Stamping Out Medical Care in Canada

From the Candian Press service (CP) by way of Med Broadcast: the Ontario Health Minister is determined to keep a US company from administering diagnostic tests in Canada. George Smitherman has vowed to squelch all private health care in Ontario:

“If anybody finds out about this stuff, you call that in. We have a quick response capacity, and we will stamp these out. We will protect public medicare in the province of Ontario.”

Unlike private monopolies, a state monopoly can outlaw the competition. Unlike private businesses, the state will persecute the competition even when there’s no financial gain in doing so—how can Canadians paying private companies for procedures that they’ve already paid for endanger medicare? It may embarass medicare that people are running off to private providers, but where is the threat? Even if medicare funds are apportioned according to use, that’s just bureaucratic number-shuffling, not a genuine financial loss.

Here in America, an HMO would be laughing all the way to the bank if they got their protection money out of the rubes, and then the rubes went and paid again for outside services—but at least it would be legal. If I want to see Dr. Hot Stuff every year instead of every two years, all I have to do is pay him to see me. No black market transactions would be involved.

I won’t be running for the border anytime soon.

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