Discussing Medicare for All and Wait Times

My comment discussing wait times and Medicare for All with a friend who has Canadian friends who sometimes come to the USA and pay out-of-pocket for faster treatment:

I think Medicare for All will be better for everyone overall. Some reports being put out are backed by vested interests in the present system… they will say long wait times are inevitable with M4A but I don’t agree and other reports such as this one are more fairly written.

One item mentioned is that it would help if advanced nurses had more autonomy. In Florida presently they can only work in a practice overseen by a physician although a Florida Senate Bill is trying to change this.

Of course, if we stopped treating MDs and DOs so badly in terms of how much they have to borrow to get through school and low-paid residencies working way over 40 hours per week, that would help. As a PhD student I was fully taxpayer funded… but med students must pay huge bills? We about 1.1 million doctors vs. 1.35 million lawyers in the USA. Pretty ridiculous. This will take a while to change of course.

What kind of specialists are your Canadian friends waiting for? I think overall, Canadian health outcomes are better. From an NPR All Things Considered interview:

On the issue of long wait times and physician availability

I think its critical for people to know that when Canadians are seriously sick — when the issue is urgent — they don’t wait. So this myth that people are sort of dying in the streets, waiting for care is just that — a myth. Part of the reason that we know that is because our health outcomes are good. When compared to the U.S., outcomes for a whole variety of different diagnoses — including life expectancy, including infant mortality — all of these things actually, the Canadian system delivers as good or better care on average across the population than we see in the U.S.

But you are absolutely right, when people have a non-urgent issue in Canada, sometimes they wait. Sometimes they wait, in my opinion, too long. That’s something we’re really grappling with here is trying to figure out how we’re going to deal with that.

Some articles are from biased sources. For instance, Sally Pipes and the Pacific Research Institute are not neutral sources… They endorse libertarianist principles which don’t hold up well in the face of actual data.

A note on libertarianism:: Libertarian principles sound good as ideals but don’t hold up well with actual humans. If you live in a food desert, you’ll eat more junk food. If not for Social Security, Americans will NOT put aside huge sums of money throughout their working career for their retirement.

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