Advocates of the horrible US health care system never tire of telling us how great it is and one of their favorite targets to adversely compare to the US system is Canada, using the well-worn tactic of finding one or two statistics in which the US has better outcomes to argue that the entire system is superior.
My favorite is when they use the case of hip replacements and point to the longer wait times in Canada to get this procedure done as a reason why we should stick with what we have, But of course, most hip replacements are done on older people who are under Medicare, a US government run single-payer system similar to the Canadian one, so that is really another argument against the wretched employer-based system we have here.
Advocates of the US system love to regale us with anecdotes to hide the fact that the statistics clearly show that the US spends far more for health care than other developed countries but the health outcomes are far worse. So I have started collecting counter-anecdotes and Douglas Coupland provides a doozy.
He tells of his awful experience when he visited the US of being poorly treated for something that should have been easily cured, not to mention being encouraged to take a drug that was expensive and highly addictive. Fortunately he returned in time to Canada where his doctor was horrified at how he had been treated.
And I returned to Canada, where my doctor looked at my prescriptions, puzzled. First, my antibiotic: “Your Florida doctor prescribed you this? [Name drug; get lawsuit.] We used to give this to two-year-olds and, even then, for your body weight, this ought to have been at least three times a day at quadruple strength.”
“OK, but what about oxycodone? You have to admit, it did stop me from coughing.”
“Yes, but you also almost became addicted to a $900-a-pop drug.”
“And just to be clear, you were deliberately underprescribed antibiotics to keep you from getting well so as to ensure that you’d keep going back for more visits and repeat oxy prescriptions. And your doctor was obviously in on some kind of racket with the pharmacist — all that coupon nonsense.”
Within 48 hours, my pneumonia essentially vanished thanks to two azithromycin tablets.
There’s the greatest health care system in the world in action.