posted on Sep, 28 2006 @ 08:04 PM
Being an American citizen -- born, raised, educated in Michigan -- I presently live in Canada. I've lived here for nearly two decades. I am a dual
citizen now (American and Canadian) through marriage. So I have experienced both systems; the Canadian Health Care System and the American "living
on a hope and prayer" system.
Needless to say, the philosophy behind the Canadian health care system is an amazing system that considers that every Canadian is entitled to medical
treatment and health care. To the contrary, the American system, to sum it up, is one where it's "every man for himself". There are those who
afford to simply purchase their own health care insurance. Then there are those who are fortunate enough to be able to have employment with companies
that offer health insurance as a "benefit". Finally, there are those who simply are unable to afford health insurance, unable to find work with an
employer that offers health benefits and, of course, there are those who simply "fall between the cracks"; they may have had health insurance
coverage from their employer but who might have gotten sick or injured "between jobs". There are number of reasons why Americans might NOT have
When I lived in the US, before moving to Canada, I remember having sentiments that many posters have made known; that is, a sentiment where they
don't want to "pay for the health benefits" of other Americans", after all it's every man for himself, right?
But aren't we all Americans? What about the ideal of "united we stand, divided we fall" or that a society is judged by the way it treats the least
of it's members?
As far as I am concerned, the role of government is really rather limited. Governments, unfortunately like to stick their noses in every aspect of
our lives. The role of a government, simply, is to provide a safe environment for which it's people can live, grow and prosper. A government is
there to regulate commerce, build and maintain roads, provide for clean water and sanitation, protect us from our enemies. It is to every citizens
advantage that a government provides a good education to the citizenry and a logical extension of this is to help provide a decent quality of
universal health care for every man woman and child. No American should have to think twice about visiting their doctor because they aren't sure
that they can afford it. No American should suffer from a cold, a flu, a strain, a sprain or even worse because they do not have private health
insurance and, otherwise, do not have the finances to obtain the most basic of care.
Look at the difference. When I have a cold in Canada, I can simply go to my doctor have him/her thump my chest, listen to my heart, check my blood
pressure, look into my throat (using one of those damned wooden tongue depressors) and tell me that I should "rest in bed, drink plenty of fluids,
take two aspirins and to call him if I get worse or am still not better in a couple of days". I then leave the office and go home expecting to be
babied by my wife while I watch TV and periodically moan.
Of course I can do the exact same thing in the States. There really isn't any difference except that in the States, if I don't have insurance, I'm
about fifty bucks poorer after the visit to my physician.
Just think of the single mom who has kid who has a high temperature and an alarming cough. Naturally she loves her child and, of course, she would
"give her life" for her child. But, maybe little Timmy or Brittany will get better on their own.....that fifty bucks is need for food or, perhaps,
The US has the best military in the world. The US is an agricultural and industrial powerhouse. Technologically, the US is second to none. But when
it comes to the health of American citizens, the average American stands alone -- Kleenex and wallet in hand -- hoping that their cough goes away or
that it doesn't turn into pneumonia and get worse. Universal Health Care is a simple concept that most Western countries take for granted. In the
US the case is that, it would seem, Americans have been so thoroughly indoctrinated by the AMA and the establishment that they often are heard to say
that they "don't want universal health care" because it is, somehow, unamerican. But try to take their rifles away. Just watch the hue and cry
when the garbage isn't picked up or if the roads are filled with potholes. Why aren't Americans also demanding that EVERYONE be able to see a
doctor and be treated regardless of their job or income or whether they can afford treatment at all?
Don't listen to the lies about "socialized" medicine and how it has ruined health care in Canada or the UK or France or where ever. Those lies are
coming from the most powerful lobby in America -- the A.M.A. Yes, I am sure that every American has heard "horror" stories about the guy with a
heart problem dying before he can receive some operation in Canada. But what about the child who dies in the states because his folks can't afford
the doctor's fee much less the prescription? What about the families whose finances are ruined because of a catastrophic illness? Every system has
it's horror stories or worst case scenarios but, by and large, the Canadian system is able to provide every man, woman and child universal access to
care. Yes, glitches occur, doctor shortages can occur but governments can act and are acting to remedy statistical shortages. The present doctor
shortage in Canada -- specifically Ontario -- could have been avoided through various legislative means that do not reflect any failure in the system.
Like there is no mismanagement of any sort in the US? It happens. But in Canada, what is certain is that if you need a doctor, if you need health
care or treatment, you can get it without going into hock or face financial ruin. Your family, friends and fellow citizens in Canada are amongst the
healthiest people in the world. In the states, only the rich or the fortunate can echo those statements.