Bernie Sanders suggests the U.S. should emulate Canada’s free healthcare

Bernie Sanders suggests the U.S. should emulate Canada’s free healthcare

[Ed. – Smoke and mirrors]

If healthcare is a right, like Sanders suggests, then Canada’s system seems ideal. But many Americans forget about hidden costs.

Public healthcare systems like Canada’s often offer the illusion of being free. Healthcare is not priceless; professionals receive compensation. In Canada, the payment for most medical expenses is entirely taxpayer-funded. Taxes are prepaid costs, so receiving care presents no additional costs to a Canadian. Even though Canadian healthcare is costly, public funding lets citizens perceive it as free.

When the perceived cost of a service is zero, basic economics — and common sense — dictate that the desire for that service will increase. People prefer more of something when it is free to them. This may take the form of more frequent visits and treatments, but if a treatment is equally available to everyone, the system does not account for the degree to which patients need or desire the treatment. Opportunities for treatment will sometimes be taken by those who need the procedure less than others. For example, because an ACL injury mainly affects lateral movement, an athlete may desire a surgery to repair a torn ACL more than a sedentary person.

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