With Canada Day quickly approaching I've spent some time trying to research new blog posts and come up with ideas. I stumbled across GruntDoc's post on the demise of the Canadian health care system (which, by the way, he got from Investor's Daily - but I'll have to leave his continuing education choices for another day). In his post, he discusses that one of the fathers of socialized medicare in Canada is Mr. Castonguay and he recently came out in favour of privatization and co-payments. Reading Mr. Castonguay's statements (which I've read before so I'm not sure why it impacted me this time) I had a decidedly un-Canadian thought.
What's wrong with co-payments? The socialists in the group will argue that it will limit access to the marginalized. That problem is easy enough to overcome through exceptions for the poor and working poor. There is good research that small co-payments decreases overall use by 14% without a significant impact on the patient. All it takes is $20 per doctor visit. If the average person sees their PCP 2.7x per year that's just $52 a year more per person. You could even cap it for those who need more frequent visits.
Let's be honest with one another. We can't afford the amount of health care we want. Co-payments in a socialized system may give us the breathing room we can afford without jeopardizing the social safety net we value.