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Dont Knock our Health System

Canada's system is called Medicare, and is much like Medicare in the U.S. for over-65-year-olds, except that this one treats virtually the entire Canadian population of 33 million.Canadians are setting aside their criticisms of Medicare and rallying to its defense. The reason: Their system has been dragged into the debate over President Barack Obama's health care reform proposals by opponents who say Canada proves Obama is wrong — that Canadians endure long waits for critical procedures, medical rationing, scant resources and heavy-handed government interference.

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206807 tn?1331936184
Do you even bother reading these things before you post them? This is from your post
“To be sure, Canadians have their complaints about their health care system — about long waits for elective care, including appointments with specialists and selected surgical procedures; shortages of doctors and nurses, particularly in rural areas; and the growing costs of covering an aging population.

The Canadian Medical Association wants to mix private insurance into the government monopoly. There have been lawsuits demanding the right to buy private health insurance. David Sebald, a Toronto-based health care consultant who has lived in the U.S., calls for a co-payment system to "eliminate the hypochondriacs."

I guess it is according  to which website you pull up and choose to believe. http://www.investors.com/NewsAndAnalysis/Article.aspx?id=503109
Maybe if Americans would quit trying to help everyone else out and concentrate on ourselves, we would have the money to provide a FREE State of the Art Health Care System second to none.
475300 tn?1312423126
R Glass wrote

              Maybe if Americans would quit trying to help everyone else out and concentrate on ourselves, we would have the money to provide a FREE State of the Art Health Care System second to none.

I have been saying this same thing for years and totally agree with you!!!!

Avatar universal
From The Sunday Times August 30, 2009

What’s the Canadian word for ‘lousy care’?Jeremy Clarkson

Recommend? (249)
While I was away, there was a big debate about how Barack Obama might
sort out America’s healthcare system, which, say the critics, is
chronically awful and fantastically unfair.

It’s also bonkers. I was once denied treatment at a Detroit hospital
because the receptionist’s computer refused to acknowledge that the
United Kingdom existed. Even though I had a wad of cash, and a wallet
full of credit cards, she was prepared to let me explode all over her
desk because her stupid software only recognised addresses in the
United States.

Some say America should follow Canada’s lead, where private care is
effectively banned. But having experienced their procedures while on
holiday in Quebec, I really don’t think that’s a good idea at all.

A friend’s 13-year-old son tripped while climbing off a speedboat and
ripped his leg open. Things started well. The ambulance arrived
promptly, the wound was bandaged and off he went in a big, exciting

Now, we are all used to a bit of a wait at the hospital. God knows,
I’ve spent enough time in accident and emergency at Oxford’s John
Radcliffe over the years, sitting with my sobbing children in a room
full of people with swords in their eyes and their feet on back to
front. But nothing can prepare you for the yawning chasm of time that
passes in Canada before the healthcare system actually does any

It didn’t seem desperately busy. One woman had lost her face somehow —
probably a bear attack — and one kid appeared to have taken rather too
much ecstasy, but there were no more than a dozen people in the
waiting room. And no one was gouting arterial blood all over the

After a couple of hours, I asked the receptionist how long it might be
before a doctor came. In a Wal-Mart, it’s quite quaint to be served by
a fat, gum-chewing teenager who claims not to understand what you’re
saying, but in a hospital it’s annoying. Resisting the temptation to
explain that the Marquis de Montcalm lost and that it’s time to get
over it, I went back to the boy’s cubicle, which he was sharing with a
young Muslim couple.

A doctor came in and said to them: “You’ve had a miscarriage,” and
then turned to go. Understandably, the poor girl was very upset and
asked if the doctor was sure.

“Look, we’ve done a scan and there’s nothing in there,” she said, in
perhaps the worst example of a bedside manner I’ve ever seen.

“Is anyone coming to look at my son?” asked my friend politely.
“Quoi?” said the haughty doctor, who had suddenly forgotten how to
speak English. “Je ne comprends pas.” And with that, she was gone.

At midnight, a young man who had been brought up on a diet of American
music, American movies and very obviously American food, arrived to
say, in French, that the doctors were changing shift and a new one
would be along as soon as possible.

By then, it was one in the morning and my legs were becoming weary.
This is because the hospital had no chairs for relatives and friends.
It’s not a lack of funds, plainly. Because they had enough money to
paint a yellow line on the road nine yards from the front door, beyond
which you were able to smoke.

And they also had the cash to employ an army of people to slam the
door in your face if you poked your head into the inner sanctum to ask
how much longer the wait might be. Sixteen hours is apparently the
norm. Unless you want a scan. Then it’s 22 months.

At about 1.30am a doctor arrived. Boy, he was a piece of work. He
couldn’t have been more rude if I’d been General Wolfe. He removed the
bandages like they were the packaging on a disposable razor, looked at
the wound, which was horrific, and said to my friend: “Is it cash or
credit card?”

This seemed odd in a country with no private care, but it turns out
they charge non-Canadians precisely what they would charge the
government if the patient were Céline Dion. The bill was C$300 (about

The doctor vanished, but he hadn’t bothered to reapply the boy’s
bandages, which meant the little lad was left with nothing to look at
except his own thigh bone. An hour later, the painkillers arrived.

What the doctor was doing in between was going to a desk and sitting
down. I watched him do it. He would go into a cubicle, be rude, cause
the patient a bit of pain and then sit down again on the hospital’s
only chair.

Seven hours after the accident, in a country widely touted to be the
safest and best in the world, he applied 16 stitches that couldn’t
have been less neat if he’d done them on a battlefield, with twigs.
And then the anaesthetist arrived to wake the boy up. In French. This
didn’t work, so she went away to sit on the doctor’s chair because he
was in another cubicle bring rude and causing pain to someone else.

Now, I appreciate that any doctor who ends up working the night shift
at a provincial hospital in Nowheresville is unlikely to be at the top
of his game, and you can’t judge a country’s healthcare on his
****-poor performance. And nor should all of Canada be judged on
Quebec, which is full of idealistic, language-Nazi lunatics.

But I can say this. If private treatment had been allowed, my friend
would have paid for it. He would have received better service and in
doing so, allowed Dr Useless to get to the woman with no face or
ecstasy boy more quickly. Though I suspect he would have used our
absence to spend more time sitting down.

The other thing I can say is that Britain’s National Health Service is
a monster that we can barely afford. But in all the times I’ve ever
used the big, flawed giant, no one has ever pretended to be French, no
one has spent more time swiping my credit card than ordering
painkillers and there are many chairs.
Avatar universal
Now there's a shining example of poetic license.  In all the times I've ever been to emerg in my 48 years in Canada both for myself and my kids, I have never experienced the type of care described in this article.  I don't recognize anything except for the waiting times.  I've often watched whole families come in with their injured person and wondered why and nothing like the lack of chairs described here.  

All I can think of is that this was a VERY rural hospital and the emerg doctors on call come in from the city perhaps and not locally.  While I'm sure bad bedside manners do happen I'm sure this telling is a little stretched just going by the other comments in this article, i.e. "And nor should all of Canada be judged on
Quebec, which is full of idealistic, language-Nazi lunatics. "

It's one person's one highly exaggerated experience and not even close to representing care in Canada.
Avatar universal
Many Americans are under the delusion that we have “the best health care system in the world,” as President Bush sees it, or provide the “best medical care in the world,” as Rudolph Giuliani declared last week. That may be true at many top medical centers. But the disturbing truth is that this country lags well behind other advanced nations in delivering timely and effective care.

Michael Moore struck a nerve in his new documentary, “Sicko,” when he extolled the virtues of the government-run health care systems in France, England, Canada and even Cuba while deploring the failures of the largely private insurance system in this country. There is no question that Mr. Moore overstated his case by making foreign systems look almost flawless. But there is a growing body of evidence that, by an array of pertinent yardsticks, the United States is a laggard not a leader in providing good medical care.


Avatar universal
I didn't read your link - is that your own comment or a quote from the article you're quoting?  And I don't get what your overall point of your thread is here.  

1016618 tn?1420553262
My 2 cents... probably going to step on some toes.

If our government would open the state borders for private insurance it would in my mind create a better market for the insurer's, better competition and drive the prices down.

I also believe that a lot of the 'high' prices in the medical field come from people suing hospitals, practices and Doctors at the drop of a hat. Then the cost is absorbed by the malpractice insurers by raising their costs. If a Doctor screws up then it should go through criminal court instead of civil court. That would get their (doctors) attention a little better and help them stay focused. I do believe that most Doctors truly want to help others but there are still a few bad apples.

So that leaves money  for  the cost of state of the art equipment, facilities and R&D.

I heard a news piece the other day where a local hospital emergency  room  took in a illegal alien and treated them for a broken bone. The Doctor being interviewed said  ‘They show up at the door what am I supposed to do, tell them to leave? No, I did what I was programmed to do, I gave them medical assistance to the best of my ability’. Now, put yourself in that position and tell me what you would do? Tell them to go home?

I do believe we need reform and we need to stay human. Question is who absorbs the cost of the people who can't pay? I say bill it back to their home government for foreigners .. leave social security and Medicare alone so that it can do what it is intended to do. Crack down on who gets financial and medical aid from government funding. For the people who are able to work and don't have jobs or insurance, let them work it off in a manual labor area like picking up trash on the highways and rivers etc…

There are ways to do good and still remain productive.

I’m just saying …

148588 tn?1465778809
I have this vision of thousands of people on interferon in orange vests walking the sides of our highways carrying sticks with a sharp pin on the end ......
1016618 tn?1420553262
Thanks you for your kind words, are you one of them? I would be.

148588 tn?1465778809
I finished tx 6+ years ago, but I would do whatever was necessary if I ever needed to re-treat.
374652 tn?1494811435
Insurance companies are the problems as well as pharmaceuticals,, even though I love the ones who might get me into a study.
The bottom line is a human life has got to be worth more than a piece of paper and that paper is money. duh.... The whole thing is a mess.... education would be a good thing to have too.  Why is it we always have money for wars that arent even wars anymore they are occupations but never enough money for education and health care, human services... it is totally insane.  I have got to start putting more into my spiritual bank account cuz this world is NUTS.  Just plain Nuts. with lots of great people and lots of greedy people.  
163305 tn?1333668571
I agree the world is nuts but I think our biggest problem is  greed.
I understand there is some big gas pipeline they want to put across Afghanistan. Would we have invaded Iraq if there was no oil? If we care about democracy then what about Burma or Tibet?
The wars are about greed and corporate run. Our politicians are bought by  corporations dollars. Calling wars occupations is word play.

Our government in my opinion, is not about the people and our needs or our priorities would be for the common good. If instead of bailing out failing banks and automobile companies what if we had something similar to the WPA projects of Roosevelt's time?
Put people to work rebuilding our infrastructures, creating green alternative energies, helping our schools etc.

And get the middle man, insurance companies, out of health care and our pockets. I consider them the same as the old mafia protection racket, pay up or else.

How come my parents didn't need insurance companies to pay for doctors who actually came to the house when we were sick?
There is a way but it involves what is always both inevitable and the most resisted~Change.

146021 tn?1237204887
I wish you two hadn't got me started!!!:)
Mary: I agree, I think....do you mean wars are just a way of employing our citizens when the money could be spent on the important things like education, health care etc?
I hope this doesn't get deleted because it's political, but I'm amazed that everyone's so worried about the healthcare system going "bad" when it's obviously not "good" to begin with.

Of course the insurance  companies and physicians are paying the lobbyists to make healthcare reform sound evil. They are against change that might cut into their profit. I'm amazed that so many people have not realized how expensive our healthcare is, and how much we could all benefit from change.....

Luckily, I had insurance and was able to get surgery this year to relieve spinal cord compression on my neck. The bills were unbelievable! Way over 100,000 dollars yet the insurance company took way less becauses of my health care coverage. If I had no insurance, I would have been responsible for the cost, or would have to do without treatment.

I worry about the families who can't afford medicine or trips to the dr, yet they have jobs and are part of or working sector. My son works full time for a small company without insurance benefits. Of course, since he only makes 10 dollars an hour he really can't afford to pay insurance premiums, car payment/ins/gas and rent if he wants to eat.

I find it reprehensible that our society as a whole has such apathy for others.
85962 tn?1329981090
I guess we have to come to the conclusion that at least half the population in america  just doesn't care!
206807 tn?1331936184
“I guess we have to come to the conclusion that at least half the population in america  just doesn't care! “

I have come to the conclusion that at least half the population in America (Notice the capitol A) would like to know what “The Plan” is before supporting it.
This is something that is going to change our way of life. Until we can see “The Plan” (that seems to continually change), we have no way of knowing it will be for the good.
I have spent most of my life without insurance and the only reason I have insurance now is because my wife works for Wal-Mart. If she were to lose her job, we would be back in the same situation.
I, like most Americans is for Healthcare Reform. We are just not willing to have anything shoved down our throats. I also question, why is this trying to be rushed through. Yes Health Care Reform needs to be addressed immediately but it has to be a well thought through plan that take everything and body into consideration.
163305 tn?1333668571
I think we all would like to know what exactly will happen under the proposed changes.

I think perhaps what Obama is trying to do is give a general outline to health care reform and let the details be worked out as it goes along.  I don't know.

I do know what we have now isn't working and we need to try something new.

I think his rush is because he saw what happened when Clinton tried changing the system. Maybe he wanted to push it through before the insurance/phameceutical companies lobbiest could set get the propoganda/fear machine in place---too late!

And perhaps part of his rush is wanting to get so much done with the slow moving process we have in place.

I didn't want to have to leave the country for a liver transplant because the prices here are astronomical and my doctor wouldn't do preliminary tests without my having insurance!
This IS what we have now and it IS disgraceful.

So why not give change a chance instead of allowing insurance companies to continue making health care decisions for us.
206807 tn?1331936184
  “ I do know what we have now isn't working and we need to try something new.”

“I didn't want to have to leave the country for a liver transplant because the prices here are astronomical and my doctor wouldn't do preliminary tests without my having insurance!
This IS what we have now and it IS disgraceful.”

I agree with both comments 100%

"I think his rush is because he saw what happened when Clinton tried changing the system."

You have to remember that Clinton’s plan was so horrible, her fellow democrats wouldn’t even back her up.

Once the deal is made, we are married to it. I know changes can be made after the marriage but I would like to at least see the Bride before the marriage.
As much as I agree with you, I will have to see “The Plan” before I can agree with it.
One thing is for sure, not everyone is going to happy regardless.

163305 tn?1333668571
Everyone I talk to wants a change to the current health care and yet there are so many unanswered questions.
I don't have the answers but I somehow feel that the public has been encouraged to be apprehensive by the big guys who are opposed to the plan because it will cut into their huge profits.

I'm willing to try a new marriage rather than let this old one keep bullying us.

I shouldn't have mentioned the Clinton plan at all because honestly I don't remember enough about it to comment on it.

And you are right, nothing is going to please everyone, except maybe free icecream:)
Avatar universal
yes, interesting times - there's nothing like making a decision close to the bone to show a democracy at work. Both those for and against the public option now claim to have the majority of the popular will. The Senate finance committee proposal, which Grassley insists will include no public option, is due on the 15th but any compromise at this point seems unlikely.  

Whether the Senate goes down the reconciliation path to force a majority vote may depend on what Obama has to say next Monday.  By now the recess has given them all a chance to hear what people have to say.  One interesting data point is the number of Drs advocating  a public option. See the blog by Dr. Fogoros on the 'Expert Activity' link
also the number of  MDs with letters to the editor in last Sunday's NYT.

I was curious about the infamous 'town hall meetings' and went to hear my House representative tonight with a (clean!) hand-designed/lettered  T shirt captioned
After reading the stories I was wondering about a bullet-proof vest but the evening went fairly well. Some loud boos broke out when the Congresswoman emphatically stated no bill without a public option would pass the House and a Pekinese next to me started barking uncontrollably and had to be removed. The rest of the evening was civil - but just barely.  
Half the questions had to do with illegal immigrants which IMHO is beside the point. The need for immigration reform doesn't lessen the need for health care reform - do we really want Drs/nurses acting as  border patrol agents? It's not over till it's over - but from this end the outlook seems promising.
179856 tn?1333547362
Rocker I would never make fun of your healthcare system.  Every Canadian I"ve ever known has been completely satisfied with it as far as I can tell and you folks don't leave people on the curb to die as oftentimes happens here in the States from lack of insurance.  OR people working their entire lives and then losing thier homes and going bankrupt because of one operation. I was just talking to an executive up in Canada the other day who when she found out I was sick kept saying but you have insurance why didn't you go to the doctors!!!!!!!!!!  OH yes all the huge COPAYS were not in my paycheck that week and what good is a doc without medication anyway?  She couldn't understand it.

Denise  - Maybe if Americans would quit trying to help everyone else out and concentrate on ourselves, we would have the money to provide a FREE State of the Art Health Care System second to none.


And ditto some more to that amen!

OH yes as I've seen a million times the old expression "I have to take random drug tests for my employment check how about random drug tests to receive welfare checks".   There are LOTS of ways we could clean out the weeds and try to find the funding to get healthcare for those who do not have it.....if they'd stop talking about death panels long enough for feeble minded folks not to be confused by it all.
Avatar universal
Here are what I consider to be mutually exclusive positions:

1) The government will make a complete mess out of healthcare - rationing, long waiting, govt. bureaucratics making decisions, pulling grandma's plug etc.
2) A public option will make it impossible for healthcare insurance companies to compete.

I have a small company and I provide healthcare. If there was a public option available today I am not moving - I'm sticking with what I have. I think the vast majority of employers who offer healthcare would do the same thing. We will not move until we see whether the government option works and how well it works.
If the government screws it up as badly as we are led to believe it will, then I will never switch and I think it's safe to assume that a great many employers will do the same and thus the private healthcare companies will survive.

So, how is a public option a risk (except for the cost, that is)? If it is as bad as they predict then the only people in it will be in the lower economic bracket and, perhaps, the young people. The rest will be with the private healthcare providers.

96938 tn?1189799858
"Alex, I'll take Fubars for $2000....."

"Amtrak, Postal Service, Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac, Medicare, Social Security, IRS, General Motors, Chrysler, Congress"
238010 tn?1420406272
From Nicholas Kristoff's recent NY Times op-ed:

"Health care reform may be defeated this year in part because so many Americans believe the government can’t do anything right and fear that a doctor will come to resemble an I.R.S. agent with a scalpel. Yet the part of America’s health care system that consumers like best is the government-run part.

Fifty-six to 60 percent of people in government-run Medicare rate it a 9 or 10 on a 10-point scale. In contrast, only 40 percent of those enrolled in private insurance rank their plans that high.

Multiple surveys back that up. For example, 68 percent of those in Medicare feel that their own interests are the priority, compared with only 48 percent of those enrolled in private insurance."

475300 tn?1312423126
Mike, I also have a (few, 2 now 3) small companies and an employee and wish I could afford healthcare for him and my step dau + their 2 kids and the twins on the way.  I know for a fact that our employee (son-in-law) could not afford the 2500.00 deductable + the whatever percentage myself + hubby have to pay.  They somehow have state healthcare and we pay him 20.oo an hour, provide their second vechicle which is a plumbing van and to top it off they live in an apt that we own. I don't know what they do with their money, don't drink of do drugs. I wouldn't know what to do if someone helped me out like that and never expected to be paid back.  Sorry that was so  long :-)

Deb, I just said that we need to help us (americans) and was told that it is not what the bible says)  Not my theory at all, the govt need sto help us who are trying and I agree to drug test the welfare .........

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