What's Wrong with our Health Care System?

By Peter Sciaky

In a January, 1996 Harris Poll only 16% of Americans agreed with the statement, "on the whole, the health care system works pretty well and only minor changes are needed;" 59% said that "fundamental changes" were needed; over 70% felt that the situation will worsen over the next three years. The American people are savvier than their elected representatives. They are right; there is plenty wrong with the American system:

The American people were right again when they said our system needed "fundamental changes." What is needed is a Universal Health Care system similar to the Canadian system. Basically, a government run insurance system.

For those who quake at the thought of yet another governmental bureaucracy, consider these facts:

Apparently the American health care industry is not very efficient. In 1990 it took Blue Cross / Blue Shield of Massachusetts 6,600 people to administer insurance to its 2.5 million clients in New England. In the same year, 435 people in British Columbia managed the provincial health program for that province^s 3.1 million people. In fact, Blue Cross / Blue Shield of Massachusetts employs more administrators than does Canada's entire health care system, which serves over 26 million people.

The Congressional Budget Office (CBO) estimated that by adopting a Single-Payer national health care system, we would reduce medical spending by more than $114 billion a year by 2003.