The Corner

Health Care

Comparing Health-Care Systems Around the World

In a recent column on how Medicare for All would likely lead to increased wait times for medical treatment, I referred to a forthcoming paper from the Manhattan Institute about how different countries’ health-care systems stack up. That paper has now forthcome. An excerpt from the conclusion:

Single-payer systems share the common feature of limiting access to care according to what can be raised in taxes. Government revenues consistently lag the growth in demand for medical services resulting from increased affluence, longevity, and technological capacity. As a result, single-payer systems deliver consistently lower quality and access to high-cost specialty care or surgical procedures without reducing overall out-of-pocket costs. Across the countries in this paper, limitations in access to care are closely tied to the share of the population enrolled in private insurance—with those in Britain and Canada greatly limited, Australians facing moderate restrictions, and those in the other countries studied being more able to get care when they need it.

Ramesh Ponnuru is a senior editor for National Review, a columnist for Bloomberg Opinion, a visiting fellow at the American Enterprise Institute, and a senior fellow at the National Review Institute.

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