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View Diary: Ezra Klein: Single payer not as simple as it looks (35 comments)

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  •  What do I think? (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Johnny Q, divineorder

    well, right off the top, the article is from Bloomberg, so it's highly suspect.

    Which was confirmed by it's statement that Canada has a truly single payer health care system.

    It doesn't - while government pays about 2/3rds of health care costs, that's split between different levels of government (i.e., provincial and federal levels).

    Plus, more substantially, patients pay for things like prescription drugs (at least in some provinces like British Columbia - although most pharmaceutical expenditures there are probably for "BC Bud") and dental . . .

    •  Cdn Feds provide provinces with the money (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      fcvaguy

      Provinces have the discretion to spend it as they choose, but the lion's share of the money they get for health care does go to health care.

      Health care is a provincial domain, so they have to run it.  But the federal gov't pays for it indirectly through transfers to the provinces.

      •  No, the feds provide very little (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        divineorder
        In 2009, the government funded about 70% of Canadians' health care costs. This is slightly below the OECD average of public health spending.[19] This covered most hospital and physician cost while the dental and pharmaceutical costs were primarily paid for by individuals.[19]
        Of the 70% provided by government, provincial governments provided the lion's share:
        Most government funding (94%) comes from the provincial level.[15]
        links

        Bottom line, the federal government in Canada pays about 6% of 70%, or about 4% overall (way less than in the USA, btw).

        •  Hmm, that doesn't sound right (0+ / 0-)

          Canada spends about $200B in total health care, and the feds provide about $30B for health care, and about $30B more in other transfers that largely get used for health care though it's hard to attribute it specifically.  Realistically I think the amount used on health care from the feds is more like $45B/yr.

          •  Not sure if you're just making stuff up or not ... (0+ / 0-)

            (and if you think my Wikipedia information is wrong, you should go fix it!)

            In any event, even if your new information is correct your previous statement:

            But the federal gov't pays for it indirectly through transfers to the provinces.
            really should be:
            But the federal gov't pays for about 1/5th of it indirectly through transfers to the provinces.
            Quite a bit of a difference, really!
    •  Bloomberg is not right wing (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Justanothernyer, FG

      center-left sometimes, center-right sometimes. Depends on the issue. Ezra Klein wrote the article, not Mayor Bloomberg.

      •  Well, either way it contains a lot of crazy stuff (0+ / 0-)
        •  Such as? (0+ / 0-)

          Give me a couple of links.

          •  This (0+ / 0-)

            New Yorker article offers the best explanation I've seen - essentially the high health care costs in the USA result from physicians acting primarily as business people, not health care providers (and the willingness of those who pay to allow this).  

            This results in costs per patient of about $15,000 as compared to other models (e.g., reimbursement made to "keep people healthy" as compared to on a fee-for-service basis) where the cost is 1/3rd that (with just as good outcomes for the patients).

            Unfortunately, the $15K compared to the $5K model dominates.

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