Mr. Scannell’s response, “Medicare-for-all makes sense,” (Kirkland reporter, Nov. 17) asserts that Mr. Jared’s letter was “lots of heat and no light” and “convulsive and childish.” But citing Scandinavia and Canada, with socialized medical systems, as good examples for us to follow, is misinformed.
First, such countries have small populations. Canada has 35 million (smaller than California’s 39 million), Finland & Norway are about 5 million each (smaller than Washington’s 7 million), and Sweden has 10 million. Compare this with the United States, with a population of 320 million.
Doing it for a small nation is much different than doing it in a mammoth one. How will it scale?
Second, the United States subsidizes the military defense of these countries, freeing up money to subsidize their socialism. (I agree we should not be spending so much on an offensive military, but that is for another conversation). If it were not for the U.S. subsidizing these countries’ national defense, their socialism might not appear so rosy.
Third, American and U.S. based companies and universities research, invent and discover most of the medical innovations that these countries after the fact enjoy. And it’s our (relatively) free-market health care system that attracts the best and the brightest from around the world. The super skilled and ambitious tend not to go into socialist fields. If we socialize our health system, we’ll see a medical brain drain.
We DO need to break up the medical industrial complex and medical professional guild system and reform medical licensing. The current system is monopolist with little accountability.
Socializing a system that that has not effectively addressed costs, is a failing proposition and unsustainable. A free market approach will allow economic forces to drive down costs and increase choice and quality of care. Government is the problem here not the solution.
Would we want our food, housing and clothing socialized too? A single payer system for computers, cell phones and cars? I think not. If socialism won’t work for these things, it won’t work for medical care.