Monday, July 13, 2009

Every day we hear the same health care myths from politicians and industry alike, but what are the facts?

Myth - The U.S. has the finest health care in the world.
Fact - If that were so we wouldn’t rank 24th in life expectancy according to the World Health Organization. "Basically, you die earlier and spend more time disabled if you’re an American rather than a member of most other advanced countries," according to Christopher Murray, M.D., Ph.D., Director of WHO's Global Programme on Evidence for Health Policy.

Myth - We don’t want a government run health care system like Canada where it takes a year to get a hip replacement.
Fact - Some hospitals in some provinces do take that long but many if not most don’t. We don’t really know for sure how long it takes in the U.S. since there is no standard for nor central collection point for this data. But let’s assume that as the opposition to health care reform claims hip replacements only have waiting lists of six weeks in the U.S., guess who pays for the vast majority, none other than Medicare the federally run single payer system.

Myth – If we have government run health care then health care will be rationed.
Fact – Health care is rationed now in the U.S. to a much greater degree than any other developed country.

Myth – Government run health care won’t let you choose your doctors.
Fact – Private insurance companies don’t let you choose your doctor, if the doctor you wish to see isn’t in your network, either you don’t see them or you pay the bill yourself.

Myth – Government run health care will tell your doctors which medications they can prescribe.
Fact – Private insurance already tells your doctors which medications they can prescribe by limiting what they will pay for or how high your co-pay will be.

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