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Free Health Care – But at What Cost?

If you’ve been reading my daily rants for any length of time you know by now I’m no spring chicken. And one of the inevitable side effects of getting old is everyone around me is getting older too.
Literally everyone I know starting to show their age…friends… family members… even my dog. Every one except for my Mom – she’s just seems to get younger every day (I’m sure she’s reading thisJ)

So what do all these old fogies ALWAYS end up talking about when they get together?

Well there’s the weather and their grandchildren – but as of late it seems the #1 topic of our conversations at all the family get-togethers has been the rising cost of health care.

And in just about every conversation I’ve overheard on the subject someone inevitably brings up the issue of Socialized Medicine – an idea that I’m always very quick to dismiss.

Now that might make you wince a bit — because I know on the surface free healthcare sounds like a grand idea. But is that really the answer to all our problems?

Personally I don’t think so. The first thing you have to remember is – NOTHING IS FREE.

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Just take a look at our neighbors to the north — Canada’s government funded universal health care system includes provisions for a primary physician and hospital services — with ZERO co-payments or patient charges of any kind.
Basically that means you don’t have to pay a cent for any type of medical treatment – except for elective procedures like plastic surgery or hormone replacement therapy (unless it’s prescribed by your doctor).

Sounds great right? And in a perfect world it just might work – but even Canada’s highly touted government funded medical program has come under heavy fire as of late. The most notable problems being…

Inefficiency – a universal theme for every government backed program I can think of from prisons to public schools.

Insufficient funding – keep in mind nothing is free and somebody still has to pay for all these procedures, and the rich are getting tired of picking up the bill.

Failure to meet patient’s needs in a timely fashion – and why not, if going to the doctor were free I’d go in for a weekly check up too.

On June 9, 2005 the Canadian Supreme Court ruled on a case in which the patient with help from his primary physician sued the province of Quebec after waiting a year for hip replacement surgery.

Turning the spot light on the ongoing problems with patient waiting lists in Canada – the court then ruled to overturn a long standing ban on private medical insurance for available services.

Giving Canadians the option to pay for the required procedure if they so choose.

The courts found that waiting lists for health care services have resulted in numerous deaths… increased the length of time of patients living with pain…and reduced the average patient’s ability to enjoy a high quality of life.

The Canadian public is split – but I think at the end of the day they’re going to like having a choice.

It’s sad too — here in the US if a convicted murderer on death row were in need of hip replacement surgery, I’d wager he’d be on the operating table by the end of the week – paid for with tax payer’s dollars at that.

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If we tried putting him on a waiting list the ACLU would have a field day. Can you imagine convicted murderers living in pain?! That just wouldn’t be right – but it’s OK for average Canadian citizen thanks to socialized medicine!

The vast majority of Canadian doctors do believe that a major reform is needed. And they think a big part of that change should be to allow at least a small contingent of private health care practices to pick up some of the slack.

And I couldn’t agree more. I think another very valid reason for allowing for at least some privatization is quality of care. Not only do you get what you pay for – but look at this situation from a young doctor’s perspective.

Imagine you just spent the last 10 years of your life studying 12 hours a day to practice medicine. Where would you want to set up shop?

In Canada where you’re basically a government salaried employee — or would you move a little farther south and start up your practice here in the US where you could name your price?

Of course – you’d go where the money is! And that’s why we attract the best doctors from all around the world – India – China – Pakistan – Canada — you name it we got em.

It’s a no brainier. Even with cost of malpractice insurance sky rocketing we’re still able to attract the very best of the best.

People fly in from all over the world to take advantage of our cutting edge medical procedures and specialists. Canadians come too and not just to avoid the long waiting lists – many are looking for a higher quality of care not found in their home country.

Now I’d love to fix this and every other problem I come across – but since I don’t have any intelligent advice on how to fix this or the dysfunctional Medicare system here in my own country. The best advice I can give to my fellow dollar strapped Americans is to stay healthy!

Eat right – exercise daily – and try to laugh and enjoy life. Make sure you’re getting checked out by your doctor regularly because the best medicine is preventative medicine.

And the next time you hear someone bring up the subject of socialized medicine. Tell them to imagine what it would be like if their doctor’s office was run more like the DMV.

Do you agree – disagree? Either way I’d love to hear your opinion on the matter, so drop me a line at and let me hear your thoughts.

Stay Healthy!

Louis Hart
Best Life Herbals

Important Note: All materials in this email are provided as opinion only and may not be construed as medical advice or instruction. No action should be taken based solely on the contents of this information; instead, readers should consult appropriate health professionals on any matter relating to their health and well-being. No communication by our employees to you should be deemed as actual medical advice. The opinions contained in the E-Letter are believed to be sensible advice but can in no way meant to replace the advice of sound medical council.

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