October 31, 2019

When a Canadian Explained to Me the Horrors of Socialized Medicine

By Bonnie Cohen and Howard Sachs


I was in line at Costco — that wonderful example of American liberty, capitalism, the profit motive, and what it brings us — namely, a bounty of wonderful goods and services we freely choose, all at low cost and high quality.  Costco is an example of what’s right in America.  So why not pass the time and strike up a conversation with the fellow customer in front of me?

I heard from her accent she was from Canada.  I asked her about socialized medicine.  I said to her that all the men and women of the American Left (the Democratic Party) tell us to look to Canada, to a big powerful government as a model of what we should seek to run our own health care here in America.  This articulate, open, and wise woman responded and warned me about such nonsense.  She reminded me of what is fast fading in America: a people in love with liberty and all that it brings.  Millions in America now tragically and foolishly follow the lead of the freedom- and wealth-destroying Left.  Its propaganda, false promises, and foolish ideas are alluring but in the end destructive.  Their values would destroy the Costcos of America.  They are well on the road to destroying our great medical system.

The woman said (paraphrased), “Even though you’re getting close to complete government control of health care, you American’s don’t know how good you still have it here.  If you really want to know, come to Canada, where the state now runs everything.  It’s ugly and scary.”

She elaborated.  She told me the tragic story of her sister, who had worked as a nurse in a hospital.  She experienced  some serious symptoms that needed further tests.  She was put in a long queue to have an MRI.  Her sister worked as a nurse.  She could have pulled strings to get ahead of others waiting in the long line.  She chose not to take advantage.  Finally, seven months later, the scan was performed.  The test revealed a cancer that was no longer treatable.  My Costco line-mate said, “This happens all the time in our state-run Canadian system.  You in America, you don’t hear about these things, do you?” 

Why would we? We no longer essentially have a free press.  Our press, for the most part, is now the Democratic Party Progressive Left Press, and such facts would not fit the narrative of the wonderful Big-Government “free health care for all” propaganda.

The woman from Canada continued, “The people in your country are incredibly foolish thinking that Big Government is the way to go with health care or just about anything else in life.”

I told my brother, a doctor here in America for 35 years, about what this woman said.  He responded with the following. “That woman is absolutely right.  It’s tragic that Canadians now have to teach Americans about the greatness of liberty and free-market capitalism.  At the bottom of all this Medicare for All business is the weakness it shows that resides to varying degrees in all of us.  It is the weakness of ignorance about liberty, history, and economics.  It is also the weakness of not wanting to grow up.  And that combination of ignorance, foolishness, and childishness only wrecks the adult world in which we live.  Socialism in medicine or anything else is not kind, not compassionate, and not progressive.  What it produces is mean, nasty, dark, destructive, and regressive.”

When you give into all this weakness and hand your freedom and money over to these politicians, of course you’ll get some good from it.  Who wouldn’t get something after spending several hundred billion or a few trillion dollars a year on health care?  But that’s not the question mature, intelligent, free American adults should be asking.  They should be asking the question, at what cost do I get such stuff, and could I get as much or more of it at much lower costs and higher quality? 

 The answer is clear.  If you pick the Big Government control way, the way that removes freedom and profit, what you get is destruction of our American liberty, our medical system, and our wealth.  You get in medicine massive costs and waste of money, low quality, the end of customer service, rationing, shortages, withering of innovation, and lack of excellence.  It’s plain and simple.  That’s the way of the adult real world.  Such paths have been chosen in many places and at many times in history.  The experiment has been run over and over, and it’s always the same.  It doesn’t matter if it’s England, Canada, Cuba, India and China.

No Bernie, Beto, Ocasio-Cortez, Pete, Elizabethm or Kamala, no matter how passionate, loud, compassionate, and aggressive they may sound, is going to change the laws of nature, the laws of freedom, or the laws of economics.  No matter how much they or their supporters wish upon a star, government-run health care will always bring you exorbitant waste; expense; and the grimy, depressing Department of Motor Vehicles–type of care and service.  This is where you meet the blurry-eyed, tired, worn bureaucrats and salaried overworked and underpaid docs and nurses barely looking at you when you show up.  This is the medical care where they’ll tell you to “take a number, Lady; have a seat, and if you’ve got any complaints, write your congressman.”  This is the medical care where you and your doctor are to basically shut up, get in line, fill out the forms, and do what you’re told by faceless unaccountable bureaucrats.  This is what millions cheer for as they “Felt the Bern?”  I get nauseated thinking of it.

This is also why with government now controlling most of American medicine, it costs a family $20,000 for an insurance policy that should cost $5,000.  It’s why an MRI scan routinely costs $2,000 when it should cost about $500.  It’s why a heart surgery that costs $100,000 should, with government out of the way, maybe cost a fraction of that. 

So yes, indeed, the Canadian lady at Costco had it spot on.  America should flat-out reject this Medicare for All business and, in fact, demand we get the tangled massive web of government control already in place out of our lives, doctors’ offices, and hospitals.  But humans are flawed creatures.  Childishness and ignorance inhabit all of us to varying degrees — always do, always will.  Our founders understood that.  It’s why they made it illegal in the Constitution for government to grab the power to control health care.  But the men and women of the Left don’t care about the law, especially one written by white, Christian, cis-gendered males 250 years ago.  They care about their ideology of power and control.  Giving into this never works out well…ever. 

I am a husband, father, grandfather, friend, business owner, traveller, Harley rider, citizen, patriot, gun owner, politically eclectic person of strange personal habits. I support police, trust no politicians, and can argue any side of an argument just to amuse myself. People love me or hate me and those that are in-between don't know me.