The American people are angry and frustrated with their government. Real estate billionaire Donald Trump has tapped into that anger with bombastic rhetoric designed to feed the public’s hunger for politically incorrect straight talk. As a result, he is currently leading the polls for the Republican nomination for president.
Charles Krauthammer, highly respected syndicated columnist, recently described Trump’s campaign as “fact free.” When you’re on the campaign trail, no one holds you accountable for rhetoric free from facts. But the recent first Republican debate gave the public the chance to see Trump exposed when facts are important.
Trump is on record in the past as favoring single-payer healthcare; a system where the government is the sole insurance company that pays all the bills. Although his current position is to repeal and replace ObamaCare, he was challenged to defend his support of a single-payer system in the past. His response was:
“As far as single payer, it works in Canada, it works incredibly well in Scotland.”
Canada is a true “single-payer system” because the insurance system is controlled by the government, but the hospitals and doctors are privately owned. Scotland is a true socialized system, like the rest of Great Britain, because the British National Health Service runs everything.
Avik Roy, healthcare analyst for Forbes, tells us why Trump is wrong. A 2014 study by the Fraser Institute found that wait times for medically necessary treatment in Canada have increased from 9.3 weeks in 1993 to 18.2 weeks in 2014. For needed hip, knee, or back surgery it was 42.2 weeks and for neurosurgery 31.2 weeks.
Martin Samuels, founder of the neurology department at Harvard’s Brigham and Women’s Hospital, says it could be worse. After working as a visiting professor in Canada, he said, “The reason the Canadian health care system works as well as it does is because 90% of the population is within driving distance of the United States where the privately insured can be Seattled, Minneapolised, Mayoed, Detroited, Chicagoed, Clevelanded and Buffaloed. In the United States there is no analogous safety valve.”
That brings us to Scotland, where there is also no such safety valve. In 2008, a group of investigators conducted worldwide study of cancer survival rates, called CONCORD. The investigators asked the question: “If you get diagnosed in your country with breast cancer, or colon cancer, or prostate cancer, how long are you likely to live?”
The results of the study showed the United States performed better than every country in Western Europe. The United Kingdom came out second to last. If you’re diagnosed with breast cancer in the U.S., you have an 84 percent chance of living for five years. In Scotland, it’s 71 percent. If you have colon cancer in the U.S., you have about a 60 percent chance of surviving five years. In Scotland, it’s 46 percent. If you have prostate cancer in the U.S., you have a 92 percent chance of living five years; in Scotland, it’s 48 percent. Do you really believe that Donald Trump would prefer to receive his healthcare in Scotland?
In Canada, Scotland, and every other country where single-payer or socialized healthcare systems exist, the costs are controlled by rationing; making people wait. The problem is so bad that even in these countries the government has been forced to pay private healthcare providers to relieve the extreme waiting times.
Our own VA system, which is true socialized healthcare, is doing the same thing after the scandal of 2014 revealed that veterans were dying while waiting to receive treatment. It is a failed system of healthcare everywhere it has been tried. Trump is wrong on single-payer healthcare; and wrong for America.
(For more on single-payer healthcare and socialized medicine, read my new book, The ObamaCare Reality, available at Amazon.com by clicking on the link on this page or by contacting me directly at firstname.lastname@example.org.)