Letter to the Editor

Competitive care

Arroyo GrandeNovember 7, 2013 

In a letter Nov. 3, Clement Salvadori made a case for single-payer health care in the U.S. He also stated he doesn’t want providers cutting costs for his own heart transplant. So just for sport, I looked up some basic Canadian heart transplant statistics, as they have a single-payer system and they are our neighbors.

In 2008, there were 167 transplants performed in Canada. In the United States, there is an average of about 2,000 annually. Quick math factoring in our population differences concludes that there are more than twice as many of these procedures performed here annually per capita.

Why? Not sure, but I suspect that there is an element of “rationing” going on. Is this going to happen under Obamacare in some form eventually? I suspect so.

Back to Clement’s other point, cutting costs. If health care was truly competitive and a patient could shop for the best value and outcome, the results would be maximized. Providers could publish prices and statistical results. Competition would raise everyone’s game, or they would perish. The winners would be the providers that kept their patients alive. Death would not be good for business.

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