Although the Canadian health care system may kind of work for its roughly 33 million people and still have a myriad of downsides, its hard to imagine it could be sustainable in the United States, with 304 million people. But looking at the Canadian system was how NBC News decided to handle its follow-up to the health care summit.
On the Feb. 25 broadcast of the “NBC Nightly News,” anchor Brian Williams posed the question whether the Canadian system was better. Though the report pointed out some flaws, NBC made nationalized care seem nice.
In the segment reported by NBC correspondent Jim Maceda from
“Canadians say they're proud of their 50-year-old experiment in universal health care,” Maceda said. “Funded by income tax and sales tax, both moderately higher than in the
Taxes that are only “moderately” higher, he says? Try significantly higher. According to The Heritage Foundation’s “Index of Economic Freedom,” tax and non-tax revenue for every level of government equals about 38.4 percent of the nation’s gross domestic product. In the United States, it’s 28.2 percent.
Maceda did explain weaknesses in the Canadian system, such as the long waits for some care and a Canadian government official who had to seek care in the
“Still, critics say there are weaknesses: long waits, sometimes six months to a year for elective surgeries like hip and knee replacements; the plan is only public, consumers have no private options for basic care; and some procedures are easier to find in the U.S.,” Maceda said. “[E]arlier this month, a top Canadian government official traveled to
But as a parting shot in his segment, Maceda did call the system “fast and efficient” and explained citizens don’t have to worry about the financial implications of their health care.
“Meanwhile, Robin Clushinsky, the former first responder, says being on the receiving end of Canada's health care has been fast and efficient without the fear of losing his health insurance and going bankrupt trying to pay the bill,” Maceda said.