I have been debating with myself over the issue of a single payer health plan(such as they have in Britain, Canada and Japan) verses many private health insurance plans like we have in the U.S. Are there any Canadians or Britains out there who can verify these Statements? Matt Black? Are you there? Long waits and reduced quality. In Britain, over 800,000 patients are waiting for hospital care. In Canada, the average wait between a general practitioner referral and a specialty consultation has been over 17 weeks. Beyond queuing for care or services, single-payer sys*tems are often characterized by strict drug for*mularies, limited treatment options, and discrimination by age in the provision of care. Price controls, a routine feature of such sys*tems, also result in reduced drug, technology, and medical device research. Funding crises. Because individuals remain insulated from the direct costs of health care, as in many third-party payment systems, health care appears to be “free.” As a result, demand expands while government officials devise ways to control costs. The shortest route is by pro*viding fewer products and services through explicit and implicit rationing. New inequalities. Beyond favoritism in the provision of care for the politically well-con*nected, single-payer health care systems often restrain costs by limiting surgeries for the eld*erly, restricting dialysis, withholding care from very premature infants, reducing the number of intensive care beds, limiting MRI availability, and restricting access to specialists. Labor strikes and personnel shortages. In 2004, in British Columbia, Canada, a health worker strike resulted in the cancellation of 5,300 surgeries and numerous MRI examinations, CT scans, and lab tests. Canadians have a shortage of physicians, and the recruitment and retention of doctors in Britain has become a chronic problem. Outdated facilities and medical equipment. Advances in medical technology are often seen in terms of their costs rather than their benefits, and investment is slower. For example, an esti*mated 60 percent of radiological equipment in Canada is technically outdated. Politicization and lost liberty. Patient auton*omy is curtailed in favor of the judgment of an elite few, who dictate what health care needs and desires ought to be while imposing social controls over activities deemed undesirable or at odds with an expanding definition of “public health.” Over time, government officials will claim a compelling interest in many areas now considered private.