Merrill Matthews

If you want to read these stories and others like them for yourself, just go to the “Health Care Horror Stories” at, which regularly posts the negative press coming from those government-run health care countries (which has to be a full-time job!).

The fact is that every government-run health care system struggles to make ends meet. Money for health care in those systems has to compete with money for other government programs like education, defense and pension programs.

That’s why other countries spend less on health care. It’s not that their systems are better or more efficient; it’s because politicians control the funds and have to make trade-offs. That often means the more expensive treatments, the marginal members of society, and even preventive care and screening can get axed.

Yes, many people in those countries are satisfied with their care. And yes, everyone in those countries is “insured” — the apparent goal in the current health care reform debate. But having coverage doesn’t count for much if patients can’t get quality care in timely manner.

Health care reformers often claim or imply that the U.S. health care system is terrible, while countries like England provide quality care for everyone, and for less money. That’s simply not a balanced assessment.

U.S. health care is excellent, but it can be very expensive and, a not unrelated fact, too many people are uninsured.

But copying other government-controlled systems isn’t the solution. They have their problems; we have ours. Let’s fix ours problems without importing theirs.

Merrill Matthews

Merrill Matthews, Ph.D., is a resident scholar with the Institute for Policy Innovation.