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Friday, September 21, 2007

Time to get serious

I know that most of my readers don’t participate in my Reader Polls, but I’m hoping that will change today. Yes, most of my polls are silly, but this one’s serious.

I want you to imagine a guy named Joe. Joe lives in a country with socialized medicine. That means that most medical care is funded by tax dollars, then provided “free” to residents. There are long wait lines, but once a patient’s into the system, he generally gets excellent care. Joe lives within traveling distance of a country that provides medical care to people who can afford it. Wait times are minimal for people with money. Joe’s not rich, but he’s got some money.

Joe’s waiting for tests that will tell him whether he has a serious illness. He really has no idea how long it’s going to take. The illness is not only serious, but it gets worse with time. It is usually treatable if caught early enough.

Joe is thinking about traveling to the other country and paying for the tests himself.

Please answer only one poll.

People who live in countries with socialized health care (Canada, some parts of Europe):

People who live in countries with for-profit health care (U.S., mostly):