It was apparent to both politicians and informed observers at the outset that Canada's compulsory socialized medicine scheme (now going on 42 years since the first tentative political steps were taken) would have enormous political appeal.
The physician should be contemptuous of money, interested in his work,
self-controlled, and just. Once he is possessed of these basic virtues,
he will have all others at his command as well.
Can the Medical Profession Survive Flexible Ethics?*
Approximately 2.5 million people in the U.S. --- about 1 percent of the population --- suffer from pre-existing medical conditions making it likely their future medical expenses will be extremely high. While private insurers are ill-equipped to serve this population, 28 state governments play a positive role by chartering non-profit health insurance plans, or HIPs. In order to keep premiums affordable, HIPs are often authorized to impose a small assessment on the premiums earned by private insurers.
Despite the assurances by managed care proponents that health maintenance organizations (HMOs) and other forms of managed care would solve the duel problem of spiraling health care costs and the rising number of the uninsured, that has not been the case. Public-private partnerships and managed care health initiatives which have been promoting the herding of workers and Medicaid and Medicare patients into HMOs have likewise failed to alleviate those problems, at least for the long haul.
Over the next three to four years, during President George W. Bush's second term in office, we can expect the United States Congress to continue to move in the direction of improving access and quality of medical care via the implementation of affordable, free market solutions, particularly Health Savings Accounts (HSAs).