To the editor:
In his March 8 letter, Stephen Crockett asks, “Why can’t we have that kind of affordable care (meaning Canadian) here in the USA?” The answer is that Crockett’s father paid a low cost because of the tax dollars of the Canadians, not because their system is so much better.
Perhaps we should look at the British model. According to Investors Business Daily, drugs like Lapatinib (which slows breast cancer) and Tarceva (which has been proven to extend lives of lung cancer patients) have been banned by Britain’s National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence. We’ve had angioplasties in the U.S. for almost 20 years. The British government introduced it last year. Why? It was too expensive, despite their enormous taxes.
OK, so what about Sweden? The service isn’t much better, and even if you can afford to pay for these expensive drugs yourself, that’s illegal too. According to an article from Journal of American Physicians and Surgeons, the bureaucrats in Sweden feel that “would set a bad precedent and lead to unequal access to medicine.” There we go. It doesn’t matter if you’re hard working and thrifty, or lazy and wasteful. Your health shall be treated equally. That’s fairness for you.
The fact is that a government isn’t going to make the best choices for what patients require. The escalating cost of health care in the U.S. is a real problem. But unfortunately, replacing our system with a model from Europe or even Canada will only replace current problems with new ones.