Americans’ mindset on healthcare slows move toward single-payer system
Regarding the recent article “As U.S. Democrats line up behind single payer, some Canadians are suing to allow private insurance” (ModernHealthcare.com, Oct. 10), a key observation is the statement: “Ninety percent of all types of cases are completed within about 31 weeks.” The story notes that some 82,000 adults and nearly 5,000 children are on waiting lists for orthopedic procedures in Canada. In the U.S., such wait times would cause outrage, with countless related lawsuits for delay of care.
The major difference in countries that are somewhat successful with single-payer, universal health coverage is the mindset of the population. In Canada and other universal coverage countries, patients are prepared to wait for elective or nonurgent services that we Americans want scheduled tomorrow. If they want the procedure faster, they pay out of pocket and come to the U.S.
Someone once said in a lecture that we Americans have infinite healthcare demands with finite resources. That is so true. Until we can balance out the cost/benefit equation and reduce the expectations of the average American patient, I don’t see universal healthcare being very successful.
Denise Adema Fort Myers, Fla.