I’ve just come back from an appointment with my Columbia primary care physician, who I need a referral from to get any medical treatment I want my insurance company to pay for. The EMG test I had a week and a half ago revealed I needed an MRI, which I of course need a referral for. My physician then informed me that the insurance requires MRI tests to be done at Columbia’s hospital, rather than the hospital the NYU clinic referred me to.
In other words, not only am I burdened with a gatekeeper system and a bureaucracy that leads to waits that make British health care look instantaneous, but also I can’t choose my own doctors and hospitals.
Amazingly, most Americans say they will support universal health care, but not if it means there will be waits or restrictions on their choice of doctors.