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« The Role of Emotion in Public Policy | Main | Demand for Health Care »

September 02, 2009


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Solveig notes in her post:

What interests me today is the popularity of this health care system in spite of such things. Most people are healthy most of the time. And they know the health system is there, and that everyone dealing with it is in pretty much the same boat (People naturally tend to compare their lot with those around them--See Axelrod on this phenomena in game simulations). So the system feels good. It provides security. It does not result in disturbing disparities. It feels damn good.

Congratulations on at least acknowledging that the Canadian system is popular. The press in USA has uniformly produced such a deluge of mis-information on this fact, that is very encouraging that there exists a right-wing commentator who sees outside of the reality distortion field. My family also originates in Canada. They are generally very conservative, and not in favor of big government. The present healthcare system of Canada is though very popular with them all.

However, that is where my agreement for your post ends.

The reality is, the feeling of security that this system creates is itself a social good that has a very real value. The evidence of this is the depth to which support for this government program has penetrated into the local social & economic fabric, as you have documented in your post.

When you say "Competition and choice are the main mechanisms by which hard cost and choice problems get solved." you would probably be surprised that I generally agree with that statement. However, what you do not realize is that you have circumscribed 'competition' and 'choice' to mean competition and choice within your free market dogma. Competition and choice happens at many different forms and scales. A scale of competition would be to measure, as a whole society, how much a society spends on healthcare. We find here that USA spends more than Canada, making the Canadian system as a whole more competitive than the US system. Another example are friends of mine, including a quite talented photographer, and two Architects, all who have immigrated from Poland. They are all talented, and all started their own businesses in: Canada. A decisive reason was the healthcare situation, which in USA would have been problematic.

Re the coverage of the Canadian healthcare system by US press, why has the US press never covered it's popularity?:

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