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46% of U.S. personal bankruptcies sparked by medical bills

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posted on Feb, 4 2005 @ 09:53 PM
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Canadian Healthcare

First I need to explain how the system actually works and how the funding is administrated.

The term 'National Healthcare' can be very misleading. In fact, each province does administer it’s own program. The Provincial governments are the ones that run the actual program. This allows different areas of the countries to address their unique issues. In countries like ours that stretch coast to coast, there can be different priorities for different regions. Our program allows the individual province to tailor the program to the needs of the area it serves.

What the Federal government does is set guidelines and standards to ensure Canadians across the country receive the same access to basic care through the Canada Health Act, contribute a portion of the funding from the federal taxes we pay, run some public health programs and provide research funding. The only groups they oversee are First Nations, Veterans and the Inuit. There is no man in an office in Ottawa deciding who gets Jello for lunch in Vancouver or who gets a kidney.

The majority of the funding comes from the Provincial governments. The Federal government has drastically reduced transfer payments to the provinces with the largest cuts under the Mulroney government, forcing the provinces to make up the difference. This is where the trouble started.

I’m going to use BC’s system, because I know it best, to illustrate the actual problems facing our system.

First, the way the Provincial government allocates funds is stupid. They have a separate budget for buildings. And anyone who has ever had to make a budget at work knows the rule is 'use it or lose it'. So we have buildings sitting empty because we don’t have the staff. Nice big buildings with no furniture or patients in them.

Second, we are currently in a shortage of skilled professionals. Well, not a real shortage, we have lots of foreign trained nurses and doctors but they get to drive taxis and be nannies, because the College of Physicians & Surgeons of BC and the Registered Nurses Association of BC make it almost impossible to get their credentials recognized. They are afraid they newcomers won’t be as strong supporters of the unions as Canadian born workers.

Bringing me to the third problem, but this one is just my own personal opinion, the unions. Wages are the biggest cost to the system, but the unions here are so militant, they have no problem closing hospitals and if people die, oh well, it’s the government’s fault. The last time the nurses went on strike they demanded a 35% raise. Can you say unreasonable?

And I don’t even have a problem with nurses and doctors making big money, I think they deserve it. The problem is that laundry staff, janitorial staff, kitchen workers and a lot of clerical staff are in the same union. And after a while, they can make 20 bucks an hour for washing dishes. Ironically, one of the nurse’s complaints is excessive overtime, because the can’t afford to hire more workers.

To address some specific things namehere mentioned quickly because this is way too long already:

1. Our system is only two years younger than yours.

2.I never suggested cutting your military budget; I was using it as an example of different countries having different priories.

3.We pay more taxes than you. It’s a given that you have to pay more tax to have universal healthcare, we just think its important enough.

The whole idea behind our universal healthcare system is preventative care. The theory goes that if people have annual physicals, and go to the doctor when they first feel unwell, it will reduce the load on the health system by improving the general health of the population.

When universal healthcare came into being, the only people who fought it were insurance companies, medical corporations and associations, and the drug companies. Not the people I trust to have my best interests at heart.



MBF

posted on Feb, 4 2005 @ 10:09 PM
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My situation and the increased cost of my health insurance forced me to have to drop my insurance. I think that the US should look into a national health care system. Canada would be a good place to look and learn from.



posted on Feb, 5 2005 @ 01:10 AM
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Hi MBF, nice to see you again.

That's a shame about your insurance, but I understand your farm has to come first. Did you know that up here, it was the farmers in Saskachewan, along with some other civic groups, who started the initial drive for universal healthcare? Go farmers!



posted on Feb, 5 2005 @ 03:09 AM
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I am suprised that Americans put up with the high cost of Health Care. Apart from the economic cost of bankruptcies think of all the pain of suffering that can be alleviated by reducing the costs of health fothe average person. The enormous fees Americans pay to their Health proffessionals and their drug companies is no more than a form of blackmail. Pay up or you are dead so much for a compassionate caring society.




May your God be with you



posted on Feb, 5 2005 @ 11:02 AM
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Originally posted by Duzey
I'm curious, did you vote for for Douglas provincially or federally? Oh, and on behalf of us that weren't around then, thank you very much.


Holy sh*t...I'd have to be 90 or something to have voted for him. Nah...I'm mean in Greatest Canuck I voted for him. He was for the common man and kicked a*s pretty good provincially and federally.

Sounds like you have some kind of awesome job and obviously they know how lucky they are to have you. Jobs like that are few are far between.

I'm self-employed and enjoy lots of freedom too...man I love that. When I'm busy...I'm going crazy...when its slow...well I have lots of time on my hands. Good think I can budget...time and $$



posted on Feb, 5 2005 @ 01:20 PM
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Originally posted by AlwaysLearning
Holy sh*t...I'd have to be 90 or something to have voted for him.


Well not quite that old but close. That's why your comment about voting for him kinda threw me off for a second. I was trying to be nice to the senior citizen. You know, respect your elders, and all that.


MBF

posted on Feb, 5 2005 @ 09:04 PM
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Originally posted by Duzey
Hi MBF, nice to see you again.

Did you know that up here, it was the farmers in Saskachewan, along with some other civic groups, who started the initial drive for universal healthcare? Go farmers!


I didn't know that Duzey. I know that farmers here have tried to get together to purchase insurance at group rates. The biggest problem here is that the medical and drug industry has a very strong lobby. I guess they can, because they have all of our money.


Good to see you again too.



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