As leaders in the United States again talk about publicly funded health care, many experts suggest the U.S. should first look at public health care in other countries.

In that light, the International Policy Network and the Galen Institute gathered leading health care policy experts from around the globe for a conference in Washington, D.C., called “Lessons from Abroad for Health Reform in the US”.

This Commentary is based on the remarks to the conference of the lone expert representing Canada, AIMS President Brian Lee Crowley.

In Canadian Health Care: Coming soon to a republic near you, Crowley uses a mix of indepth research and personal experience to show the faults within Canadian care and the lessons Americans should draw from our experience. He provides insight of how the Canadian system has become a monopoly where people think publicly-funded services have to be government run.

He explains that the system essentially operates as an unregulated, tax-financed, pay-as-you-go monopoly. Crowley writes:

“Our provincial governments are the monopoly provider. They not only pay for necessary care, but also govern, administer and evaluate the services they themselves provide. They define what constitutes “medically necessary services” and then pay for virtually all such services provided in Canada. They forbid the provision of private insurance for these services. They negotiate payment schedules with the powerful provider groups. They often set the budgets for nominally private health care institutions, appoint the majority of their board members, and have the explicit or implicit power to override management decisions.”

As the U.S. government grows more interested in public health care and more Americans laud its benefits, Crowley warns, “Be very, very careful of what you wish for.”

Click Canadian Health Care: Coming soon to a republic near you, to read the complete Commentary.