I think one reason that the notion that you’ll spend your life on a waiting list under universal health care in the U.S. is that it appeals to experience we have all had. Not all of us. From adulthood until I was about 30, I never had any interaction with the health-care industry at all. In the past 10 years, I’ve spent more time in doctor’s offices, hospitals and pharmacies than I care to think about. I’m guessing I’ve logged 1000 hours or more in a health-related setting. And, I’m guessing about 10 of those hours I or the person I was with was actually being treated. That’s not to mention the waits I or the person I was with had to deal with in scheduling primary care appointments to begin with. So “waiting lists” are something we can relate to – and none of us care to spend more time on.
I guess it doesn’t help that the two major English speaking universal health care systems are rumored to be worse than the U.S. in this regard (sometimes accurately, other times – not so much).
It’s unfortunate that the proposed system will not likely emulate the best working systems in the world. And it is good to guard against any potential increase in waiting times on essential care, should they begin to crop up as an unintended consequence of a new system.
But it’s wrong to slap a label of “slow” on anything universal. Our own system is slow compared to the best universal systems.