Posted by Charity on May 16th, 2006

Everybody’s squawking about the “healthcare crisis” and there are as many opinions about how to fix it as there are potholes in Burlington. Let’s look at one solution championed by Congressman Bernie Sanders, who is running for U.S. Senate this November – a “Canadian-style” plan.

From a Sanders bio:

“A long-time supporter of a Canadian-style single payer health care plan, in 1990 he introduced legislation to establish such a plan for the U.S. on a state-by-state basis. Sanders also cosponsored HR 1200, The American Health Security Act. Under this plan, private health insurers would be replaced by a single agency that would negotiate and pay claims submitted by private doctors and hospitals. The system would be financed by progressive taxation.”

Hmmm…it all seems so simple, everyone in Canada has healthcare, why don’t we follow their model?

Here are five reasons why I do not support a Canadian-style plan.

Reason 1: There are almost as many Canadians without a doctor as there are Americans without health insurance.

According to The National Coalition on Healthcare, 15.7% of Americans have no health insurance.

According to the Canadian Medical Association, 14% of Canadians are without a family physician.

The difference is, in the good ol’ U.S. of A., you can get a doctor!

Reason two: I do not want to go to a doctor who only makes as much as a mechanic, drywall worker, or a carpet installer.

“After spending a decade in university, going $100,000 in debt and taking on life-or-death responsibility, doctors are wondering why they make the same salary as auto plant workers. Dave Rogers reports.” (Full story)

Six simple words, folks: you get what you pay for.

Reasons three, four, and five: waiting lists, waiting lists, waiting lists.

I don’t care how much it costs; I will never support a system where we have to wait for critical care, or any care for that matter. It is completely un-American. We are the land of opportunity, for Pete’s sake.

It makes no sense to trade in the problem of convincing (or in some cases helping) people to get health insurance for the guarantee of universal non-access to poor-quality care, after a long wait. It just makes no sense whatsoever and no matter what else you might like about the guy, a vote for Bernie is a vote for this disaster waiting to happen.

But you wouldn’t know it by looking at the issues page of his campaign website, where “healthcare” is notably absent. Why wouldn’t a candidate running for U.S. Senate want to talk about his position on arguably the biggest issue facing this country at this time? Could it be because he doesn’t want a discussion like this about what a bad idea his solution is?

13 Responses to “Do we want a Canadian-style healthcare plan?”

  1. There is a new space in the blogospere devoted to monitoring the Catamount Health plan. Supposedly it’s authors are “insiders”. Time will tell I guess, but at least someone is willing to watch, investigate, and post! The blog is at: http://catamounthealthwatch.blogspot.com

  2. “a vote for Bernie is a vote for this disaster waiting to happen.”

    I agree with the entire post except for this. Assuming Bernie is elected to the Senate, he will no more be able to get something like this considered than he will learn to fly. His sole impact will be voting the Democratic party line, beyond that he will continue to embarrass our state but at least he won’t be here doing any real harm. He CERTAINLY won’t be taken seriously by anyone in Washington, as he is not now.

  3. I agree with what you said, anonymous 1. The reason I made that statement is because I continue to be bewildered as to why people keep voting for this guy when he supports policies – like this one – that the majority of Vermonters oppose.

  4. I think it’s a Dem alignment issue this year. If Tarrant ran as an Independent (because, y’know, he actually is) and signaled that he was open to voting with the Dems when he felt it was right, I think he’d take it going away. There’s no question that he would better represent Vermont in the US Senate.

    But Vermonters are probably going to look at the bigger picture in November, which for most will mean breaking the Republican majority in congress. Most of Bernie’s votes will be toward that end, and not for Bernie the man or his policies. If the Dems have a comfortable majority the next time around, Bernie will be in big trouble.

  5. I agree that Tarrant is an independent.

    Interesting theory though about Bernie being in trouble if the Dems have a solid majority.

    Let’s hope we never find out.

  6. “There’s no question that he would better represent Vermont in the US Senate.”

    That’s Retarded.

  7. “That’s Retarded.”

    Thanks for your input, Comment Deleted.

  8. “That’s Retarded.”

    How so?

  9. “How so?”

    There “no question” that’s retarded.

    No question!

  10. Looks like Bernie brought out the big guns for this one.

    Try improving your own blog instead of trying to destroy someone else’s.

  11. Here’s one of the many reasons that Tarrant would make a better senator:

    “The Free Press mentions in passing [in a story about Leahy] the ranking of Rep Bernie Sanders which they say is 338. It is actually 339. Or, to put it another way, one of the least powerful members of Congress even though he’s been there for 16 years.”

    Check out the full post on The Cool Blue Blog here

  12. That is amazing, yet completely unsurprising.

  13. “I think it’s a Dem alignment issue this year. If Tarrant ran as an Independent (because, y’know, he actually is) and signaled that he was open to voting with the Dems when he felt it was right, I think he’d take it going away. There’s no question that he would better represent Vermont in the US Senate.

    But Vermonters are probably going to look at the bigger picture in November, which for most will mean breaking the Republican majority in congress. “

    This poster hit the nail on the head. Tarrant has enough money he doesn’t need the Republican label which is only going to hurt him.