In the United States, Medicare costs (along with the cost of health care services generally) continue to rise to unsustainable levels. As patient satisfaction levels decline, many Americans have been led to call for a Canadian-style ‘universal’ health care system. Meanwhile in Canada, and unknown to most Americans, health care waiting lists continue to grow, as more and more Canadians find themselves unable to get the basic care they need.
While each country boasts excellent health care services, broad accessibility to these services has become another matter entirely. Common to both countries are various prohibitions of the provision of medical services on a truly free market, which guarantees cost escalation. As more people find it difficult to afford their basic health care needs, politicians have seized upon the problem they caused by offering them a means to access those services without incurring a direct personal cost – socialized health care.
In the perpetual controversy over socialized health care, confusion reigns supreme, partially due to the varying testimonials of patients within a given system. Some are quite happy with the medical services they receive, while most appear less so. Another reason has to do with the fact that at any given point in time, only a minority of people find themselves forced to experience their health care systems directly, while the vast majority has no direct knowledge of the crisis looming at their doorsteps.