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US v/s Canadian healthcare systems.. A call to Canadian ATS Members

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posted on Apr, 13 2006 @ 04:16 PM
I was wondering if some Canadian ATS members could shed some light on Canada's healthcare system. Americans are told that socialized medicine would be too costly for the government resulting in the government having to cut other spending and bankrupting the government or raising taxes. We are also told that our system is better because we have better doctors because our doctors are paid more. We are also told that we are safer because our medicines are regulated by the fda.

1) The government would have to raise taxes. I already am exthorted for 1/3 of the profit of the work that I do.

2) It would bankrupt the government. Our government is already running at a deficit and has to borrow all the money that it gets from the federal reserve and then pay it back with taxes raised off the back of its citizens.

3) We are told that we have better doctors because they are paid more. Since when does a better salary make someone better at their job. If a doctor cares about his patients then he will be a better doctor.

4) We are told that we are safer because our medicines are regulated by FDA. Americans pay exhorbitant amounts of money for medicine. Our old people are forced to choose between medicine and food. Our citizens cross the border to get cheaper medicine in Canada which is the exact same stuff we get here. I mean come on Canada is not some third world country where they don't regulate the medicine.

5) We have to pay exhorbitant amounts of money for insurance. If you don't have insurance you will be turned away at a hospital. Our medical care is so expensive you have to have insurance to pay.

6) Many medicines which could save lives are caught up in the red tape of the FDA.

7) Americans have to go to Canada or Europe for the newest medicine and treatments.

Let me describe it like I see it:

American Health Care:
The farmer who starves his cattle because he's too cheap to buy hay. He doesn't buy vaccines so he loses a lot to disease. But all the while he goes and pets these cows every day and tells them how much he loves them and how lucky they are to be his cows because his neighbors cows don't get petted everyday.

Canadian Health Care:
The farmer who feeds his cattle because its the right thing to do. He buys vaccines but still loses a few because no matter how much you do you still have cows to die. He doesn't pet his cows everyday but he knows that at least his cows aren't starving to death. It costs him more to keep his cows but he doesn't lose cows due to starvation.

Canadians tell me how far off I am. Am I delusional about your healthcare system? I don't know but I do know that our system sucks.

posted on Apr, 14 2006 @ 07:04 PM
Since nobody else wanted to touch this one, I guess I will. I'll put this right out front though, for the posters who may follow, I'm not interested in a pissing contest over who is better.

Originally posted by arius
1) The government would have to raise taxes. I already am exthorted for 1/3 of the profit of the work that I do.

I guarantee you will pay more taxes for a health care program like ours. Unless you are willing to drastically cut back on defence spending and that's just not going to happen.

Originally posted by arius
2) It would bankrupt the government. Our government is already running at a deficit and has to borrow all the money that it gets from the federal reserve and then pay it back with taxes raised off the back of its citizens.

See above. It's a simple matter of priorities. This is not a US priority.

Originally posted by arius
3) We are told that we have better doctors because they are paid more. Since when does a better salary make someone better at their job. If a doctor cares about his patients then he will be a better doctor.

There are many doctors and nurses who move to the US to earn more money. There are even more doctors and nurses who stay in Canada because they value our system and don't want to work in an environment where ability to pay is the first concern.

Contrary to popular belief, most Canadian doctors are independant business owners. They bill the government for the work instead of the patient.

Originally posted by arius
4) We are told that we are safer because our medicines are regulated by FDA.

If you were to walk into a pharmacy in Canada, you will get the exact same pills you get in the US. Internet pharmacies are a little sketchier, and may have international suppliers. I wouldn't buy my meds from an online pharmacy, but then again, I don't have to.

The main reason that Canadian prescriptions are cheaper is because we negotiate discounts with the manufacturers. We also extend patent protection for longer than the US does.

Originally posted by arius
6) Many medicines which could save lives are caught up in the red tape of the FDA.

We have similar processes up here, Health Canada runs them.

Originally posted by arius
7) Americans have to go to Canada or Europe for the newest medicine and treatments.

Honestly, I have never heard of an American coming to Canada for treatment that is not available in the US. There are some Canadians who will travel to the US for treatment that is not readily available here.

It's not perfect, but we know that and are constantly looking for ways to improve it.

posted on Apr, 14 2006 @ 10:37 PM
as far as economics go, it's probably true the US is better, for higher doctor wages and less weight on the taxpayer. but we are comparing apples to oranges, the US healthcare plan is not the pinnacle of thier existance, free enterprise and big buisness is, canada has always prized their healthcare system, we are always trying to find cheaper ways to run it... heres an idea, STOP ALOWING OUR GOVERNMENT TO PAY INTREST INTO A PRIVATE BANK, that should free up a couple billion, and then things can stay the way they are only better. Canada has always had it's own values, only lately am i noticing the pressure to be more like the Americans, and frankly i dont get it, what is wrong with the way we have it.

the problem is people, and too many just thinking they are sick because they are board or something, there are people that do need attention, and those that abuse free health care, treat these abusers as any other criminal and maybe we can free up more beds.

posted on Apr, 14 2006 @ 11:11 PM
complex issue here.

Socialized health care is expensive and means increased taxation but likely a lower overall standard of care.

Socialized care means everyone obtains care irrespective of working or ability to pay which is humane but costly.

Socialized care means less money in the system to hand out as rewards as potentially possible in a free-market system which tries to attract the best. Again the average rate of pay is likely as good if not better in a socialized system.

In summation a socialized system delivers mediocrity to everyone at a high hidden cost (eg. income taxation). Private health care does not serve those that have no ability to pay (or some of them at least), offers potentially excellent care and delivers on ability to pay.

I notice one thing in a socialized system that is ironic though... those that have good jobs in government and corporations have better care than others because their organization pays for benefits beyond the standard that their employees would normally be entitled to. So in effect we have not a universal system but a many tiered system anyways despite what many claim.

posted on Apr, 14 2006 @ 11:25 PM
That's a good point.

Not every medical service is what we call 'listed'. For example, eye exams are only covered for those under 18 and seniors.

We do have private health coverage here, we call it extended medical. It is offered by some employers as a benefit. It covers things that are not covered under our universal program, such as ambulance fees and prescription drugs costs. Extended medical can also be purchased by the individual directly through insurers.

The aim of socialized medicine is to provide everyone with a basic level of care. It doesn't pay for everything under the sun.

posted on Apr, 14 2006 @ 11:31 PM
The American government is afraid of being too "communist" if they pay for healthcare. America's a Market Economy and Canada's a Mixed Economy (combination of market and central economies). That's why Canada's government pays for medicare.

posted on Apr, 15 2006 @ 09:53 PM
It seems like I'm getting mixed responses about whether or not you all like your health system. You said it would cost more taxes to have a system like yours. How much taxes do Canadians pay? Is it more than 35%?

One of you also mentioned that your government pays money into a private bank. Does that mean that you all have a situation similiar to the one Americans have with the federal reserve?

You mentioned that basic health care only covers certain things. Let me ask do your elderly have to choose between medicine and food? I am also interested in this extended care you talk about. How much does it cost for you to buy extended care. Private insurance in US for my family is $450 / month minimum.

I would like to know numbers to see which system actually costs its citizens more. You have to take into account that probably 1/3 or Americans don't have insurance.

Yeah, I agree we spend way too much on the military. Notice I didn't say defence.

posted on Apr, 15 2006 @ 11:47 PM
I'm a fan of our healthcare system, but that doesn't mean I can't see the problems and areas that need improvement. For most people, it provides all the basics at no to very little cost. There can be long wait times for some surgeries and that is probably the #1 complaint with the system. With some proper money management and creative thinking, this could be alleviated.

One example is my province splitting its health care money between two budgets, operating and building. The result of this is that we have empty buildings we don't have money to staff. :shk:


I pulled out my 2005 tax return and was kind of surprised at the results. Including Canadian Pension Plan, Employment Insurance and tax, I paid 20% of my income in federal and provincial taxes. Mind you, I was in a lower tax bracket last year because I wasn't working full-time for part of the year. If I had been in the next tax bracket, I would have paid approximately 27%. That doesn't take into account things like sales tax and the GST. That equals 14% more on most everything you buy, unless you are lucky enough to live in Alberta where there is no sales tax. Then it's just 7%.

Basic/Universal Health Coverage Costs

Costs for medical can vary, it's not free for everyone like people think. It's a big province-wide health plan with a sliding scale for payment. Basic insurance for the universal program is different from province to province, because each area manages it's own program. Figures from my province:

If you pay the maximum each month it is $54 for a single, $96 for a couple and $108 for a family, no matter how many children. Premium subsidies are as follows, based on annual family income:

under $20,000 - 100 percent subsidy
$20,001 - $22,000 - 80 percent subsidy
$22,001 - $24,000 - 60 percent subsidy
$24,001 - $26,000 - 40 percent subsidy
$26,001 - $28,000 - 20 percent subsidy

My employer pays for my basic health coverage.

Extended Medical Coverage Costs

The last time I priced extended medical it was around $125 per month for a single and that included dental insurance, short and long term disability and $25,000 life insurance. For a family of four it was just under $275. Of course, there would be adjustments to premiums based on age, health and lifestyle. I am relatively young, with no serious health problems and I don't skydive on the weekends.

What All That Money Gets You

If I were to pay the full freight for total health coverage, it would cost me approximately $175 as a single person. For a family of four, it would be just under $400. With the combination of my universal coverage and extended medical the following would be covered:

Universal Benefits
Doctor visits
Specialist visits when referred by GP
Non-elective surgeries (no nose or boob jobs on the government dime)
Hospital stay in basic room (4 people per room)
Visits to the hospital physio and occupational therapist when referred by a GP
MRI's done in the hopital (private clinics are available for those who wish to pay for it)
Lab visits and fees
The majority of hospital services (abortions wouldn't covered unless it was for a health-related reason)
Dental surgery performed in the emergency room

Extended Benefits
10 massages per year
10 visits to the chiropractor per year
10 visits to a psychiatrist per year
80% prescription coverage until Pharmacare (see below) starts paying for them
Ambulance fees
Eye exams
$200 towards glasses every two years
$100 for orthopodic appliances
Fiberglass casts
Semi-private hospital rooms (2 people per room)
Diabetes supplies
Dental - 80% minor, 50% major, $1200 per person, per year
Private physio and occupational therapists

I'm missing a bunch of things but it gives you an idea of the coverage.

Prescription Costs and the PharmaCare Program

There is some help with prescriptions for Canadians called PharmaCare. Based on ability to pay and some little formula, there is a limit on how much out of pocket expenses someone will have to pay for prescriptions. When you hit your Pharmacare deductible, you only pay a small portion of the cost and the rest is billed to the government plan. We do have poor seniors in Canada, but after a certain point, their costs are reduced.

Pharmacare varies from province to province, so I will use mine as an example. These numbers are based on family income:

Annual income under $15,000 gets 70% of the bill paid with no deductible. It goes to 100% paid after your prescription costs reach 2% of annual net income.

Annual income between $15,000 - $30,000 gets 70% of the bill paid after costs reach 2% of net annual income. It goes to 100% paid after your prescription costs reach 3% of annual net income.

Annual income over $30,000 gets 70% of the bill paid after costs reach 3% of net annual income. It goes to 100% paid after your prescription costs reach 4% of annual net income.

Now I have a question for you. Is it true that your health plan/HMO has a list of approved doctors and you can only go to those ones and get it paid for?

Added emergency dental surgery to the list of universal benefits

[edit on 15-4-2006 by Duzey]

[edit on 16-4-2006 by Duzey]

posted on Apr, 16 2006 @ 12:48 AM
I don't know wether the Canadian system is medeocre or not, you wouldn't know it to look at the Life Expectancy statistics and compare them with the same stats south of the boarder

posted on Apr, 16 2006 @ 12:49 AM
I am a Canadian. I have two incidents to relate that may help inform my friends south of the 49th parallel, not fully, but perhaps allow a bit of understanding and insight for the Canadian system of universal healthcare that is hypothetically available to all within these borders. I value the Canadian system highly - I'd not be writing this or anything else without it.
There are some big problems - too.

First, don't have a stroke - ever/anywhere - I did... Feb 20 1993 while I slept. Acute migrainous vasospastic stroke involving the left parietal lobe specifically what's called "the motor strip" and a portion of "the circle of Willis". Ever fall asleep on your arm and have it not there when you wake up - like that, but in my case the entire right side of my body was like dead - both afferently and efferently not hooked up.

Uh, I was a long distance recreational runner, 33 years old and had finished the Shoppers Drug Mart Toronto marathon the previous Oct 10th in 3 hours and 18 minutes (I have the pics). No drugs or booze, not over or under weight, bench 200lbs - you know - healthy. I thought I'd pinched a nerve in my neck - like a "kink". Nope, stupid me dragged my sorry butt around my apartment for three days occasionally "leaking" and drooling out the right side of my mouth - locomotion was by bum and one leg for the first few hours and then the headache hit - Oppenheimer Class headache - and my right side vision went screwy. By then I'd regained enough 'wiring" to kind of stand and drag my right side around. I wasn't aphasic but speech was all distorted and the hemipeligia - my face looked to have zero tone on the right side - all saggy. Couldn't feed myself - darn near put the toothbrush through my cheek - you know - screwed up - 3 days - idiot.

So I phone up Doc McKeown, my family MD in Toronto, a nice lady - saved my motorcycle racin' butt more than once - from Birmingham England who came to Canada because of (appropriate for this thread) or to escape from the British health system. Her staff says come right in to the office and they'll take a look at the "kink" in my neck. So I hop the Rocket (transit) down to College street and I wait in the office after providing my Canadian Health Insurance Card (mine's OHIP and still doesn't have a photo on it today) and because I'm registered at her office no other ID is taken. I go upstairs with the help of one of the reception ladies and into an exam room where I sit on a paper covered human inspection stand with stirrups.

Doc McKeown took one look at me - and I was lookin' her in the eye - her face had what I think was horror on it and then she put her hands on my shoulders and said, "(my real name here - sub in yours) you've had a stroke". It's that look on her face - haunting. I say, "Stroke? My neck is "out". Can't you send me to a chiro or something. Are you sure (her first name here)? Aren't strokes what happen to old folks just before they die? She said. "No, I've seen babies and teens have stroke, not often, but it does happen." It hit me - STROKE - Shumacher-Levy 9, comin' in hot wheels up - max delta V - impact. I said and at that moment I believed, "I'm going to die!?" She put on a brave face of concern (you know - British) and actually laughed and said, "No, No. I won't let that happen, not today."

She yelled for one of the other male MD"s who came right in and kept me sitting up while she phoned EMS and I guess St. Micheals where she had what are called "privileges" - the male MD says rather casually, "This guy's stroked out - looked right through me." I don't know why but I don't like that Doctor.

She then checked my pulse, BP, resp, eyes, whacked everything with the little rubber mallet, made me listen to a tuning fork and then put it against my skull - talk about sonic weapons - made the headache and ringing in my ear really bad - Excedrin 10 to the power of 43. I felt nauseaous and hungry, they had me stand which I could sort of and then she asked me to close my eyes - well I fell like a ton (actually 168Lbs) and buddy didn't do a very good job catching me as I now have a broken right baby finger which I didn't feel. They get me back on the exam table and say,"Lay down". The male MD grabs my finger and I hear "snap" and for some reason it seemed funny. Doc McKeown freaked and said, "Get out - Now. And don't you ever touch one of my clients again - ever." She was mad.

So off in the ambulance (with my MD riding along) and then the tubes and dope started... don't remember much for the next few days, tests mostly, headaches, Imitrex IM, puking, passing in and out, CAT, MRI, student docs doing a haphazard LP that felt like a telephone post was being pressed through the bone of my lower spine - they gave up trying to mutilate me and called for a nice neurologist lady (a Doctor Stirling) the LP was performed, I felt nothing, no pressure, no student saying,"I'm trying, maybe if I push harder." Nope done and tapped and fluild pressure, colour, and amount were finished before I knew it, she has "The Touch."

The next test killed me - literally. It's a called a cerebral-angiogram at the time the Head Neuro Guy (Lambert) his Number 2 Lieutentant a Dr. Conner said I had to sign a paper for that test so I did - idiot. Your on a table a this guy jams a catheter up my femoral artery like 3 feet to my brain and squirts some sort of isotope into my gourd - the stuff is green and I'm awake but higher than a kite and the surg nurse says get this, "this won't hurt a bit", honest she really said that. They lined up my noggin' to the radioactive source and shot the pic - I remember my vision going white and that colour is the colour of pain - pure unrefined - felt like a kind of a white flash from inside my skull - like a flash bulb or mag flare. I guess that was when my heart decided not to cooperate with these shenanigans and stopped. I heard what I thought was the yelling of every human soul that ever lived, most likely the nurses though. I could see the light constantly and I think I remember having a vision of myself from above but that's most likely lack of perfusion and hypoxia. I'd tell you the other wacko stuff but no one'd believe that and these boards can be, well at times - cruel to the vulnerable. Whatever.

So I wake up a day or so later with my own family MD sitting beside me saying."Thought we'd lost you." And then she apologized to me for not following my case closely enough to prevent the mad scientist boys from trying to kill me - she confessed that 3 of 100 cerebral angiograms results in further neurologic damage and even death and that she'd not have allowed such a test on any family member of hers. Cool - so much for informed consent when I signed for the CA test I was so wired up on tranqs and sleep meds, T5's and Imitrex I'd have signed anything. Idiot.

So far they've killed me once and saved my life once and BTW did I mention that this cost me so far out of pocket $1.50 for the bus. I'd say they spent several tens of thousands of dollars so far to find out no more than Doc McKeown said at her office; I had a stroke. It gets better in Part 2.

Stay tuned for Part 2 which will cover my expensive (to me and the Canadian Health system) rehab, financial catastrophy, recovery and successful re-integration into society.

Also featured in Part 2 of special interest to US citizens will be the happy adventure about the lady from Tennessee who got mugged and assaulted and liked the health care so much she and her hubby are pursuing citizenship.

More tomorrow, God and 43 willin'.

[edit on 16-4-2006 by V Kaminski]

posted on Apr, 16 2006 @ 12:50 PM

Yes it is true that HMO's require you to go to only doctors who accept their insurance. If you are out of state and are forced to see a doctor you take the chance of having to pay 100% of the charges.

Our health insurance costs $450/month. We are required to pay 20% of all costs up to a maximum out of pocket of $1800/year per person. We don't have dental included in these costs and our medicines cost $10 / prescription for generic, $30 / prescription for name brand and $50 / prescription for high end name brand. So you can easily see that if you were on a number of high end name brand prescriptions following a surgery or to combat heart problems, etc your costs can easily run into major money every month. We don't pay 20% for prescriptions we pay the full amount.

posted on Apr, 16 2006 @ 04:30 PM

Originally posted by denythestatusquo
complex issue here.

Socialized health care is expensive and means increased taxation but likely a lower overall standard of care.

Hi, I noticed this intresting issue and being not american either canadian I decided to take part of it.

Here in Finland we have mixed system something like in Canada.
I tried to find some good statistics, perhaps later
, and found this:

"USA:n terveydenhuolto on kiistatta maailman korkeatasoisin. Se on myös kallein maksaen 14 % bruttokansantuotteesta, kun Suomessa vastaavasti maksamme alle 8 %. Viidesosa kansasta on lisäksi kaikkien vakuutusten ulkopuolella."

Freely translated:

The health care in USA is without doubt highest standard in world. It's also most expensive taking 14 % from GNP (gross national product), when in Finland it's bellow 8 %. Also fifth of population is without any health insurance.

Writer is finnish surgeon studied in USA, member of finnish parliament now.

So I love to pay my taxes to have decent health care for all citizens.

I think our christianity is more in paying high taxes to to take care of all people, than charity of rich people.

Sorry my language

posted on Apr, 20 2006 @ 12:28 AM

Originally posted by arius
Yes it is true that HMO's require you to go to only doctors who accept their insurance. If you are out of state and are forced to see a doctor you take the chance of having to pay 100% of the charges.

In Canada, it's bit different from that. Within your home province, you can see any doctor you want. If you travel out of province, most doctors will just bill their province's plan. The province that treated you bills your province and then your province turns around and bills you.

If you travel out of country, you should always buy travel insurance. You can apply for reimbursement of costs, but will only get back what they would have paid if you had been hospitalized in your home province. The difference could add up quickly.

If you have extended medical, it probably covers the difference when you're inside Canada. Some extended plans also cover out of country.

I think you can get the best care in the world in the US, at a price. If there are Canadians who want to pay to go there, more power to them. Thanks for freeing up a space in the queue.

I agree with HoHoFoo. There's plenty of government expenditures I think are a waste of money. Healthcare is not one of them.

posted on Jul, 15 2006 @ 08:24 PM
The best system IMO, is the system that France has.

Its a two-tiered system and they pay the least (per capita) for their healthcare. Yet they have something like a 98% approval from the populace and hardly any wait times.

Saw it on TV a few months back, but I'll try to find some internet documenttion, and post again.

posted on Jul, 21 2006 @ 07:03 AM
I am from Ontario the only two problems I have with our health plan is some of the wait times for special surguries or even to get in to see a specialist. I have one friend who had to wait 13 months for triple bi-pass near the end we didn't think he would live till his surgury date!

Also say as I can't remember it being said before is the abuse of our system. People with a hang nail or a sore toe will go to see their doctor or head to the emerg room which really backs up the doctors. I think there should be a fee for emerg room visits and gp visits to stop the hydrocondriacts (sp) from abusing the system.

posted on Jul, 21 2006 @ 04:46 PM
I've had experiences...both good and bad.

The Good: I took my dog to the vet. He got drugged up, shrugged off quite a bit of valium, and put a hole in my hand. I went to the clinic down the street, didn't even have my OHIP card.and they sewed me up and it cost me nary a cent.

The Bad: Tore my rotator cuff. It was incorrectly diagnosed, and I basically now have barely any upper body strength. My shoulders are still lose. When I DID get the correct diagnosis, I had the option of waiting six months for hospital physio, or paying out fo pocket for private phsyio. It would have taken over a year before I even got considered for surgery.

Take it for what you will. I jsut wish we had more private doctors up here, so I wouldn't have to wait two hours to see a doctor.


posted on Jul, 21 2006 @ 05:05 PM
this is a complex topic
I'm from quebec. If you asked this question 15 years ago id say Canada health system was excellent imo. Now its completly collapsing, waiting time, difficulties to seduce doctor to opperate in region, infrastructure is getting old, ppl getting old and its to name a few oh and i forgot if you ever put a foot in a hospital here in the province of quebec, dont even put your finger into your eyes, ears, nose and mouth as you may exit more sick.

Globalization have put an edge into canadian health system and i believe it has something to do with all the previous reason this system is falling apart.

posted on Sep, 12 2006 @ 04:00 PM
I can't really say for sure which one I think is better ... since I only have personal experience with the US system of healthcare. Here we have to choose between and HMO or PPO style plans. HMO are Health Management Organization and PPO are Preferred Provider Organization.

HMO's cost less but a member will need get referrals to any specialist from their primary doctor and any surgery or procedure has to be "approved" by the HMO ... even if a doctor(s) has determined it is a neccessary procedure and something that is standard in the medical field the HMO may decline to allow the procedure. Office visits are normally $10 or $20 and copays for prescriptions are normally $5 to $25. Surgeries, ambulance transports and hospital stays are covered 100% in HMO's, hence the heavy approval process.

PPO's cost more (usually by at least $100-200 per month) but you can schedule an office visit with any specialist without a referral. Surgeries, certain complex procedures and non-emergency hospital admissions still need pre-approval but are typically allowed as long as they are within the scope of normal medical care (not some new, un-proven medical procedure). Office visits are normally $10 or $20 (emergency room $50) and copays for prescriptions are normally $5 to $25. Anything beyond that is paid at 80% after a $500 deductible (per family member) and up to a maximum out of pocket expense of $5,000 per year.

As an example I have a PPO plan through my employer (covers medical only, dental and eyecare is seperate) ... the monthly premium is $1200, of which I pay $130.

I have used my plan to cover several kidney-related surgeries on my child when he was a newborn. Between his birth and subsequent hospital visits, procedures and surgeries the medical plan has paid over $300,000 ... I am responsible for $15,000 ( the $5000 cap is yearly and it stretched over 3 calendar years).

I cant compare my PPO experience to an HMO as we had no issues with seeing a specialist (of our choosing) ... have the ability to take him to a different specialist if we want a second opinion and we have never had any of the procedures or surgeries denied by our insurance. Having never used an HMO I can't compare the two directly.

Also, since HMO's and PPO's are run by private insurance companies the cost varies greatly depending on your age, number of dependents and even who you purchase it through. Employers typically get discounts by purchasing in large quantitues. Coverage can also vary greatly from plan to plan ... there is no a universal plan ... each company differs and some companies have 20+ different plans depending on how it is being purchased.

posted on Sep, 12 2006 @ 08:56 PM
As Duzey has mentioned above, its all about priorities.

It is a priority of my own that we have a health care system to support us. If by some twist of fate I was diagnosed with a possible fatal disease tomorrow, I take comfort in the fact that I can recieve treatment and not burden my family with a debt that would be unmanageable.

It is a priority of the United States to spend countless dollars on Defense. A cutback on defense to support Health care in the United States would probably come with the Presidents head on the end of a stick. Now I think if the Prime Minister tried to take our health care from us Canadians, we would have his head for it. Why? Well Health Care has become a priority for alot of Canadians.

My grandmother is in her late 70's, when I lived with her for an extended period of time I took her to the hospital on a regular basis. She was in constant need of having check ups with her blood pressure, and her breathing. I'm in no position to spit out dollar amounts for the United States health care, but I am sure it would be alittle more of a cost than what we had to endure.

It is a comfort level that we Canadians can enjoy, looking at the alternative is a scary thought for me.

I am more than happy to cough up my tax dollars to spend on a health care system that treats others that are in need. We all know it has its problems, we can not deny that. However, what system doesn't?

My last visit to the hospital, consisted of a five hour wait followed by seven stitches in my hand. I was about to blow a fuse over the length of my wait, so I approached the front desk to figure out what is going on that I was still waiting. Nobody was going in our out I thought, so something had to be done.

Well what had happened was on three different occasions, older gentleman who were pretty rough looking with not much money in their pocket had come in looking for help quickly. I did not see these men coming in for help, but I did remember seeing an older man leaning against the wall on the side.

That man that I did see could barely stand, he had to lean against the wall to stay up. His breathing was minimal at best and in a dead sweat. Can you imagine the anxiety? Trouble breathing, barely able to stand up, man thats a scary thought. But, he knew he was going to see treatment that day and at no cost to himself. Which is great, because he probably couldn't afford it if the treatment had a bill attatched to it.

Suddenly my five hour wait felt like twenty minutes, my bloody hand turned into alittle cut on my finger. In time my turn came, I was treated and released good as knew. Few hours of my life were taken, but I left knowing that old man was looked after.

Felt pretty good.

[edit on 12-9-2006 by chissler]

posted on Sep, 21 2006 @ 03:38 PM

Originally posted by ProudCanadian
The American government is afraid of being too "communist" if they pay for healthcare. America's a Market Economy and Canada's a Mixed Economy (combination of market and central economies). That's why Canada's government pays for medicare.

Merely a perception because the US has a mixed economy just like all developed countries. The US is home to big government and a large non-profit sector just like Canada. In fact I am constantly surprised to learn of areas where the Americans have government where we do not have in Canada or that the US is probably the home of the world's big non-profits.

There is subsidized hospital care in the US too and it is seldom mentioned in this debate.

My view on paying for health insurance is this: if I can easily get a quality job and afford to pay coverage then why should I complain? Especially if my standard of living is higher than it CURRENTLY is in Canada.

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