Sally C. Pipes is president & CEO of the Pacific Research Institute and author of The Top Ten Myths of American Health Care: A Citizen’s Guide (and an IWF friend and former board member).

She has a terrific piece today comparing our new healthcare system to Canada’s disastrous, nationalized health care.

She notes:

To see how incremental reforms of the sort advanced by Obamacare can result in a full government takeover, it’s instructive to consider the Canadian story.

Like U.S. citizens, Canadians initially protested, but the furor died down and the system was put in place. It was not a pretty picture:

With health care now effectively “free” — that is, paid for by other taxpayers — Canadians began visiting the doctor twice as much. Exploding demand drove up costs. To keep spending under control, the federal government simply reduced how much it sent to provinces to run the system. Provinces in turn cut payments to doctors and covered fewer services and cutting-edge treatments.

At first, doctors responded by billing patients directly for amounts greater than the government reimbursements. But in 1984, the federal government outlawed such practices — thereby banning private delivery of services covered under the Canada Health Act. At this point, the Canadian government effectively controlled health care in the country.

The Canadian experience offers a preview of what Obamacare has in store for the United States.

Saskatchewan was the first province to ratchet up government control over the provision of health services — much like Massachusetts….

As they attempt to deal with this disaster, Massachusetts officials are quickly realizing what Canadian officials learned 30 years ago — the only way to control costs inside a government-directed health system is to cut doctors’ pay, transfer patients into managed care, and introduce arbitrary spending caps and price controls.

Pipes says that, if Republicans take control of Congress, but don’t put all their energy behind repealing the health care bill, we’ll become just like Canada.