Health care can have a zero price to the user, but that doesn’t mean it’s free or has a zero cost. The problem with a good or service having a zero price is that demand is going to exceed supply. When price isn’t allowed to make demand equal supply, other measures must be taken. One way to distribute the demand over a given supply is through queuing — making people wait. Another way is to have a medical czar who decides who is eligible, under what conditions, for a particular procedure — for example, no hip replacement or renal dialysis for people over 70 or no heart transplants for smokers.
This should have been easy to predict. It has been an Economic axiom for a long time now that price controls will result in surpluses or shortages depending on which direction the price controls are made. If prices are kept from falling to their “free market” values, they will cause a surplus. If prices are kept from rising to the their “free market” value, they will cause a shortage. In Canadas case, the shortage is already starting, and I emphasize starting, to trickle down to waiting lines, quality of healthcare and quality of Dr’s.
This goes to show what Economists have been saying for years, nothing is free, there are only trade off’s. And in a Free Health Care System, the trade off’s are the above.
And on something so fundamental, Health Care, one wonders why anybody would want to go that route for us here in the USA.