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View Full Version : Seriously, Canadians, tell us about your health care system



lolalola
Nov. 26, 2009, 09:30 PM
In the US, we're getting all kind of info and misinfo about the Canadian health care system. So please, tell us about it - what are the pros and cons from your viewpoint?

BrookdaleBay
Nov. 26, 2009, 09:35 PM
Pros: Its free!
Con's: Unless you have a drug plan, you have to pay for medication.

FalseImpression
Nov. 26, 2009, 10:03 PM
I will start by saying that it is not perfect, BUT we never have to think twice about seeing a doctor, going to a hospital, having tests run. Health plans are managed/regulated on a provincial level and each province has a different way of funding it. If you travel across Canada, you will not necessarily be covered in another province than your own. The amount your province would cover will be covered, but not more even if the other province charges more. The same goes with out of country.

I can only give my personal example. Last year, I made around 30K and I paid a total annual premium of about $300. My daughter paid about $80 and my husband had about 4 months w/o work and I think he paid about $100. So roughly for less than $500 a year, our family could visit our doctors as many times as we needed. If the doctor ordered tests, we would get them, without having to pay the lab, etc.

I had a mammography, a bone density test, a regular check up, blood tests. No out of pocket expenses. Then I broke my ankle in late December. I signed in at triage at 1 10 pm, had xrays, and was in the OR at 3 pm. Went home by 8 pm. No bills to pay.

I went back to the fracture clinic to change my cast 3 weeks later, more xrays, new cast. No bill to pay. Removal of cast, more xray, removal of one screw, stitches. No bills to pay. Removal of stitches a week later. No bill to pay.

AFTER the hospital treatment/surgeon visits, I needed physio. That is covered by my husband's private insurance. I chose the physiotherapist and I had about a dozen treatments. The maximum covered by the insurance in a year is $400. Any medication is covered 100%. That is the plan offered by my husband's employer. Some plans are much better and have higher limits.

My husband hurt his knee in the late spring and could not work for months. On commission, no income means no disability income. However, he saw his family doctor several times, got an MRI and xrays. Since he was not considered "urgent", his appointment with a surgeon was not scheduled until November!!! He refused and told his doctor to find him another surgeon who could see him sooner. One was found in Brantford, 45 minutes south of us. He saw him on August 10, had arthroscopic surgery the 12th!!! Follow up visits with the surgeon. No bills to pay.
He had physio with the same maximum amount. He had complained to the surgeon that his hip hurt. On the last control visit for the knee, surgeon ordered a hip xray and confirmed my husband needed hip replacement surgery, which will take place on Dec. 4th. We have already had the surgeon pre-op visit, the hospital rehab pre-op visit, tomorrow is pre-op visit. Still no bill to pay.

We can choose our doctors, our hospitals, our physiotherapists, our labs.

I have had two children, a mastectomy, chemotherapy, other minor surgeries, other tests related to cancer diagnostic and follow ups, a mammography every year in the last 10 years, broken ankle and NEVER have I had to worry whether it would be covered or whether I could afford to go.

To me, that is what is most important. I can go without worrying. I grew up in France and had the same kind of medical care (not the same model, but universal care anyway).

For out of province/out of country insurance, my son who has no extra insurance through his work subscribes a CAA insurance. For $60/year, he is covered for any trip of 15 days or less. For extra days, he just pays a daily premium before he leaves!

Sorry this has been a novel, but even if we complain that things are not perfect, they are pretty good! When I read that people in the US pay $500/month for insurance with all the restrictions... I shake my head and wonder what would happen to them if they lost their jobs?

Night Flight
Nov. 26, 2009, 10:03 PM
It's free so there are no worries about not having enough money to see a doctor and no worries about what could happen in the case of an accident or disease.

The con is that, as far as I know, our wait times for treatment are longer than yours.

I think it's worth it, though, to know that if something happens to you, you won't lose everything you have.

Green Acres
Nov. 26, 2009, 10:08 PM
Pros: Its free!


It's free. How? Who is really paying for it? Someone has to pay, right?

wylde sage
Nov. 26, 2009, 10:09 PM
AWESOME!!! I've never talked to a Canadian that didn't like their health care system. My husband and I pay SOO much for really poor service and there's a co-pay, deductible, etc.

Of course I can see why it would never work here...too much big business running it now...too much greed. HOW can people question it AT ALL????:eek:

charlo
Nov. 26, 2009, 10:36 PM
Our taxes pay for it.

My son was hospitalized as a 6 week old for 2 weeks...everything was paid for. Personally for myself or my children we haven't had to deal with wait times.

Having visited the hospital with both kids this summer and my husband I'm so glad we didn't have to pay out of pocket for it. I think with our health care more people actually go to the Doc when something is wrong because they do not have to worry about how to pay for the visit.

We also have private insurance as my province does not cover drugs, or dental. Our drug plan is through our company, but if we were to pay out of pocket for it, it would be around $167 a month and it covers everything one could possible need.

subk
Nov. 26, 2009, 10:42 PM
Pros: Its free!
Nothing is "Free!"

Because you don't pay for it means some other poor bastard is covering the cost for you.

honeychile
Nov. 26, 2009, 10:48 PM
Because you don't pay for it means some other poor bastard is covering the cost for you.

This is a very American mentality.

A society should care about its citizens, and that includes its citizens health. I don't mean for this to get into a huge debate, but the Canadian system makes much more sense and that is why the American system is now in an uproar.

Our taxes pay for health, education, and welfare for the citizens of OUR society. That way, we can go to the hospital or our doctor and not worry about whether or not we can afford treatment for our wellbeing; we can go to post-secondary at subsidized rate and not be in debt for 100k by the time we're finished; and people who are not as well off, well we can ensure their children are clothed and fed.

I would rather pay taxes and live in a society that puts its people first. :yes:

lolalola
Nov. 26, 2009, 10:55 PM
I've had a lot of health problems over the years. If I didn't have health insurance, I'd be dead by now. Just wonder how many of my fellow Americans have died because they didn't have insurance - or didn't have someone to throw fundraisers for their care, which is a regular newspaper staple.

RedRazzle
Nov. 26, 2009, 10:56 PM
No, of course it's not free - but it is included in our taxes.

YES, you will have to pay for medication, dental, physiotherapy, etc, if your job does not provide additional benefits.

But it is a great relief not to worry about being treated while ill, or for preventative exams. You do have to advocate for yourself sometimes, but my understanding is that you may also have to advocate for yourself when you have private insurance as well.

Really, everyone just chips in to the pot, and everyone draws out eventually. If not now, then later. If not you, then maybe your child or parent. It all works out in the grand scheme of things.

(and in the meantime, it makes a really great way of holding the politicians to the axe ;):D)

Clever Pony
Nov. 26, 2009, 10:57 PM
I think I'd be very very broke without it!

Let's see, I so far have broken my femur, wrist (x2), and rib. I had major surgery twice with my femur and have had countless doctor's visits relating to those three visits. I have ulcerative colitis and see doctors far more than I'd like to, but its all paid for. I've had a colonoscopy and have had countless problems because of my ulcerative colitis that doctors have helped me with.

I have joked on many occasions that I do my best to get all I can out of the government because I constantly see doctors as I seem to find myself in situations where I need them far too often!

In a few years, once I'm 25, it will be difficult to pay for my very expensive medication every month as I will then be off of my parent's drug plan. So by then, I'll just have to be out of school and have found a job to make sure I will have the health coverage to pay for it.

up-at-5
Nov. 26, 2009, 10:58 PM
I agree with what has already been said, to a certain extent. England has a much better health care system than we do. Sure,we can go to hospital and not worry about paying, sure, we can go to a clinic(located on every block it seems) and not pay.But.....if you need an MRI and it's not an emergency, the wait in my city can be up to 6 months. Because we can see the DR at any time and go to hospital when need be, many people do not carry medical insurance.....so, if you are dying of cancer, you must pay for your drugs, do you need insulin to keep you alive? Be prepared to pay through the nose...
There is a major shortage of DR's and nurses, many of them head to the U.S. , where the pay is better. It's really hard to find a GP now, as there are long waiting lists. A wait to see a dermatologist is approx 6 months.

A woman at my work, well, her daughter had headaches so they did a few tests and found a tumour, but the kid must now wait 4 months for an appt with the neuro surgeon(sp?). They are thinking of crossing the border and paying for a consult..who has time to waste when it's your kid that is sick??

Our health care is great, but has some MAJOR flaws. My daughter lived in England for a year and never paid one cent for the insulin she needs to keep her alive.....it was free, as it sustained her life. Here in Ontario it costs us 200 bucks a month.

And...our care is not free, we pay for it..the premium is deducted from our provincial taxes.

arnika
Nov. 26, 2009, 10:58 PM
You know, no one makes it through their entire life without needing some type of medical care at some point. So even the "poor bastard" gets his health care covered by some other poor bastard.............

After all, in the US we do EXACTLY the same thing. Pay higher premiums even when we have never used the services. All to cover the cost of the people who have chronic or catastrophic illness. All of our costs are just massively higher! We already pay for universal medical care(except most of us are restricted from using it) through our taxes, it's called the Medicare/Medicaid deduction. So we have to pay for everyone's care twice. It would be better to have everyone covered out of all taxes, period. And I am a medical professional and yes, I believe socialized medicine is the way to go.

RedRazzle
Nov. 26, 2009, 11:04 PM
up-at-5, you make good points about the shortage of doctors/nurses and the wait times...I am cautiously optimistic though, for at least the near future, and for this reason: I have absolutely no doubt in my mind that the Baby Boomer generation will INSIST on top notch care as they continue to age. As far as I know, the number of medical school spots were increased a few years ago, and there are an enormous amount of young people being pushed towards health science. Consequently, I think there may be more shifts towards the type of healthcare system you describe in Britain. Which would be excellent, IMHO.

Somantu
Nov. 26, 2009, 11:49 PM
Nothing is "Free!"

Because you don't pay for it means some other poor bastard is covering the cost for you.

Yup. I'm that poor bastard – and I don't mind a bit! :)

I'm single w/o dependents; no kids in school; healthy as a horse; self-employed – so no group insurance coverage; income taxed at approximately 45%.

Some of that 45% goes toward healthcare for someone who needs it.

It's all good :winkgrin:

SpecialEffects
Nov. 26, 2009, 11:50 PM
Nothing is "Free!"

Because you don't pay for it means some other poor bastard is covering the cost for you.

And this is one of the major problems... the average person hasn`t got a clue where the money comes from. :rolleyes:

Our taxes are very high in this country and health care is a major part of the reason. Ok, so our taxes pay for the system that everyone can use. So you get someone that cuts their finger. Bandages are $4.89 at the drug store or you can go to emergency and it's FREE to have your finger bandaged up. It may have just cost the 'system' $2K but to you it's FREE. Your kid has the sniffles. You can buy some cold meds at the drug store, book an appointment with the doctor (FREE) or go to emergency because it's FREE too. And on and on it goes. The abuse of the system is huge. And costly. I won't even go into the illegals that use the system but don't pay into it.

The government controls what can be charged for what procedures. So an excellent doctor will make roughly the same amount of money as a crappy one. So you have two choices.... you either move to a place like the US where your extra skills make you extra money, or you strive to be just average because the incentive is taken away.

Wait times are huge. Sure in the case of an emergency, you get in right away - same as the US. But as an example, I had a botched surgery on my foot last Dec. They knew in January my foot was healing incorrectly and would have to be rebroken and redone. I got a September surgery date only because of a cancellation, it still may not have been done - now, a year later - otherwise. I took someone into emergency a week or so ago because he got a chunk of wood stuck in his eye and the wait time was just over 4 hours. A friends husband who was dying of cancer, ended up going to Buffalo for many tests (and paying for them) because of the wait times here. He didn't have time to wait.

Many times people are left in beds in hallways because there are no rooms. Many things that used to be included no longer are. I had to pay for the casts put on my feet. I fell down a flight of stairs and tore my rotator cuff and had to pay for the sling.

So is it the magical solution the the US problem.... I don't think so. I have family in the US and they say they would rather pay less money for general living expenses and have the money to pay their own insurance and get good care. They've lived in both places, making pretty much the same money and feel the US is a better 'deal' overall.

SpecialEffects
Nov. 26, 2009, 11:52 PM
Just want to add.... once the government gets ahold of it, it will never be free to go back to the previous system. And what has the government done well? So seriously, think hard on this one.

Foxtrot's
Nov. 26, 2009, 11:55 PM
I've lived in Britain and in Canada. Canada has a better system IMHO. While there are stories of wait times, of not being able to find a family GP and so on, especially in outlying areas, when push comes to shove, there is world class care available on a timely basis. We have no fears that 'socialized' medicine will shorten people's lives or limit care - just not true. Nobody here would lose their home to pay bills. We pay a premium, but those who cannot, get assistance.
We have a drug plan that we pay extra for and also for physio, chiro and massage.

FalseImpression
Nov. 27, 2009, 12:05 AM
ok, I agree with you that it is not free, but...

I just got my 2008 tax return out to check.

Taxable income of Annual Ontario Health Premium
Less than $20K - $ 0
more than $20K but less than $25K Taxable income minus $$20K x 6% =
so for someone making $23K 23000 - 20000 x 6% = $180
more than $25K but less than $36K - $300
more than $36K but less than $38.5 -
ex.: 37000 - 36000 x 6 % + $300 = $360
more than $38.5 but less than 48K - $450
more than $48K but less than $48.6 -
ex.: 48500 - 48600 x 25% + $450 = $600
more than $48.6 but less than $72K - $600
more than $72K but less than $72.6
ex.: 72300 - 72000 x 25% + $600 = $675
more than $72.6 but less than $200K $750
more than $200K but less than $200.6
ex.: 200 600 - 200 300 x 25% + $750 = $825
more than $200K $900

So, no it is not free, but frankly someone earning $200K and more can darn well pay an annual health premium of $900! Chances are at this level his private insurance will cover everything else, ie dental, eyecare, private room, etc. And it is still a lot less than your annual insurance premiums!

As I said I paid $300 last year. This year, I will not pay anything! and I can still claim the amount of physio not refunded by my insurance, etc.

The wait times I think depend on the location. As I mentioned my husband (in Waterloo) would have had to wait until November to meet with a surgeon. He got in in August in Brantford with a surgeon affiliated with Hamilton McMaster and a professor at the Medical school there. You do have to be your own advocate!

Neighbours and friends with cancer were seen and treated immediately. It all depends of what/where and when I think.

SpecialEffects
Nov. 27, 2009, 12:06 AM
there is world class care available on a timely basis.

Just curious - have you had any major surgeries, or even minor ones - recently?

a_quick_one
Nov. 27, 2009, 12:08 AM
The problem with the US system is that most of the money goes to middle management in the private insurance companies. Which only cover what they want. I pay out the nose for private insurance not through a job, and when I broke my leg and needed surgery last year, it covered a fair amount - but the physical therapy was basically my problem (I paid $45 a session and the insurance covered $7). That ran me thousands I did not have, especially as I could not work.

Equally, the US doctors get paid only what insurance wants to pay them. It is less and less - so the doctors up their prices and bill for everything they possibly can. Again, the money doesn't go to care; it goes to middle management and bonuses for insurance company high-ups. My mother is a pediatrician, and her practice of four doctors employs TWO full time insurance specialists to deal with the issues and billing. That's over 100k a year in a small practice.

Neither Canada nor Britain have ideal systems. France and Germany come closer.

FalseImpression
Nov. 27, 2009, 12:09 AM
Many things that used to be included no longer are. I had to pay for the casts put on my feet. I fell down a flight of stairs and tore my rotator cuff and had to pay for the sling.
.

Where did you go? I never had to pay for my casts (2) or sling and I am in Southern Ontario!! I did have to pay for an ankle support but I did not get it at the hospital either.

clm08
Nov. 27, 2009, 12:21 AM
I've lived in 2 countries in South America where there is socialized medicine and now live in the US. I am amazed that the richest country in the world cannot take care of its citizens' health when developing countries can (thru taxes, of course). Sure, there are long wait lists to see specialists and for non-life threatening surgeries. But my brother who was unemployed at the time he had a small stroke received immediate care and came out with no secondary effects. My niece who suffered an accident in the pool and drowned was taken to the ICU, suffered a secondary pneumonia, but fully recovered. They didn't have to pay for the hospitalization. These people are productive citizens who contribute to the society with their intellect, hard work and taxes and deserve the health care they get.

Here in the US, between my employer and I we spend several thousand dollars a year for health benefits. I have to wait months to get my annual physical because the in-network doctors are not accepting new patients, and after my primary care doctor moved out of the area a few years ago, I have had one new GP every year because the clinic keeps losing their doctors. Scheduling an appt with a dermatologist? 4-6 months. Add co-pays and deductibles, and I am spending an additional $2K a year besides my regular premium. Fortunately I am very healthy, but when daughter broke ankle there was major out of pocket expenses.

I personally know people who had serious accidents but didn't seek medical attention because they don't have health benefits thru their employers. So we all do fundraisers to help them cover the emergencies. The system is broken and needs to be fixed! If other developed and developing countries can make it work, how can the richest nation in the world not be able to? :confused:

SpecialEffects
Nov. 27, 2009, 12:22 AM
Where did you go? I never had to pay for my casts (2) or sling and I am in Southern Ontario!! I did have to pay for an ankle support but I did not get it at the hospital either.

The surgeon that did my feet operates out of Brampton Civic Hospital and that's where those surgeries were done. The arm sling was St Joes in Hamilton.
The casts were $140 each, the sling $22.

Foxtrot's
Nov. 27, 2009, 12:22 AM
Special Effects - yes, I know whereof I speak. My husband had a three-way bypass three years ago. Fantastic treatment and care.

Foxtrot's
Nov. 27, 2009, 12:28 AM
The US has a one time chance to have the best medical system in the world if everyone could just get behind the plan. Every other developed country has medical for all and the US could take the best from all of them. Nobody should be without health care, food, education or a roof over their head in a wealthy country. How anybody sleeps at night knowing that if they lost their job they would lose their healthcare. We have no lifetime caps either.

SpecialEffects
Nov. 27, 2009, 12:32 AM
As I mentioned in my first post, emergency care is there... as it is in the US. I had emergency surgery last Dec (and no I'm not confused, it was done with 2 feet broken already :lol:) and they were great. With necessary - but not emergency surgery - not too impressed.

So I guess it's a where and what type of thing. I know I was disgusted with what was done and not done with a 47 year old man with cancer. And that was with (supposedly) one of our best cancer hospitals. He received much quicker service and fabulous care in the US.

a_quick_one
Nov. 27, 2009, 12:39 AM
The US has a one time chance to have the best medical system in the world if everyone could just get behind the plan. Every other developed country has medical for all and the US could take the best from all of them. Nobody should be without health care, food, education or a roof over their head in a wealthy country. How anybody sleeps at night knowing that if they lost their job they would lose their healthcare. We have no lifetime caps either.

Right now, the WHO ranks the US as 37th in the world. We are the richest country in the world. Colombia and Chile (and most of Europe) have better health care than us. There is absolutely no reason for this.

And don't get me started on how much we pay for a college education compared to anyone in the EU.

JER
Nov. 27, 2009, 12:44 AM
I grew up in Europe and now split my time between the US and Canada.

The uniquely American phobia of single-payer health care baffles me. I have yet to meet an American who says 'My health insurance is awesome!" but there seems to be a widespread fear of reforming a system that has long since jumped the shark.

I'm an EMT and have experience working in the US health care system, in different capacities and in different states. Very little time, money and effort is actually spent on actual health care in the US vs feeding the insurance monster.

To me, it's not a conservative/liberal, Republican/Democrat or right/left issue. Health care is not about politics (this is one reason why we like Canada, it's also the attitude up here). It's about a government putting its citizens first and maybe even forgoing an endless war or two to do so.

SpecialEffects
Nov. 27, 2009, 12:59 AM
JER.... just curious. Is there any system in place in the US where someone is taken to emergency where they would be turned away? What happens if the person they just operated on after a car accident doesn't have insurance? Everyone I know in the US has insurance and I've never asked what would happen if. Thanks

MunchkinsMom
Nov. 27, 2009, 01:24 AM
That's where it gets sticky - if it were a car accident, now you have car insurance involved that should cover it up to the medical limits of the policy. Then come the lawers to sue whoever was at fault to pay the medical bills. Even if you have health insurance (and I work for one of those greedy giant companies), if there is other coverage, they go after that first, before they will pay the claim from their own coffers.

Now, the part that confuses me is this. I was taken to the ER in an ambulance last year for a head injury. We have a high deductible health plan, deductible not met yet. I get the bill. For the sake of example, the hospital bill was in the 5k range, yet the contracted rate with my insurance company was less than 1/3 of that. I understand about "contracted rates" but why is it fair that folks with insurance get charged so much less than those that have none?

Second part of the confusion was this. I called billing at the hospital and said I could not pay the lump sum due and could they put me on a payment plan. Sure, not a problem - pay what you can - and they don't charge any interest? How the heck are they making any money? Or are the rates jacked up that high that they don't need the interest? Confused the heck out of me.

When I was a child, my dad was in the military. What that means is that you must go to to the base hospital for any medical attention, military dependents do not use outside MD's or if they do, pay for it yourself. Trust me, you would die in the waiting room back then, unless your father was an officer, and took you in himself in full uniform - then you would be bumped to the head of the line. If my mother took me in, plan on an all day affair. And trust me, those waiting rooms were never as full as the ones in the private sector ER's. So, as that was my only taste of socialized medicine, I sure hope whatever they come up with will be better that that was.

I personally think there is a lot of waste of money in the medical professions and in insurance companies as well. Which is probably why the bill they are trying to pass is so complicated.

SpecialEffects
Nov. 27, 2009, 01:28 AM
MunchkinsMom.... wow, that does sound confusing! Yikes

Blugal
Nov. 27, 2009, 01:38 AM
I am happy with our system. If you have the ill luck to be hit by a bus, or give birth to a child with a disability, or get cancer, you will be covered no matter how wealthy or poor you are.

I haven't paid a medical premium yet - because I've been in school or because I've had such a low income.

I am so thankful that I didn't have to make a choice when I was fresh out of school and broke between eating and health insurance. (And let's be honest - lucky, because if I'd had to make that choice, it's much more likely I wouldn't have been able to feed my horse.)

In the future I will probably be a high-income earner and will have high taxes. I am fine with that system. I am glad my best friend with a 2.5 months premature baby was able to have the care he needed. And a friend of mine whose family were farmers, didn't have to worry about the cost of cancer treatment for their 12-year old boy for 5 years.

(I work in a law office and think we need to reform our insurance system for motor vehicle accidents. The sheer amount of wasted money on fighting over every little detail absolutely horrifies me.)

a_quick_one
Nov. 27, 2009, 01:42 AM
Now, the part that confuses me is this. I was taken to the ER in an ambulance last year for a head injury. We have a high deductible health plan, deductible not met yet. I get the bill. For the sake of example, the hospital bill was in the 5k range, yet the contracted rate with my insurance company was less than 1/3 of that. I understand about "contracted rates" but why is it fair that folks with insurance get charged so much less than those that have none?

Second part of the confusion was this. I called billing at the hospital and said I could not pay the lump sum due and could they put me on a payment plan. Sure, not a problem - pay what you can - and they don't charge any interest? How the heck are they making any money? Or are the rates jacked up that high that they don't need the interest? Confused the heck out of me.

Basically, insurance pays what it wants. The doctors and hospitals have to accept that amount, or charge you on top of it. They mark everything up as much as possible, so the insurance is forced to give them something - you cannot fault the doctors for this, as they have staff to pay and a living to make. Some of the really top doctors in NYC (I believe more primary care and gyn type than anything else) don't take insurance at all. And the reason X doctor doesn't take Y plan is probably because it pays crap and they have enough patients from Z plan that pays a bit better.

My mom's office gives a 30% discount for patients paying out of pocket that pay at time of service. They don't charge interest if you can't because they're a doctors office, not a bank - and insurance would pay them less anyway.

FalseImpression
Nov. 27, 2009, 01:44 AM
MM, it's all Greek to me... contracted rates? high deductible not met?

We may get a bill for an ambulance ride (I remember my mother in law getting one 15 years ago), but we would not get a bill for the care at the hospital.

When I have to pay for something covered by my insurance, I just print out their form, fill it out and send it. I get the cheque within a week. I know what they cover and what they don't cover and I don't have to ask permission to see such a therapist or go to a special pharmacy.

Not only does it cost you so much in premiums, it also seems to cost you a lot in energy and time, let alone in dollars.

Nojacketrequired
Nov. 27, 2009, 03:03 AM
Ask yourself...

Why should anyone not directly involved in the care (and direct administration of the care) of the ill and injured make a profit from their suffering?

THAT is what health insurance does. Profit from people's suffering.

Health care in ANY developed country should be a RIGHT not a priviledge.

Watch Sicko by Michael Moore. Even if you can't stand the guy. Even if you discount HALF, no even 3/4's of what's in that movie, the US should be downright embarassed by it. Some of it was filmed just down the street from me (The part where the guy had his hand re-attached), and it absolutely shocked, horrified and dismayed me at what regular people were going through to get health care that a lot of them HAD PAID FOR, in the US. Yes, Mr. Moore has an agenda and is a sarcastic you-know-what perhaps....but watch that movie and tell me that the US doesn't need to DO something NOW.

I'l take Canadian Health Care hands down. I'll pay my taxes, and I'll wait my turn and I'll advocate for myself or my loved ones for a quicker turn if I feel I'm being treated unfairly. And I'll count my lucky stars while I do it.

NJR

Go Fish
Nov. 27, 2009, 03:03 AM
Everyone I know in the US has insurance and I've never asked what would happen if. Thanks

It is estimated now that nearly 50 million Americans have no health insurance.

Go Fish
Nov. 27, 2009, 03:14 AM
There's also a misconception, that in the U.S., if you have no health insurance, and have to use the emergency room, that treatment is free and is subsidized by all those folks WITH insurance. Think again. I have a friend you lost her job and her health insurance. She had a health emergency that would have killed her without immediate treatment. She could not pay. The hospital and doctors have hounded her, turned her over to collection, are threatening to sue, and have ruined her credit. And, people die in the U.S. everyday, because they have no health insurance. Sheesh...this the United States of 'freakin America. I'm ashamed.

I'd start by taking away the cushy medical benefits that every member of Congress has. See how they like it. Problem is, most of them are wealthy enough to pay health care premiums out of their own pocket.

Baby
Nov. 27, 2009, 03:18 AM
I once waited 10 hours in my local canadian hospital. They only had one doctor on duty and there was a fatality. But then again every other time i've been to the hospital it's been okay. In the waiting room were people of all descriptions, and I could never imagine denying someone's family the help they need just because they can't afford it, even if there are flaws in the system.

tarnia
Nov. 27, 2009, 05:17 AM
Interesting you guys think the British system is better. I just moved here from Toronto, Canada and while I have not had to use the system much *knock on wood* I have been told by citizens that wait times and be astronomical, unless you are dying/DESPERATELY in need of treatment-in which case they will try and rush you through. There is a shortage of doctor's here as well-at least in Edinburgh-the clinic at Edinburgh University now has a sign saying they are not taking any more patients, but I was told when first looking for a GP that many clinics in the city won't take students and I was better going to the university clinic. Granted, university students don't really pay to support the system.

I had a friend visit me here. We went on one of the ghost tours of the city. Well, I should say we started one-15min in after the first story she faints and cracks her head against a stone pillar. Called a cab, rushed her to the hospital. Several hours later, when I could see nurses and what looked to me like Doctors standing around chatting, we were seen. I had a guy with a hand bleeding all over the floor across from me. Staff were chatting and I had to go over and tell them this guy was bleeding-they said they'd do something. Some time later I go over and get paper towels, glove my hands and clean it up myself and give him a wad of towels for his hand. BTW, my friend with a potential head injury faints at blood. Of course, since I'm on a student visa and she's just a tourist, we were lucky to be seen at no charge at all.

By no means do I mean to totally insult the system-I just don't think it is Utopia anymore than the Canadian system is. I have been very fortunate to never require an emerg room in Canada, as my parents are doctors and *knock on wood* I've never had an injury they couldn't treat-at least initially-themselves. I have however heard as bad or worse stories about our emerg rooms and wait times. I STILL think that it is better than privately funded health care.

Sithly
Nov. 27, 2009, 05:57 AM
When I read that people in the US pay $500/month for insurance with all the restrictions... I shake my head and wonder what would happen to them if they lost their jobs?

Well, in my case, if I lost my health insurance and went without for a certain period of time (I think 30 days), my chronic disease would be considered a pre-existing condition if I tried to get insurance ever again. I'd be bankrupt in short order.

Insurance is such a goddamn racket. Not surprising, given that it's a FOR PROFIT system. Why are we even remotely surprised that our insurance companies, designed FOR PROFIT, are functioning as they were intended? Gee, they're screwing over the users to make a bigger profit? WHO KNEW? :rolleyes:

Jolie_
Nov. 27, 2009, 07:43 AM
I am thankful for our health care system here in Canada. I have broken my wrist and my ankle within this past year and everything was paid for (casts/slings/xrays), I did have to pay for a special boot that I choose to have for my ankle (as it replaced the cast and was one that I could take off to shower so was my choice to upgrade).

As for waiting times they can be terrible, when I broke my wrist not bad was in and out in 3hrs....when I broke my ankle was 11hrs, but that day was a crazy one in the ER as I saw lots of people come in that did need more critical timely care than myself so although I was bored, I shrugged it off thankful as I didn't really want to go back to work that day anyways :)

I probably would benefit from a lower tax rate and pay health insurance given my family's income brackets, HOWEVER, I was raised in a lower middle class and my husband was raised in poverty and both of us realize how important it is for our parents and relatives (grandparents/siblings) to be able to get the free health care that they otherwise would not be able to afford.

kcmel
Nov. 27, 2009, 08:15 AM
Here is a letter my sister wrote to her local newspaper in TN regarding her experience with Canada and UK health care. I thought it was pretty good.

http://www.thedailytimes.com/article/20090828/OP02/308289954/-1/OP

Chief2
Nov. 27, 2009, 08:47 AM
FalseImpression, my monthly premiums are far more expensive than your annual premiums. I was paying almost $900 per month, with no drug coverage. That was going to cost extra.

Somantu: I am self-employed and my taxes were the same rate. I changed tax agents and the new one reduced it down to 38 percent.

Hospital wait times: we can easily have the same time issues here, depending on when you go in to the hospital (flu season, broken bone seasons (spring and winter), night versus day, etc.) so that one is a non-issue. Cancer treatment times: that one is going to be a problem.

Due to intermittant lay-offs, we have been both with and without insurance several times. The real difference is that the guy who pays through the nose for insurance pisses and bitches about how long it takes him to get into the hospital, or what it doesn't cover. The family without insurance doesn't go at all if they can humanly avoid it, because they know they'll be paying for something they can't possibly under this sun afford. I know folks who lived good, productive work lives, retired, had one catastrophic illness, ended up with huge medical bills surpassing the medical coverage, had to claim bankruptcy and lost their house. Another was uninsured, had a heart attack several years ago, had stents put in, and is still making payments on a $100,00 hospital bill, and that was the cost was after the hospital reduced his bill out of kindness. At least they took him in. An adult cousin laid on a hospital gurney for most of the day, with back and head injuries after crashing in an accident, because he was not insured. The doctors refused to touch him until his father came in to guarantee the bill and had to show the hospital administration his own tax returns to prove he could pay for it. Then they rushed him into surgery.

The folks who want the bill to pass have been down the road of the uninsured in this country. I think if the media would say, 'Your neighbor doesn't have coverage and their child is sick. Would you be willing to help them out with a small bump in your taxes? Instead of '4.5 million people need coverage now', people could more easily approach this instead of being terrified about what this will do to their own bottom lines.

The US is one of the most generous countries when it comes to foreign donations, but we sure are hell on our own citizens.

Ajierene
Nov. 27, 2009, 09:02 AM
I broke my ankle in the US - no medical. Straight to the emergency room, average wait time (was not busy in there). I had to wait a few days for the surgery, which was an outpatient procedure, to put a pin in. The wait was because the hospital does pro bono orthopedic work on Tuesdays and I broke my ankle on a Thursday.

Here is something that most people do not know. If you do not have medical insurance in the US, you can call the billing department of the hospital and get up to 40% of your bill knocked off. Call and tell them you cannot pay. The other thing people are not aware of is that is if you do have a high bill, you can pay as little as $5 per month for the rest of your life and it will never effect your credit. I was training horses at the time and was lucky enough to still be living with my parents. I had no income while I was injured, but nothing to pay other than car insurance and cell phone bill. I also paid anywhere from $5 to $20 a month for a long time, whittling those bills down. For the $10,000 (knocked down to $6,000) in bills, I think it took me four years to pay off. BUT, never a hit on my credit.

Last year, I paid $80/month for medical insurance through the military reserves. injured my back, spent a night in the hospital. From about $10,000 in bills, I paid about $700.

Now, I pay $50 per month through the reserves (this is the same company as active duty, but different - when I am on active duty, I do not pay anything and my reserve insurance automatically switches over).

There are three major problems with the US healthcare system that I see:

1-medical insurance is paid according to risk. So, if 5 people are on a group plan there is a 20% risk that someone will need the medical insurance. if there is 500 people on the plan, there is a 2% risk that someone will need it. The two groups will pay accordingly - higher risk, higher pay.

2 - preexisting conditions for major medical. If you buy into a group plan, you should be able to get medical insurance no matter what - especially if it is a large group.

3 - number of people not paying. This is not just the 'illegal aliens' using up the medical system. People like Go Fish's friend either do not know, or chose not to pay for their medical. If this friend had done the same as I had done, it may have taken her a long time to pay the bill, bu she would not have been hounded, she could have adjusted her payment according to needs that month (unlike a credit card company, where you have a minimum - literally, I think it is a dollar per month that you have to pay). The hospitals are not allowed to charge interest, per federal law. Credit is never touched, etc. Likewise, my ex-fiance left the hospital holding the bag for over $100K in hospital bills. The hospital has to recoup that somehow.


While there are issues with the US healthcare system, I think universal healthcare is not the answer either. Everyone should have the opportunity to pick up healthcare, by paying premiums. If healthcare is paid through taxes, we are going to have a myriad of problems including whether or not it is state taxes. If yes, then how do you get medical care in another state? When I hurt my back, I was taken to the better hospital that was about 15 min away - in another state. Would I now have to go to the better hospital about an hour away in the same state?

If it is federal, how will the states balance the local taxes? How will a state with a lower cost of healthcare feel about paying the same as a state with a higher cost?

dilligaff2
Nov. 27, 2009, 09:12 AM
My experiences in the past few years:
I had a very difficult pregnancy with multiple OB/GYN appointments and numerous Ultrasounds
Cessarian Section and 5 days in hospital due to my now very healthy daughter having lung problems.--Therefore Respitory care for her.

2 CT Scans and 3 MRIs for myself plus associated Specialist Appointments

GrandParent's Cancer care and Hospice for 6 months

Hubby's 3 Emergency room visits--no wait times

FIL's Hip Replacement and recovery-(Physio, 24hr Nursing etc)

Mother's Knee Replacement:-(Physio, 24hr Nursing etc)

Father's Heart Attack

maybe 2 Drs visits a year with the occasional trip to the After Hours clinic if needed.

The ONLY thing I have paid out of pocket for any of these examples was the parking fees at the hospital. How much would this have cost in the US unless you had some super policy?

Better Yet?--I don't have the fear of being 'denied coverage' if I get a lengthy illness.

Just last night I met a 19 yr old from Michigan that is carrying $90,000 in debt because he required Hospitalization last year due to Kidney problems. His new Insurance provider deemed it a Pre-existing condition and refused to pay.

So, I will continue to pay my taxes and thank the stars that I never need to worry about my health cutting into someone else's Profit Margin.

bumknees
Nov. 27, 2009, 09:29 AM
It is my experiance that with preexisting conditions exclusions are that it depends on how long the person in question went with out insurance. I had someone in my family litterally change insurance carriers in the middle of an organ transplant procedure( iirc she changed 1mth after the actual transplant). But because she had insurance until hte day of change over and had had insurance coverage for X amount of months prior to change over then her post transplant stuff was covered until she died due to complications of hte meds she was on because of hte transplant.

I hae a rather extensive medical history. I went from military insurance to civilian insurance back to military insurance. Went back and forth due to cost and what was and was not covered. I figured why pay a lot of $$$ for the same crappy coverage that I get through govt. provided insurance ( Tricare). Even when we went civilian insurance dispite me intresting medical history which includes but not limited to brain surgery I have yet to be denied coverage. BUT I have had consistant insurance coverage for the last 25 years of my life.. With a brief exception of hte 90days when first went to civilian coverage then the 30 days when we went back to tricare( it was less than 30 days but when pruchasing it they begin on the 1st of the next month even if you 'buy' it on the 2nd of the month). Bu yet I have yet to be denied coverage. So I personally have a difficult time believeing this occures as often as people would like to believe it does. Unless those who are denied go long periods of time with out coverage at all... or until they 'get sick' type thing.

FalseImpression
Nov. 27, 2009, 10:56 AM
I cannot imagine a 19 yo already straddled with $90K in debt... there is no hope to go to school and end up with another $100K by age 25 is there?

Wait times in ER? Yes, I have waited before with a daughter who could not even keep ice chips down... 10 hours, from midnight until 10 am. Change of shift at 7 am, then called in to the cubicle at 8 am, doctor at 9 am and two bags of IV. Then sent home!

A few hours for an eye problem, same daughter. The ophtalmologist we saw the next day through our optometrist wanted to find the ER doctor and ream him after the stupid stupid things he did and said to us.

But, the time she fell off her horse, tore her ear and did not remember getting on the horse (only time she did not wear her helmet... was just walking down the lane in snow!), she went right through to CT and doctor. She had a concussion, 7 stitches in her ear.

I was lucky when I broke my ankle, right time, right place. The orthopedic surgeon had just finished his fracture clinic, there was OR time available, nurses and anesthetist available AND I had not had anything to eat since early morning... went right through. I met other people at the subsequent fracture clinics that had to wait two or three days for surgery, but they had broken bones before the weekend between Christmas and New Year.

I have to get ready to go with my husband for his pre-op appointment today. Again, the only thing I expect to pay is the $5.00 parking fee!!!

Ten years ago, when I had cancer, things were fine too... 10 days from diagnosis to surgery and everything went smoothly after as well. Four years ago, I had a small vaginal bleed, saw my doctor and within 2 weeks I had the polyp removed. No bills to pay.

It is not perfect, some areas are better than others, some hospitals are better than others, however it can be said in any country. But I do not worry about the money issue.

JanM
Nov. 27, 2009, 11:18 AM
One thing that impacted care for the better when I belonged to the HMO in New Mexico was that there was an after hours urgent care but nonemergency clinic. They were right across the street from the hospital so if you were an emergency they got you there ASAP in an ambulance. Unfortunately, there is no urgent care locally (within 30 miles) so if you have an after hours problem the emergency room is the only answer. I also worked with a woman who only had a single plan even though she was eligible for a family plan, but she didn't want to pay the extra fees. So when they got sick she used her plan, her hubby used his VA, and when the kid got sick or needed any care she used a fake name and used the ER at the big public hospital and never got a bill (I heard her tell someone about the entire scheme-I was so shocked) because she used fake addresses too. People like her are the reason that you can't get waited on in an ER, or the ones who have been sick for a long time and decide at midnight on Saturday that they finally need to see a doctor at the ER. I just hope that everyone will have access to basic medical care, affordable prescriptions so they manage illnesses before they escalate, and can use medical care without losing going bankrupt.

clm08
Nov. 27, 2009, 11:28 AM
Here is something that most people do not know. If you do not have medical insurance in the US, you can call the billing department of the hospital and get up to 40% of your bill knocked off. Call and tell them you cannot pay. The other thing people are not aware of is that is if you do have a high bill, you can pay as little as $5 per month for the rest of your life and it will never effect your credit. I was training horses at the time and was lucky enough to still be living with my parents. I had no income while I was injured, but nothing to pay other than car insurance and cell phone bill. I also paid anywhere from $5 to $20 a month for a long time, whittling those bills down. For the $10,000 (knocked down to $6,000) in bills, I think it took me four years to pay off. BUT, never a hit on my credit.

Wait a minute: you paid your $6K bill over 4 years paying between $5-20/month? Either the hospital's or your math is different than mine. And nowadays, there are very few procedures that would cost only $6K to begin with. When my daughter fell off a horse and broke her ankle, the hospital bill was upwards of $50K. Thankfully I had insurance but still had to pay the $3.5K deductible, and then fight my insurance to cover the rest. They wanted to deny paying $8K out of the $50K+. If I didn't have insurance, and paid only $100/mo, it'd take me only 42 years to pay for that bill!!

Those of you who don't believe people lose their homes and future because of health bills pray never to be found it that situation, because the sad reality is that millions in this country don't have health care and only one major illness will wipe out their savings, home and rob their children of a future. I want my tax dollars to pay for education, health care and social services.

Cielo Azure
Nov. 27, 2009, 11:34 AM
The newest and nastiest new twist in insurance for individuals and small businesses are the "co-insurance" plans, which are getting pushed everywhere (often in fine print and it is not clear until you read the fine print what the plans are). These are plans first being offered to individuals when you are quoted a new policy. These are where the deductable is between 5K and 20K -pretty normal these days. Then the insurance kicks in and pays 70% and the individual must pay 30% for major medical. For this type of insurance, a family pays between $500-$1000 a month. In order to not have a "co-insurance" option, the premiums are over $1200 a month (usually around $1500). This co-insurance plan is being marketed everywhere. It is total BS. Thirty percent of a 100,000 bill would still cause most people to have to go bankrupt.

Until we get an over haul of our system, people are the ones getting screwed big time.

bumknees
Nov. 27, 2009, 11:49 AM
Co insurance is new? how new? as it was being pushed on the military families when they still had CHAMPUS.. It was strongly sugested to us 25 yrs ago we get co insurance...to cover the gap that champus left...

I want my taxes to pay for education, infrastructor, strong police/fire forces, strong military and secure borders. social programs not so much not more than we already ahve to pay for that is for sure.

Nomoreusernames
Nov. 27, 2009, 11:50 AM
WOW, what a great thread ! Anyone know how to copy the whole thing? I would like to send it to a gazillion people.

TropicalStorm
Nov. 27, 2009, 11:55 AM
I've lived in both the States and Canada. One of the big reasons I moved back to Canada was because of the health care.

In my mind, NO ONE should ever be in the position where they can't seek help because of lack of money and no insurance. Health care should be a right for everyone, not a priveledge reserved strictly for the rich and well off.

If that means that it has to be included in my taxes; and that I end up paying for other people, so be it. At least I know that if I ever get into a major accident, I don't have t worry about how the hell I'm going to pay for it. I can focus on getting better.

And yes, wait times are a pain in the ass. Although having worked at numerous hospitals, I find that the nurses are fairly good at triaging. Mistakes happen, and yes, we have a shortage of staff. But in the end, at least you WILL get to see someone - which, in my mind, definitely beats staying at home because you are unable to afford it.

bumknees
Nov. 27, 2009, 12:09 PM
Funny I have not had to wait.. even during the brief time of no insurance. I call and sy no insurance or self pay.. They say no problem...

I am one of many who can not aford to wait for nonemegerency testing to be done, or a shortage of qualtified staff/dr's et al.. those can kill me and others in my same boat.

I know for a fact that one of the top hospitals ( i believe it is in the top 10 in general hospitals and top5 for several specalized units) in the US has this program to where if you can not pay due to finances or lack of insurance it will pick it up.. I knwo for a fact they have a program for transplant pts that if they cna not get or afford their immune supp, anti reject, etc meds they will supply them for them.

I know for a fact if I were to call today ( for this we wil say I have no insurance) and say I hae a headach They will say how fast can you get here or do you need transported from home? I tell them how long or how to get here and say no insurance /self pay. they will say we will have the forms ready for you to fill out when you arrive.

I also know that with my local ER if I go there again pretending no insurance in need of what ever they have this program I dont know the name as I have not had to use it. YOu fill out form, submit proof of income. YOu do not have ot pay the bill. But It is probably picked up by 'over charginf' of those with insurance... Or I can actually pay my bill..

I have never decided to stay at home because I cant afford a drs visist and concidering what drs i do see it is not unusualy for my bills to be over 3k per visit... If I put off a Drs apt it isbecause I am tired of being cut into, admitted into the hospital so they can run more tests on my body by poking and proding sticking and stabbing...

Cielo Azure
Nov. 27, 2009, 12:20 PM
Co insurance is new? how new? as it was being pushed on the military families when they still had CHAMPUS.. It was strongly sugested to us 25 yrs ago we get co insurance...to cover the gap that champus left...

I want my taxes to pay for education, infrastructor, strong police/fire forces, strong military and secure borders. social programs not so much not more than we already ahve to pay for that is for sure.

It is a new tactic for BC/BS and Kaiser and other companies to be pushing only 70% coverage as their main insurance package. It is now getting hard to even find 90-100% coverage -and that is new (you have to ask if they have those packages). This is certainly new from three years ago was I was looking for insurance.

Right now, in the USA, we pay four times as much for the same quality (or worse) healthcare that all the rest of the industrialized nations have -like Canada. Our system is broken. It isn't about your taxes being higher (that is fear mongering), it is about reining in costs, which require a public option or single payer system and strong regulatory control that has teeth. If you really cared about costs, you would be rallying for health care reform because a strong government run health care system (and that can include insurance companies) means less costs overall and saves everyone money.

This board and recent Canadian polls shows that over 90%, including Canadian conservatives think their health system is great.

I bet you are one of those people that think the military, their families and veterans should have health care paid through the government but it shouldn't be for "everyone." "I got on the lifeboat, pull up the ladder!"

bumknees
Nov. 27, 2009, 12:23 PM
mmm ok I wonder now if perhaps they got this idea from the govt.

I just always assumed it was something that was sugested. But in all honsety I dont have that much experiance with civilian insurance..

IdahoRider
Nov. 27, 2009, 01:09 PM
I have a pre-existing condition that makes paying for my own insurance prohibitively expensive. Insurance companies are for-profit business models and they look at my history, decide that I am a bad risk and charge accordingly.

The idea that I can have a problem and show up at an emergency room and receive some kind of free or deeply discounted treatment would be laughable if it weren't so scarily misinformed first. I paid cash, up front, for my OB care 10 years ago and I got a big 10% discount. I saved $280 on that bill, but that didn't include any charges from the hospital for the labor and delivery or the 12 hours I spent in a room on the OB floor after my son was born. I walked out of the hospital owing over $8,000 to the hospital.

Someone has to pay. If I had treatment that I could not pay for, I could lose my home in a judgment. And offering to pay $5 a month on a bill that totaled more than $75,000? Please. Why would anyone accept that kind of repayment schedule when they can sue me for my home and get it? That happened to me in 2001 and the only thing that saved my home was the fact that I had worked a lot fewer hours the month prior and was eligible for Medicaid. But let me tell you, before Medicaid paid the bill, I was being hounded by the hospital and they were not interested in taking $5 a month.

I am so glad to see Canadians speaking up and defending their own health care system. It seemed to me that too often last summer we were hearing stories that involved a friend of a friend that use to live next door to someone's sister who ate lunch at a table next to a woman who had to come to the U.S. for treatment because the wait time for her life saving surgery would kill her. The closest to the above story I have heard from an actual Canadian is a woman who admitted that she had her boob job done in Buffalo. I have been well endowed most of my life and nothing about having big boobs is life saving.
Sheilah

LeeB10
Nov. 27, 2009, 01:10 PM
Wait times are huge. Sure in the case of an emergency, you get in right away - same as the US. But as an example, I had a botched surgery on my foot last Dec. They knew in January my foot was healing incorrectly and would have to be rebroken and redone. I got a September surgery date only because of a cancellation, it still may not have been done - now, a year later - otherwise. I took someone into emergency a week or so ago because he got a chunk of wood stuck in his eye and the wait time was just over 4 hours. A friends husband who was dying of cancer, ended up going to Buffalo for many tests (and paying for them) because of the wait times here. He didn't have time to wait.

Many times people are left in beds in hallways because there are no rooms. Many things that used to be included no longer are. I had to pay for the casts put on my feet. I fell down a flight of stairs and tore my rotator cuff and had to pay for the sling.

So is it the magical solution the the US problem.... I don't think so. I have family in the US and they say they would rather pay less money for general living expenses and have the money to pay their own insurance and get good care. They've lived in both places, making pretty much the same money and feel the US is a better 'deal' overall.


I don't know where you people live in the US but here is my experience in Northern California. I had Kaiser for quite a few years and 10 hours in an emergency waiting room is a short wait here - if you get to see the doctors. They had a new program where they waded out the people that they felt were "non" emergencies and those were sent home and asked to see a doctor at the next available appointment. I have carpel tunnel syndrom to the point that my hands are occasionally unusable - my Kaiser doctor gave me a prescription of 800 mg Motrin. I could go on and on but for that lovely insurance it cost me $400.00 per month and I had a 20% co-pay. Now I have Aetna and have been forced into a "co-insurance" plan. We have a deductable of $4500.00 for the family. How many of you could afford that if you were billed $4500.00 and my local hospital does not have payment plans - you pay within 30 days or get hit by the credit company. My daughter recently had swine flu and got tonsilitis that went into an abcess. We went to the emergency room - waited 4 hours with her having a 103 temperature and so sick she was nonfunctional. She got to see the doctor after about 7 hours and that doctor would not drain the cyst in her throat because it wasn't past the midline - she had a tonsil cyst that was bleeding and huge and don't get me started. My daughter was given a large dose of antibiotics and was released with a 103 temperature after spending 7 hours waiting and 3 hours in the actual emergency room. She fell outside of the emercy doors when we left and I could not get her up for nearly 15 minutes but noone came to help and I sure did not want to go back into the emergency room after all of that. I was able to get her to a doctor the next day that was horrified at my daughters condition and did tend to her properly. BUT our system here is a mess clearly. The emergency rooms are crowded and are terrible. My expensive insurance for which I pay $450.00 per month doesn't cover anything it seems. I have to wait 32 days to get a mammogram and now the insurance companies don't want it to be standard for women over 40 and at Kaiser you could only go in for pap smears every three years. What about our system works? I don't think going to socialized medicine could make it worse than the mess we already have.

JER
Nov. 27, 2009, 01:14 PM
Re: Canadians going outside of Canada for treatment

Health Canada is often the one paying for it but you rarely see that fact amid all the hype.

Health Canada will pay for Canadian citizens to have procedures outside of Canada. Many Canadians schedule these procedures for the winter months, in warmer climates.

So yes, they're 'medical tourists' but it's part of their Canadian health care plan.

IdahoRider
Nov. 27, 2009, 01:16 PM
I know for a fact that one of the top hospitals ( i believe it is in the top 10 in general hospitals and top5 for several specalized units) in the US has this program to where if you can not pay due to finances or lack of insurance it will pick it up.. I knwo for a fact they have a program for transplant pts that if they cna not get or afford their immune supp, anti reject, etc meds they will supply them for them.

I know for a fact if I were to call today ( for this we wil say I have no insurance) and say I hae a headach They will say how fast can you get here or do you need transported from home? I tell them how long or how to get here and say no insurance /self pay. they will say we will have the forms ready for you to fill out when you arrive.

I also know that with my local ER if I go there again pretending no insurance in need of what ever they have this program I dont know the name as I have not had to use it. YOu fill out form, submit proof of income. YOu do not have ot pay the bill. But It is probably picked up by 'over charginf' of those with insurance... Or I can actually pay my bill..

You sure use the phrase "I know for a fact" a lot without giving any specifics. What hospital would that be? The one that will provide free care for anyone showing up? What is the name of the program that will pick up the bill if you can't afford to pay it?

Until you state specifics, you have no credibility.
Sheilah

Huntertwo
Nov. 27, 2009, 01:25 PM
I for one am already worried as there are plans to limit a woman to a mammogram every other year after the age of 50.:no:
The program hasn't even started yet, and there is rationing already in progress.

It will not be free! You will be required to get yourself a health plan or you will be penalized. So, I don't know why everyone is so curious about the Canadian system. It will not be set up like theirs.

Here is a link to the British Health Care System denying cancer drugs to patients because of cost.
http://www.dailymail.co.uk/health/article-561800/Lung-cancer-drug-banned-England-cost--available-Scots.html

Another drug that is deemed "Not cost effective"

http://www.reuters.com/article/swissMktRpt/idUSGEE5AM1DU20091124

Do we really want to go this route? :no:

greysandbays
Nov. 27, 2009, 01:25 PM
If you really cared about costs, you would be rallying for health care reform because a strong government run health care system (and that can include insurance companies) means less costs overall and saves everyone money.


Now there's a laugh and a half. It's been a heck of a long time since government involvement has meant "less costs overall" or saved anybody any money.

LeeB10
Nov. 27, 2009, 01:31 PM
Now there's a laugh and a half. It's been a heck of a long time since government involvement has meant "less costs overall" or saved anybody any money.

Have you or any of your children or family attend a state run college? If so you have saved money.

bonds
Nov. 27, 2009, 01:34 PM
Actually, check the stats on the World Health Org (WHO) site. The most recent costs are for 2005, comparing the total per capita cost between Canada and the US, in USD. Canada it was just under $3,500 per person, in the US it was just under $6,500 per person.

Once you put the consideration of making profit on health care, of course it will cost more...

Huntertwo
Nov. 27, 2009, 01:34 PM
Now there's a laugh and a half. It's been a heck of a long time since government involvement has meant "less costs overall" or saved anybody any money.

Have you or any of your children or family attend a state run college? If so you have saved money.

Well Obama has plans to tax college students very soon, in case you haven't heard.

LeeB10
Nov. 27, 2009, 01:39 PM
Well Obama has plans to tax college students very soon, in case you haven't heard.


That is a very broad statement and has no meaning behind it without context. Exactly what is he planning to tax college students for? And, I already pay taxes in the state which one of my children attend college. All state run colleges fall under some form of socialization as they are all funded with taxes, tuitions, and donations.

bumknees
Nov. 27, 2009, 01:41 PM
It is the Cleveland Clinic. the web sire: http://my.clevelandclinic.org/default.aspx
here finiancial assistance
http://my.clevelandclinic.org/patients/billing_legal/billing/assistance.aspx

the form
http://my.clevelandclinic.org/Documents/Patients/Financial_Assistance_App_0809.pdf

I know about their transplant medication program because as I said a family member had a transplant and this is what they told HER. I was there I had the paperwork to hold onto just incase it as needed.

ETA I am sure you can locate it on th CCF web site. the transplant assistance for anti rejection and immune suppressnt meds.

Huntertwo
Nov. 27, 2009, 01:56 PM
Well Obama has plans to tax college students very soon, in case you haven't heard.


That is a very broad statement and has no meaning behind it without context. Exactly what is he planning to tax college students for? And, I already pay taxes in the state which one of my children attend college. All state run colleges fall under some form of socialization as they are all funded with taxes, tuitions, and donations.

Sorry, my mistake - Here is the story I meant.

http://www.breitbart.com/article.php?id=D9C2OPP80&show_article=1

SMF11
Nov. 27, 2009, 02:11 PM
Rather than have US residents tell us why the Canadian system doesn't work, I really much prefer to hear from Canadians about their system. I thought this was a great idea for a thread.

Ibex
Nov. 27, 2009, 02:11 PM
I'm one of those poor bastards that pays taxes to support other people's health care. That would be the same health care that got my mother through life-threatening pneumonia, brought my niece into the world without burdening my sister and her DH with immense debt, and provided immediate care, including an MRI, when my trainer was injured by a horse that somersaulted onto her and then thrashed when he got up, kicking her in the head.

I'm really ok with it. No, it's not perfect (especially in regards to cancer care), but it's better than the alternatives.

Mozart
Nov. 27, 2009, 02:55 PM
I too am one of those Canadians that pays a lot of tax so that everyone has a decent level of health care. Trust me, I am an employed professional and so I pay a LOT of taxes.

However, I am OK with it. A civilized society takes care of its people. Yes, some will take advantage. I can accept that a small percentage will and if that is the price I pay so that I know everyone will recieve a BASIC level of care..so be it.

Both my family and I have had life threatening health issues in the last 10 years. I was happy with the care we got (we all survived!).

Where the system fall down is the wait times for specialists if your issue is not life threatening. This is where you get to see medical tourists, people who are tired of waiting for hip and knee surgeries, who don't want to wait for an MRI to diagnose etc. If they think you are really sick, trust me, you get the MRI or the CT scan pretty quick. If it is further diagnostic for a "mystery" or for something deemed non-essential...you will wait. Those waits are unacceptable and need to be fixed. In general though, I will take this system over a wholly private system anyday.