I am the mother of a child with asthma. When my son had difficulty breathing randomly through the winter, I sought treatment. First I made an appointment with my doctor (2 week waiting time) so I could obtain a referral to a specialist. (In Canada you cannot just go to a specialist, you must get a referral from the gatekeepers: family doctors. Oh, and about 5 million Canadians don’t have one of those.) It took about six weeks for the specialist to get back to me with how long I’d have to wait for my son’s appointment: 12 months. Did I mention that periodically he couldn’t breathe?
Lately we've heard about the predictable cost overruns - despite extremely low provider payments - in Massachusetts "private" (ed: not really) universal care experiment.
This program was touted as the way to save money for everybody (well, except for those greedy doctors and insurance companies), and was to be a model for a national plan.
Well, guess what? It turns out to be costing a lot more than the backers predicted -- about $150 million more. (To mention that this is precisely what the detractors predicted is, of course, utterly irrelevant and borderline seditious in the Free People's Democratic Republic of Massachusetts.)
So, what's the Globe's solution? Any of you not saying "raise taxes!," stay after class for detention.
The experience of Tenn-Care could have told us this would happen. It becomes a choice between freedom, innovation and availability on one hand vs. limited access, stagnation and central control on the other. Sure, everyone can get care. The question is will they, and at what cost?