Those of you that watched the often mind numbing Republican debate last week were treated to at least one great line, when Rudy Giuliani said:
And I think there’s a looming problem with Canada that you missed. If we do Hillary Care or socialized medicine, Canadians will have no place to go to get their health care.
To keep this blog on focus I won’t go into the merits of particular health care plans, although I am intrigued that Hillary’s plan actually enhances private care instead of turning it all over to government central planners. But I personally believe that any plan that makes health care less costly to the individual reduces individual accountability to personal health… but that’s another story. The better path toward improved health care cost is to reduce process waste, which is a subject that our friend Mark over at the Lean Blog writes about quite often.
But Rudy’s statement is partially valid, as there are numerous studies showing that Canada and other "socialized medicine" countries in effect have a two tier system: those that have to wait for health care and those that can afford to go elsewhere on their own dime to get faster care. So let’s think about that from a broader statistical perspective.
If you are studying a population, do you really know that it is a defined group? In the example mentioned above, the guys studying Canadian health care statistics are defining a population presumably serviced by the national health care system. But are they? How does the very sizable number of folks that cross the border to obtain faster care distort the statistics? How was the question of "are you satisfied with your health care" worded?
I have no idea. But in the future I might think a little harder about population dynamics.