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Medical Care in Canada, United States

June 14, 1986

Taken at its face value Freed's report makes such a paradise of our northern neighbor with its "free" health-care system that we should adopt immediately its features in toto without reservations. Yet even a minimum of rational thought suggests that there may be real problems. Some very important considerations are not even mentioned in his panegyric, and only at the end of the report is the bad news even hinted at.

Like all Utopian Socialist dreams there is the naive belief that in Canada medical attention costs the patient and the public nothing. The government pays for everything! Only a mean-spirited cynic would ask, "And where does the government get the money?" The Utopian thinks it grows on trees, but you and I know better. Most of it comes out of the taxpayers' pockets, but it is extremely bad taste to mention this aloud in liberal circles.

Only toward the end of Freed's article does the ugly future raise its head. That is as the coverage becomes more and more extensive, it becomes prohibitively expensive. Where will the money come from? As we said, from the taxpayers, of course, from the productive members of society, as everywhere. Governments produce nothing and so have no money. There are only three ways they can get money to pay anything--taxation, borrowing and printing phony money. The so-called "free" medical care so admired by the Utopians is not free at all, but paid for by everyone, including the patient. Only most citizens aren't smart enough to realize this. They are sheep waiting to be shorn by smart politicians.

WALTER R. MacLAREN MD

Pasadena

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