It seems like Americans and Canadians want each other’s health care system. Improved access for Canadians. Universal coverage for Americans. Medpundit weighs in earlier this week. Dr. Centor gets to the root of the problem:
Health care costs are increasing everywhere because we can do so much more than we could 10 years ago. Our diagnostic tests have improved – but at increased cost. Our pharmaceutical choices are improving both quality and quantity of life – but at increased cost. We extend life for many diseases (e.g., diabetes, CHF, CAD, COPD) and the extra months and years cost money.
All of these advancements increase the need for routine medical care. We have not produced enough excellent generalists. We need physicians to care for the chronically ill. We need physicians to provide preventive care. But we (and the Canadians) are apparently not willing to pay.
I agree that the solution cannot as simple as throwing more money at the problem nor changing the payor system. Unless the root cause is addressed, these measures will only shift these problems to future generations.