Thursday, November 07, 2019

Medical costs in U.S. compared to Canada

Question on Quora:

Why is universal healthcare praised for being cheap despite taxes for said countries being significantly higher and thus the true medical cost being either as expensive or more than the US?

Answer by Scott Young, Commissioning Specialist Edmonton, Alberta, Canada.
Answered Aug 28

OK, Daniel Micheals lets do a comparison. You studied in Florida but do not list your home state so we will calculate your taxes based on there. I am in Alberta. 100,000 income for both. we could complicate this, I am married, you probably are too. Maybe kids,etc. Lets keep is simple though. Straight taxes only, no deductions.


Your premise is inaccurate.

The total cost per person by country is everything that anyone spends on healthcare, government insurance, private insurance, personal outlay.

In the USA, you pay about 40% more than in Canada. Why?

1. None of the government insurance systems has to make a profit. Your health insurance premiums have about 15% pulled right off the top for profit before you see one penny’s worth of medical treatment.

2. Your health insurance company has a bunch of people to check to see if you are covered. a whole department’s worth. In Canada, they check at the doctor’s office to see if you have a health card. That means that anything except for vanity cosmetic surgery is covered, every time.

3. Your health insurance company has a bunch of lawyers to fight the lawsuits when they turn you down. If they never turn you down, there are no lawsuits so no lawyers needed.

4. In Canada, there are 13 health insurance systems (provincial or territorial). In California, about the same population, there are over 50. That means that there are 4 times as many Presidents, CEOs, boards, etc.

5. Your doctor works for several health insurance systems. He has a separate billing system for each. My doctor in Illinois had three full timers and a part time billing clerk. My doctor in Edmonton has one billing system and one billing clerk who is also the receptionist.

You [in the U.S.] pay more but you end up with more children dying (High childhood mortality), more women dying (high prenatal mortality) and people just dying earlier (lower expected lifespan) than any other first world country.

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