There was an interesting article in the IHT this morning. Setting aside all the bioethics issues, the author's concluding paragraph should be required reading for all involved in the current health care debate:
One ﬁnal comment. It is common for opponents of health care rationing to point to Canada and Britain as examples of where we might end up if we get “socialized medicine.” On a blog on Fox News earlier this year, the conservative writer John Lott wrote, “Americans should ask Canadians and Brits — people who have long suffered from rationing — how happy they are with central government decisions on eliminating ‘unnecessary’ health care.” There is no particular reason that the United States should copy the British or Canadian forms of universal coverage, rather than one of the different arrangements that have developed in other industrialized nations, some of which may be better. But as it happens, last year the Gallup organization did ask Canadians and Brits, and people in many different countries, if they have confidence in “health care or medical systems” in their country. In Canada, 73 percent answered this question affirmatively. Coincidentally, an identical percentage of Britons gave the same answer. In the United States, despite spending much more, per person, on health care, the figure was only 56 percent.
Living in a land of public health care, augmented by private care, I share the "confidence" of Canadians and Brits. I would add that the dozen or so Americans I know who have lived in the UK and been cared for by their system prefer the Brit system. Of course, the curtains aren't as pretty in the offices or hospital rooms, and the chairs in the waiting area aren't cushioned.
At the rate the US medical industry is moving, we will soon find it impossible for anyone other than those earning more than the median wage to afford health care.