In an editorial extolling the virtues of letting the market decide whether you should have health care or not, Adelson’s newspaper states the following:“A 2014 Commonwealth report cited by CNN found that, among 11 developed countries, those living in single-payer Canada were least likely to get a same-day or next-day doctor’s appointment when they needed one, and were also the most likely to have wait two months (or more) to see a specialist.”
I’m not sure why the Review-Journal said “cited by CNN” instead of just citing the report itself, like countless other news organizations have done. Anyway, this is from that report:
Sure enough, Canada is dead last in “timeliness of care.”
The report was published in 2014, just on the heels of the establishment of exchanges and Medicaid expansion, so it doesn’t truly reflect the “dramatic” drop in the U.S. uninsured rate under the ACA. (At the same time, the ACA is an incomplete-at-best stab at providing universal access to health care. That’s why a single-payer model — long more popular with the American public than the press would have one believe — is, to the R-J’s alarm, becoming increasingly desirable.)
As for the wait-time comparisons cited by the R-J editorial, here are some additional findings from the Commonwealth report about that and other access issues:
Not surprisingly—given the absence of universal coverage—people in the U.S. go without needed health care because of cost more often than people do in the other countries. Americans were the most likely to say they had access problems related to cost. Patients in the U.S. have rapid access to specialized health care services; however, they are less likely to report rapid access to primary care than people in leading countries in the study. In other countries, like Canada, patients have little to no financial burden, but experience wait times for such specialized services. There is a frequent misperception that trade-offs between universal coverage and timely access to specialized services are inevitable; however, the Netherlands, U.K., and Germany provide universal coverage with low out-of-pocket costs while maintaining quick access to specialty services.
One other finding from the report cited by the R-J in an editorial defending the unassailable rightness of markets: the U.S., still and for decades the home of a more market- and profit-driven health care system than any of the other nations surveyed in the report, “ranks last of 11 nations overall.”