March 4, 2008, 7:00 am

Should We Ask For More Service From The Government?

by: The Financial Blogger    Category: Miscellaneous
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This post is in reaction to a great article written by Steve at Brip Blap about how it would be wonderful to not have to save for retirement and health care. While this idea sounds incredibly nice at first, it could end up into a real nightmare over the long run. Some say I have the chance of living in a place where several services are free or almost free. In Quebec (Canada), our entire health care system is free and supported by the government.

We also have 7$/day daycares and it cost about $3000 per year to go to University (college for the states I guess).

Sounds like paradise, isn’t? In fact, it was 20 years. We had one of the most advanced and effective health care system and on top of that, it was free. Our school system was highly rated and the economy was simply booming. This was the good life the baby boomers had.

Theses days, the picture frame is starting to rust and most free systems are falling apart. Our health care structure is abusing almost 50% of the government budget and it is still inefficient. People are waiting about 4 hours in a clinic and over 12 hours at the hospital. I don’t even want to go in the surgical area as you might wait for more than a year in several cases.

Private clinics are starting to grow in a highly debated situation. The unions don’t want to hear about them and try to scare the population away. On the other side, people that can afford additional fees in order to get treated right away have the option.

The truth is that a part of the population abuses from these almost free services. Kids go to school just to pretend they do something, parents that stay at home send their children to daycare and some people go to see a doctor not because they are ill but because they want to see someone (don’t they create Tim Horton’s for that?).

On the other side, these organizations are not managed properly as they are handled by government employees who have no sense of competition or effectiveness. We saw in our economy classes that the worst thing that can happen to a market is to have a monopoly.

If people would simply have to pay a small amount to go see the doctor and pay realistic fees to go to school, we would save more money and buy less plasma tv’s. I am under the impression that some priorities came from savings to buying a bigger house, bigger car, bigger boat…

I am a big believer of the accountability of the human beings. If they always rely on others to pay for their retirement or their health care system, they will never get responsible and simply spend more money. Stop asking what the government can do to help you and start thinking about what you can do to help yourself!

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I agree with the points you’ve made, however I cannot agree with your statement that our health care system is “free”. It is anything but “free” to the working class.

Well, thanks for a very interesting insight into the paradise of the social welfare state. I guess my point continues to be that IF you are going to pay exorbitant taxes (which we do in the US) and if the government is going to take, for example, 7% of our payroll in “pension” taxes, surely there should be some form of public expectation for a minimum level of health care/pension/etc. I don’t doubt that Canada’s going to have some troubles. But at the same time, there IS a safety net. In the US, if I don’t have my employer-provided health care insurance, I can go bankrupt. My pension is subject to the wild fluctuations of the market. I have very little protection against poverty.

I doubt health care improves by having to pay for it versus getting it free. Do you really want people putting off vital health care to save money? OK, some slackers sit in the doctor’s office for company – but isn’t that preferable to the US system where the largest employer in the country, Wal-Mart, offers a poverty-level wage and minimal (or no) health care insurance to workers? We have a class of people unable to afford even basic health care. The Canadian alternative seems, if nothing else, nicer.

I think the most fair system, by far, would be to eliminate the government from the equation and tell people if they can’t afford health care, they die. Yet at the same time I don’t think fair is always the goal.

What you wrote is very thought-provoking. Thanks for writing it.

by: The Financial Blogger | March 5th, 2008 (9:08 pm)

JDP; It’s not entirely free, but if you go at the hospital today with a broken leg, they will receive you and put on your cast for free.

Steve; I can appreciate your position considering the fact that there are millions of people without any access to health care in the US. This is simply not right… Maybe there is no perfect system?

What about privatizing the operational aspects of the health care system? It is still paid by taxpayer dollars and is subsidized or free for public use, but operated and managed by a for-profit private entity. I strongly feel that operational efficiency is incentive driven, usually by money!

[…] The Financial Blogger | Should We Ask For More Service From The Government? […]

Speaking as someone who faces the ultimate waiting list for healthcare in that I am American and have no insurance at all, I’m more than a little miffed that you think I should continue going without healthcare simply because some old people visit the doctor because they’re lonely. I would go to the doctor in a hot minute if I had the funds to pay for it; not having the funds to pay for it, rather than being irresponsible, is what keeps me away.

I have heard it said that we should think of healthcare as a national defense issue and I agree, since disease happens to kill more people than war does.

I have also read about the various kinds of “socialized medicine” offered the world over in first-world countries, and just because the U.S. might eventually adopt a national system doesn’t mean it’d have to be like yours. I find more value in discussing and debating what a national healthcare system would look like than in dismissing the idea completely as some kind of bastion of “irresponsibility.”

[…] The Financial Blogger tells why he doesn’t like free government services and would rather pay for them. […]

Gov’t has never solved any problems that they take on, and healthcare would become a disaster for many people when they find taxes are raised to cover the costs of healthcare. Everyone wants the lastest and greatest test for their condition and lawsuits are through the roof in terms of payouts.

Who pays the costs we already have a regressive tax system that preys on produtive people and shifts wealth to those that don’t work and this will add to it. When people talk about other 1st world countries and their healthcare they never mention the tax rates in those countries or the unemployment rates.

Millions of illegals in the US manage to get health care simply by walking into the emergency room, but native cry i have no money for insurance or pass on buying insurance and I’m healthy and don’t currently need it.

Here in CA, the state has mandated coverage for pregnancy, so if you are a single guy you pay for something you have no need for, and the latest issue from the Gov’t is Translation Services, for those that don’t speak english which will be paid for by all and not those that need it.

Sorry to be so long

[…] Should We Ask For More Service From the Government by The Finanicial Blogger […]

Brian, you pay for prisons too even though you will probably never use it. Perhaps the government should stop funding those.

Societies work best and are healthiest for all when there is a balance between extreme socialism and extreme capitalism. Will you have to pay for some things you won’t use and others could abuse? Of course. But that is how it goes.

by: The Financial Blogger | March 10th, 2008 (8:38 pm)

I don’t think we should stop paying for health care, but we surely should stop paying for prisons and ship them on an island 😉

[…] Should We Ask for More Service From the Government? – Big issue in this upcoming election. After talking to a number of friends from Canada, I too lean away from the idea of national health care (though I think that the option of free healthcare for those who can’t afford it isn’t a bad idea) […]

[…] The Financial Blogger | Should We Ask For More Service From The Government? […]