patient but also the doctor -- as Kurosu learned when she had to wait months for an insurance company to approve her.
U.S. health insurers 'nickel and dime' doctors by always sending bills back and questioning everything, she said. 'It's like a game to see how long they can forestall payment.'"
Is this the vision we as Canadians have for health care?