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Your Opinion: Consider Canada’s health-care system

Your Opinion: Consider Canada’s health-care system

March 13th, 2019 in Opinion

Wade Park

Jefferson City

Dear Editor:

The letters in regard to the MU Health Care/SSM/JCMG situation have been interesting but offer no new information. If you have health insurance, your copay and deductible won’t change. It doesn’t really matter what’s billed: your insurance carrier has negotiated a contractual allowance (kind of a “price cap”) and an amount to be paid. That won’t change.

I’ve received health care at St. Mary’s and Capital Region and University Hospital and all have been fine to excellent. If St. Mary’s can remain open with current staff, that’s great. If we have local access to additional specialty services, that’s even better and benefits us all. Perhaps local providers envision competition, but I think that will only improve access and the standard of care.

It would be helpful to know the assumptions used by SSM to support building the new facility, and precisely what didn’t conform to their model. It may have been imprudent management or something beyond management control. In any case, if there’s interest in reducing the cost of health care other options can be considered.

There’s a country not far away with “Medicare for All” that pays less than half per person per year than we do in the United States. They pay about 10 percent of their GDP while we’re approaching 19 percent. They live longer than we do and are more satisfied with their health care system. All providers are “enrolled.”

Emergency services are available when needed although there may be a delay of several months for some elective procedures. They still have insurance for things like medications which may not be covered. There are no bankruptcies due to medical expenses, which still is the most frequent cause of bankruptcy here. Anyway, it’s…Canada!

Sometimes a collective solution is best for something we all need, like health care. We have Medicare because old people are uninsurable. We have Medicaid because we have some compassion for those who are extremely poor. The current system fails too many people. Please check it out and let us know if there are other effective approaches.