Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Physician, Heal Thyself

The Four Doctors
John Singer Sargent
1906

I have been reading the following piece of drivel all over the Internet, and I felt it was time I had to respond:

"Thirty thousand Canadians are passing up free medical care at home to go to some other country where they have to pay for it. People don't do that without a reason. But Canadians are better off than people in some other countries with government-controlled medical care, because they have the United States right next door, in case their medical problems get too serious to rely on their own system. But where are Americans to turn if we become like Canada? Where are we to go when we need better medical treatment than Washington bureaucrats will let us have? Mexico? The Caribbean?" ... Thomas Sowell

According to his biography, Mr. Sowell is the Rose and Milton Friedman Senior Fellow on Public Policy at the Hoover Institution at Sanford University. One of Mr. Sowell's favorite quotations is:
"The first thing a man will do for his ideals is lie." ... Joseph A. Schumpeter

Well, it would seem that Mr. Sowell is following Joseph Schumpeter's advice, because everything about his statement on Canadian health care is a lie. Thirty thousand Canadians are not passing up free medical care at home to go to some other country where they have to pay for it.

I appreciate that the health care debate in the United States is becoming emotional, to say the least. I have never seen such an issue divide a country. However, what I don't like to see is Canada's health care system being dragged into the debate. Canada has a population of 33,743,141 and a Human Development Index of 0.967 putting it third in the world behind Iceland and Norway. The United States has a population of 307,120,000 and its Human Develoment Index is 0.950, putting it at number 15 in the world, ranking behind Canada.

"So what?" ... you say. Well, plenty, that's what.

Canada has a health care system that works, and it has worked for over 50 years. In the United States, 47,000,000 Americans -- greater than the entire population of Canada -- have no form of medical insurance or coverage of any kind, and they have no hope of ever having any coverage. In the United States, people die because they cannot afford medical care. That does not happen in Canada. In the United States, 60% of all personal bankruptcies are due to medical bills. That does not happen in Canada.

In Canada, the doctor is god. If a doctor orders diagnostic tests, medication, surgery, treatment -- whatever -- the patient gets it. In Canada, the emphasis is on care, with the funding coming from the Provincial and Federal governments. In the United States, the emphasis is on the Health Maintenance Organization (HMO) and what they will or will not allow. The HMO is permitted to make medical decisions while controlling the financial aspect of providing care, and the HMO is often protected from malpractice lawsuits. In other words, the HMO tells the doctor what standard of care a patient can have. That would never happen in Canada.

The fact is, rather than 30,000 Canadians going to "other countries" for medical care, millions of Americans are coming to Canada through online pharmacies to buy prescription drugs for much lower prices than they pay to the pharmaceutical companies in the United States. Canada has $1 billion ($1,000,000,000) annual prescription-drug trade with Americans. The same medications cost up to 60 to 80% less here in Canada.

The United States of America spends more per capita (17%) on health care than Canada does (15%), and yet 16% of America's population has no medical coverage whatsoever and millions of others have inadequate coverage. This makes America's current system much more expensive than Canada's. In the U.S. underinsured or uninsured people wait until they are extremely ill before seeking medical help, and they end up going through hospital emergency rooms, which is a more expensive process than primary care services. What's wrong with this picture?

If I'm beginning to sound like a broken bell over this issue, it's because as a Canadian, I'm proud of our health care system. It's not perfect, but it's ours and it works. It may not work for the folks in the United States, they're in such a deep mess now. But I wish they would stop using our health care system as an example of "poor" health care. According to the World Health Organization, the life expectancy in Canada is longer than in the United States, the infant mortality rate in Canada is lower, and Canada is ahead of the United States in child well-being.

I know the debates will rage on, and Canada will continue to be used by some folks as an example of a poor health care system. Idiots...! They have no idea what they're talking about, and I wish they'd shut up already.

42 comments:

Land of shimp said...

Jo, I wish they'd shut up, too. I cringe with embarrassment each and every time one of our politicians so blatantly lies. It's horrifying, and it's also unjust as hell.

I wish we had your health care system.

Lots of U.S. citizens are trying to set the record straight, I swear. Every time I hear anything like this, I refute it. I tell people that the World Health Organization ranks Canada above the United States. That's not all, but that's where I start.

We kind of suck, truth be told. Our politicians are trying to hide from that truth, and they are lying like blazes to try to hide. I'm so sorry our politicians are involving your country in their smear campaign.

Really, we need to officially apologize, until then, please accept the personal apologies. I know better, everyone who crosses my path on this issue ends up knowing better.

Ruby Isabella said...

Well said Jo. Here in Australia we have a similar health care system to Canada. Everyone can get good medical care. That is a very reasuring thought. In the nineties Australia banned guns, after a horrific shooting. The gun lobby in the US used Australia as an example and claimed that crime increased dramatically after that, which was a complete lie. I haven't been following the debate closely in the US but I understand things are getting a bit crazy.

I send my good wishes that everything in the States will work out well and they will get a better health system at the end.

Jo said...

Land of Shimp, thank you. :-) You should not have to apologize for the ignoramuses who spew that garbage every day. It's unbelievable claptrap, but unfortunately some people believe it.

You folks are being denied an opportunity to have a better health care system because of fear and untruths. The U.S. is not going to turn into a communist country if you have so-called "socialized" health care.

It truly boggles the mind.

Ruby Isabella, I don't understand how a country can disparage other countries when they themselves have a lot of problems that need to be solved. To me it seems so completely counter-productive.

Carol E. said...

I wish we had a system like Canada's. This big emotional reaction is making me sick! (I'll go to Canada to find a hospital.)

Jo said...

Carol E, come on here to Vancouver. We have some wonderful hospitals, and we'll take good care of you. Free. *heh*

Avril Fleur said...

Great post Jo and as a fellow Canadian I wholeheartedly agree with everything you said. The propaganda that the opponents of national health care down in the U.S. are flinging about is absolutely disgusting. False data, twisted statistics and just outright lies. I am completely disgusted and SO GRATEFUL to live in Canada!! I wouldn't want to live anywhere else.

Pauline said...

Good points, Jo.

When money for profit, not people, becomes not only the bottom line but the driving force behind policy, people will indeed lie about their ideals. America's health care debate is more about profit than it ever was or will be about health care. The "health" of the government (and the nation's dependency on "bottom line profit," physically and emotionally, ie. capitalism as it's now practiced with its tendency toward monopoly), has to change before any policies governing health care or any other facet of our lives will be beneficial.

C Hummel Kornell a/k/a C Hummel Wilson said...

Jo, There is a lot of fear in the U.S. right now as our President and politicians tumble forward in a free fall approach to "fix" our medical system. This cannot be done with a "quick, knee-jerk" reaction. There are simply too many areas where big business (mostly big Pharmaceutical and insurance companies) are in control. Had our system matured as your did, then I believe all Americans would embrace it. Your system has not been wrought with graft and corruption, with the blessings of your government, as ours has. Since our country has entered the era of our 'baby boomers' coming of age, health care is one of the single most important issues of our time. Please forgive the idiots who make hurtful or incorrect statements about your Country and its system and provide encouragement and words of support to those of us common people who are truly scared to death at what our government is attempting to do to us.

There is another piece of history that few pay attention to. It was taught in my high school history class. Throughout time, democracies have averaged a life-span of 200-250 years. Judging from the turn of events, ours may be reaching its end.

God help us all.

Russell said...

So, uh, how do you REALLY feel?! Heh!! Come on... don't be shy! Tell us!!

Last night on C-Span I saw part of a panel discussion about health care reform. I sat down and actually listened for about an hour. Hearing these experts and academics discuss the situation, I finally realized just how complicated and involved this reform business is.

There are no simple answers. What might seem simple actually is not and watching that finally made me realize what a great task it is to make major reforms.

Then I saw President Obama at a town hall meeting in New Hampshire. I have a lot of respect for the effort he is making to see everyone has access to health insurance. The Clintons tried in the early 90s and sort of got the ground ready.

I hope the current administration gets the job done and that we work together to bring about much needed reform.

Okay. Cheerleading is over. Back to our regular programming...!

Jean said...

I'm so sorry that you feel your health care system has been vilified, Jo. It isn't right that people judge what they know nothing about. I think the issue here is fear. Fear of our own government. Many Americans have begun to feel that we have a government that is out of control and we are no longer a government of the people, by the people and for the people. Trillions of dollars are being spent and the people feel they have nothing to say about it. The dollar has been devalued to the point that it now resembles Monopoly money. Bank, auto industry bailouts, "cash for clunkers" and other such programs are being passed by congress without regard to how we the people feel about it. Calls and letters to our senators and representative no longer seem to carry any weight. They pretty much do as they please with our money and the money of our children and grandchildren for decades to come.
The real kicker is when we hear that executives who's companies have received bailouts are receiving millions of dollars in bonuses, being given ultra luxury vacations, when we the "little people" are losing jobs and begging the same government for assistance just to survive. The problem here is we have lost faith and have been lied to so consistently that we no longer believe anything "they" tell us.

Maureen said...

This thing just drives me crazy, I don't understood the fear (false evidence appearing real) that exists here in the US about "Socialized" medicine. But then I never understood how Bush got re-elected either. I pay a week's salary for my insurance and still have to spend $65 a month on one medication and stopped taking another that is $100. With insurance!. Ridiculous. I've joked for years about moving to Toronto, it still may just happen.

Deb said...

How I wish our US media would actually report this correctly.
It really PISSES me off that the health insurance lobbiest have such a strong hold on the government here.

Will some branch of the media please step up and report the truth?

Let me say this, that I do not think for a moment that my country is the greatest in the world. How could we when so many necessities are unreachable for the masses?

Keep spreading the word, my friend.

kylerklnh said...

Jo, I loved your explanation and perspective in this post. It seems we(the US) too often bring our neighbors into our internal conflict. For that I am truly sorry. There is a lot more being played out here than meets the eye. We have an ongoing ideology war in our little republic and if we don't figure out some way to repair the fractures between us, I think health care may be the least of our worries. I don't like to think about the last time our nation was this severely divided. I think our path to national health care may be a long and bumpy road, but ultimately it will be put into place. We could learn a lot from our neighbor to the north. Let us hope people here start listening sooner, rather than later.

Amy said...

Jo, What a great post! It is indeed a complex issue and I learned much from your post about the Canadian health stats - I've always respected our northern neighbor and I think it's unfortunate and short-sighted to malign your solution to this very important part of our lives. I posted with frustration yesterday and found many informative articles. What did we do before the internet; I'd traipse down to the library and wade through volumes and microfiche. This is one reason why I think the internet is good for democracy - knowledge is power!

TC said...

OK, AIG was the insurer of all insurers, we said we couldn't let them fail so we (USA) pumped billions into them, then billions more, why? Because the powers that be had too much invested in the insurance industry so they propped it up.
So who is behind all these scare stories like you quoted Jo? I'd say besides the gloom and doom crowd and people who aren't exactly republican as much as they are anti-democrat right now? Probably the insurance companies are making sure that rumors get started and statistics change to suit their purposes.
I've had health insurance more of my life than not. The only time they really paid for anything was back in 91 an lumpectomy and my kids broken arm. I had private insurance for years, $4000 a year and they paid $70 once for xrays of my husbands foot when it was ran over. Now I had excellent(I thought) insurance through work, turns out insurance company is trying to make blood clots a preexisting condition even though I've never had them before in my life or anything similar, lumpectomy and a few infections and that's it besides the flu or something.
Sorry for the rant but even people who are spreading the anti health care bill rumors have probably been ripped off for insurance one time or another if they would be truthful.
And I have wonderful free insurance now through my husbands work, the bill wouldn't do me a durn bit of good.

Jo said...

Avril, it's mind-boggling to listen to the garbage, and to read it, isn't it!? And sadly, people believe the lies, and make decisions based on those lies...!

Pauline, "America's health care debate is more about profit than it ever was or will be about health care." Oh yes! Canada is always accused of being a "socialist" country, but it's wayyyy ahead of the United States in health care, and Americans don't even realize it.

C. Hummel Kornell, I am amazed to see how polarized your country is on so many levels and issues. There is definitely something very strange going on there. And yes, fear plays a very large part in the polarization. It's very sad.

Russell, as you know, I don't care for Obama, but if he can pull this off successfully, he will win my admiration. Health care reform is long overdue in the U.S., and I do give him credit for digging in his heels about this issue. And he defends Canada's Health Care system, thank goodness.

Jean, "It isn't right that people judge what they know nothing about. I think the issue here is fear. Fear of our own government." Oh, I agree completely. And fear of the unknown. I'm amazed at some of the things I read, and such how inaccurate they are. There are many countries in this world that have much, much (!!!) better, more humane social systems than the U.S.

Maureen, LOL, I never understood how Bush got elected the first time OR the second time. That was a travesty. And to be honest, I don't understand how Obama got elected, but I do hope he turns out to be a good President for you folks. And you see? You should not have to stop taking a medication you need, just because it is too expensive. That's outrageous!

Deb, "Will some branch of the media please step up and report the truth?" Oh, yes! I guess it is going to have to come from outside your country, because people inside your country seem to be too afraid of the truth about this issue. I will keep posting about it!

Kylerklnh, yes, from here across the border, it almost looks as if you folks are in a civil war with each other again. The squabbling, the fear-mongering, the anger -- it makes the rest of the world feel very sad to watch it. I think everyone should take a deep breath, and keep an open mind about other countries' health care systems. France's is the best in the world, and yet folks in the U.S. still discount it -- out of fear.

Amy, oh yes, the internet is providing a lot of good information about the issue, but sadly also a lot of misinformation. I am going to continue to set the record straight on Canada's Health Care system because, although it is not perfect, it works.

TC, blood clots a pre-existing condition!!!??? Omigawd! Now you see, that would never happen in Canada. There is no such thing as a "pre-existing condition". If people are ill, they get treated. It's not a "for profit" situation here.

Charles Gramlich said...

You can go a long time listening to the current health care debate in the US without hearing a single truth.

jay dee said...

Jo,Thats a very frightening statistic 60/% of all bankrutcies are due to medicical bills,thank the lord that we in Britain have a welfare state that provides free health care,but of course the term welfare state must sound like a left leaning country to the Americans brought up to believe that anything with a name like that must be commies.I really don't understand US politics,does the Americans?.

Your right to be angry Jo about the propoganda they are using regarding the Canadian health service but as you say their health care is in such a mess I can't see anyway they can fix it, and watching on TV the demonstrations of some Americans on the health care issue I doubt if it could be fixed.

JeannetteLS said...

It's appalling. I find myself blogging to the point of obsession on some threads to debunk the asininity. I do not blame you for wanting to scream and I wish there were a way to stop the insulting lies. We had to listen to them in the nineties, and, from all I have heard, your system is better now. Funny how that happens. Where there is an actual SYSTEM to improve, people learn and iron out the kinks. The thing is, most of us who want universal health care do not even expect it to be perfect out of the box... not even close.

Just know that a whole bunch of Americans do jump up and down and scream LIES at the attacks on you, Great Britain, France, Scandinavia, and on, and on, and on.

I begin to wish I could afford to move to Canada, but perhaps you all are sick of AMERICANS running away to YOUR country.

It's GOOD to read your justified anger. I just wish you didn't have to deal with the vitriole from your south.

ivan said...

There is a down side to our universal health care. Seems each hospial is really a money-genrating machine that works to the benefit of the machine itself. Patients come second. Witness the sometimes numbing day-long waiting in Emergency while somebody's bone is sticking half-out. Sometimes it approaches a comic Pakistani mode. "We have rules. Important documents!"
After a while, it's the system, the process that is really paramount. Patients will wait. and wait.

Jo said...

Charles, yes, I am discovering that as I read and hear what they are saying.

Jay Dee, I know...! The Americans are so afraid of anything "socialized" that they will die before they give up their system. I don't understand it.

JeanetteLS, oh, goodness, come on up to Canada. It is the best of both worlds. Did you know the city where I live -- Vancouver -- was voted by the economist magazine as the number one city in the world in which to live? Yes!

Ivan, are you stating that from personal experience? Or is it from things you have read? I work in the health care system in the third largest city in Canada, and one of the largest cities in North America, and I have never seen waits like that. Ever. Quite the opposite, in fact. Emergency rooms always have to practice triage, which is the system of prioritizing patients based on the severity of their condition. So, if there are two broken bones, three heart attacks and two strokes, the broken bone gets triaged behind the other emergencies. People who go to emergency rooms have to appreciate that.

Triage is usually based upon:

1) Those who are likely to live, regardless of what care they receive;
2) Those who are likely to die, regardless of what care they receive;
3) Those for whom immediate care might make a positive difference in outcome.

In a situation where triage is necessary (an emergency room) that system seems fair to me.

lovelyprism said...

In my opinion, there is a lot of misinformation on this subject. It is not health care that needs reform, but health insurance. These big health insurance companies are already "rationing" care in their own way. And big pharma is in on that up to their eyeballs. They are the reasons for the high cost and the bankruptcy rate. I don't want the government involved in my health insurance, my bank account or my child rearing, all things in this proposed bill. I don't have the answer, but I think the government is going about this all wrong. And the great rush and hurry is what's making people so paranoid. Why is it that B.O. took months to choose a dog for his family but wants this bill passed so quickly nobody has time to read it? Again. I also think if it's passed it should be on the condition that it's for EVERYBODY including congress and the senate. Maybe if it effects them personally they will take the time to read and understand it and understand what it is and how it works. If they're forced to think about how it effects them personally maybe they won't be so quick to bow at the feet of his highness hoping for brownie points.

The Bug said...

Jo - I don't have time to comment like I would like to - but ditto ditto ditto! It's heartbreaking, really, to hear all the lies & the people who believe them...

JeannetteLS said...

Lovelyprism, this isn't one of our forums on public options in the states. It's Jo's blog where she is upset because of lies being spread about HER country. Sorry. I had to say that.

I'll keep Canada in mind, but I love my home and the gardens I created from scratch twenty years ago. I once waited ten hours in an ER... I'd stuck a fondu fork through my hand and needed stitches and a tetanus shot. Somehow or other, it seemed appropriate that I had a long wait.

BUT, many city ERs here in the states have long, long waits. I hope, Jo, I wasn't out of line. I know you can delte my response if I was.

HAPPY IN NEVADA said...

Jo, you should print this and send to our president - it's well written.

Let me give you a little story that will give you some insight as to some of the earlier beginnings of this 'fraud', that has grown to such proportions.

My grandfather-in-law started an insurance company in Hobart, Indiana. He built it up at a time when the cost for medical care was much much less than now.

After 20 years, he discovered he had quite a surplus of money from the premiums. So, he decided to start a bank, and he notified all of the people who carried his insurance, that he would take the retained revenue and start a bank with it - equally dividing up all the money he had, and opening a savings account in the names of each premium holder. They all jumped at the idea of getting their money back; in the form of savings.

He then took the money that was 'on deposit', as well as all new deposits (since of course, everyone trusted him because he'd been so honest in returning that residual to them), and invested in a rapidly growing MEDICAL INSURANCE COMPANY.

Now these same depositors no longer had medical insurance, so he put out promotional flyers in his 'bank', and they quickly picked them up and took out that insurance at a HIGHER PREMIUM RATE than he'd charged.

Now they were putting money into the MEDICAL COVERAGE, and he of course was benefiting from the earnings from having invested into the same medical insurance provider with the money held on deposit on his SAVINGS AND LOAN BANK.

Then he started giving out MORTGAGE LOANS; CAR LOANS, and then he started an INSURANCE COMPANY that would hold mortgage insurance; home insurance, and car insurance. Of course the premiums that came in from those types of coverages, FED HIS BANK, and with that money, he also invested MORE INTO THE MEDICAL INSURANCE COMPANY.

You can see how the cycle works at this smaller scale, and of course it was ADOPTED by BIGGER BANKS.

Likewise, the INSURANCE COMPANIES INVESTED IN OTHER BUSINESSES AS WELL AS BUYING A PORTION OF HIS OWNERSHIP IN HIS BANK.

It became a very healthy CYCLE - incestuous in a way, and as this trend built up in the very early part of the 20th century, it set the pace for PROFITING from our country's society of people who wanted to have newer homes; newer cars, and also be protected with life and medical insurance.

So, the reason it's such an undertaking to reorganize our health-care system to become more fairly based; to cost us less, and to cover the entire population, is because the profits will be REDUCED to the medical insurance companies; the life insurance companies, the pharmaceutical companies, and the BANKS' as well.

Over-paid professionals at every level of these industries, will not be able to enjoy the huge incomes; this of course, means it affects the entire economy of a region, and it 'equalizes' income in a way, that the elite simply do not want to happen.

When people rack in huge profits from the illnesses and traumas of a nation, it's truly 'criminal', in my book, and of course they have to spread the propaganda as they're now doing.

I have a friend in Holland and one in Denmark who tell me about their health-care system; one that our country's leaders would label: 'socialist'. I say this: If it is for the betterment of society, then we should be socialist if necessary, to give humane treatment to the country's citizens.

Humane doesn't seem to be a word in the language of the profiteering community........

I fear this will become a serious issue and a condition where even violence will erupt before this is resolved.

Thank you for speaking the truth.

Diane

Jo said...

Lovelyprism, oh, yes I agree it is a complicated process in your country. It would be like untangling a huge ball of rattlesnakes. And I definitely agree with you that it is not something that should be rushed. My beef is, I want the debators to stop using Canada as a bad example of health care, but they don't know what the h*ll they're talking about.

TheBug, that's the sad thing. People are making major decisions, based on lies, lies and more lies. It makes me really angry.

Jeanette, no, goodness, you were not out of line at all. And ... I can't imagine sticking a fondue fork through my hand. OUCH! But yes, sometimes emergency wards have to be triaged, and if a wounded hand is not life threatening, others may have to go first. You do seem to understand that.

Diane, omigosh! What a fabulously interesting story! Wow! I love stories like that. But, yes, when it comes to health care, humanity does have to be taken into consideration. That seems to be missing from the equation. I hope violence doesn't erupt there, but I have seen a couple of town hall meetings where people have been escorted out by the police. It's getting very heated, isn't it!?

tinkerbell the bipolar faery said...

Well, I wouldn't say we have wonderful hospitals here, but one does not have to mortgage oneself completely to purchase what should be just provided ... health.

ivan said...

Jo,

I must say that here at Southlake
Regional Hospital, just north of Toronto, there are few horror stories like the one I described from Toronto proper...Or perhaps like the one Jeanette described?
What is needed is a national triage system, pehaps based on Vancouver's model, which is based on the U. K. and Autralian system.
They keep tweaking it in Ontario with megabucks and the resulting speedup without proper "beds" leaves elderly patients hastily sequesterd into hallways, vestibule, closets and no private washrooms...Throwing the baby out with the bathwater, I'd opine.

Jo said...

Tinkerbell, yes, I agree. But I do think we have wonderful hospitals here -- Vancouver General, St. Pauls and Women's & Children's are three of the best anywhere in the world. They're all Centres for Excellence.

Ivan, well, I don't know what is going on in Ontario. Growing pains, perhaps. Are you getting a huge influx of immigration? Immigrants are eligible for health care under the Canada Health Act and a lot of them come from countries that are endemic for diseases such as TB, etc. That sounds politically incorrect, but unfortunately, it's a fact supported by statistics.

Brenda said...

I over hear lots of conversations that sound like the old game "telephone" that we used to play as a child. I think people talk when they don't know what they are talking about. It is probably more complicated than it needs to be...in my opinion. Then again..maybe I don't know what I am talking about...Ha...

the walking man said...

I don't mind the NHS or Canadian health care system being dragged into this...gives you all something to LAUGH about Jo.

I know you work in the system and all but you can laugh all the way to your next doctors appointment.

Jo said...

Brenda, that's the problem. People are saying things they don't know what they're talking about. I just wish they'd lay off Canada. :-)

Mark, I'm not sure what you're saying here. I don't think anyone is laughing. To me it all seems very sad, actually.

JeannetteLS said...

I don't think of the "forking incident" as we call it as a horror story, no. I didn't think I was high priority or SHOULD be. And any of the bad stories one DOES here are replicated a dozen times over down here. I think people have an expectation that if someone else's system ain't perfect, then ours is not broken.

I don't think that is, um, sound logic. And realistically, I do not propose we use someone else's system as the be all and end all for us to absolutely replicate. But other systems DO work better than ours, including yours. If we would simply study what's working in other countries, then see what parts we could actually adapt for our own situation... feh. I don't rule any zoos at all.

And I do not think anyone is laughing bout this anywhere--not there or here.

Jo said...

Jeanette, the blogger called Land of Shimp (you can connect with her through my blog) has done a wonderful post about this today. She is American, and she has stated it so well. You should click on her blog (see the link at the top here) and read her post. She is brilliant. I think you would agree with her, because you seem to be very intelligent too.

Gwen said...

Great post. The US health care systems needs to be completely overhauled, for certain. Despicable that pharmaceutical and health maintenance organizations have so much power over what care you and I receive. Atrocious that a health insurance company tells a cancer patient that they wont pay for doctor prescribed medication that may help her fight off the disease but offers that they will cover the cost of drugs for a physician-assisted suicide. (http://abcnews.go.com/Health/Story?id=5517492&page=1)

Kudos to President Obama for his desire to tackle this issue. With that being said, I also believe that the system cannot be overhauled or changed over night (or even weeks or months). It CAN NOT just be pushed through blindly - no matter how noble the cause is. This is an important enough issue that it deserves the time and dedication to really analyze all aspects versus just diving right into a whole new system to meet an "agenda" that *some* politicians clearly have.

If done correctly, millions of people will be forever sing the praises of this administration - and rightfully, so. If done incorrectly, however, it would undoubtedly leave our health care system more fractured than ever.

Jo said...

Gwen, "If done incorrectly, however, it would undoubtedly leave our health care system more fractured than ever." Hear! Hear! When I watch the Town Hall meetings, I am quite surprised at how quickly the legislators want to push the bill through. It's 1,000 pages long, which means it's very complicated, and it should take a very long time to fine-tune it first. But it's long overdue, so I hope you folks can iron out the issues without too much rancor. You folks deserve good health care.

Lay said...

Jo, I am 28 and a US citizen, I have been asking why we dont have what you have since I became friends with someone who lived in Canada at the age of 16... I think it is ridiculous not to have it &

I think & it makes me sick that the only ones who get insurance through the government here are people who dont even work or arent even legals!

Jo said...

Lay, oh, gosh, your universal health care system is long overdue. I had no idea -- until all this began -- just how bad your system was. I was shocked!

Miranda said...

I am so glad to hear from a Canadian about this. And I too wish people would just shut up about everything. Worse is that these people who don't want health care reform have no idea what's going on. They automatically belive the lies that are out there. No one checks facts anymore. They just believe what they want. Thank you for writing this blog!

ZeldaMom said...

Hi Jo,
I'm just getting around to reading some blogs and I saw this one. Is Canada's health care system anything like France's? I just saw something on TV about their health care, everyone gets treated even if they don't have insurance. Prescriptions are nearly free. When a 911 call (that's what the U.S. has) comes in, a doctor mans the phone lines to make sure it is an actual emergency, then a group of people including a doctor go to the emergency and make a diagnosis, start treatment, then take them to a hospital specializing in their needs. This avoids unnecessary hospital emergency visits. I know in the U.S. people call 911, get to the ER and leave without being seen, because they really just needed a ride close to the hospital. It's disgusting, and I really don't know how we're going to dig ourselves out of the mess we're in.

Paula Slade said...

Jo, you are most fortunate: the health care system you have is excellent! My hope is that our politicians will wake up to that fact and provide something similar for all Americans.

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